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: Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa

05/18/2009 @ 2:34 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa xerox ducati wsbk kyalmai 2009 560x371

This weekend, World Superbike Championship racing returned to South Africa at the Kyalami circuit, much to the delight of local motorcycle fans. The Kyalami track, which had been scheduled to be demolished, and then have housing built in its place, features vast elevation changes and sweeping bends, and has been much improved since the removal of the chicane at Turn 12. So interest was high in how the racing would turn out on this tight twisty circuit. Continue reading for a full race report on Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa.

Fastest off the line in Race 1, Noriyukia Haga lead the pack into the first turn, followed closely by Max Biaggi, and Ben Spies. Spies got past Biaggi in Turn 2, but Xerox Ducati teammate Michel Fabrizio soon entered the fray. By the end of the first lap, it was a 1-2 Xerox Ducati race. Haga, Fabrizio, and Spies soon had a gap on the rest of the field, as they had done in Monza just last weekend.

Haga’s lead would not be long-lived, with Michel Fabrizio taking over first place on the second lap. The Ducati’s proved to be too fast for Spies, who slowly lost contact with the pair. Haga, able to hang with the pace Fabrizio was pushing, patiently waited for his chance for the next 10 laps, seizing the opportunity when it presented itself on lap 12, taking back the lead.

Once past Fabrizio, Haga pushed hard to leave his Italian teammate behind. With Spies pushing hard, soon Fabrizio was in the sights of the American. By lap 17, Spies was close enough to attempt a pass, taking 2nd place from Fabrizio as the pair entered the final corner. Answering back, Fabrizio passed Spies, with the American returning the favor right back, once again. As Spies and Fabrizio battled over 2nd spot, Haga took advantage of the situation, and built enough of a lead that he could defend comfortably.

Fending off Fabrizio, Spies had a big moment going through Turn 5, and watched as the Italian sped past, set on catching Haga. Haga took victory in Race 1, ahead of Fabrizio, with Spies forced to settle for 3rd. Ten Kate Honda’s Johnny Rea came home in 4th, just holding off Max Biaggi at the line. The Emperor had chased Rea down in the second half of the race, but could not get past him in the final moments.

Result of World Superbike Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa:

PosNoRiderCountryBikeDiff
141N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R 
284M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R0.950
319B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R13.391
465J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR8.914
53M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory9.019
67C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR14.812
756S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV4 Factory14.971
871Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K915.723
967S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R21.529
1066T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R121.795
1136G. LavillaESPDucati 1098R29.872
129R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR34.216
13132S. MoraisRSAKawasaki ZX 10R34.275
1496J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R38.280
1523B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R40.885
1610F. NietoESPSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K944.841
1799L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R49.075
1831K. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K949.702
1933T. HillGBRHonda CBR1000RR50.065
2025D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R50.391
2149S. WhyteRSAYamaha YZF R11 Lap
2217S. MartinAUSBMW S1000 RR2 Laps
RET91L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR10 Laps
RET111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR23 Laps

Comments are closed.