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.

American Suzuki & Dainese Sign Elena Myers

01/25/2011 @ 9:10 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

American Suzuki & Dainese Sign Elena Myers Elena Myers SuzukiScoopFans race livery 635x422

Finally we get some good news on Elena Myers’ search for funding for the 2011 season. The 17 y/o phenom spent the 2010 kicking the boys’ butts in AMA Supersport, even winning Race 1 at Infineon, and becoming the first woman to win a professional American motorcycle race (depending on how you look at it), only to be left searching high and low for racing support for the 2011 season.

She’s cute and she’s fast, and we were fairly dumb-founded to hear she was having trouble finding sponsors to go ride for this season, but luckily that all seems to be past the California native now. Announced this past weekend that she’d been signed to American Suzuki, Myers has also secured Dainese as an apparel sponsor for 2011.  To go along with wearing the Devil on her back, Myers has a very interesting sponsorship deal that American Suzuki has put together, which sees the Californian using social media to engage fans with the Suzuki brand.

We were live at Dainese in Costa Mesa for the announcement that the Italian apparel company had singed Myers to its roster of supported riders, and when we got home from the event we found a press release from Suzuki waiting for us, confirming that Myers will ride a race-prepped Suzuki GSX-R600 from American Suzuki for the 2011 season.

Myers gave a shout out to Chris Ulrich for helping her secure the Dainese deal, and we imagine her contract to the folks at Team Hammer helped pave the way to what looks to be a very interesting contract with American Suzuki (one we imagine we’ll see other rides take in the future).

As a part of her deal with American Suzuki, Myers will interact with SuzukiScoopFans on Facebook and YouTube. On race weekends, the 17 y/o will select a fan comment (on Facebook) from each of her post race updates, and then display the comment on the tank of her GSX-R600 (for inspiration, naturally) during the following race weekend.

“I’ve been on facebook for a couple years now, and let me say, I’m a really big fan of it,”
said Myers. “It’s been a great way for me to communicate and connect with fans all over the world. That said, I’m extremely excited to be riding for SuzukiScoopFans for the 2011 season. For me, it’s an amazing opportunity because it’ll help get my name out more to fans other than those of road racing, and also give me an even better way to connect with fans.”

Myers will operate out of the Team Hammer truck, but will be sporting a SuzukiScoopFans racing livery (official artist render shown above) on her GSX-R600. Increasingly manufacturers are looking for ways to engage fans with their teams, and riders are slowly realizing the value of building their personal brand. As both these considerations grow, don’t be surprised to see social media becoming more in your face in motorcycle racing. For what it’s worth, we’re really big fans of Facebook too.

Source: Dainese & American Suzuki

Comment:

  1. froryde says:

    I’m actually liking the paint job…

  2. lord_tizzle says:

    way to go Elena. Big fan happy to see her get her ride secured. Season not coming soon enough.Paint job is nice.

  3. berzerker says:

    let’s be real folks…..EM, aside from a fluke win at IR in a very shortened race is another Jessica Zaluski , who is currently riding the “im better looking then my results” band wagon…..sure the sponsors will temporarily jump all over the attractive female in a male dominated sports bandwagon…. but at the end of the day…. mid-pack results dont get/keep the sponsorship dollars….regardless if your hot or not…

  4. Will says:

    Ohhh!

    Pretty sure Dianese’s logo isn’t the devil’s head, but a fox’s head.

  5. Richard Mushet says:

    The mock-up looks nice, but can’t wait to see the real thing!

  6. RSVDan says:

    Will: It is the Dainese Devil, not a fox head. The Devil head has been Dainese’s logo in various forms since 1972.

  7. Damo says:

    I semi-agree with the berzerker, but at the same time: she is only 17 and has alot of potential. If she can get sorted out, maybe she’ll do all right in the future.

    Finishing even middle of the pack is pretty impressive for a girl still in high school :)

  8. buellracerx says:

    what ever happened to Elena testing w/ Rizla Suzuki?? Or maybe that was just a hype-generator…

    way to go, Elena; not only for bagging a sponsorship deal but also for taking interest in building a personal brand. I agree, Jensen, more riders should be doing the same

  9. buellracerx,

    From what I’ve gathered on that, someone pitched the idea without getting it cleared all the way through, then had to back-track the offer. Think less malicious, and more disorganized.

  10. Other Sean says:

    Will we see more photos of her on posts like this once she’s 18?

    Even if she becomes the Danica Patrick of scooters, good on her. She’s faster than me, and has a better job.

  11. I’m not sure I understand the question. What does her turning 18 have to do with anything?

  12. elenafan says:

    So Bezerker…Jessica Zulusky…really? If I recall, Jessica barely used to qualify for nationals, let alone win one. Finishing out of the top 10 only once in 2010 is mid-pack? Yeah, sure the class has changed but finishing 2nd in the West Coast championship in her first year at age 16 was not bad. But I’m sure you know, anyone could do that and racing at the AMA level is easy. Elena is just 17 years old and is only going to get better. I’m glad for Elena’s sake that there seems to be more positive comments than negative. So what are your credentials and what have you accomplished as a racer?

  13. berzerker says:

    Elanafan, I hope you are right and indeed i am wrong. Only time will tell if she is the “real deal” or end up like her team mate, giving 2-up rides to justify their worth to the team…

  14. berzerker says:

    .. better yet, EM should leave the age restricted Pee Wee AMA Super Sport class and move up to the AMA Sportbike Class and all things being equal at the recently completed Dunlop tire test at Daytona EM’s best lap time of 1.57.2 would place her 13th, just .7 second slower then 51 year old Pat Mooney on his Buell.

  15. elenafan says:

    Berzerk, You obviously know nothing about what goes on at the AMA level. If we use your logic concerning the Dunlop test than I guess Tommy Aquino should go back to the Super Sport class since he was clearly off the pace, about 4 seconds. So I’m sure everything went exactly to plan for Tommy just as I’m sure it did for Elena or anyone else that was not where they usually are. You seem to be a hater while including Chris Ulrich into your rant, I guess finishing within the top ten in superbike means nothing. Again I ask, what are your credentials as a racer or rider? You seem to be quite jealous of what Elena is getting for support. Is she the quickest rider in her class? No, but she has shown just as much potential as anyone else she raced against this year. And yes, being a girl does make her special. Special because no other girl has done what she has in this country at such a young age or any age for that matter. This sport needs her and as much as you think she is not worthy than you clearly do not see the whole picture.
    Rock on Elena!