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.

UPDATE: Valentino Rossi NOT Spotted at Yamaha Europe HQ – Twitter Hoax Adds to Silly Season Drama

08/04/2012 @ 11:08 am, by David Emmett27 COMMENTS

UPDATE: Valentino Rossi NOT Spotted at Yamaha Europe HQ   Twitter Hoax Adds to Silly Season Drama 2012 MotoGP 10 LagunaSeca Saturday 07381

The story we published yesterday about Valentino Rossi having been spotted at Yamaha’s European headquarters by former racer Niall Mackenzie turns out to have been incorrect. We, along with the French publication Moto Journal and the German-language magazine Speedweek were victims of a hoax. A Frenchman, speaking perfect English, had compromised the Twitter account of Niall Mackenzie and linked his own email address to it, so that the attempts we made to verify the news led to a single, incorrect source. The person having compromised the account  later confessed to one of the journalists involved in researching the story that it had been a hoax, and apologized for the inconvenience he had caused.

Signs that the story was factually incorrect had come out earlier. Valentino Rossi’s manager Davide Brivio posted a denial on his Twitter page late last night, saying “for sure he didn’t visit Yamaha HQ – he is on holiday!”

So how did this happen? How did we fall for this hoax? The original post had come from the Twitter account actually used by Niall Mackenzie, as a wander down the timeline will verify. A follow-up check by email reached the same compromised source, and so the information being checked was being verified by the person who perpetrated the hoax. The details provided in the email conversation were convincing – the actual location of Yamaha’s European headquarters, the plans for Mackenzie’s second son Tarran to race in European Superstock 600 – but, in hindsight, easily researched.

The entire MotoGP press is convinced that Valentino Rossi will sign for Yamaha for 2013 and beyond – the British weekly MCN splashed it throughout this week’s paper, and the Italian daily La Gazzetta Dello Sport published a story laying out details of a possible deal between Yamaha and the Italian, among many, many other sources. Rossi had been expected to give Ducati an answer on whether he would be racing for them or not Other requests for verification were not received in time. “Publish and be damned,” runs a famous axiom of journalism. We published, and were damned.

Our sincere apologies to all of our readers who believed this story. We published it as we believed it to be true, and are just as surprised and disappointed that it turned out to be incorrect. We have tried to be diligent about our reporting, knowing the suspicion with which internet news sources are regarded, especially by the traditional media. Unfortunately, the months of years of trying to work diligently have been at least partly undone by an error of judgement. We hope we can win back some of the trust we have gained in the coming months, by working harder to verify our sources.

We are still convinced that Valentino Rossi will leave Ducati and join Yamaha. However, we were wrong to report that he was at Yamaha’s European HQ. We will await official confirmation of a move by the Italian. And double-check our sources.

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

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

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  7. JW says:

    Too late..

  8. Shawn says:

    This seems to me to be a case of being eager to report what you (the motojournalist press) WANT to be true, rather than taking the time to report what IS true. It’s what I believe to be the downfall of the 24-hour instant news cycle – people are so eager to be perceived as “cutting edge” that they will rush to print (sic) with anything that has even a whiff of possible truth, in the hopes of elevating their own journalistic credibility.

    Kudos for the retraction, but as the old saying goes, “the horse is already out the gate”. You print a retraction, and then in the same breath continue to perpetuate the notion that “We are still convinced that Valentino Rossi will leave Ducati and join Yamaha”. In essence, it comes across to this reader that you’re not sorry that you’re printing wild speculation instead of fact, you’re sorry that you got CAUGHT printing wild speculation instead of fact and looked foolish for doing so.

    If you’re writing an op-ed piece, that’s one thing. However, A&R presents itself (most of the time) as a news source trying to pride itself on accuracy and quality. So how about a little less speculation masquerading as “news”, and instead a little more fact when you can actually confirm it straight from the source?

