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.

Josh Herrin Will Race Next Year in the Moto2 Championship

09/29/2013 @ 9:59 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Josh Herrin Will Race Next Year in the Moto2 Championship josh herrin ama superbike laguna seca daniel lo 635x423

After sewing up the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Championship, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider Josh Herrin is now headed to greener pastures, as the 23-year-old will make the trek across the pond, and join the Moto2 Championship for the 2014 season.

Announcing the move at the AMA awards banquet, Herrin was tight-lipped on who he would be racing for, but Asphalt & Rubber sources have confirmed that the American will be racing with Caterham Racing for the next two seasons. Replacing Herrin at Monster Energy Graves Yamaha is Cameron Beaubier, who will be Yamaha’s investment in the future, as he races alongside Josh Hayes.

Hotly tipped to be leaving the American superbike series since last month, Herrin was originally linked with a ride in the MarcVDS camp. Talks however fell through when MarcVDS reportedly required Herrin to bring sponsorship money with him to the Moto2 series, something the young American rider could not guarantee.

A bit of gamble itself, but flush with cash, Caterham Racing picked up where MarcVDS left off, helping the young American champion move out of the AMA Pro Racing series, where hopefully his career can continue to grow.

Herrin is the first rider to make the jump from the AMA to the Moto2 Championship, and if successful, the Californian could pave the way for other talented American road racers who are being left by the wayside in their national championship.

We wish Josh the best of luck in his move, and look forward to seeing him in the Grand Prix paddock.

Source: Bothan Spies; Photo: © 2013 Daniel Lo / Corner Speed Photo – All Rights Reserved

Note: Previously, this article incorrectly mentioned Mahindra Racing as Herrin’s new team in the Moto2 Championship. It has since been corrected.

Comment:

  1. Josh says:

    This is awesome news.. I wish we could get more american blood in MotoGP and maybe grow the popularity of road racing here in the USA since the AMA blows at it.

  2. sbpilot says:

    This is good news in the broad sense, but I find Herrin overrated. Hayes is monumentally quicker than him on nearly every outing, and most of Herrin’s wins are when Hayes has technical issues.

    I’m not say Hayes should deserve the chance to move to GP, I’m saying that Herrin isn’t naturally fast enough to compete at the front in GP. His talent needs to have him walk away from the entire AMA field to be close to doing anything in GPs.

    This is just my opinion, I don’t think he will do well in Moto2. So many good riders get dropped mid season in Moto2 cause of lackluster performances. I would not be surprised if he ends up one of them.

  3. Rob says:

    I’m not a Herrin fan at all, but I will be cheering my ass off for him in Moto2. Road racing in the US will only grow if more Americans compete in international championships. I don’t think Herrin is the fastest I’ve seen come from AMA, but he’s deadly consistent now and is probably Americas best hope at showing some talent.

    I’ve got to wonder if WorldSBK would’ve been a better path though….Moto2 seems pretty cut-throat with HUGE fields that only lead to a COMPLETELY spanish dominated/run organization that is MotoGP.

  4. PRICH says:

    Agreed that it’s great for American rider and the sport to have Herrin in Moto 2. Remember we also have PJ Jacobson riding for Suzuki Tyco in BSB and Corey Alexander is doing a few World Super Sport rides next month. UK and France I believe.

  5. John says:

    Beaubier should be in Moto2, not Herrin….

  6. GAC says:

    Tweaker won the championship?
    How did I miss that, Oh yeah no TV coverage at Laguna Seca!
    It took a gift from Josh.
    Good, get him out of here.
    He can join Marquez and crashing out people!

    We are finally safe from the tweaker

    Hey AMA, Try doubling the race schedule would you?
    Think of the racers and stop thinking about your wallets

  7. Frank says:

    @John

    Agreed. Beaubier is the future. That kid is legit and needs to get out of the states NOW. That being said- I liked watching Herrin in Daytona supersport a couple years ago. He was exciting to watch. Not the runaway dominant performer in superbike that Hayes is, but it is clear that Hayes is not going to get a shot at MotoGP- not even WorldSBK. Is that fair-no, but it is what it is I’m afraid. I’m happy to cheer on another American in GP any day.

  8. Mr.X says:

    Ridiculous that Josh Hayes is “too old.” He’s shown that he’s fast as Hell.
    Yamaha should at least trow him a bone with another MotoGP Wildcard. It’s not as though anyone cares if he wins the AMA anyway.
    So few guys can ride at that level.

  9. Cameron says:

    That is really awesome for Josh as we all just got the bad news about Laguna Seca. I wish you the best next year! Well deserved chance to fight with the moto2 guys.

  10. Halfie30 says:

    To say Herrin was consists t this year completely takes away from Hayes. Staring the season with two DNF’s and to still be in the points chase was quite a feat. Herrin was good on the 600′s, so maybe moto2 will suit him better. He just isn’t suited for SBK’s at his current level. He was NOT consistent this year in the fact that he made a lot of mistakes that he would the. Have to recover from just to stay on the podiums. While Hayes was lighting up every race he finished. I’m not really scan of either guy, but I can see this… Hopefully Herrin does a respectable job to keep interest in the American series.

  11. Sean says:

    Look where crutchlow is at the moment !! You never know