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.

WSBK: Battle to the Finish in Race 2 at Assen

04/17/2011 @ 11:04 am, by Victoria Reid1 COMMENT

WSBK: Battle to the Finish in Race 2 at Assen World Superbike Assen 2011 635x364

Carlos Checa started the second World Superbike race at Assen in pole position, after wise tire management left him the only rider in Superpole 3 on Saturday with an unused qualifying tire. He was joined on the front row by Jakub Smrz, Eugene Laverty, and Noriyuki Haga. It was the first front row start (other than that for Race 1) for the Irish rider in his WSBK rookie season.

Laverty’s teammate Marco Melandri had worse luck, crashing on his final lap in Superpole 3 and only qualifying eighth. The second WSBK race at Assen got off to a late start after the Supersport race had multiple red flags. It had become somewhat cloudier as the afternoon progressed, but hampered the racing little.

Haga got a brilliant start, going straight to the front into Turn 1, with Biaggi and Checa following him. Haga managed a neat gap early on in the first lap, leaving Biaggi and Checa to scrap over second. By the end of the first lap, Haga led Biaggi, Checa, Laverty, Rea, Melandri, Haslam, Corser, Sykes, and Xaus as the top ten.

Soon, Haga, Biaggi, and Checa were away at the front, with a fighting Laverty, Rea, Melandri, and Haslam catching up to them. Checa, looking to get away on the soft rear tire, made his way around Biaggi, then Haga for the lead. Haga seemed to simply slip back, dropping down to fifth within a few turns. By the end of the fifth lap, Checa and Biaggi were gaining some space on Rea and Melandri, who had their own small gap on the rest of the field. Haga was sixth, with Laverty well back in eighth.

At the front, Biaggi would not let Checa get away. Though Camier, Haslam, Fabrizio, and Laverty were dueling for fifth, the top four seemed to settle in. By the halfway point of the twenty-two lap race, Checa still led Biaggi, with Rea finally having broken free from Melandri in third. Camier, Haslam, Haga, Fabrizio, Laverty and Sykes completed the top ten, as Corser had crashed out a few laps earlier.

Soon, Biaggi began losing a bit of time to Checa, with Rea gaining on the reigning champion. Melandri was coming with him, as the top three were covered by one second. Watching the top four became something of a waiting game as the laps ticked down, with the gap close enough for any rider to win, but noone jousting for position. With five laps left, Melandri crashed while pushing to stay ahead of Camier and catch Rea. At that point, Camier moved up to fourth, with Haslam, Laverty, Fabrizio, Haga, Guintoli, and Smrz rounding out the top ten.

Biaggi continued to close on Checa, but kept his head, sliding neatly through on Checa. The Championship leader had run a bit wide at the final chicane, leaving room for Biaggi to take the lead with two laps remaining. Still, Checa remained right on Biaggi’s rear wheel, decisively taking the lead back up the inside of Biaggi on the final lap, and keeping it across the finish. Rea comfortably finished third, with Camier and Haslam rounding out the top five.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 2 at Assen:

17Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati-
21Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team0.524
34Jonathon ReaCastrol Honda3.584
42Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team5.913
591Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad Motorsport16.916
658Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team17.375
784Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare17.740
841Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia18.329
996Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati18.378
1050Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati18.404
1166Tom SykesPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing26.284
1217Joan LascorzPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing27.053
13121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati38.614
14111Ruben XausCastrol Honda40.824
1586Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia40.953
1644Roberto RolfoTeam Pedercini Kawasaki40.982
1737Barry VenemanBMW Motorrad Italia45.423
188Mark AitchisonTeam Pedercini Kawasaki3 Laps
Not Classified
33Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team6 Laps
11Troy CorserBMW Motorrad Motorsport15 Laps

Source: WSBK


  1. s2upid says:

    man i love the look of that castrol honda