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 Miller Motorsports Park

06/01/2009 @ 1:48 am, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Race 1 at Miller Motorsports Park 1 04

Race 1 of the World Superbike stop at Miller Motorsports park was red-flagged, after a highside left riders and bikes lying on the track. This hazard left the race directors no choice but to red flag the race. After the track was cleared, and the riders made it off the course, a second starting of Race 1 was to be had, with the winner to be decided on aggregate times (the times from the two races dded together, and the winner being determined by the total time from both heats). Continue reading for all the spoilers of Race 1 at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It was Celani Suzuki’s Karl Muggeridge who suffered a bad highside, which left him and his bike in the middle of the track. After lying on the track for a few minutes, Muggeridge got up under his own power, and walked to the ambulance, where he was whisked off to the medical center for examination.

The restart was frustrating for Spies, who had gapped the field by 4.5 seconds in the first heat of Race 1. The re-griding would mean that Spies would once again be in the fray with the rest of the field, but also meant that the Texan would only have to stay in-touch with any passing rivals in order to beat them in points.

At the restart, Spies didn’t get off the line quite as well as before, and was beaten into the first turn by Ryuichi Kiyonari. But Kiyo’s advantage would only last for a couple of corners, as the Texan soon stuffed his Yamaha R1 ahead of the Ten Kate Honda and began gapping the field once again.

Kiyonari was quickly joined by his team mate, Carlos Checa, who had forced his way past Max Biaggi on the first lap. Biaggi then started to drop through the field.

Checa wasted no time passing teammate Kiyonari, moving into 2nd place, and began to pull away from Kiyonari, and giving chase to Spies. That chase was to be in vain though, as Ben Spies delighted a “home” crowd to an effortless victory in the Rocky Mountains.

With the top two spots settled, there was still plenty of racing going on.

Johnny Rea caught, passed, and pulled-away from Kiyonari, who fell into the clutches of Max Biaggi.

Further down the field, a huge scrap developed for 6th position, involving the Kawasaki’s of Jamie Hacking and Broc Parkes, the factory Ducati’s of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, and the Honda of Leon Haslam. Hacking would give the other riders a quick education of the phrase “home field advantage” and was able to quickly get past Haga, who clearly was still suffering from a back injury from his crash Saturday.

A rather rash move by Hacking while trying to get around teammate Parkes, saw both riders running wide, which allowed Michel Fabrizio through. Eventually, Hacking passed Parkes,  giving chase to Fabrizio who was in the process of hunting down Max Biaggi.

Fabrizio caught and passed both Kiyonari and Biaggi before the final lap, eventually crossing the line in 4th, but more importantly, finishing 3rd on the aggregate time behind Spies and Checa.

Spies had an astonishing ride and smashed the lap record on his first flying lap. Cast in Spies shadow, Checa would have been unstoppable if it hadn’t been for Spies and performed very well for the day thus far.

Fabrizio got some precious points in Race 1 for the overall Championship standings, but did have to concede the overall second place position to Spies. Haga had a very tough race, with the restart hurting the championship leader. He finished 9th in Race 1, bleeding championship points the whole way through.

Results from Race 1 of the World Superbike stop at Miller Motorsports Park:

PosRiderCountryBikeDiff
1B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R1 
2C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR9.394
3M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R12.742
4R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR14.276
5J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR14.915
6M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory15.461
7J. HackingUSAKawasaki ZX 10R22.901
8J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R25.425
9N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R25.870
10L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR26.093
11S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R26.181
12Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K929.275
13T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R138.365
14G. LavillaESPDucati 1098R39.454
15T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR39.513
16F. NietoESPSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K948.889
17L. LanziITADucati 1098R50.747
18J. ZemkeUSAHonda CBR1000RR51.446
19L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R54.472
20D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R58.525
21R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR1’07.572
22E. NigonFRAYamaha YZF R11’18.092
RETB. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R1 Lap
RETS. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV4 Factory16 Laps
RETK. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K916 Laps

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