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: Ducati Expected to Re-Sign Hayden at Laguna Seca

07/26/2012 @ 7:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Ducati Expected to Re Sign Hayden at Laguna Seca Mugello Italian GP MotoGP Saturday Jules Cisek 141 635x423

Making the rounds in the MotoGP paddock today at Laguna Seca, several sources close to the matter revealed to Asphalt & Rubber that Nicky Hayden is to announce a contract extension with Ducati Corse for the 2013 season this race-weekend. Pegged to be a one-year renewal, Hayden’s place at Ducati has been in a precarious position, ever since it was revealed that Cal Crutchlow had received an offer from the Italian team.

A workhorse for the Ducati, in addition to his personal sponsors, Hayden has been an integral member of the Italian brand ever since he joined the team back in 2009. With the United States now Ducati’s most important market in terms of sales, having an American on the company’s MotoGP team has been an important consideration for Ducati Corse, and the re-signing of Hayden to the Ducati Corse squad bodes well that Bologna has finalized its 2013 plans as well.

Unlikely to announce Nicky’s place in the team without securing the spot of the team’s #1 rider, the news that we will be hearing of Hayden’s contract at Laguna Seca gives a premonition that Ducati has closed in on a deal with Valentino Rossi. Said to have gotten the assurances from Audi that things would change within the Ducati Corse garage, Rossi has also been linked to a factory ride at Yamaha, as well as factory and satellite rides at Honda.

With the likely sticking point in that negotiations between Rossi and Ducati being the pace and process of development within Ducati Corse (there is said to be friction between Rossi and team boss Filippo Preziosi), the nine-time World Champion surely has gotten the backing of Ducati’s new owners that what changes he wishes to have made to the GP12/GP13 would be made, regardless of the what the engineers think is best.

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

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    What to think ? [o_O] ?
    Oh Rossi……..where have u got urselfe into ? Im sure he smacks himself on the balls every nite before going to sleep for making such a boneheaded move…is ok….there’s next year…and maybe the one after…someday Ducati will get it right…LOL.
    Italians being Italians i doubt anything will change…unless Preziosi and his “Italian thinking” minions gets told to pick up his/their shit and GTFO…i doubt that would happen tho.

    Hayden ? What can i say…stay and keep being un-competetive on an ill tempered ride allways hoping for some miracle or GTFO and go to WSBK ? Time flys….and he sure ain’t getting any younger.

  2. Halfie30 says:

    I don’t think Audi should interfere in Ducati race business. However, if they do, expect a “Yamaha” like machine next year from Burgess and Co.

  3. TexusTim says:

    I very glad to hear that Nicky will be staying even for just one more year he still has a lot of tallent and probably a podium or two as well…….not so sure Rossi will be there regardless of what Audi promises.
    Wouldnt it be awsome if Collin Edwards and Rossi started there own Yamaha or Honda satalite team ? with Rossi being there first rider and Collin running the team, Collin would make a great team manager and owner and I think Rossi has at least one more championship in him if not two.
    Cmon it could happen they could call it ItalAmerica Racing.

  4. Prediction:

    Rossi to Yamaha
    Ben spies back to Superbikes
    Crutchlow possibly to Ducati?

  5. ngads says:

    If ducati are re-signing hayden, then i think that they expect rossi to leave.

    Crutchlow has an offer, so if he takes it rossi won’t have a spot.

    Interesting times

  6. JoeD says:

    Nick has been a consistent rider for Ducati. He keeps his head down and mouth shut while coping with the development of the bike. He has the skill and more importantly, the will to win. Ducati chose wisely.

  7. Frenchie says:

    If Rossi goes back to Yamaha and Hayden stays at Ducati, it will be the first opportunity for Nicky to be the n°1 rider (especially for development) after 10 seasons spent in MotoGP, always in factory teams.

  8. Aj says:

    If you ask me, running over Marco Simoncelli had far more of an effect that anyone cares to talk about.

  9. Everett says:

    I’m with AJ. While he’s on a 2nd tier factory bike, I’ve got to think that age-his-own-injuries-and-the-Marco-event have dulled the razors edge that it takes to win at the GP level. Now if he had a bike 2-3 steps ahead of everyone, that might be different. But we cannot expect that to come in one year, even with Audi partnership and/or complete design control but no gains from competitors.

  10. Westward says:

    @MikeD

    To think that a company like Audi that just spent a billion plus to acquire Ducati will not exude some sort of influence, makes you comment seems rather bonehead in itself…

    I don’t see the germans dishing out that amount of coin only to fail.

    @Aj

    I agree, but I don’t think it manifests itself in the negative manner you imply. Rather, Rossi wants to win so that he can honour Simoncelli the way he is accustom to, as a public declaration…

    @FastBikeGear

    Ok, I’ll play the prognostication game… I predict Ducati signs Spies to pilot a factory bike on a Satellite team. In fact he might be joined with Crutchlow, if not Barbera also on a similar bike. This way ducati has four top flight pilots to pull data from.

