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: Lap Record Smashed in Qualifying at Silverstone

06/11/2011 @ 4:43 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Lap Record Smashed in Qualifying at Silverstone Casey Stoner MotoGP Silverstone Scott Jones

With rainy weather looming for Sunday’s race, Saturday’s qualifying at Silverstone took place under otherwise favorable conditions with only a patchwork of clouds in the sky. This made conditions ripe for some record setting lap times, and several MotoGP riders were up to that very task.

With the MotoGP grid still without Dani Pedrosa, the ranks did swell with one more rider, as Colin Edwards returned to race after breaking his collarbone at the Catalan GP. The increase in numbers for the starting grid would not stay raised for long though, find out why after the jump.

It took on six minutes into qualifying for the Silverstone track to claim home hero Cal Crutchlow, who got caught out on cold tires, as the British rider had a minor highside and broke his collarbone in the fall. A disappointing start for the Brit, as locals were not only looking forward to cheering for the likable rider, but more so because Crutchlow scored his best result in Barcelona.

Back on the track, Casey Stoner lead the time sheets for the first 15 minutes of qualifying, then Marco Simoncelli set the fastest lap time ever recorded on Silverstone by a motorcycle, knocking Stoner off the top seat. Super Sic would in-turn be displaced by Jorge Lorenzo halfway through the session, though this would not last for long. Lorenzo qualified on the front row in third, while teammate Ben Spies quietly got himself onto the fourth place position.

Having a harder time of things compared to the leader, the Ducati contingency struggled with the British track, and Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden both expressed their desire for rain on Sunday to try and help even the playing field with their bikes’ deficiencies. At the top of the Italian bike heap was rookie Karel Abraham, making the British GP have at least a silver lining for the Czech rider. Hopefully Abraham can turn that starting position into one of his best race finishes as well.

As usual now, Casey Stoner set the fastest lap in qualifying, thus making a new track record of 2:02.02. He would be closely matched by Marco Simoncelli though, with the Italian answering each of Stoner’s lap increases throughout the session. Less than two tenths of a second behind the Australian, eyes will once again be trained on the San Carlos Gresini Honda rider come Sunday.

Qualifying Results from the British GP at Silverstone, England:

Pos.No.RiderNationTeamTimeDiff.
127Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda Team2’02.020-
258Marco SIMONCELLIITASan Carlo Honda Gresini2’02.2080.188
31Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory Racing2’02.2370.217
411Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory Racing2’02.6770.657
54Andrea DOVIZIOSOITARepsol Honda Team2’03.2121.192
617Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB Motoracing2’04.1512.131
769Nicky HAYDENUSADucati Team2’04.3042.284
85Colin EDWARDSUSAMonster Yamaha Tech 32’04.5082.488
919Alvaro BAUTISTASPARizla Suzuki MotoGP2’04.5202.500
1014Randy DE PUNIETFRAPramac Racing Team2’04.5892.569
117Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNSan Carlo Honda Gresini2’04.9192.899
128Hector BARBERASPAMapfre Aspar Team MotoGP2’05.1643.144
1346Valentino ROSSIITADucati Team2’05.7813.761
1424Toni ELIASSPALCR Honda MotoGP2’05.8623.842
1565Loris CAPIROSSIITAPramac Racing Team2’06.2564.236
1635Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 32’07.9115.891

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Toshi says:

    0.188 seconds is not “less than a 10th of a second”.

  2. MikeD says:

    Stoner is ON FIRE Baby !

  3. CBR600RR says:

    Toshi. Re-read. They state two tenths. And GO CASEY!!

  4. Sean in Oz says:

    The only way Lorenzo got to the top of the time sheets was to put the soft tyres on before Stoner and Simoncelli.

  5. DucracerX says:

    STONER RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!