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: Good Man

06/12/2012 @ 12:14 pm, by Daniel Lo6 COMMENTS

Trackside Tuesday: Good Man guy martin 635

The stage was set for Guy Martin to take his first ever TT win in 2012, with the popular fan favorite returning with the same team with which he scored four podium finishes in the previous year’s contest. Top-level crew, competitive machinery, and one of the fastest men to ever lap the Mountain Course teaming up again for another assault. Reaching the top step of the podium should be all but a forgone conclusion — or at least in theory.

What resulted instead was truly a week to forget, starting with Guy getting nudged off the podium in the opening Superbike race when his crew was unable to change his rear tire for the final two laps. The first Supersport race ended prematurely after his engine gave out, forcing a retirement into the pits, after just a single lap. The Superstock race that followed was barely an improvement, with Guy taking an anonymous eighth place finish, after being off the pace from the start. Further engine problems in the second Supersport race again saw him off the podium, finishing down in fifth. To cap it off, a final shot at a good result was thwarted by the first ever cancellation of the Senior TT race. Things did not go according to plan, to say the least.

The irony was not lost on me as I had traveled to this year’s Isle of Man TT with the main objective of documenting Guy’s first TT victory. The backer rewards I offered for my Kickstarter campaign included a Guy Martin postcard sent from the Isle of Man, which I had printed during my time between races. As it turned out, I was fortunate enough to end up spending a bit of unplanned time with the man himself and had the opportunity to give him one of the freshly printed postcards bearing his image.

“What did you want me to do with this?” he asked, after examining the picture and offering his approval. “Nothing, it’s for you,” I replied. He looked genuinely taken back, and froze for what must have been a full second before pulling himself together enough to say “good man,” followed by a firm handshake. I didn’t talk to him too much after that point, as there were others vying for his attention but before parting ways he walked over to me to shake my hand again.

Never too far from a bit of controversy, Guy has been criticized for various comments he has made, as well as accused of putting up a false act, with a certain supercar parked in his garage as a common citation. Regardless whether or not such criticisms are warranted, his reputation as an amiable everyday guy is definitely well-deserved in my book.

Dan Lo is a motorsport photographer who covers AMA Superbike, World Superbike, and MotoGP. His online portfolio is at CornerSpeedPhoto.com and he can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. For this year, Dan is looking to expand his coverage to the Isle of Man TT via Kickstarter. A big ‘”thank you” to everyone who donated, and helped send Dan to this year’s TT.

Photo: © 2012 Daniel Lo / Corner Speed Photo – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. luke says:

    I want him to win one so bad. Just so he can say it was all worth it.

  2. Gutterslob says:

    I like Guy, even before all that BBC boat show and TT3D, from his first year riding a Hydrex Honda. I wasn’t as close to him as you were, obviously, but something about him didn’t seem right this time around. Not sure whether he was distracted, or whether there were other issues. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the fame getting to his head, but maybe he just couldn’t deal with all the attention.

    He had a bad week, no doubt. His dad (very important presence for him) couldn’t be there for the first 4 races, and when he finally arrived, they cancelled the Senior TT.

    Then there were tyre issues; Pirelli just aren’t as competitive as they used to be with the majority of the top 20 riders running Dunlops over the last few years, Dunlop just have that much more data to work with each time.

    There was also that crash at teh Northwest 200 2 weeks prior that very nearly killed him. He does put on a “hard as nails” persona, but I’m sure it was in the back of his mind somewhere.

    Still, I thought he’d turn it on for the Senior like he always does (along with Cam Donald). Sad that it got rained out.

    I’m still not convinced that a setup like TAS is the right one for Guy. It’s all too structured and factory-like, from what I’ve seen in past events. Guy was at his best when operating as David going up against Golliath, like with Hydrex and Wilson Craig. Sure, he bickers a lot, but all blokes from Lancashire do that, though none I’ve met talk as fast as Guy.

    Best of luck to him and all the other riders for the next TT.

  3. Skeptical says:

    All the story built up around Guy is like “an ordinary -and somewhat awkwardly sympathetic- bloke to succeed in the toughest road race in IOM”. It’s a chase. If he does get a win though, it would have become a moment instead of a state; ” he finally won! it was all worth to it”. But then gone. It’s over. Maybe, just maybe, he and we would not be chasing his wins to add up a little less eagerly. So what it turns up a postponing game. It’s like postponing the orgasm; later the better.

    He is a great persona and a very likeable fella. But I guess he got trapped the very story that defines him. Enjoy watching him anyways.

    BTW; you’ve greatly improved the content of this site Jensen. Great work, dude.

  4. Andrew says:

    He’s from Lincolnshire

  5. frogy6 says:

    He was never going to win, after the superbike his tire was inspected and was still fine.
    He hasn’t got the concentration needed for a tt win. His pace either falls off or he pushes through it and crashes big. Talked up and talked up. Just wait for a repeat next year

  6. Westward says:

    Guy Martin is to the IOM, what Noriyuki Haga was to WSBK, and Pedrosa is to MGP (or more accurately Edwards)…

    There is always that one “Guy” in every series, and Martin is it for the Isle of Man…