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.

Dovizioso Signs with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha for 2012

10/08/2011 @ 9:52 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

Dovizioso Signs with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha for 2012 Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda 635x421

Another seat in the silly season game of musical chairs has been snatched, as Andrea Dovizioso has signed a contract with the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha squad for the 2012 season. Shit out of luck, in more common vernacular, Dovizioso found himself the odd-man out after Honda announced that it would only have three factory riders for the upcoming season. With Stoner and Pedrosa still under contract through that term, this news meant a tough choice between Dovi and rival Marco Simoncelli. Though consistently placing higher than his fellow Italian, Dovizioso lost out to SuperSic’s bold track moves and likable off-track demeanor.

While bad news for Dovi, the falling-out from Honda meant good news for the rest of the MotoGP teams who were anxious to retain the services of the potently quick Repsol Honda rider. Hervé Poncharal’s Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team seemingly won the battle of the offers, as it’s being reported that the French team has signed Andrea Dovizioso for the 2012 season, beating out the many other offers Dovi had on the table, including a reportedly factory-spec Honda at LCR Honda.

The switch to the satellite Yamaha squad will be the first time Dovizioso in his GP career  has ridden a bike other than a Honda, though the move could be a potent one for the Italian. HRC currently has a plethora of candidate riders in factory seat, and has its line of succession for factory positions well in order (most notably Moto2 rider Marc Marquez). Meanwhile Yamaha has a path of lesser resistance into the factory team, with the factory having virtually no one that’s ready for a factory bike in the queue. If Dovi can prove his mettle on the satellite 1,000cc Yamaha YZR-M1, and Ben Spies has another season of mixed results, it is possible Dovi could find a factory seat for the 2013 season, an idea that’s helped by the fact that many MotoGP rider contracts are set to expire in 2012.

Dovi’s move to Tech 3 increases the speculation regarding who will take the open seat at LCR Honda (no one is expecting Toni Elias to have his contract renewed for 2012). With Dovi out of the picture, rumors go from former-LCR rider Randy de Puniet, to factory Suzuki rider Álvaro Bautista, with Marc Marquez and even John Hopkins names being mentioned. Whether any of those candidates would receive Dovi’s promised factory-spec Honda is up for speculation (except for Marquez who would be barred from a factory bike during his rookie season), though we suspect that offer might have been a $4-5 million concession LCR made purely for Dovi alone.

With MotoGP headed to Australia next weekend, we expect more news will come out of the GP paddock at Phillip Island. A&R will be coming to live from down under for the race, so stay tuned for our coverage.

Source: MotoMatters; Photo: Honda

Comment:

  1. Ben Haines says:

    Typo : “Though consistently placing hire than his fellow Italian, Dovizioso lost out to SuperSic’s bold track moves and likable off-track demeanor.”

    Hire = Higher ??

  2. Rexr says:

    Highly unlikely he had a an offer of a factory honda with LCR otherwise he would of signed with them hence why he signed for Yamaha……doh

  3. Westward says:

    It was the only logical move in my opinion. HRC has been showing lack of confidence in Dovi since last year when they tried to move him to Gresini… Then, they even though he has been more consisent than Simo, they sign Simo before him. The real indication that HRC was not showing any favour to Dovi was when they clearly denied him the opportunity to ride the 1000 with the other Repsol pilots and Simo rode it instead most recently…

    Besides, Dovi has not shown that he could win races over Stoner or Pedrosaon a Honda, neither has he shown potential to do so over Simoncelli…

    Yamaha is the best choice for him, plus the change could be just the difference needed to step up to the next level… Who knows, maybe the bike would suit him better…

    Also, DePuniet should go back to LCR, I kinda miss seeing Lauren Vickers in their team’s sponsors attire…

  4. Rexr says:

    I agree with……Westward

    Dovi hasn’t got the killer instinct……..I’m not a side showbob fan (58) but he has the instinct to push real hard to the point of chucking the bike down the road……..lol Dovi needs the man up….

  5. PD says:

    RE: “Whether any of those candidates would receive Dovi’s promised factory-spec Honda is up for speculation (except for Marquez who would be barred from a factory bike during his rookie season), though we suspect that offer might have been a $4-5 million concession LCR made purely for Dovi alone.”

    I thought rookies were just not allowed to BE in a factory team (except for Suzuki) in MotoGP. I didn’t think there were any prohibitions against rookies being able to race a factory-spec bike in a satellite team.

    In fact, I’ve read many reports that Alzamora has requested that Honda reserve a factory-spec RC213V for Marquez’ expected move up to MotoGP in 2012.

  6. PD, this brings up the debate regarding what exactly is a factory team.