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.

Hall of Fame Creates Supplemental Ballot for Nobby Clark

07/20/2012 @ 7:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Hall of Fame Creates Supplemental Ballot for Nobby Clark AMA Logo

Today, another chapter was written regarding the AMA / Derek “Nobby” Clark inauguration debacle and controversy, as the American Motorcyclist Association announced that it would have all voting members for the Hall of Fame cast votes on a supplemental ballot concerning the induction of Nobby Clark into the organization.

Allowing the entire voting-membership to decided on Mr. Clark’s appointment to the Hall of Fame, the move will not impact other candidates for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame (AMHF), and comes in response to the organization’s finding that Clark had been inappropriately added to the original Hall of Fame voting ballot.

For those who don’t keep track of the AMA’s general failings as an organization, this latest endeavor involves famed mechanic Nobby Clark (references from Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, and Kenny Roberts Sr.), who was inducted in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame earlier this year, only to find his appointment had been rescinded once it had become clear that the AMHF’s nomination process had deviated from protocol.

Upon hearing of Nobby’s removal from the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, stalwarts of American motorcycling’s old guard, including Kenny Roberts Sr., announced that they wished to be removed from the organization, in a move of solidarity with Clark.

Hoping to end this PR disaster, the AMA and AMHF have announced that Clark will get his chance to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, putting together a supplemental ballot for the race-tuner that all voting-members will get to vote on for this Hall of Fame class.

The move by the AMA and the AMHF restores at least some of the faith in the democratic system at the organizations, though it does little to belay the idea that the good old boys network in the AMA is not still alive and well today. True to bureaucracy, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame will setup a task force to assess the nomination process at the Hall of Fame, with the hope of creating stricter criteria for the group’s methodology in selecting Hall of Fame nominees, as well as checks and balances for its inner workings.

Source: AMA

Comment:

  1. a_kress says:

    Flying the flag upside down is a nice touch. : )

  2. johnc says:

    what a bunch of tossers.

    wonder if all the racers who asked to have their names removed from the AMAHF will still want to keep their names out after this back-peddleing. major props to those who did, and i hope they decide to stay out to send the message.

  3. HDRider says:

    bunch of self important old men…
    I’ve been an AMA member for almost 15 years. I sent both the AMA & AMA-Hall of Fame a letter telling them I will not be renewing my membership. The AMA president only recently started to ride a motorcycle…so how can he know what’s “best” for motorcyclists? I’ve had enough of them. They can keep the AMA & HOF..I’m out!

  4. irksome says:

    Dean Adams (a HOF voting member, my former editor and all-around good-guy) had a great 1st-hand article on his superbikeplanet.com site that related the events that occurred. It’s an interesting read and an informative site, for those unfamiliar with it.

    The issue really had nothing to do with Mr. Clark’s fitness for being enshrined and everything to do with smoke-filled rooms, back-door nominations and excluding both eligible voters and potential recipients of the honor. The HOF honorees who withdrew were being reactionary.

    As opposed to my relating his version of events, read about it yourself from the perspective of someone who was directly involved.

  5. Billy Pilgrim says:

    Irksome: Why did Adams feel it necessary to air out the dirty laundry in his “interview”
    with RRW? I call BS. Adams’ guy, Renfrow, didn’t get in, so he blew the whistle on the
    entire HOF program. He’s owes all the “depends wearing” guys and the motorcycle long
    community an apology.

  6. irksome says:

    Mr. Pilgrim: I didn’t read the RRW interview (and any interview is usually edited, sometimes for content and sometimes for length) but my reading of Adams’ own reporting on the issue left me with no impression of sour grapes regarding Renfrew, who Adams was quite clear about endorsing.

    My recollection was of a description of events which included Mr. Clark not even being among those originally nominated this year (while Renfrew was, hence perhaps, Dean’s ire) and of two of the voting members (one of whom was Mr. Adams) being excluded from the process which saw Knobby voted in.

    While Clark’s enshrinement may or may not have excluded Randy, the issue at hand isn’t Renfrew’s exclusion, it’s the process by which Clark was 1) nominated, and 2) voted in.

    And bear in mind, recollection and I aren’t always on speaking terms… My suggestion would be to find Dean’s original story, un-Ulrich-ed.

    Nice Vonnegut reference too, btw.

  7. NDSPD says:

    I met Nobby later last year at the AMA Nationals at Road Atlanta. What a stand up awesome, very wise gentleman, you can tell he is just one of those guys that has a serious history in motorcycling.