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 Nürburgring Continues to Show Championship Plagued by Crashes

09/06/2009 @ 8:53 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Race 2 at Nürburgring Continues to Show Championship Plagued by Crashes WSBK Race 2 Nurburgring 560x409

Race 2 continues World Superbike’s tour of Germany and the Nürburgring. With the balance of the Championship standings still tipping precariously after Race 1, Ben Spies and Noriyuki Haga were both looking for a victory that would give them a sure lead in the Championship points.

With another strong start by Noriyuki Haga, while Ben Spies wallowing away in 7th place after the start, it seemed that the Ducati rider would have the day in Race 2. However, Haga would have to contend with Johnny Rea, Troy Corser, and Carlos Checa, who all had a bead on the Japanese rider. As Rea made his way past Checa and Haga on lap 4, Haga felt the pressure from the new adversary, and passed the Ten Kate rider back on lap 5.

However running wide on his exit, this effort meant Haga left the door open to wide to be retaken, and Johnny Rea made his counter strike on Haga. Coming underneath Haga, Rea’s Honda collided with Haga’s Ducati as Haga tightened up his line. With no where to go but down onto the asphalt, Haga effectively handed Spies as many points as the American could muster, and Rea was left alone at the top of the pack.

With Haga no longer a factor, Spies picked off riders one-by-one, climbing all the way back to the front. Rea posed too much of a challenge for the Texan, and Spies was willing to call it a good days work, taking second place in Race 2 and an 18 point lead over Haga in the Championship.

Leon Haslam might have some issue with the finish though, as the Stiggy Honda racer was pushed off his line by Spies and into the gravel. He would finish the race in 5th place, behind Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa, respectively. Troy Corser put his BMW S1000RR behind Haslam, giving the BMW a strong showing at their home track.

With Spies now in the lead of the World Superbike Championship, there seems to be a growing momentum of sentiment that he will win the series outright, having already overcome an 88 point deficit.

Results from Race 2 of World Superbike at Nürburgring, Germany:

Pos. Num. Rider Country Bike Diff
1 65 J. Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR -
2 19 B. Spies USA Yamaha YZF R1 0.786
3 7 C. Checa ESP Honda CBR1000RR 4.993
4 3 M. Biaggi ITA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 8.191
5 91 L. Haslam GBR Honda CBR1000RR 10.907
6 11 T. Corser AUS BMW S1000 RR 17.152
7 9 R. Kiyonari JPN Honda CBR1000RR 19.473
8 66 T. Sykes GBR Yamaha YZF R1 19.721
9 84 M. Fabrizio ITA Ducati 1098R 22.981
10 71 Y. Kagayama JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 24.161
11 96 J. Smrz CZE Ducati 1098R 29.367
12 10 F. Nieto ESP Ducati 1098R 30.007
13 23 B. Parkes AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 37.281
14 99 L. Scassa ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 47.883
15 77 V. Iannuzzo ITA Honda CBR1000RR 49.549
16 15 M. Baiocco ITA Ducati 1098R 49.635
17 25 D. Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’19.554
18 94 D. Checa ESP Yamaha YZF R1 1’22.329
RET 47 R. Cooper GBR BMW S1000 RR 4 Laps
RET 31 K. Muggeridge AUS Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 7 Laps
RET 88 R. Resch AUT Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 7 Laps
RET 67 S. Byrne GBR Ducati 1098R 11 Laps
RET 41 N. Haga JPN Ducati 1098R 16 Laps
RET 14 M. Lagrive FRA Honda CBR1000RR 19 Laps
NS 56 S. Nakano JPN Aprilia RSV4 Factory

Comments are closed.