Kevin Schwantz Tests Suzuki XRH-1 MotoGP Bike at COTA, While Randy De Puniet Matches Pace of Open Bikes

Suzuki’s MotoGP test team took advantage of the presence of the MotoGP paddock at Austin to plan a test directly after the Grand Prix of the Americas. Under the watchful eye of team manager Davide Brivio, the team planned to have test rider Randy De Puniet put in three days of testing at a circuit, as the team had not yet tested the Suzuki XRH-1 at COTA, in a bid to gather more data ahead of their return to the series in 2015. Unfortunately for Suzuki, very heavy hail and thunderstorms made testing extremely difficult on Monday, leaving the track very dirty and much slower than it had been for Sunday’s race.

Isle of Man TT Gets TV Deal for Australia & USA

Want to watch the Isle of Man TT from the comfort of your non-British TV, but haven’t been able to in the past? A new TV from the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development will do just that. Inking a new TV contract with North One TV, the Isle of Man TT will be televised in the American, Australian, and of course British markets, making it easier than ever to watch the iconic road race. With a five-year contract with the Velocity Channel in the US, the American cable channel will show seven one-hour race shows. Each segment will air within 24hrs of each race, and be tailored for the American market.

Castiglioni Denies Fiat Buyout of MV Agusta Is in the Works

After reporting 22% growth in Q1 2014, Giovanni Castiglioni had some closing words about the rumors that Fiat could acquire MV Agusta — a popular rumor that has been swirling around in the press the last two months. Denying outright that MV Agusta had, or was in, talks with the Fiat-Chrysler group about an acquisition (some reports linked even MV Agusta to being bought by Fiat-owned Ferrari), Castiglioni said the Italian company solely was focused on building growth, and building motorcycles. “Moreover, I’d like to take this opportunity to deny rumours circulated by the media over the last few days concerning supposed negotiations vis-à-vis the sale of a share of MV Agusta to the Fiat-Chrysler Group,” said Giovanni Castiglioni, the President and CEO of MV Agusta.

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.

MotoCzysz Racing Announces Four Riders for 2013

04/29/2013 @ 4:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

MotoCzysz Racing Announces Four Riders for 2013 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc 05 635x425

Not that we needed any confirmation, but the MotoCzysz crew has announced its return to the 2013 Isle of Man TT, and as we expected the Oregon-based team will defend its record-setting win from last year’s TT Zero with again a two-rider team of Michael Rutter and Mark Miller.

Also announcing its intention to race in the new 2013 eRoadRacing World Cup, MotoCzysz has enlisted the help of Shane Turpin and Steve Rapp for riding duties at Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Miller Motorsports Park.

For those who haven’t been following along, Shane Turpin holds the distinction of being the only racer (besides Michael Czysz of course) to have ridden both the gas-powered MotoCzysz C1 and the electric-powered MotoCzysz E1pc, the latter Turpin campaigned at Miller two years ago.

Also of note, Steve Rapp is the only rider to have beaten a MotoCzysz E1pc during a closed-circuit race, and the MotoCzysz crew hopes that with Rapp’s help, it can put the E1pc within six seconds of the slowest MotoGP machines at Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca race weekend.

On the TT front, Rutter and Miller are more than acquainted with racing the MotoCzysz machinery at the iconic island event, however the duo has a lofty goal in front of them for 2013: a 110 mph lap on the Mountain Course. Over 5 mph quicker than the high-water mark Rutter drew last year, a 110 mph lap is a big reach for the electric squad, and would put them squarely in internal-combustion territory at the TT.

With there being no easy day, MotoCzysz will be given a run for its money will again by the Mugen squad, which has already showed off its revised electric superbike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. At the helm of the Japanese entry will be 19-time-TT-race-winner John McGuinness. No biggie.

Source: MotoCzysz; Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & RubberCreative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Tom Z says:

    When are these “supercapacitors” going to make their motorcycle debut? That will really start to make things interesting…

  2. Dr. Gellar says:

    Nice!! Glad to hear MotoCzysz will have a two-rider team for the North American eRoadRacing rounds, and a strong one at that. So we’ll have MotoCzysz and Brammo out there (with GP-level machinery).. Wonder if Lightning will be throwing their hat in with a two-rider team as well?! Certainly would spice things up this season.. :-)

  3. GC says:

    Yawn….. I want a real motorcycle, call me a dinasaur. I want a C1. I want to hear a C1, possibly the trickiest bike ever. I want a C1. End of line.

