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.

Video: 2011 AFM Banquet Film – Death to Second Place

02/04/2012 @ 7:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler30 COMMENTS

Video: 2011 AFM Banquet Film   Death to Second Place 2011 AFM Banquet video 635x369

The oldest racing organization in the country dedicated soley to motorcycle road racing, the AFM is a Northern Californian non-profit racing organization that has helped hone the skills of riders like Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts, and Steve Rapp — not mention a weekend warrior or two.

Each year the racing league comes together for a banquet, and lately the tradition has been to include a highlight film of the year’s racing. I’m not sure what films in the past have been like, but if the latest AFM banquet video doesn’t give you goosebumps, you might want to check your pulse. Bonus points for the including the Versus “Second Place” monologue — it’s very apropos.

Source: YouTube

Comment:

  1. Steve Lang says:

    Outstanding!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Video: 2011 AFM Banquet Film – Death to Second Place – http://t.co/GuwV789Z #motorcycle

  3. Kurt says:

    Masterfully done. Although I agree that we all do it because we want to be winners… Some of us are realistic enough to understand that it’s NOT going to come out that way. WE are the masses that make up the pack from 2nd to the back. And, if anyone thinks I dont have as much fun battling it out with my fellow riders back there… they’re wrong. For the love of the Thrill… ’nuff said.

  4. Mr. X says:

    Damn them for reminding me how awesome it is; now I have to come out of retirement!

  5. Keith says:

    heh, I agree 100% with that speech. But I never race other people. I never race the clock…I am always racing against my last performance and trying to best that.

  6. Ton Up Jax says:

    Great video production. The testosterone-dripping egotistical drivel is totally unecessary, but that commentary can be muted, or better yet- edited out. Otherwise, a very good job.

  7. Westward says:

    Without googling it, whats the AFM ? Oh, I see it’s like looking for Waldo, there it is Tagged Under in Red… Good thing the speaker hid his face, the script was reaching. Battling with second in an obscure second rate federation, really?

    If you can’t say something nice, best say nothing at all. Would have been better to just show the video with music.

  8. Westward says:

    I take back the “second rate” comment, should not have typed it, but it is obscure. Just because American is in the title, I don’t know that it carries anymore weight…

  9. Jeez, lighten up Westward. You must be a WERA guy.

  10. Andrew says:

    Jeez, some pretty raggedy riding, wouldn’t want to be out with that lot!

  11. 4theriders says:

    We started the tradition if the videos. Before us there were none.

  12. Sleazy says:

    woa… i used to HATE people that showed up my motorcycle races just to watch the crashes. and THIS, produced by a racing sanctioning body!- is just crash porn. every single clip has lowsides, run offs, and collisions. This isnt showing the talent and mastery needed to win- its showing racing at its worst. some promotional material!

    and to the “hard ass” that reads that speech… recite that to the family of some middle weight supersport amateaur who is in the TraumaHawk helicopter that is still waiting to take off in the infield*

    (*if the helicopter doesnt take off in a hurry, its ’cause the patient inside is dead.)

  13. Grant Madden says:

    Been racing for more than 20 years and some of my best races have been for second and some have been for first.Even sometimes for not being last and they were all great!!Your ego might not cope with second place but I just thrive on competition and have purposely entered races I didn,t have a hope of winning(My 600 against superbikes) but I,m still having more fun than the guy who stresses out about not coming first.If the racing isn,t fun because you didn,t come first then your not going to enjoy the rest of your racing career.The best time I ever had racing was on a borrowed Bucket Racer(100cc two strokes and 125cc four strokes) and although I didn,t win a race my face hurt from smiling for at least a couple of days.Winning is just the bonus for having a great time so go ahead and enjoy your self and race what ever ,when ever.Its all good!!!

  14. Jeeze, that dude preaching and ranting about winning really was annoying. As one who has stood on the top step of the podium (and loved it, I’ll admit), I gotta say that if he really thinks that winning is the only thing that makes it worthwhile, he’s totally missing the point.

