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.

AMA Pro Racing Gets off to a Shaky Start with Daytona 200

03/12/2011 @ 3:56 pm, by Victoria Reid5 COMMENTS

AMA Pro Racing Gets off to a Shaky Start with Daytona 200 Daytona Superbike 200

Despite rain early in the weekend, the weather was clear and sunny for the running of the 2011 Daytona 200. The historically important race featured entries from the AMA Pro Racing Daytona Sportbike class, as it was decided a few years ago that the Superbikes were traveling at too dangerous of speeds through the turns and onto the banking of the Daytona International Speedway.

However these concerns seemed to be overshadowed by the issues 2011, as the race distance was ultimately not to be 200 miles, as today’s race saw a mid-race red flag for safety issues regarding the Dunlop front tires forcing a long delay, a second red flag with a multi-rider crash on the restart, and a third red flag caused by a crash at the checkered flag.

Perennial rider Jake Zemke won pole (1:49.775) for the race on his final lap of qualifying Friday, taking the first starting position from Jason DiSalvo, with Danny Eslick and rookie Daytona Sportbike rider JD Beach completing the front row. Of thouse four, only DiSalvo was quick in the Saturday morning warm-up, second fastest behind PJ Jacobsen. Josh Herrin, Dane Westby, and Cory West were the fastest five in the morning.

Racing got off to a great start, with DiSalvo sliding into the lead into Turn 1, and Zemke second, then third as Eslick also took a position away from the pole sitter. As is usual at Daytona, the leader into the final chicane was rarely leading across the line, with the riders acting as though they had only a few laps left rather than just a few laps into the race. Both Eric Bostrom and PJ Jacobsen were out within the first nine laps, and by the end of L10, Zemke led Herrin, DiSalvo, Eslick, and Beach as the top five. All but Beach were within two tenths of each other.

That tight grouping continued through the first round of pitstops, as Eslick was the first of the leaders in, on Lap 19. Zemke, Herrin, and DiSalvo nearly got together as they entered pit lane, and once most of the stops had cycled through they were still at the front. Just a few laps later, Eslick had a nasty crash off the banking in front of the pit entrance, tucking the front and sliding across the asphalt on his back. Luckily, he got back on the bike and made it into the box.

The first red flag was thrown just a few laps later. For safety reasons, the entire field was required to stop and put a new front tire on, causing some timing issues as Dunlop did not have enough rubber immediately ready to replace all the front tires. The delay was a boon for DiSalvo, who had slowed and pitted, having lost a cylinder just before the red flag. His Ducati team proceeded to swap motors during the break, and got him back out to the restart. In the end, the Daytona 200 was shortened to twenty-seven laps, a break, and a fifteen lap sprint to the checkered flag.

The grid for the restart was taken from positions at the end of L27, with Zemke, Herrin, DiSalvo, and Beach the front row. DiSalvo was into the lead as a second red flag, caused by multiple crashes at Turn 1, stopped the race again. Barrett Long’s engine blew on the restart, leaving oil on the track. On the second restart, everyone got away smoothly for a nail-biting fifteen lap sprint. Seven riders, usually led by Zemke, Herrin, Westby, or Beach fought each other through the turns and blew past each other in the draft, with the lead seemingly changing hands more times in one lap than in entire MotoGP races.

With just under five laps left and riders diving under, over, and around each other at every opportunity, DiSalvo’s Ducati seemed to fail him again, allowing rookie Beach to move up to third, as fellow Ducati rider Holden parked his bike. DiSalvo drifted back to sixth, but was still well inside the pack and fighting. Zemke remained in front as West and Herrin aggressively battled over second. West led Herrin and Zemke across the line to begin the final lap, as DiSalvo relegated Zemke to fourth.

In the end, DiSalvo was first with Ducati’s first Daytona 200 win, as Knapp and West crashed their way across the finish line. Both riders were up quickly and appeared unhurt, though they brought out another red flag, and the following unofficial results. West and Zemke completed the podium. Though SPEEDTV chose not to show the racing from the first restart onward, it can be seen at 11pm EST on that network.

