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 Portimao is All Over, But the Crying

10/26/2009 @ 1:56 am, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

WSBK: Race 2 at Portimao is All Over, But the Crying Race 2 WSBK Portimao Portugal 560x303

With Race 1 changing two riders’ fate, the last race of the last round of the 2009 World Superbike Championship would be the only redemption left, until next year. Just as catastrophe changed the Championship in Race 1, disaster here in Race 2 could just as easily swing the pedulum. With this pressure still looming, Spies and Haga both had to be ready for a fight to the finish. Spoilers after the jump.

Despite his crash in Race 1, Haga found himself with the upper-hand in Race 2. Needing to best Spies by a margin of 15 points, Haga needed to win Race 2, and watch Spies finish 7th or lower in the pack. Surely knowing that this would be a lot to ask from the young American, who has been basically flawless all season; Haga would need to see a chink in Spies’ armor if he were to finally catch his unicorn that is the World Superbike Championship.

Fastest off the line was Shane Byrne, who has been fairly docile all season. Trailing was Ben Spies, although the American would quickly lose his position to Fabrizio, Haga, and Rea. Choosing to stay out of the fray with those riders, Spies held back in 5th place where he could comfortably win the World Superbike Championship title.

It wouldn’t be easy sailing for Spies though. Joining him was Max Biaggi, who is normally a level-headed rider, but for whatever reason, his hard racing and questionable passes on failing tires gave worry to Spies. Later recalling that Biaggi “really freaked me out”, Spies found himself battling the Italian for 5th place, which was the last thing the American wanted to do.

Somehow avoiding disaster, Spies would finish 5th for Race 2, clinching the World Superbike Championship in his rookie year. With this finish, it was of no consequence that Haga finished 2nd, behind teammate Michel Fabrizio.

After watching Rea lead for most of the race, Fabrizio finally got past the Ten Kate Honda man. Rea’s tires just didn’t seem able to go the distance, and as a result Haga was able to follow Fabrizio by, moving into the 2nd place position.

With the end of Race 2, we see the end of the 2009 World Superbike season, which is a bittersweet moment for us here at Asphalt & Rubber. We can think of reason why both riders, Haga and Spies, should have won this year’s Championship.

For Haga, he will have to try again next year where he’ll be once again campaigning with the Xerox Ducati squad. While for Spies, his journey will begin sooner rather than later, as he makes his a wildcard entry at the MotoGP’s last stop of the season in Valencia, Spain. At Valencia, we’ll get to see our first glimpse into how Team Texas will fair next year, which is an exciting prospect for American interest in MotoGP racing.

Results from Race 2 of World Superbike at Portimao, Portugal:

Pos.Num.RiderCountryBikeDiff
184M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R-
241N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R1.195
365J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR1.494
467S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R5.553
519B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R15.842
63M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory7.374
722L. CamierGBRAprilia RSV4 Factory9.658
896J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R10.434
911T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR17.010
1050S. GuintoliFRASuzuki GSX-R 1000 K924.509
1171Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K927.195
1223B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R34.825
1314M. LagriveFRAHonda CBR1000RR35.135
1499L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R1’01.842
1594D. ChecaESPYamaha YZF R11’09.782
16100M. TamadaJPNKawasaki ZX 10R1’30.818
1725D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R4 Laps
RET15M. BaioccoITADucati 1098R7 Laps
RET91L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR14 Laps
RET7C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR15 Laps
RET111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR15 Laps
RET10F. NietoESPDucati 1098R15 Laps
RET77V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR19 Laps

Comment:

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