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: Race 1 at Imola Takes the World Superbike Championship Up Another Level

09/27/2009 @ 5:23 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

WSBK: Race 1 at Imola Takes the World Superbike Championship Up Another Level Imola WSBK Race 1 Haga 560x372

Racing went off without a hitch this Sunday, as the Imola circuit seemed devoid of earlier traction problems that almost sidelined the racing earlier this week. With Imola sitting literally in Ducati’s backyard, all eyes were on the Xerox Ducati squad, and Noriyuki Haga.

Haga, who trails Ben Spies for the first time this season coming into Imola, was especially keen on grabbing back some points from the American. Lastly, a new addition to the WSBK paddock took the form of Marco Simoncelli, who was filling in on the factory Aprilia team for the injured Shinya Nakano. A full race report with spoilers after the jump.

The Italian motorcycles clearly were dialed-in for Imola this weekend, with the Ducati’s showing strong results, as well as the RSV4′s of Biaggi and Simoncelli. So it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see that Race 1 at Imola was dominated by the close racing between the Italian machines, with American Ben Spies trailing and Johnny Rea a brief factor.

With Biaggi leading the majority of the first race at Imola, Sunday looked to be a good outing for the Aprilia squad. This mood was only affected by Marco Simoncelli’s early departure from the race, as he crashed while in 5th place (after moving up the second wave of riders with skill and ease). Simoncelli more than made-up for his Race 1 performance in Race 2 thought (more on that later). In fact, it looked like Biaggi might take it all the way to the podium before Haga passed him with three laps to go.

Once Haga had gotten around Max, he was never to be seen again, and Biaggi had to contend with an equally fast Michel Fabrizio, who at times was also showing Biaggi a wheel. Holding Fabrizio off through the rest of the course, Biaggi found himself on the second step of the podium. The Texan Ben Spies was less of a factor during the race, content to finish 4th for the race, and unable to match the speeds of the Italian beasts. With that result, Spies’ lead over Haga is reduced to just 6 points.

Johnny Rea also contended with the leaders, until a hot entry on lap three saw Rea cut-through the lead pack. Barely missing the pair of Xerox Ducatis as he over-shot the turn, Rea ended-up dumping the bike in the gravel, as he lightly hit the air wall. He would rejoin the race and finish 7th. Thankfully this move had no impact on the WSBK Championship standings.

Results from Race 1 of World Superbike at Imola, Italy:

141N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R-
23M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory2.074
384M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R2.190
419B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R15.438
59R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR14.470
691L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR14.685
765J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR26.822
896J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R32.694
966T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R133.817
1023B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R34.801
1111T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR35.286
12111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR36.442
1331K. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K938.698
1415M. BaioccoITADucati 1098R42.147
1571Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K946.510
1699L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R46.628
1794D. ChecaESPYamaha YZF R11’16.121
1825D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R1’16.398
RET77V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR8 Laps
RET58M. SimoncelliITAAprilia RSV4 Factory12 Laps
RET67S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R13 Laps
RET7C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR14 Laps
RET10F. NietoESPDucati 1098R14 Laps
RET100M. TamadaJPNKawasaki ZX 10R16 Laps
RET124L. ConfortiITADucati 1098R16 Laps
RET14M. LagriveFRAHonda CBR1000RR18 Laps
RET57L. LanziITADucati 1098R19 Laps


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  4. WSBK: Race 1 at Imola Takes the World Superbike Championship Up Another Level – http://bit.ly/2sdop #motorcycle