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.

Rumors from Mugello: Hayden on Record Pace While Testing the WSBK Panigale, World Superbikes Beckon?

09/09/2013 @ 11:55 pm, by David Emmett20 COMMENTS

Rumors from Mugello: Hayden on Record Pace While Testing the WSBK Panigale, World Superbikes Beckon?  image38 635x422

Though Ducati have told Nicky Hayden that there is no room for him in its factory MotoGP team, it is no secret that they would like to keep him within the Ducati family.

The American retains a huge following in his native country (according to Google Trends, he is the second most searched MotoGP rider, after Valentino Rossi, though Marc Marquez is hot on his heels), and is a favorite with sponsors thanks to his willingness to help the people who help pay his salary. Hayden has been a great ambassador for Ducati in the US during his four and a half year tenure at the Italian factory.

So Ducati are doing all they can to persuade Hayden to move to World Superbikes, and take on the challenge of racing the Ducati 1199 Panigale R. To that end, Hayden rode the World Superbike-spec version of the bike at Mugello last week, to assess what he was getting into before making a decision.

Hayden was fast: according to reliable reports from the UK site Bikesportnews.com, Hayden was quickly under the unofficial WSBK lap record at the track, posting a time of 1’51.2, faster than Troy Bayliss went at the iconic Italian circuit when he rode the Panigale there earlier this year, according to Superbikeplanet.com.

Though Hayden was immediately fast, his biggest shock was adapting to the soft and squishy Pirelli WSBK tires. According to Bikesportnews.com, Hayden’s initial reaction when coming back into the pits for the first time was to jump off and squeeze the front tire, to see if it was really as soft as it felt.

His test was brought to a premature end when he suffered a relatively minor crash. Reports say that the bike was damaged too badly to be repaired at the track. That phrase is usually something of a euphemism: in this case, it means the bike caught fire and burned itself to a crisp.

Hayden is known to be seriously considering the option to remain with Ducati in WSBK, but he is wary of the task he faces there. On the one hand, Hayden told reporters before the summer break, the notion of trying to become the first rider to win both the MotoGP and World Superbike championships was very appealing.

On the other hand, his main objective was to be on as competitive a bike as possible. Hayden was cautious of taking on the Panigale, saying that at this stage in career, trying to develop a bike into a winning machine was not the challenge he was after.

Given Hayden’s speed on the Panigale, a switch to WSBK could well be one of his best options, as well as his most lucrative. Attempts by American Honda to put the 2006 World Champion on a production racer at LCR Honda have stalled, as so far only half the budget has been found.

At Silverstone, rumors emerged that CAME, the Italian manufacturer of security gates and other equipment, were considering backing Hayden at LCR, but recent reports on Infomotogp.com suggest that CAME are also giving serious consideration to remaining with the IODA Racing team.

Remaining with IODA is an attractive option, as the team has scored excellent results with Johann Zarco in Moto2, and with Pol Espargaro and Scott Redding moving up to MotoGP next year, Zarco will be one of the favorites for the title next year.

Hayden is also one of the riders tipped to take one of the two FTR-outfitted Yamaha M1s being leased to the NGM Forward team, which will be using the Dorna software for 2014.

While having a Yamaha M1 (or most of one, the lease package includes the engines, swingarm and chassis, with fuel tank and bodywork being built by FTR) underneath him could be Hayden’s best chance of being competitive, the question of how good the bike will be with the spec-software is still an unknown.

The difference in performance levels between the spec-software and Yamaha’s proprietary software is likely to be significant, which will have an impact on how good the bike will be.

Hayden is also believed to be on the radar of Aprilia, who will be supplying a totally revamped version of the ART bike to Aspar next year.

Again, Hayden’s combination of competitiveness and marketability is the driving force behind Aprilia’s interest: Hayden would be used to market not just Aprilia, but the entire range of Piaggio brands in the US, including Moto Guzzi. The bike itself is expected to be a major improvement, with a new engine, pneumatic valves, a new chassis and perhaps even a seamless gearbox.

The NGM Forward team have told reporters they expect to make an announcement this week. Hayden, on the other hand, told reporters at Silverstone that he did not expect to be making a decision in the short term, though he did say he expected it to be announced before the flyaway races in October.

Source: Bikesportnews, Superbikeplanet, & Infomotogp; 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. Damn says:

    several times the pain-igale burned down after crashing. and i dont believe the laptimes. after all the hype and “checkmate” talk, the fail-igale was outside the top 10. a non performing bike. think the cheat factory are lying again.

  2. smiler says:

    Damn…..full of factual info as usual.

