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: British GP Gives Vital Confidence Boosters

06/17/2012 @ 6:40 am, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

MotoGP: British GP Gives Vital Confidence Boosters cal crutchlow silverstone british gp

With Sunday’s race having perhaps some of the best weather yet at Silverstone, the British GP started with concern, after Cal Crutchlow missed qualifying after a hard crash in FP3. Getting cleared to ride Sunday morning, the Honey Badger was relegated to the back of the grid for the start, dashing any hopes of a podium finish.

Still, the man from Man delighted British fans with his resolve to go racing, with further spectacle coming in the form of Alvaro Bautista’s first MotoGP pole-positiion start, putting his black San Carlo Gresini Honda in front of the factory machines of Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, and Jorge Lorenzo. With the British GP showing the first signs of Spies’ renewed confidence, MotoGP fans had all the makings of a good race as the sun shined through the cloud cover. To see how it all finished out, click on past the jump.

Getting the jump off the line, Ben Spies lead the grid through the first turns, as he took control of the race ahead of Stoner, Bautista, Hayden, and Lorenzo. Leading the first four laps, it looked like Spies was going to runaway with the British GP, but the reigning-World Champion Casey Stoner caught up to the American with 16 laps to go. Capitalizing as Spies entered a corner too hot and ran wide at the apex, Stoner had no further contest from Spies who tried to hang onto the Honda’s pace, despite the Yamaha’s tires fading lap-by-lap.

Putting his own gap on the field, the only man that could respond to Stoner was Jorge Lorenzo. Moving up through the field at a rapid pace, Lorenzo found himself coming from fifth to second in just six laps. With Stoner enjoying a margin to Lorenzo, and Lorenzo gapping with a comfortable buffer the five-way battle for third , the Spaniard went to work on catching the Australian in front of him. Watching Stoner fade, Lorenzo passed the factory Honda rider, and never looked back as he finished over three seconds ahead of Stoner. Casey’s fate would be less certain however, as Dani Pedrosa soon caught his teammate, and put pressure on him all the way to the line, though could not close the deal on the soon-to-be-retired racer.

As that rounded out the podium, other notable races came from Nicky Hayden, who looked to be in the hunt for a podium until a mistake cost him several places, and found himself out of touch with the front-runners as he too had trouble with his tires lasting on the British course. Putting in a fantastic showing for the satellite Honda team, Alvaro Bautista held his own at the British GP, and finished fourth for the day. However, the ride of the day certainly has to go to Cal Crutchlow, who managed to make a sixth-place finish out of his last place start. Crutchlow may now have landed on a podium this weekend, but you would be hard-pressed to find a British fan who wasn’t proud of their pseudo-countryman.

Perhaps the most disappointing ride of the day came from Andrea Dovizioso, who crashed on the tenth lap while sitting in a very confident fourth place. While Yamaha’s day was surely made with Lorenzo’s victory (and now one full-race lead in the MotoGP Championship), Dovi’s crash today, Cal’s crash in FP3 yesterday, and Ben’s fifth place finish after leading the first quarter of the race all combine to make it a bittersweet weekend.

The good news for Spies is that he seems to have his fortunes heading once again in the right direction — the only question is whether the American can salvage his season rapidly enough to save his factory Yamaha seat for next year. Only time can tell, but MotoGP comes to The Cathedral on Saturday, June 30th.

Race Results from the British GP at Silverstone, Great Britain:

Pos.RiderNationTeamBikeTime
1Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha41’16.429
2Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda+3.313
3Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda+3.599
4Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda+5.196
5Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha+11.531
6Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+15.112
7Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati+15.527
8Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda+22.521
9Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati+36.138
10Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati+41.328
11Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART+1’03.157
12Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART+1’03.443
13Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR+1’07.290
14James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART+1’14.782
15Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR+1’15.108
16Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter+1’29.899
17Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda+1’40.302
18Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR+1’52.099
19Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha1 Lap
Not Classified
54Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART6 Laps

Source: MotoGP

Comment:

  1. Jonathan says:

    What a race! The exchange between Lorenzo on the unflappable Yamaha and Stoner (who’s rear tyre was already shot on one side at least) was real cover-your-eyes stuff. For the first time I’m warming to the Aussie – the new tyres don’t flatter his “push… push… PUSH” style at all and the lap times (where no-one seems to be able to put in consistently fast laps) seems to back this up. He’s a purist who is dismayed by the misconception that hamstringing the fast guys is progress, but I digress…

