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: Effenbert Opts for McCormick Instead of Bayliss

03/14/2012 @ 2:39 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

WSBK: Effenbert Opts for McCormick Instead of Bayliss effenbert liberty racing brett mccormick 635x423

Every few months a good rumor about the return of Troy Bayliss finds its way into the media, and this week is no different. The whole process started several months back when Bayliss left a message on his Facebook page about his inability to come to terms with Ducati about racing a few wild card rounds in World Superbike this season — a statement that was quickly rebutted by Ducati Corse’s WSBK Boss Ernesto Marinelli, who said that if the former-World Champion wanted to ride in WSBK this year, a Ducati would be made available to him.

Now in an announcement made today by the Effenbert Liberty Racing team, the Czech-speaking Ducati-riding squad confirmed that it will be moving-up Canadian Brett McCormick to the team’s fourth WSBK-spec Ducati Superbike 1198 for the rest of the season, instead of having Troy Bayliss ride for the team at several wild card races.

Surely linked to the discussions Bayliss was having with Ducati Corse, the move is a boon to McCormick, who was set to ride the new Ducati 1199 Panigale in the World Superstock 1000 series, despite the fact that World Superbike. fans surely would have welcomed the return of the three-time WSBK Champion Bayliss to the track.

Effenbert Liberty Racing Press Release:
“The Effenbert company believes in motorsport and its use as the most powerful promotional engine so much that it was in their contemplation to run a Liberty Racing bike with legendary Troy Bayliss on a couple of occasions this season. They had a strong desire to give him the opportunity to ride as a wild card in a few races,” said the Team Owner Mario Bertuccio. “Unfortunately, as we all know, this intention was not fulfilled successfully for various reasons. At this point, the possibility has vanished completely and Effenbert decided to reconsider other options of further investments in the team, with regard to the budget, which eventually resulted in the decision to engage a fourth permanent rider for the entire 2012 season. This decision is also promising something very interesting.”

In his words, Mario Bertuccio inaugurated an important change for the whole Effenbert Liberty Racing Team. The team, already engaged in the SBK World Championship 2012 with three riders, Sylvain Guintoli, Jakub Smrž and Maxime Berger, has decided to promote the talented young Canadian Brett McCormick, contracted to compete alongside Federico Sandi in Superstock 1000 FIM Cup this year on a Ducati Panigale 1199, to the top class.

As a result, the Effenbert Liberty Racing Team will send four official riders on track for the remainder of the season that will officially terminate on 7 October on a French circuit of Magny Cours. This decision is just another proof of an enormous determination of the management of the Czech Team who believe in this sport with an unqualified commitment. This news is also a further contribution to the overall aim of the team to give an opportunity to young talented riders to show their potential.

Brett McCormick’s debut in SBK is scheduled for late March, in Italian Imola. On this occasion, “the kid” (Canadian’s nickname) will be riding the Ducati 1198 #68 for the first time and will challenge his opponents of this superior category.

“Effenbert Liberty Racing Team is giving me a great opportunity, “said Brett McCormick. “My dream has always been to race in SBK and now that I have this opportunity, I will give it everything on the track. Recently, I’ve been studying and memorizing the circuits, which obviously I do not know well, so that when the D-day comes, I am prepared as much as I can. It is going to be a very challenging season for me since I’m about to face many experienced riders. This is undoubtedly a great way to learn and grow, and I will always try to be in the leading group!”

The team owner Mario Bertuccio further explained:” The incentive to promote McCormick in Superbike is consistent with our philosophy of helping to bring up young talents. We truly have the highest respect for the Canadian rider, and we trust him as we are certain that he can pay us back on the track. This is an important choice. There are only a few teams in SBK who have decided to increase the budget for the current season and our route makes us day after day even more proud and confident about the potential of the team.

Federico Sandi remains the Effenbert Liberty Racing Team’s ace in Superstock and I am sure he will give us very good results riding the competitive Panigale 1199. Our active engagement in this direction remains intact.”

Source: Effenbert Liberty Racing

Comment:

  1. Let’s call it ‘Eh’ ffenbert Racing, then. Glad to see another of my homies get a shot. How many motojournalists dream of doing one of those end-of-season mass tests and actually getting discovered? Thank god it was McCormick (admittedly a very part-time scribe) and not one of the insufferable asses I spent hours with on planes, flying to launches and tests back when I worked for Motorcyclist or Road Racer X. Ah, those weren’t the days, but I digress…

    Go Canada!

  2. Steve says:

    All the best to McCormick and maybe it’s a blessing in disguise for Bayless. Somehow I can’t see Bayles on a peach colored Ducati.

  3. Damo says:

    @Mark Gardiner

    Totally unrelated topic: I finally obtained a copy of Riding Man and I am about 60% through it. Really enjoying it, it should be required reading for all sport bike riders. I’ll be sure and write up a positive review on amazon once I finish it.

    Related Note: Troy Bayliss wont race in WSBK again, because the world does not contain that much awesome. Congrats to McCormick!

  4. Adam says:

    this is fantastic for Brent! I saw hi race in the CSBK last year and he was heads above the rest, but he did have a dismal year on the Jordan Suzuki the year before in AMA. hopefully he is maturing and gaining the mental toughness needed at this level.

  5. TonyS says:

    Couldn’t come up with an ugly paint scheme if they tried.

  6. mxs says:

    Congrats to McCormick. will be interesting what he can do. Everybody says he has tons of talent. now being on a competitive bike with a great support stuff, it’s ti me to shine ….

    BTW, your title is a bit misleading ….. They really wanted Bayliss, but it didn’t work out, so they decided to go 4 bikes in SBK instead of putting around with other classes. They didn’t choose Bret over Troy …. I know it would be a nice story.

    @TonyS
    I am sure you don’t mind the paint scheme on their umbrella girls, do you?

  7. Damo says:

    @TonyS

    “Couldn’t come up with an ugly paint scheme if they tried.”

    It is supposed to look like a glass of beer. As in Effenbert, the Czech Beer, look closer. Hence the pilsner colored bottom followed by bubbles and a foamy head.

  8. TonyS says:

    @mxs > Nope.

    @Damo > yeah I got that, still looks like sh#t, actually piss.

    TS

  9. Steve says:

    Pilsner colored bottom and a foamy head ? … Really?

  10. Damo says:

    @Steve

    Effenbert makes a traditional Czech Pilsner, not my words really. Just trying to give reference. Plus I didn’t want to say “creamy”.

    @TonyS

    Just making sure, I also agree it looks awful. Now if Guinness sponsored a race team…..that might work.

  11. Steve says:

    Well, I must say it’s not quite as bad as Perris Hilton’s cute little pink 125′s.