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.

WSBK: Checa Edges Biaggi for Superpole at Phillip Island

02/25/2011 @ 10:31 pm, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: Checa Edges Biaggi for Superpole at Phillip Island Carlos Checa Superpole WSBK Phillip Island 635x452

Lapping by a very narrow margin over reigning World Champion Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa won the pole position for the 2011 World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island today. Though the Spaniard dominated the testing and practice sessions this week, Biaggi continued to improve his times, and was only .013s slower at the end of qualifying session. Also showing strong results were Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam, who complete the front row for Sunday’s races.

Jonathan Rea rallied after a severe testing crash and his second crash of the day to qualify twelfth, while Leon Camier, suffering from glandular fever, qualified sixteenth and did not make Superpole, a blow for the Aprilia factory team even as teammate Biaggi unveiled his #1 plate.

Checa was fastest in the qualifying practices, leading both sessions. He was followed by Biaggi, Tom Sykes, Guintoli, and Rea as the fastest five in the combined times. With the new rules for 2011, the sixteen fastest riders from the qualifying practices moved on to Superpole, while the slowest six at Phillip Island were knocked out after the final practice. Knocked Out in Qualifying Practice: 17. Leon Camier, 18. Bryan Staring, 19. Maxime Berger, 20. Ayrton Badovini, 21. Roberto Rolofo, 22. Mark Aitchison.

Superpole 1:
Guintoli and Biaggi were the fastest with ten minutes to go in the fourteen minute session, when all riders had completed one fast lap. Checa quickly took command, gaining a half second on his second fast lap while Sykes, Marco Melandri, Ruben Xaus, and James Toseland were down in the knockout zone with Superpole 1 half gone. Melandri moved up to eleventh, dropping Yoshimura Susuki wildcard Josh Waters into the kockout zone when five minutes remained. Sykes jumped up to ninth with two minutes remaining, putting Haga into trouble as well. Melandri moved forward on his final lap. When Superpole 1 ended, Biaggi had closed the gap to Checa (1:31.237), who was still fastest. Guintoli, Haslam, and Laverty completed the fastest five. Knocked Out in Superpole 1: 13. Joan Lascorz, 14. Noriyuki Haga, 15. James Toseland, 16. Ruben Xaus.

Superpole 2:
Checa led five minutes into the twelve minute session, with Fabrizio, Waters, Rea, and Smrz in the knockout zone. Biaggi had led for a moment, but Checa’s fastest lap was two tenths quicker than the Champion’s. With Smrz and Rea crashing and have to return to the pit lane, Michel Fabrizio drug himself out of the knockout zone with two minutes left, but only into eighth place. Smrz, after rejoining, moved up to eighth, dropping Farbrizio back into the knockout zone. Rea also returned to the track on his second bike, but made little progress. Superpole 2 ended with Checa fastest (1:31.105), leading Biaggi, Guintoli, Leon Haslam, and Laverty as the fastest five. Knocked Out in Superpole 2: 9. Michel Fabrizio, 10. Tom Sykes, 11. Josh Waters, 12. Jonathan Rea

Superpole 3:
Haslam was on pole four minutes into the final ten minute session, though not all the riders had yet posted a flying lap, while Troy Corser, Laverty, and Checa completed the front row at that point. Biaggi soon went fastest, only to be overtaken by Checa, with .013s separating the two riders with five minutes still remaining in the session. Despite the extra time, Checa and Biaggi remained in that order, with Guintoli and Haslam completing the front row with two minutes remaining. Biaggi then Checa headed into the garage without time to complete another run, ending the session with Checa fastest and starting on pole but Biaggi very close to the Spanish rider.

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Phillip Island, Australia:

1.Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing1:30.882-
2.Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:30.8950.013
3.Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Racing1:31.2930.411
4.Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad Motorsport1:31.4290.547
5.Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team1:31.8580.976
6.Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Racing1:31.9801.098
7.Troy CorserBMW Motorrad Motorsport1:32.1821.300
8.Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team1:32.6621.780
Out After Superpole 2
9.Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare1:32.1531.271
10.Tom SykesPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:32.2041.322
11.Josh WatersYoshimura Suzuki1:32.2401.358
12.Jonathan ReaCastrol Honda1:32.7081.826
Out After Superpole 1
13.Joan LascorzPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:32.3461.464
14.Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia1:32.3911.509
15.James ToselandBMW Motorrad Italia SBK1:32.5471.665
16.Ruben XausCastrol Honda1:32.7881.906
Not qualified for Superpole
17.Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:32.8471.965
18.Bryan StaringTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:32.8832.001
19.Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Team1:33.0792.197
20.Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia SBK1:33.1612.279
21.Roberto RolfoTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:33.2862.404
22.Mark AitchisonTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:33.4132.531

Source: WSBK

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