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 2 at Miller Motorsports Park

06/01/2009 @ 2:45 am, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Race 2 at Miller Motorsports Park 414365sbk spies miller

With Race 1 in the bag, Race 2 might have seemed a little bit more low-key, with no red flagged restart in sight. Beginning much as the previous race had started, Race 2 showed that it would be another decisive moment in the overall World Superbike Championship. Spoilers and race results for Race 2 at Miller Motorsports Park after the jump.

Once again, it was Ben Spies who flew off the starting line, but this time, he had Michel Fabrizio in tow. With the two riders going all out, they had gapped the field by 6 seconds after only 4 laps of racing.

For the majority of the race, Fabrizio was able to keep in touch with Spies, with only 1.5 seconds typically separating the pair. However, as the laps ticked away, Fabrizio couldn’t seem to keep up the 1’49 pace that Spies was consistantly putting down. Eventually, Fabrizio threw in the towel, with a 1’50 then a series of 1’51′s.

Spies ended the day with a double win, and valuable points gain in the Championship standings, closing in on Haga’s points lead.

Behind the race leaders, there was consdierably more action than up front. 

At first, Carlos Checa had been chasing Spies and Fabrizio, but trying to match the leaders’ pace turned out to be a mistake for the Spaniard. Checa crashed out on lap 4, went making castles in the sand trap.

The injured Haga had started well, running in the 4th spot for a while, but his injuries were taking their toll, and he slid back through the field, he would finish 8th in Race 2, a marginal improvement on his Race 1 9th place finish. Unencumbered, Rea made the most of his situation and pulled down a 3rd place finish.

Biaggi would finish 4th, ahead of Kiyonari, Smrz, Nakano and Haga. Biaggi would be one of Miller Motorsports Parks big winners of the weekend, the same however, could not be said of Jamie Hacking.

Following his mistake in Race 1, which cost him a possible podium, Hacking made a real mess of things in Race 2. Jamie asked a bit too much out of a pass around Luca Scassa, and the pair found themselves colliding bikes. Hacking nearly highsided and clipped the Italian, which put the America at the back of the field.

Unlike Hacking, a disappointed Zemke made little impression at all, finishing the race with a solitary point in 15th.

Both Spies and Fabrizio did well as the Rocky Mountain round of World Superbikes, grabbing back a big handful of points from series leader Haga. The injured Haga bled a total of 32 points from his 85 point lead.

With his double, Spies is firmly back in 2nd place, but the championship is shaping up to be a three-way fight between the American and the Xerox Ducati riders. With only half of the season done, we can’t wait to see what the rest of the season is like.

Results from Race 2 of the World Superbike stop at Miller Motorsports Park:

PosRiderCountryBikeDiff
1B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R1 
2M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R9.080
3J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR14.357
4M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory15.636
5R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR17.156
6J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R17.156
7S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV4 Factory19.659
8N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R19.659
9T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R130.489
10S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R31.775
11B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R33.246
12Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K936.758
13F. NietoESPSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K936.887
14L. LanziITADucati 1098R37.290
15J. ZemkeUSAHonda CBR1000RR42.639
16R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR42.777
17T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR45.596
18D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R1’09.237
19J. HackingUSAKawasaki ZX 10R1’26.703
RETL. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR1 Lap
RETG. LavillaESPDucati 1098R15 Laps
RETE. NigonFRAYamaha YZF R115 Laps
RETC. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR18 Laps
RETL. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R18 Laps

Comments are closed.