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: It’s Not Over Until It’s Over at Sachsenring

07/08/2012 @ 3:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Its Not Over Until Its Over at Sachsenring Casey Stoner Dani Pedrosa MotoGP Sachsenring 635x421

With the rainy weekend turning to cloudy but dry skies, racing for the German GP proved to be a challenge as teams had only one practice session plus the warm-up to get their dry-setups right for the afternoon’s race. With Casey Stoner sitting on the pole-position, all eyes were on the Australian to see if he could convert the front-row start into a points advantage in the MotoGP Championship, after Lorenzo’s crash in Assen leveled the points between the two rivals.

The level playing field was courtesy of one over-zealous Alvaro Bautista, whose first-turn crash at Assen took the factory Yamaha rider down with him, thus negating his 25 point lead in the 2012 MotoGP Championship. With much of silly season still undecided, the focus wasn’t just on the riders at the front, as Ben Spies, Andrea Dovizioso, and Cal Crutchlow all are vying for the last factory seat in the Yamaha garage. As the German GP would prove, even with half of the season nearly over, it could all come down to the last minute. Click on for a full race report with spoilers.

Another rocket start, another Dani Pedrosa lead into the first turn. Followed closely by Repsol Honda teammate Casey Stoner, the pair of Hondas would walkaway from the trailing Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo. Dropping his teammate to the satellite Yamaha wolves that followed, Lorenzo would find himself out in no-man’s land, with a sizable gap in front of him and the factory Hondas, as well as a safe margin to the melee that was underway behind him.

A three-way scrap for fourth, it was almost fitting that Spies, Dovi, and Crutchlow would come together for a race-long fight. Vying for more than just fourth place in the German GP, the race showed a renewed form for the American Spies. However, even though Spies was showing a renewed self, he was still losing the war, as the men he contended with were better making results with lesser machinery. Unable to catch Dovi at the finish line, Spies would have to settle for fourth, as Cal Crutchlow’s error with five laps remaining cost him his position in the fight.

For those doing the math with all the “fourths”, Spies’ looking fourth-place finish was assisted by one of the most monumental crashes of the season, as Casey Stoner lost the front of his Honda RC213V with half a lap remaining. Chasing down Dani Pedrosa for the race win, Stoner was unable to rejoin the race, thus handing his advantage in the Championship right back to Lorenzo, who had a similar price to pay in Assen just eight days earlier.

The crash meant Dani Pedrosa’s first win of the season, and the second podium in a row for satellite rider Andrea Dovizioso. The crash also meant a 20 point advantage to Lorenzo over Stoner, as well as Dani Pedrosa moving into second in the points totals, just 14 points behind Lorenzo.

Having to start from the back of the pack, Alvaro Bautista ran a fantastic race to come from 21st to 7th, catching the group the ultimately was battling for 5th. A melee between Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, Hector Barbara, and Stefan Bradl. The group would be caught by Crutchlow after his mistake, as well as Bautista who had a strong late-race charge — making it a seven-way dash to the finish.

Giving his German fans something to cheer about, Bradl rode a strong race, and fended off the Ducatis. While Nicky Hayden gave Bradl the most pressure, it was ultimately Rossi that would be the Best of Bologna, though the nine-time World Champion was nearly half a minute off the pace.

With not too much going on at the pointy end of the race, the German GP had serious consequences for the Championship as a whole. The last stop in this quick three-race blast, MotoGP comes from Mugello next Sunday for the Italian GP, and then will be officially half over.

Race Results from the German GP at Sachsenring, Germany:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 41’28.396
2 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +14.996
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +20.669
4 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +20.740
5 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda +27.893
6 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati +28.050
7 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda +28.246
8 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +28.447
9 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati +29.053
10 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati +29.226
11 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART +53.176
12 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter +58.204
13 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART +1’04.654
14 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR +1’13.543
15 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART +1’30.318
16 Franco BATTAINI ITA Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 1 Lap
17 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda 1 Lap
18 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 1 Lap
Not Classified
DNF Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 1 Lap
DNF Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART 26 Laps
DNF Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 27 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: HRC

Comment:

  1. Fred Santos says:

    Dumb Stoner.

