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: Race 1 at Brno – The Crash That Could Cost the Championship

07/26/2009 @ 7:32 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Race 1 at Brno   The Crash That Could Cost the Championship Spies Biaggi Brno Race 1 WSBK 560x372

Brno has a variety of meanings to different people. To the Old Czech, the words means muddy, to the Slavs it means to fortify, to men aged 16-55 it means rail thin supermodels, but to motorcycle race fanatics, the city should take on the meaning of unpredictable racing action. You’ll have to continue after the jump to see why Race 1 proves this theory.

Imagine you’re Ben Spies, and you trail in the World Superbike Champion by a handful of points. All that stands in the way of you achieving your victory, is an injured rider who will likely be unable to answer your advances for the next few race venues.

But wait, this is World Superbike, and this is Brno. Ben Spies found out the hard way that anything can happen; such as, Michel Fabrizio barging into you, causing a collective 45 Championship points pile up. Spies is of course no stranger to the adverse racing conditions in WSBK, surviving break downs, fuel mishaps, and even birds to climb his way to within 7 points of Haga. You can imagine that this race will come up later from arm-chair racers if Spies loses the Championship by a margin less than the 17 point spread between 1st and 8th.

Despite still being the Championship leader (for now), Haga was not expecting to pull his lead farther ahead with his 8th place finish, but because of the crash between Fabrizio and Spies, Haga could celebrate Race 1 as if he won it. However the true podium duty went to Max Biaggi on his Aprilia RSV4.

The Emperor had been on fire all week, and it finally paid off for him and the Aprilia team. With Spies and Fabrizio out of the way, Max sailed to a comfortable three second lead over Carlos Checa, who was followed six seconds later by Johnny Rea. Biaggi later complained that his RSV4 was not setup properly, thus holding him back from going faster and/or crashing into Spies himself.

Other honorable mentions go out to Troy Corser and the BMW team for their 5th place finish. Brno has been good to BMW, despite Ruben Xaus’s DNF this Sunday.

Results from Race 1 of World Superbike at Brno, Czech Republic:

13M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory
27C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR3.631
365J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR9.948
467S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R12.952
511T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR14.599
696J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R19.359
791L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR19.680
841N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R20.731
914M. LagriveFRAHonda CBR1000RR21.923
10100M. TamadaJPNKawasaki ZX 10R27.807
1110F. NietoESPDucati 1098R35.263
1223B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R36.535
139R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR38.586
1471Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K940.061
1577V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR40.280
1699L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R40.641
1725D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R1’10.529
1894D. ChecaESPYamaha YZF R11’14.874
1988R. ReschAUTSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’42.979
2051M. CihakCZESuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’43.111
RET66T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R11 Lap
RET53A. PolitaITASuzuki GSX-R 1000 K96 Laps
RET121J. HopkinsUSAHonda CBR1000RR10 Laps
RET56S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV4 Factory12 Laps
RET19B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R116 Laps
RET84M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R16 Laps
RET57L. LanziITADucati 1098R18 Laps
RET111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR

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