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.

WSBK: Suzuki Slams Sylvain Guintoli for Breach of Contract

10/15/2012 @ 1:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

WSBK: Suzuki Slams Sylvain Guintoli for Breach of Contract Sylvain Guintoli WSBK Miller Scott Jones

Some more controversy is brooding for World Superbike rider Sylvain Guintoli, as Paul Denning and the FIXI Crescent Suzuki have slammed the British-living French-born rider for backing out of his 2013 commitments with the team. Issuing a statement to the press, Crescent Suzuki states that Guintoli and the team came to a “full and final agreement” at Magny-Cours, which was singed by the Frenchman.

According to Crescent Suzuki, Guinters made significant steps with the team to test at Aragaon starting today, but since that agreement, Guintoli has informed the team that he has to back out of his testing obligation in order to consider a new offer from a rival team. That rival team is heavily rumored to be Aprilia Racing, which may be scrambling to find a replacement rider for the still undecided Max Biaggi, the now-current World Superbike Champion.

For devout WSBK fans, the statements from FIXI Crescent Suzuki sound similar to those made by Liberty Racing, when the Czech team let Guintoli go mid-season, citing a number of reasons, including the Frenchman’s on-track results. Starting strong early on, Liberty Racing’s swan song started at Monza, and ultimately saw the team release its riders one-by-one, before finally missing the last race at Magny-Cours altogether.

For added Drama Llama, the press statement from FIXI Crescent Suzuki and Paul Denning is after the jump.

Following recent media coverage regarding FIXI Crescent Suzuki and Sylvain Guintoli’s 2013 plans, the UK-based Suzuki World Superbike team would like to make the following statement.

Crescent came to a full and final agreement with Guintoli for him to join the team for 2013 on a one-year contract. After detailed discussion and amendments, the contract was signed at Magny-Cours by Guintoli and Team Principal Paul Denning. Guintoli made a lengthy and positive press interview regarding his decision to join the FIXI Crescent Suzuki squad, and engaged in a detailed meeting with Crescent’s engineers regarding bike set-up and specific test items for the Aragon test starting today (Monday 15th October).

Despite this clear and obvious commitment, Crescent now understands that Guintoli has since received an alternative offer from a rival manufacturer. He has told Crescent that he wants to consider this offer in detail and that he is now unable to commit to the Aragon test or to the agreement made with Crescent. Despite the obvious turmoil and potential damages created by these actions, Crescent has taken the decision to move forward and to simply release Guintoli from any obligations for the forthcoming season.

Following these developments, FIXI Crescent Suzuki and the newly re-signed Leon Camier will now be joined at this week’s World Superbike test at Aragon in Spain by Suzuki’s Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters.

The 25-year-old Australian from Mildura in the state of Victoria wrapped up his second Australian Superbike Championship this season – a title he’d also won in 2009 – and will make his debut for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team in Spain during the three–day test.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki will assess its rider options over the next few days, and will naturally be considering Waters as a candidate following the test, which will allow both team and rider to have a closer understanding of the mutual potential.

Paul Denning – Team Principal:

“I am extremely disappointed and surprised by Sylvain’s lack of integrity and total lack of respect for the mutual commitments made. He is the last rider I would have expected to behave in such a way, especially as we have had a close professional and personal relationship previously. Our team has always tried to stand by the fundamental principle that you stick to what you’ve agreed to, and in the long run it’s always been the best policy. Sylvain clearly doesn’t feel the same way and is prepared to ignore a handshake, a gentleman’s agreement and indeed a written contract – and that’s a great shame.

