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: Dry & Sunny Brno Brings Dominance to Superpole

07/09/2011 @ 7:18 am, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: Dry & Sunny Brno Brings Dominance to Superpole Biaggi 635x406

Max Biaggi (1:58.580) ended the Superpole qualifying sessions for the 2011 World Superbike round at Brno essentially untouchable. Though he continued to lap at the end of the final session, his closest rivals either remained in the garage or were unable to find the speed to catch him on the track. He will be joined by Marco Melandri, Carlos Checa, and Eugene Laverty on the front row for Sunday’s races. Despite a crash late in S1, Biaggi’s teammate Leon Camier managed to get back out and move forward, qualifying on the second row.

Smrz was the first fastest rider in Friday morning’s free practice session at the Czech rider’s home circuit, barely beating Biaggi’s best time as the session ended. The Italian was second fastest, with Melandri, Fabrizio, and Smrz’s teammate Guintoli (set to replace the injured Loris Capirossi in MotoGP for at least one race this season) the fastest five. In the first qualifying session, it was Checa’s turn to be the fastest Ducati again, though Smrz was just a couple of tenths slower for a provisional front row start. Melandri, Laverty, and Biaggi completed the fastest five in that afternoon session.

Though James Toseland participated in the morning free practice, he relinquished his racing duties back to Lorenzo Lanzi with continued troubles in his wrist. The Briton is hoping to be fully healed for his second home round at Silverstone, the end of this month. He was joined on the injured roster by Troy Corser, who was not replaced for this round at the factory BMW team, and Jonathan Rea. The Ulsterman has been replaced for his possibly long-term recovery by Alex Lowes at Castrol Honda.

After the final qualifying practice Checa remained on the provisional pole, though he had not improved his time. Smrz and Melandri also remained on the provisional front row, as Biaggi improved to join them. It was a generally uneventful session, though both Castrol Honda riders did not move forward to Superpole, nor did three of the five Kawasaki riders. Laverty took control in the final free practice, leading Checa, Biaggi, Badovini, and Melandri as the fastest five. Knocked Out in Qualifying Practice: 17. Ruben Xaus, 18. Roberto Rolfo, 19. Joan Lascorz, 20. Chris Vermeulen, 21. Alex Lowes, 22. Victor Kispataki.

Superpole 1:
Melandri took an early lead over Badovini, Haga, Guintoli, and Haslam in the early stages of the first session of Superpole, though Checa, Biaggi, and Laverty soon slid in ahead of Badovini. It was a fairly standard session until Camier crashed out with just over five minutes remaining. He had set no time and would likely be knocked out in S1. At that point, Melandri led Checa, Biaggi, and Laverty as the provisional front row, with Fabrizio, Sykes, Camier, and Baiocco in the knockout zone.

Fabrizio jumped from fourteenth to tenth on his next lap, but the big surprise near the end of the session was Camier’s reappearance. He managed to go seventh fastest and move on to S2. In the end, Melandri (1:59.379) was quickest, with Checa, Smrz, and Biaggi completing the provisional front row. Knocked Out in Superpole 1: 13. Leon Haslam, 14. Noriyuki Haga, 15. Lorenzo Lanzi, 16. Matteo Baiocco.

Superpole 2:
Halfway through the twelve minute session, Checa led Laverty, Biagi, and Smrz, with Aitchison, Fabrizio, Berger, and Camier in the knockout zone. The latter had yet to set a time. Though Biaggi had taken an early lead, Checa was the rider to first post a lap in the 1:58s range for the weekend. Quickly, Camier again pulled himself out of the knockout zone, jumping from no time to sixth with a couple of minutes remaining. That fast lap dropped Guintoli into the relegation zone. As the seconds ticked away, Sykes posted a blistering lap to come within a hundredth of Checa’s time, leaving Badovini, Guintoli, Aitchison, and Berger in danger. In the end, Checa (1:58.930) remained fastest, with Sykes, Laverty, and Biaggi on the provisional front row. Knocked Out in Superpole 2: 9. Ayrton Badovini, 10. Sylvain Guintoli, 11. Mark Aitchison, 12. Maxime Berger.

Superpole 3:
Biaggi took the provisional pole early in the session, leading Melandri and Camier. However, Smrz snuck into second fastest position with five minutes remaining. Soon, only Checa and Fabrizio had yet to set a lap time, with Biaggi leading Melandri, Laverty, Smrz, Camier, and Sykes. On his first lap, Checa went third fastest, though Biaggi’s 1:58.580 looked hard to beat. In the final moments, Biaggi went back out on a second qualifying tire, though both factory Yamaha riders had given up for the day. Sykes, despite his earlier speed, was down in eighth with Smrz, Fabrizio, and Camier joining him on the provisional second row. At the end of S3, there was simply no one who could beat Biaggi to pole at Brno.

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Brno, Czech Republic:

Pos. No. Rider Team Time Diff.
1. 1 Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 1:58.580 -
2. 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK Team 1:58.801 0.221
3. 7 Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati 1:38.908 0.328
4. 58 Eugene Laverty Yamaha WSBK Team 1:59.055 0.475
5. 96 Jakub Smrz Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 1:59.541 0.961
6. 84 Michel Fabrizio Team Suzuki Alstare 1:59.908 1.328
7. 2 Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 1:59.925 1.345
8. 66 Tom Sykes Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 2:00.303 1.723
Out After Superpole 2
9. 86 Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia 1:59.684 0.754
10. 50 Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 1:59.800 0.870
11. 8 Mark Aitchison Team Pedericini Kawasaki 2:00.362 1.432
12. 121 Maxime Berger Supersonic Racing Ducati 2:01.011 2.081
Out After Superpole 1
13. 91 Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad 2:00.252 0.873
14. 41 Noriyuki Haga PATA Racing Team Aprilia 2:00.374 0.995
15. 57 Lorenzo Lanzi BMW Motorrad Italia 2:00.619 1.240
16. 15 Matteo Baiocco Barni Racing Team Ducati 2:00.864 1.485
Not qualified for Superpole
17. 111 Ruben Xaus Castrol Honda 2:00.681 1.359
18. 44 Roberto Rolfo Team Pedercini Kawasaki 2:00.710 1.388
19. 17 Joan Lascorz Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 2:00.980 1.658
20. 77 Chris Vermeulen Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 2:01.447 2.125
21. 22 Alex Lowes Castrol Honda 2:01.724 2.402
22. 13 Victor Kispataki Prop-tech ltd. Honda 2:02.721 3.399

Source: WSBK; Photo: Max Biaggi Official Website

Comments are closed.