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.

Trackside Tuesday: What Lies Ahead

11/06/2012 @ 8:08 am, by Scott Jones9 COMMENTS

Trackside Tuesday: What Lies Ahead Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati MotoGP Scott Jones

With all three world titles settled as we head to Valencia, some find their attention more focussed on the test that follows the season’s final round, rather than on who will win any of the weekend’s three races.

Certainly Rossi’s future reunited with Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo as teammate is a subject of great interest, as is Marc Marquez on a factory Honda. But also there’s the future of Ducati to ponder, as a returning Nicky Hayden is joined by Andrea Dovizioso, while Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone join up to ride for the factory’s junior team.

Here are four gifted riders with several world championships between them. But as good as they are, none of them is Casey Stoner. And none of them has the financial backing of Valentino Rossi, who was able to ask for major changes to the GP11 and GP12 designs, none of which resulted in a package that would allow Rossi to return to the front of the pack.

What direction will Ducati take with the GP13, and what will the 2013 riders be able to do with it? The test will be our first chance to watch the new riders on Ducati’s latest MotoGP bike, and I for one am very curious to see if, on Wednesday night, 2013 will look like a season of hope, or another very long campaign of trying to fend off improving CRT machines.

Scott Jones is a professional photographer who covers MotoGP and WSBK for racing industry clients as well as racing websites and publications in the U.S. and Europe. His online archive is available at Photo.GP, and you can find him on his blogTwitter, & Facebook.

All images posted, shared, or sent for editorial use or review are registered for full copyright protection at the Library of Congress.

Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Bill says:

    I am going to offer wild conjecture based on no facts and complete opinion. So a lot like political pundits and election outcomes. I predict a return to the carbon chassis updated with engineered chassis flex to mimic the trellis frame characteristics. Increased mid range power with a more v-twin characteristics to maximize tire wear and allow their riders to maintain consistent lap time through out the race. All of this made possible by Rossi leaving and removing a large distraction who’s engineering team was set in their ways about how a bike should be versus what it could be.

  2. Sixty7 says:

    Just go back to the Trellis frame at least they know it works…..because it won the championship in 2007 with King Casey…..nuff said

  3. Frenchie says:

    Casey himself told that the treillis frame wasn’t that good, that two frames felt different from one to another, because of the high number of weldings, and the feeling of the frame depended of how the weldings were done

  4. smiler says:

    Stacey criticised the steel trellis frame for 2 reasons. He could feel differences between his 2 bikes. It gave too much flex. Ducati went to Ferrari and got a carbon frame. Since then it has never performed. He managed 4th place twice and realised his mistake and went to Honda. Unintelligable feedback, tech not well understood by Ducati, engine part of the frame. Little tuning ability. Summary useless.

    Steel trellis, 70 degree V4 and 4 decent riders and bags of cash from Audi. It would at least be a good place to start. Better than starting with the Burgess and Rossi mess.

  5. Craig says:

    Exactly as above… no matter how much money you have, you can’t ask Italian Engineers to make a Japanese Yamaha without exact pics and directions. It’s not in their DNA.

    So you allow them to do what they do and you learn to ride that Italian lady properly as did Mr. Stoner. Not to say it was perfect, because it wasn’t… in fact no one could really keep up with the Honda’s / Yamaha’s…

    Even Casey was starting to fall further behind on the Duc, so what to do? Let’s just see…

  6. Phil says:

    Ducati are hoist on their own petard. Before Rossi even went there, Preziosi said, “We are not going to build a Yamaha just to suit Valentino Rossi.” So, what did they do as soon as he got there? Started to turn the Ducati into a Yamaha. The problem was, they didn’t know how. I hope that they rediscover what making a GP bike work is all about because, as others have already said, the 2 years of Rossi have been a major distraction and a complete and utter waste of time and resources.

  7. MikeD says:

    I wish they would dump the JAPANESE Frame and go back to Ducati being Italian and DOING IT THE ITALIAN WAY ( Trellis, perfect or not ) not some copy cat of the Nihongo’s Tech solutions.
    I just want Ducati to be DUCATI again…(^.^)

    This is JMHO, make that JM{un-informed, somewhat ignorant}HO.

    Im looking forward to the tests of the 2013 Prototypes more than the races.

    Did anyone else saw the news on Motoblog.it that Suzuki won’t go fully into MotoGP until 2016 and will only be running wildcards ? Jensen, did u catch any wind on that ?

    http://www.motoblog.it/post/81881/dorna-suzuki-in-motogp-solo-fino-al-2016

    Or that Yamaha is thinking on leasing M1 Engines for the 2014 Season eliminating those anemic CRT bikes ?

    “To sell M1 is out of the question, will never happen-continued Jarvis-and we still are happy with the strategy of “four motor”: this is already the most that our technicians and our resources can handle. Redeploying some resources we could give more leased engines, because the specifications remain the same, and for us it would be relatively easy to give assistance to garntire of good performance. Our frame will be different from what a CRT could ever have, but it is the engine that makes a real big difference in today’s MotoGP. “Jarvis has also pointed out that this engine would be based on that of the YZR-M1 prototype used by Lorenzo, and not some sort of ‘ super-vitaminizzata version of the R1. This of course would make him eligible for the CRT, which enjoys a ‘ different ‘ Regulation (such as the largest tank and as many engines ‘ available ‘ in the year) because the source ‘ Motors ‘ production: “If we don’t do that, [the engine] will certainly be based on that of the M1: R1 engine would require a lot of work and a lot of engineering effort to be updated.”

    http://www.motoblog.it/post/82631/motogp-yamaha-pronta-a-dare-in-leasing-il-motore-della-m1-dal-2014-e-la-fine-della-crt

  8. ALVIN says:

    Rossi for sure earned a lot of money by joining Ducati, however, in return he definitely wasted at least 8 to 10 wins in two years and a possible championship if he decides to stay with Yamaha. For Ducati & their sponsors side, for sure they wasted a lot of money but in return a disappointing two years of not getting good results after all. Now, I hope Ducati learned from that mistake and they must focus first on developing a bike that can be competitive instead of acquiring high price talented rider. If Preziosi is not the right person to do that, then Ducati should look for other alternative.

  9. MikeD, I generally avoid MotoBlog for MotoGP news…

    Yamaha is considering selling a version of its M1 motor to teams…I don’t think that’s going to get ride of CRT bikes though, which was the sensationalist headline MCN used for that story when the news was broken.

    Suzuki hasn’t said anything about wild cards in 2014 though they were expected to do maybe a round or two next season, with a full-season commitment the following year. Dorna has told Suzuki it wants a contract thru 2016, like the other OEMs, and doesn’t seem to be budging on that point, which is fairly foolish if you ask me.