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.

Schwantz Releases Another Statement about COTA & Dorna

09/14/2012 @ 12:34 pm, by David Emmett14 COMMENTS

Schwantz Releases Another Statement about COTA & Dorna Circuit of the Americas construction site 635x442

Kevin Schwantz has issued another statement in response to the press releases put out by both the Circuit of the Americas and Dorna, concerning his legal proceedings over the case. In the press release, Schwantz lays the blame for the situation at the feet of the Circuit of the Americas, and claims they attempted to obtain the contract to organize the MotoGP race in Texas by forcing him out of the deal with Dorna. The full statement issued by Kevin Schwantz is after the jump.

Further Statement from Kevin Schwantz

“In response to the legal action I filed last week, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has issued a statement claiming I never had an agreement to conduct a MotoGP race at its facility.

COTA’s claim is false. In April 2011, COTA issued a press release with the headline “Texas Lands MotoGP for 2013; 10-year Deal Signed for Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.” This press release names my company, 3fourTexasMGP, as a party to the MotoGP agreement. It also claims COTA’s track “is the U.S. home to both the Formula 1 and MotoGP Grand Prix World Championships.”

COTA presumably used this agreement with me to entice ticket sales and to persuade elected officials to commit $250 million from the State of Texas’s Major Events Trust Fund. Once it had gotten all the mileage it could out of the agreement, as alleged in my lawsuit, COTA cut me out of the deal and attempted to get a cheaper contract with Dorna.

Following COTA’s lead, Dorna has now publicly claimed that it has terminated my MotoGP contract. I’m not surprised that Dorna is now acting as a mouthpiece for COTA. As stated in my lawsuit, COTA has misled Dorna and encouraged it to terminate my contract. This unlawful conduct resulted in an announcement in June that they were finalizing details on the Texas race.

I am tremendously disappointed in my friends at Dorna, who appear to be forced into their current position by COTA. Hopefully, COTA won’t do to them what it did to me.

To cut through all the spin, here is what has happened. I had an agreement to conduct MotoGP races at COTA. COTA used the agreement to sell tickets and raise money. When the time came for COTA to honor its end of the bargain, it refused. COTA thought it could get a better deal by going around me and directly to Dorna. And that is exactly what it did.”

- – Kevin Schwantz, President of 3fourTexasMGP, LLC

Photo: Circuit of the Americas

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. MR. X says:

    Hmmm, who do you bet against, the likely-contract-holding COTA or a tenacious world champion?

    And the winner is…the fucking lawyers!

  2. Jake F. says:

    All that may be true, but a press release does not a contract make.

  3. Calisdad says:

    Does anybody doubt Kevin had a contract? Anybody? He’s just been hanging around working on the track for years because it’s his hobby?

    Good luck with jury selection COTA. How many lawsuits will you be involved in before the first race? I’ve lost count.

  4. Dr. Ken says:

    COTA and Dorna are about to have their collective asses handed to them. Mr Schwantz will not go away any time soon.

  5. Lawyer says:

    It’s all about risk analysis. They make more money breaking the law and paying off Schwantz than following the law. This kind of thing happens all the time. Business as usual.

  6. smiler says:

    gutter morality. Business as usual USA style unfortunately.

  7. steve D says:

    although binding contracts can be verbal, it’s hard to imagine one of this magnitude not being written. why hasn’t schwantz shown a signed written contract yet?

  8. Westward says:

    Don’t begrudge the lawyers in this matter, COTA created the issue. If they were a standup organization, they would have simply honoured the arrangement with Schwantz. There is far more advantage in the long run to having Schwantz involved than not. Someone COTA does not understand racing culture methinks.

    Schwantz has a reasonably good case in his favour. The press releases are a valid article of evidence to prove intent. COTA certainly did not deny them when they went into publication.

    I also doubt Schwantz is going to lay out all his cards in the media before the trial…

    Perfect example of a business minded citizen placing faith in an American corporation. To think Americans have to rely on corporations for pensions and healthcare too, good luck with that U.S.A.

  9. tonestar says:

    what a fuckin mess! i’m so disguested about all this, and everyone of your comments are right on point gang. and the austin gp is further away from ever.

    here’s a thought- lets say schwantz loses the case. anyone else think spies and edwards should boycott the race in a show of solidarity?! that’s it if ever actually happens. go kev go! we’re behind you all the way…

  10. jack says:

    Spies and Edwards would never boycott the race because their loyalties and paychecks belong to their teams. However I would be interested in the ticket prices for the race. For those who do not know, ticket prices for the Formula one are $400 to $800 with parking at $200 for the weekend. Formula one does command premium dollars, but I wonder the price and whether it’s worth the effort to travel to Texas seeing how boring MotoGP has become.

  11. tonestar says:

    youre so right jack- joking/wishful thinking on my part! as an aside, even though i love my homestate dearly, i’ve lived in ca for many years now. we were thinking of going to laguna last year, in the end decided not to. watched the race on tv and i must say, even though monterey is lovely, i woulda been pissed at having to pay for that show!

  12. Lee says:

    It’s disappointing to see bad news being tied up to have a motorcycle race held. Did F1 experience the same crap?

  13. Just get the track completed and race WSBK there. That’d make me happy.

  14. Steve Stowell-Virtue says:

    It’s obvious COTA decided to screw Kevin. I’m followed and liked Kevin for way to long to put money in some asshole’s pocket that screwed him.

    I was planning to go to the GP in April. The track is only a few miles from my childhood home and most of my family. I won’t be going based now.

    Vote with your wallet. Don’t give your money to backstabbing assholes.