    Then, if Spies does not work out in MotoGP, you will see him in WSBK aboard the Panigale, as Checa jumps ship to ride for BMW or Kawasaki, which he may do as soon as net year. Which means Guintoli might be his replacement in the meantime for 2013.

  11. Tyler says:

    “development within Ducati Corse (there is said to be friction between Rossi and team boss Filippo Preziosi),”

    Jenson,

    Where have you seen/heard this? I have not seen this, but have guessed the same… I would like to know more on this subject, as some of Burgess’ comments allude to the same problem..

  12. The MotoGP paddock…

  13. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Monterey, CA, USA
    27 July 2012

    Ducati announces renewal of Nicky Hayden’s contract

    On the occasion of the United States Grand Prix, the home race for two-time LagunaSeca MotoGP winner Nicky Hayden, Ducati announces a contract extension with the American that will see him continuing to race for the Ducati Team next year.

    Nicky Hayden, who turns 31 on Monday, is currently in his tenth season in the MotoGP series and his fourth with the Ducati Team. During that time, he has become extremely popular with fans and Ducatisti all over the world, thanks to his reliably positive outlook, his passion, and his determination. He currently sits eighth in the championship points standings and is working hard on the development of the Desmosedici GP12, employing his typical effort and enthusiasm.

    The United States hosts no fewer than 45 DOCs (Ducati Owners Clubs) and tomorrow thousands of fans will have the opportunity to meet Nicky at Ducati Island, an area at Laguna Seca where Ducatisti gather to follow the race and experience the “red passion.” Following the afternoon qualifying session, Nicky himself will visit the Island’s stage, where many spectators and fans will no doubt be excited to join him in celebrating the news of his renewal with the Ducati Team.

    Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team
    “I’m very happy that I’ll be back with Ducati and back in MotoGP, racing at the highest level for a very important team. I love the guys I work with, I love the Ducati fans, and I love the brand. This is an important time for Ducati in a number of ways, and I’m excited that I’ll continue to be a part of it. I feel like I’ve got some unfinished business here, and hopefully we can get all the pieces into place and reap the rewards of the hard work we’ve put in the last couple of years. It’s nice to be able to make this announcement at Laguna and to share the moment with my fans, friends and family. If I can do a good result on Sunday, it could make for a pretty special birthday weekend.”

  14. smiler says:

    2013 Rossi No1 rider and Hayden No2. Audi, now and over the winter intervene as much as is necessary to get the bike sorted. Think of the oneupmanship with BMW they will get.

    2013 Hayden to WSB. Rossi to satelite Yamaha team then WSB in 2014. Cal into the now competitive Ducati with an Italian or a competitive American if there are any about.

    Italians being Italians i doubt anything will change…unless Preziosi and his “Italian thinking” minions gets told to pick up his/their shit and GTFO…i doubt that would happen tho.

    Just do not agree with that. The bike performed well considering the WSB and middling MotoGP riders on the bike to start with and later Stacey. Up until 2008, when Stacey ordered the carbon monochococchco frame. in place of the steel trellis.
    Since then everyone has been fighting to get a decent bike back on the track. Ducati engineers are not idiots, given the size of the company compared to the large Jap firms they have seen off and stayed longer than most in MotoGP. Anyojne remeber KR, Illmor, Aprilia, etc?

    In WSB they are dominent and this year in Superstocks have already given BMW something to think about.
    Burgess and Rossi IMHO are trying to get a bike that suit more riders in different conditions and tracks rather than needing to find the rider that can.
    Think they will see it through seeing also as Hayden stays on. No threat to Rossi and continuity for development .

  15. MikeD says:

    @Dear WestWard:

    Check your eyes and read twice before posting relative UBER B.S and calling others names. I never said Audi wouldn’t have any influence on Ducati. I didn’t even mentioned Audi on my writing. I was going about Rossi.
    Why can’t you be cool about someone thinking different than you like Smiler did ?
    Get off your migthy high wooden rocking horse and get down with the regular GROWN people.

    Thanks for the unnecesary Heat and Friction, Sincerely…MikeD.
    P.S: Xcuse my horrible grammar.

  16. MikeD says:

    @Smiler:

    Im down with the Trellis, always been. But the experts/experts-riders said it was flawed for MotoGP racing…and i ain’t an expert or GP Pilot, that’s for SURE. LOL. Hell ! It took them all the way there until they ditched it for the Carbon one !
    No, they have no Idiots…let’s clear that up…but rather STUBBORN Italians…wich could be even worse depending of the color of the lens u use to look at Ducati Corse Department.
    They have stayed for so long cause they have brains and some major sponsors…not necesarely some alien technology on their bikes…but let’s see how long that takes them.
    P.S: Duc sound A LOT like Aprilia wit the RS3 Cube…the thing was a wild stallion. LOTS OF POTENTIAL…yet no one knew how to harness it or use it.

  17. MikeD says:

    @ngads:

    Nice theory there. Let’s see how it plays out.

  18. MikeD says:

    @Aj: +1.