    Difficult to do a direct comparison because WSBK and MotoGP do not share many of the same circuits and Checa was on the 1198 last year. H0wever….

    At Assen this year Checa a 1.364 on the 1199. Hayden put in a 1.361 on the GP13. Similar time to Checa then on a shorter track. Checa was 11th on the grid and Hayden would have been 4th on the GP13. Superstock qualifying was 138.5 @3 secs slower.

    At Mugello Hayden does a 1.512 on the 1199 and 148.00 on the GP13. 8th during qualifying.

    So the 1199 would have been 11th place on the MotoGP grid.

    The Italian championship bike are doing @1.54 laps. Much like Superstocks these are @3secs slower.

    So 1.521 sounds like a reasonable time. In 2010 Fabrizio dropped a 1.52 at Mugello and at Assen a 137.1.

    Oh and the site mentioned don’t get the times from the team.

  3. SBPilot says:

    The 1199 isn’t a failure, it took pole in it’s first race. But since that crash the better rider (Checa) seems to have really lost his form. I can’t blame him, he had a concussion, he’s also not getting any younger.

    The bike does exceptionally well in Superstock (meaning the bike is very strong from the box), the 4 banger Beemers and Kawis will always have that straight line advantage but those bikes have had years of development now.

    WSBK is a freak modification show for Superbikes, and rarely does it rely on how good the base bike is. Even the Honda/Suzuki which are so old in terms of technology can somehow do good at some races, purely on modification. It’s more about how capable and talented the team is who’s running the bikes plus a very good rider of course. That’s why having factory support is huge in WSBK. Having said that the bike still makes a difference.

    I’ve always wondered why there are no RSV4s in Superstock.

  4. Norm G. says:

    re: “Hayden’s initial reaction when coming back into the pits for the first time was to jump off and squeeze the front tire, to see if it was really as soft as it felt.”

    this thing got air in it…?

  5. sburns2421 says:

    RSV4 is not in Superstock because in more or less stock form it has a power deficit compared to the Kawasaki and BMW.

    As for Hayden, frankly none of his options in MotoGP seem that appealing. The “production” FTR M1 and RC213V will be a third class of prototype behind factory and customer-leased machines. Aprilia may have a decent package that allows them to compete with these production M1 and RC213V bikes. However simply put you either are on a factory Yamaha or Honda, or you are filling up the grid. The chances of him actually getting back on a factory bike in 2015 or 2016 bike seems slim and none in MotoGP.

    On the other hand, going to WSBK could be just the change in scenery he needs. He will be the first former MotoGP champion to ever race in the series, and will be a fan favorite for sure. WSBK needs a guy like Hayden, and Hayden probably needs WSBK too.

    So there would undoubtedly be opportunities in WSBK from several teams and he could probably have his pick. The upcoming Honda V4 street machine would be interesting, and Kawasaki will have a strong package along with a likely defending champion next year. But Ducati with the new 2014 rule structure could also be more competitive.

    I am of the opinion he already knows he is riding the Panigale next year. The loss of face for Ducati to let him test it and then jump to another brand in WSBK would be very detrimental. While keeping tests quiet seems difficult these days, had Ducati really been worried he would throw the bike down and kick it John Hopkins-style, they would have done the test in more secrecy.

  6. Faust says:

    Smiler and SBPilot, you’re wasting your time. It doesn’t matter that the 1199 is winning in SSTK, or that it’s taken 2 poles and a podium in its first year in SBK (far better than the debut season for the S1000rr, where they never got higher than 5th). Some people are determined to hate this bike. Even when it eventually wins in SBK, people will say its only because Ducati cheats (even though anyone reading the current FIM rules would show you that it’s hard to run a twin). Some people refuse to give any credit to Ducati for anything, even having the first TC on a Superbike. Who cares what people say, still getting an 899!

  7. Damn says:

    I know why the failigale wins in sstk but not in sbk. The superbike laptimes are faster then sstk and the function of having a frame comes in to play. Now ducati has virtualy no frame so when the tyres are on the edge of performing it can’t rely on a frame (flex) to help the tyres and rider for feeling and more performens. In sstk the tyres can handle all the stress because of the lower laptimes and the needs of a frame isnt needed. This concept can only work untill a certain level of performans on track. But dont be affraid after the rule changings in sbk the laptimes wil be higher and like in sstk the failures of the failigale wil suddenly dissapear and it wil be a front runner again. Oh and for motogp audi has changed all but the engine so……….. were should they search??? Damn i wouldn’t know

  8. Westward says:

    Smart money and career move would be WSBK, be a champion again and make history as being the first to win the title in both series, before Rossi beats him to it…

    In MotoGP, all he will ever be, is a grid spacer rather than a competitive racer. Besides, no matter where he goes, he will end up developing whatever package he ends up on anyways. Might as well fight for a title in WSBK, than for top ten in MotoGP…

  9. Halfie30 says:

    Does anybody actually watch WSTK?! “Pain/fail-igale”… Moronic expression to a bike that is more than competitive in closer to stock trim. Ducati just needs the right rider for WSBK. Nicky would be perfect. Ducati in MotoGP is a disaster (we’ll see if Cal can even ride it), but the panigale is quite the opposite. A lot of potential.

