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.

Ben Spies and His Pramac Ducati Livery

01/16/2013 @ 2:55 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Ben Spies and His Pramac Ducati Livery Ben Spies Pramac Ducati Desmosedici GP13 635x423

Along with the unveiling of the Ducati Corse factory team, Ben Spies, Andrea Iannone, and the rest of the Pramac Ducati team were on hand at the 2013 Wrooom event to unveil their factory-supported hardware. Continuing the close relationship between Ducati Corse and Pramac Team Principal Paolo Campinoti, the Pramac Ducati squad will help Ducati develop the Desmosidici race bike during the 2013 MotoGP season.

Though the logos may be sparse, Pramac Ducati sees the addition of Ignite Asset Management to the team’s livery, a New York-based asset management firm. Moving from the factory Yamaha team to the Ducati “junior” squad, Spies will be joined by Moto2 star Iannone, who captivated fans last year with his aggressive riding style and back-end cornering procedures.

“I am excited to be a part of the Ducati family,” said Spies. “This is something I’ve wanted from the beginning of my racing career. My team and I have our work cut out for us and new goals to meet, but we’ll benefit from factory support and Audi coming on board. Ducati has four strong riders with different styles, which should improve the Desmosedici and bring it back up to the top where it belongs.”

“We’re very pleased with the agreement we’ve reached with Ignite Pramac Racing Team for 2013, which has the Francesco Guidotti-run team taking on factory-supported status, with an even closer link to Ducati’s racing department,” said Ducati Corse MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti.

“This is also demonstrated with the presence for the first time of Pramac Racing Team at Wrooom, the fantastic event taking place in Madonna di Campiglio,” Ciabatti continued. “We’re very confident that Ben Spies will be able to use his talents to help us with the development of the bike and to achieve the results we’re after more quickly, and we thank the sponsor Ignite Asset Management for its support on this project.”

Ben Spies and His Pramac Ducati Livery Ben Spies Pramac Ducati 635x951

Ben Spies and His Pramac Ducati Livery Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 03 635x423

Source: Ducati Corse

Comment:

  1. Ralph says:

    Excited for Speez, Yamaha never brought him what he seeked in the end.
    Call it unlucky… call it wrong timing.

    I do miss the snot green of the Pramac livery like before.

    Are those Ali frames made by Suter now!?

    Vai Benny, vai…

  2. doug says:

    I’m excited to see an American company supporting an American rider in MotoGP. Is it April 21st yet?!?!?!

  3. Cpt.Slow says:

    +1 on what Doug said but moreover, it’s a company outside of the industry.

  4. pooch says:

    Interesting team. Maybe even more than Spies, I’m keen to see how Crazy Joe handles a MotoGP bike. It might actually suit him more than Spies.

  5. JoeD says:

    I really wish Ben the best and hope Yamaha has an abysmal season. They were rude to Ben and I hope the garage explodes with infighting. I like the riders but not enough to erase the bad behavior of the factory. For Ben to state he has wanted this from the beginning is truly inspiring. Hopefully, the Ducati/Audi marriage is up to the task.

  6. Dc4go says:

    awesome paint design really hope they get it together and compete for the podium by mid season…

  7. Clive says:

    I put Ben in the Roberts, Spencer, Lawson (something very special) league from the 1st time I saw him ride a superbike. He proved that in WSBK but for one reason or another just hasn’t had the right mix to do it in MotoGP. I really hope this Ducati suits him because for me his style is the closest to Stoner’s out of the four.

  8. Halfie30 says:

    To be honest I think Nicky’s style is the closest to Stoners. “Elbows” Spies is very reliant on front end feel. Nicky and Rossi are probably to only two guys who can still steer a bike with the back wheel on a GP bike. That being said, Ben and Dovi’s style will be a huge benefit to Ducati to get that from end feel back.

  9. “Nicky and Rossi are probably to only two guys who can still steer a bike with the back wheel on a GP bike.”

    Judging by how crossed-up Stoner would get nearly every time out on the bike, you’d simply have to put him firmly in the steer from the rear camp. Hang it out, stand it up and blast off.

  10. Isaac (Spektre76) says:

    I like this livery waaaaay better than the factory team’s livery!

  11. Rndmstrngt says:

    Spies looks thrilled.. not

  12. phs says:

    I think the loose feeling of the Ducati will be good for Spies. He is better suited to sliding around a Superbike than keeping wheels inline on a GP bike. Maybe his good friend Stoner will share some secrets with him as well regarding how he rode the Ducati so well.

  13. sideswipe says:

    A pig with lipstick. Not you Ben. That sow under you. Ok, new lipstick. Better?

  14. LoneStarBR says:

    I love the idea of seeing Nicky and Ben on my brand. BUT; Nicky never figured out how to go ultrafast with the dead front end feel. Ben , needs front in feel also – so I don’t see him going much better. You guys a talking about driving the back end; those days are simply gone. The Aliens all came from 125 etc…so they ride these big bikes the same; Stoner really does ride like no one else. He gets an extra 1% out of any riding situation by effort that looks more or less like magic to the other riders. He takes extra care to notice and use everything to gain speed. His level of detail is really amazing. He can tell you about every single inch of every track. Amazing focus like all of theses guys but just a tad extra. IF motogp was just about riding something with too much power, the Americans would fair better, but with all the electronics, these bikes can be ridden like 125′s – so I predict more or less the same results. Can’t wait to see it in Austin!! Lets Get it!