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.

How Do You Make a Superbike Look Like a Street Bike?

06/29/2012 @ 2:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

How Do You Make a Superbike Look Like a Street Bike? Kawasaki Racing ZX 10R WSBK Headlight 10 635x422

With MotoGP adopting a CRT rule for the 2012 season, a provision that allows production motors to be used in a prototype chassis, the World Superbike Championship has been feeling its production-racing turf a bit infringed upon. Now whether or not the latest rule change from WSBK has anything to with what is going on between the two series is up for debate, but regardless for 2013 and onward, World Superbike teams will have to run faux-headlight decals on their race bikes — in some sort of attempt to link what is on the track to what is sitting on dealership showroom floors.

First to adopt the rule is the factory Kawasaki Racing Team, which has added the headlight decals to the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R race bikes that are being ridden by Tom Sykes and Loris Baz this weekend at Aragon, Spain. In addition to the headlight sticker rule, teams will have to run 17″ wheels starting in 2013, which is being pitched as a cost-savings measure, but is more likely grounded in the idea of further making the illusion that what is raced in WSBK is somehow remotely linked to what motorcyclists purchase.

How Do You Make a Superbike Look Like a Street Bike? Kawasaki Racing ZX 10R WSBK Headlight 8 635x422

How Do You Make a Superbike Look Like a Street Bike? Kawasaki Racing ZX 10R WSBK Headlight 6 635x422

How Do You Make a Superbike Look Like a Street Bike? Kawasaki Racing ZX 10R WSBK Headlight 2 635x422

Source: Kawasaki Racing

Comment:

  1. Bob says:

    ” In addition to the headlight sticker rule, teams will have to run 17″ wheels starting in 2013, which is being pitched as a cost-savings measure, but is more likely grounded in the idea of further making the illusion that what is raced in WSBK is somehow remotely linked to what motorcyclists purchase.”

    The tire manufacturers are gradually discontinuing 16.5″ tires across the board. It’s not a decision that was solely made by World Superbike. It IS a cost saving measure, but the most money that will be saved is at the manufacturers level.

  2. Steve Lang says:

    Great marketing idea with the headlight decals. Smart.

  3. Nick says:

    The NASCAR of motorcycle racing? –

    That did the trick! Now I can totally see the relation between the bike in my garage and the one on TV, thank you so much for tracing that parallel for me! Before they added the genius headlight stickers I was under the impression that these were race bikes, i.e. heavily modified versions of production bikes, oh hang on, that’s what they are.

    When are they going to add the faux turn signals etc? And these WSB bikes have these “sponsor” stickers on their bikes too, so confusing seeing as how my road bike doesn’t have any maybe they should ban those too and just go solid factory colors. Thanks for making racing ugly.

  4. jake says:

    completely stupid. people who care know and those that don’t know don’t really care. a yamaha fan is a yamaha fan. this maintaining connect to production is stupid. Ducati fans didn’t abandon Ducati in MotoGP because they didn’t race a twin. this is just more stupid marketing people who don’t have a clue what really matters to the fans of the sport. It’s like all these editorials about how to make bike racing bigger in the states. they point to Daytona and the missed opportunity there. the problem is simple. that daytona crowd isn’t interested in racing. period. dumbing down the sport isn’t going to change that. the best they can do is put on good races and then let the audience come to the sport. if it gets to F1 or NASCAR levels great. but if it doesn’t then work with the market that you have. the problem is MotoGP, SBK, MX and even F1 (in the US) aren’t doing that. they keep looking at NASCAR and saying why can’t we have that? Why dumb down F1 to NASCAR?

    This down rule plus the potential of pit stops will be the reason I stop watching SBK just like the shootout format killed my interest in British Superbikes and CRT is quickly killing MotoGP for me. Just provide good competitive racing and leave the gimmicks out. It’s cool to know my bike is raced in SBK, but there is nothing kool or special about knowing my EXACT bike is raced in SBK. It’s supposed to be the best of the best and it’s heading in the opposite direction

  5. Dr. Gellar says:

    Hhahahahahahaaha!! Are you serious?!?! Faux-headlight stickers?? Pathetic.

  6. SV says:

    If WSBK wants to make a stronger connection with the streetbikes that these machines are based off, why don’t they just, you know, MAKE them that way? My god, I think WSBK has been encroaching on prototype territory loooooong before MotoGP came to theirs. They make me disappoint…

  7. “somehow remotely linked to what motorcyclists purchase”

    lol. shenanigans

  8. Jason says:

    “… I think WSBK has been encroaching on prototype territory loooooong before MotoGP came to theirs.”
    No kidding! WSBK has been nowhere near production for quite some time now. This is where they DO parallel “stock” car racing: by having nothing Stock on the bike, except for maybe those headlights (stickers)

  9. Damo says:

    These changes wont effect the quality of the racing at all so, no worries from me.

  10. SBPilot says:

    Not sure why the negativity toward the headlights. Yes Nascar uses them and I’m quite sure Nascar is more popular than WSBK for a reason and why manufactures dump so much money in it. Of course the connection works for the public. Ford loyal fans vs Chevy loyal fans vs Toyota. Why would they even bother sculpting the shell of their race cars in the shape of their production car if it didn’t make any difference. The car is a just a tube frame they could put any thing on top. The reason is because it makes a bloody difference. Same can be said for Touring Cars. They don’t use faux lights, but they keep the model badging on the cars. Why? Same reason. Why do Funny Cars use bodys resembling production cars? Cause it makes a difference. It’s marketing. It works. These small things like headlights draws much more connection to the public and the bike they are riding or about to buy. Most of marketing is subliminal and there are trillions in subliminal marketing cause it works.

