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: Red Flags Mean Second Chances for Race 2 at MMP

05/29/2012 @ 6:55 am, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

WSBK: Red Flags Mean Second Chances for Race 2 at MMP Hiroshi Aoyama crash WSBK MMP Ken Manfred 635x423

With clean racing for Race 1 at Miller Motorsports Park, World Superbike’s Race 2 was interrupted after a few laps with a red flag incident caused by Hiroshi Aoyama’s Honda CBR1000RR crashing, and spilling fluid onto the track. This proved to be bad news for Carlos Checa, who like in Race 1, had gotten clear of the field, and was able to once again run his own race. Instead, Checa had to contend with strong showings from Marco Melandri and Tom Sykes, proving that the restart of Race 2 would be another good battle.

As the lights went out for the restart, Marco Melandri again lead through the first turn, with Sykes and Checa following. Checa would find his way again into the lead, and slowly broke away from the field with his better-handling Ducati. That lead wouldn’t last though, as with 13 laps left in the race, Checa went down, and brought his bike into the garage, only to end up back out on the course a few laps later.

Meanwhile on the track, Jonathan Rea went on a tear, having first a great battle with Chaz Davies (who was having a great race in his own right), and then started putting pressure on the new race leader, Marco Melandri. Getting around Melandri, the two riders had an epic battle to the line, as Marco Melandri returned the favor to Jonathan Rea coming down the straight, and into the final lap. With Rea chasing all the way to the finish line, Melandri just managed to hold off the Brit, and brought BMW is second race win on the S1000RR.

Equally entertaining was the race for third between Chaz Davies and Max Biaggi. Stalking the front group, Biaggi finally got his factory Aprilia past Davies and his similar satellite machinery, with the Roman Emperor making his move on the front straight. Despite trading positions in T2, Biaggi makes the pass stick in T3, and then broke away from Davies.

Because of that late effort and the crash by Checa, Biaggi retains his lead in the Championship standings, with 18 points separating him from Marco Melandri and Tom Sykes. Jonathan Rea sits fourth in the Championship, 19.5 points behind Biaggi. World Superbike racing returns to Europe on June 10th at Misano.

Race 2 Results from World Superbike at Miller Motorsports Park, USA:

Pos.RiderTeamBikeTimeDiff.
1.Marco MelandriBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR32’56.257-
2.Jonathan ReaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR32’56.4520.195
3.Max BiaggiAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory32’58.3942.137
4.Chaz DaviesParkinGO MTC RacingAprilia RSV4 Factory33’00.5024.245
5.Tom SykesKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R33’05.7919.534
6.Eugene LavertyAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory33’06.0559.798
7.Davide GiuglianoAlthea RacingDucati 1098R33’08.14811.891
8.Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR33’08.97212.715
9.Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R33’09.27413.017
10.Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R33’09.96013.703
11.Leon CamierFIXI Crescent SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R100033’11.94415.687
12.Michel FabrizioBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR33’18.18021.923
13.Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR33’20.19723.94
14.Loris BazKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R33’20.30824.051
15.Maxime BergerTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R33’30.15433.897
16.John HopkinsFIXI Crescent SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R100033’34.94938.692
17.Leandro MercadoTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R33’43.96047.703
18.Jake HoldenGrillini Progea Superbike TeamBMW S1000 RR34’03.48067.223
19.Shane TurpinBoulder Motor SportsDucati 1098R34’37.971101.714
RETDavid SalomTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R
RETCarlos ChecaAlthea RacingDucati 1098R
RETNiccoló CanepaRed Devils RomaDucati 1098R
RETLorenzo ZanettiPATA Racing TeamDucati 1098R
DNSHiroshi AoyamaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR

Source: WSBK; Photo: © 2012 Ken Manfred Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Rob says:

    Great racing to watch, as was AMA with the exception of Hayes and Checa running around making everyone look slow.

  2. Andrey says:

    Was a great race to watch but the appalling US commentary on SPEED channel is just unbearable… why do they insist on doing this?… there was more chit chat than race commentary. They didn’t even run through grid positions before the race. Absolutely ridiculous that in a place like the U.S. this could be so bad. Makes watching here so much less enjoyable than other locations in the world.

  3. Victor Knowles says:

    Superbike is a lot better to watch then MotoGP……..at least for now.
    Let’s hope that changes soon.

  4. Faust says:

    Good to see Rea up front again! I agree that the US races are not as enjoyable to watch because the commentary is SO bad. It’s the same thing every year!

  5. Tom says:

    SPEED is run by News Corp (fox) so it will always suck. It’s run by dumb ignorant hicks who want 24/7 NASCAR coverage and don’t want to consider ANY other form of racing. Over the last 15 years, SPEED has shifted lockstep with Fox to pandering to the conservatives.

    Never watch Speed, ever. Go buy a subscription to online racing or download them a day after the race.