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: Donington Park Does Not Go Gently into the Night – Brings Surprise Finishes & Crashes

07/26/2009 @ 3:31 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

MotoGP: Donington Park Does Not Go Gently into the Night   Brings Surprise Finishes & Crashes Ducatisi Donington Park MotoGP1 560x401

MotoGP was in Donington Park this weekend for the British GP, and what will be the MotoGP Championship’s last stop at the Midlands track for the foreseeable future. Donington proved that not only would this be a finale GP, but also a memorable one. Weather forecasts for the day proved to be accurate with drizzles occurring during racing. Teams gambled on tires, and early ride reports indicated that the British track was very slippery when wet (shocking, we know). The end result was crashes, cold tires, and a podium line-up we’re guessing no one expected. Bangers and mash anyone?

It’s almost easier to start this article with who didn’t win. Starting with the usual suspects, both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo both found their way to gravel traps, making it a tough weekend for Fiat-Yamaha. With eleven laps remaining, Rossi found the Fogarty Esses to be too slippery for his tire selection. Despite his crash, Rossi was able to get his bike moving again, and was still able to finish the day with a 5th place, actually extending is lead over Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner in the overall standings.

Jorge Lorenzo was not as fortunate, as the young Spaniard crashed early into the race, and could not get his bike going again. Lorenzo would join Tony Elias being the races resident DNF’s for the day. But, they were also the first riders to get back into the paddock where it was warm and dry. With a race like today’s, they might be the real winners.

Casey Stoner and teammate Nicky Hayden easily faired the worse out of the riders who managed to stay upright on the track’s surface. With Ducati making the gamble on weather conditions, the two riders left the paddock on full wets tires, which proved to be next to useless without the heavy rain they required to work properly. The dynamic duo were lapped by the race leaders two laps before the halfway point of the race, their gamble definitively failing to pay off.

So who did win the day? If you said Dani Pedrosa, you’d be wrong…but close. Dani finished a middle of the pack, 9th place. However, it was his teammate Andrea Dovizioso who finished the day on the top step, and relatively uncontested after Rossi’s crash. After an ecstatic podium ceremony, the MotoGP sophomore said:

“This race was very difficult. With these conditions the temperature of the tires was too low, and the light rainfall for the whole race meant that it was probably the worst scenario for riding on this tire. We couldn’t change the bikes either, so it was really difficult to manage.”

Dovi was followed by Colin Edwards who battled Randy DePuniet all the way to the finish. Edwards proved to be the better man, taking the lead from DePuniet on the last hairpin turn of the race. They finished a second and a half behind Dovi. “I wouldn’t wish that kind of race on anybody. Have I raced in tougher conditions? Maybe… only when there has been oil on the track or something like that,” said Edwards after his first podium of the 2009 season.

Race Results from MotoGP at Donington Park, UK:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 48’26.267
2 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 48’27.627 1.360
3 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 48’27.867 1.600
4 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 48’35.225 8.958
5 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 48’47.889 21.622
6 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 48’48.732 22.465
7 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 49’01.551 35.284
8 88 Niccolo CANEPA DUCATI 49’05.036 38.769
9 3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 49’08.379 42.112
10 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 49’12.112 45.845
11 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 49’19.457 53.190
12 41 Gabor TALMACSI HONDA 49’38.582 1’12.315
13 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 49’46.665 1’20.398
14 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 49’25.241 1 lap
15 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 49’43.835 1 lap
Not Classified
99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 12’33.642 22 laps
24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 11’02.391 23 laps

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