  4. onespeedpaul says:

    @GC HEAR HEAR!! I second that, and add the sound of the C1 is the highest form of music!!

  5. Short circuit says:

    “with Rapp’s help, it can put the E1pc within six seconds of the slowest MotoGP machines at Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca race weekend.”

    Sounds impresive(?)…umm..not really. Last year’s slowest CRT went 1:26.8 & the e-bike record is currently (get it?..currently) 1:31 set by Mission, both coincidently, ridden by the same Steve Rapp. So the E1pc’s stated lofty aspiration is to be almost 2 seconds slower than the existing record..with the same rider…shocking!

    As far as reaching 110mph at the IOM being in IC territory..yeah..10 year old 125cc 40hp bike that probably cost <$10,000 & did 2 more laps without refueling.

    If e-bikes are going to compare themselves to IC bikes, they better set realist goals that don't make them look foolish when they can't even attain them. Unless there is some giant technological breakthrough (unlikely after 100+ years & $billions spent) they will never win over the current (oops) generation of sport riders and remain limited to nerdy commuters.

  6. Gutterslob says:

    ^ While I do agree with you about range and speed, I don’t think the e-companies have current or old generation riders in mind. They’re targeting new “Gen Y” (or whatever they’re called) types.

    Even looking outside the e-companies, take a peek at the KTM Freeride E that was recently announced. No clutch, no gears, rear brake lever on the left. Any cyclist can hop on one and have a go. If their promo video is to be believed, it might even be legal to ride in MTB trails and street parks. Heck, considering the crazy prices some of the high-end pushbikes are listed at, the Freeride E might even seem good value to people in that specific target market.

  7. ttxgpfan says:

    Gutterslob, I don’t think they are really targeting any particular age group, but types of riders. And most buyers seem to be middle aged, not the younger crowd who don’t have any money. But, while I whole heartedly agree with Short circuit on what he said about MotoCzysz’s stated goal for Laguna, I would also like to point out that MotoCzysz doesn’t make bikes. They may sometime in the future, but for now they are marketing to companies to whom they want to sell packaged drivetrains and battery systems. Barking up the wrong tree. On the subject of the right tree to bark at, Brammo is racing in the AFM this weekend taking gas bikes head on. But club races are usually a lap shorter than the electric races, so no range anxiety there.

  8. Bob says:

    Mission needs to defend their record at Laguna Seca!!

  9. protomech says:

    Slinging a 500 pound electric around the IOM mountain course at the same pace as a 40whp 150 pound gas bike is not a bad goal for 2013.

    And that “10 year old” 125cc bike is going to cost a bit more than $10k for a record-class effort. It costs serious money to play, even at the 125cc level.

    “The difference between a GP bike and a conventional race bike is difficult to overstate and this begins right at the core of the motorcycle. The Honda RS125R was sold as a serious, over the counter race bike and wasn’t cheap at $13,000. However, the sales ticket really only bought the would-be GP racer the right to spend a lot more money in getting the bike competitive. To get an RS125 to race winning standard, a further $18-20,000 is needed. Now the price tag is a hefty $30,000 plus – which is a long way from entry-level racing.”
    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/289/14118/Motorcycle-Article/Memorable-Motorcycle–Honda-RS125R.aspx

    ***

    “Also of note, Steve Rapp is the only rider to have beaten a MotoCzysz E1pc during a closed-circuit race, and the MotoCzysz crew hopes that with Rapp’s help, it can put the E1pc within six seconds of the slowest MotoGP machines at Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca race weekend.”

    Somewhat ambiguous prediction. QP or race pace? CRT or full prototype MotoGP bike?

    The slowest qualifying CRT had a fast QP lap of 1:24.715. Steve Rapp did not qualify w/ 1:26.887.
    http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics/2012/USA/MotoGP/RAC

    The slowest CRT had a fast race lap of 1:25.033.
    http://resources.motogp.com/files/results/2012/USA/MotoGP/RAC/FastLapRider.pdf

    Steve Rapp / Mission Motors holds the TTXGP record of 1:31.376 QP and 1:33.194 race pace.
    http://brammoforum.com/index.php?topic=1482.msg10937#msg10937

    6.5s off qualifying and 8s off race pace currently. Will see what race weekend brings!

  10. jack says:

    Still I will be very excited to see the ebikes for the first time at Indy this year.