    I’m made up for Alvaro – the Gods may have blessed him with pole (the weather over here is proof that the Gods do play dice), but he didn’t fold under pressure. A lot of talented riders lose ther edge when thay have a spell at the stinky end of the grid, but he kept his head. He admitted after the race that he was a little cautious in the closing stages, but the guys in front of him were “just doing enough” too, so no point stuffing it into the gravel. His “I’m so happy…” is always great to hear when the others are cursing chatter / tyres / what they had for breakfast, etc. A charming guy and I miss seeing him on the Suzook, especially as it was just beginning to show promise at the end of last season. Perhaps if Dorna stop pulling rule changes out of a hat…

    So, Crutchlow. The Honey Badger is the hardest guy on the planet. Suffering a freak crash in practice ( being hit by a 40mph crosswind while pushing to the limit is fairly freakish), he convinces the medical centre that he’s fit to race and starts from the back of the grid. Having lost 50% of his weekend’s setup time and feeling the expectation of a nation that’s not seen a Brit podium since the Earth cooled he passes all of the CRT’s within a couple of laps (which speaks volumes for the diesels), but instead of fading when the pain of a bust up ankle overwhelm thes start line adrenaline he just gets faster and puts an awesome pass on Hayden in the closing stages of the race to bag 6th. It’s a credit to his spirit, his evolving racecraft and the Tech 3 team.

    Hayden and Spies: Damn, what happened there?

    Rossi: Ditto.

    The CRTs: Who?

    Note to Dorna: The fuel limit serves no-one and makes racing more expensive. Spec tyres that fall off after a few quick laps kills the spectacle that fans (remember them?) are paying to watch. People pay to see the mavericks, the guys that push. If the racing is only close because no-one dare go fast then that’s not racing – it’s a procession. Give the guys the tools to do the job. You will never close the gap between the factories and the privateers, but flattering the no-hopers may just make the beancounters at Honda and Yamaha ask “Why are we sinking millions into Motogp when the guys on cement mixers are being given a three lap head start?” The CRT thing doesn’t provide any incentive for engine builders either. €15,000 to” claim” another team’s motor? Hmmm, how much are a set of Carillo rods again? Perhaps it would be better if the factories did bail – then racing wouldn’t be a showroom for rider aids that push up prices for everyone.

    The lines between Superbike and Motogp are blurring. Motogp has to be the pinnacle of the sport, otherwise it is irrelevent. Maybe it’s just a reflection of how far roadbike tech has come since I tankslapped around on a GSXR75F in the mis ’80′s, but I’m getting a sense of deja-vu in club motocross – everyone has to buy horribly expensive four stroke bikes that only win because of bent rules. Quit with the rules and let the fastest guy (or gal) with the best solution win.

  2. DareN says:

    Jensen – hire this guy! What a piece of writing!!! (see above).

  3. s2upid says:

    booooom amazing analysis @Jonathan

  4. Steve Lang says:

    Nicely done/said Jonathan, I could not agree more.

  5. Jensen, what’s this about Crutchlow and the pseudo-countrymen? The lad’s from Coventry. That makes him as British as bangers and mash! The fact that he happens to live on the Isle of Man these days doesn’t make him Manx.

    The guy is my new hero. Funny as hell, fast as hell, tough as hell.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Thanks guys – right now I’m blushing all the way down to my (motocross) boots!

    I wish I could sound more positive about the future of Motogp, but in the short term I think that what is required is stability in the rules – a constant drip feed of compromises helps no-one. I guess that as fans we’ll have to muddle through this rough patch and hope that the good imes will roll once more. I hope that the factories and major sponsors can be patient too.

  7. Grant Madden says:

    If the factories had spent as much money on developing a direct injection system to clean up 2strokes as they have creating mega powerful 4strokes the world would be a better place.It would create a new “war within a war” in motogp.The weight and specific power outputs of the 2 strokes would make the big heavy.complex 4 strokes weep n shame
    Oh woe is me,I miss the cackle and sound of the 2 strokes.Technically the 2 stroke is a more efficient motor giving power on every stroke of the piston.Who decided to give up on that?You know that diesels were inefficient untill the development ot fuel injection.Surely the 2 stroke is in the same basket.Look around now and see all the diesels on the roads now and they are smelly ,dirty(dusty) engines but they,re everywhere.why not the 2strokes(Diesels are effectively 2 strokes)running on petrol?
    That sucks big time!Grrr