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 2 at Sepang

02/02/2012 @ 1:21 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang HRC Sepang Test Day 2 Casey Stoner 3 635x421

Testing continues in Sepang, as MotoGP riders continued their first week of shaking down the new 1,000cc era machines. For the second day of testing, teams spent the sessions comparing settings and parts to the previous day, looking for clearer paths of development. For Yamaha, this meant testing suspension and electronic settings, while Honda tried different chassis with Casey Stoner. With weather hot and humid, Stefal Bradl got baptized with his first MotoGP gravel trap excursion, though the German was thankfully uninjured from the spill.

Progress on the all-new factory GP12 continued in the Ducati Corse garage, though the Italian team was short a rider after Nicky Hayden parked his bike after 16 laps. The American rider has been struggling with his broken shoulder, which still lacked the strength to properly ride at the Malaysian track. Quiting the day’s session earliy, Ducati’s test rider Franco Battaini took over for Hayden, and completed the day’s work with Valentino Rossi. Photos and results after the jump.

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang Ducati Corse Sepang Day 2 Valentino Rossi 01 635x422

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang Yamaha Racing Sepang Day 2 Ben Spies 2 635x423

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang Yamaha Racing Sepang Day 2 Jorge Lorenzo 4 635x422

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang HRC Sepang Test Day 2 Alvaro Bautista 4 635x421

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

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang HRC Sepang Test Day 2 Stefan Bradl 2 635x421

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang HRC Sepang Test Day 2 Honda team 2 635x421

Test Results from Day 2 at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos.RiderTeamTimeDiff.Diff. to LeaderLaps
1Casey StonerRepsol Honda Team2:00.895--29
2Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing2:01.052+0.157+0.15737
3Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing2:01.068+0.016+0.17340
4Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team2:01.508+0.440+0.61335
5Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 32:01.565+0.057+0.67042
6Hector BarberaPramac Racing Team2:01.788+0.223+0.89350
7Valentino RossiDucati Team2:01.886+0.098+0.99144
8Alvaro BautistaSan Carlo Honda Gresini2:01.933+0.047+1.03846
9Andrea DoviziosoMonster Yamaha Tech 32:02.160+0.227+1.26542
10Nicky HaydenDucati Team2:02.354+0.194+1.45941
11Stefan BradlLCR Honda2:02.414+0.060+1.51941
12Karel AbrahamCardion AB Motoracing2:02.598+0.184+1.70366
13Katsuyuki NakasugaYamaha Factory2:02.941+0.343+2.04640
14Franco BattainiDucati Team2:04.311+1.370+3.41638
15Colin EdwardsNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:05.603+1.292+4.70837
16Ivan SilvaAvintia Racing2:10.297+4.694+9.40216
17Jordi TorresAvintia Racing2:11.893+1.596+10.9982
18Robertino PietriAvintia Racing2:12.546+0.653+11.6515

Ducati Corse Testing at Sepang – Day 2

Yamaha Racing Testing at Sepang – Day 2

HRC Testing at Sepang – Day 2

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

Comment:

  1. New Zealand Dan says:

    Looked at the pic of stoner stepping the rear out and thought ‘bloody aussie at it again’

    then looked at the rossi pic and laughed at it’s brazenness.

    great shots.

  2. MP says:

    Funny NZ Dan,

    I sent the photo of Stoner to a friend, pointing out the big oversteer….then I scrolled down and caught that vale photo and had the same reaction that you did. He looks way more comfortable on the GP12 for sure.

  3. Damo says:

    Kinda wish Yamaha would leave their livery like that for the rest of the season…it looks badass.

  4. irksome says:

    Rossi wouldn’t be stepping it out if he wasn’t comfortable with the front end. This is a good thing.

  5. John says:

    Yeah, I don’t think he could have gotten away with this on the GP11. Things are looking good.

  6. Dc4go says:

    Looks like we might see some great racing tjis year!!! Hopefully the Stones warm up quickly and last 75 % of the race so the field is a little closer and passes are made…. So if u try to make a get away from the pack u risk coming back to the field once the tires start going off. Break away or conserve a little ?????

  7. Westward says:

    Would have liked to see more close ups and angles of Rossi going around. Want more than one picture to be able to access his comfort with the all new GP12…

    I noticed some have the lever guards and others did not. Are they only mandatory for day, I’m thinking thats the case, or is it not an official rule yet?

  8. Westward says:

    *Are they only mandatory for “RACE” day

  9. Odie says:

    It does seem like power sliding through a corner requires good front end feel.
    Maybe The G.O.A.T can finally race like we all know he can.

  10. M says:

    Want more than one picture to be able to access his comfort with the all new GP12

    assess

  11. Halfie 30 says:

    That Rossi pic pu a big smile on my face. We should have a wonderful season of racing ahead. I’m interested in how Jorge will react to Spies being there or there abouts this season. Seeing as though he thinks it’s his show there… LOL. Hopefully his season makes a good look on prototype racing.

  12. Halfie 30 says:

    *this season

  13. mxs says:

    Wow the gap (1.2) between Rossi and Stoner is still as big as it was last year. And that’s with Stoner basically far from fit (with his wonky back) and only with few laps in, compared to Rossi.

    If I was Rossi, I am not feeling to good about this, but I guess all is relative.

  14. irksome says:

    But .6 behind Lorenzo on Day 2 aboard a wholly reworked frame? Methinks they’re pleased.

  15. irksome says:

    Sorry, just read Day 3 results…