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.

Time Comparison: AMA Superbike vs. World Superbike

05/28/2011 @ 6:51 pm, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Time Comparison: AMA Superbike vs. World Superbike Miller Motorsports Park WSBK AMA Scott Jones

With AMA Superbike and World Superbike sharing the same venue, with the same course, for the first time since 2004, the comparison was bound to be made between the two classes this Memorial Day weekend. The last time the two series shared the same circuit was at Laguna Seca, and not at Miller Motorsports Park as you would think. This is because the has AMA typically ran the Full Course here at MMP, while World Superbike ran the shorter the Outer Course.

With both series running the Outer Course this year, our analysis can finally be updated. While there are obvious differences between the regulations governing both series and classes, not to mention a fundamental difference in funding and dare I say it, rider talent, the comparison is still interesting to make between the two Championships. Check out after the jump how the two compared during Saturday’s Qualifying Practice sessions.

The American riders have the home field advantage at Miller Motorsports Park, but the WSBK riders come with team budgets that in some cases at 10x more than those found in the AMA paddock. World Superbike also has the added feature of selecting riders from across the globe, with ratio to potential riders to actual seats being far greater.

Still despite these differences, it’s worthy to note that several AMA Superbike riders would be competitive at World Superbike’s sole-American stop. We’ll let you to ponder the what-ifs in the comments section. AMA riders have been highlighted in grey to make the comparison easier below.

Pos No. Rider Bike Time
1 7 Carlos Checa Ducati 1098R 1’48.260
2 2 Leon Camier Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.055
3 1 Max Biaggi Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.306
4 66 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’49.432
5 11 Troy Corser BMW S1000 RR 1’49.552
6 4 Johnny Rea Honda CBR1000RR 1’49.621
7 96 Jakub Smrz Ducati 1098R 1’49.683
8 58 Eugene Laverty Yamaha YZF R1 1’49.708
9 84 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’49.855
10 86 Ayrton Badovini BMW S1000 RR 1’49.881
11 41 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.938
12 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha YZF R1 1’50.136
13 50 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati 1098R 1’50.140
14 111 Ruben Xaus Honda CBR1000RR 1’50.149
15 12 Joshua Waters Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’50.153
16 91 Leon Haslam BMW S1000 RR 1’50.159
17 17 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’50.195
18 52 James Toseland BMW S1000 RR 1’50.306
19 1 Josh Hayes Yamaha R1 1’50.401
20 79 Blake Young Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’50.551
21 8 Mark Aitchison Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’50.646
22 22 Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’50.664
23 121 Maxime Berger Ducati 1098R 1’50.717
24 54 Roger Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’51.196
25 72 Larry Pegram BMW S1000RR 1’51.382
26 36 Martin Cardenas Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’51.408
27 44 Roberto Rolfo Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’51.586
28 10 JD Beach Kawasaki ZX-10 1’51.746
29 8 Chris Peris BMW S1000RR 1’51.768
30 99 Geoff May Buell 1125R 1’51.963
31 25 David Anthony Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’52.138
32 2 Chris Clark Yamaha R1 1’52.196
33 15 Steve Rapp BMW S1000RR 1’52.275
34 23 Ben Bostrom Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’52.550
35 57 Jeremy Toye BMW S1000RR 1’52.553
36 62 Chris Trounson BMW S1000RR 1’53.994
37 68 Tony Kasper BMW S1000RR 1’54.713
38 33 Jordan Burgess Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’55.149
39 42 Chris Siebenhaar Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’55.504
40 12 Trent Gibson Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’57.494
41 988 Wesley Kane Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’57.731
42 9 Eric Haugo Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’58.267
43 28 Kevin Boisvert Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’58.496
44 63 Skip Salenius Yamaha R1 2’00.988

Source: AMA Pro Racing & WorldSBK; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Corey says:

    This shows how competitive WSB is and how uncompetitive AMA Superbike is. All the WSB bikes are within about 3 seconds of each other with most having about a one or two second spread. In AMA you have a lot of uncompetitive bikes in the field.

  2. Sean in Oz says:

    It may be worth noting that Josh Waters sits at 15th on that list after only one previous race (Phillip Island), and with very little seat time, on the Yoshi Suzuki. Im not sure what that really says about WSBK v AMA though.

    Times this early in the weekend arent necessarily meaningful. Comparing race laps will be more relevant.

  3. Chris says:

    Given that WBK equipment and teams have far more money thrown at them this list is not surprising. And the fact you should expect WSBK to have the best talent, it is the premier production (I use that term liberally) motorbike league.

    All this tells me about the AMA is that times and spread are not bad for how affordable the bikes are compared to what WSBK gets to field. Three and half seconds covers fifteen AMA spots and while I would like to see the whole field to be within at least five seconds it won’t stop me from watching. I am pretty pleased with the action so far in the AMA.

  4. Steve says:

    Two seconds between Checa and Hayes is not too bad when you consider the $ to build a top level WSB VS an AMA bike. Bostrom is around 4 seconds off the WSB top time so far and he was aWSB golden fast guy in his day on the Ducati. The WSB’s as far as the equipment are in a class by themselves. On equal equipment the times would be MUCH closer. Very interesting though How about we bring back the “Match Races” and leave the AMA to do what they were intended to do and sell memberships to the AMA and stay out ofracing.

  5. Loki says:

    I’m not following the AMA SBK but I’m surprised to see no Ducatis listed. Why is that?

  6. Tom says:

    As someone who doesn’t know the behind-the-scenes information, just how much does a typical WSBK team spend and how much are the purses?Hhow much does a typical AMA team spend and how much are the purses?

