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.

So Long World Superbike – Jonathan Rea Making a Move to MotoGP? On a Honda Production Racer?

08/13/2013 @ 1:55 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

So Long World Superbike   Jonathan Rea Making a Move to MotoGP? On a Honda Production Racer? jonathan rea repsol honda misano motogp scott jones 635x422

Jonathan Rea may be the latest rider to move out from World Superbike Championship and into the elite ranks of the MotoGP paddock, as according to MCN the Northern Irish rider has confirmed that he is in talks via HRC to move into the premier class for next season.

Currently riding for Ten Kate’s factory-backed Pata Honda team in WSBK, Rea has been virtually the only rider in World Superbike able to ride the Honda CBR1000RR race bike with any success, as Honda struggles to make its race package more approachable for other riders, and more competitive against the competition.

Carrying a torch for Honda’s WSBK effort, it looks like Rea’s efforts will finally be rewarded, if all goes according to plan, with a bump into MotoGP being the ultimate prize — likely on a Honda Production Racer.

While Honda is still developing the more affordable stripped-down version of the Honda RC213V for private teams, Big Red has been around the paddock trying to sell the five packages it plans on providing to MotoGP in 2014.

While rumor has it that Honda is having a tougher time closing sales than it originally thought, it has come out that HRC is mentioning Jonathan Rea’s name as riders that Honda would like to see on the machine.

One team that might be on the short list for a Honda Production Racer / Jonathan Rea combination is Paul Bird Motorsports (PBM), an ex-WSBK British team that has made no secret about its desire for an all-British rider line-up in MotoGP.

Currently running an Aprilia ART for rider Yonny Hernandez and an RSV4-powered bike of the team’s own design for Michael Laverty, it is not a large stretch of the imagination to see PBM drop Hernandez for Rea, especially as uncertainty circles around the ART project and which designation the motorcycle will have under Dorna’s new MotoGP rules.

Teams like PBM could certainly do worse than Rea, who has unequivocally shown himself to be among the top riders in WSBK. Rea also has MotoGP and Bridgestone experience (a huge plus), as the 26-year-old substituted for Casey Stoner at last year’s round at Misano — finishing a modest eighth place in the race.

Talking to Bike Sport News though, Rea isn’t limiting his options solely to Honda equipment, and says that he has been in talks with other private teams about a non-MSMA ride.

With Honda set to debut its long-rumored new MotoGP-inspired V4  sport bike, Rea’s options in WSBK are finally looking a bit brighter, and the Brit hasn’t ruled out staying in the premier production racing class. As always, time will tell.

Source: MCN & Bike Sport News; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. twoversion says:

    J-Ray up in da big house boyeeiiii!!!

    For serious though, he’s a really nice hard working professional motorcycle racer – the sport will be better off with guys like him on the world feed.

  2. @twoversion:

    Yeah, I thought he presented very well at Misano last year, both on the bike and on camera in interviews. He would be a most welcome addition to the paddock, I think.

  3. Alasdair says:

    I hope this ends up coming true – I thought Rea did a good job when he was on the Repsol bike. Did he not fill in for two rounds though?

  4. “Did he not fill in for two rounds though?”

    Yep. Misano (8th) and Aragon (7th), good for 17 points at the end of the season. Not bad for wildcard rides and no prior experience on MotoGP electronics or Bridgestone tires.

  5. TexusTim says:

    great addition to the motogp paddock hopefully on a honda….if it will be HONDA you can imagine his bikes will be “super massaged” thats how hrc does it. maybe a happy ending ?…lol

  6. Ken C. says:

    “…finishing a modest eighth place in the race.”

    He was hanging with guys like Nicky Hayden and Randy De Puniet in that race, granted they were on crappy machinery, and he was on a factory Honda, but still, to do that in your first MotoGP outing is pretty impressive.

  7. TwoWheelLoo says:

    Rea’s long term loyalty on less-than competitive machinery needs to be rewarded, hopefully it will be answered; either on a V4 honda or a GP ride. I would of tipped him to ride for Aprilia WSBK in 2013, but his loyalty for Honda is strong; Suzuka 8 hr and the wildcard for Repsol has been a good taste but Honda needs to give this guy a break.