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

01/31/2012 @ 10:20 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang Ducati Corse Sepang Test Nicky Hayden 1 635x422

With rain the night before, MotoGP’s first day of testing in Sepang got off to a late start, with riders not taking to the Malaysian track until well into the day. Noticeably absent from the day’s test was reigning-World Champion Casey Stoner, as the Australian’s back seized during stretching before the first session. Casey is expected to ride Wednesday (Tuesday evening US time), though former-teammate Andrea Dovizioso is a question mark, as the Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider was too sick for a media debrief last night.

For the Ducati camp, initial results are looking positive, as the factory Ducati Desmosedici GP12 had its first shakedown from riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden. Still recovering from his broken shoulder, Hayden only put in 25 laps on the new GP12 “Phoenix” before calling it a day and letting test rider Franco Bataini finish the day’s testing for him. Rossi on the other hand had a full-day with the Ducati Corse’s GP12, and was already impressed with the bike and the progress Ducati had made with it.

“I’m happy because first impressions are important, and already in the first few laps, I could tell that I like the bike,” said the nine-time World Champion. “Ducati did a good job in a just a short time. The bike is beautiful, but more importantly, it’s nice to ride. The riding position has improved a lot, and it’s better on braking and corner entry. I can brake like I want to and take the lines that I like, and I feel comfortable in general.”

Test Results from Day 1 at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos. Rider Team Time Diff. Diff. to Leader Laps
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.657 - - 30
2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 2:02.003 +0.346 +0.346 48
3 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:02.221 +0.218 +0.564 32
4 Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing 2:02.234 +0.013 +0.577 28
5 Valentino Rossi Ducati Team 2:02.392 +0.158 +0.735 43
6 Andrea Dovizioso Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:02.751 +0.359 +1.094 20
7 Hector Barbera Pramac Racing Team 2:02.773 +0.022 +1.116 41
8 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Factory 2:02.829 +0.056 +1.172 32
9 Alvaro Bautista San Carlo Honda Gresini 2:02.869 +0.040 +1.212 45
10 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 2:03.151 +0.282 +1.494 33
11 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 2:03.668 +0.517 +2.011 44
12 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 2:03.781 +0.113 +2.124 45
13 Franco Bataini Ducati Team 2:04.986 +1.205 +3.329 35
14 Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team 2:07.163 +2.177 +5.506 4
15 Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:08.240 +1.077 +6.583 21
16 Jordi Torres Avintia Racing 2:10.671 +2.431 +9.014 42
17 Ivan Silva Avintia Racing 2:11.267 +0.596 +9.610 12

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang Ducati Corse Sepang Test Valentino Rossi 03 635x423

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang Yamaha Racing Sepang Test Ben Spies 3 635x423

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang Yamaha Racing Sepang Test Jorge Lorenzo 4 635x423

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang Repsol Honda Sepang Test Dani Pedrosa 2 635x421

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang LCR Honda Sepang Test Stefan Bradl 3 635x421

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang San Carlo Honda Gresini Alvaro Bautista 3 635x421

Ducati Corse Testing at Sepang – Day 1

Yamaha Racing Testing at Sepang – Day 1

HRC Testing at Sepang – Day 1

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

Comment:

  1. AC says:

    I miss seeing Bautista in those electric blue leathers.

  2. John says:

    Looks like Vale is back!!

  3. Afletra says:

    Agree with AC, I hope a well-known factory like SUZUKI will not leave motoGP…and KAWASAKI will back soon too…

  4. AK says:

    is Franco Bataini Ducati’s Third rider or just a test rider ???

  5. Damo says:

    Impressive that Hayden cracked the top ten even with nursing a severe injury.

  6. Dc4go says:

    Rossi looks comfortable on the Duc for the first time aggressive body lean !!! Sweet looks like 2012 is going to have some racing again!!

  7. Liam Venter says:

    The new Ducati GP12 has a face that looks like a groper fish that just ate a Honda and didn’t like the taste! Guess trying to digest Hondas was considered more important than looking good.

  8. Frod says:

    there must be something with Casey, 14th?

  9. Grant Madden says:

    Yamaha,4 out of the top 6.Great way to start the season.If I didn,t have a Yamaha I,d be thinking “WTF!!
    Where do we begin to catch up with that?”
    Know what I mean?

  10. FPack says:

    @John ,

    Wouldn’t exactly say “Vale is back!” just yet. In a sport where a tenth of a second over 30 laps is a huge gap, Rossi being 0.7+ on Lorenzo is too early for celebration…though granted this is testing only so he may be keeping some in the bag.

    However I do hope you are right!

  11. Halfie 30 says:

    Casey is sand bagging. Playing Vale mind games… LoL

  12. Edward K says:

    The 4th picture in the ducati group should have the caption:

    Rossi: “What the fuck did you just say?”
    Mechanic: “Ummm…. nevermind…. Im sorry.”

  13. loki says:

    Stonerhead had some back problems yesterday, as you see he only did 4 laps. He’ll be back in action today and I’m sure that if he’s fit he’ll be in the top two.

  14. Stoner did zero laps on Tuesday. Those laps were done by Kousuke Akiyoshi on Stoner’s bike.