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.

MV Agusta Returns to the Isle of Man TT

11/29/2011 @ 1:38 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

MV Agusta Returns to the Isle of Man TT 2012 mv agusta f4 rr 635x439

It looks like MV Agusta will be making a “historic return” to the Isle of Man TT, as the venerable road race has announced that the factory-backed of World Performance Racing (WPR) will be entering MV Agusta F3 & F4 motorcycles in the 101st running of the Mountain Course.

WPR, a family-run business based in Chesterfield will be campaigning the exotic Italian bikes with the help from Chorley’s Moto GB, though it is not clear what the Italian factory’s involvement is with the racing effort precisely. According to the TT, the last time an MV Agusta was raced around the TT course was in 2007, when the late Martin Finnegan finished 4th with a 125.685 mph pace in the Superstock TT race.

“MV Agusta is one of the truly iconic names in the TT’s history and I’m sure many fans will be eager to see the much anticipated return of a factory supported outfit,” said  TT and Motorsport Development Manager Paul Phillips. “I’m really pleased that we will see yet another factory backed outfit at next year’s TT and it is further confirmation of the event’s growing strength and appeal.”

“World Performance Racing represents a passion for motorcycle racing and the desire to bring MV Agusta, the iconic motorcycle brand with a unique heritage, to the celebrated Isle of Man TT races in 2012,” added Neil Haslam, Team Boss of WPR. “We aim to restore MV Agusta back to winning ways and ensure that the 2012 TT will be another chapter in this great Italian’s brand’s history.”

Source: Isle of Man TT

Comment:

  1. Always nice to see another marque racing the island. Hopefully it’ll do a *bit* better than Norton’s effort a few years ago!

  2. MotoMojo says:

    TT Isle of Man is all about handling at high speed and that works better with light weight which promotes rigidity and stiffness of the chassis and how far the bike lean down and how quick you swing the bike from one side to the other. MV AGUSTA basically lacks all the above and God help their riders from crashing.

  3. Minibull says:

    @MotoMojo: Really? Huh, cool. Coz yknow, I havnt actually seen a kitted out, lightweight MV race bike in a while…
    Left and right flicking has a large part to do with the tyres anyhow…

  4. AK says:

    @MotoMojo Have you ridden one on track?. I have 2 F4′s they are not light weight but handle really good, compare to my old 1098.

  5. Tom says:

    I don’t know why I’m having an impossible time finding out, but I have found lists of the winners of the TT but not a list of manufacturers who have won. Who has run the most TTs and who has won the most TTs. I’m guessing that Honda has won more, but I’m yet to see a list of every manufacturer who has run or who has won.

  6. Tom – check out the TT site for a full database of results: http://www.iomtt.com/TT-Database/Machines.aspx?marq_Name=MV&filter=M

    Although, the database also brings up a bit of info that the TT missed – there was an MV raced in 2009 by Marc Granie. A DNF in the senior and 46th in the Superbike race. Not exactly the results achieved by the Flying Finn, but still at an average of 109.4mph.

  7. MikeD says:

    AHHH, that white RR is BONER-rrific…my bad, going back to the race thing…good luck to them.
    Is not like they really need this kind of stunt to sell more bikes…right ?

  8. MotoMojo says:

    Well Guys… who ever wanted to race TT , please take 2 extra engines with ya… you will need it. My friend owned 3 F4′s and he is a record holder of changing 7 engines , go figure.

  9. Minibull says:

    7 engines, wow. What was going wrong with them? What the heck was he doing to them? Coz yknow, I know a guy who races his MV pretty damn hard. Not a thing gone wrong.
    Also the TT superbike engines have a wee bit of tweaking…so they’re not quite the same thing…

  10. MotoMojo says:

    MiniBull… I have no clue why, but the MV in Italy said “our cranks operation life expectancy is 3000 km/h”.. they were talking about 2010 F4.

  11. PSVV says:

    @MotoMojo…do you have a source for your quote?

  12. Minibull says:

    I’m sorry but no, unless you have a proper source for that, I’m taking that as BS. With the metallurgy and casting/forging technology today, there is no way a production road bike would have such little life associated with it.

    And umm…3000km/h? As in kilometers per hour? Or is that 3000km, or 3000 hours…