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: Last-Lap Thriller at the Czech GP

08/26/2012 @ 6:38 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Last Lap Thriller at the Czech GP dani pedrosa repsol honda motogp brno1 635x421

With the signing of Cal Crutchlow for another year with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad, before the Czech GP even got started it was turning the page on another chapter of the MotoGP silly season. The racing too would prove to be pivotal to the Championship. A mix of good and bad weather during the week, Brno would prove to be a dry race, despite hosting a wet warm-up session.

With Dani Pedrosa on form all through Free Practice, the Spaniard’s off in qualifying took him off a step, as he had to ride his “B” bike, which suffered from more chatter. Despite Cal Crutchlow placing second on the grid for the race, the Brit noted what everyone already knew: Sunday’s race would be between Pedrosa and Lorenzo — and he was right.

Separating from the pack early-on, Sunday’s race was defined by an on-the-track game of chess, as Pedrosa stalked Lorenzo in the early part of the race until he made his move. With 11 laps to go in the race, Pedrosa easily passed his rival, but Lorenzo answered. Getting a chance to see Pedrosa’s pace, both riders seemed ready for a duel to the finish, which finally came to a head in the final lap. A miracle pace by Lorenzo, and perfect setup by Pedrosa — answer and respond — the race came down to the final turns, with Pedrosa capitalizing on Lorenzo’s desperate final maneuvers.

The race may only mean five points lost by Jorge Lorenzo, but it also signals the gathering of steam of Dani Pedrosa. Leading only by 13 points now, Lorenzo’s Championship bid is certain to come down to the final race at Valencia, with the only x-factor being the return of Casey Stoner at some point.

With the rest of the race being mostly a procession, the big news was the crash from Ben Spies. Overheating his clutch at the start, Spies relinquished his fourth place position, as he came off the racing line and looked down at his bike. Getting things back together on the second lap, the factory Yamaha rider had to make his way thru the CRT bikes to get back up to the satellite prototypes. Once free with open track in front of him, Spies laid down the hammer, but over-estimated his pace as he low-sided himself out of another race.

Also struggling during the day was Valentino Rossi, whose bike was spewing oil through the exhaust and onto its foot controls. Hampering the nine-time World Champion, Rossi said he could have contended with the satellite Hondas better, had the oil issue not happened, though with his tires going off rather quickly into the race, seventh was likely as best as the Ducati-rider could achieve.

MotoGP takes three weeks off, and returns September 16th to race at Misano for the San Marino GP.

Race Results from the Czech GP at Brno, Czech Republic:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 42’51.570
2 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +0.178
3 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +12.343
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +18.591
5 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda +25.582
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda +29.451
7 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati +34.514
8 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART +1’04.285
9 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati +1’08.278
10 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART +1’09.972
11 Toni ELIAS SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati +1’10.003
12 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR +1’24.040
13 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter +1’27.898
14 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR +1’36.165
15 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART +1’40.565
16 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART +1’41.226
17 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda 1 Lap
Not Classified
Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 13 Laps
Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 14 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda

Comment:

  1. JW says:

    Beautiful Dani

  2. bemer2six says:

    We made a small mistake rest assured that wont happen again. we’ll be on the top step next time. BTW This was a good read Jensen to the point no bull shit!!

  3. Damo says:

    Nice to see an exciting MotoGP race for a change, last lap passes don’t seem to happen too much anymore.

  4. David says:

    I sure hope BS sits out the rest of the season before he hurts himself. He just isn’t MotoGp caliber.

    Reminds me of when Michael Andretti tried to race Formula One. He was in way over his head also.

  5. Damo says:

    @David

    Pretty ignorant statement on your part. Spies isn’t MotoGP caliber, but say Bautista, Elias, Hernandez, etc are? You talking rubbish.

    Spies looked the part when he took Assen by a margin Stoner couldn’t close last season. Ben has six MotoGP podiums (including the win at Assen to his name), that is quite a bit ahead of several other riders on the grid.

    I agreed he is having a conspicuously bad season, but to say the man isn’t MotoGP material is just plain daft.

  6. Deanna says:

    @David – “in way over his head” – if Ben was in way over his head, why has he been able to qualify so well all year and why was he able to win at this level?

    talk about b.s.

  7. cpsmith58 says:

    Yeah, all Ben ever did was win 3 c’ships against that punk-ass bitch Mat Mladin and run away and hide in his first ever WSBK season, even after numerous bike issues.