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.

Transcript: The Gay Question at Jerez

05/02/2013 @ 4:33 pm, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

Transcript: The Gay Question at Jerez jerez press conference 635x357

If you didn’t watch Thursday’s pre-event press conference for MotoGP at Jerez, it is worth a viewing right to the end (assuming you have a MotoGP.com account). Building off the news about the NBA’s Jason Collins coming out as gay in a self-written feature in Sport Illustrated, my good colleague David Emmett had the courage to inquire about the culture and acceptance of the MotoGP paddock for homosexual riders.

I will let David write in his own words the mood and response to the evening’s press conference, as well as address the comments, criticisms, and opinions put forth later on Twitter by members of the paddock, when learning about the event. For the sake of accuracy though, after the jump is a full transcript of David’s question, as put to riders Cal Crutchlow, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso, Stefan Bradl, and Scott Redding, as well as those riders’ responses to David’s inquiry.

David Emmett: “This is a question for everyone — it is quite a difficult question. Last week Jason Collins, an NBA player, admitted he was homosexual. Now there have been are no openly homosexual MotoGP riders. I want to hear your thoughts on why that is not the case. Are people afraid of coming out as gay, or are you all just more really interested in women?”

<laughter from the crowd>

Cal Crutchlow: “Should I go first?!”

David Emmett: “Yes please!”

<more laughter>

Cal Crutchlow: “Sorry David, I’m off bounds — I’m nearly married. That’s all I have to say…I don’t know. I don’t think it matters, you know? I think this sport is about racing motorcycles. It’s never came out that anybody is gay. But maybe there are some, just hidden in the closet, I don’t know. Maybe I’m sat with one of them. I don’t know.”

Jorge Lorenzo: “For the people who ask me on Twitter, or whatever, if I am gay this is the time that they will know I’m not gay. I respect the gay people. Of course, there is no problem.”

David Emmett: “Anyone else?”

Nick Harris: “Marc Marquez?”

<more laughter>

Marc Marquez: “I think it’s not a problem. I have great respect for everybody, and everybody from a different personalities. Not a problem.”

Andrea Dovisioso: “I never thought about that, that some riders can be gay, but I think for everybody it would be not a problem. But, it is difficult to think. I don’t know why.”

Stefan Bradl: “Maybe if it makes faster we will think about it…”

<laughter from the entire room>

Stefan Bradl: “But so far I don’t have the experience. I’m not gay also. But for sure I respect the guys that are gay. They are also normal person.”

Scott Redding: “Yeah, same for me. I’ve been with a girlfriend for a long time now, and not really thought of going the other way so. Again, respect to everyone, and it is what it is.”

Photo: MotoGP

Comment:

  1. Phil says:

    What you do off the track has no bearing and never should.

  2. Minibull says:

    Bloody hell, Redding…you tall ass bastard XD

  3. bemer2six says:

    Well that clears up that. Lol not that it ever mattered to me. what a rider does off the bike is his personal Business, but if he or she wants to come out and tell the world what their sexual preference is then more power to them. if the rider I support is Gay well then it is what it is and I will still support him or her…

  4. Earl Shives says:

    Yeah Minibull, I was a foot taller than Jorge when I met him. I thought Crutchlow to be a bigger fellow. Seems they’re all imps!

  5. meatspin says:

    motogp lists reddings height as just a bit over 6 feet so he is taller than average. Most of them are not very big people.

  6. meatspin says:

    easy to say it doesnt matter, but sponsors might think otherwise.

    Coming out for collins was important to him even though it might seem like such a trivial thing to a lot of people. It will be interesting to see if it affects his relationship with his team, organization and any future contracts he may have. He’s already had a long career already so to come out now is probably a lot easier than if he was just starting out.

  7. 76 says:

    Scott Redding gives me hope!

  8. smiler says:

    More application of apparent American liberal thinking and actual prejudice and narrow-minded culture makes it to a completely irrelevant subject in another international sport. Well done USA.
    Is this why Americans say things like fag, suck and suck my dick as insults?

  9. You know David Emmett lives in Holland and was born in England, right?

  10. Gutterslob says:

    Gotta love Bradl’s reply. Always seeking performance.

  11. Big D says:

    I wonder if being that tall would help or hurt Redding in MotoGP.

  12. Damo says:

    @smiler

    No idea where your train of thought just came from. You are so far off base, I don’t know where to start.

  13. TRL says:

    That was a silly question. There are no gay Latin men, just ask ‘em the’ll tell you.

  14. Mike says:

    @smiler There clearly IS some prejudice and narrow-mindedness on this page, and it’s all from you.

  15. Westward says:

    I find it more interesting that it’s the German that is willing to explore the performance aspect of the situation. Which leads me further to believe the Ducati is in good hands. The Germans will explore any aspect in order to win…

    If a guy can win, and have personality, I seriously doubt being gay would matter. However, if person is gay, losing, and has a bad attitude, being gay could be a detriment…

  16. proudAmerican says:

    The question was awkward, but the guys handled it well. At least they weren’t asked about their religion, political affiliation, or opinions on abortion. None of it matters. Just go race.

    @ Big D

    At his height, I think Redding can probably view the entire racetrack from the seat of his bike!! :-))

  17. Cpt.Slow says:

    Irrelevant topic…

    Great response by Bradl

    Smiler got owned, lol

  18. hoyt says:

    @Cpt. Slow – that was great.

  19. RJJR says:

    Reddings height is a detriment, mostly because of the weight it brings, and that is a more pertinent topic as far as racing is concerned. Bradl probably won over any potential gay targeted sponsors, and more money does make you faster, so…

  20. Clay says:

    I would have been pissed if I was Marquez…the way the guy asked if there was anybody else with a view on the topic, and then another reporter blurts out ‘Marc Marquez…??” as if insinuating that he is gay…

  21. Iron says:

    @Clay

    Nick Harris is not a reporter, he’s the guy who runs the press conferences (among other things he does during a race weekend). He was directing the question to Marquez next, as is customary when a question is asked of all the riders, and not insinuating anything.

  22. hodgmo says:

    So let me get this right. No rider ever said he was gay or ever said it was an issue of any kind, correct? But this reporter has to go for the “let’s interject the gay issue into MotoGP” even if, as far as we know, it does not even exist. Sounds like news sensationalism or propaganda to me.