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.

Casey Stoner To Wildcard at Phillip Island and Motegi?

02/17/2013 @ 12:30 pm, by David Emmett9 COMMENTS

Casey Stoner To Wildcard at Phillip Island and Motegi? valencian gp motogp sunday scott jones 08

Wherever racing paddocks assemble, rumors accumulate. The latest piece of gossip to hit the racing grapevine concerns Casey Stoner, and is emerging from the paddock he has just entered – the Australian V8 Supercars series – and involves the paddock he has just left, MotoGP. According to the V8 gossip*, Casey Stoner is to wildcard in at least two MotoGP races in the 2013 season, aboard a Honda RC213V.

The paddock gossip was picked up by the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, who contacted Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo for confirmation. Suppo denied any knowledge of such an agreement, though he did state that Stoner would be more than welcome to race as a wildcard for Honda, should he wish to do so.

The rumors do not exist only in the V8 Supercar paddock. The rumors are also doing the rounds among those with connections to Honda in the MotoGP paddock as well. Anonymous sources suggest that Stoner has been signed to do all three flyaway races – Sepang, Phillip Island, and Motegi – as well as private testing for HRC.

The logistics of the Dunlop V8 Supercar series – the development class which Stoner must spend a year in before moving up to V8 Supercars proper – are such that it would be impossible for Stoner to compete in the Sepang race.

The Dunlop V8 series is scheduled to race at Bathurst on Saturday, 12th October, the day before the MotoGP race at Sepang. Stoner would be unable to qualify, and would therefore be unable to race. However, the Phillip Island and Motegi rounds both fall on weekends with no Dunlop V8 races scheduled, clearing the way for the Australian to race. Having Stoner race at both rounds would make sense: Stoner loves Phillip Island, and would like to race there, while HRC would like to have a wildcard at the track which Honda owns.

Just how true these rumors are remains to be seen. As several internet wits have already remarked, we will only know that he intends to race as a wildcard once he publicly denies it. Given recent history – Stoner publicly denied both his retirement and his signing for the Dunlop V8 series, just days before both were announced – that would be taken as the final confirmation.

* Editor’s Note: the Twitter account (@Berncar1) which first broke the rumor of a Stoner wildcard has since been deleted.

Photo: © 2012 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. john Magnum says:

    interesting…….
    but how would he forfill his contract for the V8 series if he were to be injured on the bike or vise versa?

  2. Westward says:

    It would be fun to see at those rounds indeed. But he is far from a man of conviction. I seem to remember not long ago when he protested racing in Motegi ony to capitulate the the HRC higher brass. Something about radiation levels. I find it surprising that Motegi is one of the rounds he is willing to race at….

    Wonder if he will bring the wife and kids…?

  3. abahgiza says:

    stoner, please don’t do so. it will make rossi’s reputations much more worse, u’ve been proven it all. let myth stays what it is. the media like A&R , the yellow panties brigade will go crazy when u unintentionally humiliating rossi once again!

  4. L2C says:

    Talent or no talent, Stoner can’t just show up at the end of the season to qualify and race MotoGP. The timing would make it effectively a year since he was last on the Honda prototype. Remember the devastating arm-pump that he suffered for a few races at the start of last season, after only being off the bike for a few months?

    Nope, I don’t buy it – especially given his schedule. This is all a bit of the BS rumor mill, if you ask me – even him being contracted as a test rider. Is he serious about learning and racing V8 Supercar or not? Knowing Stoner, he’s intently focused on V8 Supercar, continuing to test and develop the RC213V would be a major distraction that would include long and sustained probes from the media about all events past and fantasy. I don’t see him being into that at all.

  5. Alasdair says:

    I think by the time the Phillip Island and Motegi rounds come about, there would be the risk that Stoners presence (let’s assume he is still capable of a podium at the least) could threaten the other 2 HRC riders if they were chasing Lorenzo for example. Of course, on the flipside, a Lorenzo being unable to pass a second or third placed ‘tailgunner’ Stoner may be a great tactic in helping Pedrosa (Or Marquez).

    This is just posturing. I hope I’m completely wrong and the season is incredibly close with a mix of riders getting wins

  6. Gac says:

    I hope to see him back. Watching him slide his Honda at Philips Island was almost … Um, What’s another word for wizardry?

  7. Dan says:

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if he was actually guest riding the Duke… and stuck it on the podium… I think the world would actually spin in the opposite direction! :-)

  8. TexusTim says:

    hmmm I dont think so…..but then again it’s stoner………regardless I think it in awfully poor taste if it’s true, I repsect him as a rider too bad he didnt just keep his ass on the honda and add a few more championships to his record ,he isnt thinking about his overall legacy… acting like someone owes him more than he got….he has had this attitude ever since his mystery illness that put him out for almost half a season…I think they settled on lactose intollerance or some (intollerance issues’s..lol) and maybe it’s true but the best way to “hit back” is on the bike not the media which he did …..but then lambasted the whole Moto GP paddock and then quite…this so far is his leagcy ?…not really what you expect from a two time world champion with years left in the tank.

  9. Tripps says:

    I think the days where a certain attitude was “expected from a Champion” have long since past. Biaggi was the GP villain for awhile till Honda gave him the boot and then he went over to WSBK with essentially the same attitude but less public scrutiny and he went out like a champ. Stoner could have done the same but realized it wasn’t worth it for him. To each his own; as long as he’s ok with his “legacy” or whatever the hell that means anymore.

    Aren’t we, as fans, past the point of putting these guys on a figurative pedestal?