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.

FB Corse Spins MotoGP Rejection, Will Enter at Jerez

03/17/2010 @ 3:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

FB Corse Spins MotoGP Rejection, Will Enter at Jerez Garry McCoy FB Corse MotoGP

Literally no sooner did we finish our piece on FB Corse missing the boat to start MotoGP at Qatar, than the want-to-be race team released its own press statement, putting some spin on the situation. In what seems to defy logic, FB Corse claims that they have been admitted into MotoGP, and will start at Jerez round of the series, which seems to “enhance” the statement by Dorna that the team may be able “to join the grid once the MotoGP paddock returns for the European stage of the championship.”

This is of course not the first time the team has put a positively rose-colored perspective on a situation, one example of which being their adamant statements that John Hopkins was confirmed to ride for the team (this would latter prove to be a false statement). Continue reading for the rest of this racing melodrama.

FB Corse has seemingly taken Dorna’s suggestion to test and develop the bike further to heart, if not passing the idea off as their own. This is of course despite the fact the team was nearly 7.5 seconds off Casey Stoner’s qualifying time at Valencia last year. According to SportMediaset, McCoy’s best lap was a 1’40, compared to Stoner’s lap record of 1’32.582. FB Corse claims that McCoy lapped the Spanish track without the aid of electronic traction and stability components. Of course at this point, we have to wonder if the bike is even equipped with such devices, and if it was, why they would be off on such an important event for the team.

FB Corse retorts saying that their reason for the au naturel testing condition was to allow Garry McCoy to get a feel for the bike without electronics interfering with the bike’s handling characteristics. Our guess is the electronics haven’t been fully developed yet to be track ready, and thus weren’t installed on the FB01. This would seem to jive with the statements from Uncini that the team as still in the early-stages of preparation, but you can make your own assessments on where the truth resides. Read the ludicrous press release below, and compare it with the statements made earlier by Dorna’s Franco Uncini.

FB CORSE IN THE MOTOGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Dorna confirms FB Corse entry in the MotoGP World Championship.

Valencia, 17th march 2010

Today, Franco Uncini and Oscar Gallardo have given their approval to FB Corse after a full day test in Valencia track.

After being confirmed as the new entry, the team FB Corse and Garry McCoy have decided to continue developing the FB01 and start the championship in the Jerez round.

McCoy has done a three days test with a very positive result. The FB01 has been running with no electronics for the Australian to feel the bike.

Garry McCoy: “ What we achieved today for me was remarkable because from where we started from the first day to achieve so many laps today, I really did not expect that at all. I was really wanting to go to Qatar and Japan but I think that our decision is very wise as we have to concentrate on the development of the bike in order to improve and be competitive from the first race.”

Sergio Bertocchi: “I am really happy about all the compliments we have received from Dorna and Franco Uncini. I was not really expecting to be at that level. I am very satisfied that they allow us to enter the championship when we want and we will do the necessary development in order to enter with the best conditions.”

Andrea Ferrari: “I am very satisfied about the results of today. The team has done a great job and they have been working very hard to achieve our main goal. Right now is very important to continue developing the bike.”

Franco Antoniazzi (Oral Engineering): “ We have done an extraordinary job today. There is an absolute symbiosis between Garry, the team and the bike that allow us to work in the best conditions. Garry has everything needed to go further with this project.”

Tomorrow the FB Corse team will continue testing in the Valencia circuit.

Source: Sport Media Set via MotoMatters

Comment:

  1. Sean says:

    Would it really be a problem for MotoGP if they turned up at Valencia, ran the qualifying practice sessions and then failed to qualify for the race. Its not like there is a lack of garage space.

  2. patron says:

    A couple years ago, I believe Ant West didn’t qualify for a race on the Kawasaki, and he was still allowed to take part. They should let the bike race if only to add another bike to the grid and to get a team the track time it needs. As long as they aren’t in any danger of becoming a back-marker, and a hindrance to the front runners, why not? They way the team spun the denial makes it a little strange though.

  3. Jenny Gun says:

    At their current pace, FB Corse would lapped every 12 laps at Valencia. That means they’d be double lapped over the course of the race. I think if they were allowed to race as you suggest the reaction would be why such a team was allowed on the grid. You have to set a standard somewhere, it’s not even competition at that point.

  4. patron says:

    Thats why I said “As long as they aren’t in any danger of becoming a back-marker”. If thats the case than you are right. That minimum standard should be set. They should not be allowed to join the group if they cant at the very least stay out of the way. I was too lazy to do the math.

  5. Sean says:

    2 or 3 locals (wildcards) on 125s fail to qualify for the race every year at the Australian GP. They don’t have to be inspected by Dorna prior to the event before they are allowed to try and qualify. When dont make the cut they dont get to race. It should be similar for MotoGP.