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.

Confirmed: Josh Hayes to Replace Edwards at Valencian GP

10/28/2011 @ 1:34 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Confirmed: Josh Hayes to Replace Edwards at Valencian GP monster graves yamaha josh hayes 01 635x723

With the announcement that Colin Edwards would be unable to attend and race the Valencian GP because of injuries he sustained during the tragic incident that killed Marco Simoncelli, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 said earlier today that it was looking into a replacement rider for the last MotoGP round. With speculation swirling after Tech 3′s announcement, Asphalt & Rubber has now been able to confirm that AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes will be the Texas Tornardo’s replacement at Valencia.

First confusingly tipped-off by a press release from Hayes’ leather sponsor Teknic, the American has since been confirmed by our sources to be headed to Spain for next weekend’s race. The move is perhaps a no-brainer for the satellite Yamaha squad, as Hayes was already set to test Edward’s 800cc Yamaha YZR-M1 during the post-season testing sessions after the Valencian GP. Hayes was given the opportunity to ride the M1 surely because of his well-earned AMA Superbike Championship victory this year, with Colin Edward’s departure to Forward Racing at the end of the season freeing up the machine.

Photo: Monster Graves Yamaha

Comment:

  1. SBPilot says:

    Honestly, they should have given this ride to Eugene Laverty. I mean he “only” came third in his WSBK debut for Yamaha. He’s young and highly talented, very adaptable rider…but MotoGP is all political crap which probably prevented Laverty from signing with Tech 3 or getting a test date. Now he’s with Aprilia. Yamaha screwed up on this one…Hayes…no disrespect to the guy but seriously…

  2. RedJet says:

    SBPilot. Would have given it to Laverty if they could I’m sure, however, he is already signed with a competitive team in WSBK (well, would have been a competitor had Yamaha stayed). Nonetheless, can’t do while under contract with someone else.

    Bravo for Hayes!

  3. Paul Davies says:

    With two other Americans still racing, could they not have given another Brit rider a chance? Hows about Tommy Hill who road a Yamaha to a thrilling BSB title narrowly pipping the MotoGP bound John Hopkins? Just a thought…

  4. Bob says:

    SB, I think Laverty will do quite well on the Aprilia next season. It’s an awesome machine, even if Max himself didn’t deliver this time.

  5. RedJet says:

    There was an interview with Lin Jarvis who said Tommy Hill is on the list should Ben not be able to ride (or to replace Lorenzo). He did not want all test riders but racers for the last round. May see Hill yet. No word on Ben’s condition at the moment but Lorenzo will not ride.

  6. Alexontwowheels says:

    Well deserved for Hayes!

  7. macguytpa says:

    @Paul Davies – Do not over look Monster’s involvement in this, they sponsor both Tech 3, Graves Yamaha, and Josh Hayes. I would say that is a strong reason Hill didn’t get the nod. Also given the fact that Hayes has won Yamaha two AMA Superbike championships to Hill’s one BSB championship.

  8. 76 says:

    Well that might be interesting to see hayes actually pratice qualify and race now, before it was just testing, best of luck to him

  9. SBPilot says:

    @Redjet and Bob – I completely agree Laverty is in a good way right now having signed with Aprilia and I know he couldn’t have ridden the M1 this time around because he signed already. It’s just too bad he couldn’t come to terms with the Tech 3 squad prior to signing Aprilia.

    @macguytpa – you are absolutely correct. MotoGP is all about sponsorship and internal politics. Monster is the major sponsor of Tech 3 and the Graves Yamaha, it was definitely Monster than played a crucial hand in getting Hayes the ride. I meant that in my original post about “politics” but didn’t get too detailed. Bang on though. I also think Tommy Hill would be a better candidate, he is young as well (yes he “only” won one BSB title but he was right up there last year).

    I highly doubt he will replace Lorenzo or Spies since they are the factory team. Cal has underperformed, and Yamaha thinks so as well, otherwise he would have subbed in for Lorenzo instead of call in their test rider.

  10. macguytpa says:

    @SBPilot – FIrst and foremost I will come out and say I am Yamaha fan and a Hayes fan, but I in no way would ever deny that Hill is a hell of a rider. Hayes future is in AMA and I do not see this as being anything more than a reward for Hayes and a way for Monster and Yamaha to promote. Hill is defiantly younger and has a longer future ahead of him and hopefully he does get his chance on a MotoGP machine and if he doesn’t there is always WSBK.

    On a side note I would love for the US to get better quality television feeds of WSBK and WSS races in addition to coverage of BSB series. Also if anyone wants to share a invite to any sites that would facilitate me getting my motorcycle racing fix I would be highly appreciative.

  11. steveo says:

    Hayes is a fine replacement. Why not really Stoke the fire if Spies and Lorenzo are out put Hill and Herrin on the bikes and really make it a joke.

    3 non – Competes in the final race of the yr. Way to go Hayes wish you the best please finish the race and keep it off the Deck. Boz got a shot this yr 1 up him and finish ahead of at least one rider..

    just my .02

  12. 76 says:

    the boz experiment was a bit of a disappointment, I mean he pulled in? I no way am I saying I could do better or anything remotely close but its a pro racers dream, to pull in was completely deflating.

  13. Dr. Gellar says:

    Congratulations Josh…and good luck! I’ll be rooting for you…

  14. Steve says:

    If Hayes can adapt to the thing he should be respectable, given enough practice, The Bostrom stand in at Laguna was embarrasing. I still don’t know what was worse, his interview or his ride. All the best of luck to Hayes I hope he does well. Have a good time on that beast.

  15. buellracerx says:

    congrats Hayes, couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy! You earned it!

    definitely recording this one for the archives…