    I ask because I am familiar with D1 drifting here in Japan and the purses are a joke of say $3000 for the winner. Money is made is shop sales due to the free D1 advertising. Plus, D1 is to professional racing what WWE is to genuine wrestling.

  7. Chris says:

    I might be going out on a limb here but I would imagin it is because they are not very competitive without “trick” or factory works parts. And I believe Ducati USA doesn’t provide much support for AMA SBK. The 848 EVO does seam to be owning the AMA DSB class though.

  8. BBQdog says:

    The difference in the top between AMA en WSB is bigger then WSB and MotoGP.
    No wonder MotoGP is going back to 1000cc. WSB is getting too close.

  9. sunstroke says:

    1000cc isn’t going to make MotoGP appreciably faster b/c the fuel capacity will remain at 21L.

    The results of the AMA vs. WSBK comparison are more or less what I expected. AMA is basically the same tuning rules as WSS. It’s sad to see that $100,000 in titanium engine parts, carbon fiber, and factory electronics are only good for about 1-2 seconds per lap, but that’s the way WSBK is designed. If you compare top Yamaha to top Yamaha, Hayes is less than a second off WSBK pace. Young is less than 1 second from Fabrizio.

    The rules package in AMA SBK is decent. DSB and Supersport are not where they need to be.

  10. Time Comparison: AMA Superbike vs. World Superbike – http://aspha.lt/ki #motorcycle

  11. Ben Faster says:

    Well, for some reason I thought the AMA guys were faster at Laguna a few years ago???
    I think a lot of people commenting must think think there is a VAST difference between the equipment cost but do any of you guys actually know? It was my generally unconfirmed impression that a WSB bike is more or less int he $100 to $120K range where as the top AMA teams could expect to spend $60K to $85K tops.

    In terms of rider talent in each series: Getting a good factory ride in either has about 50% to do with rider ability – much of it is “other” factors. Once a decent rider is in and on good equipment, with a good technical team and access to the best stuff – it gets a lot easier to be “world class”.

    Great comparison ! I think both series have done a good job of making a great show of it – only thing left would be to put on an exhibition race where the top 5 of each series race head to head for 5 laps.

  12. Claude says:

    I am surprised that there are just 3 tenths between Melandri on the full-on WSBK R1 and Hayes on the comparably simple AMA superbike. Melandri is no slouch and the WSBK R1 is surely vastly more powerful than the AMA bike. So I am surprised that all of the megabuck exotica on the world bike is only good for less than half a second. Wonder what Hayes would do on that! The guy is riding hard!

    Could it be that stock 17-inch Dunlops are that much better than custom 16.5-inch Pirellis???

  13. David Emmett says:

    Time Comparison: AMA Superbike vs. World Superbike – http://aspha.lt/ki #motorcycle

  14. WOW. #WSB bikes 2.2 seconds faster the #AMA bikes http://goo.gl/zHiMM

  15. Westward says:

    I think the major difference between the two series are three fold; Talent, Tyres, & Electronics… Its a similar difference between WBSK & MotoGP…

    The main focus would be on talent. In AMA, Spies & Mladin made the Suzuki seem like the best bike on the track, whereas in WSBK & MotoGP it wasn’t even close… AMA I think had a Schwantz effect…

    Now Hayes is the top of the class, and that may have a trickle down effect from MotoGP, in that Yamaha seems like the bike of choice…

    Spies, Mladin, & Hayes could just as easily have been successful on any other manufacturer be it Kawasaki or Honda… In the end It all really comes down to the talent, and a good set of tyres… The sophistication in the electronics separates the bikes from series to series, there is only so much one can do to an engine, and surely all the mechanics know all the tricks…

  16. 0.693 seconds the difference between the #WSB R1 of EL#58 & the #AMA R1 of Josh Hayes. http://goo.gl/zHiMM I thought they might be closer.

  17. MPA says:

    The AMA needs to bring back the REAL Superbikes.

  18. Andreas says:

    The lap times of WSBK are from QP1. We could see further improvement in Superpole, if the rain didn’t hit MMP.
    What are the laps from AMA from?
    Furthermore, a +2sec gap in motorcycle racing is a huge gap.

  19. Loki says:

    @Chris – I may be wrong, but I don’t really see the lack of package performance being an issue, with Ducati superbikes often being criticized for their excessive “too hardcore for day-to-day” and “track loving manners”.

    And with the US probably being their prime market now, I don’t see why Ducati wouldn’t invest in motorsport there… I mean, I don’t see them injecting more money here in Europe, I can tell you that :)

  20. Westward says:

    @ Loki

    All of Ducati’s effort are in MotoGP….

  21. Trent says:

    This article needs to talk about the difference in tires. That is a huge factor.

  22. Ted says:

    Thank you for the comparison. I watched all the races and the commentators (Scott Russell) did not mention anything about that lap time comparison between WSBK and AMA. Let’s give credit where credit is due: Mladin and Spies always won with a huge gaps in AMA. Which explains why he (Spies)did so well in WSBK. This proves that it all comes down to talent.

  23. forget about the time differences … as one of the more astute poster above mentions, the bikes competing in WSBK are really in a league of their own, and AMA superbikes should really be compared to superstock fim cup 1000 bikes/lap times.

    also, @jensen: scott took WAY more interesting photos @ miller last week … the one selected for this article: not so much ;-)

    otherwise, great article … forza a&r!!!

  24. Singletrack says:

    - 3.0 sec x 25 laps = lapper !