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.

Rossi Puts the Kibosh on Rumors about Leaving Ducati

04/13/2012 @ 12:02 pm, by David Emmett15 COMMENTS

Rossi Puts the Kibosh on Rumors about Leaving Ducati MotoGP Saturday Qatar GP 2012 Scott Jones 41

Valentino Rossi’s litany of complaints about the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 given live on Italian TV after the Qatar round of MotoGP triggered a wave of speculation. For the first time, Rossi had openly complained that Ducati had not given him the bike that he believes he needs to go fast, and that he had felt like pulling in before the end of the race. That, combined with an interview Rossi also did with the Italian magazine Motosprint in which he implied that Ducati Corse boss Filippo Preziosi was failing to provide the help that he and the other Ducati riders needed caused a massive reaction throughout the media and across the web.

Some reaction was amusing, such as the Downfall parody on YouTube, discussing Rossi’s poor qualifying at Qatar. Others were more serious, including an article on the Spanish website Motocuatro.com suggesting that Rossi could try to get out of his contract before the year was over and wait for 2013, when, the article suggested, he could obtain a satellite Yamaha M1 to compete with the blessing of Dorna. Rumors quickly started to grow that Rossi’s relationship with Ducati could be over, and sooner than anyone expected.

Ducati moved slowly to counter the reports, CEO Gabriele del Torchio telling the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that it was “too early to talk of a divorce”. But the waiting was for a response from Valentino Rossi himself.

That finally came today, at Monza, where Rossi is competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series with his best friend Alessio “Uccio” Salucci. Italian TV presenter Valerio Stafelli presented Rossi with a “Tapiro d’Oro”, a satirical prize for well-known Italians who have good reason to be sad (the tapir’s long face is said to make it look sad), and Rossi seized the opportunity to announce on TV that he was intending to stay with Ducati, and no divorce was imminent. “I am very ‘attapirato’ [I have a very long face - DE] because with this Ducati, I cannot be competitive,” Rossi told TV host Stafelli. “I can’t ride at 100%, and the others are all very fast.”

But he would not be giving up any time soon, Rossi said. “We will keep trying at every race,” he told Stafelli, “We will not give up.” As for all the talk of a split with Ducati, Rossi denied any idea of leaving. “I will stay with Ducati. We will do everything we can to make the pairing of Rossi and Ducati function successfully.”

For a considered view of the Rossi/Ducati situation, and the possible permutations of Rossi’s future, we recommend you read Dennis Noyes’ take on the situation over on the Speed TV website.

Source: GPone, MotoSprint, Motocuatro, Repubblica, & Speed TV

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:

  1. Jake says:

    Regardless of whether or not you like Rossi, I believe all MotoGP fans would like to see a competitive Ducati team. This business of factory Yamaha and Honda bikes disappearing over the horizon isn’t good for the spectacle or the sport.

  2. Steve Lang says:

    I think Nicky said it best,… “You dance with the girl you brought”.

  3. Adam says:

    Rossi adds character to the sport and is exciting to watch race, top level riders need to be riding at the front not mid pack. I think Nicky proved on Sunday how noncompetitive the Ducati really is 6th place and 28.4 seconds from a win… 26 seconds from a podium, both Tech3′s were ahead of him and the other satellite Honda’s right behind. its only one race and the results are already surprising, lets check back mid season and see where everyone is. The guy is not going any wear he will be wearing red at Valencia.

  4. JW says:

    Yes I am sure Nicky and VR want to win and are both capable of doing so. They both are under contract and I believe are honorable men and very good for the sport. So, they still must enjoy what they are doing and they both make more money than they will ever have the time to spend. There is so much going on behind what we do not see. I do see trouble ahead for the sport in general and I hope Dorna does what ever is nessasay to keep the sport alive. I can see the day Rossi and Nicky get on a SBK, this sport is fun to watch as well.

  5. Fred Santos says:

    15 million huh? Never Give UP! gahahahaha

  6. MikeD says:

    Is ok Dude……..suck it up and TAKE IT LIKE A MAN. Better times(bikes) will come ur way…hopefully. LMAO.
    Besides, i don’t think u can just WALK AWAY from a binding race contract with Ducati…or anyone else for that matter w/o some “bad” side effects.
    Maybe if u keep whining they’ll get sick of u and will let u go before u know it.

