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.

Moto2: 41 Riders Set Out on Historic First Qualifying

04/11/2010 @ 1:21 am, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

Moto2: 41 Riders Set Out on Historic First Qualifying Toni Elias Moto2 qualifying Qatar 560x285

Along with the MotoGP and 125GP qualifying events, Qatar is playing host this weekend to the first running of the Moto2 race class, which is replacing the 250GP race action from this day forward. 41 riders were on hand for qualifying on Saturday, and despite the large field of entry, only 4.4 seconds separates all these racers (3.5 seconds if you drop Bernat Martinez and his last position Bimota). While the names may be unfamiliar, the racing is sure to be extremely close (we can’t even fathom what Turn 1 is going to look like).

There are a few familiar faces though, namely Toni Elias who took the very first pole position of the new racing class. Another familiar name is Alex de Angelis, who will start from the second row in 4th position, after being ousted from hit MotoGP rider last year. As we get to know the riders of Moto2 we’ll also see a vetting process on which manufacturer put together the best chassis for the single motor class.

A quick look at the qualifying sheet, and it seems that there is no one bike that stands above the rest of the field. Our best guess would at least peg the Suter machine as being the best bang-for-the-buck, with three bikes in the Top 10 and being the cheapest bike in the paddock. Tech3 as a team is looking very strong, but of course we still have Sunday’s race day to see where the proof is in the pudding. We can’t wait.

Results from Moto2 Qualifying at the Losail International Circuit at Doha, Qatar:

PosNo.RiderBikeTimeDiffDiff. to Prev.
124Toni ELIASMORIWAKI2’01.904--
260Julian SIMONRSV2’02.0320.1280.128
365Stefan BRADLSUTER2’02.0380.1340.006
415Alex DE ANGELISFORCE GP2102’02.1010.1970.063
572Yuki TAKAHASHITECH 32’02.2950.3910.194
616Jules CLUZELSUTER2’02.3660.4620.071
735Raffaele DE ROSATECH 32’02.5600.6560.194
86Alex DEBONFTR2’02.7590.8550.199
948Shoya TOMIZAWASUTER2’02.7710.8670.012
1025Alex BALDOLINII.C.P.2’02.8660.9620.095
1140Sergio GADEAPONS KALEX2’02.8810.9770.015
1244Roberto ROLFOSUTER2’02.8830.9790.002
1363Mike DI MEGLIORSV2’02.8960.9920.013
142Gabor TALMACSISPEED UP2’02.9161.0120.020
1559Niccolo CANEPAFORCE GP2102’03.0021.0980.086
1612Thomas LUTHIMORIWAKI2’03.0411.1370.039
1745Scott REDDINGSUTER2’03.1291.2250.088
1875Mattia PASINIMOTOBI2’03.1551.2510.026
1914Ratthapark WILAIROTBIMOTA2’03.1921.2880.037
2077Dominique AEGERTERSUTER2’03.2321.3280.040
2129Andrea IANNONESPEED UP2’03.2581.3540.026
2241Arne TODESUTER2’03.3411.4370.083
2317Karel ABRAHAMRSV2’03.3461.4420.005
2410Fonsi NIETOMORIWAKI2’03.3901.4860.044
2552Lukas PESEKMORIWAKI2’03.5311.6270.141
263Simone CORSIMOTOBI2’03.5881.6840.057
2768Yonny HERNANDEZBQR-MOTO22’03.6351.7310.047
2871Claudio CORTISUTER2’03.7251.8210.090
2953Valentin DEBISEADV2’03.7521.8480.027
309Kenny NOYESPROMOHARRIS2’03.7921.8880.040
3180Axel PONSPONS KALEX2’04.3012.3970.509
3255Hector FAUBELSUTER2’04.4172.5130.116
3361Vladimir IVANOVMORIWAKI2’04.4702.5660.053
345Joan OLIVEPROMOHARRIS2’04.4762.5720.006
3521Vladimir LEONOVSUTER2’04.5792.6750.103
3639Robertino PIETRISUTER2’04.6292.7250.050
3795Mashel AL NAIMIBQR-MOTO22’04.8712.9670.242
3896Anthony DELHALLEBQR-MOTO22’04.9123.0080.041
398Anthony WESTHONDA2’05.3623.4580.450
4088Yannick GUERRAMORIWAKI2’05.4603.5560.098
4176Bernat MARTINEZBIMOTA2’06.3104.4060.850

Comment:

  1. Moto2: 41 Riders Set Out on Historic First Qualifying – http://bit.ly/a4VCAS #motorcycle

  2. harumph says:

    Moto2 was fantastic considering it was the first time out. Tomizawa was impressive.