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.

Yamaha’s 2011 MotoGP Livery Unveiling

02/21/2011 @ 2:11 am, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

Yamahas 2011 MotoGP Livery Unveiling 2011 Yamaha MotoGP livery Lorenzo Spies 14 635x422

Yup, it’s official folks: Yamaha will run without a title sponsor for the 2011 MotoGP season (at least initially), as the team’s official race livery was unveiled at Sepang today (actually, we’re releasing these photos ahead of the official announcement, so in a way this post is coming from the future), along with the official unveiling of the 2011 Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP race bike.

Trading a corporate sponsor for a “50th Year in Road Racing Championship Grand Prix” emblem, Yamaha has seemingly been unable to woo a title backer onto its carbon fiber fairings after Fiat’s departure, despite winning the team, rider, and manufacturer Championships in the 2010 season. Check out the full gallery after the jump.

Today’s announcement speaks not only a tremendous volume about the economic climate around MotoGP and motorcycling as a whole, but also about where the star power currently resides in the MotoGP World Championship. While Yamaha has struggled to patch together a variety of sponsors, obviously the lack of a title sponsorship has dominated the news.

Contrast this result with Ducati, whose retention of Valentino Rossi’s services has lead to a plethora of deals directly with the Ducati Corse crew (here & here), but also other corporate dealings have likely been helped by the Italian Duo’s synergistic relationship.

2011 Yamaha MotoGP Team Structure & Livery:

2011 Yamaha MotoGP Team – Jorge Lorenzo & Ben Spies

2011 Yamaha MotoGP Team – Jorge Lorenzo

2011 Yamaha MotoGP Team – Ben Spies

Source: Yamaha Racing

Comment:

  1. doug says:

    Bikes look great, but those poses look like a high school seniors photos.. geez… corny at best.

  2. hangjebat says:

    no title sponsor????what??????…i feel sorry for lorenzo….he should not be entertain like this as world champion 2010….

    PETRONAS only give a small contribution i believe…poor them…they doesn’t want to take advantage of this situation with being the main title sponsor of the team but only take role as small player…big company but very small money…hey wake up la……..give full support la for motogp….be a huge player not as an injured one….

  3. BikePilot says:

    The guy on the left has a big X on his head…

  4. hangjebat says:

    the blue color make the bike looks not nice, …..they shoul use other blue

  5. hangjebat says:

    doug…..hahahaaha…..funny…Yamaha M1 look great in Rossi’s hand…he left, the bike back to the era when M1 started races in motogp…back to ugly faces

  6. hangjebat says:

    jim race who?

  7. GranitKD says:

    how about posting the RIGHT pictures for lorenzo instead of Ben spies twice.

  8. Andrey says:

    Stop the presses! …….. Ben Spies smiled!!!!! OMG

  9. Other Sean says:

    Ben looks dreamy with some hair on his head. And even their helmets are similar. What a pair!

  10. Faster1 says:

    Please hang- You must be new (or 12) if you don’t know who the well-informed jim race!

    The Yami has the best title sponsor on the grid,,,, YAMAHA. nothing to apologize for !

  11. Jim Race says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Yamaha's 2011 MotoGP Livery Unveiling – http://aspha.lt/ay #motorcycle

  12. David Emmett says:

    @tobymoody They don't have a title sponsor http://bit.ly/i1nJ7u Corporate sponsorship better than being underpaid by a title sponsor?

  13. #MotoGP RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Yamaha's 2011 MotoGP Livery Unveiling http://bit.ly/ecFCbo

  14. David Emmett says:

    A&R Get the scoop: RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Yamaha's 2011 MotoGP Livery Unveiling – http://aspha.lt/ay #motorcycle

  15. RT @MotoRaceFeed: #MotoGP RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Yamaha's 2011 MotoGP Livery Unveiling http://bit.ly/ecFCbo

  16. RT @motomatters: A&R Get the scoop: RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Yamaha's 2011 MotoGP Livery Unveiling – http://aspha.lt/ay #motorcycle

  17. Shawn King says:

    RT @motomatters: A&R Get the scoop: RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Yamaha's 2011 MotoGP Livery Unveiling – http://aspha.lt/ay #motorcycle

  18. login says:

    no more championship for Yamaha this year and beyond……….and they back to dark ages….where Yamaha are only be there to make crowd…

  19. Dr. Gellar says:

    I actually like this livery a lot better than any of the FIAT Yamaha paint-jobs of the last few years. Never did like those much. Also, it is an interesting contrast to Ducati’s 2011 livery….cool and subtle vs. bright and aggressive.

  20. Westward says:

    The liveries look awesome, not much to criticise. Would have like to see light blue of Spies’s liveries have the same colour dispersion as Lorenzo’s red…

    Even like the greyed out star on Spies’s helmet…

  21. Vmax says:

    Really like the new Yamaha colours, brings back the days when racing was about man and machine as a team and not corporate sponsorship money!
    I remember the time when Abe rode the GP bike right after Rainey’s (Marlboro left) during the early nineties, Yamaha racing blocks with red white and black livery… cool.
    I’ll be looking for the 1:18 scale models to add to my collection, these will be my favorites!