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 2 a Chess Match in the Czech Republic

07/10/2011 @ 7:27 am, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: Race 2 a Chess Match in the Czech Republic biaggi melandri2 635x406

Max Biaggi won pole for the 2011 World Superbike round at Brno during Saturday’s Superpole sessions, beating out Marco Melandri, Carlos Checa, and Eugene Laverty, who join him on the front row for the second race of the weekend. Biaggi’s teammate Leon Camier was not so quick, though he did manage to move on to Superpole 3 after a late crash in the first third nearly kept him from setting any time at all. Neither Castrol Honda moved on beyond the final Saturday qualifying practice, nor did most of the Kawasaki riders fare terribly well.

Multiple riders sat out this weekend’s racing, with Lorenzo Lanzi replacing James Toseland at BMW Motorrad Italia, Alex Lowes in for Jonathan Rea at Castrol Honda, and no one filling in for Troy Corser at BMW Motorrad. Toseland rode in the Friday free practice, but was forced to give up his seat after his wrist injury continued to cause problems. Ruben Xaus was also forced to sit out Race 2 after a massive crash in Race 1 on Sunday. Though he did not have any broken bones, he did not race. Chris Vermeulen also did not start the second race.

Biaggi got another good start to take the lead of Race 2, with Melandri, Checa, Laverty, and Fabrizio the top five. Again, Fabrizio made and early pass on Laverty to take fourth as Guintoli looked to join the fray. By the end of the second lap, Biaggi had three tenths on Melandri, with Checa another half second behind. Riders were generally settled in as the early laps ticked down, with Biaggi and Melandri easing away fromt he rest of the field by the end of the fifth lap of twenty.

Though Biaggi appeared to have an easy lead, Melandri remained quite close behind the Aprilia. The central portion of the race appeared to be a bit of a chess match, until Melandri went for the lead on lap eleven through turn three. At the halfway point, Melandri had almost three tenths on Biaggi, with Checa, Fabrizio, and Laverty the top five. Badovini, in sixth, was five seconds behind Laverty as Haslam, Sykes, Lascorz, and Guintoli completed the top ten.

However, Biaggi soon re-took the lead from Melandri, with things not as lucky for teammate Camier. The Briton crashed with eight laps remaining, though he managed to get back on the bike and continue on, though he soon retired. It was also a bad day for home rider Smrz, who lost the front and tumbled out of the race soon thereafter.

As the final laps ticked away, Biaggi maintained his lead of a fluctuating few tenths on Melandri, as Checa drifted back a second behind the leader. Fabrizio in fourth was another nearly two seconds back, as Laverty, Badovini, Haslam, Lascorz, Guintoli, and Haga maintained the top ten with five laps to go. Melandri took the lead back with two laps left, then Biaggi was ahead again, ran wide and kept the inside line and the first position. The final lap brought hard, pushing racing from Melandri, but he was not close enough to actually dive under Biaggi for the win. The Aprilia rider won from pole, keeping Melandri from two wins on the weekend, and Checa completed the podium.

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

Pos.No.RiderTeamDiff.
11Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team-
233Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team0.222
37Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati3.558
484Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare7.863
558Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team7.534
686Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia18.085
791Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad21.650
817Joan LascorzPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki21.962
950Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati25.306
1041Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia27.366
1144Roberto RolfoTeam Pedericini Kawasaki33.716
128Mark AitchisonTeam Pedericini Kawasaki36.549
1357Lorenzo LanziBMW Motorrad Italia37.468
1466Tom SykesPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki46.878
1513Victor KispatakiProp-tech ltd. Honda1:38.074
Not Classified
121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati5 Laps
2Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team6 Laps
96Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati8 Laps
15Matteo BaioccoBarni Racing Team Ducati11 Laps
22Alex LowesCastrol Honda15 Laps

Source: WSBK; Photo:

Comments are closed.