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: Qualifying at Monza Provides Another Wet Superpole

05/05/2012 @ 4:15 pm, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT

WSBK: Qualifying at Monza Provides Another Wet Superpole Monza Superpole Tom Sykes 635x429

Declared a wet session by Race Direction, Superpole at Monza brought an interesting change of events at the historic Italian track. With horsepower being the name of the game during dry conditions, all eyes were trained to see if the damp weather could be the great equalizer for the Ducati contingency hoped for.

With the horsepower of the BMW S1000RR’s creating 1-2-3 advantage during the provisional pole session that was lead by the BMW Italia of Michel Fabrizio, Carlos Checa and the rest of the Ducatis had to contend with significantly slower trap speeds down the main straight. Getting some help from the weather, that seemed all to change though Saturday afternoon at Monza.

Contending with variable conditions on the circuit, Sylvain Guintoli benefited from fitting a slick to his Ducati Superbike 1098R, and robbed Tom Sykes from another pole position. Sykes is still setup well for Sunday’s race though, coming with the distinction of being the fastest recorded bike ever in WSBK history, at 210+ mph. Strong all weekend, Marco Melandri will start third, while Carlos Checa will round out the front row with a surprising fourth. With five manufacturers in the Top 6, World Superbike continues to be anyone’s race.

“First pole for me and in difficult conditions! Unlike Tom and Marco I’m hoping for rain tomorrow, I’ll probably do a dance before the race,” joked Guintoli. “Today I had to take a lot of risks, I decided to go with the slick tyres and some corners were still wet, so it was quite dangerous and the last lap was very exciting. I thought Tom had enough watches now and I could do with one for my wife!”

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Monza, Italy:

Pos.RiderTeamBikeTime
1Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R1’54.276
2Tom SykesKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R1’54.990
3Marco MelandriBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR1’55.971
4Carlos ChecaAlthea RacingDucati 1098R1’56.793
5Jonathan ReaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR1’57.630
6Max BiaggiAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory1’58.666
7Jakub SmrzLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R1’59.718
8Davide GiuglianoAlthea RacingDucati 1098R2’00.645
Out After Superpole 1
9John HopkinsCrescent Fixi SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R10001’59.489
10Eugene LavertyAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory1’59.680
11Michel FabrizioBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR1’59.681
12Leon CamierCrescent Fixi SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R10001’59.845
13Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR1’59.978
14Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR2’00.093
15David SalomTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R2’00.602
16Chaz DaviesParkinGO MTC RacingAprilia RSV4 Factory2’01.772
Not Qualified for Superpole
17Lorenzo ZanettiPATA Racing TeamDucati 1098R1’44.203
18Niccolò CanepaRed Devils RomaDucati 1098R1’44.321
19Maxime BergerTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R1’44.489
20Hiroshi AoyamaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR1’44.686
21Leandro MercadoTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R1’45.156
22Mark AitchisonGrillini Progea Superbike TeamBMW S1000 RR1’45.841
23Sergio GadeaKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R1’48.085

Comment:

  1. Rob Brown says:

    No mention of tyres smoking and shredding? I thought that had a significant influence on he whole Superpole outcome