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: Red Flag Doesn’t Shake Much Up for Misano Race 2

06/12/2011 @ 7:48 am, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: Red Flag Doesnt Shake Much Up for Misano Race 2 Carlos Checa Misano WSBK 635x468

Tom Sykes (1:55.197) started on pole for the 2011 World Superbike round at Misano after putting the Kawasaki on the front row in damp conditions during Saturday’s Superpole sessions, holding off a late-charging Carlos Checa by almost two tenths. They were joined on the front row by Jakub Smrz and Marco Melandri, with Max Biaggi only seventh. The damp and greasy conditions caught out many riders, including Checa, Smrz, Eugene Laverty, Ruben Xaus, and Leon Camier. The latter two were unable to set a time in Superpole 1 and qualified only fifteenth and sixteenth.

Checa and Biaggi fought over the fastest lap during the practice and qualifying sessions, with Checa coming out on top in the dry conditions. In the final qualifying practice, Noriyuki Haga was quite a bit slower than usual, and did not move on to participate in the Superpole sessions. Chris Vermeulen, hopefully recovered enough to race, was also knocked out in QP, along with the satellite Kawasakis, two Italian wildcard riders, and Lorenzo Lanzi. Lanzi is filling in this weekend and next at Motorland Aragon for the still-recovering James Toseland. Checa was again quickest in the morning warm-up, leading to a sunny and occasionally dramatic Race 1. Jonatha Rea missed that race, and Race 2, after a massive crash in the warm-up. He sustained a clean break to his right radius, “Plus a lot of bumps/bruises from a 230kph off,” in a tweet from Castrol Honda.

It was again sunny for the start of Race 2, as Sykes got a second great start, with Haslam into second, then Checa, Biaggi, and Melandri the top five through the first few turns. Haslam was into the lead for the second time in a replay of the first race, as Checa shoved his was into second, with Biaggi following him through on Sykes. Sykes looked to get back around Biaggi soon thereafter, but was nearly squeezed by Laverty. Haslam led Checa, Biaggi, Sykes, Melandri, Smrz, Guintoli, Camier, and Haga as the top ten at the end of the first of twenty-four laps.

Soon, Haslam, Checa, and Biaggi had begun to put a bit of a gap between themselves and  Sykes, who was under attack from Melandri. Checa passed Haslam on L3 for the lead, with Biaggi looking to get past the Brit as well. The Italian pushed both wide and took second, setting off to attack Checa. Meanwhile, Melandri was around Sykes for fourth. Polita lost the front on the fifth lap, sliding out of the race.

Five laps in, Checa had nearly three tenths on Biaggi, with Haslam, Melandri, and Sykes the top five. However, Melandri was soon through after the brusied Haslam made a small mistake. Sykes closed and kept a clear eye for any way up into fourth. The leaders seemed to settle in for the middle of the race, with Checa’s lead over Biaggi up to six tenths, ten laps in.

Melandri was also very unlucky, losing the front end at Turn 1. As Camier went through the same section, he also went down, bringing out a red flag. Melandri, after getting a ride back to the garage, attempted to get his bike started to get it back to the garage, though whether he would be allowed to participate in the restart was in doubt. In the end, it did not matter as he couldn’t get the bike started.

Checa was on pole for the restart, as the riders’ positions from the last completed lap made the grid. Biaggi, Haslam, and Sykes completed the front row. Biaggi led into the first turn for the fourteen lap sprint, with Haslam into second, Checa third, and Guintoli fourth. Haslam went for his typical first lap move to take the lead from Biaggi, but he went far to wide and dropped behind Checa. Haslam was under Checa at the next turn. Biaggi led Haslam, Checa, Laverty, Guintoli, Badovini, Haga, Smrz, Skyes, and Farizio as the top ten at the end of the first lap.

Checa slid under Haslam for second at the start of the second lap, with Laverty taking third from Haslam a turn later. Soon, Biaggi had a clear gap over Checa, who had a bit of space back to Laverty in third. However, Checa was continuously closing on the Italian. As the top two dueled without passing, Haga and Haslam continued to trade fourth betweent them in the central laps of the third race.

Laverty, running comfortably in third, ran off the track. He continued on, but  dropped down to fifteenth. Soon thereafter, Smrz crashed again, taking no one but himself out. Meanwhile, Haga and Haslam continued to trade third. At the halfway of the shortened race, Biaggi went well wide and off the track, leaving Checa to slide into first and a lead of more than one second.

With just five laps left, Sykes slid off, managing to get back on and continue on through the race, while Checa was back into his Race 1 form. Meanwhile, Badovini had joined Haga and Haslam in the fight over the final podium position. When Haslam ran wide, Badovini on the satellite BMW took fourth from him. Checa had extended his lead to two seconds over Biaggi with two laps left. In the end, Race 3 was much like Race 1, with the fighting only down the order. Checa had his eighth win on the season, with Biaggi second, and Haga third out of the final turn, after Badovini had taken the position a few turns earlier.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 2 at Misano:

17Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati-
21Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1.484
341Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia7.772
486Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia7.856
591Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad9.714
684Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare10.777
750Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati10.875
8111Ruben XausCastrol Honda13.483
917Joan LascorzPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki13.576
1077Chris VermeulenPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki17.962
1157Lorenzo LanziBMW Motorrad Italia22.768
1244Roberto RolfoTeam Pedericini Kawasaki24.535
1358Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team51.895
1466Tom SykesPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki1:04.134
Not Classified
121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati6 Laps
96Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati9 Laps
15Matteo BaioccoBarni Ducati Racing Team S.N.C.11 Laps
2Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team
33Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team
53Alessandro PolitaBarni Ducati Racing Team S.N.C.
8Mark AitchisonTeam Pedericini Kawasaki

Source: WSBK

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