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: Czech GP Shapes 2009 and 2010

08/17/2009 @ 2:26 am, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT

MotoGP: Czech GP Shapes 2009 and 2010 Toni Elias Brno Czech Republic MotoGP 560x401

Big announcements came out of Brno this week, with the 2010 season starting to shape up with riders solidify positions for next year. With plenty of silly season ahead of us, we can at least reflect on the racing from the Czech Republic, which has once again shaped the MotoGP Championship standings.

Out of the gates, it was Rossi, Lorenzo, and Pedrosa who broke away from the pack, clearly running their own race inside the main event. However on lap 4, Lorenzo got past Pedrosa, and it looked like another Fiat Yamaha battle to the finish as Rossi and Lorenzo traded off breaking lap records with each other.

With 6 laps remaining, and Rossi and Lorenzo swapped positions in Turn 3. A lap later, and again in Turn 3, Lorenzo broke late into the turn, trying to fend of Rossi’s advances. Walking the line too closely, Jorge found himself in the gravel trap, and likely handing Rossi the MotoGP Championship. Rossi now has a 50 point lead over Lorenzo in the standings.

All alone, Pedrosa came in an easy second, followed by surprise finisher Toni Elias 10 seconds later. Elias was a DNF at Donington before the summer break, but found himself in stellar form this weekend. He was followed closely by Andrea Dovizioso to the finish line, who in turn just barely beat out Capirossi.

Bad news came for Ducati this weekend. After playing a quick game of musical chairs, both Mika Kallio and Michel Fabrizio found themselves out of the race. Kallio, being more aquainted with crashing in MotoGP, set the standard and was taken out by Marco Melandri. Melandri was passing Kallio in the second to last lap, but found Kallio running too wide, and ended up slamming into the Finn. Fabrizio’s departure was less dramatic, as the Italian retired after 6 laps because of an arm injury from WSBK that has plagued him all week.

Holding it down for the Ducati loyal, was Nicky Hayden. Nicky rode a solid race, and finished 6th for the day, just ahead of fellow American Colin Edwards.

Hopefully, in two weeks we’ll be reporting MotoGP live to you from Indianapolis. That is of course, if Dorna ever gets back to us with our press pass. Apparently news that doesn’t take a week/month to reach people isn’t very legitimate in their eyes.

Race Results from MotoGP at Brno, Czech:

Pos.No.RiderManufacturerTimeDiff
146Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA43’08.991-
23Dani PEDROSAHONDA43’20.75711.766
324Toni ELIASHONDA43’29.74720.756
44Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA43’30.40921.418
565Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI43’30.52921.538
669Nicky HAYDENDUCATI43’34.53525.544
75Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA43’34.66725.676
815Alex DE ANGELISHONDA43’43.10034.109
952James TOSELANDYAMAHA43’44.60835.617
1014Randy DE PUNIETHONDA43’48.81539.824
117Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI43’49.76740.776
1288Niccolo CANEPADUCATI43’59.65250.661
1341Gabor TALMACSIHONDA44’08.17959.188
Not Classified
36Mika KALLIODUCATI39’38.2782 laps
33Marco MELANDRIKAWASAKI39’38.5182 laps
99Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA33’15.2845 laps
84Michel FABRIZIODUCATI12’13.90216 laps

Comment:

  1. Sully says:

    I don’t know, I only watched it once, but it seemed that melandri had the inside line as he was completing the pass on kallio. kallio was wide and then swung in on melandri as if he wanted to hop on the back of melandri’s bike so they could finish 2 up. i could clearly be out of my element commenting on race tactics and what not.