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.

Official: Colin Edwards to Forward Racing’s CRT Team – Hopes for an R1 Motor in a Tech3 Chassis

09/02/2011 @ 10:33 am, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Official: Colin Edwards to Forward Racings CRT Team   Hopes for an R1 Motor in a Tech3 Chassis  Colin Edwards MotoGP Scott Jones

As we published at the Indianapolis GP this past weekend, Colin Edwards’ time in the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage seemed to be coming to an end, as the veteran MotoGP racer and former-World Superbike Champion was linked to several other possibilities in WSBK and MotoGP for the 2012 season. Making his thoughts clear, Edwards believes there’s some value to the claiming rule team (CRT) formula, saying ”I think there’ll be tracks where it’s going to surprise some people.”

Finally releasing his plans for the 2012 season, Edwards announced today at the San Marino GP that he will race for the Italian NGM Forward Racing team, on a CRT bike, next season. While the team has been linked to a BMW/Suter motor and chassis, Edwards will use instead an R1 motor with a custom chassis. The preference right now is for Tech3′s Guy Coulon to make a chassis for the R1 motor, as the team did for its own Moto2 effort, but nothing has been finalized with the French MotoGP team.

Talking to our friend David Emmett from MotoMatters, Tech 3 Boss Hervé Poncharal denied that Tech 3 has even explored the idea of a custom chassis for an R1 motor; however, catching Guy Coulon at the Indianapolis GP, the French Crew Chief for Colin Edwards explained to A&R that he had all the technical requirements for such a job already at hand, and just needed to hear from those on the business end of things (presumably Poncharal) to undertake building the project.

When the press conference panel was probed on the details of the CRT entry, Edwards made it clear he would ride with a Yamaha motor, and appealed to Poncharal to have Tech 3 make NGM a custom chassis. “We will be riding a Yamaha engine, for those of you who want to know,” blurted Edwards. “As far as a chassis…Hervé do you want to answer this?”

“We are still weighing out the options,” Edwards continued. “My #1 option would be to have Hervé Poncharal, Guy Coulon, and Tech 3 build a chassis for us, but we still in negotiations with that. But for me, that would be the dream team — to have a Yamaha and a Tech 3 chassis.”

Edwards hedged his confidence about using the R1 motor for his CRT team, confiding that no deal has been finalized with Yamaha, though there are links between NGM Forward Racing and the Yamaha World Superbike effort. “My first contract with Yamaha was 1986, full-factory support, three bikes a year, unlimited parts list…I could have had whatever I wanted,” explained Edwards. “I was 12-years-old at the time and motorcrossing. So, in my entire career I’ve had 16 years I’ve been with Yamaha — road racing: 13 years.”

He added though, “for me it’s natural…I have full support back home in the U.S. — they really are keen to do it. Have I gotten the word, or the go-ahead, that it absolutely is going to happen? No, but it’s natural. It always seems fitting. I’m part of the Yamaha family, I always have been. It’s a natural step that we’re going to do this, so let’s do this on a Yamaha.”

While we’ll have to wait and see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together for Edwards, NGM Forward Racing, and MotoGP, one thing is for certain: a lot is riding on the success of the CRT program in premier motorcycle class racing. Time will tell how it all pans out.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. liango13 says:

    I am a huge fan of Colin, but I seriously think he should ride superbikes again and retire with couple more championships under his belt.

  2. RSVDan says:

    Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!! There goes my hopes of ever seeing Edwards anywhere near the front of the pack again. He could have had a good shot at the title in WSBK on good machinery, instead he is resigning himself to the role of back marker development rider.

    Lame.

  3. A brave effort, but I’m afraid like all the CRT guys he will be resigned to racing to try and break into the top 10 a couple of times a year.

  4. Keith says:

    Yea; would much preferred to see him on Yamaha WSBK or another top flight team in 2012. Wish him all the best…..

  5. Bruce Monighan says:

    Not sure what the politics were at Tech3 but Colin has delivered them more success than anybody in recent history. He has made their bike better, he has given them many many top 10 placements and he is running high in this years MotoGP. I know that Tech3 is suposed to be a devlelopment team bringing in young talent and Colin is far from young, but with all due respect to Cal he is nowhere near the racer that Colin is. The rumor is that they want Laverty on the team and he also, while talented, will get ground up in the MotoGP world. This series is the best of the best and for Colin to be there as long as he has, outlived many other stars and still places consistently high is a testament to his skills as a racer, his tenacity, his guts and his commitment. I can only hope he embaresses a few people on his new ride.

    Kick it Colin, you got a lot of fans pulling for you

  6. Westward says:

    Colin Edwards back in WSBK could have supplanted Fogarty as the king of that series… But since he is still one of the best, he should be competing with the best in MotoGP….

    He deserves a factory bike though…

  7. Damo says:

    I am very interested to see how the larger fuel allotment helps the CRT teams. They may run bonkers engines and don’t have to min max so much. Well if anyone can do it the Tornado can.