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.

Edwards with NGM Forward & Abraham To Aprilia for 2013

09/14/2012 @ 9:08 pm, by David Emmett2 COMMENTS

Edwards with NGM Forward & Abraham To Aprilia for 2013 Karel Abraham Estoril Scott Jones

With the available seats at the teams with factory prototypes all now full with the exception of the final satellite Honda – most likely a toss-up between Scott Redding and Alvaro Bautista at Gresini Honda, though rumors persist of Marc VDS Racing taking the Honda RC213V from Gresini and fielding Redding in their own team – attention has now turned to the CRT grid, and the available seats being filled there.

At Misano, two teams announced their plans for 2013. On Thursday, the NGM Forward squad announced they had persuaded Colin Edwards to stay for another season, meaning that the Texan will remain in MotoGP for another year. The team is to finish the 2012 season on the Suter BMW, before making a decision on which bike to use for 2013. The team had been considering a switch to the Aprilia ART machine, but promises of an expanded testing program and more development have kept Forward on board for the rest of the season.

The Cardion AB team will be using the Aprilia ART, however. Today, the team officially confirmed that they would not be continuing with Ducati and would be switching to an Aprilia ART machine. The team will work in partnership with Aprilia and the Aspar team to help develop the Aprilia, in preparation for the new rules in 2014, which will see a rev limit and spec ECU imposed. Karel Abraham will remain the rider for the team.

The decision to switch from Ducati to Aprilia was taken because the team had been disappointed with the pace of development, the Cardion AB team said in a press release. They had expected to see more development of the bike, especially of the engine, but none was forthcoming. That, and the long run of disappointing results, caused Cardion AB to elect to field an Aprilia ART machine for 2013, entering under the CRT rules. Ducati’s decision to field a junior team consisting of factory-backed bikes is in part a direct response to the criticism aimed at the factory by the Cardion team, in an attempt to speed up development.

Immediately below is the press release issued by the Cardion AB team announcing their 2013 plans, while further down the page is the list of confirmed and expected MotoGP entries for the 2013 season. IRTA officials expect to see 22 bikes line up on the grid in 2013, and are currently in discussions over the remaining grid slots.


Cardion AB Motoracing will be riding the ART – Aprilia in the 2013 MotoGP

For 2013, Cardion AB Motoracing are switching their motorcycle supplier for MotoGP rider Karel Abraham. The team is finishing their collaboration with Ducati, and today signed a contract with Luigi Dall´Igna, Technical and Sporting Director of Aprilia Racing, which builds the ART – Aprilia motorcycle, qualifying as a CRT entry.

Karel Abraham sr. Team Manager of Cardion AB Motoracing said:

“Our team entered MotoGP in 2011 with the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 and a rider who at that time was the youngest in the starting field, and the second youngest ever in the history of the MotoGP class. During the season we gained a number of remarkable successes – Karel twice finished a race in seventh, and several times achieved the quickest qualifying time on a Ducati. He was quick, he got used to the bike really fast, collaboration with Ducati was outstanding, and the work of the engineers and the development of the bike were completely professional.

At the end of the season Ducati had developed a bike for 2012 based around a different concept. Unfortunately, our first impressions of the bike were not too positive, however. The bike was very hard to find good set up, and it was clear that the engine needed a lot more intensive development. Our idea of just how much more development work the bike needed unfortunately differed from that of Ducati, and it didn’t look like they were about to change their minds. So, in spite of the fact that we had the option to continue with Ducati in 2013, we decided not to use it, and to give an opportunity to a new partner.

This new partnership with Aprilia raised of our earlier close collaboration with the Aspar team. We shared engineers and helped one another out in the lower classes. Both teams in 2011 moved into MotoGP with Ducati. Aspar pulled out of the deal after one year, however, and moved to ART – Aprilia. So it’s natural that the first discussions we entered into were with Aprilia. Those who’ve ridden the bike regard it as being a high quality, reliable motorcycle, and even more importantly, the support from the Aprilia factory allows riders and mechanics from our team to participate in the development and setting up of the machine. Over the course of this season CRT bikes have been getting quicker, and we’re convinced that they have a future. On top of which, ART – Aprilia has undoubtedly shown that, of all the CRT bikes, it’s the most competitive.

For us, 2013 is going to be a year of testing and improving set up of the bike. In 2014 new technical rules will be coming into force that will move the CRT category very close to factory bikes.”

Karel Abraham, MotoGP rider, said:

“The 2012 season has regrettably been a step backwards. It’s a pity that we are finishing our co-operation with Ducati in these circumstances, but this year things haven’t been working as well as they should. We have been in negotiation with Aprilia for quite some time, and I think the partnership’s got a good future. I see it as the best possible solution. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but we think it’s important to be going forward and not just running on the spot. We have worked with Aprilia before on 250s. In fact, in the year before the old 250cc class was replaced by Moto2, we worked really well together. I hope that we can now build on it!”


Below is the 2013 MotoGP line up known so far. Riders, teams and bikes with a question mark are still unconfirmed, the rest have all been confirmed for 2013.

Repsol Honda
Dani PedrosaHonda RC213V
Marc MarquezHonda RC213V
Factory Yamaha
Jorge LorenzoYamaha M1
Valentino RossiYamaha M1
Factory Ducati
Nicky HaydenDucati Desmosedici GP13
Andrea DoviziosoDucati Desmosedici GP13
Monster Tech 3 Yamaha
Cal CrutchlowYamaha M1
Bradley SmithYamaha M1
LCR Honda
Stefan BradlHonda RC213V
Gresini Honda
Scott Redding?/Alvaro Bautista?Honda RC213V
???FTR Honda?
Pramac Ducati Junior Team
Ben SpiesDucati Desmosedici GP13
Andrea IannoneDucati Desmosedici GP13
NGM Forward
Colin EdwardsSuter BMW
Aspar MotoGP
Randy de Puniet?Aprilia ART
Aleix Espargaro?Aprilia ART
BQR
Yonny Hernandez?FTR Kawasaki?
???FTR Kawasaki?
Paul Bird Motorsport
James Ellison???? (“A British-built bike”)
??????
Cardion AB
Karel AbrahamAprilia ART
IODA Racing??
???Suter BMW

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. I may be one of the few to hold this thought, but I’m happy to see Karel stay on and work with the CRTs. It would have been disappointing had he moved down to Moto2.

  2. Westward says:

    I am under the impression Cardion AB had no other choice, since it was also announced that factories could only field four bikes, hence the reason one of Gresini’s entries is a CRT bike, because LCR has the rights to the fourth Honda…

    I think the decision to switch has a little more to do with that fact that Abraham was being bested by CRT’s even though he was on a satellite bike. and a CRT Ducati is essentially what the Ducati’s are since the chassis is made by FTR…

    I imagine, now with Audi backing, Ducati can afford to produce their own chassis.