  9. David says:

    Do you guys (the Journalist)truly think we (the Readers) actually BELIEVE everything we read………ROTFLMAO!!

  10. Phil Deetlefs says:

    Only 2 weeks ago, the www reported that VR met with Audi and Ducati’s HH to discuss 2013 development and involvement, coupled to soft commitment. Might choose the cafe racer sectionof H4L in future…

  11. Paulo says:

    Dude?!…..Whats mine say?…….Sweet!……Dude?…..Sweet!!……No, what’s it say??…….SWEET!!!…..DUDE????……….

    The (phoney) world just moves too quickly now.

    Oh well, it was fun while it lasted………

  12. Joe says:

    I’m over it already. Everyone’s human and allowed to make mistakes and as far as Dave’s articles go those are few are far between. I don’t think it was wrong either to put in the bit about still thinking Rossi will leave for Yamaha. I read Dave’s articles for his opinion as much as the reporting. It’s not like I’m going to stop reading this site or any other one that occasionally reports something that isn’t true. Without these sites I wouldn’t know about 90% of what’s going on in 2 wheel world until 12 months after the fact.

    @Phil – If you’re into cafe racers you’re probably already reading H4L anyways. There’s no point in threatening not to come here anymore. Some of the stuff you find here you won’t find there and vice versa. I’m sure everyone’s posted something that wasn’t factual at some point in time.

  13. john says:

    If you guys (A&R) wouldn’t publish other website articles, aka.. Motomatters.com, than you wouldn’t have this problem. It would have separated you from the other trusting motogp gossip sites…

    Just my 2 cents! What do I know, I’m not a journalist.

  14. Leo says:

    Um why the inverted photo… There’s no right turn/kink 1 at Laguna!!!!!

  15. NOIZ says:

    Nice spot Leo!

  16. anti says:

    Oh, Twiter account was hacked was it….. sure whatever you say Niall.

  17. MikeD says:

    Is cool. We all make mistakes…either way, im only here for the fun and to unplug from my daily grind, a bit of non-factual/verified information is not a deal breaker for me…it may just be what the Dr ordered after all…lol.

  18. abahgiza says:

    but IF its true, every time rossi saw a ducati while he was on podium with Yam. he’ll cry and beg for stoner forgiveness. every spells like 80% rider 20% bike, the developer rider, “not hard enough”…is now exposed in a spotlight to be exactly not true….

  19. smiler says:

    Like I said yesterday…..
    Interestingly because Rossi is alegedly seen by McKenzie at Yamahaha Europe, he has already signed a contract and gone? Fugiwara has been seen talking to Ducati. So presumably he will be going to Ducati and Rossi to Yamaha.

    As for him leaving Ducati. Given his comments earlier about Audi then everyone had him signed up at Ducati immediately.

    I think it is a seriously risky move for him. Lorenzo is not going to let him have No1 spot and will clearly give him a hard time. If Rossi comes 2nd or 3rd next yr he will have failed on the M1, to many.

    Many in Italy will also see it as a defection and failure to see it through.

    Deal not done and a daft move for Rossi.

  20. BBQdog says:

    Can happen. Don’t make an elephant of it.

  21. ewganhoff says:

    Keep calm
    And carry on making this awesome site, Jensen.

  22. johnc says:

    merde! kill the french! ;-p

  23. lawrence1 says:

    Oops

    Rossi will never be the same after running into another racers head.

  24. JW says:

    @ Lawrence

    Your harsh statement about sic and 46 belong somewhere else and not on A & R

    Your the fan that Stoner will not miss..

  25. Steve Lang says:

    Too bad it’s not true, it sure would have made things interesting.

  26. Ryan says:

    @Leo, the picture is mirrored because it is now opposite of the picture in the article that is being retracted.

  27. I just wanted to stop in and say that David Emmett is one the best MotoGP journalists currently in the business, and this article is reinforcement of that statement, and not a detractor from it.