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.

Official Moto3 Regulations Finally Released

11/07/2010 @ 1:14 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Official Moto3 Regulations Finally Released 250cc motor 635x455

Announced at Valencia this weekend, the GP Commission has finally released the details on the upcoming Moto3 class, which will replace 125GP racing in 2012. Based around a four-stroke 250cc single-cylinder motor with an 81mm maximum bore size, Moto3 aims to reel in the spiraling costs of GP racing, with numerous provisions that are designed to limit how much money teams and manufacturers can sink into the sport to buy victory.

Perhaps the biggest provision designed to help lower the cost of GP racing’s intro class is the spec-ECU rule, which sees teams limited on the level of electronics they can implement, and institutes a hard-cap on the engine’s maximum RPM (14,000 RPM). With multiple manufacturers able to offer motors and chassis for the racing class, Moto3 should be more open thatn the single-motor Moto2 series. The GP Commission has included a laundry list of other provisions, you can find them bullet-pointed after the jump.

Moto3 Technical Regulations:

Engine

  • 4-stroke reciprocating piston engines only.
  • Engine capacity: maximum 250cc.
  • Single cylinder only.
  • Maximum bore size: 81mm. No oval pistons.
  • Engines must be normally aspirated. No turbo-charging, no super-charging.
  • Crankshaft speed limited to maximum: 14,000 rpm.*
  • Maximum of 1 ignition driver.*
  • Maximum of 4 valves.
  • Pneumatic and/or hydraulic valve systems are not permitted.
  • Valves timing system drive must be by chain.
  • Variable valve timing and/or variable valve opening systems are not permitted.

Engine Supply

  • The engine is defined as the complete engine including intake system (throttle body, injectors), and one complete transmission.
  • The maximum price of the engine must not exceed 12,000 Euro. No optional parts or service contracts may be used to circumvent this price limit.
  • Each engine manufacturer must undertake to supply sufficient engines and spare parts to supply minimum 15 riders per season, if requested.
  • Each engine manufacturer must submit a spare parts price and lead-time list for the season for approval by the Organiser, and may not charge more than these published prices. Approval is based on the prices and lead-times being in line with current market norms for these parts and technologies.
  • In the event of engine updates or upgraded parts being developed, these must be made available to all customers at the same time, and respecting the price limits described above.

Inlet & Fuel System

  • Variable-length inlet tract systems are not permitted.
  • Only one throttle control valve is permitted, which must be controlled exclusively by mechanical means (eg. cable) operated by the rider only. No other moving devices (except injectors) are permitted in the inlet tract before the engine intake valve. No interruption of the mechanical connection between the rider’s input and the throttle is allowed.
  • Idle speed adjustment by means of an air bypass system, controlled by the ECU is allowed.*
  • Fuel injectors must be located upstream of the engine intake valves.
  • Maximum of 2 fuel injectors and 2 independent fuel injector drivers.*
  • Fuel pressure must not exceed 5.0 bar.
  • Other than engine sump breather gases, only air or air/fuel mixture is permitted in the inlet tract and combustion chamber.
  • Fuel must comply with the FIM “Moto3” specification (tba).

Exhaust system

  • Variable length exhaust systems are not permitted.
  • Noise limit will be a maximum of 115 dB/A, measured in a static test.
  • No moving parts (e.g. valves, baffles…) are allowed in the exhaust system.

Transmission

  • A maximum of 6 gearbox speeds is permitted.
  • A maximum of 2 alternate gear ratios for each gearbox speed, and 2 alternate ratios for the primary drive gear is permitted. Teams will be required to declare the gearbox ratios for each gear used at the beginning of the season.
  • Electro-mechanical or electro-hydraulic clutch actuating systems are not permitted.

Ignition, Electronics & Data-Logging

  • Only the ignition/fuel injection control units (ECU) approved by the series Organiser are allowed.
  • This ECU must remain unmodified in hardware and software, as delivered by the Organiser. The only permitted changes are the setting (tuning) options included in the software.
  • The Technical Director may require the team to change the ECU on any machine for another standard one at any time.
  • This official ECU will include an engine rpm limiter.
  • Only the standard Data Logger system approved by the series Organiser may be used.

