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.

San Carlo Honda Gresini to Field a CRT Bike for 2012

11/15/2011 @ 11:05 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

San Carlo Honda Gresini to Field a CRT Bike for 2012 Honda CBR1000RR chassis 635x423

Finally putting an end to the speculation, Team San Carlo Honda Gresini has confirmed that the satellite Honda MotoGP team will field a claiming rule team (CRT) entry for the 2012 season. Using a Honda CBR1000RR motor with a custom chassis built by FTR Moto (the same firm linked to Ducati’s twin-spar aluminum frame), Gresini becomes the latest MotoGP to jump on the growing CRT bandwagon.

The move means San Carlo Honda Gresini will field a hybrid garage for next season, with Álvaro Bautista on satellite-spec Honda RC213V bike, and a yet unnamed rider on the CRT racing machine. With a high-profile satellite team like Gresini adding a CRT bike to its format, the news adds yet more validation to the CRT movement.

“It is a source of great satisfaction that we have reached an agreement with FTR Moto to take part in the new MotoGP series, CRT. The battle between the Claiming Rule Teams will be an exciting one and we are entering it with great enthusiasm,” said Team Boss Fausto Gresini. “Our willingness to take part was always based on the condition that we had the right technical partner and with FTR Moto and a Honda CBR 1000R engine we believe we can build a competitive bike for this new category. It is a new adventure that appeals to our racing spirit and it could prove to be the future of MotoGP. We will work our hardest and I am sure we will have great results together.”

“We are absolutely delighted to start up a partnership with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini and to join them on a new adventure in MotoGP,” said FTR CEO Steve Bones. “Team Gresini have shown over the years that they are technically competent, as their numerous successes prove, and we are sure that will continue alongside FTR on this new adventure. The growing interest in the new MotoGP-CRT category is exciting for all of us and we can’t wait to get on track as soon as possible to start developing the bike and breaking new technical boundaries.”

Source: San Carlo Honda Gresini

Comment:

  1. Westward says:

    Hope it works out, but it seems like more a political move than a strategic one…

  2. SBPilot says:

    Gresini is here to stay. He’s a huge team and a good one at that. Dorna expressed post ’13 that the majority of the field should be CRT’s. I’m sure Gresini wouldn’t mind getting the experience running these CRT’s as soon as possible. He also expressed he wants an Italian rider before signing Bautista.

    I am curious who will ride this though…my money is on Andrea Iannone!

  3. Dr. Gellar says:

    Political…maybe. Strategic….sure. Financial…absolutely.

  4. MikeD says:

    OK. So the factory HOT RODS Prototypes racing against the Prototype frames powered by the ” run of the mill garden variety sold by the 1000′s, everyone has one” I-4(in this case) ?!

    Could it last the whole race ? And, at what power level ? Do these hings even have anything remotely as a chance to Ace a race against the Big Four HotRods ?

    May as well let the public join in running on Mules…is like bringing a sling shot and a bag of marbles to fight against RPG stocked insurgents in Afghanistan.

    Give it enough time and MOTO GP will turn itself into the bitching contest thats WSBK with Twins allowed xtra displacement and the others bitching and moaning thats unfair only that on Moto GP it will be backyard teams bitching how the fat OEMs are not playing fair and have some black magic ilegal tech and that things aint fair and they wont stand a chance against their “vast” R&D resources.

    Superbike…C.Y.A(cover your ass).

  5. MikeD says:

    Money and it’s power is something amazing or should that be “money problems are something amazing”.

  6. MikeD says:

    P.S: I don’t know whos wrong, the pictures or the print…BUT…the pictures of the bike that http://www.visordown.com has it clearly shows a 2010-2012 Kawasaki ZX-10R Engine.

    The clutch cover, it’s “peculiar” shape and form, the ribs on the cam chain side of the head and the shape of the small crank end cover are dead on ringers…ifff the pictures are right.

  7. johnrdupree says:

    MikeD, try reading the last paragraph of the visordown article. It clearly states FTR built a chassis housing a ZX-10 motor for the BQR team, and that bike was ridden by Yonny Hernandez at Valencia. The main pic also says it’s Hernandez on the ZX-10 powered FTR.

    These motors will not be “run of the mill.” They may start out stock but will be heavily modified. They can be tuned closer to the limits of durability because the CRT teams get twice as many per season. They also get 3 more liters of fuel meaning they have more potential energy to draw from. Making power wont be the CRT’s problems, data analysis and chassis setup will be where the factories will have a distinct advantage.

  8. pat walker says:

    hrc boss nakamoto said development on the cbr1000 superbike engine stopped 3 years ago
    and that teams could lease one but no further development would happen.

    I would not count on good results

  9. MikeD says:

    @Dupree:

    Holly Shiznit Batman! I seriously need some “SLEEP REHAB”…now it became pretty real all those jokes about lack of sleep and “flacid brain” performance. lol.

    Note to self: MUST STOP skipping the article and going straight for the “witty comments and oppinions”.

    Indeed, they have a steep learning curve just up ahead…God Speed to them.

  10. SBPilot says:

    @ pat walker : it’s rare for the parent company ala HRC to keep developing the motor unless they are running the race team which in that case would mean a factory Honda team. However, the factory Honda team will be running their prototypes. In WSBK, Honda has no factory team, this is why they contract the work out to Ten Kate to let them do the development work. Yes they get help from HRC but it’s not HRC’s team. Nor does HRC build motors, usually it’s all contracted out.

    The point being is you don’t need the factory to continue development on the engine for it to be competitive, as long as there IS development then it’s fine, especially by such a renowned team (Ten Kate). This is cost effective for the manufactures.

    Regarding results/competitiveness based on engine analysis. The media has been buzzing about WSBK lap times compared to MotoGP and how they are getting closer to one another. A properly built production engine has already proven to be fast enough. No GP rider who went to WSBK ever stated the lack of power on their WSBK rides, in fact, quite the contrary. If you read interviews they always state they are surprised by the power of the bikes. The 2 or 3 second gaps between the fastest WSBK bike and the fastest MotoGP bike more probably has to do with two main things. 1. The tires, (I bet the Bridgestones stick much much more) and 2. Chassis set up (in relation to tires). and of course you can’t count out how godly Stoner’s speed is this year. So if Checa, a 38 year old is only 2 seconds slower than Stoner, a 26 year old, on a production few year old Ducati, versus the outright torpedo RC212V of this year at the same track. Then that’s saying something about the level of WSBK bikes.

  11. pat walker says:

    It sounds like hrc wasted half a billion yen developing the new rcv213 motor when they should just lease a motor from ten kate

  12. ravuth says:

    how much ?