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: Three Crashes, Two Red Flags, & One Qualifying Session at the Indianapolis GP

08/18/2012 @ 1:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Three Crashes, Two Red Flags, & One Qualifying Session at the Indianapolis GP Indianapolis GP Friday Jules Cisek 211 635x423

Considering it is August here in Indiana, MotoGP has had pretty much perfect weather for the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP thus far, with only a brief rainstrom hitting the track late Thursday afternoon and into the evening. With perfect conditions for Saturday, qualifying proved to be an eventful day for all the classes, as a number of riders had crashes that warranted the red flag coming out at the American circuit.

With riders continuing to complain not only of the three different types of asphalt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but now also about the fine dirt on the course, the issue of whether IMS is safe for MotoGP has been raised with the six red flags that were out in the four qualifying motorcycle sessions held today. Though no one hit any obstacles or walls, with three riders questionable for competing in Sunday’s MotoGP class race, it is not a stretch of the truth to say that the Indy GP will be challenging.

With Moto3 getting its own share of crashes and a red flag, MotoGP also followed suit with three serious high-sides and two stoppages to the session (Moto2 was eventful, but sans red flags). First to be victim to the final turn at Indy was Casey Stoner, who had to be stretchered off the course, and later would be diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right foot/leg. With his participation questionable for tomorrow’s race, we will have to wait and see what the doctors report either tonight or tomorrow morning for the reigning-World Champion.

Second to go down was Ben Spies, who also high-sided in the final section. Staying on the ground briefly, Spies surprisingly would walk himself off the track, and rejoin the session after its third start. Qualifying fourth overall, Spies then went to the medical center to get checked by the doctors. While Spies on Twitter is saying he plans on racing tomorrow, there is considerable speculation if that will be the case. A definitive statement from the team is expected tonight.

The third crash, and second red flag for MotoGP qualifying, came due to Nicky Hayden’s high-side, again in the same section as Stoner and Spies. Knocked unconscious from the fall, Hayden was last reported also to be headed to the hospital for diagnosis, with Rossi saying the Kentucky Kid was suffering from a concussion. Arriving at Indianapolis Methodist Hospital, Hayden reported saw Casey Stoner in the ER, and thought the two had collided. Concussed, he has had a CAT scan of his head, and x-ray of his hand. Though feeling better, his participation in the Indianapolis GP is very unlikely at this point in time.

Proving to be an equal opportunity corner when it comes to flipping bikes, The Doctor also had a moment going through the final bends, though he was able to save the crash.

For the riders left standing, qualifying was a fast and eventful hour. Dani Pedrosa popped Indy’s Best Lap cherry, marking another track where the 1000cc bikes are superior to the ones of the 800cc era. Putting in a 1’38.813, Pedrosa had to watch his time almost be beaten by Jorge Lorenzo, but the Yamaha-man struggled through the second section all session, and was unable to make the ground to Pedrosa.

The two aliens will be joined on the front row by Andrea Dovizioso, who survived the attrition, despite an altercation with a CRT rider in the closing moments.

The ride of the day might go to Team Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, as the Frenchman put his Aprilia ART tenth on the timesheet, despite running over a piece of debris on the front straight, which then punctured the bike’s belly pan and cut off one of the brake lines to the front calipers.

In other news, both American wild card entries qualified for Sunday’s race, with Aaron Yates just barely making the cut with his Suzuki-powered GP Tech machine.

Qualifying Results from the US GP at Indianapolis, USA:

Pos.RiderNationTeamBikeKM/HTimeDiff.
1Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda335.51’38.813-
2Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha335.51’38.9130.100
3Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha334.01’39.2350.422
4Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha333.11’39.2790.466
5Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda334.21’39.4370.624
6Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda334.61’39.4650.652
7Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha331.01’39.5490.736
8Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati333.31’39.7480.935
9Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda334.01’40.0721.259
10Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART317.81’40.4371.624
11Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati333.31’40.7631.950
12Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART318.61’40.8031.990
13Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR312.31’41.1972.384
14Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati333.11’41.2952.482
15Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART311.91’41.3702.557
16Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR315.71’41.4492.636
17Toni ELIASSPAPramac Racing TeamDucati332.91’41.8663.053
18James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART310.01’41.9783.165
19Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda296.91’42.5533.740
20Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter315.01’42.5993.786
21Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR314.01’42.7683.955
22Steve RAPPUSAAttack PerformanceAPR300.91’43.6734.860
23Aaron YATESUSAGPTechBCL286.11’44.3125.499

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Jules Cisek / Popmonkey – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Jonathan says:

    Hats off to Bradl – this young pup is really impressing here. Best wishes to Nicky and here’s hoping he’s somehow fit for his home race.

  2. JW says:

    this track has a limited future in MGP

  3. Jonathan says:

    Yeah, no-one’s gonna want to race there if they can’t figure out wtf is going on with these highsides. I’m also minded of the scene in Jaws where the mayor won’t close the beach because of the financial losses…

    I just heard that Nicky is doubtful for tomorrow and am gutted for The Kid.

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