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: Race Results from the Americas GP

04/21/2013 @ 1:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Race Results from the Americas GP dani pedrosa marc marquez cota americas gp motog scott jones 635x423

MotoGP Race Results from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas:

Pos.RiderTeamBikeKM/HDiff.
1Marc MARQUEZRepsol Honda TeamHonda158.943’42.123
2Dani PEDROSARepsol Honda TeamHonda158.8+1.534
3Jorge LORENZOYamaha Factory RacingYamaha158.7+3.381
4Cal CRUTCHLOWMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha158.5+6.616
5Stefan BRADLLCR Honda MotoGPHonda158.1+12.674
6Valentino ROSSIYamaha Factory RacingYamaha157.9+16.615
7Andrea DOVIZIOSODucati TeamDucati157.6+22.374
8Alvaro BAUTISTAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda157.5+22.854
9Nicky HAYDENDucati TeamDucati156.9+33.773
10Andrea IANNONEEnergy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati156.4+42.112
11Aleix ESPARGAROPower Electronics AsparART156.0+48.837
12Bradley SMITHMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha155.9+50.705
13Ben SPIESIgnite Pramac RacingDucati154.5+1’14.132
14Randy DE PUNIETPower Electronics AsparART154.4+1’15.651
15Yonny HERNANDEZPaul Bird MotorsportART154.2+1’19.591
16Michael LAVERTYPaul Bird MotorsportPBM153.4+1’34.391
17Hiroshi AOYAMAAvintia BlusensFTR153.1+1’39.823
18Hector BARBERAAvintia BlusensFTR153.1+1’39.952
19Claudio CORTINGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki152.7+1’46.773
20Bryan STARINGGO&FUN Honda GresiniFTR Honda152.6+1’48.084
21Blake YOUNGAttack Performance RacingAPR151.11 Lap
Not Classified
Danilo PETRUCCICame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter152.48 Laps
Lukas PESEKCame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter152.48 Laps
Colin EDWARDSNGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki149.710 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. L2C says:

    I have to say, after watching three motorcycle races at COTA, the track is too technical for its own good. With the exception of Moto2, Moto3 and MotoGP were pretty bland affairs. The Moto3 race was gifted with a red flag that brought about a 5 lap race that was as spectacular as anything the class has ever had to offer. In other words, it was the kind of racing that is normally associated with the sophmore class. But if not for one unlucky rider getting into an accident, the Moto3 race would have been just as boring.

    COTA serves as an incredible technical excercise for the riders, but it comes up rather short on delivering top-notch racing entertainment. Like some of the MotoGP riders have said, it’s more beautiful to look at than to ride. The track doesn’t seem to flow at all.

    Anyway, it was a great performance from Márquez. He deserves to have his name plastered all over COTA’s walls, because he earned every bit of it. I wish that Pedrosa had taken 1st, but 2nd is good, and he seems to be taking the loss well.

    I’m very glad that many of the traditional tracks are coming up, and hopefully the races will be a lot more exciting. And even though I wasn’t into the racing at COTA, I hope the 61,000 fans who were in attendance had a great time. There are at least 9 more races to be scheduled there in the coming years, so COTA needs repeat and increased attendance for the event. And besides that, hopefully the circuit will put the Schwantz debacle behind them in respectable fashion.

  2. L2C says:

    Corrections: “But if not for one unlucky rider getting into an accident, the Moto3 race would have been just as boring as the race was for the premiere class.”

    “The track doesn’t seem to flow at all, from a spectator’s point of view.”

  3. Norm G. says:

    re: “the track is too technical for its own good.”

    no such animal.

    re: “The track doesn’t seem to flow at all”

    is it suppose to…? it’s called a challenge. if it were easy, the pace car would be a mini-van with a soccer mom at the controls.

  4. L2C says:

    Yes, in my opinion, on each point.

    Speaking forcefully for myself. Not representing your POV in the slightest. Feel free to extract out of context other bits to express what you think is whatever.

    But I have to say, I think watching a soccer MILF pilot a mini-van around a race track would have been fantastically more exciting than today’s Moto3 (before it was restarted) and MotoGP races. No question about that at all, in my mind. :-)

  5. CTK says:

    @L2C I had almost exactly the same criticisms of the track. I called it 2 parking lots connected by drag strips. This race is a giveaway to Honda until Yami gets their seamless gearbox (or Dorna bans them). It was a pointless race

  6. The Swede says:

    The track isn’t my favorite but…

    Marquez a world championship calibre rider. Full stop. The way he points that thing around the track, dragging elbows, firing it out of the corners and in Qatar the way he was slithering around corners when the tires had gone off.. I can think of no better person to take over Stoner’s bike

    Bummer to see Spies lunking around in 13th.. I know his shoulder isn’t 100% after the ligament replacement but its still sucks knowing that before 2012 he was on the verge of being the next alien.

    But on a good note..

    My man Espargaro is killin it! I always liked him last year, especially after shooting to the front of Valencia. I’ll put money down right now that as long as we have a proper wet race or two we’ll see a CRT on the podium this year, probably him. Excited to watch him this year and next on a customer Honda or different bike with a Yammy engine

  7. Gutterslob says:

    @Norm
    No offence, but you often sound too condescending for your own good.

    I’m with L2C on this one. Not a bike track, this. Then again, no surprise since it was designed by that Tilke fella. Even the F1 drivers don’t really rate it that highly.

    Marquez pwned em all. Yes, the Repsol Honda was clearly the best bike, but he still had to beat his teammate. Almost seemed like MM was toying with D-Ped at times. Congrats to the lad.

    Also, someone put Espargaro on a factory bike!!

  8. I think Marc is going to be pretty much the best thing since sliced bread. I simply cannot wait for the next race. I only wish that Stoner were still racing, as having him, Pedrosa and Marquez all duking it out would be positively epic.

    I think COTA presents an interesting problem for the riders. Yes, it’s a Tilke track, but nailing the line will net great lap times. The promise of great racing there will be improved as the collective field in each of the classes becomes more familiar with it. Being so long and technical is both blessing and detriment. By 2015, all three classes should be going at it hammer and tongs. I doubt anybody will wind up loving it, but the cream will rise to the top and the layers will be closer together. This first race there was very strung out.

    The Moto3 race’s second leg was epic. Terol absolutely dominated Moto2, indicating that he may have come to terms with the Suter (just as MM did last season). It will be interesting to see how both the lower classes develop over the coming few races.

    In other news, I had no small amount of problems with MotoGP.com’s new MultiScreen player this weekend. Everything from races just not playing to commentary audio only on left channel and ambient on right. Toss in audio being about 1 second delayed from the video and watching post-race interviews was an exercise in torture. If Dorna was hoping to sap 40 Euros from my bank account, this weekend was a poor proving ground for me. My overall satisfaction was dramatically lower. The new player is (for my system) by no means an improvement. It was Teh Suck.

  9. TheSwede says:

    Also, a humorous note, I knew Marquez was going to win as soon as I saw he was on the hard rear. Doing that while everyone else is on the soft is such a baller, Stoner move. It was meant to be

  10. Singletrack says:

    I’d have to agree with many of the comments.
    The track looks fantastic to ride, but doesn’t neccessarily provide great racing. Sort of like VIR. That long sequence of esses just creates a conga-line with little opportunity to pass.

    However, MotoGP rarely provides great battles. Its more about progression by 1/1oths, rather than back and forth drafting/dicing. Oh how I miss WSBK on TV.

  11. It to bad that the track is ill conceived and that MotoGP racing has become so boring.

    James