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: Rain Provides Exciting Qualifying at Sachsenring

07/07/2012 @ 3:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Rain Provides Exciting Qualifying at Sachsenring Stefan Bradl LCR Honda Sachsenring 635x423

With a mixture of wet and dry conditions occurring during the race-week for MotoGP at Sachsenring, qualifying for the German GP was a strictly rainy affair. The great equalizer, the rain proved to throw a wrench in the usual procession of riders, as MotoGP gets ready for its second round of three back-to-back race-weekends.

Adding drama to the event was the deadlock in the 2012 MotoGP Championship between Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner, as Alvaro Bautista took out the Spaniard in the first corner of the Dutch TT. For his crimes against Spanish supremacy, Bautista will start from the back of the grid, regardless of his qualifying effort today.

This means that the San Carlo Gresini Honda rider will start 21st, instead of 11th during tomorrow’s race, but if the weather continues to be miserable, that penalty might not be as bad in application as it sounds in theory.

A fairly dull qualifying session in the early minutes, the fight for the pole position was tremendous in the closing minutes of Saturday’s afternoon session, as a multitude of riders topped the time sheets in quick succession, lap after lap. The bout saw German Stefan Bradl pleasing the crowd as he sat on the front row for a good portion of qualifying, though ultimately the LCR Honda rider would drop to the back of the second row — still a good showing for the satellite Honda rider.

Unsurprisingly Casey Stoner took pole, though on his #2 bike, as his favorite stead gave up the ghost mid-session. Particular about his gear and bikes, Stoner prefers to wear leathers until the fall apart, and favors one of his Honda RC213V race bikes heavily over the other, which could be a relic of his Ducati days, where there was measurable differences between the “identical” machines.

Also having their time in the spotlight, Ben Spies, Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow, and Nicky Hayden all had a chance at playing head of the class. Though in the end, it was Spies and Pedrosa who rounded out the front row, in that order.

Noticeably quick from the CRTs was Aleix Espargaro, who put in three-quarters of a second on his teammate Randy de Puniet. In that mix was Bautista and Barbara, while Colin Edwards proved some more CRT bread for that prototype sandwich. Edwards’ result is a marked improvement for the NGM Forward squad, which has struggled with its Bosch electronics system, and is said to be considering a switch to the FTR/Honda CRT package.

The weather is uncertain for Sunday’s race, though many believe rain will continue to have a presence. If it is a dry race, riders will be hoping for a dry warm-up as well, having only had one dry session so far this week to setup their bikes for the German circuit.

Qualifying Results from the German GP at Sachsenring, Germany:

Pos.RiderNationTeamBikeKM/HTimeDiff.
1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda271.21’31.796-
2Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha276.61’31.9890.193
3Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda271.01’32.0810.285
4Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha273.81’32.2880.492
5Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha276.41’32.3810.585
6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda269.71’32.5100.714
7Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati272.71’32.7950.999
8Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha272.81’33.2051.409
9Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati273.11’33.2171.421
10Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART263.51’33.9002.104
11Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda260.71’34.0882.292
12Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati263.51’34.5422.746
13Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter252.81’34.6492.853
14Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART259.61’34.6512.855
15Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART256.61’34.9383.142
16Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda250.11’35.5903.794
17Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR257.81’35.5953.799
18Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR259.11’35.9624.166
19Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR256.41’36.1834.387
20James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART253.71’36.3554.559
21Franco BATTAINIITACardion AB MotoracingDucati254.11’36.4384.642

Source: MotoGP; Photo: LCR Honda

Comment:

  1. Honestly, that was one of the best qualifying sessions I’ve ever seen. That last 15 minutes was insane!

  2. MikeD says:

    OK, that’s all fine and dandy……now, let’s see who can keep he’s tires in one piece tomorrow and actually FINISH the race…and will someone please make Stoner do some work
    and not just run away from the pack like everyone and their bikes are tied to trees ?

    C’mon Spies and Hayden, get your shit together guys. (^_^)

    Lorenzo and Danny are going to be bidding for Stoner’s head………LOL, specially Whore-ge.

  3. MikeD says:

    Quick Observation:

    It seems that Yamaha (276km/h) is not lacking HP UNLESS Honda is sand-baggin (wich im sure they are) and Ducati too (273km/h) (saving tires plan practicing ?).

    All the CRT bikes are a good 10km/h slower than the factory “pure bloods”…to be expected.