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.

Ducati Corse Testing the 90% New GP12 This Week in Jerez

01/17/2012 @ 3:43 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Ducati Corse Testing the 90% New GP12 This Week in Jerez Ducati Desmosedici GP11 aerial 635x423

In Spain right now, an assembly of Ducati Corse technicians, mechanics, and riders are tucking into bed after completing the first of three days of MotoGP testing at the Spanish track. After failing to debut its new Ducati Desmosedici GP12 at the 2012 Wrooom media event, Ducati Corse is holding some very private tests at Jerez to sort out the GP12 before Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden ride the 1,000cc format machine at the Sepang test at the end of the month. Details about the Desmosedici GP12 have been sparse, though Ducati Corse General Manager Filippo Preziosi did let it be known that the 2012 Desmo was 90% new in its design.

Speculation has been rife as to whether Ducati had narrowed the cylinder angle on its V4 motor, and/or if the motor had been rotated backwards in the chassis. Both solutions would allow for the GP12′s engine to mounted further forward, an issue many believe to be the cause of the Desmosedici’s vague front-end issues. With Preziosi saying on more than one occasion that the basics of Ducati’s V4 engine were not the cause of Ducati’s woes, it comes as no surprise then to hear that Ducati will use a twin-spar aluminum frame instead of its carbon fiber monocoque design.

Starting their testing today at Jerez, it is expected that Ducati Corse will have Franco Battaini and Carlos Checa making sure the GP12 has all of its major glitches ironed out ahead of Malaysia. Battaini will surely be on the side of “making it work” while Checa will spend his time “making it go fast”. With no press allowed at Jerez, details throughout the week will likely be nonexistent, though Ducati Corse might grace us with a press release on Thursday or Friday that outlines in the most vague way possible that the team went around the Circuito de Jerez a number of times with or without positive improvement.

Perhaps more interesting is that Ducati is so late in the game in testing the “90% new” GP12 ahead of the first MotoGP test. An issue not being discussed in the media, in any sort of detail, is what sort of reading this has into the situation at Ducati Corse. Seen spinning its tires in the mud last season, in many ways Ducati’s worst enemy was itself, and the pressure it created to “fix” the GP11 now that it was being raced by Valentino Rossi.

While some doubt Rossi’s invincible status, the Desmosedici surely has its gremlins, and so far the early indication from Ducati is that those problems still have yet to be reeled in on a shorter leash. Hopefully for MotoGP fans, Sepang proves this perception wrong, otherwise it will be another two-manufacturer season for 2012 and the return of the 1,000cc bikes.

Source: MotoMatters & GPone

Comment:

  1. Ben Faster says:

    There will be a press release early if the times look good but to start over from scratch like this – it will be a miracle if they move it from a 7th 8th place to a 5th 6th place bike. Its not like the other guys ( Honda Freight train from hell) are just standing around doing nothing. Good Luck Ducati Corse! Your going to need it and I’m going to hope
    for the best!

  2. Dc4go says:

    new year new format… Hopefully they get it right like 2007!!!

  3. MikeD says:

    No Press allowed u say…………Aahhh, Ducati…u are so gutless and SOOOO lacking confidence and BALLS, LOTS OF BALLS.

    If u guys blow it don’t worry about it being known….’CAUSE IT WILL BE KNOWN…the next day or the next week…..but the dirty undies won’t be hidden forever.

    With that said…good luck, u guys sure NEED ALL IT U CAN GET.

  4. Westward says:

    Last years bike was ugly… It’s one thing to not be as fast as the competition, but the least they could have done was look good doing it…

    Hope the liveries and the shape of the fairings improve too…

  5. MikeD says:

    Talking about colors and liveries… I hope VR’s bike doesn’t look like Ronald McDonald’s bike…AGAIN.

  6. emerson bigguns says:

    Yep, the bike needs new fairings, engine, chassis. Other than that its fine.

  7. loki says:

    The engine’s fine, I’m sure. If anything, it’ll be rotated backwards a bit, like in the Panigale. It’s more interesting to see if it’s a “big bang” or not.

    As for the chassis, something is puzzling me: Ducati abandoned the trellis in 2008, just after winning the title on it. Then they tried the Carbon fiber which they didn’t properly figure out. And now, they’re trying to implement the twin spar Al used by the competition… that they beat in 2007 with a trellis frame. For me, that’s a double step back; I don’t see any reason in this madness. I don’t think that they’ve got absolutely everything out of that trellis frame in the first place, so why not getting back to that solution if the Carbon fiber monocoque didn’t work?

