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: A Slithering in the Championship at the Italian GP

07/16/2012 @ 1:35 am, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

MotoGP: A Slithering in the Championship at the Italian GP Mugello Italian GP MotoGP Sunday Jules Cisek 03 635x423

Under Tuscan skies, MotoGP ends its three-consecutive race weekends in Mugello, Italy — one of the most favorite stops on the Championship calendar each season. With Casey Stoner struggling at the Italian track, and Jorge Lorenzo dominating, a clear move in the Championship points seemed destined for the Italian GP. Adding a curve ball to the equation though was Repsol Honda man Dani Pedrosa, who sat on the pole-position, and who also showed a renewed promise to contend for the Championship title.

With the battle at the front of the Championship heating up, the battle between the best of the rest was also coming to a head — especially over the empty seat in the factory Yamaha squad. Said to be held up by one Mr. Valentino Rossi, waiting in the wings are also Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, and Cal Crutchlow. With the American said to have an edge on keeping his seat, mostly due to the checks Yamaha USA writes, Spies’ abysmal season seems almost all but forgiven. Though anything can happen before MotoGP makes its next stop, in the USA at Laguna Seca.

Meanwhile still in Italy, the Italian GP was largely a processional race. Lorenzo took the lead into the first turn, and the Spaniard never looked back. Though a pack of four other riders (Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Hayden, and Bradl) would trail him, Lorenzo slowly made his gap, and finished a comfortable race. With Pedrosa getting around Dovizioso quickly into the game, the Repsol Honda rider would also have a comfortable finish, though he felt the pressure from Dovizioso and Bradl for some time more before that.

The group would eventually lose Hayden, who at one point was almost in the clutches of a charging Casey Stoner, though the American would make a stellar push forward back to the group that was racing for third. Running off the track, Stoner took himself out of the equation, as the Australian just never found a setup he was comfortable with on his Honda RC213V on the Italian track.

With Dovi mixing it up with a very potent Stefan Bradl, the more experienced Tech 3 rider eventually robbed the rookie of his first MotoGP podium finish, though it was a tough-fought fight for that position. Nicky Hayden would join the duo, and for a fraction of a lap seemed to have a fourth-place finish tied-up on the final lap.

Leaving the door open for Bradl to respond, Bradl’s tough pass left Nicky running wide as Bradl went through. Hayden’s charge would cost him thrice, as both Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow got around the American in the process as well — Rossi a corner later, and Crutchlow just ahead of the final turn.

Languishing throughout the race was Ben Spies, who was dealing with a suspected bout of food poisoning. Said just to be concentrating on not making a milkshake in his helmet, the Italian GP is just another bullet point on a laundry list of bad breaks the factory Yamaha rider has had to endure this season. Whether the worst luck in the history of modern man, or a symptom of a greater issue, the fact remains that another horrendous result for Spies just muddles the future further on his retention at the Yamaha squad.

With two satellite riders consistently out-doing him on the track, for whatever reason it may be, Yamaha surely has to be weighing its options carefully, and the fact that Spies hasn’t signed a contract already just adds further credence to the Japanese company weighing all its possible choices.

In other news, the debate is still raging as to what was more ridiculous: Jorge Lorenzo’s “black mamba” parc fermé celebration, or Michele Pirro’s attempt to shortcut nearly half the track (which resulted in him being black-flagged) after pitting on the first lap. Cast your vote in the comments.

Race Results from the Italian GP at Mugello, Italy:

Pos.RiderNationTeamBikeTime
1Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha41’37.477
2Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda+5.223
3Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+10.665
4Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda+10.711
5Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati+11.695
6Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+12.060
7Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati+12.235
8Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda+30.617
9Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati+31.728
10Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda+34.589
11Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha+57.862
12Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART+59.963
13Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART+1’11.200
14James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART+1’11.458
15Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART+1’11.828
16Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR1 Lap
Not Classified
Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter13 Laps
Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR14 Laps
Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda20 Laps
Excluded
Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR0 Lap

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

Comment:

  1. Damo says:

    Riders sure seem to get food poisoning much more than normal people…

  2. Philip says:

    As retarded as he looked, I actually liked the Black Mamba strikes. Lorenzo ~ Kobe if Stoner ~ LeBron in terms of killer instinct and outright skill. So my vote goes to Mr. Pirro.

  3. I thought that PF mamba strike was fun. And, honestly, he DECIMATED the field. Lorenzo sure was the man of the day. Wow.

    As for Spies … I like him as a rider. That said, luck or whatever notwithstanding, it’s all about results at the end of the day. He’s not delivering. I’m thinkin’ that Dovi should have that seat.

  4. Calisdad says:

    Oh- so that’s what that was. He needs Steve O to show him how it’s really done.

    Great race on his part. He should stick to racing and maybe start some victory skits after he’s won 6 more championships. Vale should be pleased tho- imitation and flattery and all.

    Mr Pirro was black flagged for ‘an illegal manouver’. Now if he was on a factory Honda it would have been legalized before the race was over.