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.

Spoiler Alert: Hiccup to Its Start, But the Qatar GP Is In The Bag

04/13/2009 @ 7:31 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

Spoiler Alert: Hiccup to Its Start, But the Qatar GP Is In The Bag rossi qatar motogp 2009 560x401

After being rained out yesterday, the Qatar GP, at the Losail International Circuit, finally got its green flag today. There was however a good omen to the start of the season, question mark riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden made it onto the starting grid and finished a respectable result. We don’t want to give away anymore of the MotoGP season opener, so continue reading for all the spoilers.

 

It was Casey Stoner who took the top podium spot. The Australian rider had been leading the field all week in the qualifying and practice sessions. There were no surprises then when Casey finished a full 7 seconds ahead of runner-up, Valentino Rossi. It wasn’t all fun and games for Stoner though. A fuel consumption issue had the Australian modifying his style as he streaked out in front, and he explained afterwards that his turning up the heat later on in the race was not a direct response to some fast times coming from rival Valentino Rossi.

“We had a very small problem with fuel consumption, and the team had told me that if it was possible I should run in a way that would help it out. I tried faster corner speeds and riding with higher gears, but from about lap ten it wasn’t enough. I had to change my style again, but there were no problems after that”

Rossi, who finished fifth last year in Qatar, was pleased with his second place finish, saying “Today the conditions of the track were quite different to before and this evening in warm-up we encountered a couple of small problems related to tyres, so our strategy had to change slightly tonight. It’s a pity because I think last night we could have put up more of a fight, but anyway this is a good result to start the season, much better than last year.” Still, we can’t help but think that a 7 second time deficiet burns for a while longer than the trophy ceremony.

Colin Edwards showed that he can maintain his focus on race day, making a respectable fourth place finish, after a poor start. Launching from the starting line seems to be a weakness for the Texan, who has seen too many good grid positions lost rapidly when the green light says go.

Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa did end up making the start of the race, both with injuries that would keep many a rider in the paddock. Dani edged out Nicky by 0.3 seconds to take eleventh place, but considering the shape Hayden was in Saturday, we tip our hats off to him simply for getting back on the bike, despite his team’s protests.

After a strong showing the practice and qualifying sessions, Capirossi was a noticably missing from the race after crashing out 15 laps into the Grand Prix. The Italian lost the front end of his Rizla Suzuki while in third place. His efforts were just barely bettered by James Toseland who finished over a minute down from Stoner’s time, after running wide in turn 1 to build a sand castle in the desert.

It wasn’t the pretiest of races, but at least they got off the line. The next stop for MotoGP is April 26th, at the Polini Grand Prix in Japan.

Results from the 2009 Qatar MotoGP Race:

Pos.No.RiderManufacturerTimeDiff
127Casey STONERDUCATI42’53.984 
246Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA43’01.7557.771
399Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA43’10.22816.244
45Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA43’18.39424.410
54Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA43’21.24727.263
615Alex DE ANGELISHONDA43’23.86729.883
77Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI43’27.61133.627
836Mika KALLIODUCATI43’28.73934.755
924Toni ELIASHONDA43’33.46539.481
1014Randy DE PUNIETHONDA43’36.26842.284
113Dani PEDROSAHONDA43’42.51048.526
1269Nicky HAYDENDUCATI43’42.86748.883
1359Sete GIBERNAUDUCATI43’46.19952.215
1433Marco MELANDRIKAWASAKI43’50.36356.379
1572Yuki TAKAHASHIHONDA43’54.2701’00.286
1652James TOSELANDYAMAHA44’08.9621’14.978
1788Niccolo CANEPADUCATI44’09.0121’15.028
Not Classified
 65Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI13’49.50115 laps

Source: MotoGP

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