“Our energies are now focused on looking forward to the positive opportunities we have as a team in 2013. We are delighted that Josh has been able to join us on such short notice to help us with our plans for next season – he’s had a very strong season with the Suzuki Australian Superbike team and he performed brilliantly for our partners, Yoshimura, in the Suzuka 8-Hour race. I am sure he will settle in with the crew quickly and we’re all looking forward to seeing how he goes! ”

Source: FIXI Crescent Suzuki; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Josh eurosports says:

    Guinters is a talent for sure….while his move is less then that of a stand up guy ( he is French after all ) one can hardly blame him for getting as far away from that crap Suzuki and on to anything else, especially if that something else is Max’s Aprillia!! I’m sure his agreement to ride the most undeveloped bike on the grid was solely down to the lack of a better offer at the time…motogp isn’t the only series where a good ride is hard to come by.

  2. bemer2six says:

    (he is French after all) That was cold. LMAO….

  3. Andrew says:

    The deal with Aprilia (if that’s what it is) might well fall through because if this has anything to do with Biaggi it is very possible he will change his mind at the last moment, or the team is just looking for another rider as an insurance/bargaining tool for their negotiations with Biaggi.

    Usually I like Guintoli, but if he ends up with no ride at all it will serve him right after he pulled this move!

  4. SBPilot says:

    I’m surprised that there wasn’t even an article on Max winning the title by .5 of a point, but then to write something about Guintoli dropping Fixi Suzuki’s offer? I’m confused.

    Anyway, as previously stated, if Max’s Aprilia has been offered to Guintoli than you can’t blame him for dropping the arguably worst bike for arguably the best bike. But if Guintoli doesn’t get a better ride than the Fixi Suzuki (it was looking better with Camier in the last few rounds), then no one will feel sorry for him.

  5. patrick says:

    Bring Mladin in to test the bike and advise on changes for it. Maybe even get him racing on it. Now that would be interesting.

  6. Halfie 30 says:

    How did Mladin come up? He had his chance at World Superbikes and was an also round…. Get a grip on reality.

  7. Damo says:

    I would be happier seeing Guinters on anything but the Suzuki, so I am O.K. with this news.

  8. paulus says:

    A contract is a contract… Guintoli made an agreement.
    Money was spent and decisions made upon this.

    If the tables were reversed and Crescent Suzuki wanted to cancel… I am sure he would not be so amicable.

    I hope that Max stays and hope Guintoli loses a ride for 2013.

  9. alex says:

    Sorry but this is all incredibly one sided. While the team has the need to slam the rider. The rider would be foolish to slam the team. Aprilla and there management are probably well aware of the riders choice in this matter which probably has at least in part with either Crescents lack of development, results or actual commitment to the rider.

    It’s hard for anyone whose not been a professional racer to understand the difference between a teams stated goals and there actions towards them. But firsthand experience has taught me that even the best of teams can let down there riders either through management or a lack of cohesiveness or planning.

  10. paulus says:

    What opportunity for a lack of action by Crescent?… the contract is barely a couple of weeks old.
    The rider gets a better offer…. “I am off, Crescent”.

    The whole purpose of the contract is an agreement by both sides. Guintoli did not honour his.
    He signed, he should honour it.

    No class

  11. alex says:

    Contracts arent one sided things and have performance or deadline clauses for both teams – also and more importantly without a contract most aspects of a professional teams operations are withheld.

    If you’ve ever worked for a company you have likely seen things that stick out as obviously wrong sometimes right away. And with motorcycle or any other racing there is a need to be extremely precise in numerous ways from logistics to testing to scheduling.

    All of that is likely withheld from the rider beforehand.

    Sometimes things change like with Rossi at Yamaha after he injured his shoulder and the team momentum switched to Jorge. That all happened fairly quickly. And the 7 time world champ was unusually for a seasoned pro quite vocal about the situation.

  12. alex says:

    The public only sees the face of it – they don’t see teams failures. It’s possible Crescent promised a new more competitive package and through delays, resources or team planning changed that.

    This is likely what happened with Rossi at Ducati

  13. gsp75 says:

    @patrick, i totally agree !!!!

    @Halfie 30 , Im pretty sure Mat never did WSBK but he did test the Yosh Suzuki @ Philip Island while WSBK was there and he did SMOKE them all !!! Especially Troy Corser fellow Australian who was on the Alstare Suzuki