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 at Laguna Seca

07/28/2012 @ 3:58 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Lap Record Falls During Qualifying at Laguna Seca Jorge Lorenzo MotoGP Laguna Seca Scott Jones

For those that are not familiar with the weather patterns of Northern California’s coastal areas, Saturday at Laguna Seca was a good example of the foggy morning gloom we natives must endure in order to be showered with the Golden State’s eternal afternoon sunshine. With FP3 nearly delayed because of low cloud cover, qualifying for the US GP at Laguna Seca couldn’t have conditions more opposite than this morning. Click past the jump for full-of-sunshine qualifying results.

Sunny and warm, Casey Stoner’s best lap record was certainly in danger this weekend, and it didn’t take long into the session for the time to be cracked. With Lorenzo taking over early in qualifying, the current-Championship leader is on his form this weekend in California. And while for a moment, it looked like Stoner would catapult the Spaniard from his top spot, but Lorenzo answered back on the final lap, setting a record “Best Lap” of 1’20.554 on his Yamaha YZR-M1.

Rounding out the front row is Dani Pedrosa, who held the second spot on the time sheet for much of the session. Unable to get the same progress as Stoner and Lorenzo did in the closing minutes, Pedrosa is sure to still be a contender for Sunday’s race. Also not out of the fight is Ben Spies, who despite a tough tumble with 10 minutes remaining, was able to get back on the track in the closing minutes to keep a respectable fourth place at his home race. He will be joined on the second row by fellow Yamaha riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, respectively.

The big disappointment of the session was Steve Rapp on the Attack Performance CRT entry. Getting virtually no on-track development, the team made great strides to bring the Kawasaki-powered CRT bike up to speed, but missed the 107% cutoff time by 0.694 seconds. It remains to be seen if Race Direction will let Rapp grid-up for Sunday’s race, though either way the team should have some good data to mull over before it races again at the Indianapolis GP.

Qualifying Results from the US GP at Laguna Seca, USA:

Pos.RiderNationTeamBikeKM/HTimeDiff.
1Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha267.71’20.554-
2Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda267.11’20.6280.074
3Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda267.41’20.9060.352
4Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha263.71’21.0940.540
5Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha265.11’21.2680.714
6Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha263.41’21.5390.985
7Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda265.81’21.7321.178
8Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati266.11’21.7341.180
9Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda260.61’21.7531.199
10Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati268.11’22.5441.990
11Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART253.91’22.8862.332
12Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART252.91’23.0752.521
13Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter255.41’23.6993.145
14Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati260.11’23.7043.150
15Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR253.61’23.7693.215
16Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR255.91’23.8773.323
17Toni ELIASSPAPramac Racing TeamDucati258.31’23.8983.344
18Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART246.51’24.0173.463
19Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda245.71’24.2273.673
20Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR246.81’24.5604.006
21James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART251.21’24.7154.161
Steve RAPPUSAAttack PerformanceAPR245.21’26.8876.333

Source: MotoGP: Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. gabe says:

    It is known now that Rapp was allowed to race. I am very curious as to who was that suspension manufacturer that did not come through with the original as-designed shock that caused the redesign delays….

  2. ass hat says:

    wasn’t laguna supposed to be the unveiling of the ‘new/revised/magical’ ducati power plant? cuz those Q times look like a step backward. looks like v + h will be yawning from the sidelines watching the show go by for the rest of the year.

    what a waste of talent, money and effort.

    give me $100 and i’ll circle the track in a clown car… save you a whole bunch of money.

  3. smiler says:

    names speak volumes.
    “what a waste of talent, money and effort”

    What would be better Ducati in or out of MotoGP?
    They are by far the smallest manufacturer in the championship.
    Where are Suzuki, Illmor, Aprilia, MV, BMW, KTM, Kawasaki, Hog, gone from MotoGP. All Aprilia, BMW and Kawasaki can manage are to supply engines for motogp meets WSB bikes.
    At the same time Ducati lead Superstocks with the 1199 and are 3rd in the manufacturers and 4th in the riders with a bike that is 3 years old run by a privateer team. Not bad for a company that makes 50K bikes a year, only bikes and until last week was independent.
    Ahh that’s better. Good to see the change to 1000′s has slowed lap times and reduced costs, with Lorenzo breaking the Laguna lap record and a CRT that isa over 6 secs a lap slower on a 1.20 lap time. Dorna are the ones really needing a set of rule changes. Starting with putting some people in charge who know what they are doing.

  4. Frenchie says:

    Ducatis: up to this year Stoner owned the outright laprecord at Laguna Seca from 2008.
    Comparing qualifying times from 2011 and 2012, Rossi is 3 tenths slower, Hayden 5 tenths faster, but still 6 tenths slower than Stoner’s time from 2010.

  5. Mo says:

    Big crash for spies. I noticed earlier in the session he had oil on the right fairing… He crashed on a right hander. Maybe oil on the tire.