  10. Willem Cirkel says:

    Yeah we seen that. Realy ALOT

  11. Minibull says:

    @Damn: Please tell me you are kidding……..there are almost no words to describe what you said there…absolute BS filled tripe.

  12. Mariani says:

    @Damn Shhh!

    The 1199 is performing in WSTK because it is on the same level of tuning of it’s competitors, but I’m fairly confident that that’s the case in WSBK.

    Duke is not supporting it’s new bike the way they supported the 1198/1098/999/etc.

  13. Damn says:

    Minibull. If it isnt what i think, what do you think then. Because i think its pretty clear. Maybe you can come up with some einstein results. Like to hear that.

  14. TexusTim says:

    @ Norm the low air thing is exactly what i thought..he knows the sidewalls are softer than bridgestones but to him they must have felt so mushy he thought the tire was suffering from low air pressure.
    the other thing is these versions burning up in not so heavy crashes..reminds me of the apriila collin rode…the “cube of fire” or was it “fire cube”?..or was it fry by wire ?….are they supping these things up for one off impressive lap times but the thing goes off like roman candle when crashed ?
    I dont really believe the lap times either thats like saying I belive my budys lap times given to him by his girlfriend with a stop watch…if it aint posted with a transponder you cant help but not believe the stop watch guys accuarcey…hell its probably more favorbal than the girlfriend with a stop watch..lol
    I would love to see nicky on the aprilla if not then honda but please for the love of god no more ducati..turn and burn the page.. but please try to stay in moto gp…but of course its his decission and when made I will support him as allways..my loyalty to one the classiest riders will not waiver even if he rides a mini bike

  15. Doug says:

    @Damn – re: “But dont be affraid after the rule changings in sbk the laptimes wil be higher and like in sstk the failures of the failigale wil suddenly dissapear and it wil be a front runner again.”

    Are you being sarcastic b/c this doesn’t make sense based on your earlier comments. If the lap times go up in SBK, then (by your logic), the Panigale will suffer in both series due to no frame

  16. tony says:

    might be the thing to get wsbk back on u s telly eh boys?

  17. WSBK is on the US telly….with the best coverage I have ever enjoyed from a motorcycle series. Speed’s “coverage” of MotoGP was so piss poor that I have had to pony up $100+ each year for the past 5-6 years to buy the MotoGP video subscription.

    Now that WSBK is on BeIn Sports the coverage is awesome. IT must be because they are used to covering soccer (football) games with limited commercial interruptions (read – during half time and post game only) that they are able to monetize the WSBK coverage without taking a 3 minute commercial break (as Speed have done during the only pass in MotoGP race the past few seasons).

    I am a BeIn sport fans! Love WSBK and now glad that WSBK would not sell me a video pass for the past 4 seasons when I tried to purchase it.

  18. tony says:

    gonna try to get this revolutionary channel!

  19. Damo says:

    @CornerCarver

    EXACTLY.

    I wish more people got BeIN Sports in the US, because the coverage is amazing.

    Speed is too used to covering 3-4 hours racing events. You can deal with long commercial breaks and mid race interviews with that format. When a race is only 45 action packed minutes, you can’t do that.

  20. dave says:

    love all the armchair engineers, e.g. damn, who know exactly what is wrong or right with every bike. obviously, building a competitive twin isn’t easy to do, as despite such lame and uninformed barbs as cheaters, only honda and ducati have ever managed it. twins will never make the power of fours, so they have to look for their advantages elsewhere. as was pointed out, it has taken bmw a few years to get their bike competitive, and now they are dropping out of wsbk having never won the title. I guess by that metric, the bmw is a failed bike. I think it takes such a confluence of factors; bike,tire,team,and of course the rider getting the type of feedback he needs, to win a championship, that it has no bearing on what we will get out of these bikes. I am dismayed that powers that be want to increase interest in motogp by screwing up wsbk, hopefully not as bad as dmg has done to ama.