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.

Elena Myers Will Lap the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R at Indy GP

08/19/2011 @ 9:33 am, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS

Elena Myers Will Lap the Rizla Suzuki GSV R at Indy GP Elena Myers Rizla Suzuki garage Valencia 635x954

AMA Pro Supersport racer Elena Myers will have a chance to flog one of the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R bikes at the Indianapolis GP this year. Getting an opportunity to acquaint herself with the MotoGP machinery, Myers will do a few laps at 12:45 PM on Thursday before the Indy GP, in a PR event put together by American Suzuki. After a similar publicity event fell-through last year, the ride will be Myers’s first on a GP bike, and hopefully a glimpse into the future, as the young California native has made it clear that the premier class is where she wants to take her career.

“Words cannot describe how excited I am to ride the Suzuki GSV-R at Indy during the MotoGP weekend this year,” said Myers. “We had talked about it last year, but things didn’t work out, so here’s a big thanks to everyone involved for making this possible. When I sat on the bike last year, it felt like it was made to fit me. So actually being able to spin a few laps on it will be quite the treat. I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”

For the Rizla Suzuki team, the event means a little bit more press for its MotoGP effort, which has been gaining steam all season long. Suzuki’s plans for MotoGP next season are still a bit dubious, with Paul Denning and his squad likely to continue running their 800cc machine, despite the rest of the grid’s move to 1,000-ish bikes.

“We are delighted to be able to give Elena this opportunity to get some understanding of how Suzuki’s MotoGP bike feels and operates,” said Paul Denning. “She is a very talented racer – not ‘for a girl’ – she’s just fast full-stop! MotoGP is the pinnacle of every racer’s ambition, and there aren’t so many people who have ridden the very latest 2011 GSV-R – Bautista, Hopkins, Aoki and now Elena! I would guess she’s also the only female racer to have ever ridden an 800cc MotoGP machine? Either way, we really hope she enjoys the experience.”

Source: American Suzuki; Photo Rizla Suzuki

Comment:

  1. Isaac Chavira says:

    Please be 18, please be 18, please be 18,………………….

  2. Chris says:

    The day a girl is competitive on a MotoGP bike will just prove that they have become to easy to ride, although maybe that day is already here she could probably kick Pedrosa’s ass.

  3. Way to keep it classy guys.

  4. Kevin says:

    @Chris – Wow. That’s one of the more baseless comments I’ve ever heard.

  5. Alex says:

    @Chris – that’s the most stupid comment I’ve heard. It’s not all girls fault they can ride better than you.

  6. Wedge says:

    @Chris – wow, you are an absolute idiot. Go crawl back into the 1950s hole you came out of.

  7. berzerker says:

    “glimpse into the future”???? oh stop…. to imply she has the talent to ride in MotoGP
    is foolish…. let us see how well she fares when she’s leaves the Kiddie Class and the dose of racing reality that awaits in Daytona Sportbikes…. just ask Zalusky about her Superbike results…

  8. Shaitan says:

    Kick ass Elena!!! Will love to see you race for Rizla!!!

  9. Shaitan says:

    @ Chris – go blow yourself. A great rider has nothing to do with sex or race!

  10. Dr. Gellar says:

    My 3-year old daughter is wearing her Elena Myers T-shirt right now. I hope that one day she will look to someone like Elena as one of her heroes…

  11. Marc F says:

    Making NorCal proud. I challenge you to find another 17yo on the planet with her talent as a racer and poise as a person. Looking forward to watching her continued rise through the ranks.

  12. Patrick G says:

    It is to be hoped that she WON’T be riding the GSV-R shown in the picture.

    Its got no front brakes!

  13. Chris says:

    Ha Ha I stick to what I said I’m sure she is way faster than me. But there is no girl now or ever that could hold on to an NSR 500 or an RGV 500 the way the boys used to.

  14. Dr. Gellar says:

    @Chris

    Hate you tell you this…but there weren’t too many boys that could honestly hold on to those 500cc GP bikes either. And seeing how those bikes are now extinct, of course no girl in the future will ever get the chance to prove you wrong…

  15. Chris says:

    Thats the point Moto GP is not nearly as physical as it once was a girl would have had as much chance as beating Kenny Roberts as playing in the NFL.(on a bike of that era)There are great woman athletes but thats why there is woman & men’s sports in a true physical competion the top woman can’t compete with men. Sorry its a fact.

  16. Spamtasticus says:

    Chris,

    A motorcycle blog is not the place to vent your pent up frustrations over all the women who have rejected you or kicked your ass on the track (that is if you even race).

  17. 76 says:

    So Chirs, your saying basically saying no woman can physically match the strength of muscleman Dani Pedrosa? Because last time I checked he could hold on to the bike, even turn it.

    Some other sports, sure, there is a physical makeup that a male will for the most part always dominate, Hockey, Football, Basketball, etc etc. but I must ask, where on the grid are you seeing this male physical trait being such the advantage? The last time I checked the average GP rider is not a linebacker or 6foot8

    Take a second and think, maybe its who actually starts riding at 4, have parents dedicated to their kid racing for the next 10 years, all while footing the bill in a sport a hell of alot more expensive than the ones mentioned above.

  18. johnrdupree says:

    Chris, maybe you’d like to discuss your theory of how well women compete with men with the likes of Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher, Ashley Force, or Angelle Sampey. I’m sure they have more insight into this area than you do.

