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: High-Drama Defines the San Marino GP

09/16/2012 @ 11:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

MotoGP: High Drama Defines the San Marino GP Sunday Misano San Marino GP MotoGP Scott Jones 16

Even before the lights could go out to start the San Marino GP, the pre-race drama for MotoGP fans was intense. Stalling on the starting grid after the riders’ sighting lap, Karel Abraham raised his arm to signal the dangerous race conditions. Virtually a moment away from the start of the race, the yellow flags of the marshals flew, and the start was aborted — though, the confusion didn’t stop some riders from rocketing off the line. Thankfully however, the situation was without incident.

With a number of bikes needing to be restarted because of the failed start, teams and mechanics again filled the grid, and the start of MotoGP’s visit to Misano was delayed. No one was more affected by the restart than pole-sitter Dani Pedrosa, whose Honda RC213V had its front wheel locked-up when the team attempted to take off the tire warmers for the race’s restart. With the one-minute horn sounding, the Repsol Honda mechanics had exceeded their amount of time to work on the bike, though the situation was resolved in time for Pedrosa was able to join the field for the sighting lap.

Noticeably shaken by the incidents that occurred just a moment from the lap, and running on essentially cold tires, Pedrosa was lapped by the pace car, and ultimately had to start the San Marino not on pole, but instead at the back of the grid. Yes, even before the race started, the San Marino GP proved to be one of the most dramatic rounds of the 2012 MotoGP Championship.

Through the first turn, it was clear that the race would belong to Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard was uncontested throughout his ride, and ended the day not only with a dominant finish GP, but also with the remainder of the Championship well in-hand. What happened behind Lorenzo though is an entirely different story.

The MotoGP gods would not smile on Pedrosa, as he made his through the crowded track in front of him. Getting past Randy de Puniet and Hector Barbera, Pedrosa found himself in eighth place after only a few corners of the race. The would be the end of the line for his weekend though, as Hector Barbera came on the inside of Pedrosa, ran wide, and clip the Repsol Honda’s rear wheel with his Pramac Ducati. Both riders hit the tarmac, nearly taking RdP along with them. While Randy de Puniet would race on to be the fastest CRT of the day, Dani Pedrosa watched his Championship hopes fall to nearly zero.

A bit of a zen moment to the racing situation, the front of the pack got a surprise visit from Valentino Rossi. Energized by his home crowd, the Italian looked on form for the first part of the race, though everyone held their breath to see how the nine-time World Champion would fare as his Ducati Desmosedici GP12 chewed away at its tires. To everyone’s surprise, Rossi maintained his pace, getting nary a true challenge from the train of riders behind him, and finished the day on the second-step of the podium.

With Lorenzo well out of reach, the only man to give Rossi any sort of challenge was Stefan Bradl, who continues to be extremely impressive in his rookie season. Third for the first two-thirds of the race, Bradl seemed destined to give LCR Honda an overdue podium finish, but Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Dovizioso had something to say about that. With the satellite Honda and Yamaha past him, Bradl would settle for sixth for the day, still a remarkable finish for the young German, though farther down on the race results sheet then his ride deserved.

With Dovi charging through the field to contend for the final podium spot, he and Bautista put on a great show in the final laps. Swapping corners and braking maneuvers, the pair came onto the front straight for the last time, neck-and-neck. A finish that had to be video-reviewed, Bautista edged Dovizioso by 0.003 seconds, to take his first MotoGP finish, and to deliver Gresini Honda a podium on a very emotional day for the team.

Also in the hunt was Ben Spies, who struggled to overcome his poor starting position. Spies would finish fifth, but after what has happened this season, he called the position like a podium in his mind.

Nicky Hayden rode a valiant race considering his injuries. A question mark to race leading all the way up to the morning’s warm-up session, it is a minor miracle that Hayden even raced, let alone fended off a charging Jonathan Rea, who also had an impressive day filling in for the injured Casey Stoner.

Race Results from the San Marino GP at Misano, Italy:

Pos.RiderNationTeamBikeTime
1Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha-
2Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati+4.398
3Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda+6.055
4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+6.058
5Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha+7.543
6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda+13.272
7Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati+40.907
8Jonathan REAGBRRepsol Honda TeamHonda+43.162
9Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART+1’09.627
10Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR+1’13.605
11Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter+1’16.695
12Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR+1’19.073
13James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART+1’19.408
14Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter1 Lap
15David SALOMSPAAvintia BlusensBQR1 Lap
Not Classified
Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART4 Laps
Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha23 Laps
Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART26 Laps
Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati0 Lap
Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda0 Lap
Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati0 Lap

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

Comment:

  1. MotoGP: High Drama Defines the San Marino GP – http://t.co/dnZFFlUs #motorcycle

  2. That was one of the more intense MotoGP starts I can remember in a very, very long time. High drama, indeed. It was remarkable to see Vale on the podium in a dry race. That was most unexpected and most welcome.

    @Jensen: Those last couple of paragraphs sure do have some funky English. You might want to proofread and rewrite; otherwise, an excellent article.

  3. The timestamp tells all.