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 & Yamaha’s Gentlemen’s Agreement: Rossi to Test GP10 at Valencia – Announcement Delayed

07/21/2010 @ 3:01 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Ducati & Yamahas Gentlemens Agreement: Rossi to Test GP10 at Valencia   Announcement Delayed Valentino Rossi Ducati Yamaha gentlemens agreement 560x453

After breaking the news that Valentino Rossi signed a two-year contract with Ducati Corse, or as we like to refer to it: the worst kept secret in the MotoGP garage, we waited to see the official news of Rossi’s departure materialize after the weekend break, but to no avail. Knowing that our information was correct, we now understand why the announcement didn’t materialize when we expected it: because of a gentleman’s agreement between Ducati & Yamaha.

In exchange for delaying the announcement until after the American round at Laguna Seca (now slated for the Monday after racing at Brno), Yamaha is allowing Rossi to test the Ducati Desmosedici GP10 when MotoGP stops at Valencia at the end of the 2010 season.

Rossi hinted that an announcement about his future would wait until after the Czech GP, and now the Monday after Brno seems to be the venue where we’ll officially hear what we already know. Yamaha’s concern about an announcement before the Red Bull US GP reportedly stems from the company’s desire to keep Rossi’s star power at its highest as the team heads to the company’s most important motorcycle market.

Yamaha Motor USA made it obvious last year with their marketing efforts that when MotoGP comes to town, Yamaha intends to capitalize on the situation. With a bevy of humorous videos and photos coming from the Yamaha MotoGP teams and factory-backed riders, we expect a similar campaign will unfold this year as well. Obviously if news about Rossi heading to Ducati had been made official before these campaigns, they wouldn’t have the same meaning or weight.

The real question in the Ducati/Rossi saga though, is whether Jeremy Burgess will follow Rossi to Ducati, or stay at Yamaha. With some rumors pointing JB to a possible stint at HRC with Casey Stoner, we’ll likely have to wait until Rossi/Ducati’s announcement to know what the Yamaha garage will look like in 2011.

Source: La Gazzetta via Two Wheels Blog

Comment:

  1. Adam A says:

    If Yamaha wants to capitalize on the news at Laguna Seca it should be them announcing that Ben Spies is replacing Rossi.

  2. Faceplanter says:

    Yeah, you broke the new alright, and got a big pie in your face…..

  3. Jp says:

    Oh Snap @Faceplanter ^

  4. georGe aka-VintageWrencher says:

    “Breaking the news”? Havent other media outlets already reported this same rumour?
    Until a reputable source is named,the rider announces it or the mfg’s announce it,it is still rumour. Not saying I dont think it isnt gonna happen just that it aint a done deal til the Skinny Italian sings. lol

  5. rubyvrooom says:

    sometime i think AR gets too excited and pleased with it’s self. a objective editor might help.

  6. EnvironMoto says:

    Hmm. I’m excited and pleased with myself on a daily basis. Screw objectivity.

    Burgess has been quoted before as saying that he will follow his rider wherever he goes. I can’t believe the Ducati deal happened without his inclusion. I will be excited and pleased to see what happens after Brno.

  7. rubyvrooom says:

    if objectivity does not resonate, how does the term journalism feel?

    either way, your infograph was nice. more eyecandy please.

  8. Ducati & Yamaha’s Gentlemen’s Agreement: Rossi to Test GP10 at Valencia – Announ… – http://aspha.lt/16q #motorcycle

  9. Jenny Gun says:

    The contract is signed, done deal. No rumor, just fact. We’ve heard that from too many sources now.

    As far as Spies announcing at Seca, it won’t happen. Maybe at Indy though.

    Rossi’s announcement is holding up Yamaha from announcing anything, and it’s also holding up Ducati from announcing Hayden’s re-signing. For example, Yamaha can’t announce Ben Spies moving up to Fiat-Yamaha, without then outing themselves for letting Rossi go.

    At the end of the day, it’s all a series of dominos that starts with Rossi.

  10. emd says:

    salty britches some of you guys.. I still dont know what you would rather, hear nothing at all until the manufact. announces?

  11. rubyvrooom says:

    hey look, i love the site, read it everyday and since i don’t want to be “that guy” i will leave it at that…

  12. I’m actually one of those people that likes it when people disagree with me, and give us “feedback” about the job we’re doing here. That means our readers are digesting what we put out there, and making their own minds up for themselves. Independent thought is a rare thing, and it worries me when you just read a bunch of cheerleading in the comment sections on other sites.

    Yeah, it sucks us for us that they didn’t announce on that Monday like they had intended, but that doesn’t mean the news is wrong, or that Ducati hasn’t signed Rossi. Things change, and in MotoGP where there are tons of politics and egos, things change a lot.

    Some people might not believe the news until it comes from Rossi’s mouth, and that’s fine. You shouldn’t take things you read for granted, including news from A&R. Of course, if you hold fast to that strategy, you wouldn’t have believed that Michael Lock was leaving Ducati N.A….and we were the ones that broke that news before even the company knew about it.

    Enjoy the site, leave comments (both positive & negative), and ride safe.

    ps. Ruby, more infographs are on the way!

  13. BikePilot says:

    Good to see Ducati and Yamaha are working this out so well.

  14. Bjorn says:

    Ditto BikePilot.

    Although I’m not entirely surprised. When Rossi left Honda for Yamaha, Big Red held him to his contract right to the very last day; to delay testing on the YSRM1. Honda’s letter-of-the-law enforcement of The Doctor’s contract made it so much cooler when he won the World Championship during his 1st year at Yamaha. It was a great poke in the eye for Honda with their corporate philosophy of, “Engineering wins, the pilot is ballast.”
    I think Yamaha are smart enough to see how it made Honda look and take steps to avoid doing it to themselves. Besides, it is apparently common for companies to release riders after the racing finishes.

    Ciao, Bjorn.

  15. DNAPU999s says:

    I have it on good athourity (call it inside information also) that Val has one of two plans for this sport before his retirement. Neither of which do I know what he will choose.
    He has always wanted to ride for the Italian manufactuerer so he can continue to spend more time near his home. He has commented that being away from home has made life itself “interesting”.
    A. He plans to retire soon and is going to do so being closer to home while helping to develop the GP11 with the exception of testings and races.
    B. He wants to retire by winning a championship on all 5 major manufacturers ( HRC, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki, and Kawasaki). Which once again is inside information.

    This is my own insite and based on opinion only to follow.
    I how ever will interject the possibility of the latter not taking place to the dismay of enthusiast’s of suzuki and kawasaki. Both of these factories have issues with their engineering processes.
    Val has the unique ability with the assistance of Jeremy and the team to translate what the rider needs the bike to do in order to perform well. This is not something all riders on the circut can achieve. Claiming the bike ” won’t turn” or “wont break hard enought” for example is not benificial to the process of developing a bike properly.
    Thank you for your time.

  16. ufivkkbklyktdydvg says:

    DNAPU999s —i agree with u

  17. Smith says:

    Rossi to Ducati, Lorenzo must have frightened

  18. SPQR says:

    Instead of Kawasaki and Suzuki, I’d like to see Rossi have a go at Aprilia and BMW, if and when they decide to throw their hats onto the circuit.

  19. DNA999s says:

    I have a feeling that BMW may not enter the MOTOGP circut for some time. If you look at their global sales for sportbikes, it takes up less than 1% of global sales. MOTOGP as well as WSBK is about R&D as well as bike sales.
    As for Aprilia, who’s to say when they will make that leap.
    I stick with what I know and hear. I can only relate my information when I am permitted to leak it. My opinions are just that.