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.

Rumor: The Clock is Ticking on Toni Elias

07/06/2011 @ 10:09 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Rumor: The Clock is Ticking on Toni Elias Toni Elias MotoGP Mugello Scott Jones

After his abysmal finish in the Italian GP at Mugello, rumors are swirling in the MotoGP paddock that Toni Elias has been given two to three races (it depends on which Spanish journalist you want to believe) to turn around his flailing MotoGP season. Affixed to the back of the pack, speculation that Dorna will charge Elias rent on the back-row grid position is exaggerated, but not far from the truth. A true backmarker, the Spanish rider has essentially been left high & dry by his team, as a struggle has emerged in the LCR Honda garage over where to take Elias’s RC212V in its setup.

With Elias and his crew butting heads over how to make the satellite Honda go faster, the reigning Moto2 Champion has been left to sort out his own chassis and suspension settings on race day, which means a lot of rider one-on-one time with the Öhlins truck. While the LCR Honda crew has been making the changes that Elias ultimately wants, the team hasn’t been offering any input on arriving at those settings, essentially letting the Spaniard sink or swim on his own accord. This game of cat and mouse is apparently over however, and the death clock on Toni Elias’s MotoGP career appears to be ticking.

Talking to Catalunya Radio, Oscar Haro, press officer for LCR Honda, told the radio station on-air that changes are well underway at LCR Honda, and discontent is rife. “Mugello was a disaster, Toni realized he didn’t go well,” added Haro. “In Germany, the settings will be restored to the ones that HRC says, and the team will do the technical part and Toni the role of rider. The RC212V is more than a competitive bike and the only one that isn’t going well is his.” Absent from Monday’s MotoGP test, Elias is reportedly only confirmed for the next three MotoGP rounds: Sachsenring, Laguna Seca, and Brno.

So far this season, Elias has managed a best finish of 8th at Silverstone, a race which saw only 12 of the 17 riders finish in the wet conditions. Last or near-last at every other round, LCR Honda certainly can’t do worse in the results than at the past MotoGP rounds, but there is some debate as to whom could fill Elias’s shoes should he get nixed. Not only are the current MotoGP bikes difficult to adjust to and perform well on, you’d be hard pressed to see a Moto2 rider leave his team mid-season, and the usual suspect of John Hopkins is not only entrenched in the Suzuki camp, but also having a very promising season in British Superbike that he’d be reluctant to abandon. We heard some good speculation about Garry McCoy wanting a go on the Honda, now wouldn’t that be something?

Source: MotoMattersMotoCuatro; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. RSVDan says:

    GO GARY!!

    As much as I’d love to see him have a go, I think it would end in tears. His famously slide happy technique would not mesh well with today’s digital bikes I fear.

    Dude can’t afford any more injuries.

  2. SBPilot says:

    Gary McCoy is done and over with he’s in denial and can’t get away from the scene. As RSVDan said, way too many injuries.

    The other person I could think of that wants to get back on the saddle is Troy Bayliss but he suffers the same problem as Hopkins, brand entrenchment. Bayliss wouldn’t ride anything not the colour red with the name Ducati on it due to his affiliation with them.

    Hopkins should take the LCR ride, the bike is competitive as DePuniet showed last year and is probably more so this year. LCR is a top satellite team, Stoner did amazing with them in 06 as well. Suzuki is going no where fast in GP racing, where Hopkins wants to end up, he keeps saying he wants to get back into GP asap. Why is he being so loyal to Suzuki when, and even if Suzuki is in GP next year it will be a much less competitive bike than the rest, and grossly underfunded. Hopkins is blinded by this god given opportunity he feels Suzuki has given him. Sigh, I want him to go well and see him back in GPs. LCR should offer him a very nice contract, he’d probably run top 10 on that bike.

  3. SBPilot says:

    Or maybe one of the Lowes brothers. Sam is riding Honda already. But 600cc Supersport to MotoGP is a massive jump, however, if anyone can do it I think it’s one of them. Alex jumped from 600 to 1000 and claimed Pole in his first race, they are both highly adaptive to speed. In his first year of WSBK Supersport Sam already fights for wins so they are both extremely adaptable, which is what the best riders are. They both are affiliated with Honda actually, in fact Alex probably can’t do anything since he’s replacing a certain injured Jonthan Rea (who in turn could have ridden the LCR, irony!)

  4. Faster1 says:

    Memo to Toni: principles are one thing, but being so stubborn as to lose you ride is another,, you’re an idiot if you blow this ticket. Ride like someone else,, anyone else, but keep your ass on the seat and stop bumping your chest into the crank-case mid turn. IT DOESN’T” WORK ON A GP BIKE> !!! I learned to improve my speed by learning from people who were faster than me.

  5. 76 says:

    What a mess this one turned into, kinda sucks that the Moto2 champ turned into a dud for GP. As moto2 is extremely entertaining to watch, I think it does very little to prepare riders for GP bikes and tires more importantly. You go from racespec dunlops with about 140hp that wear and ride like a racetire to these uber bridgestones with about 240hp, talk about a learning curve. The guys that do get it first time around really are insane.

    About the LCR team, I have heard to varying degree that your going to do it their way, if not they will leave you high and dry, to this degree is kind of unimaginable.

  6. vonich says:

    I know Jonathan Rea is injured at the moment. but if you going to ask me i think he is better candidate compare to other riders have been mentioned here. To think that toni still have 3 races before he will get axed if this thread is really true. That will give JR sometime to heal.

  7. Ed Gray says:

    I thnk they have been very generous with Toni. He clearly can’t cut it. It is sort of a surprise, but it is clear.

    Replacement Hmmmm… Zemke, national superbike rider from Australia or Britain any of these i would think would give LCR some kind of second opinion. Of course there is no opportunity to test damn it.

  8. Ted Baxter says:

    homeboy should just start grenading LCR’s motors since they are going to kick him out anyway.

  9. joe says:

    I laughed for two minutes at that thought, I hope he does it.

  10. Halfie30 says:

    Has no one here watched GP racing for the last 10 years? Has no one followed Elias’ previous GP experience? Have we all forgotten he has not only been on multiple MotoGP podiums, but also won? We are seeing Marco Melandri All over again. I hope if they do can Tony he gets a spot on the world superbike stage, and leaves this dramatic useless GP season behind him. It’s a year when the bikes are obviously winning races a lot more as on ’07 (No offense to Stoner, who I cheered for back then). That means if your not Colin Edwards who has become as valuable as Rossi was to Yamaha for rider feedback, then you more than likely will have a lack luster year, and will be lucky to pick up the same ride in the next. Elias is fully capable of getting this bike in top 5 finishes with the help of his team. He’s not the best development rider, but he shouldn’t have to be on a satellite team. Their should be enough trickle down for him to e competitive with cooperation from all those in question.