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.

Moto2: Gino Rea Launches Self-Sponsored Wildcard Effort

03/11/2013 @ 9:41 am, by David Emmett2 COMMENTS

Moto2: Gino Rea Launches Self Sponsored Wildcard Effort gino rea sponsorship moto2

Despite losing his Moto2 ride after the withdrawal of a major sponsor from the ESGP team, Gino Rea is to contest selected Moto2 rounds in 2013. The young Englishman has received the go-ahead from Dorna and IRTA to enter as a wildcard at as many races as he can raise funds for in the 2013 season.

With material support from FTR, Rea will be testing and racing the 2013 version of the FTR Moto2 chassis. The team, run by Gino Rea and his father David, currently intend to race at 11 rounds of the Moto2 championship – basically, all of the European rounds. The exact number of races they will appear at will depend on the amount of money they can raise.

That is the big question for Rea. The young Londoner still needs to raise some £20,000 to contest each round. Rea has received strong support from his fan base, raising money from individual donations through the Gino Rea Club website. That effort continues, while Rea is also searching for more traditional sponsors. After the jump is a press release issued by Gino Rea, complete with contact details for potential sponsors.

Gino Rea to wildcard in Moto2 2013 World Championship under ‘Gino Rea Race Team’

In the wake of ESGP’s withdrawal from the Moto2 World Championship, Gino Rea was against the clock to find a ride for the 2013 season. With the World Superbike championship already under way and the approach of the final Moto2 test in Spain, the opportunities available to Gino were few and far between unless he could provide a six figure sum to race. Keen to replicate and further the success he enjoyed at the end of the 2012 season in Malaysia with his first Moto2 podium, Gino is not prepared to depart from the paddock just yet. With the support of his father David Rea, the pair are to run their own Moto2 team for wildcard entries in the 2013 Moto2 World Championship.

With guaranteed backing of FTR, Gino will be riding the latest 2013 FTR Moto2 bike which is currently being built according to the aerodynamic scan, tests and discussions of Gino and the FTR Factory. In addition, Gino will have the experience and expertise of distinguished world championship crew chief Andy Stone to support him.

Championship organisers Dorna and IRTA have given the go-ahead for Gino to wildcard at an unlimited number of races and now the Londoner is seeking the financial support to make his Moto2 quest possible.

Gino’s team, Gino Rea Race Team plan to enter the following eleven races in the MotoGP 2013 calendar:

05/05
 Spain
, Jerez
19/05 
France, 
Le Mans
02/06
 Italy, 
Mugello
16/06
 Spain, Catalunya
29/06
 Netherlands
, Assen
14/07
 Germany
, Sachsenring
25/08
 Czech Republic, 
Brno
01/09
 Great Britain
, Silverstone
15/09
 Italy San Marino, 
Misano
29/09
 Spain, Aragon
 MotorLand
10/11
 Spain, Valencia

Gino will be testing the FTR Moto2 bike at numerous UK tracks in addition to a three day test at the Jerez GP circuit prior to the race weekend.

The total cost for each round including the wildcard entry fee will be approximately £20,000. Gino is looking for sponsors to fund each race and can offer a range of sponsorship packages including per round coverage on his bike, MOTOGP paddock passes, hospitality and meet and greet experiences. It is hoped that this per race approach will be attractive to potential sponsors who could see their company logo showcased to the world as Gino competes for Moto2 glory.

The failure to source six figure sums lay behind the withdrawal of the ESGP team from the Moto2 Championship, whom Gino had agreed to ride for in 2013. In response to losing his ride, Gino appealed to all of his supporters by setting up GinoReaClub.com; an online donation page to fund his 2013 race campaign. After just three weeks, GinoReaClub.com and two individual sponsors have raised enough funds to cover one GP race. Gino hopes his project will encourage potential sponsors to get onboard and keep his Moto2 dream alive.

“I’m really excited about this project. I wanted to remain in the Moto2 Championship and running our own team was the only option. My father and I will run the team with bike support from the British FTR manufacturer. We will have the only British bike on the grid so every effort will go into getting results. Of course, it’s going to be difficult to go up against all the big budget teams but I believe we can do it. Our testing schedule will be very limited due to budget but I believe in FTR to build a competitive bike for me. Our first race will be at Jerez, the third round of the World Championship following Qatar and Austin. It’s a shame we can’t do these two but we hope that if we can attract enough sponsors we can fund the rest of the European races at least. I want to thank everyone who has supported me so far, both through GinoReaClub.com and individually. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of my supporters and I would love to repay them by being on the Moto2 grid this year.”

Source: Gino Rea

Comment:

  1. Gritboy says:

    Way to go Gino!

  2. J. Richards says:

    A great idea….. showcase your company etc. without having to commit to a full season… and especially if the race is in your own backyard (local). I would have thought Qatar would be an easy fill…. good luck Gino