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.

Suzuki Returning to the MotoGP Championship in 2015

06/17/2013 @ 1:07 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Suzuki Returning to the MotoGP Championship in 2015 2015 suzuki motogp race bike inline four 635x465

Just hours before the development team’s public debut on the track (private debuts here & here), Suzuki has announced that it will return to the MotoGP Championship in 2015, not 2014. That gives the Japanese factory 21 months to develop its inline-four GP bike with test rider Randy de Puniet, and Davide Brivio at the helm as test team manager.

While the Suzuki has not given a reason behind its prolonged return, the fact that the team would have to foot the bill for its Bridgestone tires, as well as its travel/shipping costs, certainly didn’t help justify an early re-entry for Dorna’s prodigal factory, especially if the bike fails to impress on its first direct comparison to the machines of Honda, Yamaha, and Ducati.

Said to still be carrying a grudge for Suzuki (and Kawasaki’s) broken promises, and departure from the series, Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta has given Suzuki no favors in its return to Grand Prix racing. Dorna originally wanted Suzuki to re-enter the series through an existing team, rumored to be Team Aspar, but ultimately had to scrap that plan as no current MotoGP team was willing to take on the onerous task of managing the factory-backed squad.

Still, Suzuki’s return will mean another two bikes on the MotoGP grid, and Suzuki itself will manage and run the MotoGP team. What the will do to the 2013 silly season remains to be seen, but we can’t wait to see some more photos of the still unnamed Suzuki GP bike on the track. A press release from Suzuki Racing is after the jump.

Suzuki Motor Corporation will return to FIM Road Racing Grand Prix MotoGP in 2015.

After two years suspension since 2012, Suzuki Motor Corporation has organised its test team to undergo more practical running tests at its advanced development stage and will participate in the official joint testing to be held at the Catalunya circuit in Spain. Through continuing running tests at the circuits inside and outside Japan for further development and refinement, Suzuki Motor Corporation will participate again in MotoGP racing from 2015.

Suzuki Motor Corporation will feed back advanced technology to be derived through MotoGP racing activity to develop further attractive production models.

The outline of testing team and racing machine to be developed are as follows:

Chief members of Europe testing team in 2013:
– Team manager: Davide Brivio
– Development rider: Randy De Puniet

MotoGP machine to be developed:
– 1000cc In-line four GP racer

Source: Suzuki

Comment:

  1. Cpt.Slow says:

    HRH1

  2. ba wild says:

    Yes! Can only be a good thing.

    Pity few will be able to watch in the UK (it has been moved to pay per view & a provider who has only 100000 subscribers!)

    I wonder if the delay is a little kick back at Dorna?

  3. CTK says:

    Smart move. Question in my mind now is how will they test? Will they follow the actual teams around? Would Dorna allow them to buy tires year round and test on their own?

    Also anyone know what the engine config will be? I heard it was gonna be a big bang setup but I can’t find where I read that. I think it would be cool to have a normal 4 banger on the grid (though a 280HP normal 4 would smear tires all day).

  4. Calisdad says:

    I always thought KS34 would play a part here- if he wanted to.

    Bridgestone gets so much advertising from the series they should provide free tires to the teams.

  5. TheSwede says:

    Great looking bike, love the livery.

    But hands down the most important part of their return is gonna be securing a great rider. RdP and Hopper, are all great riders, but their days of championship contention are behind them I’m afraid. They need a young rider who is proven to run at the front, because that’s the only way they’ll develop a great bike. I really want to see Cal on it but who knows how things will pan out. Spies is a second, health dependent option and I’d put Batista a distant third..

    But who knows what could happen in two years time..

  6. JW says:

    So pleased with this news, best of luck. I hope a deserving rider gets the job.

  7. TexusTim says:

    well there goes my plans for them…lol…why in gods name is dorna giving them a hard time ? you know they want more factory teams, my guess is they dont want any sillyness next year with people leaving other teams..maybe dorna was influenced by the duc squad…you know why…so now the question is were will cal be next year ? he doesnt have a contract with tech 3 after this year and pol espargo is the leading candidate for that ride…will rossi retire?…somehow I got the impression from both pol and cal that they know whats up next year..well if it has to do with rossi we wont hear about that till he’s ready..no one will trump him on that anoucment..hell Im gusseing now after this news like everbody else, but somthings gotta give.. lorenzo,marquez or pedrosa are not going anywere next year but 2014 who knows too far off too much can happen.

  8. CTK says:

    What do you guys think about Marquez going to Suzuki?

  9. L2C says:

    A few weeks back, John Hopkins appeared to say that he *might* be in contention for one of the seats at Suzuki. Not sure how that would work out. He’s one of the most injury-prone riders in motorcycle sports. His fees might be attractive to Suzuki, though. And he would bring a wealth of experience to the table.

  10. L2C says:

    @ TexusTim

    That would be bullshit if Ezpeleta and Yamaha are pressuring Rossi to retire. If Rossi retires by the end of this season, that’s how I’ll read it. Since the end of last season, Rossi has said many times that he plans to race for *at least* two more years. And his recent comments at Montmeló, about struggling to get to grips with the M1 and Bridgestones front tire, make it sound he has absolutely no intention of retiring this year.

