A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

WSBK: Monza Race 2 Results – Attack of the Pigeons

05/11/2009 @ 3:36 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Monza Race 2 Results   Attack of the Pigeons big 818 560x373

Race 2 proved to be a less hectic event without a red flag in sight. With the race being won by a comfortable margin, the World Superbike season is shaping up to be a good close one.

Ben Spies took a comfortable victory in Race 2 of the World Superbike Championship at Monza, despite hitting birds going through the woods. The Texan went into the first corner in 2nd place, behind Noriyuki Haga, who also hit a flock of pigeons exiting the Curva Grande. This held the Ducati rider up, and left him finishing the first lap down in 15th position. Haga would go on to crash out on the third lap at high speed through the Parabolica.

With Haga out of the way, Spies ran away  from the field, his lead getting up to over 5 seconds at one point, before easing off to ensure he didn’t run out of fuel like he did in race 1. Fabrizio spent all race trying to fend off the attentions of Ryuichi Kiyonari to take a 2nd place, the Japanese Ten Kate rider finishing in 3rd. 

Fabrizio and Kiyonari battled it out almost the entire race and Kiyonari passed the Ducati Xerox rider on lap 7 with Jonathan Rea and Max Biaggi closing fast, but an error on lap 10 made Biaggi loose contact with the group leaving the British rider with fourth and the Aprilia rider fifth. Tom Sykes was sixth and Leon Haslam, seventh after starting 17th on the grid. The battle for 8th saw Jakub Smrz with his satellite Ducati get the best of Ruben Xaus, Carlos Checa, and Regis Laconi. Troy Corser after his crash in Race 1 did not start Race 2.

Race Results from Race 2 of the World Superbike Championship at Monza, Italy: 

PosNoRiderCountryBikeDiff
119B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R1 
284M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R2.665
39R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR2.810
465J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR7.706
53M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory7.863
666T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R110.383
791L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR11.586
896J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R21.112
9111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR22.172
107C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR22.261
1155R. LaconiFRADucati 1098R23.453
1256S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV4 Factory32.956
1323B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R37.166
1499L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R43.085
1515M. BaioccoITAKawasaki ZX 10R43.088
1633T. HillGBRHonda CBR1000RR43.825
1771Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K953.211
1867S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R1’00.917
1994D. ChecaESPYamaha YZF R11’17.915
2098J. ZemkeUSAHonda CBR1000RR1’28.545
2125D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R1’29.016
RET88R. ReschAUTSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91 lap
RET77V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR13 laps
RET31K. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K915 laps
RET41N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R16 laps
DNS11T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR 

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