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: Australian GP Racing Starts with a Decisive Crash at Phillip Island

10/18/2009 @ 11:59 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Australian GP Racing Starts with a Decisive Crash at Phillip Island  Casey Stoner Phillip Island Australian GP 560x401

With good race action distracting specators from the looming wet weather at Phillip Island, the Australian GP proved to be another decisive step in the MotoGP Championship. An early “rubbing is racing” moment, could very well have shaped the the way this season will finish, but with racing still to occur at Sepang, Malaysia and Valencia, Spain, no one is declaring victory just yet. Click past the jump for spoilers and a full race report.

It was really a two-man show at Phillip Island this Sunday. The start was taken by Dani Pedrosa, who may have missed his calling as a drag bike racer with his consistent rocket launches from the starting grid. However, gobbling up Pedrosa quickly were Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi. For Stoner, the race meant pride in front of a home crowd, and a final ushering of silence to any of his critics. While for Rossi, the race meant 25 free points.

Watching his teammate Jorge Lorenzo crash in the first lap, Rossi knew that if he could keep his bike upright, and finish well, he would come out of Australia with a strong points advantage. With these two motivations in contention, the result of Casey Stoner on the top podium almost comes without question. That is not to say that Rossi didn’t make Stoner earn that top step honor. Keeping within tenths of a second of the Ducati throughout the whole race, Rossi kept the pressure on at Phillip Island. Riding with his head instead of his heart though, Rossi refrained from any risky passes, knowing that each lap was closer to locking in another MotoGP Championship.

The pace that Rossi and Stoner blazed was too much for the rest of the pack, even Pedrosa finished an astounding 20 seconds behind the pair. Alex de Angelis would be the number four man, 32 seconds behind Stoner’s finish, with the rest of the pack a more respectable distance from this time.

Lorenzo now trails Rossi in the Championship points by 38 points, which means that Rossi only needs 13 more points to win the Championship outright. To put this in finishing terms, Lorenzo will have to win the next two races, and have Rossi only manage 10th and 11th place finishes at Sepang and Valencia. If Rossi should DNF in either of those races, Rossi would have to finish 4th in the other race to clinch a Championship victory, but a 5th place finish would hand the Championship to Lorenzo. This analysis assumes Lorenzo victories in Malaysia and Spain, which Casey Stoner is making harder to do, as shown by today’s results.

Race Results from MotoGP at the Australian GP at Phillip Island, Australia

Pos.No.RiderManufacturerTimeDiff
127Casey STONERDUCATI40’56.651
246Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA40’58.5861.935
33Dani PEDROSAHONDA41’19.26922.618
415Alex DE ANGELISHONDA41’29.35332.702
55Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA41’32.53635.885
64Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA41’35.13338.482
733Marco MELANDRIKAWASAKI41’41.11244.461
814Randy DE PUNIETHONDA41’41.59244.941
936Mika KALLIODUCATI41’50.99654.345
1024Toni ELIASHONDA41’57.8561’01.205
117Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI42’02.0681’05.417
1265Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI42’02.6011’05.950
1341Gabor TALMACSIHONDA42’14.6021’17.951
1452James TOSELANDYAMAHA42’14.6361’17.985
1569Nicky HAYDENDUCATI41’27.1271 lap
Not finished first lap
99Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA

Comment:

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  7. Leone says:

    MotoGP: Australian GP Racing Starts with a Decisive Crash at …: Riding with his head instead of his heart thou.. http://bit.ly/4scais

  8. Miguel says:

    Valentino has a clear path to be world champion, after lorenzo’s crash. I would have liked the excitement continue until the last race.