    I’d be really pissed if Rossi was forced to retire for Cal’s sake. Cal created his situation, it’s his to solve. Yamaha and Rossi don’t owe him anything.

  11. TheSwede says:

    Looks like RdP was only 7/10′s slower than Lorenzo’s fastest. I’d call that an fantastic start. Right about Ducati pace, maybe even a bit faster. I’d like to see what a top 5 rider could do on it..

    @CTK
    Interesting thought, but Repsol has sunk way too much money into the guy over the years to let him go. He’ll be a Honda guy for a long while if you ask me.. I like Cal and/or Spies (if healthy and fast) with a young up and comer to learn the bike from the get go. Maybe one of the Espargaro bros, or Scott Redding.

  12. TheSwede says:

    @L2C & Texus
    I’d hold off on any Rossi retirement predictions. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave at the end of this season if he chooses. This season is a test to see if he’s still got it. He’s not gonna be happy putting around in 4-6th every race IMO, and I think he loves the sport too much to hog a ride when he’s not competitive. If we don’t see a repeat of his excellent Qatar ride, my money is he walks away..

  13. TexusTim says:

    yo hold your jets.. l2C..read my post clearly and not between the lines..I said nothing about anyone pressuring rossi to retire and I dont think thats at all the case !…I am only thinking he will stop if he cant be competitive and win races..he didnt come back to lose every round or not finish on the podium most races..he’s back on his favorite bike and thats the best ride to win on..ok?
    so the conclusion I am drawing on is it seems both espargo and crutchlow seem to have a clue about next year and with the new allien on the grid it chages many things including rossi winning…if marquez hadnt come up this year then the chances rossi would do two instead of one would be more likley..like the swede says rossi knows whats up..he isnt going to drag it out for two if he’s not on the top podium at least a few races..if by mid year it comes around then we may see him stay for two..clause or no clause this would be rossi’s choice and I dont think Yamha would freak out if he retiired one year early…heck that would make room for these other guys..I mean how can you rejct the fact that cal is awfully fast on the satalite bike and is bidding for podiums at ever round…right?

  14. CTK says:

    Yea Yamaha is caught in a pickle. I think it’s still too early to count Rossi out but I’d put my money on Cal. Cal is up 11 points and 2 podiums I think. And younger than Rossi too. Its kind of a no brainer at least in the short term.

    With the Suzuki looking competitive this early though, Cal jumping ship to get his factory bike developed for his riding style might not be a bad idea if Suzuki gets their ducks in a row. The only question is if they will commit. They are fickle as hell. They just dumped their NA car market due to their own incompetence

  15. L2C says:

    @ TexusTim

    I have been very impressed by Cal’s performance this year. And I hope he continues to do well. My problem is how Cal has managed to create this situation beginning when his performance was secondary to Dovizioso’s. If anybody should have been pissed about Rossi leapfrogging them, it should have been Dovi – because if Yamaha was going to sit anybody on the second M1 last year, Dovi deserved it more than Cal did. But Rossi won that contest. And we know the many reasons why.

    When Cal had the chance to sign for two years, he tried to wag the dog by signing for one year. He basically told Yamaha to fuck off. This year he’s attempting to do the same thing – when if he had signed for two years last year, he would have been first in line for Rossi’s seat for 2015. Now that he’s done stunk up the joint, journos are falling over themselves demanding that Yamaha or Rossi bail him out. All of this is what I have a problem with.

    The other thing is that I seem to be one of the few who felt that Rossi would take at least half the season to get up to speed on the 1000cc M1. I didn’t think for a moment that he would be back to his old ways early in the season. I was stunned by his performance at Qatar, but felt strongly it would still take a while for Vale and his crew to perform at that level consistently. So this constant call from fans and the press for Rossi to retire, to make Cal happy, irks me something serious because Cal got what he bargained for.

  16. @CTK: “What do you guys think about Marquez going to Suzuki?”

    Frankly, I can’t imagine him ever even considering it. He’s been a Repsol boy for many a year and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see his entire career run with that sponsor. If he were to jump to Suzuki, I imagine it would only be by virtue of Repsol choosing to forgo its relationship with Honda. Given the history between HRC and Repsol, I estimate the chances of a sponsorship change to be precisely nil.

  17. We’ll see if Suzuki even exists in 2015, and if they do where are they going to get money from Moto GP with continually shrinking profits, there’s virtually nothing they can do on the sales side to change that. And if they do get in, how long will it be before they have a competitive bike? 3 to 5 years minimum?

    I think it’s much more likely that Moto GP will go the way of the WRC, reduced to two or three manufacturers, and only one that’s fully committed and genuinely competitive, with a viewer base that continues to shrink.

    The global economy is not getting better, it’s getting worse. Better start looking to the Koreans, because they are the only ones that are profitable enough these days. And how about BMW, now that they manufacture REAL sport bikes, they could actually benefit from a competitive or winning Moto GP team.