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: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II

02/28/2012 @ 4:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II Honda Sepang Test 2 MotoGP 11 635x421

Returning to Malaysia for a second round of testing, MotoGP’s first day at Sepang was delayed by torrential rain. Coping with the water and intense humidity, MotoGP riders did get to spend some laps around the Southeast Asian circuit, with Casey Stoner once again dominating the time sheet. Apparently not getting the memo that fatherhood makes you slower on the race track, Stoner was the only rider to get into the 2’01 lap times, and did so seemingly at will during his 16 lap testing day. Second quickest was teammate Dani Pedrosa, who was a quarter second back, while Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was over half a second back from Stoner, and third quickest for the day. Noticeably quick was Alvaro Bautista, who continues his dark horse status, as the Spaniard was fifth quickest and even bested Nicky Hayden, who lead the Ducati contingency.

“It was really hard to leave Switzerland,” said new father Casey Stoner. “Ally woke up for a feed at the same time as I was leaving for the airport and I didn’t really want to leave. The first day of testing has gone well. We started off where we left last time, but the track conditions have been a little worse. We have some work to do. This morning we managed to compare a few things back to back. We’ve tried a new set of brake discs to try and reduce the brake fade that I’ve been having at the last test, so that’s been an improvement. We’re trying a few other things with set up to shorten the wheelbase and get a little more traction. We have a couple of things we can try to change the stiffness and also move the weight around a little bit to try and upset the chatter and reduce the frequency. This afternoon I have no doubt we would have gone a second or a second and a half faster, but the rain came out and the track didn’t dry up enough to warrant going out, so we’ll wait until tomorrow.”

For the Yamaha contingency, the factory Yamaha squad tested a number of different engine configurations, hoping to make a decision on which engine design to go with for the 2012 season. Other testing items included different settings to help a chattering problem, which seems to be affecting all the teams at Sepang this season. On the satellite Yamahas, Cal Crutchlow continued to improve on the 1,000cc Yamaha YZR-M1, while noticeably absent from the top of the time sheet was Andrea Dovizioso, who was over two seconds off Stoner’s pace, and eleventh fastest for the day.

“Everything was good this morning; we were just waiting for the weather to improve in the afternoon,” commented Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies. “The Yamaha engineers delivered a lot for us to test again, it’s important we go the right way with the parts and not worry too much about what everyone else is doing. We have to focus on the task at hand which is what we’re doing and getting through all the updates methodically. We will keep working and hope for some good weather in the next two days.”

For Ducati Corse, the shaking down of the factory-spec Ducati Desmosedici GP12 continued, though little progress was made because of the weather. Still recovering from his shoulder injury, Nicky Hayden was able to lap Sepang, and confirm that his shoulder was healing nicely. Meanwhile, Valentino Rossi took advantage of the wet weather to try the newly revised GP12 in the wet conditions. Unable to get more progress because of a lack of tires, the team tomorrow hopes to make headway on a new software package that Ducati Corse has brought out to Sepang for testing.

“Paradoxically, we actually started too early this morning!” explained Valentino Rossi. “It would’ve been better to start at 11 like the others, because before that the asphalt was quite dirty, and by the time the conditions started to improve, the tyre already had about fifteen laps on it. We decided to save the second tyre for the afternoon, but it started raining after lunch. As a result, we didn’t get much done today. We didn’t even start working with the new software that we have available for this test. On the plus side, we were able to confirm that the feeling in the wet is still pretty good with the GP12. Weather permitting, and with a couple more tyres at our disposal, I think that tomorrow we’ll be able to work a little more comprehensively and understand things a bit more.”

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II Honda Sepang Test 2 MotoGP 16 635x421

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II Honda Sepang Test 2 MotoGP 06 635x421

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II Honda Sepang Test 2 MotoGP 02 635x421

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II Yamaha Racing Sepang Test 2 MotoGP 05 635x423

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II Yamaha Racing Sepang Test 2 MotoGP 01 635x422

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II Ducati Corse Sepang Test 2 MotoGP 101 635x422

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II Ducati Corse Sepang Test 2 MotoGP 081 635x423

Test Results from Day 1 at the Second Sepang Test in Malaysia:

Pos.RiderTeamTimeDiff.Diff. to LeaderLaps
1Casey StonerRepsol Honda Team2:01.761--16
2Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team2:02.005+0.244+0.24436
3Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing2:02.436+0.431+0.67522
4Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing2:02.819+0.383+1.05831
5Alvaro BautistaSan Carlo Honda Gresini2:02.959+0.140+1.19824
6Nicky HaydenDucati Team2:03.132+0.173+1.37155
7Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 32:03.213+0.081+1.45227
8Valentino RossiDucati Team2:03.245+0.032+1.48439
9Hector BarberaPramac Racing Team2:03.612+0.367+1.85124
10Stefan BradlLCR Honda2:03.820+0.208+2.05931
11Andrea DoviziosoMonster Yamaha Tech 32:03.830+0.010+2.06923
12Colin EdwardsNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:05.510+1.680+3.74925
13Franco BattainiCardion AB Motoracing2:05.563+0.053+3.80211
14Ivan SilvaAvintia Racing2:08.109+2.546+6.34832
15Yonny HernándezAvintia Racing2:08.767+0.658+7.00616

Ducati Corse Testing at Sepang II – Day 1

Yamaha Racing Testing at Sepang II – Day 1

HRC Testing at Sepang II – Day 1

Source: MotoGP; Photos: Ducati, HRC, & Yamaha

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Someone call the Fire Department…this first time dad is ON FIRE. Good Speed to him.
    Show the non-believers that is not luck and chance BUT SKILLS AND GUTS…and one seriously fast 1000cc V4 Ride…p.s (Im no Honda Fan-boy, as a matter of fact i usually come across as a Honda Hater)…i don’t care for any of their products…so far.

  2. keiths says:

    is that the new AGV helmet in Rossi’s pic!!!! looks killer!!!

  3. Dawg says:

    No real surprises. Good to see Nicky putting in so many laps. He’s obviously working hard and still hungry.

    No Aprilias?

  4. The Rossi pictures says all:

    “Hey, c**ksu**ers fans, buy my new helmet, fill my pockets muwahahahaha”

    I’ve heard Pedrosa have an engine problem, and Honda will retire from Sepang… whatever. =(

  5. MikeD says:

    @Fred Santos:

    I’ll take it by your name maybe u can read spanish…? If so, HERE… http://www.motofan.com/noticias/pedrosa-y-stoner-no-salen-a-pista-en-sepang-por-que/7328

  6. MikeD, i can read spanish, but i’m more “proficient” in english.

    btw, i’m brazilian. Love motorbikes and MGP/SBK…. discovered the site weeks ago, and everyday i’m here. A very, very nice website.