  19. Kurt says:

    To all readers. Maybe it would benefit us all to do as my father used to say… “Engage brain before opening mouth”. Or, in this case, typing on keyboard.

    In todays society where it is proven that women are as good at, or better than males at so-called “male dominated” professions, we should all be proud of that fact. Most woman sharpshooters are as good as their male counterparts. Most women gymnastics are as good, or better. Most woman dancers are as good, or better. Hmmm… sounds like so many sports that require physical prowess and absolute strength and determination are being handled by women as well as their male counterparts. Speaking of prowess… How big do you think Valentino is? One of the FEW racers I can think of who’s even REMOTELY physical looking is Ben Spies. He seems to be the exception, rather than the rule.

    Besides… Arent we all in this for the same reason? To enjoy the sport? Do you get off on discouraging young children at a youth baseball game? Or, do you encourage them all because of the passion and effort they put into the game? It’s the same with racing… I might not root for the same racer as you, but at least I have the decency as an adult to acknowledge the fact that other racers are talented as well. Do I want to see Valentino win the next race? Heck no… but, do I sit around and bash on him based on some archaic notion of preconception that because he’s “XYZ” he cant race worth s**t? Again… no. As an adult, if you cant offer any positive words or encouragement towards the new and up-and-coming talent, have the decency to keep your mouth shut. If Elena Myers ends up NOT having the talent to hack it in the big leagues… trust me, she’ll be quickly weeded out. Pro race teams dont pick operators based solely on PR and marketing. There’s got to be an agreement from a consortium of officials that she is worth the risk as much as, or more than anybody else.

    If you take nothing else from my words, think about this. Would you say the same things or make the same comments if your mother and father were involved in the conversation with you?

    Nuff Said.

  20. SBPilot says:

    I think this is great to see a girl rise through the ranks in motorbike racing. I personally don’t think she can handle a GP bike right now, or even a Superbike, but the whole event is a PR thing, it’s not a test sesssion for her and I’m positive the Suzuki guys will have the map on that bike well below what Bautista rides it at. Again, everyone has to remember it’s a PR event, and she’s a very lucky girl to be able to turn a few laps on that bike. It’s good for the sport, and even better for all the girls in the world/country that want someone to look up to in motorbike racing. For that Kudos to Paul Denning and Rizla Suzuki for setting this up.

    I hope the press doesn’t try to dissect her lap times during her few laps and start speculating if she’s good enough. She’s only 17(?), no one rides MotoGp bikes at 17.

  21. berzerker says:

    better yet… throw her on a Moto2 ride for Indy…. now that will be a reality check….

  22. 998 says:

    Stoner needs an umberlla girl for Japan

  23. Billy B.Tso says:

    wow, I’m embarrassed to be on the same website as some of the negative/sexist posters…no place for that in this century!!…I think what this young lady has achieved so far is brilliant, and should be given every chance as the “strong boys” to progress in the sport! We should be happy to see geat young talented “people” of any sex or colour rising up…you never know in the future there could be a female motogp star contending for the title! and i hope this happens. “Dr.Gellar” your first post…man that got to me! i hear you brother! Good on you Elena, I’m backing you!

  24. Pacasp says:

    Wow. The politically correct crowd is really blowing hard now. A girl is not as fast as a guy on a GP motorcycle, history proves that. I’ve just read more ignorant, blinders-on comments from the crowd defending Elena than Chris.
    Dannica Patrick? Are you kidding? I can’t think of ANYone who’s gotten more press for finishing top 10 than her- BEACUSE SHES A WOMAN, and no other reason.
    Women haven’t been “kept out” of GP racing because of sexism, they’re not good enough to do it-plain and simple. Check the records. They’ve had plenty of opportunities to prove themselves in 250s and 125s.
    I would encourage all you politically correct types to open your minds and not be so myopic and knee-jerk in your attacks on Chris. The truth hurts. It’s not his fault girls aren’t good enough to race GP bikes.

  25. Richard Gozinya says:

    She’s 17 years old, and people are passing judgement on her riding abilities already. She’ll likely get more attention than other, male riders. But time will tell if she’s worthy of that or not. She certainly has the competitive drive, we’ll have to wait and see if she has the skills to back it up. She’s already outperformed the overwhelming majority of male racers out there, and could no doubt outride anybody posting here. And she’s managed to do that by the age of 17. I’d say the odds are pretty good she’ll make it to MotoGP, might even do well there.

    She’s an up and coming talent, I just hope she can deal with all the added pressure her gender places on her.

  26. Dr. Gellar says:

    Pacasp…

    The ignorance you mention is all yours….and Chris’ too. Just because a female racer has yet to be truly successful in MotoGP or even the lower classes of motorcycle road-racing, doesn’t mean that that will always be the case in the future. The odds may be heavily against them, but the future isn’t set in stone. As you said yourself, open your mind…

  27. I wonder how many female MotoGP champions there are that we’ll never hear about because little girls are supposed to play with dolls, not race pocket bikes. Though there’s more than a few more pages still left to write in the story of Elena’s career, perhaps her biggest achievement win, lose, or draw will be changing that perception.

  28. Isaac Chavira says:

    Hey those of you who think she can’t, think again! This girl would take any one of us to school.

  29. CJ says:

    Stalin Said:

    “In all of Soviet Russia Chris still faggot.”