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.

Stoner, Lorenzo, Rossi, & De Puniet Back on Track – MotoGP Testing Resumes at Motegi and Brno

08/05/2013 @ 11:30 am, by David Emmett16 COMMENTS

Stoner, Lorenzo, Rossi, & De Puniet Back on Track   MotoGP Testing Resumes at Motegi and Brno valentino rossi laguna seca motogp scott jones 635x422

With MotoGP’s summer break halfway done, testing resumes later this week for some of the top names in the sport. Current and former champions take to the track at Brno and Motegi, with Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki all testing a range of material.

The most relevant test for this year’s championship will be held at Brno, where Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will be testing the factory M1s. Lorenzo’s aim will be to test his collarbone, while Rossi continues to work on set up, chasing minor improvements to the major step forward made during the Aragon test.

The Yamaha pair will also hope to be testing Yamaha’s seamless gearbox at the two-day test, the first time that the factory riders will get to try out the new seamless transmission. So far, it has only been tested by Yamaha’s test riders in Japan, working on reliability. Whether the Brno test means that the seamless gearbox will be ready for use later this season remains to be seen.

Over in Japan, Yamaha’s test team, consisting Wataru Yoshikawa and Katsuaki Nakasuga, will be at Motegi, where they will be joined for a private test by Honda’s test team and Suzuki. Motegi sees the temporary return of Casey Stoner to the MotoGP fold, where he will be replacing the injured Kousuke Akiyoshi.

Stoner will be testing Honda’s 2014 RC213V to be used by the factory team, and also continuing work on the production racer Honda is building as a replacement for the CRT bikes. Joining Stoner will be his former crew chief Cristian Gabarrini, an indication of just how seriously HRC are taking this test.

The return of Stoner to testing has spawned a veritable firestorm of rumors that the Australian is about to make a shock return to MotoGP. Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo stated when the test was announced that there were no plans for Stoner to race as a wildcard in 2013, though he made no comment on any plans for 2014.

In an interview with GPOne, Gabarrini offers his opinion, that Stoner’s return is only a reflection of his desire to ride the bike, and that he is unlikely to want to return to racing. One of the conditions of the test is that it will be done in private, with no media present, meaning that Stoner can just focus and enjoy riding without enduring the questions of reporters.

Also present at the test will be Randy de Puniet, who will be continuing work on Suzuki’s MotoGP machine. Development is still ongoing on the bike, with Suzuki’s return to the series scheduled for 2015. Development is focused on extracting more performance from the engine and chassis, while waiting to start work with the spec electronics systems.

Speaking to MotoGP.com, Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio explained that Suzuki is still using the Mitsubishi electronics at the moment, as Suzuki’s engineers are still working on analyzing the spec Magneti Marelli ECU which all MotoGP bikes must use next year.

The process of porting software from one system to the other is tedious and time-consuming, with existing algorithms having to be reimplemented for an entirely different system, and an analysis made of which algorithms need to be changed to accommodate the differing hardware specs and data inputs between the two systems.

How much news emerges from the tests remains to be seen. While Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will doubtless be quizzed about the test once they arrive at Indianapolis for the Indy round of MotoGP, news of Casey Stoner’s lap times will either have to come from official HRC press releases, or from spies at the test. With three teams present, there are more opportunities for such leaks to occur.

Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

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

Comment:

  1. irksome says:

    Casey who?

    Golly, so much fuss over a factory test rider!

  2. Damn says:

    Casey Who?

    i’m sure no Casey fan but c’mon Casey who? If you have totaly nothing with him don’t read it and don’t comment on it.

  3. JW says:

    Casey Stoner:

    One of the best talents motogp has ever seen. He left the sport because he did not enjoy what went on when he was off the bike. Meaning all the Dorna BS and negative cruel people and press, er a you. I for one would love to see him take over the 26 spot in 14.

  4. mike says:

    Once Japan had tested I dont understand why it would not be Pedrosa & Marquez who test it.

  5. proudAmerican says:

    mike–

    Both Pedrosa and Marquez are in the points running for the championship. If either (or both) suffered a debilitating injury during testing, it’d would be catastrophic for Honda. There may be stipulations in their contracts that they won’t participate in testing, for fear of their high dollar sponsors being left high and dry.

    Casey is the original “alien”. He knows Honda bikes and can wring the new bike’s neck like no one else. And, he’s expendable. If he crashes, there’s no threat to Honda’s championship.

  6. mike says:

    @proudAmerican
    thanks that makes sense

  7. irksome says:

    Casey who? Yup; some folks need to develop their sarcasm detectors.

    There’s no denying the man’s talent. But quitting the sport while you’re on a competitive machine because you’re sensitive to put up with bullshit on the job site while the majority of your co-workers wallow in obscurity on inferior equipment? While hundreds of others would give their left nut for just a shot at using the tools you’re given to use a few weekends a year? Pardon me if I don’t mourn his moving on to Aussie Supercars because he had to put up with “insensitive people”.

    The phrase you’re looking for is “Prima Donna”. Cry me a river.

  8. MN says:

    The guy wasn’t happy with “his” career, and decided to move on. Simple. You are not him, so dont try to put the guy because of “his” choices in life.

    I hope he enjoys his short return to the grid and then continues to enjoy the rest of his life, whatever he decides to do with it.

  9. TexusTim says:

    you have to think stoner will love just riding a machine like the rc213v….I hope he comes back..maybe with suzuki maybe honda in 2015.
    who can say what will happen but for sure he’s not totaly out of the picture and his return would be a big deal nearly as big as rossi’s return on the m1 or marquez breaking all the records…it would be good for the sport to have him back.

  10. tony says:

    ooo! isnt this exciting! but i gotta say boys, casey is a massive talent, but the original alien? no sir, that would be valentino rossi. or even more original, gio agosini…

  11. tony says:

    agostini typo sorry!

  12. Jimbo says:

    @JW
    “Casey Stoner:

    One of the best talents motogp has ever seen. He left the sport because he did not enjoy what went on when he was off the bike. Meaning all the Dorna BS and negative cruel people and press, er a you. I for one would love to see him take over the 26 spot in 14.”

    Seconded!

  13. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Casey Stoner on the grid this year would have taken an exciting season and multiplied it by 1000.

    If Rossi drove Stoner nuts can you imagine Stoner doing battle with Marquez?…and on the same team as MM?

    Look for Stoner this year at Philip Island as a wildcard. No way he can stay away.

  14. JoeD says:

    I do not know Casey personally and while his apparent persona may not make him a Bud, his riding ability is beyond reproach. There is a difference in riding and hangin’ out. Who knows, one may lead to the other.

  15. Norm G. says:

    wait, since when do these guys test during the holiday…? i’d be like screw that, i’m gettin’ laid, see you in indy.

  16. L2C says:

    Many people who are good at what they do have careers that they hate. The vast majority continue on in their soul-sucking ventures because they don’t have the guts to call it quits and move forward. And so they grow old and miserable and contaminate every person around them with their resentment and regret.

    Casey Stoner is not one of those people.