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.

Who Needs MotoGP.com When We Have This?

06/25/2012 @ 1:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Who Needs MotoGP.com When We Have This? MiniBikers MotoGP Silverstone

If you are a true MotoGP fan here in the United States, then you have surely dropped SPEED’s abysmal coverage of the premiere class for the vastly superior coverage on Dorna’s own web property: MotoGP.com. Having a monopoly on internet-based video coverage of Grand Prix racing, MotoGP.com certainly brings its euros-worth of MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3 news, interviews, and analysis to your computer screen.

However, there has always been a desire for something more, something free — now that day has come. Ladies and Gentlemen, let us introduce to you the MiniBikers web series. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll hate Alvin & The Chipmunks even more than you already do. Check out the Silverstone round re-cap after the jump.

Source: YouTube via Two Wheels Blog

Comment:

  1. Paul McM says:

    “Vastly superior coverage on Dorna’s own web property: MotoGP.com”? Umm, there are more stories, more photos, and more interviews, to be sure. But the coverage on MotoGP.com is still woefully short of meaningful technical information, and insightful commentary by knowledgeable engineers, pit crewmen, and riders. How about publishing the rules, and a spec sheet for all the bikes with weights, HP, wheelbase? Tell us the cost of some components, and give us a solid explanation of the electronics. I subscribed to MotoGP.com and I can tell you it wasn’t worth the money, because I could get better tech info on this site, asphatandrubber.com for FREE!

    Also, when I signed up with Dorna for MotoGP.com, Dorna billed my card THREE times for a single subscription. I had to file a protest with AmericanExpress, which reversed the duplicate and triplicate charges.

    SpeedTV.com give you the race, call by a couple of annoying Brits who seem to know zero about the machinery. Half the time the keep passes and crashes occur during the countless commercial breaks. And the coverage halts the instant the winning bike rolls into victory lane. We don’t even get an interview with the winning rider and crew chief sometimes.

    Both SpeedTV.com and MotoGP.com have a LONG way to go, IMHO, before they can be said to deliver a satisfactory product.

  2. jw says:

    Won’t the almighty Dorna file a lawsuit against the Minbikers 2012 GP race?

    I must say this was more entertaining than the race itself.

  3. SBPilot says:

    MotoGP.com commentary is so bloody boring I can’t stand it. Eurosport is much better, too bad we can’t watch that online here.

  4. Westward says:

    This is how I have been watching my MGP coverage for the past couple of years…

  5. MikeD says:

    LMAO…i can’t get enough of “chibi” Spies crying and wondering what has happened to his luck.

  6. Ben says:

    Unwatchable, the stupid voicing ruins the cartoon.

  7. shadowwalker says:

    These are race highlilights for Dorna people …

  8. Smiler says:

    BBC, Asphalt & Rubber Eurosport. Winning sandwich.

  9. mike says:

    I would be fine with Speeds coverage if they would just ditch Greg Creamer.

  10. Damo says:

    @mike

    Really? I always kinda liked the dramatic Greg Creamer intros, in a dorky kinda way.

  11. Leo says:

    Ummm Eurosport and BBC torrents in HD are available almost right after the races. From the left coast by the time I I finish my coffee (9am pdt)I got my races already DLed. Yes I know it’s immoral but I do subscribe to Speed however their coverage and constant commercial breaks suck…so … Do some googling find a good torrent, enjoy your coffee and then watch racing the proper way, you’ll never watch a live race again..

    Oh yeah, the only bad thing is I can’t read A&R as usual first thing in the morning… Gotta avoid the spoilers

  12. tom z says:

    I want those 3 minutes back.

  13. John says:

    You guys sound like a bunch of curmudgeons. I found this video to be thoroughly amusing, and hope they keep coming all season. Delightfully corny.

  14. ben says:

    …and bonus points go to John above, for using the word ‘curmudgeon’ in the comments section of A+R.

  15. Mick says:

    Speed’s coverage is awful. Greg Creamer is close to a carnival barker and the lack of info and rider interviews post race really highlights the detail that Speed misses. BBC coverage is infinitely better with much more detail and insight. DLed is the answer.

  16. spectre says:

    Eurosport UK wins for informed commentary; Moody, Ryder and Spalding seem to be able to recall every result, lap time, spec and dramatic moment between them at whim. They also bring genuine passion for the sport, and first hand knowledge of the riders, as I gather they’re popular with the teams too.

    They also don’t miss crashes, overtakes, or bike malfunctions. Nothing is more infuriating when watching than when someone passes and the commentators take a further 5 corners to realise.

    I subscribe to motogp.com as Im almost always abroad on race day, so its a great way to watch where ever I am. However if I watch a Eurosport repeat the commentary brings an extra dimension which I feel the website commentators miss. Streaming in HD is a plus though, bike racing in HD is a whole new level.