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.

Sunday at Laguna Seca with Scott Jones

07/22/2013 @ 9:36 am, by Scott Jones7 COMMENTS

Comment:

  1. L2C says:

    I really hope Bradl keeps his seat and continues to stick it to the front runners. And he really should be running with them on a regular basis. I hope his confidence remains high, because he definitely showed this weekend that he has the right stuff.

    Bradl’s just as fast as Márquez when he wants to be. He just needs to make it over that final hurdle of consistency.

    Needless to say, I was enormously impressed with his performance yesterday.

  2. CameronLars says:

    I absolutely agree on Stefan Bradl. It would be an awful shame not to see him next year (or to see him accept a non-competitive bike) .

    Stefan has stepped up a lot in the last few rounds and I think the witch to Brembo brakes has really helped a lot. From what I understand, Honda extended the option on his contract to see what he would do at Laguna Seca and what better performance could Honda have asked for? He got his first podium and it gave Honda a points boost in the Constructors championship. Sure, Marquez caught him, but he has the very best Honda can provide and I am sure Honda would have preferred Marquez win anyways (Congrats to Marquez though, that was some impressive racing).

    I like Cal, but I wonder if he could do more than Stephan on that LCR bike? Think how much more he would be complaining about his LCR (although he seems to complain a little less about the Yamaha now that negotiations are taking place).

    If Crutchlow took his ride and didn’t go to Ducati, who is Ducati’s 2nd choice for Nikki’s open seat? Would they offer a ride to Bradl? Audi + a German rider …? It seems like a rider like Scott Redding would be better suited for a “Junior” team, if he hasn’t already accepted the 2nd Gresini bike.

  3. “I like Cal, but I wonder if he could do more than Stephan on that LCR bike?”

    I’d be very surprised if he could without a season of struggling and/or mishaps under his belt first. He’s spent a bunch of time learning to ride the M1. The RC213V is an entirely different beast. Who knows, though; it could be that the Honda immediately feels like home to him and he just flies.

    I was really happy for Bradl this weekend and was disappointed for him that he didn’t manage the win. Marquez was just a beast, however, and would not be denied.

  4. jet says:

    Bradl did very well yesterday on a full tank of fuel but as it burned off, his bike started to fade and marquez’s bike stayed at the same pace which won him the race.Watching them race from section 4-d was awesome including the smell of burn’t fuel,simply heaven….lol

  5. CameronLars says:

    Well stated Trane, I agree with everything you said. I was out of my seat as soon as he had that perfect start. Followed by 10 laps of dread as Marquez caught up (“Please don’t crash, please don’t crash!”, but Bradl handled it impressively).

    Crutchlow does put in a lot of effort and it is obvious how hard he works. He’s definitely transformed since he moved over from WSBK.

    I’m partial to Bradl and think he has a lot more to bring to the table (LCR obviously loves him and stated that their Sponsors are all pleased). Rumor is top Staff at Honda had a private meeting with Bradl w/o LCR present after the race. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I’m anxious to see how much of the silly season is resolved by Indy.

  6. kev71 says:

    Great ride by MM and rumors of losing their seats must have spurred on the rides by Bradl and Bautista. Rossi looked pretty good considering the Yamaha’s tendencies. I was wondering if Bautista was going to torpedo Rossi, unfortunately those of us who were watching SPEED did not see their showdown in the last turn or at the finish line. I guess next year I’m gonna spring for the MotoGP.com package so I can know more of what’s going on (my fault, should have done it this year).

  7. New Zealand Dan says:

    MotoGP showed the same footage of MM crossing the line as opposed to an actual race between competing riders.