Provisional Daytona SportBike Results for the Daytona 200:

Pos.No.RiderBikeGap
140Jason DiSalvoDucati 848-
257Cory WestSuzuki GSX-R6000.029
398Jake ZemkeYamaha YZF-R60.154
473JD BeachKawasaki ZX-6R0.219
58Josh HerrinYamaha YZF-R60.364
65Dane WestbySuzuki GSX-R6001 Lap
744Taylor KnappYamaha YZF-R61 Lap
86Tommy AquinoYamaha YZF-R61 Lap
974Bostjan SkubicYamaha YZF-R61 Lap
107Fernando AmantiniKawasaki ZX-6R1 Lap
1115Cameron BeaubierYamaha YZF-R61 Lap
1232Santiago VillaSuzuki GSX-R6001 Lap
1320Paul AllisonYamaha YZF-R61 Lap
1438Kris TurnerSuzuki GSX-R6001 Lap
1575Huntley NashYamaha YZF-R61 Lap
16825Joey PascarellaYamaha YZF-R62 Laps
1722Jason FarrellKawasaki ZX-6R2 Laps
18129Tyler O’HaraYamaha YZF-R62 Laps
1913Melissa ParisYamaha YZF-R62 Laps
2045David Sadowski,Jr.Ducati 8482 Laps
2112Ricky OrlandoKawasaki ZX-6R2 Laps
2278Reese WackerSuzuki GSX-R6002 Laps
2341Pat MooneyBuell 1125R2 Laps
2484Anthony FaniaSuzuki GSX-R6002 Laps
25144Luiz CerciariSuzuki GSX-R6002 Laps
26175Sam RozynskiYamaha YZF-R62 Laps
27594David McPhersonYamaha YZF-R62 Laps
28150Lyles SandersYamaha YZF-R63 Laps
29240Giuseppi MesinaYamaha YZF-R63 Laps
30291Scott DeckerSuzuki GSX-R6003 Laps
3171Ray HofmanHonda CBR600RR4 Laps
3259Jake HoldenDucati 8485 Laps
3316Russ WikleSuzuki GSX-R60015 Laps
3477Matthew SadowskiDucati 84815 Laps
3529Barrett LongDucati 84817 Laps
3669Dany EslickSuzuki GSX-R60018 Laps
379PJ JacobsenDucati 84824 Laps
3856Les MoscarielloDucati 84832 Laps
3910Eric BostromKawasaki ZX-6R40 Laps

Source: AMA Pro Racing

Comment:

  1. Chris says:

    An eventful race, to say the least; thanks for the write-up.
    You never want to see issues with the basics like spec tires, and especially not any crashes. But, those things are not directly under “AMA Pro Racing.” The tire issue is obviously dealing with Dunlop and the new track surface, and the crashes from the riders; neither stem from the AMA organization. Was the race a little “shaky?” Sure! But, it sounds like the AMA did fine – much better than 2009, for sure!
    Here’s to hoping for good racing and an absence of tire problems or crashes in the future!

  2. Steve says:

    Fantastic race and restart. One of the most exciting I’ve seen in years. And how about Esleck. That is one tough dude (crazy) to get back in it after a get off like that. Mom….where are my spare leathers? I even thought Speed Channel did a good job with the coverage and dealing with the delay. Now if only the AMA can figure out how to fill some of those empty spectator seats, that would be nice. I’ve seen more spectators at a club race. Pathetic.

  3. Cpt.Slow says:

    I agree with Steve… all the factors considered the race was awesome. You can really sense the desire, it was all in. Under-rated! There is great racing in the American two-wheeled world.

  4. Dave says:

    I could be wrong but in most other types of racing don’t they dis-allow working on the vehicle during a red flag? Seemed odd that DiSalvo’s team was actually allowed to swap motors.
    Amazing that they got it done though. Awesome job by the team.

  5. A conspiracy theorist might consider the timing of the tire safety-related red flag and JD40’s 848 meltdown a strange coincidence. As much as I dislike the DMG-AMA bureaucracy, I won’t chew that gum.

    I’ve been a loyal Ducati rider/fan/worshipper for over 20 years, but I can’t feel good about this win. To overcome radical weather changes and win a split, 147 mile race is a testament to JD40’s racecraft and his crew’s technical skills, but it cannot to be attributed to a machine which actually won two sprint races with two different engines. The 200 is supposed to be where OEM’s prove that their production-based bikes (and top racers) have the stuff to go the distance at racing speed. For me, the racing did not disappoint, but the race execution and the results did.