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.

Crescent Fixi Suzuki Debuts John Hopkins’ WSBK Livery

02/08/2012 @ 3:03 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Crescent Fixi Suzuki Debuts John Hopkins WSBK Livery Crescent Fixi Suzuki WSBK Livery 02 635x436

John Hopkins continues his stepping-stone return to MotoGP, and accordingly will compete in the 2012 World Superbike Championship with Paul Denning’s Crescent Fixi Suzuki team (note the newly announced title sponsor). Campaigning on the 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000, Hopper will have a steep nine-fingered challenge this season, as Suzuki has pulled its official race support out of WSBK. As such, Yoshimura has been tapped by Crescent Suzuki to help develop the GSX-R’s motor, while the team will continue to employ its lessons learned from both the British Superbike Championship and MotoGP paddocks.

Showing briefly the bikes that John Hopkins and Leon Camier will campaign in World Superbike this season, Crescent Fixi Suzuki is already on the road and headed to Phillip Island for the WSBK pre-season test that is scheduled for February 26th. For those that don’t know (and there is no reason you should), co-title sponsor Fixi is not an urban-oriented bicycle company, but instead provides foreign exchange solutions to Tier 1 investors — whatever those are.

“The team has done a stunning job to prepare the new GSX-Rs for this level of competition; the attention to detail is faultless and I think that this will be the most-advanced GSX-R ever to grace a racetrack!” exclaimed Team Principal Paul Denning. “Yoshimura’s hard work and proactive attitude to engine development has also enabled us to be as well prepared for Phillip Island as we can be. John and Leon are ready, the team is very motivated; and we will put everything into competing at the best level we possibly can!

“I would like to thank Richard Wynn and his co-directors at Fixi for their continued and expanded support,” Denning added. “I would also like to thank Ronald Kabella and the team at Motorex and all our partners for their commitment to Crescent Fixi Suzuki’s assault on the World Superbike Championship. Finally, thanks to everyone at new team partner Sign Language for completing the graphic-wrapped livery so expertly and quickly.”

Crescent Fixi Suzuki Debuts John Hopkins WSBK Livery Crescent Fixi Suzuki WSBK Livery 04 635x422

Crescent Fixi Suzuki Debuts John Hopkins WSBK Livery Crescent Fixi Suzuki WSBK Livery 06 635x935

Crescent Fixi Suzuki Debuts John Hopkins WSBK Livery Crescent Fixi Suzuki WSBK Livery 05 635x473

Crescent Fixi Suzuki Debuts John Hopkins WSBK Livery Crescent Fixi Suzuki WSBK Livery 03 635x417

Source: Suzuki

Comment:

  1. cairo says:

    I count at least 7 different colors in this mishmash scheme, and thats without including the sponsor logos color accents. Who comes up with this stuff?

    Is that art, or just clown barf?

  2. Damo says:

    Stop hating!

    I think is looks quite good personally. It is a race bike for Odin’s sake, it is supposed to be loud and noticeable.

    I wish Hopper and Camier the best this season. If they can both stay healthy they will be a threat.

  3. Crescent Fixi Suzuki Debuts John Hopkins' WSBK Livery – http://t.co/yeN8JwoU #motorcycle

  4. shallwedance? says:

    personally i think it looks awful a mish mash of crappy colours

  5. shallwedance? says:

    oh and fixi a crappy name for a company

  6. wilcon76 says:

    I dig that MotoGP is considered the top tier of motorcycle racing but as a fan I would love to see Hopper stay in WSBK where the competition is much closer and more fierce at this point.

  7. KEVIN says:

    Have a good look at it now ’cause after Hopper crashes it numerous time… who know’s what it will look like?

  8. RSVDan says:

    Is John going to have to grow an ironic mustache now that he’s sponsored by Fixi? Maybe they can get Pabst Blue Ribbon on board too.

  9. 76 says:

    I guess the graphic design position has also been part of the Suzuki “Cost Down” effort. I have better livery on a club bike. Badass bike though, please paint me is what shes saying or just leave me carbon fiber.

  10. MikeD says:

    Yes, it could be better, so what ? A bad-ass “paint” scheme is not going to win u any races…just envious eyes and petty talk.
    I think it looks OK for its intended use and abuse.

  11. Patron says:

    As long as it’s out front nobody will give a hoot what it looks like. But that being said I don’t think it looks bad at all. I really admire Hopper for clawing back into the show with everything he’s worth. A lot of people out there would have thrown in the towel a long time ago. Setback after setback after setback and he still gets back up to face the challenge. Even if I hadn’t been a fan of his from way back, I certainly would be now. And yes MotoGP is the “premier” class, but IMHO it is a much more balanced class of racing. The ’09 season where Spies crushed the field was the best season of road racing I have ever seen. What a show that was. Good luck to John. I really feel this year will be his year to shine.

  12. Patron says:

    I meant WSBK is a much more balanced class of racing in case that wasnt clear.

  13. Damo says:

    @RSVDan

    I think I am the only one that got the hipster joke. Hopper could model America Apparel Hoodies in the paddock too.