    Sad.

  2. Jonathan says:

    He was pushing. In fact he was leaned over so far that it was hard to tell when the leaning stopped and the crash started. It happened right about the time that the rain shower started too. Looks like Honda are getting on top of the chatter problem though. I know Dani always does well at the Sachsenring, but on the form of the bikes so far this season I was expecting the more nimble yamaha to be more competitive at this twisty track.

  3. Damo says:

    I have no idea why Stoner was pushing so hard. He should have been happy with 2nd and the lead in the championship.

    Imagine my happiness if for some reason Dani stays in form and snatches the crown from the two disposed kings!

  4. MikeD says:

    Stoner………..you are killing me here dude.

    Get your shit together, i know u can get out this year with the Championship in your pocket. (^_^)

    @Damo:

    I was saying the same, he didn’t need to finish first…just finish in the top 3, BUT…specially FINISH THE RACE.
    I bet he must be kicking his own ass right now. Live & Learn.

  5. KevinH says:

    How’s that ol’ chestnut go … “Aww Casey mate I guess your ambition outweighed your talent”. And to cap it all off, the Moto3 guys made you look like an even bigger ass.

  6. GeddyT says:

    Jensen… let’s at least keep the typos out of the headlines!

  7. spectre says:

    How did the moto3 riders make Casey look stupid? Missed that one…

    Seeing as it’s the first race he hasn’t finished since Japan last year, I think he can afford a bit of risk. Rain had just started to fall, who dares wins etc.

  8. Campisi says:

    “How’s that ol’ chestnut go … ‘Aww Casey mate I guess your ambition outweighed your talent’.”

    The first bit of MotoGP I ever watched began with that clip. Seeing Stoner be such an ass to Rossi after he ran over from his pit to apologize (and respond to Stoner’s quip with further humble apologies) soured me on the fellow. I respect his incredible riding talent, but to this day I can’t bring myself to think of his personality positively.

  9. KevinH says:

    Moto3 riders hauled ass on a heavily soaked track (that then dried out almost completely) and defied expectations that most of them would fall over. On rain tyres. After a dry practice.

    Post-race interviews put me off Stoner … I think he mistakes whinging and moaning for being humble?

    No doubt he can ride! But there are other riders who are far better sportsmen …

  10. MikeD says:

    @KevinH:

    Have u not know or maybe just conveniently forgotten that the most precarious time to be riding a motorcycle is when STARTS or STOPS raining and NOT when the pavement is fully soaked with clean water and not drenched with a slick mix of water, suspended tire dust and what not ?
    I think it was stated in this same article that started raining at the time of the incident…if memory serves my right*.

    Oh, by the way…i completely understand how a measly 250 * 4 STROKE * making close to 50-55hp is a TOTAL DEMON to control on WET Pavement when compared to a 250hp+ 1000cc Motorcycle…yes, INDEED, it would take skills of EPIC proportions. After all, GP Pilots get started on 250hp+ 1000cc bikes and work their way up to 50-55hp 250cc Screaming Banshees.

    P.S: Even tho im defending the guy here i made very clear before that what he did was a ” Total Bautista” move…im just giving credit to his fall but not his “star move”.

  11. KevinH says:

    You’d think a world champ wouldn’t forget either ;)

    Tell you what Mike – go out there in the rain and do some fast knee-down laps with a 250 then get back to us, eh?

    Bautista took out the championship leader … who did Stoner take out? Oh himself. Lorenzo back on top!

  12. MikeD says:

    Sorry dude, gonna have to let u down on that request…my bicycle has a flat as we speak…and it’s raining…don’t want to have a ” Stoner Moment ” … too much HP and not enough of a “clear head” to handle it…too much pressure.

  13. KevinH says:

    The irony is your sarcasm hits the nail right on the head there, Mike. Goes to show that even the greatest of us can let our ambition run away from our talent. Oh wait what – I said that already!
    QED.