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: Joan Lascorz & Kawasaki Talk for the First Time about the Crash at Imola

09/05/2012 @ 12:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

WSBK: Joan Lascorz & Kawasaki Talk for the First Time about the Crash at Imola Joan Lascorz WSBK Kawasaki 635x412

Recovering from the injuries he sustained while testing for Kawasaki at Imola, we learned earlier this year that Joan Lascorz was lucky to escape with his life from the frightful event, though he will never walk again. Suffering from paralysis from his abdomen down, the well-liked Spaniard is still recuperating, but has released a press release (along with Kawasaki) about the event, the months after it, and Jumbo’s coming future.

Recounting the incident, Lascorz also gives an insightful description of his current state of mind, and his thoughts about his road to a new life. The full press release is after the jump. It’s okay if you get a bit misty-eyed while reading it. We certainly did.

Following the accident at Imola during official testing in the Superbike World Championship last April 2 the Kawasaki Racing Team would like to communicate the following about the condition of Joan Lascorz. Joan remains hospitalised at the Institute Guttmann in Spain, immersed in a process of recovery and adaptation to his new life. It is expected that by the middle of September Joan will leave the centre.

Joan suffered a spinal cord injury in the C6 area due to an accidental impact against a concrete wall at the Imola Circuit. Joan suffered a dislocation of the C6 vertebra, which produced a total assignment of the spinal cord. Doctors said this injury is considered irreversible.

Joan has a quadriplegic paralysis, has no mobility in his legs, abdominal area or fingers, however he has feeling in fingers and hands. He has also mobility in his face, neck, arms, shoulders, elbows and wrists.

Joan retains 100 percent of his mental faculties and is refocusing his life, closing projects opened in World Superbike, but with the strength, motivation and opportunities to open additional, short-term and medium-term personal projects.

Joan’s accident occurred while testing. His fall was an accident, which happened when he was doing his job, going to the limit with a race bike. From the review of the team’s data and Joan’s own feelings the reason for the accident is now clearer.

Guim Roda, the Kawasaki Racing Team Manager, said “Joan lost control of the bike when entering a right-hander in fifth gear after a long straight, with the front wheel slightly off the ground. Returning this to contact the asphalt at high speed just by tilting the bike, Joan lost control of the bike and went off track. He had just made a batch of good lap times and was about to lower the fastest lap of the day against all riders on the track.”

Joan’s injuries are not the result of the fall itself, but from the fact that at nearly 200 km/h he hit an unprotected wall near the track.

Joan Lascorz Comments:
“What happened to me is a shame. I’m not sure if it was bad luck or that conditions in Imola were not suitable for a 240 HP bike. In any case, it is undoubtedly a full stop for my career as a SBK racer, and a period in my life. It’s a very difficult situation and I have to be very strong to go ahead. I want to thank for the endless support I’m getting: all motorcycle riders both in SBK and MotoGP, and all the other categories. I also want to thank all the racing fans, and the amateur and professional bikers that have shown me examples of their affection. Albert Llovera, Filippo Preziosi, Oscar Lanza, Isidre Esteve and Pau Bach visits and conversations have been invaluable to me.”

“I want to thank the countless doctors and nurses that have taken care of me, from the SBK Clinica Mobile, at the Maggiore Hospital in Bologna. Thanks to the UCI and the spinal injuries unit of Vall d’Hebron and here in the Guttmann: In all these places, I have been treated like a king.”

“Thanks also to the Catalan and Spanish Federation of Motorcycling and all the support I am having from Panthera wheelchairs, and above all, to all my family, my father Juan who is having a tough time, almost worse than me, my mother Maribel, my brothers and sisters, uncles, cousins, friends and teammates they have all been at any time with me.”

“Once out of the Guttman, I will deeply rethink my life and look for economic resources to suit my situation since it is not that easy. I will have to find new goals to continue enjoying life, but certainly not with the same intensity as it has been.”

“Sometimes I feel a great sadness for how quickly it changed, all because of that wall. And I have many thoughts in my head about what happened. Sometimes I think with optimism and what the future holds.”

“I have to do a lot of re-learning. It was not easy to reach the level I was at and it was the result of much effort by all those who have made it possible. From when I stopped delivering pizzas at age 18 with a 50 cc bike and began my career as a rider… It’s a very sad injustice but I have to face it in the best way possible. It is a type of injury that not only keeps you away from racing, but marks you for life and that’s something I’m going to live with forever.”

“When my friends made the number 17 badge that symbolised my recovery, I was not thinking for a moment about the impact it has had and the support I have seen these months. It has given me so much strength that people express solidarity with me since my accident and I thank them all wholeheartedly.”

