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: Grip Becomes a Factor for Qualifying Down Under at Phillip Island and the Australian GP

10/17/2009 @ 10:39 am, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Grip Becomes a Factor for Qualifying Down Under at Phillip Island and the Australian GP MotoGP Casey Stoner Phillip Island qualifying Australian GP 560x401

MotoGP action comes from the land down under this weekend, taking to the Australian track of Phillip Island. Treading on the home turf of Casey Stoner, fans will surely be treated to some good racing from the come-back kid. Stoner will have to show his strength has returned though, as both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo are looking for as many Championship points now that the MotoGP is getting closer to its conclusion.

Casey Stoner found his way to the front of the pack today, but only just barely. Trailing Stoner by only .05 seconds, Valentino Rossi will start from the second position on the grid. Dani Pedrosa, who completes the front row, also had a strong showing in the qualifying session, and finished only .679 seconds behind Stoner.

For the first time this year, Jorge Lorenzo will not be on the front-row, perhaps due to the fact the Spaniard and his crew were recovering from a bout of food-poisoning. Lorenzo will have to work his way to the front if he wants to keep his Championship hopes alive.

Many riders have been battling grip issues at the Australian track, which caught Ducati rider Niccolo Canepa off-guard. Canepa, who injured his arm in yesterday’s practice, had to undergo a skin graft and will miss tomorrow’s race. He is also expected to miss next week’s race in Malaysia. Stoner also complained of grip issues saying:

“We don’t have the same grip levels that we have had the last two years here. With the stiffer chassis which we have now it works very well at some circuits but not so well at others. So we have lost that advantage. We definitely have more corner speed but we are spinning a lot as we come out of corners and we can’t get it to hook up so we’re working a lot on the rear end. We’ve shortened the bike, we’ve changed some of the pivot positions, we’ve dropped the riding height, all sorts of things, but we are still searching for something for tomorrow. The warm-up session is going to be very important.”

Stoner will be looking for his third PI victory in a row tomorrow. After his strong showing in Estoril, we wouldn’t count him out, but Stoner himself is hedging his bets.

“It would be nice to win but if you get too hopeful of things they normally don’t happen. So we’re just going to see what we can do, try to play it as smart as we can in the race and come home and finish it. Then if we win obviously that is fantastic.”

Stay tuned tomorrow as 25 more Championship points will be up for grabs, and only 3 races remain in the MotoGP Championship series.

Results from Qualifying at the Australian GP at Phillip Island, Australia:

PosNo.RiderBikeTimeDiffDiff. to Prev.
127Casey STONERDUCATI1’30.341-
246Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA1’30.3910.0500.050
33Dani PEDROSAHONDA1’31.0700.7290.679
499Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA1’31.0710.7300.001
55Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA1’31.0960.7550.025
615Alex DE ANGELISHONDA1’31.2600.9190.164
769Nicky HAYDENDUCATI1’31.3250.9840.065
814Randy DE PUNIETHONDA1’31.3801.0390.055
936Mika KALLIODUCATI1’31.3841.0430.004
104Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA1’31.4721.1310.088
1124Toni ELIASHONDA1’31.6401.2990.168
1252James TOSELANDYAMAHA1’31.7221.3810.082
1365Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI1’31.8731.5320.151
1433Marco MELANDRIKAWASAKI1’32.1901.8490.317
157Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI1’32.3381.9970.148
1641Gabor TALMACSIHONDA1’32.7522.4110.414
OUT88Niccolo CANEPADUCATI

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