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: Event-Filled Qualifying at Mugello

07/14/2012 @ 2:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Event Filled Qualifying at Mugello mugello italian gp motogp jules cisek 15 635x423

It is a tall-order to beat the rapid-succession qualifying we had at the German GP, which saw a stream of riders dropping pole-position laps one-after-another for nearly 5 minutes straight – but this is Mugello, and the MotoGP riders hate to disappoint when they are in Italy. With perfect racing conditions, the qualifying session had its fair share of crashes, fast laps, and surprise moments. Featuring three manufacturers on the front row, and three manufacturers on the second row, the Italian GP is also shaping up to be a good race, for all the parties involved.

It was Jorge Lorenzo who set the early pace, as the Spaniard dropped a record-setting lap time in the opening minutes of qualifying. The Yamaha Racing rider would be unable to defend his position though, as in the closing minutes Lorenzo’s bike cutout with an electrical issue, robbing the Spanish rider of an opportunity to answer one storming Dani Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda RC213V.

The only man able to match Lorenzo’s “butter” pace, Pedrosa will start on pole and is a heavy favorite for Sunday’s race. Absent from the front though was Casey Stoner, who complained of not having the setup this weekend. Stoner will start from the second row, and hopes to mitigate any damages Mugello might have on his Championship defense.

Rounding out the front row is Hector Barbara, who made his first front row qualifying appearance in his MotoGP career. Usually one to follow the faster riders, the satellite Ducati rider to his credit not only embarrassed the Ducati Corse factory team, but did it on his own and without a draft. Barbara’s quick lap bumped Nicky Hayden down to the fourth position, while Valentino Rossi languished in 10th, as the Italian experienced chatter on the softer tire compound.

Crashing mid-session, Cal Crutchlow will round out the second row. Pipping his teammate in the closing lap, Crutchlow is showed good speed for spending time in the kitty litter. He clearly has a point to make to the Yamaha factory team, as well as Ducati Corse, which is setting on a contract for the young Brit.

Ben Spies also had a tumble, which cost him his only soft front tire. The fastest CRT of the day was Aleix Espargaro, who has taken over as being the resident fast-man on the Aspar team, as teammate Randy de Puniet trails him by just 0.06 seconds.

Qualifying Results from the Italian GP at Mugello, Italy:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike KM/H Time Diff.
1 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 342.5 1’47.284 -
2 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 342.7 1’47.423 0.139
3 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 342.1 1’47.545 0.261
4 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 343.4 1’47.671 0.387
5 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 338.6 1’47.689 0.405
6 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 340.2 1’47.749 0.465
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 339.1 1’47.751 0.467
8 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 339.2 1’47.857 0.573
9 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 340.4 1’48.149 0.865
10 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 341.8 1’48.502 1.218
11 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 338.6 1’48.894 1.610
12 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 327.7 1’49.387 2.103
13 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 326.7 1’49.450 2.166
14 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 321.5 1’50.263 2.979
15 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR 318.7 1’50.610 3.326
16 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 320.2 1’50.812 3.528
17 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART 318.7 1’50.953 3.669
18 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 319.2 1’51.242 3.958
19 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 325.9 1’51.348 4.064
20 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda 303.3 1’51.473 4.189

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Jules Cisek / Popmonkey – All Rights Reserved

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