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.

These Are Sort of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Tech Specs

01/22/2013 @ 6:14 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

These Are Sort of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Tech Specs Ducati Desmosedici GP13 exhaust 635x423

Very much a cloak and dagger affair, it is always fairly entertaining to read the information that the manufacturers release regarding their MotoGP machines. Despite the fact that these are some of the most drool-over motorcycles on the planet, by rule of thumb the factories publish only the most general technical specifications possible.

If a company like Ducati thought they could get away with it, the release for the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 technical specifications would read something like “a racing machine with possibly two wheels and an engine” when disclosed to the press and public.

Part of the subterfuge is disclosing misinformation, and despite the fact the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 possibly did not have a full-liter displacement, Ducati Corse listed the machine as having 1,000cc of displacement, quoting the same figure this year. So what is the big deal, right?

Well for starters in 2012, we saw Ducati admit to having a seamless transmission (DST), a quick-shifting gearbox of its own, which was not too dissimilar to the HRC unit that got outed at the start of the 2011 season, and was rumored to give an extra tenth of a second per lap at certain courses in shift times, not to mention the added ability of shifting gears while at full-lean.

For 2013, Ducati’s confessions are limited to an additional 5hp over the GP12, though the actual peak figure possible is likely much higher than the quoted 235hp, and varies from course to course. The suspension from Öhlins also seems to have advanced for this coming season, and is quoted in the press release as having a “new factory evolution damping system.” Lastly, the GP13 is also sporting three more kilograms of weight, per the new MotoGP rules.

Engine: Liquid-cooled, 90 degree V4 four-stroke, desmodromic DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Capacity: 1,000cc
Maximum power: More than 235hp
Maximum speed: In excess of 330 km/h (205 mph)
Transmission: Ducati Seamless Transmission (DST). Chain final drive
Carburation: Indirect Magneti Marelli electronic injection, four throttle bodies with injectors above butterfly valves. Throttles operated by the new EVO 2 TCF (Throttle Control & Feedback) system
Fuel: Shell Racing V-Power
Lubricant: Shell Advance Ultra 4
Ignition: Magneti Marelli
Exhaust: Termignoni
Final Drive: D.I.D Chain
Frame: Aluminum
Suspension: Öhlins inverted 48mm fork and Öhlins shock absorber, adjustable for preload, new factory evolution damping system
Tires: Bridgestone 16.5” front and rear
Brakes: Brembo, two 320mm carbon front discs with four-piston callipers. Single stainless steel rear disc with two-piston calliper
Dry weight: 160 kg (353 lbs)

Source: Ducati Corse

Comment:

  1. 2ndclass says:

    “Carburation: Indirect Magneti Marelli electronic injection, four throttle bodies with injectors above butterfly valves. Throttles operated by the new EVO 2 TCF (Throttle Control & Feedback) system”

    So Ducati still haven’t learnt what every other manufacturer has: injectors above throttle butterflies = bad.

  2. ZootCadillac says:

    I’m unsure why this is cloak and dagger. These are the bike specs and they were released in the 01 GP13 Specs (EN) press release document on the 16th of January. How is any of this mysterious? it’s common knowledge.

    The displacement is as near to 1000cc as makes no difference and they don’t give a maximum HP and top speed because you’d only measure that down a salt flat where the figures would be meaningless. The numbers will vary by track and by set up.

    @2ndclass

    What makes you think that Ducati’s throttle body and injection system has issues? Do you really mean to suggest that they have an issue delivering fuel, or drive to the wheels? I think horsepower and response is hardly a problem when the looming issue of spec tyres remains.

  3. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Stoner could fix this mess.

  4. Damo says:

    “Stoner could fix this mess.”

    He couldn’t last time.

  5. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    I’m gonna tell Stoner you said that. Then he’ll fix this mess.

  6. 2ndclass says:

    @ZootCadillac:

    Putting the injectors above the butterflies means that small amounts of fuel can build up on them which then gets dumped down into the intake port next time the throttle is opened, giving a jerky throttle response, for example Suzuki GSR600. Now, what’s a big problem that Ducati’s riders have been having with the bikes lately…..?

  7. Ren-Jr. says:

    ^^^ Thaís is absolutely correct…

  8. Ren-Jr. says:

    ^^^ That is absolutely correct…

  9. ZootCadillac says:

    @2ndclass I’m aware of this problem. Now, if you have evidence of it happening in a Ducati garage in the last few years I’d be interested to read it because it’s not been made evident to me, in the pit lane. I also have 2 Desmosedici RR’s which have the same arrangement. No issues there either. Ducati is not Suzuki.
    Just because some other teams have found it difficult to master does not mean that the system is flawed.

    You have my word that I don’t know what you are referring to with your last statement and you have my word that I ought to know. The last issue Ducati have right now is throttle response and getting drive to the rear sprocket. You are suggesting that the fastest bike on the grid has fuel delivery problems. You’d be wrong.

    The only problem Ducati have right now is that the bike tears the arse out of the tyres because we are no longer allowed to work with Bridgestone to develop tyres to suit the bike. Change the rubber rules and old-fashioned fuel delivery or not, the Ducati bikes would be able to compete near the front again, rider permitting.

  10. ZootCadillac says:

    In fact forgive me. I was directed to this place via motomatters.com. I initially thought it was a big news outlet for the US. It appears I was wrong. its little more than a local blog with aggregation of stories from other sites and there is little conversation to be had in the comments which is what I enjoy. I can’t wait half a day for a response to a comment ( if it comes at all ) and still be waiting after 3 days for a comment to appear because someone can’t be bothered to check the moderation queue.

    Good luck and please continue to enjoy your motorcycling news but do try to do it at the sites that originally post them so as not to deny them advertising revenue.

    I’ll still be as ornery and argumentative especially with people who feel they know more than they actually do. I’ll just do it elsewhere. You know where to find me.

  11. 2ndclass says:

    I’m suggesting that the fastest bike on the grid has issues with overly aggressive power delivery, something it’s riders have said publicly, and is using a fuel injection setup that has caused the same issues on other motorcycles which was fixed by moving the main injectors below the throttle butterflies.

  12. ZootCadillac says:

    And I’m going to suggest the the ‘aggressive power delivery’ is a torque issue that has nothing to do with the problem you suggest, which would be irregular fuel delivery & response. “jerky throttle response” does not equate to “overly aggressive power delivery”. You seem to know what you are talking about but want to suggest that I don’t by throwing at me one perceived issue and suggesting it’s the cause of an unrelated one.

    I’ll say again. This could be easily sorted by Dorna allowing bespoke tyres again.

    I’m done. Sorry, I had email alerts for this one, your comment dragged me back.

  13. 2ndclass says:

    Ducati’s the only manufacturer suffering from it, and they’re the only one using that injector setup. Seems pretty cut and dried to me. No amount of rear grip is going to stop front end push from an aggressive initial power delivery.

    Also, the Ducati isn’t anywhere the fastest bike on the grid. Of the 18 tracks MotoGP is going to this year, Honda hold 11 top speed records to Ducati’s 4.

  14. ZootCadillac says:

    I rescind the comment “You seem to know what you are talking about”

  15. 2ndclass says:

    Says the guy who thinks an aggressive engine can be fixed with a better rear tyre.

  16. ZootCadillac says:

    I’ll back up my comments with a view of my workplace last year.

    http://twitpic.com/bxqnkz

    your armchair expertise is interesting but no need to insult me.

  17. Craig, I didn’t know you worked for Ducati Corse…