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: Second Half of the Season Kicks off with US GP

07/24/2011 @ 7:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Second Half of the Season Kicks off with US GP US GP Laguna Seca MotoGP

The Golden State played host to MotoGP this weekend, with the premier class racing under perfect California weather (despite a typically dreary coastal morning). With riders having to contend with the cold mornings and hot afternoons, the record gate-atteneded Laguna Seca circuit, with its roller-coaster Cork Screw turn, threw every trick it had at the GP racers.

Despite its best efforts, Seca could not get the better of Jorge Lorenzo, who had been strong all weekend and sat on pole for Sunday’s race. Despite being joined by Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner on the front row, Lorenzo looked ready to take on the Repsol Honda squad single-handedly, though teammate Ben Spies sat right behind the reigning World Champion in the fourth grid spot.

With Spies seemingly finding the extra half second he needed during the warm-up session, all eyes were on the Texan to see if he could win in front of a home crowd, find out how he and the other MotoGP riders lapped after the jumped.

For Spies, the race was perhaps decided at the start, as the factory Yamaha rider was 7th going through the first few turns, following Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, Marco Simoncelli, Andrea Dovizioso, and Valentino Rossi. Quickly getting by Rossi for sixth position, Spies still found himself completely out of touch with the first group, as Jorge ran away with the racing pace.

It would take several laps for Pedrosa to catch back up to Lorenzo, but once he did, he latched onto his fellow Spaniard as hard as he could. Behind them, loveable but crashable Marco Simoncelli hit the California beach in the form of a gravel trap, dashing the Italian’s hopes for a podium bid.

By the ninth lap, Casey Stoner had caught up to the two Spanish front-runners, making it an international three-way train through Laguna Seca’s 30,000+ laps. Sitting in wait, little action occurred until Casey got past Pedrosa on Lap 17, and could finally put pressure on Lorenzo. It would take another six laps before Stoner would zoom by Lorenzo on T1, the kink on the long straight, and once by, Stoner never looked back.

With Pedrosa and Lorenzo in cruise control, the rest of the racing action came from Ben Spies, who slowly chipped away at his abysmal start. The American finally closed in on Andrea Dovizioso by Lap 30, making his move at the bus stop that is Turn 11. Fending off Dovi to the finish line, Spies made the best of the day with his fourth place finish, thus keeping the great white hope of another American MotoGP Champion alive in the minds of attending race fans (though not this year it would appear).

With Edwards taking the honors as the fastest satellite rider, finishing eighth, the only unaccounted for American was Ben Bostrom. After having an off-track excursion nine laps in, B-Boz brought the second LCR Honda bike back into the pits and retired for the day. Though an expert on the Laguna Seca circuit, Bostrom struggled with the precision and differences that come with riding a MotoGP machine, though it wasn’t for a lack of effort or enthusiasm. MotoGP racing resumes at Brno in three weeks’ time.

Race Results from the US GP at Laguna Seca:

Pos.No.RiderNationTeamDiff.
127Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda Team-
21Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory Racing+5.634
326Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda Team+9.467
411Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory Racing+20.562
54Andrea DOVIZIOSOITARepsol Honda Team+20.885
646Valentino ROSSIITADucati Team+30.351
769Nicky HAYDENUSADucati Team+31.031
85Colin EDWARDSUSAMonster Yamaha Tech 3+45.502
98Hector BARBERASPAMapfre Aspar Team MotoGP+51.549
107Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNSan Carlo Honda Gresini+1’08.850
1117Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB Motoracing+1’09.132
1265Loris CAPIROSSIITAPramac Racing Team1 Lap
1324Toni ELIASSPALCR Honda MotoGP1 Lap
Not Classified
19Alvaro BAUTISTASPARizla Suzuki MotoGP19 Laps
23Ben BOSTROMUSALCR Honda MotoGP24 Laps
58Marco SIMONCELLIITASan Carlo Honda Gresini26 Laps
35Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 329 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Ades says:

    Good level-headed race from Stoner with some very brave passes. He deserved the victory today. The only unfortunate note from the day seems to be Bostroms effort with the LCR Honda. I understand he had an AMA Superbike race straight after the Moto GP race, but you don’t get given a ride like that to only do a couple of laps and then pull in because you weren’t used to the brakes and tyres.

    Before I get chastised, Bostrom himself said that was the reason he retired during the in-race interview. Nothing wrong with the bike, he just couldn’t ride it.

    If I were a sponsor or team owner, I would be VERY unhappy.

    I hope next time, the ride goes to someone who will make the most of it, for fans, sponsors and the team alike.

  2. Beary says:

    I agree Ades. I think it’s unforgiveable for someone to be given a ride in the greatest 2-wheeled show, and pull in with 2/3 of the race remaining, just cause he couldn’t cut it. That’s BS, Bostrom should never be given another opportunity with that kind af attitude.

    Give the once in a lifetime chance to someone who has the balls to make something of it. Bostrom should never be given another chance for that weak, pussy-assed effort.

  3. "@Asphalt_Rubber: MotoGP: Second Half of the Season Kicks off with US GP – http://bit.ly/nSuCcE #motorcycle"

  4. stephen says:

    I think he was just minimizing the chance of wrecking something that he didn’t feel safe on and had no stake in. I’m sure LCR is happier with a stand-by bike in one piece as well. In the end, as much as I am a fan, Ben was the wrong choice for a wild-card.

    Stoner sure did pick the most interesting spots to make those passes. When he overtook Jorge even my heart leaped into my throat.