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.

AMA Pro Racing Hands Josh Herrin One-Event Suspension for Dangerous Conduct at the Daytona 200

03/23/2011 @ 8:08 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

AMA Pro Racing Hands Josh Herrin One Event Suspension for Dangerous Conduct at the Daytona 200 Herrin 13 12 48 635x405

In addition to what was going on with AMA Pro Racing’s multiple restarts to the Daytona 200, the racing organization has handed Josh Herrin a one-event suspension for his part in the last lap crash that saw Taylor Knapp and Dane Westby hitting the tarmac. Herrin’s coming in contact with Westby’s brake lever, causing his brakes to lock and exacerbate the incident, has not only caused him to receive a suspension and subsequent probation from the incident, but AMA Pro Racing has also fined Graves Motorsports, Herrin’s team, for its rider’s actions. Find AMA Pro Racing’s press release and a video of the incident after the jump.

AMA Pro Racing announced that penalties and an accompanying fine have been assessed against Josh Herrin and Graves Motorsports, respectively, as the result of actions during the March 12 Daytona 200, specifically those related to the rider’s last-lap approach to start/finish. As per the AMA Pro Road Racing 2011 Rule Book, rules A1.1, A2.1, A2.3.p, and A2.3.u, the details of the penalties and fine are as follows:

Rider penalty: One-event suspension, to be applied at Infineon Raceway Round 2, May 13-15

Rider penalty: Season-long probation, in effect through December 31, 2011, the violation of which shall result in further and more-serious penalties

Team penalty: $7,500 fine, the entire proceeds of which will be applied to the purchase of additional Airfence

Both rider and team were notified of the above details in advance of this release, and the penalties do not prevent them from taking part in the May 2-3 official AMA Pro test at Miller Motorsports Park.

Source: AMA Pro Racing

Comment:

  1. Steve says:

    That one one of the most exciting races I have ever seen with lots of drama in the pits as well as on the racetrack. This kid Herrin obviously has talent but he has the mentality of a nine year old. He was clearly trying to move Westby out of his way and was reckless, juvenile and desperate. Take a look at JD beach who rode aggressive but used his head and showed alot of maturity, unlike Herrin. Luckily no one was killed. Good for the AMA to impose thier penalty but in my opinion, they didn’t go far enough. Look at the video…Westby held his line and Herrin came down on him several times. Then Herrin was cocky about the incident afterwards talking smack.

    Hats off to Disalvo and his team. Great job! Ducatis first Daytona win. Hopefully, Ducati will step up and help them instead of just taking the credit…that would be nice.

  2. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: AMA Pro Racing Hands Josh Herrin One-Event Suspension for Dangerous Conduct at the Daytona 200 – http://aspha.lt/eh

  3. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: AMA Pro Racing Hands Josh Herrin One-Event Suspension for Dangerous Conduct at the Daytona 200 – http://aspha.lt/eh

  4. Rob L says:

    That was the best 15 lap sprint race i’ve seen in a while. But Westby should have been penalized also or no one penalized. They were all hard at it all race long and they should be expected to just turn it off? Come on, Herrin didn’t try to hit anyone. To bad the others got caught up in it (but that’s racing).

  5. 76 says:

    I disagree, Herrin repeatedly broke his line to try to come down but Westby already was there holding his own. Herrin got what he deserved and thankfully nobody got hurt. Bikes dont fly all over the place like that at 160-170 without rider input, he was very intentional and obvious about what he was doing.

    I hope Herrin gets spanked this year like the little baby he is.

  6. Cpt.Slow says:

    I waited with great anticipation for this season of (improving) AMA pro racing and was treated to great season opener. We have passionate /great moto-rang here at home and I believe we are under-rated! Unfortunately there was this incident and thank god no-one was “seriously” injured.

    Race footage clearly shows the event and hats off to the AMA governing body for handing out the penalty, although like Steve, I don’t believe the penalty was sever enough.

    Congrats to the top 3 and to the rest of the field for competing in the sport they (we) love!

  7. A little too ‘NASCAR’ for a sport without roll-cages. Fining Herrin was appropriate: I guess it’s the way we do it now. A post-race fistfight might have yielded better long-term results as far as safety at future races goes.

  8. hoyt says:

    man.
    Something like this is bound to happen again when you have a bunch of riders drafting on a high bank.
    That wall will kill.

  9. Shaitan says:

    Perhaps I missing something, but I witness this kind of stuff in moto racing all the time. Racers are riding full bore and sometimes are overly aggressive (i.e., that’s good racing), but that doesn’t mean it was actually intentional from what I saw. I think a reprimand and fine should suffice, but at least from the angle I saw, it wasn’t some intentional demolition derby attempt, just and aggressive misjudgment. Whatever.

  10. k- says:

    Agree with 76. Herrin clearly dropped into Westby’s line at least twice and remember Herrin and Eslick had issues last year.

    Perhaps AMA is trying to send an early warning to all of them about this kind wreckless riding. I have to admit; however, that it makes watching the races much more exciting!

    Herrin should have had his 5th place finish taken away as well.

  11. Josh says:

    Handguards, the next AMA Superbike accessory!

  12. Steve says:

    Small world. I went by Pilot Leathers today and hanging on the wall were Westby’s leathers he was wearing when he crashed. They didn’t look that bad. None of the seams came apart or wore through and the overall condition of the suit was pretty amazing considering the 160-170 mph get off. You could still wear it. I’m sold…That’s my next suit. And Josh I agree, handguards would be a great idea. I think Steve Rapp would agree as well.

  13. Erick E says:

    its amazing that eslick hit herrin 5 times last season and didnt even get a fine. just goes to show the ama is biased in who they fine or penalize