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.

Nicky Hayden has Best Finish of the 2009 Season While at Catalunya – 10th Place

06/16/2009 @ 11:04 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Nicky Hayden has Best Finish of the 2009 Season While at Catalunya   10th Place Nicky Hayden 15th place 560x401

While its hard to top the finish we saw at Catalunya this weekend, we’re afraid the 1-2 Fiat Yamaha podium may have overshadowed some other highlights from the Catalan event. Namely, we’re talking about Nicky Hayden’s best finish in MotoGP this season: 10th place. Taking into account Nicky’s early season injury from Qatar, and aggravating crash at Motegi, we understand if the American isn’t at a full 100% physically. After all, neither is Dani Pedrosa who had to dope up for this weekend’s race, and was only able to finish a modest 6th in Catalunya.

Everyone has an off day right? But maybe Hayden should take a page out of Colin Edwards’ book, and just tell it to us how it is. Speaking after the Catalan GP, Hayden was quoted as saying:

“I was hoping for a little more than this but realistically at the moment it was the best I could manage. I started from near the back but kept passing people and made progress throughout the race. I got close to Kallio and tried my best to pass him but made a couple of mistakes and he beat me. All in all it’s not a spectacular result but it is definitely a step forward. I’ve been close to the front guys all weekend, we’ve worked well and we’ve learnt a lot about the bike. I’m already looking forward to getting back on the bike for the test tomorrow and continuing to work down this path, which we think is the right one.”

What you just read, is politely a load of crap. Hayden qualified 13th out of a grid of 19 riders, Elais only finished 16 laps of the Catalan GP, while Takahashi failed to even finish lap 1. We’re these the riders Hayden was able to pass during the race? Doing some quick math adds only one more rider to the list of people Hayden whizzed by.

Looking at the rest of Hayden’s statement there is some truth to what he said about being in touch with the top-riders during the week. Free Practice 1, saw Nicky in 6th place, right behind A&R whipping boy Randy De Puniet, but Hayden’s results are a slippery slope from FP2 on.

Free Practice 2 sees the Ducatisti fall to 10th fastest on the grid, and almost doubling his gap to session leader Jorge Lorenzo. Falling further, Hayden qualified 13th as we stated earlier, and lapped 14th quickest in the early morning warm-up lap.

If it was any other rider, we probably wouldn’t even mention it, but we feel Hayden has to be held to a higher standard that some like say…Sete Gibernau. A former MotoGP Championship winner, and as a factory supported rider, there are no excuses for finishing in the back of the pack, barely able to squeak by on a satellite rider with the “same” bike.

Looking at the Championship standings, Hayden is 15th overall. If you count Suzuki in the factory team list, Hayden sits 23 points back from the next factory rider, Chris Vermeulen. With the rumor mill just starting to heat up over who will be on what MotoGP team for next year, we can’t help but predict a few rumblings will involve the young man from Kentucky, and if results continue the way the are, we might be inclined to believe some of that paddock gossip.

Nicky Hayden was the second slowest rider around Monday’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Source: MotoGP

Comment:

  1. Nicky Hayden has Best Finish of the 2009 Season While at Catalunya – 10th Place – http://tinyurl.com/m2vzej #motorcycle

  2. LOL, Hayden, you make me laugh. How the hell did you win 2 years ago?! http://tinyurl.com/m2vzej

  3. Bob Minor says:

    Like any other American I was full of hope for Nicky when he first migrated over to Moto GP these many years ago. I was willing to give him some time to acclimate to the totally foreign tracks and the alien cultures that he would have to contend with so I wasn’t expecting immediate results by any stretch. Remember, he was given a factory ride on what was then the all conquering Hondas so he wasn’t destined to be a backmarker because of his machinery.

    What has followed over the years has been less than a steller performance on his part. Yes, he was able to squeak out one championship year (that’s better then most riders ever achieve I grant you) while Valentino was sorting out the new Yamaha. Keep in mind however that he just barely backed into the Championship in what has to be described as a weird year in Moto GP and came close to being beaten by his teammate Dani Pedrosa. Since then Nicky has suffered through poor season after poor season to the point where Colin Edwards on a second tier team is well ahead of him in the standings and in general has out performed him for the past few years.

    Moto GP has simply gotten too expensive for a factory to support a rider who can’t produce better results the Nicky has been giving both Honda and now Ducati and I fully expect that unless he somehow re-ignites his competitive juices and starts getting that Ducati up there with Stoner and the other front runners it won’t make any difference how “nice” a young man he is come new contract time.

    Sorry Nicky but your time may be passing.

  4. Nicky will always be the 2006 World Champion and that is a significant achievement that puts him into an elite group. However he has never been a racer’s racer. Despite full factory machinery for his entire MotoGP career which let’s not forget dates from 2003 he has only ever won 3 races in 9 years. He was unimpressive on the 800cc factory Honda for 2 years and now is not surprising me at all by being uncompetitive on the Ducati. I guess I thought he would be finishing 7th and 8th rather than struggling to break into the top 10.
    The reality is that over recent years, faster riders with a more appropriate (ie 250) racing background for the new 800′s like Stoner, Pedrosa, Lorenzo (who let’s face it has a more impressive pedigree than Rossi at the same point in their careers) are taking their place at the head of the field and in any given weekend a rejuvenated and still fast Capirossi keeps them honest along with rising star Dovizioso. The you have steady Edwards who qualifies well, starts slow but grinds his way to 6-8th depending on the track. If not for that one brilliant season in 2006 people would see Hayden, like Edwards as an accomplished Superbike rider who didn’t quite make it in MotoGP. The truth of course is that he both did and didn’t make it. 2006 was one solitary year, Nicky hasn’t before or since had a year like it.