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.

MotoGP: Qatar GP Turns into a Two-Wheeled Battle Royal

03/20/2011 @ 7:50 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Qatar GP Turns into a Two Wheeled Battle Royal Hector Barbera MotoGP Qatar GP Scott Jones

The MotoGP season is underway in earnest now, as the premier class took to the desert’s night sky in Qatar for the inaugural race of the 2011 MotoGP Championship season. With the Repsol Hondas seemingly operating in a parallel universe, all eyes were on the rest of the field to see if they could touch the dynamic duo of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.

With the pair joined by Jorge Lorenzo on the grid, the Spaniard was eight tenths of second slower in qualifying than the second-fastest Honda of Pedrosa. Some worried that the MotoGP fans of Qatar would be in for a follow-the-leader race, but those concerns were put to rest as multiple bouts between riders erupted on the night track. Spoilers on the Qatar GP after the jump.

With the flag dropping against the Arabian night, the first lap saw all the riders make it through Turn 1 unscathed. Unfortunately for Randy de Puniet his old ways of crashing seem to be rearing their ugly head again, as the Frenchman was in the gravel before making a complete lap around the circuit.

Taking the lead in the first lap was Jorge Lorenzo, but he would swiftly be chased down by the ridiculously quick Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. Stoner lead the first five laps, then swapped places with Pedrosa in Lap 6, who then took over for the six laps. Stoner definitively answered Pedrosa’s challenge in the twelfth lap, and proceeded to check-out from the race at the point forward, taking the gap up to 3.376 seconds by the finish line.

By Lap 14, Stoner’s battle with Pedrosa soon became Pedrosa’s battle with Jorge Lorenzo. The two Spaniards have no love lost between them, and both were pushing their machines to the very edge trying to catch each other. Battling all the way to the final lap, Lorenzo was able to best Pedrosa, who was dealing with immense pain from his still injured left shoulder after the race.

The battle for fourth was equally entertaining as the battle for second, as Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli delighted fans with their maneuverings. Dovi lead Simoncelli though Lap 7, but saw his fellow Italian begin to challenge him by the 5th lap. Leading Dovizioso through Lap 17, Simoncelli finally had to relinquish his lead, watching Dovi slip through his grasp. The pair would fight it out to the line, in another epic showing of racing at Qatar.

Though finishing seventh, Valentino Rossi found himself battling with Ben Spies & Hector Barbera for sixth early on the in the race. Once Barbera’s pace could longer stay with the pair, he fell from their ranks, leaving Spies to work on Rossi unhindered. Finally in the 17th lap, Spies got past and clear of Rossi, and into open track. Fading from the pace with his injured shoulder, Rossi would drop to three seconds behind Spies as they crossed the finish line.

Americans Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden finished farther down the grid, finishing the race 8th and 9th respectively, which was mixed result for Edwards and a disappointment for Hayden. The Pramac Ducati team must also be frustrated with its outing in Qatar as well, seeing both of its riders retire from the race due to the same incident.

Crashing in the first lap, Randy de Puniet’s bike clipped Loris Capirossi’s hand, hyper-extending his finger. Capirex was in such pain, he returned to the pits a lap later, fearing he’d broken his finger. Toni Elias also didn’t make the race distance, touching the white line with four laps remaing, the Spanish rider went for a high-speed fall, marring his MotoGP return.

Race Results from MotoGP at the Qatar GP:

Pos. No. Rider Nation Team Bike Diff
1 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 42’38.569
2 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +3.440
3 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +5.051
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda +5.942
5 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda +7.358
6 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +10.468
7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati +16.431
8 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +26.293
9 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati +27.416
10 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda +28.920
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +34.539
12 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati +34.829
13 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati +37.957
Not Classified
DNF 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 4 Laps
DNF 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 21 Laps
DNF 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 0 Lap

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. 76 says:

    Elias went down before the white line, was kind of strange he just tucked it and hard. Seems like nothing went his way this weekend. Hopefully things start to click for him

  2. Steve says:

    Not such a good start from Spies but he rode a fantastic race and was intimidated,tenacious and smooth to pass Rossi near the end to finish 6th. I’m not a big fan of Whore Gay but I was so impressed with his ride to finsih 2nd ahead of Dani. Simoncelli will be a big threat this year and he’s a demon. Too bad for Hayden to finish back in the pack but he’s a fighter, he’ll be up there. Those Honda’s were bullets but the next track is far more technical so let’s see what the Yamaha’s have for em there. Great start to the season I thought…. Yeahhhh!

  3. Andreas says:

    I’d rather you didn’t use “Whore Gay”. Leave that stuff for soccer/football! These guys are professional racers going really really really fast!

    Elias has been complaining about rear wheel traction. He is a great rider. It’s a shame how he lost his rear 4 laps to go. I hope that after this, his team will try more to bring for him a solution to this problem.
    Simoncelli is really tall!!! He looks kinda odd on the RC212V, doesn’t he? :-) Really fast rider!
    It’s a shame about the Pramac team…

    It’s a same there where only 16 riders to start the race. … and to finish 13 riders!… I mean, c’mon! With 15 riders to the points there isn’t any “reason” to risk to go FAST! Even the last of the pack would take some points home.
    It’s not so difficult for the the riders to make the start without falling on each other! [There where only 16 riders starting] …It was a good race though!
    On the other hand, there was a lot of action in Moto2 and 125cc. Great races! I really enjoyed those.

    THE real problem in MotoGP is the number of motorcycles participating and DORNA has to find a solution for this. Bringing the 1000cc is somewhat like coping the WSBK in MotoGP. WSBK are very prototypical machines; real race weapons! They have no relationship with the production motorcycles from which they come from. Only resemblance is the exterior. And their track times are not so far from MotoGP. …maybe a big difference with MotoGP is that “old” guys can win, as opposed to MotoGP. Even Moto2 are prototypes (now, that’s something to talk about!) based around 600cc production motors which have less power that SS600.

  4. luke says:

    Pedrobot said in the post race interview that he suffered primarily from arm pump, he didn’t mention his shoulder injury afaik. He looked fit to cry about it, I think he perhaps thought he was through that issue in the off season, but now its back to dog him again. Poor bugger.

    I was so impressed with Casey’s form on the Honda, I think this could be an amazing year of racing for them, I mean they haven’t won since the kentucky kid was holding the reigns right? Perhaps Jorge was right when he said Casey was his real competition this year (no mention of Rossi….). Though I have NEVER seen a current world champion so unbelievably happy with second place!! Guess he never thought he was going to be able to place ahead of pedro with the out of corner speed the hondas have at present.
    A good start to the year.

  5. Earl Shives says:

    Honda and Yamaha had better be satisfied with their current levels of development. I have a feeling that due to the unfortunate circumstances in Japan, further development will be hindered. Don’t count the Ducati out yet. Rossi and Hayden were on two different chassis and you can bet that there will be a new transmission coming as well. By the way Andreas, the first person I heard say “Whore Gay” was Rossi in a post-race interview. Just sayin’…