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.

Wayne Gardner Calls Stoner’s Absence “Suspicious”

10/14/2009 @ 9:22 am, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

Wayne Gardner Calls Stoners Absence Suspicious Wayne Gardner 1989 Japanese GP 500GP 560x411

After Casey Stoner chastised the press, and called out Kevin Schwantz for his opinion on Stoner’s illness,  Wayne Gardner, the 1987 500GP Champion, has weighed in his thoughts on Stoner’s absence from MotoGP racing. Saying what everyone already felt, Gardner calls Stoner’s absence “very suspicious” but still considers the Australian rider the favorite at the Australian GP this weekend.

Speaking the Australian newspaper, The Age, Gardner said:

“It’s very suspicious. I wish there had have been some sort of answer to it, that he’d come out with some sort of answer, because there is certainly an air of mystery to it. I personally haven’t ever seen anyone just stop for a rest during the year in my time of grand prix racing. It’s certainly an unanswered question. I don’t think it puts a question mark on him as a competitor but it would just be nice to know what was the reasoning for it … I think he probably needs to come up with some answers.”

Stoner’s return to MotoGP was marked with a press conference where he chastised the press for the speculation surrounding his reprieve from GP racing. Stoner also lashed out at American Kevin Schwantz for his comments and point-of-view on Stoner’s illness and absence.

“You know something that really upset me a lot and I’ve lost a lot of respect for him is Kevin Schwantz. After what he said, I had a lot of respect for that guy, he’s been one of my favorite riders and probably one of the most exciting riders to watch throughout my career. When somebody like that says something like that, it shows you that experience counts for nothing, which is what I’ve been trying to tell people for a long time now. They’re always looking to the older riders to give their points of view, but unfortunately, their points of view are very hard and there’s no changing them.

I saw the Kevin Schwantz thing and things like that, and it really made me laugh. It pissed me off at the same time, because I had a lot of respect for those riders, Jeremy McWilliams as well, I mean, what the hell do they know? Really, what do they know? Everyone’s sitting their with an opinion when they know nothing, and they don’t know the situation.”

Gardner would seem to be another person on the sideline who is drawing their own conclusions from the circumstances, and for his part the former 500GP Champion seems to realize that fact. But like many others, there is something about Stoner’s situation that isn’t sitting right with Gardner.

“I don’t tell him how to ride his bike and that’s the way he does things. But it’s certainly very unusual and very unique that someone stops and has a rest for three or four races in the middle of the year and then comes back out and races and says, ‘I’m better now.’ It shows you what a talent he is and hopefully he can keep that up for the rest of the year.”

We may never know the whole story about Stoner’s absence and mystery illness, but it is refreshing at least to see the #21 Ducati back up at the front mixing it up with Rossi, Lorenzo, and Pedrosa. Look for more close racing from the Fantastic 4 this weekend at Phillip Island.

Source: Two Wheels Blog; Photo: Wikipedia

Comment:

  1. Jake says:

    This is nothing more then another no story that the press needs to sell copies or generate hits. The “issue” with Stoner was between him and his team. It’s apparent that Ducati didn’t have to much of a problem with Stoner because obviously he’s back on the bike and with the team. Just because Stoner hasn’t decided to provide exact details to the public about his illness doesn’t make it a mystery. He had health issues and did what he thought was best to get over them. End of story.

    But people need something to talk about even if the facts don’t bare out the conversation. And that fact is that Stoner even when not completely fit is one of the best riders on the planet. But because many don’t like his personality because he doesn’t act like Rossi or Lorenzo too many are just looking for excuses to tear him down.

    He wins races and a title and people constantly say it’s the bike or tires despite the fact that no one else on the same bike and tires are anywhere near him. He can’t do this or that, despite the fact that he is up front running with Rossi and Lorenzo.

  2. Don Zielke says:

    I’m sick of the whole debate. He was obviously ill, at doctor’s request took time off (presumably for treatment & recovery), and now he’s back, end of story. Who cares what it was? Is it going to make a difference if we know or not?

    This is starting to border on invasion of privacy, at least in my opinion. If Stoner had wanted to share more, he would have.

  3. Wayne Gardner Calls Stoner's Absence "Suspicious" – http://bit.ly/xmZ0x #motorcycle

  4. breza says:

    Stoner just can’t give the proper reason, and that sounds fishy to you and me, not mentioning Schwantz (which rode injured through the WHOLE career) and the typical Hard-knock Gardner. Remember the times when Doohan even couldn’t get on his NSR without help of his mechanics. If you got your head, legs and arms in place-you ride! Lorenzo had his share last year with some pretty rough injuries (broken heels amongst others…), but he didn’t took the vacation in Spain…Sorry Casey, but that’s just lame!
    KS34ever!

  5. Chris says:

    No one is questioning Stoner’s talent. There is just no way Doohan, Rainey,Gardner or Schwantz would miss three rounds because they were tired or fatigued. Does he have the talent of these guys maybe ,the HEART now thats questionable.