    OK, I know the trellis has it’s drawbacks (with the welding points and all that), but come on, after decades of working (and winning) with it, I think they’ve pretty much mastered it. Abandoning that in favor of what the japs do the best for many years doesn’t make any sense…

  8. RT@VR46Indonesia ''@Asphalt_Rubber: Ducati Corse Testing the 90% New GP12 This Week in Jerez – http://t.co/bOstPEX1 #motorcycle

  9. Ian Miles says:

    Dear Mike D. Ducati is the smallest manufacturer on the grid by a large margin (including many of the CRT companies). It has seen many other manufacturers come and go,. It has persisted and had some success in a category of motorcycling which is unfamiliar. Since 2003, one world rider and manufacturing championship, 32 wins mostly with middling riders. Yam in the same period have 55 wins, 37 with Rossi. Therefore 18 without.
    It has been bold at times, Bridgestone tyres, carbon frame (as demanded by Stacey Coner) and made mistakes clearly.
    This is significantly more than Kawasaki, Aprilia, KR, Suzuki and several others could muster. It is unlikely that any other manufacturer will do other than drop in some CRT bikes (hardly bold) next year either. Since joining in 83 Honda have really dominated MotoGP. Spencer, Gardener, Doohan, Rossi. Only Ducati and Yamahaha have mounted a challenge even then it took Rossi to do so with Yam, straight from Honda. Ducati managed to challenge without him since 2003.
    Do you really want another Moto2 championship * 500′s and 990′s. The CRT (500′s) bikes will not be on the pace compared to Motogp bikes (990′s).
    Even if you can’t stand the Italianness of Ducati better in the championship than out I say.

  10. Westward says:

    @Ian Miles

    Rossi has 46 victories on a Yamaha…

    @loki

    I see where you are coming from. Why not go back to it, or a carbon fibre version of it…

  11. @MikeD – all manufacturers have periods where no press is allowed during testing/development. This is not a giant leap of imagination for you, is it?

  12. MikeD says:

    RaceTrack Style:

    If we were talking about a MONEY MAKING/DEAL BREAKER production model…i would understand it…but a friggin prototype ? also known as IMPERFECT MONEY SUCKING PITS ?! Sorry, maybe there’s a lot more riding than my narrow “vision” can see.

    What’s there to loose ? “Face” ? Blah…is called prototype for a reason…they have to get it right…thing is not borned PERFECT unless ur a frigging Motorcycle God or something.

    Besides, what face is LEFT after all the Frame DRAMA ?!
    People don’t know what they’re talking about, there’s nothing WRONG with our bike…BLAH, BLAH, BLAH…and AT the bitter end they had to squat and TAKE IT like a man…new frame, new this, new that…basically a almost a complete new machine.

    I don’t know about the rest, but to me it means a lot when people come OUT clean and let it be it and call it by it’s name…not turd sugar coating for me, thanks.

    Ducati is a great company and i don’t want to see them go or leave GP… but they have to cut the “beating around the bush” CRAP and just let it all hang out…and if they see A PROBLEM aknowledge the danm thing and fix it, before SHIT HITS THE FAN(S).

  13. AC says:

    @loki

    The reason for the numerous changes, included abandoning the trellis frame, is the tires. Ducati’s argument is that the series has changed in the past few years to heavily cater towards twin spar bike design. So rather than fight against the grain, they’re going to roll with it.

    I hope it works! Their 2011 season was a disaster.

  14. Dc4go says:

    Ducati this Ducati that!!! Nobody ever talks about how many frames Perdosa went through in 2010… He test 28 frames through out the year …. Honda hasn’t won consistantly until Stoner got on the RV2112………. Hopefully Ducati is back up front with both factory riders….

  15. MikeD says:

    It’s easier to pray on the fallen lamb.LOL.

    Ok, ok…ur right(hard to arg against FACTS)…best of wishes to Ducati…(^_^)

  16. irksome says:

    The issue with the trellis frame was in the inability to create identical and predictable versions of it, due to the number of welds.

    As to changing the cylinder angle, Ducati has maintained their need to recreate their 90-degree production motor mystique, a point which is lost on me since their MotoGP bikes are 4-cylinder rather than twins.

  17. john walker says:

    Wow whats with all the negative talk about a company that can still compete in motogp should you all talk shame them out of the competition or should we simply embrace the FACT that they can hang in there, i hate the fact that 2 companys rule. im for what is best for the sport rather than who has the best bike

  18. @Dc4go – agree.

    @MikeD – Yamaha didn’t make everything public when they had many problems to fix when Rossi first joined.

    Every team has big challenges met by talented people, regardless of the brand. We will see their progress soon enough, without demanding public access in January testing.

    You mentioned these are Prototype machines..
    What other brand is willing to use this high profile platform to push design to new areas to the level Ducati is trying?

  19. MikeD says:

    @RaceTrackStyle said:

    You mentioned these are Prototype machines..
    What other brand is willing to use this high profile platform to push design to new areas to the level Ducati is trying?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Let’s just say they are trying…and let them be (-_-)’