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: A Non-Starter Affects the Championship In a Dicey Race 1 at Nurburgring

09/04/2011 @ 3:53 am, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: A Non Starter Affects the Championship In a Dicey Race 1 at Nurburgring checa nurburgring Althea 2 635x357

Carlos Checa (1:54.144) started on pole after dominating both the Superpole and practices for the 2011 World Superbike round at Nurburgring. No other rider could catch him but Max Biaggi, who led the Friday qualifying practice. However, he sustained injuries to his foot including a possible broken bone and nerve damage, leaving the Italian rider in pain and with a foot too swollen to fit in his normal boot. Still, Biaggi qualified on the front row between Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri, alongside Checa. He did not start Race 1, leaving Checa some measure of comfort in the championship fight.

Other than Biaggi’s foot injuries, no other rider had a major incident during the practice and qualifying sessions. Michel Fabrizio had a crash in Superpole 1, but continued on to qualify twelfth. Nurburgring marked the return of Jonathan Rea to Castrol Honda, though teammate Ruben Xaus was still out and replaced by Makoto Tamada. Perennially injured Chris Vermeulen, despite his protestations that he is fit and ready to sign for 2012, did not participate and was not replaced by Paul Bird Motorsports Kawasaki for this round. In the Sunday morning warm-up, Haslam led Guintoli, Corser, Sykes, and Berger as the fastest five. Checa was thirteenth fastest and Biaggi, who would not race, did not participate.

The race got underway under cloudy skies, with Checa and Haga leading the two Yamhaha riders through the first turn. They still led at the end of the first lap, with Melandri in third ahead of his teammate. Sykes, Rea, Haslam, Guintoli, Aitchison, and Smrz completed the top ten. However, Laverty soon took third from Melandri while Haga was off into the lead around Checa. Both sets of riders continued to fight over positions, with Haga leading Checa, Laverty, Melandri, and Haslam across the line to begin L2. However, it would not last as Checa reclaimed the lead. The fighting at the front allowed the Yamahas to keep the front two well in their sights.

Within a few laps, Checa had managed to make a small gap of nearly a half second on Haga. Well back, Berger was knocked out with a mechanical issue, ending his race. At the front, Checa had managed to had eighth tenths as Melandri slid through to take second from haga with fourteen laps of twenty to go. Laverty had begun to fall back off the charging pace of his teammate, as Sykes completed the top five. Haslam and Laverty both went for an off track excursion, leaving Haslam down in fourteenth. Laverty was able to remain fourth.

On the next time around, Melandri ran wide where his teammate had, leaving Haga to dodge into second. Laverty was the next to capitalize, going third under his own teammate. Melandri fought back to take third again, as Checa led Haga by more than two and a half seconds at the halfway point. Laverty, Fabrizio, Guintoli, Sykes, Rea, Camier, and Lascorz completed the top ten. Checa gained another half second on just the next lap, while Haga had a two and a half second cushion on the dueling Yamaha teammates.

Smrz was the next to end his day, riding into the pit lane. Further back, Camier, Haslam, Sykes, Rea, Guintoli, Lascorz were all fighting over sixth and dicing amongst themselves. Soon Haslam had control of sixth, nearly back where he had been before his off-roading trip. With five laps remaining, Checa had just over four seconds over Haga, who was coming under pressure from Melandri. laverty, Guintoli, Haslam, Camier, Rea, Lascorz, and Sykes completed the top ten.

That order would not remain long and Melandri moved forward to take second again from Haga on the straight. Though Melandri gained a bit on Checa, it did not appear that he would have enough time to bring the nearly five second gap down enough to catch the Spaniard, let alone pass him, before the race was complete. Melandri pushed hard in the final laps, taking a second off the gap on each lap. Further to the back, Haslam had a brave move through on Guintoli to regain fifth on the last lap. In the end, Checa had a comfortable margin to win yet another race in 2011, extending his championship points to 368 as Melandri (292 points) leapfrogged Biaggi (281 points) into second.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 1 at Nurburgring:

Pos. No. Rider Team Diff.
1 7 Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati -
2 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK Team 1.855
3 41 Noriyuki Haga PATA Racing Team Aprilia 2.322
4 58 Eugene Laverty Yamaha WSBK Team 7.789
5 91 Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad 9.727
6 50 Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 10.113
7 17 Joan Lascorz Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 17.226
8 2 Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 17.228
9 86 Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia 18.166
10 4 Jonathan Rea Castrol Honda 19.457
11 66 Tom Sykes Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 22.136
12 8 Mark Aitchison Team Pedericini Kawaski 25.346
13 52 James Toseland BMW Motorrad Italia 31.617
14 44 Roberto Rolfo Team Pedericini Kawaski 31.796
15 11 Troy Corser BMW Motorrad 33.320
16 84 Michel Fabrizio Team Suzuki Alstare 38.149
17 100 Makoto Tamada Castrol Honda 1:16.143
Not Classified
96 Jakub Smrz Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 8 Laps
121 Maxime Berger Supersonic Racing Ducati 16 Laps

Source: WSBK; Photo: Althea Ducati

Comments are closed.