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.

MotoGP: Ben Spies Will Skip the Jerez Round

04/24/2013 @ 11:48 am, by David Emmett13 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Ben Spies Will Skip the Jerez Round  ben spies ignite ducati scott jones 635x422

Ben Spies will not take part in the Spanish MotoGP round at Jerez, scheduled to take place on May 5th. The Texan has been advised to withdraw to undergo further physical rehabilitation after suffering severe muscle pain in his back and chest at Austin.

The problems are a result of the extended recovery period from the surgery he had on the shoulder he injured at Sepang in October last year. Injuries to shoulder ligaments are notorious for taking a long time to heal, and for patients to recover their full strength, and it is this which has been dogging the Texan.

With his right shoulder still very weak, Spies has been forced to try to compensate using his back and chest, and this is placing too much strain on his muscles while riding. The Ignite Pramac rider will have further rehab to deal with the strained muscles, and get him ready to return at the Le Mans round in just over three weeks’ time. After the jump is the press release from the Ignite Pramac team on Spies’ condition.

Ben Spies to miss Jerez race

Unfortunately, the pain felt by the Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider at the end of the warm up during last weekend in Austin (Texas), has had more serious consequences than expected.

As a result, Ben Spies will not be able to race at the next round of the Championship, held on May 5th in Jerez, Spain.

After taking part regularly in the Texan race, in which he finished in 13th position, the American rider was seen by his medical staff, who advised him three consecutive weeks of intense rehab in order to alleviate the strain in his pectorals and back muscles.

Despite the constant improvement in the condition of his shoulder after recent surgery, Ben still needs further intense work to build up his muscle, and to acquire the necessary strength which will enable him to endure the stress during the race. Therefore the therapy will be different to what he has done so far, focused on limb mobility, thanks to his better physical condition. These three weeks of therapy will allow the Texan to be back for the Le Mans race.

Source: Pramac Racing; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. TheSwede says:

    Gutted. As soon as Ben can shake the last remnants of back luck carrying over from 2012 I know he’ll be running with Nicky and Dovi.. Here’s to a comeback in LeMans

  2. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Two kinds of luck in this world. Insane how much of the bad kind Ben’s had lately.

    Here, here, to a big comeback at LeMans (a track Ben hates).

    It is a long season, time is on his side.

    Hope he’s back in the saddle soon.

  3. Mike Hunt says:

    Michele Pirro

  4. Tim M says:

    I worry for Ben. Too many injuries lately and if he has more, he’s going to lose his ride and have trouble signing another GP ride. I think of John Hopkins, someone who has so much potential but with his history of injuries may be seen as a risky signing. Pro racing is a tough business and sponsors want results and not down time. I sure hope things get better quickly both for him and the Duc.

  5. “Michele Pirro”

    I agree. Let’s see whether Pramac and Ducati have such foresight. Certainly, it would be an additional incentive for Pirro, who has already been promised various wildcard rides.

  6. smiler says:

    You have to wonder about his toughness. Look at Doohan’s leg, Rossi’s leg break, Sheene after Daytona……..
    It is a shame but it also depends how much he wants to race.

  7. Slangbuster says:

    In addition to his injuries, source say Ben has suffered major bouts of indigestion after being in the middle of all those CRT sandwiches. I’m thinking it might be the bad mayonnaise. Hope he gets well soon.

  8. ZootCadillac says:

    This was kind of expected. It was clear to see at Qatar that it was affecting him. At Austin he was walking wounded, holding his shoulder all the time. Pramac and Spies hid the extent of his surgery, by design or accident I have no idea but the fact is the guy has had a full shoulder reconstruction. How long do you think that would keep you off work, let alone off a bike?

    The talk of Pirro replacing him? I don’t think that helps anyone. Pirro had a wildcard for the race, I suppose that would be on an iteration of the GP13. Putting him on Spies’ bike will not get Ducati the data they expected from the 3 wildcards Pirro will run this year.

    If they insist on running Ben’s bike then either Battaini or a quick enough Moto2 rider willing to give up his ride must surely be the answer? I think for the sake of development Pirro must run as a wildcard as planned.

  9. TexusTim says:

    I’m sorry Zoot, but i think they should have not made him ride this weekend.
    I can’t belive if his shoulder was that bad they would sign him and then force him to ride when cleraly he is less than 75 % wouldnt that cause more injury ?……I’m just trying to understand how a million dollar rider gets thrown out there with that type of injury ? because of pressure ?? if injured that bad there will be no info he can offer and possably crash and upset the repair.
    I am not hating on Ben I dont think ducatti should make him or anyone ride if they hire him knowing his injury. testing or no testing it’s no way to bring him back…now he has to sit out and here all the speculation…ductti doesnt need to worry about selling ducs in the states that bad

  10. “You have to wonder about his toughness. Look at Doohan’s leg, Rossi’s leg break, Sheene after Daytona……..”

    Those injuries are by no means equivalent. Broken bones actually heal a lot faster than an A-C separation and are much less painful. Having lived through both types of injuries, I can say that, for me, recovery from the A-C separation was one of the most painful and prolonged recoveries I’ve ever experienced. You might wonder about Ben’s toughness. I sure as hell don’t. He has my complete empathy.

  11. Gritboy says:

    It’s too bad Ben didn’t take a full season of racing off. He needs to ditch the mom, heal his body and find his focus again.

  12. pooch says:

    People say it’s bad luck…but sorry, you don’t have bad luck for years on end. If Ben’s always pushing at 110% and crashing more than he should, then that’s not enough to be someone in MotoGP.

    What future on a Ducati ? There isn’t one. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but even goats have had to stomach that one.

    Take a year off, ride your bicycle….then get on an Aprilia in WSBK and kick ass! I think it’s a crying shame Ben has slipped into obscurity all too soon. I’d love to see those elbows flying and winning again just don’t think there is room in MotoGP for him.

  13. Westward says:

    Rossi’s leg injury isn’t what hurt him the most in 2010, it was the shoulder injury during training after his win at Qatar that was the most deleterious.

    A healthy Spies could ride with the best of them. Once fully healed, Spies will shine, even on the Ducati…

    There is definitely a place for Spies in MotoGP which is why he is there, ans should be next season as well…