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: Exciting Duels Under the Sunshine at Imola in Race 1

09/25/2011 @ 3:51 am, by Victoria Reid1 COMMENT

WSBK: Exciting Duels Under the Sunshine at Imola in Race 1 rea pirelli imola 635x488

Carlos Checa started Race 1 of the 2011 World Superbike round at Imola on pole. He beat out fellow front row starters Jonathan Rea, Noriyuki Haga, and Tom Sykes with a new track record lap (1:47.196) during the three Superpole qualifying sessions Saturday. Though Checa looked unbeatable early in the weekend, Rea and his newly implemented ride-by-wire throttle control took provisional pole in the first qualifying session on Saturday. Sykes was the next rider looking to keep Checa from winning the championship, as he took provisional pole during Saturday’s qualifying practice, but Checa was again on top of the timesheets during the final free practice minutes before Superpole began.

Checa did not dominate the Superpole sessions, but his lap time early in S3 was enough to hold the others at bay and maintain his qualifying domination of the season. Though Ruben Xaus has returned to his Castrol Honda for the weekend, Max Biaggi was forced to sit out this round, his second in a row, after his Nurburgring injury. Also missing from the field is Chris Vermeulen and the newly-retired James Toseland, who has been replaced by Javier Fores at BMW Motorrad Italia. In the final session Sunday morning, Haga led Sykes, Rea, Haslam, and Checa as the fastest five in the warm-up.The lights went out under brightly sunny skies, though the day was not impossibly hot. Checa got a good start, but it was Rea who took the lead, with Checa following into the first turn. Laverty looked to take second from Checa, but Rea ran a bit wide and allowed Sykes to take over the lead. At the end of L1, Sykes had control of the lead, with Checa, Rea, Laverty, Haga, Haslam, Fabrizio, Melandri, Badovini, and Guintoli the top ten. Camier out-braked himself and was forced to dive into the pitlane and take the long way around.

Moments later, Fabrizio crashed out of seventh while Berger pitted. Rea pushed hard to take second from Checa, with Laverty following him through soon thereafter, dropping the championship leader to fourth, four laps into the race. Quickly, Rea dropped Sykes’ half second lead down to two tenths. With seventeen laps remaining, Rea slid through on the inside to take the lead from Sykes as Checa continued to slide backward. Haga had moved up to fourth while Rea was ahead at the front. Just seven laps into the race, Rea had more than a second on Sykes, who had more than a second of cushion on Haga in third.

Haga, though, was not allowing Sykes to get away, soon clawing back a half second with a new race fast lap. The Japanese rider was soon right on Sykes’ rear wheel, though further back Haslam had crashed, rejoining the race down in fourteenth, only to later head for the garage and end his day. However, the more important drama came from Haga, who made his way through on Sykes to take second position.

At the end of L10, Rea had a second and a half on Haga, with Sykes another second back. Checa was in fourth, comfortably two and a half seconds ahead of Laverty, while Guintoli, Melandri, Badovini, Smrz, and Sandi completed the top ten. Haga was closing on Rea for the lead, though, with plenty of time to make up the gap. Just one lap later, he was only eight tenths back. He was another half second closer two laps later, with seven laps remaining.

The two riders continued to duel over the lead as the laps ticked down, with Haga very close and pushing Rea hard but unable to make the move. A bit further back, Checa looked to take third from Sykes, but ran wide and was unable to maintain the position. With four laps remaining, Rea still led Haga, with Sykes, Checa, Laverty, Guintoli, Smrz, Badovini, Melandri, and Aitchison the top ten. Rea continued to hold off Haga, pulling a two tenth gap back over the Japanese rider with two laps to go.

The top four positions held two battles in the final lap, with Haga looking for any way around Rea, and Checa passing Sykes only to lose the position again. In the end, Haga just couldin’t find a way around Rea and the Castol Honda rider took the win, However, Checa did make a pass stick at the end and took the final podium spot from the early race leader.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 1 at Imola:

Pos.No.RiderTeamDiff.
14Jonathan ReaCastrol Honda-
241Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia0.111
37Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati9.449
466Tom SykesPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki9.792
558Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team14.699
650Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati16.820
796Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati24.227
833Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team24.935
986Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia25.224
1017Joan LascorzPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki25.487
118Mark AitchisonTeam Pedericini Kawaski26.148
1211Troy CorserBMW Motorrad26.444
1323Federico SandiAlthea Racing Ducati29.761
1453Alex PolitaBarni Ducati Racing Team S.N.C.30.083
152Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team34.862
1615Matteo BaioccoBarni Racing Ducati40.331
17111Ruben XausCastrol Honda44.547
1844Roberto RolfoTeam Pedericini Kawaski50.241
Not Classified
91Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad13 Laps
112Javier ForesBMW Motorrad Italia15 Laps
84Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare20 Laps
121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati20 Laps

Source: WSBK; Photo: Pirelli (Facebook)

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