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.

Jorge Lorenzo: Japan Yes, Motegi No

07/21/2011 @ 1:13 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Jorge Lorenzo: Japan Yes, Motegi No Jorge Lorenzo Motegi boycott

Asphalt & Rubber is coming to you live from Laguna Seca for the rest of the week and weekend, and upon our arrival at the historic Californian track, we had a moment to talk to Jorge Lorenzo about his recent statement that he would not race at Motegi, even before Dorna’s independent safety review of the Japanese track was published.

Responding to the criticism that his statement ran counter to the “With You Japan” message Yamaha and the rest of the MotoGP paddock have been showing, Lorenzo made his position clear that he was for Japan, but not Motegi. Perhaps hinting that another circuit should be chosen for the Japanese GP.

“You know, I am a little bit disappointed about the people that think that we are not with Japan, especially that Casey and me are not with Japan,” said an agitated Lorenzo. “It is not true. We are with Japan. I don’t have any problem going to Japan — to a place that is not very close to the Fukushima plant. We don’t have any problem.”

“I can go to Iwata, the Yamaha factory, and I don’t have any problem. But, I don’t think a race like MotoGP at Motegi will help Japan to be honest. We can go to Japan, but to a safe place. To be honest we only speak very little time about this. Later we have a meeting to discuss all of this. I don’t know what is going to happen, but our point, the rider’s point, is not to go to Motegi. Not to not go to Japan, but not to go to Motegi.”

These statements hint at the opportunity that Lorenzo, Stoner, and the similarly subscribing MotoGP riders would entertain a round held at a different Japanese circuit, like Suzuka for example. How receptive Dorna would be to such an idea remains to be seen though, let alone the logistical feasibility of hosting the Japanese GP at another venue with such short notice. One thing is for certain however, this is not the last word we’ve heard on the Motegi issue.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. kumo says:

    “but our point, the rider’s point”

    It’s his point. Not all peoples point. But it’s funny… Now he’s changing sightly his speech “Japan ok, is Motegi only”

    Looks like he have forgotten why they stop racing at Suzuka also…

  2. Motominded says:

    Suzuka and Sugo are ready! Daijiro Kato’s passing was terrible but it does not mean Suzuka is the most dangerous track on earth. It was widely agreed his crash was due to rider error. After 2003, the Japanese championship still held events there and the Suzuka 8 hour is still an important race for the Japanese brands. To add, there have been riders killed at Brands Hatch, Indy, and Misano in the last few years but the WSBK/WSS and MotoGP still return there. I feel it is time Suzuka was reevaluated. Or even Sugo be given another chance at the world stage as Motegi isn’t as exciting as the others.

  3. Ricardo says:

    I wouldn’t send my family or go myself to a place which just had a catastrophe of a magnitude that big like nothing happened. The government is putting a spin on reality as usual. And we now how untrustworthy government is regardless of country or party. Sorry for bringing politics here.

    Anyways….Go Lorenzo!

  4. kylewest says:

    i’d say bring it to suzuka.
    then lets get hockenhiem back in order!!!

  5. 2ndclass says:

    @Motominded:

    Kato’s crash may have been rider error, but a track at which a rider can hit a wall with the speed at which he did after coming off is just not safe, particularly given the increase in speed of MotoGP bikes in the 8 years since his passing. Comparing Kato’s passing to accidents where riders have been killed after being struck by other bikes is disingenuous.

  6. David Emmett says:

    Jorge Lorenzo: Japan Yes, Motegi No – http://aspha.lt/pl #motorcycle

  7. Westward says:

    +1 to 2ndclass

    Yes, the Kato incident was pilot error, but it is one that could happen again, that would almost assuredly result in the same out come… However, the same cannot be said for the Jones, Tomizawa, and Lenz incidents…

    If the circuit at Suzuka still runs near the wall Kato struck, then it is still unsafe…