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.

Post-Race Misano MotoGP Test Times: Marquez Tops Timesheets While on 2014 Honda RC213V

09/16/2013 @ 11:33 am, by David Emmett9 COMMENTS

Post Race Misano MotoGP Test Times: Marquez Tops Timesheets While on 2014 Honda RC213V marc marquez misano test hrc

Marc Marquez has ended the day at the top of the timesheets, taking the 2014 version of the RC213V out for a final run at the end of the day to post a time nearly a quarter of a second faster than Jorge Lorenzo, who had been fastest for most of the day.

Both Honda and Yamaha had brought versions of their 2014 machines, with all four factory riders switching between the two versions, though most were concentrating on improving set up for the remainder of the 2013 season.

Valentino Rossi finished the day in 3rd, having worked largely on improving braking and corner entry, the area in which he is suffering the most during the races. Yamaha believes they found something, Rossi said, and ending the day under two tenths from his teammate suggest they have.

Cal Crutchlow had a day building confidence, ending the test in 4th close behind Rossi, and just ahead of Alvaro Bautista. Dani Pedrosa set the 6th fastest time, and had spent nearly all day just working on trying to resolve the problems with rear grip he has had this season.

Randy de Puniet was once again present, testing the Suzuki MotoGP prototype. De Puniet ended the day 1.833 seconds behind Marquez, ahead of the CRTs, but a second behind the fastest Ducati, which would be the bike’s first target.

Yonny Hernandez made his debut on the Pramac Ignite Ducati, and spent the day getting accustomed to the greater power and extensive electronics of the bike. Meanwhile, his old Aprilia ART crossed the garage to Michael Laverty, who will ride the bike for the rest of the season.

Yamaha, Ducati and Tech 3 also spent some time on the new rear tire Bridgestone had brought to test, and the reception was largely positive.

The rear tire is a new hard option, replacing the current hard tire which nobody has been able to use all year. The tire is an improvement over the old hard, making it possible to run the harder option on hot afternoons, expanding the choice for the riders.

Pos. Rider Bike Fastest Lap Diff. Diff. Prev.
1 Marc Marquez Honda 1:33.264 - -
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:33.502 0.238 0.238
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:33.660 0.396 0.158
4 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1:33.780 0.516 0.120
5 Alvaro Bautista Honda 1:33.877 0.613 0.097
6 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1:33.892 0.628 0.015
7 Stefan Bradl Honda 1:34.015 0.751 0.123
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:34.118 0.854 0.103
9 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1:34.252 0.988 0.134
10 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1:34.378 1.114 0.126
11 Bradley Smith Yamaha 1:34.414 1.150 0.036
12 Michele Pirro Ducati 1:34.652 1.388 0.238
13 Randy de Puniet Suzuki 1:35.097 1.833 0.445
14 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Kawasaki 1:35.501 2.237 0.404
15 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW 1:35.671 2.407 0.170
16 Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1:36.277 3.013 0.606
17 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 1:36.348 3.084 0.071
18 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 1:36.402 3.138 0.054
19 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 1:36.540 3.276 0.138
20 Michael Laverty Aprilia ART 1:37.699 4.435 1.159
21 Michele Magnoni Suter BMW 1:39.107 5.843 1.408

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Marc Marquez (Twitter)

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. JW says:

    Does anyone believe Pedrosa will have the opportunity to continue with Honda when his contract comes up for renewal?

  2. Norm G. says:

    Q: “Does anyone believe Pedrosa will have the opportunity to continue with Honda when his contract comes up for renewal?”

    A: yes, when all’s said and done, there are no co-champions (not yet anyways). only ONE person can have their name engraved on the trophy… and depending on fate, it could easily be the name of one of the other team’s riders.

  3. I agree with Norm G. Pedrosa has enjoyed an incredibly long and successful career. Sure, he hasn’t won a premier-class championship, but his results have been far from even average. He and Randy Mamola are two of my favourite riders who haven’t managed a championship despite years of excellent racecraft.

    Winning championships is a fickle thing, largely dependent upon who one happens to be racing against any particular year.

