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 Qatar with Scott Jones

04/07/2013 @ 3:42 pm, by Scott Jones9 COMMENTS

Comment:

  1. L2C says:

    Once again, thanks for the great shots, Scott!

  2. Mkh says:

    Return of the king !!

    Coming back from starting at 7th on the grid,
    What a season opener !

  3. Cpt.Slow says:

    Best start to a GP I can remember… Love the new FP / Qualifying format. Cal, Bradl, and Dovi, hats off!

  4. MVP says:

    The Return of the King!! It’ll only be a matter of time until Rossi wins this year. He is hungrier than ever and will push the limit.

  5. Westward says:

    A mistake, saved by the influence of Capirossi salvaged Rossi’s prospects. Rossi is due for a few flawless race before seasons end…

    I still think he could take the title from Lorenzo this year…

    As for Marquez, simply brilliant. Starting the season like an alien. He may even win a title before Pedrosa ever does….

  6. SBPilot says:

    This race showed why Rossi is so great. The moves he did to pass were incredible. Cal was just as close as Rossi to Marquez and Pedrosa but never had the talent to pull off passes like Rossi, and this is what sets him apart.

    I like both Marquez and Rossi and was rooting for MM to pass Pedrosa forever, but I have to say, Rossi could probably have challenged Lorenzo if he didn’t have to avoid hitting Pedrosa in the beginning.
    Just look at the times, Rossi was constantly doing 55′s like Lorenzo, over half a second quicker than the Repsol guys and Cal.

    This looks like a good year, and now, even qualifying is worth watching, much like F1.
    Next year may even be better with CRT’s using M1 engines, ala Espargaro and DePuniet.

  7. lance says:

    Scott hello,
    Really beautiful photography. It brings so many of the elements of the race to life. I wondered as race fans and some of us amateur photographers whether you might consider doing a piece to show us how we might set ourselves up for success when bringing a camera to a bike race.
    While we don’t have the paddock access highlighting thing like ;
    how to freeze motion on a bike travelling 190 mph?
    how to create a great sense of blur to signify speed?
    where on the track is the best place for an amateur to improve success, and why?
    what lens are your go to ones and why?

    Again thanks for sharing your photos they are spectacular.
    Lance

  8. Scott Jones says:

    Glad you enjoy the photos!

    Lance, those are good questions, many requiring lengthy answers. But to try to help a bit in this space…

    I usually don’t even try to shoot the bikes when they are going 190–most images are made at the slower sections of the track as long as something dramatic is happening there. Even our fancy pro gear isn’t fast enough to keep up with MotoGP bikes at full speed.

    A sense of speed from blur comes with using slower shutter speeds, which requires lots of practice. But with digital photography this practice is now inexpensive and can be done anywhere something is moving, not just the race track. Practice at other sports, at the park where a dog is chasing a ball, etc.

    Some tracks are better for non-credentialed access than others. I’m lucky because my home circuit, Laguna Seca, is pretty good. But most pros started out as amateurs from the fan side of the fence, so don’t let this stop you from learning.

    My gear list is here: http://scottjones.net/my-gear/

    Occasionally I teach a class on motor sports photography, which is announced first in my newsletter, sign up at scottjones.net if you’re interested.

    Hope that helps!

  9. lance says:

    Scott hello,
    Thank you for taking the time to give us some of the photo tips you use in shooting. It is encouraging to know that even pros can’t effortlessly shoot bikes at 190 mph Loved your ”gear list ”post, for anyone else who would love to know more about how these great shots happen it is worth a peek.
    Ok no more photo talk, now back to Rossi predictions …
    Cheers,
    Lance
    Vancouver BC