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.

Don’t Call It a Bromance: Pedrosa on Marquez on Pedrosa

03/27/2013 @ 3:10 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Dont Call It a Bromance: Pedrosa on Marquez on Pedrosa dani pedorsa marc marquez bromance

I don’t know who sold HRC and the Repsol Honda on their aggressive social media strategy, but it is winning over our hearts and minds. It seems it was only last year that we bemoaning the un-dynamic duo of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, two riders through either their shyness (Pedrosa) or PR whitewashing (Marquez) were about as lovable to the global MotoGP audience as metal flakes in an oil change.

At that same time of course, we were being entertained by the online banter between Yamaha’s mechanics and riders, who were adding to the on-track spectacle with their off-the-track banter, insights, and analysis. What a difference a year makes though, because Yamaha Racing has reportedly clamped down on its members taking to social media, and HRC is looking more and more like a social media genius.

Latest from Repsol’s media pool is a video that pits young-gun Marquez against old-hat Pedrosa. The two Spaniards give their thoughts on each other, and…gasp…come across as the human beings that paddock insiders knew existed all along. Between Pedrosa’s late-season surge last year, and his smiling and laughing personality here, you can’t help but root for the Honda rider. The rapture is near my motorcycling brethren.

Source: Repsol

Comment:

  1. L2C says:

    Good vibrations. Hope it lasts!

  2. Choco says:

    The Dynamic Duo. Pedrosa all but dominated the last half of the season and Marquez shows outstanding potential, and when I say outstanding in the already extremely talented and couragous MotoGP lineup then that is saying something. I can’t wait to see the Honda factory riders dukeing it out with the Yamaha factory duo of Lorenzo and Rossi. Let’s get this season going . . .

  3. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    Awesome video, but the music was stupid and distracting. I hope they keep releasing stuff like that, but ditch the lame jams.

  4. proudAmerican says:

    I bet one of my buddies lobster dinner (with wives) that Marquez will finish ahead of Pedrosa in the points this year.

    We’ll enjoy a great dinner after the season. The big question is who gets stuck with the check! :))

  5. TexusTim says:

    metal flakes in oil…lol thats better than “heavy particulate matter” I wonder why yamaha clamped down on pr…any thoughts…. :)

  6. Chaz Michaels Michaels says:

    Marquez will not finish ahead of Pedrosa. He is imensely talented but he’ll have a rookie season just like Dani’s or Jorge’s–he’ll be fast, he’ll do some great races, he’ll crash out of some, he’ll make rookie mistakes…In the final standings he might finish ahead of Rossi.

    The kid is fast, the Honda is the best bike…but they still have to race! These guys at the MotoGP level aren’t chopped liver.

    …not to sound like the rednecks in the movie Deliverance…but, the kid has a funny looking mouth.

  7. Mark says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how they both, and JL, behave once the season starts, whether they all revert to monotonal interviews like the last few years.

    And see if they are all banging out metronomic lap times.

    And then we can all wonder and speculate, just how they do that.

  8. “…not to sound like the rednecks in the movie Deliverance…but, the kid has a funny looking mouth.”

    Yeah, Chaz, I know what you mean. He strikes me a bit as looking like Heath Ledger playing The Joker. “Why so serious?” :)

  9. Westward says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Marquez has an amazing season and wins it all. But I think it will be Rossi who surprises all and takes a tenth title while frustrating both Lorenzo and Pedrosa…

    Also pulling for Spies to finish as top Ducati, close to Crutchlow in the standing maybe. It could happen…

  10. Westward says:

    As for Pedrosa’s late surge last season, I wonder how much of that is Pedrosa vs. the machine. I have a feeling it was more the bike than the man. If he and Lorenzo were both on Hondas or Yamahas, I’d bet Lorenzo would still win out…

    Marquez looks even more spectacular because he is on the best bike in Motogp. If Crutchlow were on a factory M1, or Bradl and Bautista on factory Hondas the season would be even more exciting…

  11. smiler says:

    Merguez looks like Dani’s son.

  12. L2C says:

    @ Westward

    As far as I know, both Bradl (w/LCR) and Bautista (w/ Gresini) are on full-factory supported Hondas this year. It’s in stark contrast to the Yamaha satellite teams – something that Crutchlow isn’t entirely happy about. I’m not sure if Bryan Staring, Gresini’s #2 rider, is receiving any support from Honda. He might be getting something from them, though.

  13. “I’m not sure if Bryan Staring, Gresini’s #2 rider, is receiving any support from Honda. He might be getting something from them, though.”

    Whatever help he’s getting would have to be in line with the CRT rules, the bike being an FTR-Honda.

  14. Westward says:

    @L2C

    Right you are, but Bradl is riding with Nissin Brakes, and Bautista with Showa forks. Remember, Pedrosa used to have those components, but petitioned for Ohlins and Brembo to be competitive. Pedrosa even switched tyres to Bridgestones before the single tyre rule, and mid – season too.

    I recall his then teammate Hayden being a little annoyed by that fact.