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 Road Racing Signs TV Deal with CBS Sports

04/23/2013 @ 3:10 pm, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

AMA Pro Road Racing Signs TV Deal with CBS Sports domokun tv 635x467

Good news for American road racing fans, as AMA Pro Road Racing has inked a TV deal with the CBS Sports Network. With live flag-to-flag coverage of the National Guard SuperBike and GoPro Daytona SportBike classes, as well as a 30-minute preview show before-hand, it looks like the USA is getting proper coverage of its national motorcycle racing series through the 2014 series.

The news is a huge sigh of relief for AMA Pro Road Racing, which has been without a proper tv contract up until this point, despite being already one round into the 2013 season. For the riders and teams, this also means that their ability to attract sponsors has just been greatly improved. Able now to properly show national TV coverage, support, and attention, sponsors will be less gun-shy in handing over their marketing dollars — though one has to wonder how much damage has already been done.

For AMA Pro Road Racing, the deal means a step-back from the edge of the cliff, which could have seen the motorcycle racing here in American fall into the abyss of obscurity had it not made it onto the television screen of fans and wouldbe followers. With the deal good through the end of the 2014 season, hopefully the series can build some much needed momentum as the economy recovers. The full press release is after the jump.

AMA Pro Racing and CBS Sports Network Announce Television Agreement to Showcase GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 23, 2013) – CBS Sports Network and AMA Pro Racing, in conjunction with Chet Burks Productions, announced today a television agreement to showcase GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing as part of the Network’s CBS Sports Spectacular series. CBS Sports Network will air flag-to-flag race coverage of the premier National Guard SuperBike and GoPro Daytona SportBike classes through the 2014 season. Programming begins Saturday, June 1 (2:30 p.m. ET) with a 30-minute preview show before live coverage of the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. (3:00 p.m. ET).

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing telecasts are produced by Chet Burks Productions, long-time partner of AMA Pro Racing programs. The initial telecasts will be presented in afternoon weekend time slots, with several events airing live. In addition, encore broadcasts and an all-new 30-minute weekend preview show will air on CBS Sports Network.

Leading up to race weekends, the 30-minute preview shows will get fans up to speed with on-site coverage of qualifying sessions, highlights from previous rounds, as well as vignettes on the history of the sport and the technical aspects of motorcycle road racing. Hosted by a panel of industry experts, the show will provide insider insight on the latest paddock news, as well as interviews with riders and celebrity guests.

“We’re excited to add AMA Pro to our CBS Sports Spectacular lineup,” said Dan Weinberg, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports Network. “GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing is a high octane, action-packed sport featuring some of the world’s best motorcycle racers and is a great addition to our live programming this summer.”

“We are incredibly proud of this television package and excited to begin our new relationship with CBS Sports Network,” said David Atlas, Managing Board Member of AMA Pro Racing. “Through the live action and in-depth features, we will present fans with the most intense immersion into our unique and exciting racing that the sport has ever seen.”

“This agreement is the result of a tremendous amount of time and commitment from AMA Pro and is a significant step for motorcycle racing in America,” said Chet Burks, President of Chet Burks Productions. “We look forward to producing an exciting television experience for CBS Sports Network viewers.”

Source: AMA Pro Racing; Photo: © 2010 NHK / ANDiDAS.COM – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Michael says:

    Glad to hear we still get to see racing this year but please God, let the coverage be better than Speed. I cant stand Ralf S or Scott Russel anymore. Scott’s talents on a bike are undeniable but his verbal communication skills leave something to be desired.

  2. Kyle says:

    I always enjoyed listening to Freddie Spencer commentate AMA racing a few years back.

  3. lance says:

    That is terrific news for Bike fans, I guess Speed was not interested because that would have reduced their Nascar coverage to only 21 hours a day.

  4. geoff says:

    I can only hope this means I can watch it up here in the great white north as well! 2 years ago I could watch motogp, ama, csbk and wsbk…now im down to motogp only. :(

  5. TheSwede says:

    @Michael

    I agree, Speed’s coverage is terrible, but nobody is worse at race commentary than Randy Mamola. I’d rather have no commentary than his awkward stuttering..

    Glad to see AMA get some coverage, me and a buddy were just lamenting that fact. Perhaps this can give the series a kick in the pants and we can find our next American GP star..

  6. So does this mean we can have AMA at Sears Point? Seriously disappointed about this.

  7. JoeD says:

    Good to read of this. Sadly, Speed has NEVER cared about bike racing. I have written several EMs to them concerning their abyssmal coverage without so much as a “Screw You” reply. Now, if sponsorship and audience numbers rise, perhaps our racing scene can operate with a bit more polish and get away from some of those podunk looking venues.

  8. Damo says:

    This is exactly what AMA needs, professional coverage on a basic cable channel. As an American I want to see more sponsorship, money, etc. start flowing back into AMA, otherwise we’ll never see American champions in WSBK or MotoGP again.

    Plus the more motorcycle racing I can watch, the better.

    Side Note: I think Scott Russel has more racing insight that just about any commentator out there, but homeboy’s accent is over the top. Not is fault though, really.

  9. motoguru. says:

    I’ll need to see if I get this CBS Sports Network channel. It almost sounds too good to be true. (Comcast claims to offer it, but that doesn’t mean a thing.)

  10. Philly Phil says:

    can we please get WSBK on regular TV!! or at least on more than one channel that’s not even on all major providers…

  11. geoff says:

    Aw crap….this is a cbs sports specialty channel? Yet again another channel I cannot get up here likely….@#$%^&^

  12. LarryS says:

    Really glad we’re going to see AMA racing. I have to agree that Speed is now all NASCAR all the time. Used to be a huge NASCAR fan but quickly became oversaturated when Speedchannel changed to Speed and became left turn only. Never watch NASCAR any more and seldom Speed. Have to disagree with the negatives on Scott Russell’s commentary. He really knows what he’s talking about and provides phenomenal insight into what’s happening from the perspective of someone who’s actually been there.

