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.

Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract with Ducati

07/09/2010 @ 3:30 pm, by Jensen Beeler62 COMMENTS

Valentino Rossi Signs Two Year Contract with Ducati Valentino Rossi signs Ducati MotoGP

UPDATE 3: Ducati has officially announced signing Valentino Rossi.

UPDATE 2: Ducati Motor Holdings CEO Gabriele del Torchio has confirmed that Valentino Rossi will race with Ducati in 2011.

UPDATE: Ducati & Yamaha have made a gentlemen’s agreement to delay the announcement of Rossi’s move until after Laguna Seca, in exchange for letting the Italian test the Desmosedici GP10 at the Valencian Round.

Let’s avoid the the “scoops”, “exclusives”, and “OMG’s”, and just say that Asphalt & Rubber has received word from a trusted source that Valentino Rossi has signed a two-year agreement with Ducati, that’s set to be announced on Monday…and boom goes the dynamite (sorry, we couldn’t resist). The Rossi/Ducati fantasy has been put forth for years, with the fervor on the subject reaching its pinnacle this season, as Ducati reportedly wafted a €15 million salary (almost double Yamaha’s offer) in front of the nine-time World Champion.

Likely less to do with money, and more about prestige and priority, the announcement comes on the heels of Casey Stoner’s exodus from the Ducati team, as the Australian has jumped ship back to HRC, in what is to be some sort of multinational threesome with energy drinks involved. Ok Italy, it’s almost time to change the sheets, this wet dream is nearly a reality. Stay tuned for Monday.

Despite saying that he would like to end his career with Yamaha, Rossi has increasingly been linked to Ducati lately because of tensions with Jorge Lorenzo. While Rossi was reportedly in favor of taking a salary reduction at Fiat-Yamaha (€14 million reduced to €9 million), the Italian did not like the notion that the use of funds would go to doubling Lorenzo’s pay check, which was just a million euros short of Rossi’s.

With Lorenzo rivaling Rossi not only on the track (the Yamaha Duo were virtually untouchable last season, and Lorenzo has run away with the 2010 Championship now with Rossi injured), but also for priority in the Fiat-Yamaha team box, we can presume egos collided. Assured the top-billing at Ducati, and with the added attention/sponsorship that an Italian rider on an Italian made motorcycle brings, Rossi seems set to end his career on a Ducati….which is sort of how it should be when you think about it.

The egg timer is now set as we wait for an announcement from Yamaha about Rossi’s replacement. Smart money is on Ben Spies…Wataru Yoshikawa being the long-shot on that bet.

Comment:

  1. Ken C. says:

    This is like LeBron going to Miami, except without all the people in Cleveland having a cow. Hopefully Ducati can deliver a bike that he can do something with.

  2. wayne says:

    I wonder if Yamaha really will bump up Spies. That seems to be the current conjecture and as much as I would like to see him on a factory ride, I’m just not sold yet. Of course the obvious question is: if not Ben, who?

  3. Ken K says:

    Wow, even though i knew it was coming, its still crazy. ALthough Im not THAT excited for some reason. I hope this doesnt screw over hayden with all the attention going to Rossi.

    EIther way, Speeeezz is one step closer to planting himself on a factory bike.

  4. emd says:

    Awesome, awesomer, awesomness….. fck yeah

  5. BikePilot says:

    Just Perfect. I wish Mr. Rossi a speedy recovery and an even more speedy time on the track :)

  6. Eric says:

    It will be interesting to see him on a Ducati, that’s for sure. I bet the italian fans can hardly contain themselves. It might be like his 2006 season all over. Basically the only reason he lost to Hayden that year is because the Yamaha was such a stinker. He might be in the same boat with Ducati next year.

  7. Peter says:

    Now Burgess has to move to Ducati as well for the stars to align….

  8. Trent says:

    It will be great for Ducati to get some Rossi/Burgess bike development going on. Hopefully they can fix the GP11 like he fixed the M1 back in 2003, and some of that goodness will trickle down to us Ducatisti. My only worry is for Rossi’s legacy. It looks like he’s going to be facing some stiff competition from Spies and Lorenzo next year. At least they’ll all be on new bikes, with the rule change back to 1000ccs. This year’s factory M1 is too good to beat.

  9. Ton3tal says:

    I think It’s nice to see ben spies as Rossi team mate on Ducati factory team…..I hope so

  10. Jake Fox says:

    This makes me very happy. Now my two favorite riders, Hayden and Rossi, are with my favorite manufacturer. Nice and simple.

  11. Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract with Ducati – http://aspha.lt/15i #motorcycle

  12. Bike EXIF says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract with Ducati – http://aspha.lt/15i #motorcycle

  13. Ken Chang says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract with Ducati http://aspha.lt/15i

  14. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract with Ducati – http://aspha.lt/15i #motorcycle

  15. Gody says:

    RT @kenchang: RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract with Ducati http://aspha.lt/15i

  16. Dwi Wahyuni says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract with Ducati – http://aspha.lt/15i #motorcycle

  17. irksome says:

    The even bigger story is that he seems to have changed his name to Tim.

