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.

Was LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl at Your Last Track Day?

06/07/2012 @ 9:32 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Was LCR Hondas Stefan Bradl at Your Last Track Day? Stefan Bradl Laguna Seca Track Day 635x422

If you were in attendance at PTT’s track day at Laguna Seca on May 28th, you may have been rubbing kneepucks with MotoGP’s sure-to-be Rookie of the Year, Stefan Bradl.  The reigning Moto2 World Champion, Bradl was at the Californian track learning the circuit’s 11 turns, the most notable of which being the infamous Corkscrew. With Moto2 skipping the Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca, letting AMA Pro Racing fill in as the support class, this was the LCR Honda racer’s first chance to ride the circuit outside of a video game.

With American Honda providing Bradl with a bone-stock 2012 Honda CBR1000RR in HRC colors, the MotoGP racer is said to have been lapping in the low 1:30′s as he “learned” the course, which is a fairly respectable time for an AMA Superbike mid-packer will a full race-prepped bike.

“Moto2 and Moto3 don’t race at Mazda Raceway so we thought it was a good idea to have a first taste of this tight and twisty circuit,” said Bradl. “I just knew the track from PlayStation and we came to prepare for MotoGP, and I think we will be more ready for it.”

“Thanks to Honda America I had the chance to ride this new CBR1000RR on the only track that I don’t know,” continued the Moto2 Champion. “It is downhill, and there are lots of blind corners. It is really fun. I especially like the banked corners. It is a big challenge to go fast  especially from Turn 8 to Turn 11, but the whole circuit is tough. There is really no spot to rest or a long straight.”

Source: LCR Honda & BARF

Comment:

  1. ngads says:

    sweet…its really a shame that the lower classes don’t come here to race. How cool would it be to see the Moto2 grid bombing down the corkscrew!

  2. AB says:

    The tires look like they have grooves… did he do 1:30′s w/ DOTs??

  3. Tyler says:

    I like the guy sliding off the track in 0:32 and into the dirt…

  4. Westward says:

    I don’ know why someone would pay the full price of admission to Laguna Seca, for the privilege of only a third of the MotoGP experience…

    It’s a huge shame that the California crowd does not get the opportunity to see Moto2 and Moto3.

  5. 2ndclass says:

    Having GP riders at trackdays is always good fun. I got divebombed by Wayne Gardner into the T1 kink at Oran Park once.

    And by good fun, I mean not fun at all.

  6. Daz says:

    I wonder if the lack of Moto2/3 will eventually change now that the classes are no longer two stroke. I always thought they never raced in California due to that.

  7. Damo says:

    @Westward

    I agree the full ticket price is a pain in the butt, I am still going to watch the race however, lol.

    In the USA I can either fly to California for Laguna Seca or I am stuck going to Indy. At least if I head out to Cali, there are other things to see when I am not at the track. I am going to start by paying a visit to 21st Amendment Brewery!

  8. Craig says:

    YES Stefan Bradl was at my trackday! It was a beautiful day and Stephan is a very nice kid. Everyone really enjoyed having Stefan at the track. He gained a lot of new fans that day.

    @AB: He was riding on Bridgestone DOTs.

    @Daz: It is my understanding that Moto2/Moto3 don’t come to Laguna Seca because of the lack of paddock space. I don’t know if it is the size of the paddock or lack of facilities.

    I’ve gone to every GP event at Laguna Seca since 1983. It is well worth the price of admission. I stay at the track Thursday-Sunday.

  9. Damo says:

    @Craig

    Good to hear! I’ll see you at turn 11.

  10. Adam says:

    yep, I was there too. Neat to ride at Laguna with a world champion! That’s the video I shot too. Happy to see you picked it up in your article.

    Adam

  11. Chick says:

    I was there and he was fast, especially in the afternoon sessions. Passed me like I was standing still, but never passed me twice in once session! I was flattered that he found me predictable enough to make a couple of pretty close passes. Like this one: http://s39.photobucket.com/albums/e162/chickwebb/Motophotos/?action=view&current=GettingPassedbyStefanBradl21024x768.jpg