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.

Not Homologated: Ducati 1199 Panigale & MV Agusta F3

02/09/2012 @ 11:48 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Not Homologated: Ducati 1199 Panigale & MV Agusta F3 Ducati 1199 Panigale Supersport trim 04 635x476

UPDATE: On 2/10/2012, the FIM released an updated homologation list, which includes the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S for racing in the World Superstock 1000 Cup.

The regulations for the 2012 World Superbike Championship are out, and two names are noticeably not present from the homologation lists for World Superbike and World Supersport: the Ducati 1199 Panigale and the MV Agusta F3. That’s right, the two biggest motorcycles to debut in 2012 have not yet been blessed to compete in this season’s two premier production motorcycle racing classes.

For Ducatisti, the news shouldn’t come as too large of a surprise, since Ducati Corse has been clear that the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale would not compete in WSBK in its first year on the market, and instead would be developed in the World Superstock 1000 Cup for 2012. However, the FIM does not list the Ducati 1199 Panigale as homologated for WSTK either, listing instead the Ducati 1098R & 1098S respectively for both WSBK and WSTK.

For MV Agusta fans, this news could carry a bit more weight. With rumors circulating that Alstare Racing could pick up the reigns on an MV Agusta factory team on a 2012 MV Agusta F3 World Supersport entry, that hope seems now all but six-feet under. Making an announcement on her Facebook page, Patricia Dethor (wife of Alstare Team Principal Francis Batta) tipped the news that Alstare Racing would be taking a sabbatical from racing for 2012. This confirmed WBSK paddock gossip that a deal between Alstare and MV Agusta had fallen through, and could explain why the MV Agusta F3 has not been homologated for the series.

With this news already creating a stir on message forums and blogs, it’s important to note that the FIM’s recently released list of homologated entries is not the definitive entry list for racing in 2012, and can be updated at any point in time during the season. It is expected that Ducati will homologate the Panigale for WSTK in the coming weeks, though it seems unlikely that the MV Agusta F3 will go through similar paperwork.

2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale in Superstock Trim:

Bikes Homologated for World Superbike
Aprilia RSV4 1000 Factory : January 2009 – Present
BMW S 1000 RR : January 2009 – Present
Ducati 1098R : January 2008 – Present
Honda CBR 1000 RR : January 2008 – Present
Kawasaki ZX-10R : January 2008 – Present
Suzuki GSX-R 1000 : January 2009 – Present
Yamaha YZF R1 : January 2009 – Present

Bikes Homologated for World Supersport 600 & World Superstock 600:
Honda CBR 600 RR : January 2009 – Present
Kawasaki ZX-6R : January 2009 – Present
Suzuki GSX-R 600 : January 2008 – Present
Triumph Daytona 675 : January 2009 – fin
Triumph Daytona 675 R : January 2011 – Present
Yamaha YZF R6 : January 2008 – Present

Bikes Homologated for World Superstock 1000 Formula EWC (FIM Endurance):
Aprilia RSV4 1000 Factory : January 2009 – Present
Aprilia RSV4 1000 APRC Factory : December 2011– Present
BMW S 1000 RR : January 2009 – Present
Ducati 1198S: January 2009 – Present
Honda CBR 1000 RR : January 2008 – Present
Kawasaki ZX-10R : January 2008 – Present
KTM RC8 : March 2008 – Present
KTM RC8R : March 2009 – Present
Suzuki GSX-R 1000 : January 2009 – Present
Yamaha YZF R1 : January 2009 – Present

Source: FIM; Photos: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Daz says:

    I am just not feeling it for the panigale. It just looks cluttered and too busy. I would even go so far to say I prefer the 999 design over this one.

  2. smilo says:

    The last paragraph assigns this to not really news at all.
    If no one knows when MV intended to race the F3 then it is not really news. It has only just started production. Little early to race it. As for the 1199 then this was already known.

  3. Westward says:

    Awesome pics of a seemingly race ready bike for WSBK. Too bad it’s not one of the choices for purchase from your local dealer…

  4. john says:

    I really want to get excited over purchasing a new mv, but it just seems to be one “are you sure?” moment after another;

  5. Westward says:

    @ john,

    I agree. However, with Ducati, for the same price as a package, one seems to get so much more in electronics and other amenities…

  6. BBQdog says:

    @Daz: same to me. All too artificial, if they tried too much to make it something special.
    The design doesn’t seem a total but just exists of isolated parts and surfaces.

    And I am not surprised the bike isn’t homologated for this year. Ducati could not
    afford a bike not performing in WSB like Rossi’s bike did in MotoGP.

  7. BlogBIKERS says:

    Very nice motorcycle

  8. Smitch says:

    Agree Daz and BBQdog, I knew I wasn’t the only one. And yes, Bologna has all of their eggs in the GP basket right now.

  9. Good catch by @Asphalt_Rubber: The Ducati 1199 Panigale is not homologated. Thought they were racing in Superstock? http://t.co/AzYqQ196

  10. john says:

    ok, guys, maybe they are deservedly anxious on the racing front; but, as a street rider, which company is giving us more than ducati? certainly not mv; aprilia? uhhh?; lets hope the 1199 is a success, and the soon to follow 799 is as well;

  11. Smitch says:

    All they’ve given me lately is ugly new model after ugly new model, a sad season in gp, and an expanding plastic gas tank on my 848…

  12. WetMan says:

    The first time I saw a photo of the Panigale I thought it looked like it had been chased by the T-Rex from Jurassic park and the T-Rex has managed to take a bite out of the fairing…
    Now I think that it looks more like one of those exhibition models that show you what is happening under the skin…