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.

Add WSBK to the List of Series Thinking About Russia

01/11/2011 @ 10:03 am, by Victoria Reid4 COMMENTS

Add WSBK to the List of Series Thinking About Russia xaus haslam 635x423

With red-headed lady spies, the Winter Olympics, a Formula1 race in 2014, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it is time to trot out some more James Bond references, and turn to thoughts of Mother Russia. Word is spreading that Infront Motorsports has begun talks to take World Superbike further afield than Western Europe with a future round in Russia. The 2011 WSBK season has only two flyaway races (Miller Motorsports Park in the US, and the season opener at Phillip Island in Australia). Thus, a future round in Russia would help expand both the physical and marketing reaches of the series.

With no track built yet, it is clear that there is still a long way to go before racing could happen. Then there are the always tricky negotiations that could easily scupper plans, no matter how public they might be. Once the F1 track is completed at least one of the obstacles to this dream will be removed, though a F1 circuit built around a Winter Olympics site (yes, that is exactly what is going to happen, complete with February to autumn turnaround) might not be the first choice for two-wheeled racing enthusiasts.

Despite the worldwide economic downturn, many racing series are looking for ways to expand into markets with potential new race fans while their core audience numbers recover. F1 recently arrived in South Korea, will hold a round in India this season, and is planning on a Russian event in a few years. After an unsuccessful attempt to spread into Hungary, MotoGP is rumored to be looking into expansion in India, having turned much of the rest of the globe into Lorenzo Land or a sea of bright yellow.

While even these early discussions are not official yet, there are some very powerful people in Russia heavily invested in motorsports. Over in F1, Russian driver Vitaly Petrov has had his second season drive secured through a deal brokered by President Vladmir Putin. This could be a great move for the series who views MotoGP as its main competitor, despite the latter having already expanded far beyond its home Spanish and Italian base. WSBK could be looking for a little love from Russia, but it’s still too early to know if the world is enough.

Source: GPOne.com; Photo: © 2010 Dan Lo / CornerSpeedPhoto.com

Comment:

  1. Will says:

    Russia, why not hold it on the moon?

    What is it lately with holding major races in no fun locales anyway? Abu Dhabi, China, Qatar. Anybody want to be on the street in Istanbul really late after having a few too many? Hell effin’ no, if you ask me. What’s airfare to Qatar anyhow, can you buy a beer there, will you get beheaded? How about Canada? Canada needs a WSBK/MotoGP round. No? what about Finland, the Finns are serious gearheads. Sweden ain’t had a GP in years, they’re due. Screw these gangsta republics, start holding events in places people want to go, and not just for those who can afford their own private security force.

  2. gnmac says:

    I hate that the F1 podium can’t even drink the bubbly in the UAE because Mohammed forbid Allah might come down and throw a 737 into your garage and launch a Jihad against motorsports! Screw Allah, if I won the damn Abu Dhabi GP I’m drinking champagne wether your cult says to or not! Better, ef Qatar and Abu Dhabi and let’s get to Canada, eh!! There’s F1 in Montreal so why not MotoGP? How about MotoGP in Rio??

  3. SBPilot says:

    I agree with both Will and gnmac. However they brought it to China because there was a huge market there. You use to be able to ride bikes in big cities in China, but the government has banned bikes in big cities because it’s too dangerous. So no more market there (no more races) Not to mention the cities in China are very modern, clean, and civilized. Races generally go to where the population want to see it, or where people ride lots of motorcycles. Don’t be surprised to see MotoGP in Indonesia. Reports say millions of people watch MotoGP there. Repsol Honda went there to do some PR stuff.

    I don’t understand the whole no drinking champagne in the F1 Dubai, that’s utter BS, to force some stupid religious crap onto a sport is disgusting. But UAE is rich and people have money. It’s a great place to hold an F1 race. Ferrari and what not can show boat their F1 cars.

    I also think the races should come to Canada. But we’d need a new track. I think MotoGP can’t race at Montreal because it’s not quite up to safety standards. There are many sections that have zero run off, and it’s just wall. Turns 4,5, 7 and 9 are dangerous as they are quick provide little to no run off. For bikes its dangerous. F1 cars can bounce around. I hope WSBK or MotoGP will come to Canada soon though as the word on the street is we are getting a brand new world class track (Oval), with a ‘street section’ in the centre. So it’d be like Indianapolis. Suppose to be completed by next year.

  4. Alex says:

    Not very well traveled, are you? Fans are united with their love for Motosport and the spirit runs high here in US and there in China, Russia, etc. Gangsta Republics…laughable. Man up and buy a plane ticket.