  7. Westward says:

    I have seen sports figures, entertainers, and lottery winners squander millions. Regardless of amount, never underestimate the human animals capacity for waste…

    As for Rossi, even if the rumours turn out to be true, he could probably go to Kawasaki, Suzuki, Aprilia, or even BMW and convince one of them into forging a full fledged factory effort…

  8. Beary says:

    Rossi adds Character to Motogp ? I think that is living in the past a little. At the moment the only characteristic he is bringing to the show is the ‘sad clown’.

  9. Bjorn says:

    I’m curious as to what sort of position Rossi would finish in on a Yamaha or Honda. I often wonder if it is purely incompatibility with the bike or if the fire no longer burns as hot.
    I guess time will tell as I don’t believe he will renew his contract when the option is presented. After having given him what is essentially a Nipponese style bike to (so far) no effect, I doubt Ducati are eager to re-sign him either.

  10. JoeD says:

    It Seems the Asians are not the only ones who gloss over the facts to save face. Ducati has lost the way and cannot or will not admit it. All of the bikes have similar power levels and it is the ability of the chassis to handle it or lack of that Rossi is fighting. For years, twins and triples have been given extra displacement and less weight to achieve parity with the I4 Asians. Sadly, when every one has a 4 cylinder 1000cc prototype, Ducati comes up short. What good is power if it cannot be used? Give all of the Ducati riders a 990 series bike and see what happens. Sometimes old is better. Suck it up, Ducati. Admit failure and fix it.

  11. MikeD says:

    JoeD says: April 14, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    For years, twins and triples have been given extra displacement and less weight to achieve parity with the I4 Asians.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I could be mistaken but i think you are talking about the wrong series here (WSBK ?)
    Who was crazy enough to race A TWIN in MotoGP before against all the I-4s and V-4s ? That’s just crazy ballsy.

    I think the Aprilia I-3 Cube had the same 990cc as all the other players ?……someone correct me if im wrong !

    I strongly believe/lie to myself that just like ur saying they(Ducati) will be reverting back to part of their ROOTS & HERITAGE also known as The TRELLIS Frame……………..kind of like when Triumph stopped fooling themselves that they could beat the Japanese OEMs at building I-4s and REVERTED back to their BREAD & BUTTER = TRIPLES BABY !!!!

    Or even worse………back to the Carbon Fiber…LOL.
    In all seriousness……………they have LOST their WAY.

  12. spytech says:

    casey stoner is a talent, fastest man on two wheels, but he cant win on a bike that is not competitive against the rest. yes he won on the ducati that had favorable tires to its side. it worked out for him but how about the next few years when others were on same tire or tire rules changed? now switch to a honda and he wins. bike is more important than it use to be in the 500 2stroke days.

    hayden improved his time from last year, but finished the race 28 seconds behind. anyone think that is competitive??? stoner tried to use his talent to ride around the ducati’s problem and he crash a lot for it. he won a lot too, but it was risky and always on the edge.

    doesnt matter how good rossi is, if they dont give him a bike that can perform, he will not win and leave. can he be competitive again on a private yamaha or honda, dare i say maybe even suzuki? there is always a possibility – dont count him out, because you may have to eat your words later. everyone loves a comeback – can you imagine how the fans would react if he switched teams to something that worked and he won, it would be HUGE!!!

    by the way this is a good read – http://superbikeplanet.com/2012/Apr/120413-1046.htm

  13. MikeD,

    MotoGP has always kept the same displacement for different engine configurations, but instead changed the minimum weights for bikes with three, four, and five cylinders. Now the rules state only four-cylinder motors are allowed, so…

  14. gc says:

    If Nicky , Colin and Rossi rode Donkeys, I would be there buying seats and cool race donkey shirts. Personality is invaluable.
    Racing is more than winning. Racing is racing.

    Jorge is the champ, but nobody cares, nobody misses Mladin do they?

  15. MikeD says:

    @gc:

    Not really, is not like im going to be dating or marrying one of them or something…LMFAO.

    Personality….Schonality. I want results, good results (im pretty sure that’s what Ducati is screaming out loud silently).