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: Suzuki Requests to Test in 2013

12/11/2012 @ 1:46 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Suzuki Requests to Test in 2013 rizla suzuki gsv r 635x400

Suzuki’s return to the MotoGP Championship continues to gain steam, as the Japanese company has submitted a request to Dorna for testing during the 2013 season. Talking to BBC Sport, Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta said “[Suzuki] are asking us to have some testing during the 2013 season and if everything goes well maybe we will see them in 2014.”

Suzuki is said to be looking to test its GP race bike with the MotoGP field, and perhaps even run a few wild cards in 2013, before launching a full program the following year. Many names have been linked to the Suzuki project, with Randy de Puniet the lastest MotoGP rider to be associated with the team, and tipped to be Suzuki’s test rider.

Aspar Team Principal Jorge Martinez has reported given De Puniet his blessing to do double-duties with Suzuki, though it is not clear how RdP would handle a wild card entry with Suzuki, should things get that far (news of a contract has yet to come to fruition).

Suzuki is reported to be working on a inline-four GP bike, which will draw a closer link to the company’s GSX-R sport bike range. However, it is not clear if Suzuki has committed to the inline-four motor, or if the Japanese company was testing the engine configuration against its current V4-powered Suzuki GSV-R race bike.

Before Suzuki can return to MotoGP though, Suzuki must convince Carmelo Ezpeleta that it is fielding a competitive entry, as Dorna seems to be taking the quality over quantity approach with the factory prototypes. A return of Suzuki to the grid would mean four manufacturers in MotoGP, the same number as in Formula One, which Ezpeleta is keen to point out.

By requesting to test with the MotoGP field, Suzuki is sending a signal that it has achieved as much as it can from testing by itself. Ready to compare its progress against the other factories, testing events and wild card rides in 2013 must surely be seen internally as the next step necessary in progressing the Suzuki GP project to the next level, before the team goes racing in 2014. Good stuff.

Source: BBC Sport

Comment:

  1. sideswipe says:

    Spies & DePuniet for 2014 Suzuki factory squad?

  2. Ken C. says:

    I would love to see Spies on a real factory ride again, no offense to Pramac or Ducati.

  3. Afletra says:

    @Ken C.
    Agreed!

  4. pete says:

    the fact that jorge martinez is willing to release RdP to suzuki as a “test” rider is suspicious. i’m thinking martinez is looking to be the team boss for suzuki’s factory effort.

  5. MikeD says:

    I see no harm on letting Suzuki strut their stuff against the others and see where they are standing and if it’s reasonable to dive in head first.
    I bet Speleta and his B&^% a$$ ways will them to F-off unless they sign a contract.

    I hope they ditched the V-4 and went for the I-4……..after all…….IS WHAT THEY DO BEST (not to mention they don’t sell a single V-4 Street bike that could possibly relate to their effort(s)).

  6. JoeD says:

    Permission Granted only if the Rizla Girls “uniform” is ditched. The baton wielding, bus driver hat, cop in a porn movie motif is downright UGLY. Bring some class to the class.

  7. Damo says:

    Having more factories in MotoGP is only a good thing.

  8. kevind says:

    now all we need is kawasaki to come back

  9. CTK says:

    Team Green big bang!!!

  10. John says:

    Given Ducati’s poor performance over the last few years, the bar for Suzuki should be set pretty low. Suzuki has performed very well in AMA racing and in WSB, so it seems that the company knows how to build an I-4.

    I would be very happy to see Suzuki back on the grid along with some other manufacturers. We never got to see a showroom Honda V-5, but in many ways, the technology developed in Moto GP has made its way into street going machinery. In that sense, the series has value for manufacturers as being prototypes, they can experiment with ideas without having to homologate for production racing.

    The big problem for me in GP for the last couple of seasons has been the lack of competition. Strong entries from other manufacturers can only help in this regard. Obviously, CRT has been and will continue to be a complete failure.

  11. Singletrack says:

    “Before Suzuki can return to MotoGP though, Suzuki must convince Carmelo Ezpeleta that it is fielding a competitive entry, as Dorna seems to be taking the quality over quantity approach with the factory prototypes.” & “A return of Suzuki to the grid would mean four manufacturers in MotoGP”

    That Carmelo dude has big balls! With the pitful grid of 17-20 bikes, half of those uncompetitive CRT bikes and the ‘retirement’ of their multi-time world champ for political (Dorna hating) reasons, I don’t think Carmelo’s in any position to dictate to the Japanese OEMs.

    Dorna had better wake up and smell the coffee. MotoGP needs more factory participation, and now! A bunch of underfunded private teams being lapped do not make for a premier world championship. I’m quickly losing interest, due to the great show in WSBK.

    However, as Dorna now own and run WSBK, I guess there’s not many options at the world level… I guess that gives him some leverage. Bugger.

  12. Singletrack says:

    And Randy dP ? really??
    He had his chance(es) in MotoGP. Time to hang them up and give some fresh blood a chance.
    Unless Suzuki want to test the crash worthiness of their bikes ;)

    Seriously, except for three seasons, he ‘retired’ from at least 5 races (1/3 of the season) every year of his career since 1999. He’s never had year without at least 2 ‘retirements’.

  13. Halfie30 says:

    @Singletrack: As much as RdP pissed me off on a Kawi, ever since he got that LCR ride he has proved how fast he can be. Being the fastest CRT guy has only helped make him look faster. He has matured a lot, and I would like to see what he can do on a factory ride before he gets “too old” and out of his prime. It’s a smart move by Suzuki in my opinion. Get the guy to know will ride the back past the dye to find out where that edge is.

  14. MikeD says:

    @JoeD:

    ROTFLMAO. Yeah, the outfit is geting a bit overused & worn out. Maybe cool with the BDSM crowd but not most of us.
    The Monster Girls are rather looking good (not to mention that most of them have a SPANKIN BOUNCY RACK)…lol.

  15. Neil says:

    If anybody, it will be Hopper if he’s healthy…..

  16. Bryan says:

    Vermeulen return

  17. sapper 1136 says:

    If St0ner can ride any bike, like people say he can, this would be a good wild card for him, imagine the PR for not only Suzuki but that of MOTO Gp.