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 Falls During Qualifying for Indy GP

08/27/2011 @ 12:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Lap Record Falls During Qualifying for Indy GP Ben Spis Qualifying Indianapolis GP

Lapping under perhaps the best conditions Indianapolis has to offer in late-August, MotoGP took to The Brickyard for the 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Though Indy’s newly paved track failed to impress riders with its first impression, as more rubber was put down on the racing line during the weekend’s sessions, the pavement increased its grip, making for some impressive lap times in the later practice sessions.

With Casey Stoner breaking Indy’s outright best lap time during FP3 with a 1’39.552 lap time (the previous “Best Lap Time” was set in 2009 by Dani Pedrosa with a 1’39.790), all eyes were on the Australian during qualifying to see if he could further push Indy’s outright top lap on two-wheels even further down on the stopwatch. Eyes were also on American Ben Spies, who has been consistently at the top of the timesheet all weekened.

Riding at a track he calls home, Spies said after the Free Practice that if he could get close to Stoner’s pace, he had a serious shot at a victory in front of his American fans. Was Spies within striking at the end of Qualifying, find out after the jump.

With Casey Stoner decimating Indy’s track record again, the Repsol Honda rider posted a 1’38.850 for the pole position, over half a second quicker than Ben Spies, who said his setup wouldn’t let him push the front tire any further than he was. Following Spies onto the front row was teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who overcame dismal practice sessions to round out the Top 3. With the two factory Yamahas up front, Stoner should have plenty to contend with if he doesn’t make a breakaway start.

Making bids from the second row are Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, and Colin Edwards, as the Texas Tornado showed promise all weekend, and clearly knows his way around the Indy infield. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s race to see how it all sorts out, but it looks like it could be the fastest GP race at Indy ever held.

Qualifying Results from the Indianapolis GP at Indy:

Pos.No.RiderNationTeamTimeDiff.
127Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda Team1’38.850-
211Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory Racing1’39.3730.523
31Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory Racing1’39.6290.779
426Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda Team1’39.9471.097
54Andrea DOVIZIOSOITARepsol Honda Team1’40.0241.174
65Colin EDWARDSUSAMonster Yamaha Tech 31’40.0981.248
758Marco SIMONCELLIITASan Carlo Honda Gresini1’40.2041.354
869Nicky HAYDENUSADucati Team1’40.2441.394
919Alvaro BAUTISTASPARizla Suzuki MotoGP1’40.3331.483
108Hector BARBERASPAMapfre Aspar Team MotoGP1’40.3601.510
1135Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 31’40.6201.770
1214Randy DE PUNIETFRAPramac Racing Team1’40.8151.965
137Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNSan Carlo Honda Gresini1’40.9252.075
1446Valentino ROSSIITADucati Team1’40.9752.125
1524Toni ELIASSPALCR Honda MotoGP1’41.0302.180
1617Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB Motoracing1’41.0852.235
1765Loris CAPIROSSIITAPramac Racing Team1’41.0922.242

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

Comment:

  1. Rexr says:

    Shouldn’t it be Stoner in the photo considering he’s the fastest……..dohhh…..

  2. and if we stuck to that rule, we’d have people complaining about spoilers. Lose/lose either way. I just tell Scott to give me a cool photo.

  3. Sean in Oz says:

    Just a coincidence that its a photo of an American then?

  4. Rexr says:

    So Scot hasn’t got a cool photo of Stoner then has he….???? I’ve got nothing again Spies as I follow his racing…..and it is a cool photo but it’s of the wrong person…….which happens alot on here…;0)

  5. As I said before, if we always posted a photo of the qualifying/race winner, you’d be on here complaining about spoilers.

  6. Rexr says:

    U’d have no complaints from me m8………I’d say ur getting more complaints now to honest….lol

  7. Dunno about that. Like I said, it’s a lose/lose.

  8. Rexr says:

    Typical answer….

  9. hoyt says:

    How ’bout a complaint to the complainers above? For fucks sake, it is a race photo with an article about an upcoming race.

  10. Rexr says:

    Hey beeler if u going to take my answer out for the second time for swearing make sure u take hoyts out as well……….