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 Charge to the Lead in Superpole at Nurburgring

09/03/2011 @ 7:05 am, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: A Charge to the Lead in Superpole at Nurburgring checa nurburgring pirelli 635x357

Carlos Checa (1:54.144) again stormed to pole, commanding each Superpole qualifying session for the 2011 World Superbike round at the Nurburgring and setting a new track fast lap. He will be joined on the front row by Eugene Laverty, the injured Max Biaggi, and Marco Melandri. Though the day was occasionally overcast, the track conditions were hot, as Checa refused to reliquish control of the weekend, having led every session but one. There were no major incidents in Superpole, though Michel Fabrizio did crash on his first lap in S1. He was uninjured and qualified twelfth.

Action was hot as the summer break wrapped up at the German circuit, with championship leader Checa (1:57.296) taking command in the first, wet, practice session. Lascorz, Smrz, Fabrizio, and Camier completed the fastest five, all within a second of Checa’s time. In the completely dry afternoon, though, Biaggi (1:55.524) led Checa, with the top thirteen covered by just a second. Melandri, Fabrizio, and Laverty completed the top five, despite Laverty’s brush with the wall during the session. Rea was back in at Castrol Honda, managing seventh fastest in the afternoon qualifying practice. Teammate Ruben Xaus has not yet returned to fitness and was replaced at Nurburgring by Makoto Tamada. Chris Vermeulen did not participate and was not replaced at Paul Bird Kawasaki.

Biaggi injured his foot in Friday afternoon’s first qualifying session, leaving him with nerve and tendon damage, a possible broken bone, and a foot swollen too much to fit in his normal boots. In pain, he did not improve his time in Saturday’s qualifying practice and dropped to fourth fastest in the combined times and thirteenth fastest in the session. Checa (1:55.030) was again on the provisional pole, leading Laverty, Haga, and Biaggi as the provisional front row. In the final free practice before Superpole, Checa (1:54.652) continued to be fastest, leading Laverty, Biaggi, Haslam, and Fabrizio as the fastest five. Knocked Out in Qualifying Practice: 17. Troy Corser, 18. James Toseland, 19. Roberto Rolfo, 20. Makoto Tamada.

Superpole 1:
The top sixteen from the combined qualifying sessions were out quickly, though Fabrizio did not complete his first lap. Checa took an early lead over the times of Laverty, Biaggi, and Melandri with eight minutes remaining. Without improving his time, Checa returned to the garage with much of the rest of the field for settings changes and another set of laps in the first Superpole session. Fabrizio made his way back out, along with Smrz and Badovini.

Rea, down in eleventh, continued to use race tires in qualifying with four minutes remaining. At that point, Lascorz, Smrz, Berger, and Fabrizio were in the knockout zone, though only Fabrizio had yet to set a time. Checa still led with just under three minutes remaining, as the relegation zone remained the same. As the final seconds ticked down, Guintoli, Badovini Lascorz, and Berger were about to be dropped in S1, as Fabrizio had moved up to tenth fastest. As the flag flew, Checa still led with his early fast time, joined by Guintoli, Laverty, and Biaggi as the provisional front row. Knocked Out in Superpole 1: 13. Leon Camier, 14. Maxime Berger, 15. Ayrton Badovini, 16. Joan Lascorz.

Superpole 2:
The twelve riders got straight to business for the second Superpole session, though “Biaggi slowed on his first flying lap,” according to Castrol Honda on Twitter, though he soon picked up pace with his second fast lap. Melandri (1:54.936) was the early leader, over Haslam, Rea, and Guintoli with seven minutes remaining. Checa, Laverty, and Sykes had yet to set a time at that point. Checa (1:54.709) went straight to the top, leaving Aitchison, Guintoli, Smrz, and Fabrizio in the knockout zone and five minutes on the clock.

Hoever, Laverty’s lap was just a hundredth slower than the Spaniard as many riders headed back to the garage for final adjustments. Checa still led from the garage with a minute remaining, as Smrz, Aitchison, Guintoli, and Fabrizio looked for a way to move forward and fight for the first two starting rows in S3. Rea, out again on a race tire, was dropped to ninth fastest as Guintoli improved to sixth. On a final lap, Rea was unable to improve. Checa again finished the session fastest with his early time, leading a provisional front row of Laverty, Melandri, and Haga. Knocked Out in Superpole 2: 9. Jonathan Rea, 10. Jakub Smrz, 11. Mark Aitchison, 12. Michel Fabrizio.

Superpole 3:
Yet again Checa (1:54.144) took an early lead in the session, with the Yamaha duo of Laverty and Melandri behind. Haga completed the provisional front row with four minutes remaining in the chase for pole. Soon Biaggi bettered his time and slide into third fastest, six tenths off Checa’s time. Haga was on his way out of the garages while Checa and Laverty ducked back in with two minutes left. Still, Checa’s fast lap was a new best lap at the circuit. As the seconds ticked down, there seemed nothing any of the other riders could do to catch Checa, who will start both races on Sunday on pole.

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Nurburgring, Germany:

Pos.No.RiderTeamTimeDiff.
1.7Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati1:54.144-
2.58Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team1:54.5120.368
3.1Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:54.7430.599
4.33Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team1:54.8180.674
5.41Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia1:55.1130.969
6.66Tom SykesPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki1:55.2231.079
7.91Leon HaslamAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:55.2371.093
8.50Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati1:55.2491.105
Out After Superpole 2
9.4Jonathan ReaCastrol Honda1:55.3210.612
10.96Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati1:55.5980.889
11.8Mark AitchisonTeam Pedericini Kawasaki1:55.6250.916
12.84Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare1:56.1771.468
Out After Superpole 1
13.2Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:55.6330.992
14.121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati1:55.8111.170
15.86Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia1:56.1011.460
16.17Joan LascorzPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki1:56.1621.521
Not qualified for Superpole
17.11Troy CorserBMW Motorrad1:56.4011.371
18.52James ToselandBMW Motorrad Italia1:56.6371.607
19.44Roberto RolfoTeam Pedericini Kawaski1:56.9661.966
20.100Makoto TamadaCastrol Honda1:57.9502.920

Source: WSBK; Photo:

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