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.

Laguna Seca Returns to the World Superbike Calendar

09/21/2012 @ 1:10 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Laguna Seca Returns to the World Superbike Calendar Laguna Seca track map 01 635x568

Infront Motor Sports and the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca have agreed to a three-year contract, which sees World Superike racing returning to the coastal California circuit. The American round for the 2013, 2014, and 2015 WSBK seasons, Laguna Seca replaces Miller Motorsports Park, with this announcement, as the sole-destination for the premier production motorcycle racing class.

Returning back to Laguna Seca after an eight-year hiatus, Infront cites that Seca’s vital location near the motorcycle industry, as well as its rising attendance as the main reasons for the switch from Miller. However, we think US fans will agree though that Miller provided an excellent venue for WSBK, and that the World Superbike Championship could benefit from having more than one American-based round, especially considering how many stops on its calendar are still in Europe.

“We are absolutely delighted to be returning to Laguna Seca for the US Round for the first time since 2004,” declared Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports. “Over the ten-year period in which we were last there, we witnessed an extraordinary growth in interest and in overall attendance and we are sure that this event will once again become one of the most prestigious on the calendar.”

“The return of Laguna Seca to the Superbike World Championship, with its six competing manufacturers, will definitely be a boost to the championship’s growth in the US market as California has a special tradition and offers significant opportunities for the motorcycle industry, sponsors and media,” added Flammini.

“We have a strong history with World Superbike and are thrilled to have them commit to a three-year race schedule,” said Gill Campbell, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca CEO/General Manager. “Their return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca solidifies our position as THE premier circuit in the U.S. for motorcycle racing.”

Source: WSBK

Comment:

  1. Gritboy says:

    AWWWWWEEEEEEESSSSOOOOOMMMMMMMEEEEEEE!

  2. Jimmy Smith JR. says:

    Maybe we can convince the AMA boys to run on the WSBK weekend so we can FINALLY see some moto2/moto3 action here on the Best Coast!!

  3. nakdgrl says:

    woohoo!

    Now we can watch some REAL racing – LIVE!

  4. Andres Freire says:

    I’m happy for WSBK but really bummed out for the loss of miller. Miller was the closest track that I can make it to. Oh wells it gives me a reason to go back to Cali.

  5. Bruce says:

    Would like to see Barber get a WSBK round.

  6. ttxgpfan says:

    Booo. There are enough races at Laguna, and they have a limited number of race weekends. I’d be ok with WSBK adding Laguna, but not instead of. And I’d don’t give a rat’s ass about where the industry is. Don’t need a reminder that I am screwed just because I live somewhere other than LA.

  7. neil says:

    Great, a man’s track.

  8. Damo says:

    I had such a blast watching the GP at Laguna this year, but all I kept thinking was how awesome it would be for WSBK to be back.

    As soon as the provisional calender is announced I am going to start looking for flights!

  9. Scotty Ducati says:

    : )

  10. Jake says:

    @Damo: It’ll be the weekend of September 27-29, 2013. I’m surprised Jensen didn’t include that in the article.

  11. Damo says:

    @Jake

    Thanks for the heads up. That will be the optimal for me to get out there, conveniently enough.

  12. Singletrack says:

    “Don’t need a reminder that I am screwed just because I live somewhere other than LA.”

    Aren’t more bikes sold in the rust belt than California?

  13. Potere says:

    So the CEO/GM of Laguna says this establishes the track as the THE premier site for motorcycle racing, eh?

    Does GM mean genetically modified in this case? Because if you want to go to a track day there, the scheduling is done by morons and is unavailable for MONTHS after every other track in the state has posted theirs. WORSE, the noise level of 92 db is less than realistic and is 10 db less than any other track in CA because of the rich b@sturds who bought and built their homes DECADES after the track was already there. These people make life hell for everyone and their aim is to completely get rid of the track!

    Now add to that the fact that it is owned by the county of Monterey and you get a system for selling track days to the providers that is so political that it rivals the stink of raw sewage spilling into the bay. You end up with 2nd rate AND unknowns getting dates for a track day that is poorly run, dangerous and frequently they back out altogether at the last minute because they can’t sign up enough people.

    No other track runs track days like this anywhere in this state. But then, it is California…somebody has to act like a fruitcake to keep the state’s image in the gutter.

  14. Curve Killa says:

    Barber would be great venue!