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: Sylvain Guintoli & Liberty Racing Part Ways

07/20/2012 @ 3:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

WSBK: Sylvain Guintoli & Liberty Racing Part Ways Sylvain Guintoli Effenbert Liberty Ducati WSBK 635x423

World Superbike in Brno this race-weekend, the home round for the Czech-based Effenbert-Liberty Ducati team. Once again in the spotlight after its dust-up following the Monza round, Effenbert Liberty rider Sylvain Guintoli took to Twitter ahead of WSBK’s stop in Brno, announcing in a string of messages that that Czech team had breached its contract with him by not providing a bike for the Czech round, and as far as the French rider was concerned, the contract had been nullified.

Giving its side of the situation several days later, Liberty Racing first cited an issue with Guintoli’s technical team, but later amended that statement by blaming Guintoli’s lackluster results as the reason for why the French rider had been sacked. This is of course in spite of the fact that Guintoli has been on the podium three times this season so far, including a race win in Holland. Guintoli is currently eighth overall in the Championship, and is the first Liberty Racing rider to have won a race in WSBK.

If this scenario didn’t smell a little bit suspicious already, consider that Effenbert Liberty is said to be sans a hospitality suite this weekend, a peculiar thing considering the home-town venue. Ever since the Monza round where Guintoli sat on pole-position, there has been considerable chatter in the WSBK paddock that Effenbert has begun scaling back its support of the Liberty Racing, which surely is putting a financial pressure on the team.

Liberty Racing, in its amended press release, acknowledges that a lack of return of investment has caused Effenbert to pull support from the team, an issue which was central to the team’s outburst after the Monza round. With clearly internal strife occurring with the team, and seemingly there being an external friction existing with the team’s sponsor, things at Liberty Racing are certainly all but in order. While we will have to wait to see how the rest of the chips fall, one thing is for certain: only two Liberty racing bikes will be racing on Sunday.

Message from Sylvain Guintoli:

Liberty CZ Group had contracted to have Sylvain Guintoli ride for them with the Superbike World Championship 2012, the statement read. Liberty have confirmed they are unable to provide a bike for Sylvain Guintoli to race at Brno and potentially in the future. Due to this and a failure of Liberty to fulfil other key aspects of the contract, there has been no option but for Sylvain to accept that the contract has to be terminated and notice has formally been given to Liberty that the contract is terminated immediately. Sylvain Guintoli, who had fulfilled all of his obligations is disappointed with Liberty’s difficulties and their inability to provide a bike for him at Brno but is now free to take up other rides with immediate effect.

Amended Press Release from Liberty Racing:
The Liberty Racing Team, considering what happened in the last hours, wishes to clarify its position and the factors that influenced the events that led to the end of the collaboration with the rider Sylvain Guintoli:

First of all, the poor results achieved by the rider, for sure inappropriate in relation to the massive investments, technical equipment and human efforts offered to him, and the relative lack of media return to the main sponsor, created a subsequent reduction of investments by the same sponsor as already shown in the past;

For Liberty CZ Group is very important to rationalise the costs in order to defend the continuity of the team’s life, considering also the temporary period of global crisis, which has raised the alert level of the company in the recent past;

The technical staff decided to take a tough stance in this moment of nervous strain created by misunderstandings with the administrative direction of the group;

Detection of superficiality and lightness in the management of the internal team problems, with unnecessary use of media gossip, this is a not professional behavior, that damaged the trust relationship built into several months of collaboration.

The team will still give space and continuity to the young riders, a company policy much more in line with the development of the Effenbert brand.

The Liberty Racing Team, like clear expressed before, shows his regret for what happened, according to the choice made by the rider and the technical staff, confirms its will to continue in the future with the constructive purpose that has always distinguished the Liberty Racing Team.

The team would like to make its best wishes to Sylvain Guintoli and all technical staff for their respective careers.

Source: Sylvain Guintoli (Twitter) & Liberty Racing

Comment:

  1. Three podiums including a win and the guy is sacked? That doesn’t sound copacetic on the part of the team and, IMO, blaming the rider for poor performance that results prove to be opposite is egregious and intellectually dishonest behaviour. It really makes Liberty look immature and unprofessional.

  2. Westward says:

    Liberty sacks the best pilot they ever had, how do they think they look in the eyes of the racing public..?

  3. RJ says:

    Sylvain is the best thing thats happened to that team. Then they go and slander said rider like a bunch of little kids?

    Wow.

  4. pooch says:

    dammit. me and the mrs loved shouting ‘GUINTERS!’ when he did something good.

  5. Matt says:

    There’s obviously been a huge investment by Effenbert in Liberty Racing and lack of promised results have now comb back to bite them, but sadly its been their best rider who has been the scapegoat. As the saying goes sh!t runs downhill, but i think its incredibly disingenuous of Liberty to try to justify their failuresby laying the blame at the feet of a rider who has not only been consistent but also put them on the box this season. It seems to me the team has been in a position of over promising and under delivering to its sponsor. Going from a factory supported panigale super stock team to solely a shrinking sbk team and then not being able to stump up the cash for a bike is indicative of this. Sure, I can see how the Monza incident must have annoyed the sponsors to the point of them thinking “why are we getting behind this thing?” but it seems there’s a whole load of toy chucking going on here. Sylvan seems one of the nicest guys in the paddock so I wish Guinters all the best for getting a good ride, either somewhere else in the series or back in MotoGP or BSB.

  6. Adam says:

    It really is too bad for a rider to loose his ride mid season especially when he has been providing results. I wonder how this is all going to play out for that fellow my Canuck Brent, is he going to still have a ride?… I hope so.

  7. meatspin says:

    i think its horrible how this thing went down.

  8. Damo says:

    No idea why they canned their best rider. Odd indeed.