  13. dpearce says:

    This is awesome news! Hopefully the AMA can get back on track with some support; the racing of the last few years has been great!
    Regarding Scott Russel, I like having him in the booth… he has a southern accent, get over it.

  14. jr2 says:

    All:

    Chet Burks Productions, is the group that produced the AMA Superbike programming shown on Speed…

    http://www.cbptv.com (Watch the demo reel)

    They also have created many of “those” reality TV shows we tend to… well… not like…

    I’ll wait to see what the programming looks like… maybe CBS will have an influence…

    And the CBS Sports Network is NOT a basic DirectTV channel, it requires a higher level subscription

  15. Singletrack says:

    I’m not sure it’s any advantage having AMA Superbike on CBS-SN. It’s still a specialty cable channel, with limited viewership compared to the ‘over-the-air” standard CBS network. And, like Geoff lamented, not available in Canada :(

    Speed TV, despite all its warts, was at least known for MOTOR racing. Motorcycle Racing on CBS-SN will likley just be filler between Arena Football (???), Lacrosse and Bull riding.

    And if the Supercross experience on CBS is any indication, the broadcast video quality suffers, the commentary and content gets dumbed down for a ‘new’ audience.

    But, some TV coverage is better than none…
    How is WSBK faring on BeIN sport network? Anyone seen it lately?

  16. singletrack says:

    However, to cut Chet Burks Productions some slack, back in the day when they produced the only motorcycle programming available, it was good stuff for a kid raised on motorcycle magazines.
    Lets keep our fingers crossed for a quality production.

  17. David says:

    Are you serious?

    There is still AMA road racing over here.

  18. Gidgester says:

    @ Geoff / Philly Phil, etc.:

    “StrongVPN” has a VPN (virtual private network) service to the UK that you can purchase for ~ $50-$60 / year. Once the VPN is set up, you can get access to Eurosport’s UK web-based viewer for another $4-$5 / month. This nets you all the BSB, WSBK and MotoGP coverage that you would get if you lived in the UK!

    Very cool….

  19. CBS Sports doesn’t subscribe to Nielsen — which, for all its flaws is still the best independent measure of TV audience size — so it’s hard to find good audience data for the network. The statement, in the press release, that it’s available *to* 100 million households is somewhat disingenuous. That’s the number of homes that could watch it, though most would have to spend a few buck to upgrade their cable subscription. The popular stick-and-ball ‘sports talk’ host Jim Rome apparently draws about 40,000 viewers on CBS Sports — far fewer than he did on ESPN.

    I get what previous commenters are saying about production value, and I get that the very small existing audience of AMA Superbike junkies can now get a TV race fix; those people will spend a few bucks if they have to, to watch the races, and they do care about production value. But the dream for the TV package is attracting new viewers, the kind of people and the kind of numbers that will attract sponsorship dollars — hopefully from non-endemic sponsors.

    That will not happen unless AMA Pro markets its show outside CBS Sports. As I noted on my blog, let the audience outreach begin.

  20. G says:

    This is awesome! I was so depressed about what Speed….excuse me, FOX! did to AMA coverage. Glad to see CBS pick up the contract. I only hope that CBS strips Fox of the WSBK and MotoGP contracts also because Speed….im sorry…NASCARcirclejerk Network, has done a disgraceful job of covering those two world class series.

  21. singletrack says:

    Hey, G

    True, Fox has stripped SpeedTV of most of it’s motor racing appeal, but don’t set your sights too high for CBS.

    See my notes above “Motorcycle Racing on CBS-SN will likley just be filler between Arena Football (???), Lacrosse and Bull riding.”

  22. Norm G. says:

    re: “Regarding Scott Russel, I like having him in the booth… he has a southern accent, get over it.”

    another vote here for the chief. great addition to the broadcast booth. same as schwantz, it’s important we appreciate their contributions and willingness to give back to the sport we claim to love with so much lip service. his sister sherri was also actively involved in the industry, having worked for Cycle News back during their print era. but see, most wouldn’t know that because they’ve never had the pleasure of meeting either one of them.

  23. Sportster says:

    We’ll hopefully see big and positive changes in AMA since Geico has taken over sponsership and is injecting some big bucks. And it’s going to real tough to beat a 350-pound Buehl with a quick-thinking, 2-ounce gecko rider, right? Heh, heh, heh!!

    http://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=4a88a935f5f0

  24. Norm G. says:

    re: “Sadly, Speed has NEVER cared about bike racing”

    not true, they cared for more than a decade, i know because i have the recordings (bostrom vs mladin at loudon anyone?). the problem was over that same decade WE failed to match their care with our WALLETS. nascar stepped UP, we stepped DOWN. we made the classic mistake of taking things for granted. as a cause/effect, our proverbial “chickens” have now come home to roost. anybody who says different just doesn’t know what they’re talking about. and honestly, even if we HAD stepped up to the plate, our squeeze out was inevitable.

    it’s a simple game of numbers people. there are EXPONENTIALLY more of them (ie. nascar fans) than there are of us. stepping up would’ve only bought us the VARIABLE of time, but whether we lost our coverage in 2013…? or 2017…? the CONSTANT in this equation was, we were ALWAYS going to be handed our asses at some future point. guess what, the future’s now. from what i’ve seen, we’re damn lucky to have made it this far. hope you didn’t miss it.

  25. Norm G. says:

    deleting truths just because they’re “inconvenient” helps no one…

    http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/editorial-the-biggest-threat-to-professional-road-racing-in-america/