  4. Jimbo says:

    I agree with Norm G also.

    The Yamaha/Honda factory rides are the four top rides and will go to the four top riders. Fact is Pedrosa is one of those four. Infact the current four are the right four for those bikes and will be next season too.

  5. smiler says:

    “Does anyone believe Pedrosa will have the opportunity to continue with Honda when his contract comes up for renewal?”¨

    Dorna – Spanish
    Carmelo – Spanish
    Repsol – Spanish
    27 riders in MotoGP Spanish
    4/19 rounds in Spain
    Pol Paella promoted to Tech 3 in favour of Scott Redding or Cal – Pol Paella is Spanish
    Rookie Rule dumped for…a Spanish Rider.
    The Repsol CEV race series, now part of the FIM – Spanish. A feeder series for MotoGP.
    Last 2 MotoGP podiums – All Spanish.
    Any other motorsports series with more than 1 successful Spanish racer…….no.

    So in answer to your question, of course he will stay in.

    Not even Bernie Eccclestone is this partisan.

  6. BBQdog says:

    @Smiler: couldn’t agree more. Moto3 and MotoGP are called ‘the spanish open’ over here.
    It’s just watching which spanians will fill the podium this time. How exciting to watch ….

  7. Jimbo says:

    @smiler @BBQ Dog
    Are you two serious?
    Moto GP isnt the world cup guys! its not a country sport it’s individual racers. If the best riders come from Spain thats not Spain’s fault. It’s how it works. I don’t care what country a rider is from I just like or don’t like the rider.
    I dont understand how country of origin makes this sport dull. The fight between Marquez and Pedrosa would have been just as exciting if they were both italian or one russian or one british. Still the same two guys fighting it out.

    Also lets address this “too many races in spain” rubbish cos i cant stand it. For a start i am English with no connection to spain (i dont holiday there or have spanish relatives etc) just so you know i am not being partisan. The fact is MotoGP is a fairly niche sport. We all love it but not many others do. For it to survive and continue it needs to go where the fans are and where the money is to keep going. I went to the silverstone circuit this year as i do every year to watch it. It has a capacity of 120k seated without counting general entry normal roaming. Barely 74k turned up.
    Now that’s a lot of people but we couldnt fill the track for the one race we have, what orgainser in their right mind will set more? I went to mugello last year and it was packed out! Spain is the same. They have 4 rounds there because four rounds worth of people are willing to buy tickets!

    Can you honestly tell me you would rather risk the sport going into decline than have the basic of fiancial understanding to see why it is organised the way it is? Supply is a simple solution to a demand equation nothing more. I point out Honda and Yamaha the two biggest teams are Japanese but they dont complain that there arent 17 Japanese rounds. They know the demand.
    Can we please stop this barely controlled bigotry and just enjoy the sport – sport which is supposed to bring people together.

  8. JW says:

    Thanks to you all for answering my question so well, especially Smiler, as you have reminded me again how big business has a “certain way”of doing things. I clearly see it now with a different eye.

  9. Well said, Jimbo. The “They’re Spaniards!” whining is fairly adolescent. Spain has the largest number of racing series in a structure that naturally leads to MotoGP. Few other countries have the competitive series required to breed such top quality riders. That means that a number of non-Spanish riders, such as the likes of Casey Stoner and Scott Redding, have also raced in the Spanish series prior to entering MotoGP.

    Culturally, Spain and Italy are the hotbeds of motorcycle appreciation. Unsurprisingly, they’re also two of the best racing countries historically speaking. It takes really strong racing series to breed really strong riders. Canada, for example, is lacking. Stacey Nesbitt was championship winner of both the R.A.C.E. CBR Cup Championship and PARTS Canada CSBK Honda CBR125 Canadian National Championship in 2011. In 2012, she won the MOPAR CSBK Honda CBR250 Canadian National Championship. In 2012, she tried out for Red Bull Rookies, but didn’t cut it. The competition was just too stiff. (I’m still hopeful she’ll make it some day. I was one of many sponsors for her trip to the try-outs in Qatar.)