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: Superpole Qualifying at Imola Starts a Trend

03/31/2012 @ 7:00 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

WSBK: Superpole Qualifying at Imola Starts a Trend Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Imola WSBK 2012 635x423

After a month-long hiatus from the Phillip Island season-opener (Race 1 & Race 2), World Superbike action is back again this weekend and taking place in Imola, Italy. Though Max Biaggi leads the Championship with 45 points (ahead of Marco Melandri who has 30 points), much of the talk in the past month has been about the surprise resurgence of Kawasaki, with factory rider Tom Sykes taking a podium finish in Race 2 and showing potential to run against the likes of The Emperor, Carlos Checa, and Marco Melandri.

Now with Sykes third in the Championship going into Imola, the season that seemed preordained to be really between only two riders (Biaggi & Checa), has shown itself to be full of surprises. Continue reading for spoilers and results from the World Superbike Superpole qualifying event at Imola.

Once is a fluke, twice is a trend, and three times is a pattern…that’s how the saying goes at least, and Tom Sykes has got himself a nice trend going in WSBK qualifying thus far, as well as a best lap record at Imola. Taking the pole position after tragedy forced the cancellation of Superpole at Phillip Island, Skyes and the factory Kawasaki team proved that their front position and podium finish were not flukes at the Australian round. Taking the top time in today’s Superpole qualifying event, Sykes put a comfortable half-second of margin between him and Sylvain Guintoli, with Carlos Checa and Leon Haslam rounding out the top three.

“To get two Tissot-Superpole wins on the roll is fantastic. I dug deep after the second Superpole because I knew the times would be fast,” said Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes. “On my fastest lap in Superpole 3 I had a lot of feedback from my Kawasaki. A couple of times I arrived past the limit, but the feel was good so I could finish with a good lap. A few of us have very consistent race pace so there will be a big fight over full race distance.”

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Imola, Italy:

Pos.RiderTeamBikeTimeDiff.
1.Tom SykesKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R1’46.748-
2.Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R1’47.2210.473
3.Carlos ChecaAlthea RacingDucati 1098R1’47.4230.675
4.Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR1’47.4580.71
5.Max BiaggiAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory1’47.6110.863
6.Marco MelandriBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR1’47.6420.894
7.Jonathan ReaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR1’47.6430.895
8.Joan LascorzKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R1’47.7400.992
Out After Superpole 2
9.Lorenzo ZanettiPATA Racing TeamDucati 1098R1’48.1081.36
10.Jakub SmrzLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R1’48.1371.389
11.Eugene LavertyAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory1’48.2991.551
12.Davide GiuglianoAlthea RacingDucati 1098R--
Out After Superpole 1
13.Maxime BergerTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R1’48.2671.519
14.Niccolò CanepaRed Devils RomaDucati 1098R1’48.3821.634
15.Leon CamierCrescent Fixi SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R10001’48.4151.667
16.Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR1’48.6311.883
Not qualified for Superpole
17.Chaz DaviesParkinGO MTC RacingAprilia RSV4 Factory1’48.8572.109
18.Michel FabrizioBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR1’48.9042.156
19.John HopkinsCrescent Fixi SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R10001’49.7903.042
20.David SalomTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R1’49.8543.106
21.Mark AitchisonGrillini Progea Superbike TeamBMW S1000 RR1’50.0093.261
22.Brett McCormickLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R1’50.2663.518
23.Hiroshi AoyamaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR1’50.6703.922
24.Leandro MercadoTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R1’50.9994.251
25.Lorenzo AlfonsiTeam Pro Ride Real Game HondaHonda CBR1000RR1’52.9936.245

Source: WSBK

Comment:

  1. Westward says:

    Giuntoli’s Ducati seems to be every bit as good as Checa’s. The difference will be racecraft. The frenchman could be an absolute contender if he could simply pull it together…

  2. Westward says:

    BTW

    STK 1000 Pole, goes to ;

    La Marra E. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1’50.403

    Looking forward to seeing Checa and Guintoli on the Panigale in WSBK 2013 hopefully…

  3. z says:

    what fun is it to have so many competitive manufacturers in WSBK. Go Team green!

  4. Sleazy says:

    FIVE different manufacturers, fve different engines/electronics/chassis configurations, five different riders/styles… all under a second apart when the heat is turned on. that shows the rules are are doin a good job of creating a level playing field/good racing. season should be a good one.