    Tim Rossi. You heard it here first.

  18. While we wait for the inevitable announcement which will really pit some much needed excitement back into MotoGP, here are some if the reasons why Rossi will make the change in my opinion http://www.ducatinewstoday.com/2009/09/why-valentino-rossi-will-finish-his-career-on-a-ducati-part-i/

  19. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract with Ducati – http://aspha.lt/15i #motorcycle

  20. Patrick B says:

    This is great racing period. Rossi had alot to do with the development of the M1 from 2004 until now. Ducati was courting him then, but had the notion that the rider doesn’t make the bike, our engineers do. I wonder if their tone has changed 6 years later with everyone who’s struggled on the GP Desmo. Nothing against Lorenzo or Spies, but everyone is FAST on the Yamaha. It’s the best bike on the grid thanks to Vale, Jeremy, and the guru’s in Japan. Ben is sure to get the factory ride next year and desrving enough. It’s also great for Dorna who needs the top two riders in the sport to be on different machinery for sponserships, endorsements, etc. Go Rossi!

  21. Smith says:

    Rossi still number one in Ducati, I’m sure that.

  22. MTGR says:

    Shock, surprise, blah blah.

    Was there ever any doubt this would happen? Why else would Stoner pack his bags? Rossi turning down big money and the chance to call all the shots again as the only alien on a team?

  23. Sven says:

    Rossi is a traitor if he goes to Ducati.
    I won’t be rooting for him anymore.
    Spies on the factory bike. That’d be great.

  24. Steve D says:

    How is Rossi a traitor?? I can see this statment if had only ever ridden for Yamaha. Did you forget his Honda years? If anything he has only been a traitor for not being on Ducati and bleeding his “red” Italian blood all these years.

  25. MotoSponsor says:

    MotoGp News Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract With Ducati http://bit.ly/bFOJzg

  26. Jake Fox says:

    Yamaha asked Rossi to take a big pay cut for the financial solvency of the team and then offered Lorenzo a substantial pay hike. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

  27. Millard D says:

    I agree with Jake Fox: Jake Fox says:
    07/09/2010 at 9:03 PM

    This makes me very happy. Now my two favorite riders, Hayden and Rossi, are with my favorite manufacturer. Nice and simple.

  28. ladyhawke82 says:

    RT @asphalt_rubber Valentino Rossi Signs 2yr Contract W/ #Ducati http://bit.ly/bFOJzg (OMFG. If this is actually true..*geeks out*) #MotoGP

  29. Daniel says:

    Stoners crew has been asked to seek new employment for next season. This again would suggest that Rossi is bringing his crew along as well. No doubt Ducati will be very successful next year, and Rossi will only help the development for Nicky. Would do the sport good as well, bit of a shake up! Yamaha we’re a bit silly to cut Rossi’s wage and increase Lorenzo’s. Its also becuase Fuwizara is leaving Yamaha as well I believe. Go Rossi in Red.

  30. Tara says:

    Wow RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract with Ducati http://aspha.lt/15i

  31. Brian says:

    IF Rossi leaves Yamaha, Burges will have to go with him, I think Rossi’s Loyalty is with Yamaha, and would prefer to see him stay on the Yamaha and see the real battle, If Rossi goes to Ducati it would be amazing also! I think that if he does leave Yamaha, they should sign Edwards, as I feel he is stonger than spies and needs the recogintion for his consistency.

    Either Way, Rossi is the Doctor so what ever medicine he perscribes will do the trick!
    Forza Italia!

    -Brian
    Dublin Ireland

  32. Mat says:

    Rossi on a Duke! Fantastic! Of course Burgess will follow him, he said it the other day.

    Q. If rossi leaves will you stay?

    Burgess. I go where my rider goes.

    Simples!

    He will be great on a Ducati, I don’t think he’s capable of being anything else!!!

    Should inject a bit of life back too, Speez on a Factory Yam, Stoner on HRC’s finest and the Doctor on the red devil!!!

    C’mon 2011!!!

  33. Clayton says:

    I think it is going to be hard for rossi to jump on the duke and be competitive straight out the box.
    It will be amazing if he reproduces his performance, like when he jumped on the yammie and won the 1st race, but this time the competition especifically lorenzo is going from strength to strength,and I think Rossi will find it hard to beat it in the remaining races this year!!!