* All the parameters identified by this symbol are set/controlled via the above mentioned ECU.

Chassis

  • Chassis must be a prototype, the design and construction of which is free within the constraints of the FIM Grand Prix Technical Regulations.
  • Minimum total weight of Motorcycle + Rider: 148kg
  • Brake discs must be made from an iron-based alloy.
  • Suspension systems must be of a conventional passive, mechanical type. Active and semi-active suspension systems and/or electronic control of any aspect of the suspension and ride height is not permitted. Springing must be by means of coil springs made of Iron-based alloys.

Wheels & Tyres

  • The only materials allowed for the wheels rims are Mg and Al alloys.
  • The only permitted wheel rim sizes are:
    • Front, 2.50” x 17”
    • Rear, 3.50” x 17”
  • The number and specification of tyres allocated to each rider per event will be controlled.
  • Only tyres from the Official Supplier may be used.

Materials & Construction

  • Construction materials must comply with Article 2.7.10 of the FIM Grand Prix regulations.
  • Camshafts, crankshafts, piston pins must be made from Iron-based alloys.
  • Engine crankcases, cylinder blocks and cylinder heads must be made from cast aluminium alloys.
  • Pistons must be made from an aluminium alloy.
  • Connecting rods, valves and valve springs must be made from either Iron-based or Titanium-based alloys.
  • Definitions:
  • “X-based alloy” means the element X (e.g. Fe, for iron-based alloy) must be the most abundant element in the alloy, on a % w/w basis.

General

  • Number of machines: the team can scrutineer only one motorcycle per rider.
  • Number of engines: a maximum of 8 engines per rider may be used during all Grand Prix race events comprising the season. A rebuilt engine will be counted as a new engine.
  • Teams will be required to register engines at Technical Control on the day before the first practice at each event. Such registered engines will be sealed (excluding cam cover, transmission if applicable) and seals may not be removed except under supervision of the Technical Director. Only sealed and registered engines may be used on track at Grand Prix race events. An engine presented for Technical Control without intact seals will be counted as a new engine.
  • Apart from the above regulations, all other construction criteria, dimensions and specifications are as per the FIM Grand Prix Regulations.

Source: MotoMatters

Comment:

  1. Ceolwulf says:

    I wonder if the Moto3 class had anything to do with Honda’s decision to make the CBR250R a single-cylinder.

  2. zipi dachimp says:

    I’ll be first in line to stick a lightly used moto3 engine in my new cbr250r ! lol! Squids unite!

  3. Minibull says:

    @Ceolwulf: Maybe, but then again most of the manufacturers have some kind of small 4-stroke, single cylinder dirtbikes. Im no expert, but surely they’ll just adapt them somehow.

    Nothing beats the old 4 cyl 250′s though. Got myself an FZR250 and you just gota love 19,000rpm rev limit! The noise they make at full chat is just nuts.

  4. Ceolwulf says:

    I would love one of the old CBR250s. But I’d take an NSR250 first :)

  5. Dr. Gellar says:

    As Ceowulf kinda eludes to, the manufacturers should start marketing 250cc single cylinder sportbikes off the the Moto3 class. Even if, for example, the new CBR250R doesn’t have much in common with Honda’s recently-teased NRS250 racer. Just as Moto3 is replacing the 125cc Grand Prix class, these new 250cc sportbikes would replace the 125cc two-stroke sportbikes that are aimed at young and new riders in Europe and other markets.

    I’d love to see Ducati create a Moto3 bike. Now that would be really cool :-)

  6. bikepilot says:

    Really sounds like they plan to use current MX-lite engines. Overall their regs seem reasonable, though a few are a bit annoying. The 4-valve rule prevents yamaha from continuing to play around with its 5-valve head. The requirement that the cases etc be aluminum prevents them from going to magnesium which isn’t that expensive and is fairly common on production bikes.

    The 5 bar fuel pressure limit and fuel injector location requirement bothers me most as it prevents experimenting with direct injection – technology that could benefit bikes greatly.

  7. GeddyT says:

    I think the most interesting part of the rules package is that finally the minimum weight is machine + rider.