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.

MotoGP: Alex De Angelis to Replace Ben Spies at Laguna – Spies Expected Back at Indianapolis GP

07/01/2013 @ 11:44 am, by David Emmett8 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Alex De Angelis to Replace Ben Spies at Laguna   Spies Expected Back at Indianapolis GP alex de angelis Mugello MotoGP 2011 Scott Jones 635x422

Ben Spies’ absence due to his shoulder injury will extend to Laguna Seca. The Texan is still going through physical rehab to get the shoulder he injured at Sepang last year up to strength, and he hopes to be back to full fitness for the final US round of MotoGP at Indianapolis at the end of August.

With Spies still out for two more races, the Ignite Pramac team needs a replacement. Michele Pirro will take Spies’ place at the Sachsenring in just under two weeks’ time, but Ducati’s official test rider is not available for Laguna, as he has more testing scheduled that week at Misano in Italy.

As a result, Pramac has asked Alex De Angelis to step in for the Laguna Seca round, as the lack of a Moto2 round at Laguna means the NGM Forward rider is availabe to take Spies’ seat at the California circuit.

De Angelis already has MotoGP experience, having raced two seasons for the Gresini Honda team in 2008 and 2009, and having replaced Hiroshi Aoyama for three rounds in 2010.

Spies’ recovery is taking a very long time, an indication of the seriousness of the Texan’s injury. The shoulder is the most complicated joint in the body, and Spies suffered serious soft tissue damage in the crash in Malaysia.

Such injuries are slow to heal – Valentino Rossi estimated that he wasn’t really at 100% for 6 or 7 months after his shoulder surgery in November 2010 – and can be delayed if not handled properly.

Spies’ decision to go testing in Malaysia, three months after his surgery, proved to be the wrong one, he admitted at Mugello earlier this year. When he then tried to make a second return at Mugello, he quickly realized his shoulder was still not strong enough, and it needed more time to recover fully.

Riding with his shoulder still weak would have been dangerous, not just for him but for other riders, Spies told reporters at Mugello.

He had decided to return only once he was 100% fit and ready and able to ride a racing motorcycle. Before making a final decision to race, Spies would test himself on a race bike, preferably his MotoGP machine, and otherwise a Ducati Panigale as close to Superbike spec as possible. Below is the press release issued by the Pramac team on Spies’ absence, and De Angelis replacing the Texan.

Alex De Angelis and Ignite Pramac Racing Team together at Laguna Seca

Alex De Angelis is to step in as replacement rider for Ben Spies at Laguna Seca on the Ignite Pramac Racing Team’s Ducati Desmosedici GP13. The man from San Marino will be able to take part in the second US round this year due to the fact that the Moto2 World Championship is not scheduled to race that weekend.

Michele Pirro, Ducati’s tester and rider, will continue to replace the Texan until Sachsenring, but will not be able to take part in the American race because he is involved in a test session scheduled for Misano from 23 to 25 July.

Ben Spies is expected to return to racing at the Indianapolis Grand Prix on August 18.

Alex is not new to the top class, having already taken part in two seasons of MotoGP in 2008 and 2009, and also in 2010 as replacement rider for the injured Hiroshi Aoyama in three rounds.

De Angelis, who currently rides for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team, will get his first opportunity to try out the Desmosedici GP13, during the forthcoming Ducati test session scheduled for Misano this coming week. Alex will test the bike on Thursday 4 July.

The Pramac Racing Team and Ducati wish to thank the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team and the San Marino rider for their availability in making possible this collaboration.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

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

Comment:

  1. Jake says:

    Excellent news. Ben should be healthy just in time to hurt himself again on Indy’s horrible track.

  2. TexusTim says:

    wow saw this morning on motogp.com…I hope there is something in the works for there bikes this year or ben is wasting his time…o waite suzuki wont be back till 2015 so he needs a ride for this year and next…and the story continues.

  3. Slangbuster says:

    Too bad Bautista already has a ride. I’ve always wanted to see a bowling ball go around Laguna.

  4. jet says:

    This don’t sound or feel right.I’ve had shoulder surgery,w/ a very good therapist he should be ready easily by the laguna race.It’s not like he’s an old man,he’s healthy and strong.Wonder who is holding who back ?

  5. Jw says:

    Why does Laguna only race the gp class?

  6. TheSwede says:

    @ jet

    Nobody is holding him back. Riding a GP bike after a shoulder reconstruction is not the same as driving your car to a desk job. Every hard braking section is like doing a handstand pushup, if your body isn’t ready, it isn’t ready. He also banged it up again in Qatar trying to come back early, which set him back

    @Jw

    Laguna’s garages/paddock are too small to hold all 3 classes

  7. Phil ( another one ) says:

    @ Jw says:
    July 1, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Why does Laguna only race the gp class?

    The track and facilities are too small to hold another group. Bit of a shame really as it’s one of the most spectacular tracks on the calendar.

    I can’t see Spies ever coming back to MotoGP.

  8. Variable says:

    Phil

    I think it’s more because MotoGP and AMA do a joint weekend. I mean how much sense does it make to say there is no room for the Moto2 and Moto3 bikes if they are running the AMA Pro Supersport class, the Supersport group A and B, Daytona Sportbike, and Superbike, and the E-World Cup. That’s a hell of a lot more bikes than you see on track in a normal GP weekend, and yes that’s going off the 2013 event schedule. But they can only fit one group of bikes? You sure about that?