    I dont’ know why Jensen you are so negative about the idea stating things like “somehow remotely linked to what motorcyclist purchase”. Things like these (faux stickers) do make a difference to the general public and to new riders and newcomers to the two wheel world. It does help them make a connection. And fact of the matter is, WSBK bikes aren’t THAT far off production bikes. The best Superbikes raced in AMA and even Canada Superbike are really not that far off the WSBK bikes. That fact paired with the fact that the bikes being built for AMA/CSBK are just off the shelf means there is that connection. Sure, WSBK engines go under the knife and get major upgrades and the electronics are another level, but the rest really isn’t that different and those two things don’t matter because you don’t see them.

    The goal is to help motorcycle racing and the motorcycle world still afloat, being negative about an idea that will certainly help the image of WSBK doesn’t do any good. I for one am all for the stickers (what are people saying the Endurance bikes look like shiet cause of the headlights? last time I checked people were oogling over the Honda Legend endurance bike, it sure looks 100x better than the WSBK one) and like Damo said, it doesn’t effect the quality of racing.

  11. SPEKTRE76 says:

    Oh so my old R6 is really a racing machine!!!! Oh wait…I know better. I may as well take my HOG out to the track and tell everyone it’s a crotch rocket.

    (Jensen we aren’t mad at you)

    Superbikes are really more like Le Mans GT racers. Sure they ‘look’ similar but that is were it ends my friends. If we had WSB’s we be taking second and third mortgages out on our already underwater homes.

  12. Damo says:

    Seriously if you guys are really getting that spun up about headlight stickers and 17″ wheels, you need to get your priorities straight.

    SBPilot, has it 100% correct. It is all about the marketing.

    I seriously don’t understand how anyone can be f*cking angry about the stickers!

  13. rob says:

    I suppose if it brings more money and therefore competition to the sport, I’m all for it. But the coolest thing about “racing machines” is that they don’t have any thing ‘NOT NEEDED TO GO FAST’. The first pointless thing to have is lights. Leave headlights to the endurance guys who actually USE them for light output.

  14. Westward says:

    It’s a sticker and it’s harmless. No harm, no foul. It actually looks good on the Kawasaki. As long as the wheels go round and people are happy, and it helps the cause, then I’m all for it…

  15. David says:

    So much hate for the stickers, they are a good cheap idea to potentially draw and connect certain motorcycles to truly racing machines. Even if it doesn’t it doesn’t affect the racing so stop your complaining. It’s a good idea.

  16. Grant Madden says:

    What,no mirrors or indicators?My street bike has mirrors and indicators.and a number plate and a regostickers.Years ago I used to race production bikes which were nothing but your street bike(OK maybe not your street bike but it looks like one)put on a race track.The first thing to go is the headlight, tail light ,mirrors and indicators.Thats how you knew it was a racebike.For some stupid mindless reason the powers that be decided that super sport and superbikes were better even though they were just distant hotted up relatives of the street bikes,supposedly so that the public would enjoy the racing more.So now they,ve changed their minds(Minds.really?)and the more they look like street bikes the better.
    I think this is called grasping at straws.The sad thing is that it will probably make no difference to the spectators who will remain pretty well informed and crictical spectators,more interested in the personalities and manufactures than stickers and sad wannabe a street bike looks.
    I would suggest that knowing more about the riders and teams would creat a more personally interesting sport.People are attracted by the personalities of Rossi,Stoner,Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Crutchlow in MotoGP or Biaggi ,Checa,Sykes,Johnny Rea,and friends in the superbikes and their battles on and off the track.National pride,thats what gets the interest going.Personal conflict and characters we can relate to ,not stickers that look like head lights.
    Oh well,they might as well try this or maybe lucky cat stickers?LUCKY CATS,everyone loves lucky cats,No?Good luck is all I can say and later when statistics(Lies,dam lies and statistics)show no change occured will the junior exec who came up with this be sacked?Na probably not.He,ll just come up with some more crap to justify his wage/salary agreement.

  17. @MotoMuzzey says:

    Can the teams charge WSB for the stickers? If a vendor wants a sticker on a bike it will cost them money. This move could prohibit teams from making money.

    Vendor: i want to put a big company sticker up front, here is a sack of cash.
    Team : we can’t do that we need to put headlight stickers up there.
    Vendor: F*** it never mind then.

    Just kidding
    i don’t care. i don’t see this as a huge story. but fun to read.

  18. Grant Madden says:

    Watched the World superbikes last night.Tom Sykes has already got the faux headlight stickers on his Kawasaki.I had to look long and hard to see them and was only looking because I suspected that he did have them on.If I hadn,t been told I never would have noticed and really it does not make it look like a proddy bike at 200kph+.How am I supposed to take it serious?Maybe in photos but when they are racing it is invisible.Ok on promo posters I suppose but when they are racing I challenge anyone watching live racing at the track to be able to tell those stickers from any other sponsors stickers.And yes,will they be compensated for the loss of space to put paying sponsors stickers on?Cant see it happening at all.Thats valuable sponsor space.Check out other bikes and they all have sponsors names or logos on those areas of the fairing.Do you think anybody will listen to us complain.Na not a hope so ok its just another useless peice of crap that will sooner or later be seen for what it really is.A load of old bollocks.

  19. Jim says:

    Just a sticker and it does look pretty good. The real question is “Will teams now add a “headlight sticker guy” in the paddock?

  20. Gutterslob says:

    First glimpse of this was on John McGuinness’ superbike at the TT this year. Not a fan of the look/idea, to be frank. Made it look like he won the TT on his way to the pub.