  15. Laurençio says:

    Why line up on the grid if you’re not looking to win?

  16. adam s says:

    @Laurencio

    what a naive question. despite the anonymity of online identities- I would hazard a guess that the more negative reviews of this piece of marketing material by the AFM are from the most accomplished and life-long racers.

    whereas the “OMG! that is so friggin AWESOME” reviews are from viewers of hollywood trip like Torque and F&F….

  17. Joe says:

    This was pretty amazing, but last years was still better.

  18. JACRider says:

    Am I the only one that sees the irony of showing riders crashing while chest thumping about winning being everything? To finish first, first you must finish.

    Simple question… Who was the last AFM champion to move up and top the podium in MotoGP or 500GP, much less win an FIM GP/WSBK championship at any level?

    So this pretty much reduces the AFM video to a flashy exploitation of racers in a big-fish/small-pond series. If it was only intended for AFM current and prospective racers, what is is doing in public view?

    What’s next, racers cage-fighting for AFM series points? Much cheaper than running all those pesky races…

    The narrator, John Doman’s claim to fame is as an ex-Marine, now tough-guy actor. Did/does he even ride, let alone race? Nothing in his Wikipedia entry or any other online source says so. Was this just another for-pay voice-over spot? How real-deal is that? Are these the actual words of a motorcycling icon, or the made-to-order fantasy of some non-riding writers?

    Just what road racing needed to appeal to the general public and expand it’s participant/spectator base beyond the existing pay-to-race format. I’m sure this will have the general public flocking to road races all over the USA. Quick, call the FIM and the manufacturers’ international head offices, let them know their decades of marketing which studiously avoids sensationalizing crashes, racing or otherwise was all wrong.

    Maybe Soichiro would have done even better if he had instead coined “You meet the nicest people crashing a Honda”. Or maybe “Come ride with us, but don’t buy our bikes if you come in second”.

  19. 4theriders says:

    Hehe…some of you guys are awfully critical… My company, 4theriders shoots photos and videos of people who race afm… We simply took all the footage from this year and compiled it into a fun, intense video to show at the banquet/awards ceremony that was held two weeks ago…that’s all. It was not paid for by the afm..it wasn’t paid for by anyone… Its just a fun video is all. :) hope you guys enjoyed! :)

  20. MikedD says:

    …I liked the music !

    I’ll admit it…crashing or not it was racing…i have nothing against racing.

  21. JACRider says:

    @4theriders
    Boy, that “Hehe, it was all just a in good fun” thing never gets old, eh?

    So great to be involved in a sport where it is a business or just for fun depending on what the situation is. In this case, you run a media company, so copyrighted materials must be business assets to you. But you didn’t get paid for this vid, so it’s just for fun. Unless you are putting this out as a loss-leader or to otherwise promote your company, so then it’s business again. And you used commercial copyrighted material, so it’s only for fun. I’m hehe-ing all over the place here.

    If this vid never got any further than the AFM banquet and a few friends’ computers/dvd players, no harm no foul… everyone in the room knows the reality of racing is not mostly crashing and no Versus execs would ever know you lifted their stuff. But YouTube may be a step too far in a couple ways, especially in the nearly-SOPA climate.

    A major problem with motorcycling’s image with the general public is exactly what we see here. Whether it is bad “B” movies and “critically acclaimed” TV series about biker gangs terrorizing towns or crash reels, it associates the most negative aspects of the sport in too many minds. Would you recommend this “crash-reel” approach as appropriate for series/racers looking to entice out-of-industry sponsors? I can hear the pitch now, “Your logo will be getting valuable exposure as I cartwheel my bike into the haybales!” “I promise to aim your logo on my leathers towards the cameras as they load me into the ambulance.” Erm, OK…

    As an aside, you DID get Versus’ permission to re-purpose what is certainly copyrighted advertising material, right? Or are we going for the “easier to ask forgiveness than permission” tactic? Given the actual “frame” for the monologue is Versus challenging their competition, sounds to me like they are very serious about finishing first and aggressively confronting any entity that may harm that goal. And we thought Harley was getting over-picky about bootleg T-shirts.

