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.

IOMTT: Michael Rutter Makes “The Ton” Official – Wins TT Zero with a 104.056 mph Lap

06/06/2012 @ 8:33 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

IOMTT: Michael Rutter Makes The Ton Official   Wins TT Zero with a 104.056 mph Lap michael rutter electric 635

With water reported at various points on the track before the start of the 2012 SES TT Zero, there was serious concern from the riders about the racing conditions, though they would prove to be over-stated as the bikes took to the Mountain Course. With Miller, McGuinness, and Rutter all hungry to get the £10,000 bounty on the 100 mph lap barrier, the riders and teams also had serious concerns over whether the weather could prevent making the feat official.

Getting it done with “dodgy” conditions, Michael Rutter rode out to a commanding lead on his Segway MotoCzysz E1pc, and never looked back. Posting 126 mph at the Sulby Straight speed trap, Rutter made good time over the mountain, and set an official 100+ mph lap for electrics at the Isle of Man TT, with an average speed of 104.056 mph.

John McGuinness on the Mugen Shinden split the two MotoCzysz riders, taking second from Miller before the start up the Mountain from Ramsey. McGuinness finished with a 102.215 mph lap, to Miller’s 101.065 mph. Rob Barber finished fourth for TGM IOM – Viena, which rounded out the disappointing four-rider finish.

For Miller the MotoCzysz E1pc proved to be a handful, with its chassis and suspension being set too soft for the Mountain Course, though the American rider rode a flawless race in terms of energy consumption. With MotoCzysz erring on the conservative side of its energy management strategy, Miller’s result was due in part to the team’s restrictive rider management. A bit heavier on the stick, Rutter’s ride was dominant over McGuinness and his teammate, putting down an astounding 25.25 seconds on the lap over the Mugen.

Noticeably absent from the start was Lightning Motorcycles, which despite heavy testing ahead of the Isle of Man TT, had another all-too-common rush to get the bike ready ahead of Monday’s qualifying. Retiring during that session, we haven’t heard why John Burrows failed to start the TT Zero on the Flying Banana Mk. II, other than the bike never made it down to the paddock on race day.

With eight bikes starting from Glencrutchery Road, it was Kingston, ManTTX Racing, Mirai Racing, and Brunel X Racing that had to retire mid-lap. For full results, click here.

Photo: © 2012 Daniel Lo / Corner Speed Photo – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Kyle G says:

    Congratulations! I was hoping to see a number closer to 104!

    Interested to hear about the other teams who didnt finish

  2. Dr. Gellar says:

    Awesome…heck yeah!! Congratulations MotoCzysz on the win and officially breaking the 100mph average lap mark. Well done… :-)

  3. z says:

    nice! yeah, Michael Czysz predictions of multiple +100 times was right on. Good to see Rutter with the win!

  4. dwolvin says:

    In motion the ‘Czysz looks good…

  5. noch says:

    Several seconds difference between Miller and McGuiness. With drafting and efficiency so important, any word on how the actual race between the two panned out?

  6. Greg says:

    Glad to see the MotoCzysz team on top of the podium again. I had high hopes for the C1-990 when they were going for a MotoGP entry, and I’d still love to see a limited-production run of that bike. Hope to see them putting some machines on the market for the public to enjoy in the near future.

  7. Some updated info in the article, for those that came by the first time.

  8. protomech says:

    @noch I believe they released the bikes 20-30s apart.. in Rutter’s case, he left first from the grid and never looked back.

    Miller and McGuinness were several seconds apart throughout much of the race.

  9. Bob says:

    This is good stuff! Big congrats to the teams that broke 100mph average speed!

  10. Richard Gozinya says:

    I guess the next milestone will be electrics outrunning the sidecar class at IOM. So 116.667 mph is the electric’s next speed to beat.

  11. BenFaster says:

    Huge achievement but hopefully just the tip of the iceberg on electric bikes. Speaking of side car class. Makes me wonder if you used a sidecar without the monkey and put batteries there?? Battery technology is the biggest limit with these and then motor weight is next. Would be fun to watch a revolution in technology to get both up to recip levels and past. give it 7 more years – maybe John M. will be choosing his eBike as weapon of choice for the final!

  12. IOMTT: Michael Rutter Makes It Official Winning TT Zero with a 104.056 mph Lap – http://t.co/ajTLvydm #motorcycle

  13. Westward says:

    Absolutely Fantastic, It was a brilliant achievement. Very glad they both went over 100 mph… Now I would like to see MotoCzysz field the C1 in MotoGP too… I think Ben Spies might be available to pilot it…

  14. @Westward: That’s an interesting bit. I would be seriously interested to see how these bikes might measure against a MotoGP bike for a typical race distance. It might not be par for now, but it surely will come even in the future.