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 Results for Race 2 at Imola

04/01/2012 @ 3:27 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

WSBK: Race Results for Race 2 at Imola Tom Sykes Carlos Checa WSBK Imola Race 2 635x459

With the sun peaking through the clouds over Imola, ambient and track temperatures warmed up a bit for World Superbike’s Race 2. With the Ducatisti lining the stands at the Italian track, race fans present at Imola looked for a strong showing from Carlos Checa and his Althea Ducati. The old Spaniard would have to contend with a tough grid though, and one especially quick Tom Sykes on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. Continue reading for spoilers for race results.

Getting another good start off the line, Sykes was surprisingly bested by the man directly behind him on the grid, Max Biaggi. Riding to the front of the pack, Biaggi’s lead would be short-lived as a mistake let Sykes go by, followed shortly by Checa as well. Pulling away from the pack, the trio would ride most of the race alone separated from the rest of the field, sans the efforts of one Leon Haslam.

Like in Race 1, Carlos Checa was able to get around Tom Sykes, as the Englishman’s Kawasaki continued to chew up its tires in the latter part of the gauntlet. This was good news for Leon Haslam, as the BMW rider was able to catch up to a trailing Max Biaggi, and get past the Italian. Haslam would continue to put pressure on Sykes all the way until the last lap of the race, with the final finishing order sorting out to be Checa, Sykes, Haslam, and Biaggi.

Race Results from World Superbike Race 2 at Imola, Italy:

Pos.RiderTeamBikeDiff.
1Carlos ChecaAlthea RacingDucati 1098R-
2Tom SykesKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R1.935
3Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR2.969
4Max BiaggiAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory3.346
5Jonathan ReaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR18.925
6Eugene LavertyAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory21.18
7Jakub SmrzLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R21.392
8Leon CamierCrescent Fixi SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R100023.797
9Joan LascorzKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R24.219
10Marco MelandriBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR25.599
11Sylvain GuintoliLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R25.776
12Maxime BergerLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R26.004
13Lorenzo ZanettiPATA Racing TeamDucati 1098R31.172
14Chaz DaviesParkinGO MTC RacingAprilia RSV4 Factory33.837
15AyRETon BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR45.541
16Brett McCormickLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R50.807
17David SalomTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R51.083
18Mark AitchisonGrillini Progea Superbike TeamBMW S1000 RR57.833
RETDavide GiuglianoAlthea RacingDucati 1098R
RETNiccoló CanepaRed Devils RomaDucati 1098R
RETLeandro MercadoTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R
RETHiroshi AoyamaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR
RETLorenzo AlfonsiTeam Pro Ride Real Game HondaHonda CBR1000RR
RETJohn HopkinsCrescent Fixi SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000
RETMichel FabrizioBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR

Source: WSBK

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Old Timer Checa is on FIRE !!! WOOOHAAAAAA…!
    P.S: Jensen, how come u don’t cover SuperStock 600/1000 ? They have the Panigale racing in SS1000.

  2. Westward says:

    Panigale made the rostrum in third position. Also Kawasaki on the podiums all over WSBK competition… Talent aside, Kawasaki is making anyone look better than usual…

  3. Bryan says:

    I thought that Checa would have a more difficult time with the weight they added to the Ducati this year. It’s great watching how smart he rides. He just stays smooth and preserves the tires until everyone on more powerful bikes use theirs up then he goes on the attack. His smooth riding style is fun to watch.

  4. MikeD says:

    @Westward:

    Yup, little Green seems to have pulled their %^&* togheter this year…not to mention Sykes is on fire too.
    Yup, saw the Panigale mixing it up on the top three positions with more mature machines…good, good…(^_^)

  5. 190mph says:

    Bryan, that 6kg is the same 6kg that Checa had to ride with back in 2010 before Althea were given two weight reductions – one in May and another in time for the Siverstone round in July. It’s no coincedence that since riding a bike with a 200cc advantage over its four cyclinder competitors Checa’s results suddenly improved eventually leading to a championship win.

    But when Checa had to compete on a level playing field riding the Tenkate Honda he was beat by his then rookie teammate a certain Mr Jonathan Rea.

  6. Cpt.Slow says:

    Really? There are still people blabbing about 200cc from a machine with two less cylinders (with intakes restricted, by rule has to carrying 6kilos more weight, and lowest top speed)? Do some research on wsbk history and the rule change in 2008. Plus, educate yourself in mechanical workings of an internal combustion engine (concentrate on cylinder numbers and puts per sec and while you are in there, bore and stroke relation).

    The weight reduction was given to all two cylinder machines. If KTM would put some pants on and race, some of you with blinders on would realize how hard it is to make a competitive machine, let alone a formula different from everyone else.

    I’m sure there was/is no other factor in Checa’s situation other than moving to another bike. If you want all the machines to be exactly the same, go watch NASCAR and have your self a cup of tea.

  7. MikeD says:

    @Cpt.Slow:

    It never goes away, does it ? LOL.
    +1 all u said……..and then some. Some people are just(blocked) that way (it reminds me of myself on e-bikes articles)…and choose to remain like that forever.
    Just to make myself clear, im OK with the 2cyl engines being 1.2L.

  8. 190mph says:

    I’m well aware of the 2008 rule change – where Ducati threatened to quit if it didn’t get its way again. And as for the KTM argument – comparing a manufacturer who until 2008 never even had a superbike in their lineup to one that’s been involved in WSBK from the start – is rather weak.

    A major manufacturer like BMW have shown how difficult it is to go toe to toe with the established marks so why should KTM risk their balance sheet if they feel they’re not ready? At least BMW are having go without needing extra cc’s though. Regarding the NASCAR comment – you do realise the Aprilia is a V-4 right? therefore NOT the same as the other 4 cylinder bikes.

    And Honda showed what a nice advantage it is to have extra cc’s by winning the championship at the first try with its RC51.

  9. Cpt. Slow says:

    You just completely ignored the several factors, mechanical facts, and attribute a riders success in a world championship to a single factor? Weak- is what your argument is and serves only prof of how much you fail grasp.

  10. 190mph says:

    A rider who was soundly beat by Biaggi when they were racing in GP’s and a rider who was soundly beat by a rookie in WSBK when they were teammates riding a 1000cc bike, but when this same rider gets on a bike with an extra 200cc over its four cylinder rivals suddenly he starts winning on a regular basis and even wins himself a championship.

    The fact that Ducati are still winning even with air restrictors in place and a weight limit that goes up and down is proof enough that even the WSBK organisers are unsure about the extra 200cc twins are allowed to use. So perhaps you should forward these mechanical facts you keep going on about to the WSBK organisers so they can finally put in place rules that are fair to ALL those competing.

    What it all boils down to is if Ducati aren’t winning enough they throw a hissy fit and threaten to quit until the rules are changed to their liking.

  11. MikeD says:

    (-_-)’ CRAP…190mph is still at it and im running low on PopCorn…LOL…Man, it never gets old.
    Like the Buell and H-D thing…LMAO.

  12. Cpt.Slow says:

    You’re really going to get you panties in a bunch if the homologation special 1199 may has Ducati Energia (akaKERs).

  13. Cpt.Slow says:

    *You’re really going to get your panties in a bunch if the 2013 homologation special 1199 has Ducati Energia (aka KERs).

    *not use to typing on a borrowed mobile device*

  14. You realize that was an April Fools article, right?

  15. MikeD says:

    @Jensen: LMAO.

  16. Cpt.Slow says:

    Yes, I know :D