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.

Video: Road Warriors 2012

02/13/2013 @ 5:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Video: Road Warriors 2012 road warriors ama documentary 635x357

Self-described as an “all access behind the scenes with the fastest riders in America,” Road Warriors is a documentary that follows five riders in the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship over the 2012 season: Josh Hayes, Danny Eslick, Melissa Paris, Elena Myers, and Austin Dehaven.

In a series that desperately needs to promote the sport and the riders within it, Road Warriors looks to be a much needed shot in the arm for AMA Pro Racing. We hope the full-length documentary is just as good as the trailer, and that it helps generate some buzz for the 2013 season. Check it out after the jump, and be sure to follow the film’s Facebook page.

Source: Road Warriors (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. John Magnum says:

    Good on the girls for racing and doing some winning against the boys.

    what i would give to have a girl that rides. my god what a turn on……….

  2. Kevin says:

    Jens, I was surprised you liked the vid. We both know that AMA needs a shot in the arm but what I saw has none of the production qualities of the TT stuff we see so much of or the MGP review for that matter. Somehow to me it looked like a student piece.

    The show on Speed featuring Larry Pegram isn’t exactly 30 minutes I feel compelled to watch more than once. Not sure if it’s the characters, production, editing, camera work but it just doesn’t grab me.

    Oh, I’m in big trouble for this post. : )

  3. Brian says:

    Kevin, you’re right, the production quality is obviously a bit lower than what we’ve seen with films like TT3D and the like. But we also have to consider the material. It’s doubtful that many people (if anyone) will pay to watch this documentary. It will hopefully generate some buzz for the AMA series but realistically these film makers know they’re not going to get rich off this. That being said, when considering the aim of this piece, I believe the quality to be high enough to achieve their goals.

  4. Mr.X says:

    The sport is emaciated, but this little film makes it look very save-able. AMA Superbike needs some more star power…

    Remember the days of Miguel dragging his exposed, broken femur across the banking at Louden or that hot girl dying in Scott Russell’s hot tub on coke? Gobert stealing an old woman’s purse for heroin money? Now that was a good racing! And there was a ton of it. Now they sign autographs for the troops and compete in triathlons. Yawn. No wonder they have no television contract.

  5. Bruce says:

    I’m pleasantly surprised to see positive AMA news on A&R. I had thought that your race coverage was reserved exclusively for WSBK and MotoGP, as I rarely see you mention AMA results or cover the teams or racers. I see postings on many sites, blogs and forums from race fans that have disdain for the AMA series, a certain snobbery if you will. I don’t really understand this, I enjoy motorcycle racing in all it’s forms, from trials, to Endurocross , SX, TT, MotoGP, etc., and the past several seasons in AMA have provided some very exciting duels for road race fans who complain of processional racing in other series.

    Further, I attend MotoGP, WSBK and AMA races in person, and have been fortunate to have enough contacts to get into the team garages in all three series, but for most enthusiasts who attend races in person, the access to the garages, equipment, team owners, mechanics and riders is unrivaled at an AMA event. Sure, they are not as rich and famous, but talking in the pits with an excited Garrett Gerloff after his first AMA win is actually a more memorable track experience than getting a cursory wave from a Jorge Lorenzo at 15 yards.

    I look forward to A&R continuing to provide coverage for our domestic series.

  6. Kevin says:

    Brian,

    I too am a fan of all forms of racing. As Duke Video used to do the AMA Review and would love to be able to do more now that is the perspective I bring to my comment. To me, if Duke is calling and wanting to work something out I’d go with what is proven and broadens the perspective to Europe. Personally I get calls for AMA images from race fans abroad. I don’t think those in charge are aware of such requests. Let me rephrase, not everyone at the top in the USA is aware. I think more people than you think would buy a well made TT, MGP review style of video. The content is there it’s just about how it’s shot and subsequently edited.

    I totally agree with the benefits of paddock/pit rider access. Especially for those who are working there way up through the road racing ranks from say WERA. No better place to get advice and questions answered.

    Agreed also with the A&R coverage. I think it does well for their status as a Race Publication to cover at some level all aspects of the racing community. Plus, Honda is back on track at AMA PRR.

  7. David says:

    Only 9 rounds in AMA racing this year. And the new Speed channel is only interested in stick-n-ball sports and mma wrestling.

    Is there really not that many people in America that likes real racing?

    I guess not.

  8. Westward says:

    Personally don’t know much about AMA, I figure it’s along the likes of BSB. As for production value of the trailer, it’s not bad, so I would not criticize it too much.

    However, I will say this, if the merits of the sport and the action of the series is not enough to entice the casual passerby, that you have to include some sort of gratuitous gun play as if it enhances or compliments the situation somehow, then you are really in trouble.

    The cycling clips I get, I would have rather seen more of the female stuff . The gun stuff is lost on me, and has nothing to do with moto-racing…

    I suppose AMA is only catering to a certain type of person that is American…

  9. RJJR says:

    The coverage sucks, same as Speeds GP broadcast, some of the rules of eligibility for certain bikes in certain classes have been strange, but the racing is good, if not great. There’s lots of room for improvement, and I think A&R present fair coverage of all facets. It would be nice to see DMG not go to commercial, three laps from the end of a hard fought race and come back with one guy crosssing the finish line. It would be great if they started showing flat track, mile and half mile is becoming a multi manufacturer race again. I think fans could do a better job covering motorcycle racing, with cellphone video and youtube uploads, than DMG do with all their NASCAR money.

  10. Jake F. says:

    Three words to help save AMA Pro: Online content delivery.

  11. Would like to see Josh Hayes on an M1

  12. @TylerMrK says:

    @Jake F.

    I’d like to see this as well. I haven’t followed AMA in the past, but being able to watch online would get me into it.

    Anyone know of WSBK doing this for this year?

  13. You might be disappointed with A&R’s AMA coverage this year. From what I understand, you have to own a race team in the series to properly cover the sport journalistically.

  14. Riccardo says:

    The AMA top brass and everyone else involved need to embrace change and start approaching a niche sport with unconventional solutions to reach the motorcycle crowd.

    Cable and satellite providers give access to their subscribers to watch whatever they like from any device they have wherever they are. DMG tried to emulate NASCAR once and it did not work. They need to get out from under whatever rock they’re living in and embrace the 21st century. There’s all kind of useless crap streamed daily online. How difficult is it for the AMA to organize and stream all the races even if we have to see commercials in between? They sure need fresh blood in that respect.

    @Jensen Beeler:
    From what I understand, you have to own a race team in the series to properly cover the sport journalistically.

    Is that for real? If it is the it is very sad indeed. Let’s hope things change for the better of the sport.