“I was surprised to see Rossi, Dovizioso, Crutchlow, Hayden, Pedrosa, Espargaro, Jonny Hernandez, Lorenzo … and sure many more in MotoGP if not all, Marquez, Espargaro, Rabat, Rins … even more riders, but I’ve forgotten so many … Some teams that have been showing the sticker on their fairings. The Catalunya Caixa Repsol Team from Alzamora or Team Pons are still wearing it, and many others that I’ve forgotten to mention for sure. There have been over 10,000 stickers, and that is a point of pride for me.”

“In SBK I think all pilots use the stickers: Checa, Haslam, Smrz, Sykes, my substitute Loris Baz, Biaggi has it near the TV in the box, Rea, Melandri, Salom, who has decorated half of his bike. In my team KRT it is on the computers, on the bike and in the pit box and the BMW factory has put it on the front of their fairings.”

“Sofuoglu, Morais and the whole Kawasaki family; the Kawasaki STK600 and 1000 riders and of course to all those pilots STK. I thank Fujiwara and Akira Yanagawa in Japan as they have the badge in each race and the Japanese Green Team puts it on their bikes. Honda Spain has it on its website, Cup easyrace, many friends of the CEV pilots, and also there is three foot wide badge in the Motorland circuit entrance. Thanks to Solo Moto’s initiative to give it away with the magazine, and to Motocard and Kawasaki to finance it. All media have been interested and have collected my news despite my silence in all those levels I’ve seen.”

“Bikers sent me many e-mails with photos and encouragement and although I do not reply to all I read them all! Everyone who I’ve forgotten or haven’t seen at all: Thank you very much! 
To all those that have invited me to events and I have not shown up: This is because first I want to find and understand my new situation. That is why I want some time to be relaxed and lead a private life. But without giving up what Joan Lascorz could do in the motorcycle world, of which I am very proud, I have lived and have received recognition worldwide. To everyone, thanks all the expressions of support!”

The immediate future:
From September until the end of the first year Joan will be adapting to feelings and lifestyle outside the Guttmann and analyzing his long-term future.
So far all communication concerning Joan has been done from the Provec Racing Team, the company responsible for managing the Kawasaki Racing Team. As of now it will be organized differently, through the www.joanlascorz.com website, which will soon be completely updated.

From the team we’d like to ask all the riders, teams and everyone involved in the competition motorcycle world to keep alive the support via Joan’s badge symbol until the end of season. It has proved a boon to the spirits and hopes of Joan and to preserve his image as a rider. This allows him to keep thinking as a rider, with ambition and fighting spirit, which now more than ever he will need.

With many thanks for your kind attention,
All in the Kawasaki Racing Team and the Kawasaki family

Source: Kawasaki Racing

Comment:

  1. TexusTim says:

    His curage is palpable, godbless his recovery.

  2. MikeD says:

    Man…so young, son full of tallent and energy and yet………………..he got taken out like a pawn on a chess game.
    Life is a Biatch.
    Best of wishes to u guy.

  3. Ben says:

    Joan – what courageous words he has written about this horrible thing ! He seems like a very, very brave man – to face such a future is a hell of a lot more daunting than riding a Superbike.

    I have recently seen in the news, stem cell injections giving previously paralysed people feeling in parts of their body that was gone before – you can only hope these kind of medical advances continue to bring hope to people, who live without the use of the things most of us take for granted.

    Joan – you are a Lion.

  4. Jim L says:

    We often forget these brave men in the midst of excitement that is motorcycle racing. Anyone know where these badges can be purchased. It would be satisfying to have the badge on my bike and the money in his Joan’s pocket

  5. Westward says:

    *” Joan’s injuries are not the result of the fall itself, but from the fact that at nearly 200 km/h he hit an unprotected wall near the track.” — Kawasaki Racing

    *“What happened to me is a shame. I’m not sure if it was bad luck or that conditions in Imola were not suitable for a 240 HP bike.” –Joan Lascorz

    It is my impression that this is one of the reasons MotoGP does not race at certain circuits, like Imola and Suzuka. The result of safety policy enacted after the Kato incident. WBSK is less refined than MotoGP in this aspect.

    I too hope stem cell research helps to rectify such injuries. Luckily for Lascorz, he is alive to maybe one day take advantage of this technology.

    Stay positive and hopeful Lascorz, Should you ever come across this A&R article, we wish you all the best…

  6. Singletrack says:

    This is the single most frightening aspect of motorcycling for me – the prospect of spinal injury. I hope for Joan’s sake, and all others that modern medicine can restore his mobility soon.

    But we can’t eliminate risks in life, and life is not fair. My mother didn’t want me to ride a motorcycle for the percieved danger. But she died in a ‘routine’ traffic accident – a pedestrian run down on the sidewalk by an out of control driver that couldn’t tell the difference between the gas and the brake.

    I won’t give up motorcycling exactly for that reason.

  7. Tim says:

    I like Westwards comments, spot on.

    I want to know, how come know one is talking about that fact the new Pirelli’s he was testing failed carcase shredded and that was the major contributing factor why he crashed and has put him in the situation he is in now????????????????????????????