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: Vets & Rookies Mix It Up for Race 2 at Phillip Island

02/26/2011 @ 9:46 pm, by Victoria Reid1 COMMENT

WSBK: Vets & Rookies Mix It Up for Race 2 at Phillip Island Marco Melandri Race 2 Phillip Island 635x417

Sunday dawned a damp Phillip Island for the opening round of World Superbike racing, after a clear week of testing and practices which were all dominated by Carlos Checa. The Spaniard won pole on Saturday, though reigning champion Max Biaggi’s improvement through the weekend brought his qualifying time to within .013s of Checa’s. Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam were next to the veterans on the front row.

Both were also fast in the damp morning warm-up, though Australian Troy Corser was fastest in the changed conditions, with Checa was tenth fastest. It was dry and sunny by race time rolled around for Race 1, though the sky had turned grey for Sunday’s second race. To see how the riders adapted to the changed weather for Race 2, continue reading after the jump.

Neither Chris Vermeulen nor Sylvain Guintoli started Race 2, as both were sidelined by injuries. Vermeulen missed the entire weekend, as well as testing earlier in the week, as the knee he injured in Race 2 at Phillip Island in 2010 continues to recover, while Guintoli was injured in a Race 1 crash.

Haslam got a great start, leading into the first turn, and giving Checa a fight before the Spaniard disposed of him for good on his way to winning a double at Phillip Island. Biaggi got off the line slowly, dropping down to fifth on the first lap and seventh on the second. Though he finished second, the Champion had to fight off former rival and experienced rookie Marco Melandri to do so. Melandri finished third, with Rea and Haslam completing the top five.

Early in the race, Haslam held up teammate Corser, Biaggi, Melandri and others while in second place. Melandri won the four-wide scrum at Doohan to win second, and get around Haslam on lap six, though by that time Checa was over three seconds ahead. There, Biaggi and Melandri would begin their fight, continuing through the race. Corser looked to be part of their battle, but ran down the escape road at the Honda corner and dropped back to eleventh. Laverty had a similar issue just after passing Haslam for fourth, subsequently dropping to eighteenth.

At the halfway point, Checa led Biaggi, Melandri, Haga, and Haslam as the top five, and the fight between Biaggi and Melandri was just beginning to heat up. They were back and forth, with Melandri diving under and going around the outside of Biaggi, while the more powerful Aprilia continued to pass the Yamaha on the straights. In the end Checa won, and Biaggi managed to keep the small gap he gained in the final couple of laps and the charging Melandri behind.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 2 at Phillip Island:

Pos.No.RiderTeamDiff.
17Carlso ChecaAlthea Racing-
21Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1.188
333Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team1.406
44Jonathan ReaCastrol Honda10.563
591Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad Motorsport10.885
62Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team16.914
741Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia17.558
884Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare17.679
966Tom SykesPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing18.07
10111Ruben XausCastrol Honda19.053
1196Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Racing (Ducati)19.06
1244Roberto RolfoTeam Pedercini Kawasaki23.771
1312Josh WatersYoshimura Suzuki23.956
1452James ToselandBMW Motorrad Italia SBK28.713
1558Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team32.673
168Mark AitchisonTeam Pedercini Kawasaki33.226
1767Bryan StaringTeam Pedercini Kawasaki42.598
18121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Team (Ducati)51.819
1911Troy CorserBMW Motorrad Motorsport55.738
Not Classified
13Joan LascorzPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing8 Laps
20Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia SBK

Source: WorldSBK; Photo: Yamaha-Racing

Comment:

  1. pete says:

    title should read: ex-motogp vets claim phillip island race 2 podium hostage :D