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.

Fiat Boss Fuels Ferrari/Rossi Rumors

04/22/2010 @ 3:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Fiat Boss Fuels Ferrari/Rossi Rumors Ferrari Rossi Formula One test 560x350

Fiat Chairman Luca di Montezemolo has thrown some more fuel on the never-ending fires about a Valentino Rossi’s rumored switch to Formula One racing. Fiat as you might remember is the title sponsor of the factory Yamaha MotoGP team, and also the parent company to Ferrari. In what he calls a “great idea”, di Montezemolo made it clear that he would like to see the seven-time World Champion driving for Corse Rosa.

After watching perhaps the greatest driver of all-time defect from Ferrari to Mercedes-Benz, Fiat (and Ferrari) are eager to have another mantle that they can hang their laurels on – enter Valentino Rossi.

Rossi would reportedly drive a third car in the Formula One Championship, perhaps as a satellite driver. Talking to CNN, Ferrari’s official position on a third Rossi car is that “the possibility for the major manufacturers to provide the private teams with a third car would be very effective in order to increase the appeal of Formula One,” he said. “The potential involvement of such a extraordinary champion as Valentino Rossi would be even more helpful.”

That’s a pretty glowing and inviting response from the teams and companies behind the proposed move, but of course there’s one person we’re still remaining to hear from in this rumor: Valentino Rossi himself.

Rossi has tested Formula One cars time and time again, but has always been cautious about his prospects in the series. Despite having little seat time in the carts, Rossi has shown himself to be a skilled driver, and of course he only has this season remaining on his contract, which is up for renewal. Will Rossi make the switch to Formula One, or is this just another chapter in what could become one of the greatest silly seasons we’ve seen in MotoGP for a long time? Only time will tell, but we’re guessing that as long as the Italian two-wheeled Champion is winning races, he’ll remain in MotoGP.

Comment:

  1. monkeyfumi says:

    No matter how many times someone tries to kill it, this story just won’t die.

  2. Fiat Boss Fuels Ferrari/Rossi Rumors – http://bit.ly/dfoWXK #motorcycle

  3. ladyhawke82 says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Fiat Boss Fuels Ferrari/Rossi Rumors – http://bit.ly/dfoWXK #motorcycle

  4. RT @Asphalt_Rubber Fiat Boss Fuels Ferrari/Rossi Rumors – http://bit.ly/dfoWXK #motorcycle

  5. loki says:

    This is very good marketing from Ferrari, and to a lesser extent from Fiat, that’s all. Rossi was pretty clear in voicing what anyone (realistic enough) would say about the subject – “When I’ll get bored of MotoGP, I’ll probably be too old for Formula 1″. And being too old is an issue in modern Formula 1. Schumacher who was really the sport’s greatest, shows it best.

    This being said, if Rossi is looking for different thrills, I would warmly suggest him a closer move, to Ducati. I would be rude if I’d say that “if he has real balls, he *must* go there and challenge the Stonerhead on his own ground”, wouldn’t I?

  6. MTGR says:

    Rossi has shown good times in an F1 car, but never, to my knowledge in the identical car, tire, fuel load, and set-up as the drivers everyone compares him to. Consider that F1 cars this year have been as much as 10 seconds a lap slower just by adding a full fuel load and you can see that changing up those kinds of variables makes it impossible to determine if Rossi really was going fast or not. I think he has never been put into comparable equipment on purpose, not just to preserve the latest greatest gear for the current factory drivers but also to assure that Rossi and Ferrari both come out looking as good as possible. And I am sure Rossi knows it. And so does Ferrari, this is just hype to get media coverage to help offset the costs of giving Rossi some seat-time for his personal enjoyment.

    Rossi is a talented racer, no doubt, but even great drivers and world champs routinely finish at the back in F1 when the car is not absolutely the best on the grid. Why would his risk further wealth and health in a sport where, argueably, the limitations of the machine cannot be overcome by the operator to the degree they can on a motorcycle and he is not in a position to have the rules and cars altrered to suit him (as he is in MotoGp).

    That said, if I were in his shoes I would keep saying yes to offers just to keep trying an F1 car.

  7. LASOVAN says:

    Corse Rosa =PINK RACES…….WTF

  8. Peter says:

    @MTGR:

    what do you mean Rossi is in a position to have the rules changed to suit him in MotoGP? not saying you’re wrong, but just curious.

  9. Odie says:

    @Peter

    What I think MTGR means is that Rossi is or was on some sort of MotoGP safety committee (I forget the details) and people listen to him when he starts talking about rules. If he *really* wants something changed, chances are good that they will accommodate him.

  10. Peter says:

    ah. i see. that doesn’t seem that bad.