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: Checa Breaks Lap Record at Donington Superpole

03/26/2011 @ 10:01 am, by Victoria Reid6 COMMENTS

WSBK: Checa Breaks Lap Record at Donington Superpole Carlos Checa WSBK Superpole Donington Park

Carlos Checa won his second straight pole of the World Superbike season Saturday at Donington Park, setting a new circuit record in the process (1:28.099), and he will be joined by Leon Haslam, Tom Sykes, and Jakub Smrz on the front row. The testing last week at Aragon must have done wonders for the factory Kawasaki team as Sykes posted his fastest lap on a race tire, not a qualifier. Dropping back during qualifying, early weekend frontrunners Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri qualified only sixth and ninth, respectively. Melandri’s teammate Eugene Laverty crashed in Superpole 1, destroying his Yamaha, but continued on a backup bike to qualify thirteenth.

Biaggi and Melandri continued their fighting from the season opening races at Phillip Island in the qualifying practices for Donington Park, with Biaggi leading Melandri in the first practice, followed by Checa, Laverty, and Smrz as the fastest five. Most times did not improve in the second qualifying practice, except for Jonathan Rea, who moved up to sixth fastest. Michel Fabrizio also improved, managing fifteenth fastest to move into Superpole despite an incident with Biaggi during qualifying. James Toseland did not participate in his home round of WSBK racing, having suffered a fractured wrist after a testing crash, while Chris Vermeulen did not post a time in the second session. He has been doubtful about racing this weekend, as the Australian is still recovering from a crash and subsequent knee injury last season. Knocked Out in Qualifying Practice: 17. Ayrton Badovini, 18. Roberto Rolofo, 19. Mark Aitchison, 20. Chris Vermeulen.

Superpole 1:
Ten minutes into the session, Haslam led Camier, Rea, Corser, and Checa as the fastest five just after Eugene Laverty had a massive crash through the Craner curves. He was unhurt, though the bike was heavily damaged. When six minutes remained, Xaus, Berger, and Guintoli were in the knockout zone with Laverty, who had just headed back out on a new bike. In the final moments, Haslam still led, followed by Checa, then Melandri, only to have Lascorz find some speed and jump into third with a minute remaining. Meanwhile, Laverty moved up to thirteenth but remained in the relegation zone, where he would end the session. Sykes (1:28.548) surprisingly led Superpole 1, followed by Haslam, Checa, Lascorz, and Melandri as the fastest five. Knocked Out in Superpole 1: 13. Eugene Laverty, 14. Sylvain Guintoli, 15. Maxime Berger, 16. Ruben Xaus.

Superpole 2:
Checa, Smrz, Corser, and Sykes were the first out for S2, quickly followed by the rest of the twelve riders hoping to later vie for pole. Checa led (1:28.189) at the halfway point of the twelve minute session, followed by Smrz, Haslam, Rea, and Haga. Meanwhile, Melandri, and Sykes had yet to set a time. When only three minutes remained, Camier, Fabrizio, Lascorz, and Corser were in the knockout zone. They remained there with a minute left, at which point the top eleven riders were within a second of each others’ best times. Camier then improved, knocking Melandri into the relegation zone. Sykes slid back to sixth fastest, with Checa, Smrz, Haslam, Rea, and Haga the fastest five. Checa’s time was the fastest ever by a superbike at the Donington circuit. Knocked Out in Superpole 2: 9. Melandri, 10. Corser, 11. Fabrizio, 12. Lascorz.

Superpole 3:
It was four minutes into the ten minutes session before a rider set a timed lap, with Haslam quickly leading Biaggi, Camier, and Haga. Smrz soon slid into second, while Checa, Rea, and Sykes played a waiting game in their garages. Halfway through the session, only Rea hadn’t set a time.

On his second timed lap, Checa went straight to the top, shaving nearly a tenth off his own and the circuit’s best lap from S2. Haslam, second fastest, was over two tenths slower with two minutes left to race for pole. Sykes continued his improved pace on the Kawasaki, slotting into third and the front row with a minute left. It didn’t appear that anyone could challenge Checa, and as the session ended, no one took pole from the Spaniard, continuing the terrific start to his season.

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Donington Park, England:

Pos.RiderTeamTimeDiff.
1.Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati1:28.099-
2.Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad Motorsport1:28.3650.266
3.Tomy SykesPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:28.5560.457
4.Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati1:28.5610.462
5.Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia1:28.6730.574
6.Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:28.7020.603
7.Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:28.7370.638
8.Jonathan ReaCastrol Honda1:29.5141.415
Out After Superpole 2
9.Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team1:28.8030.896
10.Troy CorserBMW Motorrad Motorsport1:28.8360.737
11.Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare1:29.1351.036
12.Joan LascorzPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:29.4221.323
Out After Superpole 1
13.Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team1:29.3121.213
14.Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati1:29.8791.780
15.Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati1:30.0021.903
16.Ruben XausCastrol Honda1:30.0761.977
Not qualified for Superpole
17.Ayrton BadoviniTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:30.1692.070
18.Roberto RolfoTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:30.6802.581
19.Mark AitchisonPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:31.1173.018
20.Chris VermeulenPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:31.4853.386

Source: WSBK

Comment:

  1. Clinton says:

    Nice.

  2. doseme says:

    I’m curious, why isn’t any site that reports WSB results, say about the new (for 2011) modifications (the chicane) making the circuit faster?

  3. Ryu says:

    Well done Checa, this will be your year!!

  4. Turk955i says:

    What’s with Checa and Ducati? Did they find the right rider or is 1198 that good or both?

  5. ML says:

    Wait, why did Ducati pull out of WSBK again?

  6. Turk955i says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t it because they were not going to be allowed to run bigger throttle bodies? Didn’t they cry foul to Aprilias use of gear driven cams? I think Ducati won’t be happy untill there is a seperate set of rules(or none at all) for them to obide by.