    I’m not going to turn you in, but no worries, it’s all just for fun… hehe.

    Yup, wonderful production values, need to refine your national/international media/market integration strategy.

  22. Mickey says:

    Wow some people take them selves way too seriously.

  23. Keith says:

    buncha whiney little snits…same crowd that hates pipe wrap and no paint. Point being it’s about winning anythings sucks fetid rotting green donkey bawlz. But do you whine about it? No, you go back fix stuff that’s broke, slap yourself for starting to mess with stuff that’s working and fix your mental game.

    I saw less complaining and better behavior from those AFM racers post crash than you’ll see on a normal race day in motogp. Losing BLOWS people…and second place is the first fracking loser.

  24. Mikey says:

    Hey everyone hating on this video get over yourselves and appreciate the work done by the racers, photographers, and producers of this video. This video is dedicated to the racers and crews of AFM and not you. And I bet you that every damn one of them appreciates this video and the message that racing is competition. Crashing is part of competition. Winning is the ultimate goal of competition. If you race for other reasons (not sure what they are) then just do track days. Also, 4theRiders is amazing and their trackday photography is superb. Much love!

  25. Jake Fox says:

    For every winner there are dozens of losers. Odds are never in your favor. Racers race for many reasons. Those who only race to best others are rarely, if ever, happy. I’d rather be a loser on the track and a winner in life than vice versa.

  26. Westward says:

    Not a WERA fan either, not even sure what that is…, The whole angle of battle with second, just rubbed me the wrong way…

    It almost negates everyone who participates save for the winner. The winner doesn’t exist without a second place finisher. Also, the level of competition defines how good the winner is….

    That is why It sucks to have sub par competition with CRT’s and a couple of the pilots riding in MotoGP currently.

    I would rather have a grid with twelve of the top racers on the best bikes, than 20-30 , with only the reality of only four or five people even capable of winning…

  27. Westward says:

    To be clear, I have zero issue with the footage or the video itself, it’s just the Narrative…

  28. musashiwasajedi says:

    Jeez Loueez,

    Still true: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and (the one that gets to me most) “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

    It looks like everyone associated with this project took a little unnecessary bashing here: The “obscure / second rate” American Federation of Motorcyclists, the “raggedy” AFM Riders, the evil Video Producers, the militant Voice Actor, etc. I’m pretty sure most of it wasn’t really warranted though – the video was well done and I’m sure it served its purpose well.

    Sometimes people deserve a little credit and respect, i.e. the intended goal of the video.

    Now – what was that one about “Opinions”? Not everyone has the balls to go out and race in AFM, but anyone can have an opinion about those that do. Especially if they happen to go and make a video about it at the end of the year.

  29. aussie says:

    hhmm, I think the past champion Rossi would love to be 5th at the moment, let alone 2nd or even 1st!!!!

    The speaker was a complete tool, that probably never raced anything but his lego cars in his bedroom.

  30. JasonB says:

    What a bunch of cry babies! This and last years video are awesome and get my blood pumping every time I watch them. Yes, it’s naive to think that the only reason to line up is to take 1st place. But I believe “winning” is a relative term and can apply to simply shooting for ones own personal goal. Maybe that’s 1st, maybe it’s top ten, maybe it’s beating your best friend or simply not coming in last.

    As for the crashes they are a real part of racing. If you’ve even spent one weekend club racing you’d know that the stories told around the grill at the end of the day always revolve around close calls and the saves that weren’t. The full story is in the scars of battle, without them we’d just be a bunch of guys riding around a circuit at 30mph and where’s the fun in that.

    The AFM and 4theriders are great guys, several of which I’m proud to call friends. They simply like having fun, more than I can say for some of the wet blankets that visit A&R.