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: Qualifying Results from Austin

04/20/2013 @ 1:17 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Qualifying Results from Austin marc marquez circuit of the americas motogp scott jones 635x422

MotoGP Qualifying Results from the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, TX:

Pos. Rider Team Bike KM/H Time Diff.
1 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Honda 341.6 2’03.021 -
2 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team Honda 339.1 2’03.275 0.254
3 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 335.0 2’04.100 1.079
4 Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 332.4 2’04.267 1.246
5 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 336.8 2’04.445 1.424
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team Ducati 336.5 2’04.873 1.852
7 Alvaro BAUTISTA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 335.7 2’04.942 1.921
8 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 335.2 2’05.380 2.359
9 Aleix ESPARGARO* Power Electronics Aspar ART 320.1 2’05.389 2.368
10 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team Ducati 336.5 2’05.568 2.547
11 Bradley SMITH* Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 334.1 2’06.740 3.719
12 Ben SPIES Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 333.8 2’07.044 4.023
3 Andrea IANNONE* Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 335.0 2’06.872 0.760
4 Randy DE PUNIET Power Electronics Aspar ART 315.3 2’07.129 1.017
5 Hector BARBERA Avintia Blusens FTR 316.9 2’07.717 1.605
6 Yonny HERNANDEZ* Paul Bird Motorsport ART 315.4 2’07.738 1.626
7 Michael LAVERTY* Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 310.2 2’08.259 2.147
8 Colin EDWARDS* NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 313.4 2’08.475 2.363
9 Claudio CORTI* NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 315.9 2’08.792 2.680
10 Danilo PETRUCCI* Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 315.0 2’08.825 2.713
11 Hiroshi AOYAMA* Avintia Blusens FTR 310.0 2’09.062 2.950
12 Bryan STARING* GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 311.6 2’10.098 3.986
13 Lukas PESEK* Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 313.8 2’10.507 4.395
14 Blake YOUNG* Attack Performance Racing APR 307.2 2’10.606 4.494
15 Karel ABRAHAM* Cardion AB Motoracing ART 310.5 2’23.317 17.205

*Participated in QP1

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. L2C says:

    That shit was crazy! I’m in the process of filing a lawsuit against Márquez to cover the expenses of picking my jaw up from off of the floor, since he’s the one responsible for it being down there in the first place.

    That was the most ridiculous practice and qualifying sessions I have ever seen. Just absolutely unreal. Every time Pedrosa closed the gap, or even took the lead spot, at one point, Márquez would slash another second or half a second from his fastest time and reclaim the top position. Nobody. No. Bah. Dee. Could keep up with him. Nuts!

    That’s gonna be some race tomorrow. Just hope my man Dani can pull through and finish in the top two on the podium. I’d hate for him to be demoralized. And especially since it’s so early in the season. I have faith. He can do it, but it’s going to be awfully hard to do it tomorrow at that circuit.

    At least no one knows how a race is going to play out there. Hopefully it doesn’t get too messy.

  2. Westward says:

    Dragging Elbow ! That’s an insane pic. Dani Pedrosa’s heart is going to burst if Marquez takes victory. Assuming they finish one two with Lorenzo third, ties Marquez for the lead… Unless Cal manages to upset the Yamaha order of the universe, and drops Jorge to fourth, than Marc would lead overall.

    Then we would here the Spanish media trumpet the call about the first rookie champion since Roberts I think….

  3. TheSeaward says:

    Someone give Espargaro a real bike. That man is killing it.

  4. Joe says:

    Marquez is a beast!
    Amazing talent!
    If he can be consistent we may be looking at the next Rossi!
    Of course, the Honda may be the best bike on the grid as well.
    Joe

  5. pooch says:

    …and how does VR46 feel, edging out a CRT rider by 9 thousandths of a second, Rossi having extensively tested at COTA where Aleix has not – have said it before on this forum and I’ll say it again, Aleix needs a factory ride!

    And Marquez is a Beast – no question. I’d love to see him take his maiden victory at COTA. Methinks that will be a popular win there, seeing as you U.S guys, like us Aussies, have no-one in contention this year (sniffs)

  6. L2C says:

    Apparently Rossi’s bike is suffering from brake issues. Not sure what that means. Is he being forced to brake earlier than he would like? That would definitely increase his lap times.

  7. SBPilot says:

    Yea MM is killing it. He may even win the title this year, his talent is beyond everyone else, full stop.

    And yes, Espargaro is just incredible. Everyone last year criticizing CRTs and now look at how well they are doing just after one year. Especially ESP he is really class act on that bike. I am very curious what Aspar will do, lease a Honda or build a frame with an M1 engine or will Aprilia create an engine as powerful as the prototypes. Problem for ESP is he will have to relearn a new bike and redevelop the entire thing again if they go either Honda or M1 engine route and then be disadvantaged again having no data from a previous year to build on .

  8. Gutterslob says:

    Yup, Marquez killed em all in that qualifying session. Like they say in America, Mad Skillz!!

    Question:
    That number 74 on MM’s front fender; that his own tribute to Daijiro Kato, or is it a HRC thing?

  9. Gutterslob says:

    ^ Never mind. Found the answer.

    It’s the 10th anniversary of Kato’s death.
    http://www.redbull.com/en/motorsports/motogp/stories/1331586984833/breaking-news-future-and-past-are-present-in-austin

    A Gresinni thing, but I suppose every rider would want to put a 74 sticker this weekend.