  34. Of course Ducati will give Rossi the fastest anf most aggressive GP Bike ever… They should give what Rossi expect and We know that they will. With that, No one! I said No one can beat rossi from now on… GO IDOL…

  35. Of course Ducati will give Rossi the fastest and most aggressive GP Bike ever… They should give what Rossi expect and We know that they will. With that, No one! I said No one can beat rossi from now on… GO IDOL…

  36. Media says Rossi signs two year deal with Ducati. Announcement Monday? http://bit.ly/9KV8yW

  37. mira w.d. says:

    RT @MotoSponsor: MotoGp News Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Contract With Ducati http://bit.ly/bFOJzg

  38. Jim says:

    About time – so this is how it goes – in 2011 Vale kicks ass and keeps his crown or gets it back from Jorge. Then he retires from two wheels and gets in the F-1 car and kicks Alonso’s ass, and places in the top five for the year 2012. Its gonna happen…………
    I will love it when Alonso gets humiliated by Rossi………
    Can’t wait to see the number 46 next to the prancing horse……

  39. Graeme says:

    2011 will be an interesting year for sure. I hope Rossi, Hayden and Spies all kick Lorenzo’s ass and that Yamaha go backwards so they realize how valuable Rossi was in keeping them competitive. As far as Rossi being a traitor, it seems to me Yamaha betrayed him.

  40. yamaha t135 says:

    it will be a very big loss for us yamaha fanatics if rossi leaves yamaha for ducati.
    if thats the case then ducati should consider building ducati scooters and underbones too!

  41. valemania says:

    i agree with Graeme,its not vale who betrayed Yamaha,but its yamaha that betrayed him.its seems that yamaha has forgoten the day when their bike was nothing.they choose to double lorenzo’s salary while they reduce vale’s salary almost half of current salary.what an idea.go vale…!!! no one can beat you now on the beast

  42. moin's says:

    i hope very bad day comes to yamaha.bcz lorenzo izz not rossi.I think it is going to be hard for rossi to jump on the duke and be competitive straight out the box.
    It will be amazing if he reproduces his performance, like when he jumped on the yammie and won the 1st race, but this time the competition especifically lorenzo is going from strength to strength,and I think Rossi will find it hard to beat it in the remaining races this year!!!

  43. Prema says:

    Dear Valentino,
    Greetings from Malaysia, well I am glad to see you back to action for the last 2 MotoGP race and would like to congratulate you on becoming 3rd at the US MotoGP and five at the championship standing. I would like to wish all the best for the upcoming races and hope that you will win in most of the games with you new bike. I will continue to support you as long as you are still with MotoGP and when you leave MototGp and carry on with Formula One which is your dream after MotoGP I will continue to support you as I know that you are one of the best rider and you are very talented, so I am with you all the way as you move to Ducati as this is your decision to move on. Well take care of yourself as for me your life is more important to me than anything else. Love Prema

  44. Endera says:

    Vale You always the Best for me No Matter what , You are The Life Legend of Motogp . . . Bravo The Doctor Valentino Rossi

  45. Ducati Rossi says:

    ITS CONFIRMED!!! ROSSI IS OUT OF YAMAHA, IN FOR DUCATI!!!
    see the article and comics
    http://www.ducatirossi.com/2010/08/valentino-rossi-barred-from-riding-new.html

  46. Bad Dogg says:

    Go vale were ever u go I always will follow u screw Lorenzo he’s no body the only reason he’s wining cause u Hirt your self! Go duca vale

  47. Singalong says:

    I HAVE WATCHED VALENTINO OVER THE YEARS WITH INCREASING ADMIRARATION BOTH AS AN ICON FOR MOTO G.P. AND AS A PEERLESS RIDER AND ALONG WITH GERRY BURGESS A DEVELOPER OF RACING BIKES-MAY HE LIVE LONG AND PROSPER

  48. CBR600RR 09 says:

    @singalong. Caps are for cool kids. Also it is Jeremy Burgess. Also we are not in Star Trek.

  49. vr says:

    Rossi is the best !

  50. vr46 says:

    Rossi is the best of the best !

  51. Black Rose says:

    Rossi = Hayden… whatta lovely reunion… hope they will have a great years with Ducati, like what they had with Honda Repsol Team… BRAVO

  52. Millard D says:

    What Black Rose said . . . Rossi and Hayden reunited . . . and on Ducati . . . YEAH!!!

  53. Graeme says:

    Don’t realy care about the Ducati side of it (don’t see how the bike is a prototype when you can go buy one if you have the coin). But I do hope that there is no seperation between the Rossis and Haydens garage and that they both kick Yamahas and Lorenzos ass. Hope Spies gives him a hurray up also. Wouldn’t mind seeing Rossi, Hatden and Spies on the podium.
    As for Stoner, well I lost any respect I had for him when he acted like a spoilt kid after being out riden by Rossi at the 2008 Laguna Seca.

  54. toni says:

    italian rider on italian bike, nice quote… goooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

  55. crackhelmet says:

    remember forgaty, wayne rainey and doohan. These legend retired after injured, rossi will follow them to…

  56. johndoe says:

    crackhelmet…don’t know yet, brother….Rossi is different among them

  57. Casey Stoner says:

    Bloody Rossi takin my place in Ducati im going to Honda anyway so stuff you

  58. valentino rossi says:

    Hey Casey, you not riding the bike hard enough…i bet you the same with that sweet ass wife of urs!!!

  59. lunarrune says:

    at last! a great day for ducatti and a great day for Rossi-fans
    can’t wait to see valentino on the ducatti. sorry day for yamaha….