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 Sepang 2 Test Day 1: Pedrosa is Fastest, While Bradl Impresses

02/26/2013 @ 1:29 pm, by David Emmett11 COMMENTS

MotoGP Sepang 2 Test Day 1: Pedrosa is Fastest, While Bradl Impresses Dani Pedrosa Sepang MotoGP test

Dani Pedrosa has taken up at the second Sepang MotoGP test where he left off after the first. The Repsol Honda man led for most of the day, having set a fast time fairly early in the morning. His rival at the Factory Yamaha squad did much the same, Jorge Lorenzo taking 2nd a couple of tenths behind Pedrosa.

Marc Marquez continues to impress, the Spanish prodigy ending the day with the 3rd fastest time, just over a third of a second off his Repsol Honda teammate, and a little over a tenth behind reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Also impressive was Stefan Bradl, the LCR Honda man achieving his stated aim for the test of matching the pace of Valentino Rossi. The strong times by Marquez and Bradl demoted the Factory Yamaha returnee to 5th, though the difference was minimal, just a few hundredths separating the threesome.

Cal Crutchlow led another close duo, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man some seven tenths off the pace of Pedrosa and a quarter of a second behind Rossi. He just kept ahead of Alvaro Bautista, the Gresini Honda rider taking 7th less than a tenth behind Crutchlow.

Better news for Ducati, with Andrea Dovizioso cutting the gap to the leaders to 1.2 seconds, still a sizable distance, but a lot more respectable than the 2 seconds at the first test at Sepang. Nicky Hayden was also closer, three tenths behind his new teammate and a second and a half off the time of Pedrosa. The two factory Ducatis put themselves ahead of Bradley Smith on the second Tech 3 Yamaha, the young Englishman taking tenth place, two seconds off the pace of Pedrosa.

Aleix Espargaro once again reigned in the CRT category, closing the gap on the Tech 3 Yamaha of Smith and demoting the Pramac Ducatis of Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone to 13th and 14th respectively. Hiroshi Aoyama is the next best CRT rider, grabbing the 17th time on the FTR Kawasaki, three seconds behind Pedrosa and eight tenths slower than the pace of Espargaro.

Aoyama put his bike well ahead of the second Aspar Aprilia ART ridden by Randy de Puniet, while Colin Edwards closed on De Puniet’s tail on the Forward FTR Kawasaki. Michael Laverty, who had shown so strongly on the PBM Aprilia at the first test at Sepang, was forced to spend the whole day in the garage, as the PBM team worked to get his PBM-built chassis ready for the track, the team taking some time to get the electronics ready.

The test was cut short by heavy rain which came around 3pm, while the riders were all still in the garages for lunch, sheltering from the tropical heat. Only Pedrosa and Bradl put in any real time in the wet, though Claudio Corti ventured out for a couple of exploratory wet laps before returning to the pits.

The rain will have done nothing to help conditions at the circuit. The track was already dirty from the rains of the previous few days, and a heavy downpour in the afternoon will have done little to improve it.

More rain is forecast for Wednesday, though the final day of the test on Thursday looks like being much better, perhaps allowing the riders to get in a full day. Being the tropics, however, those forecasts can change quickly.

Results from Day 1 of MotoGP’s Second Test at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos.Num.RiderTeamTimeDiff.Prev.
126Dani PedrosaHonda2:01.580 - -
299Jorge LorenzoYamaha2:01.8150.2350.235
393Marc MarquezHonda2:01.9420.3620.127
46Stefan BradlHonda2:01.9590.3790.017
546Valentino RossiYamaha2:02.0280.4480.069
635Cal CrutchlowYamaha2:02.2720.6920.244
719Alvaro BautistaHonda2:02.3620.7820.090
84Andrea DoviziosoDucati2:02.8011.2210.439
969Nicky HaydenDucati2:03.1431.5630.342
1038Bradley SmithYamaha2:03.6322.0520.489
11T2Katsayuki NakasugaYamaha Test2:03.7342.1540.102
1241Aleix EspargaroAprilia ART2:03.9412.3610.207
1311Ben SpiesDucati2:04.0472.4670.106
1429Andrea IannoneDucati2:04.0502.4700.003
15T1Wataru YoshikawaYamaha Test2:04.5903.0100.540
1651Michele PirroDucati Test2:04.6263.0460.036
177Hiroshi AoyamaFTR Kawasaki2:04.7433.1630.117
1814Randy de PunietAprilia ART2:05.2883.7080.545
1937Takumi TakahashiHonda Test2:05.5103.9300.222
205Colin EdwardsFTR Kawasaki2:05.5183.9380.008
219Danilo PetrucciSuter BMW2:05.8274.2470.309
2217Karel AbrahamAprilia ART2:05.8384.2580.011
2368Yonny HernandezAprilia ART2:05.9084.3280.070
248Hector BarberaFTR Kawasaki2:06.0624.4820.154
2571Claudio CortiFTR Kawasaki2:06.3064.7260.244
2667Bryan StaringFTR Honda2:06.7305.1500.424
2752Lukas PesekSuter BMW2:07.9916.4111.261

Records and Times from Previous Tests at Sepang:

2013Sepang 1 testDani PedrosaHonda2:00.100
2007Race recordCasey StonerDucati2:02.108
2012Pole recordJorge LorenzoYamaha2:00.334
2012Sepang 2 testCasey StonerHonda2:00.473

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda Racing

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. Mr.X says:

    I’m trying to list the riders in the history of US Superbike or MotoGP whose careers weren’t ended by signing with Ducati.
    Mladin.
    Rossi.
    That’s all.

  2. David says:

    Do you mean AMA Superbike when you say US Superbike?

    Troy Corser won AMA Superbike with Ducati in 1994 and went on to a pretty good racing career.

    Top 5 bikes in MotoGp within half a second a lap so far.

    Looking good!

  3. L2C says:

    Very impressed with Stefan Bradl’s performance. He’s right there with his old rival Marquez. And Rossi’s so-so performance was due to electrical problems on his new bike, so he was out and about on the 2012 M1. He’ll probably show much improvement over the next couple of days. This is going to be a great season!

    Go Pedrosa!!!

  4. “Checa?”

    That Stoner guy didn’t do all that badly, either, as I recall. :)

  5. TexusTim says:

    I wonder were Cal would be on a full factory ride ? most impressive to me is espargaro on a crt

  6. L2C says:

    Yes, I’m a big fan of both Aleix and Pol Espargaro. I hope both get GP factory rides sometime in the near future. Most excellent riders.

    On a factory ride, Cal would be competing at the pointy end just like Lorenzo. It’s an observable fact that Cal is being held back by the lack of factory support for his machine. Fast riders on fast bikes is the name of the game these days. Go fast, pull a gap. Period. Cal is not stupid, he’s knows the deal. None of that sissified shake and bake is allowed anymore, only blunt instruments stand a chance at winning and podiums.

    Rossi is clearly the last of the old school who knows how to finesse an opponent for the win. Pedrosa may have a bit of it in his bones, Marquez may also possess some of that increasingly rare talent, but today the field is too fast to play around with those old psychological strategies. If you don’t bury your rivals in an ever-widening gap, you’re the one getting buried. It’s also some boring shit to watch, which is unfortunate.

  7. Jimmy Midnight says:

    You forgot Ben Spies.

  8. Mindful says:

    I like seeing other manufactures in there, BWW, APRILIA, KAWI, while it is still possible for them to compete.
    The day it’s just a 2 manufacture gig, that’s when I call it quits as a fan.

  9. Isn’t it already a two-manufacturer gig?

  10. Mr. X says:

    Stoner! I forgot him? who is the stoner?