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.

Independence Day

07/04/2010 @ 11:03 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Independence Day American Flag 560x420

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

Happy Independence Day from everyone here at Asphalt & Rubber. As we take the rest of the long weekend to celebrate the founding moments of our country 234 years ago, we’d like to acknowledge a few organizations that have fought for our rights as motorcyclists, journalists, and bloggers:

The American Motorcyclist AssociationThe American Civil Liberties UnionThe Electronic Frontier Foundation

If you wish to acknowledge any other organizations that have fought for your personal freedom, pleas share them with us in the comments.

Comment:

  1. Joe R says:

    Please tell me that I am misunderstanding this post. The akcnoledgment at the bottom tells me that you support the ACLU? This is an organization that is formed opn comunist principles. They hide that fact but it is fact none the less.

  2. CarbonWarrior says:

    I’d like to put the Armed Forces of the United States in here. Whether they be current members serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, or Veterans of wars long past, their sacrifices and contributions to our country and its’ freedom shall not be forgotten.

  3. ACLwhat?? says:

    I’ll second the show of respect to our millitary veterans for their brave sacrifice.

    ACLU? You must be kidding.

  4. irksome says:

    The ACLU protects Joe R.’s right to be wrong.

  5. Joe R says:

    @ irksome.

    Do your own research before you say that i’m wrong. I am correct!

  6. Jake Fox says:

    I’d love to hear some of these “facts.”

  7. Tommy says:

    Great blog post. It’s nice to re-read some of the actual lines from the declaration and take a step back from the modern hyper-critica and think about why and how the US became what it is. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A body of men who took a step back, looked at the problems of the world and said, there is something better for us. I bet these guys would have rode motorcycles if they could….

  8. Tom says:

    Joe R. YOU are the one who needs to do the research as you have made the claim that the ACLU is based on Communist principles. But then again, so is real christianity. The ACLU fights for everyone. Are you a Tea Bagger by chance who also thinks that Thomas Paine is what Glenn Beck says he is?

  9. johnrdupree says:

    “This is an organization that is formed opn comunist principles.” Cite your sources, please.

    Yeah, the ACLU never does any good. Maybe they should not defend this guy:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/15/AR2010061505556.html

  10. Joe R says:

    Ok, sorry couldn’t reply sooner. I had work to do. Look guys, I have done my own research long ago. I could give you many, many things but I will give you just one and you can do your own research if you are so inclined. Roger Baldwin the founder of the organization stated the following.

    Roger Baldwin: “I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class… Communism is the goal.”

    Many otherfounding members have similar or more progressive ideals. You make up your own mind.

    I am not talking about an arcticle in the washington post. I am talking about the true ideals of the organization.

  11. Tom says:

    So, you have the supposed statement of one of the founders about his personal beliefs. You’ve got jack diddly squat about the ORGANIZATION. Besides, Communism is a FAILED religon that only diaper-filing breast-feading Conservative Republicans give any thought to.

    You have a right to your opinion. Some of us are just not as ready to be willing slaves to the State. Its more repulsive to lie to ourselves that we’re billy baddasses while groveling on our knees than it is to actually stand up.

    http://www.carlosmiller.com

    Land of the free and the home of the brave my ass!

  12. ACLwhat?? says:

    Why so angry Tom? Did Limbaugh pee in your fair-trade organic matcha? Obama is in office, you should be happy now! (Lol, rolling eyes)

    Joe R: It is well documented, you are right about the ACLU. You are not the only one who knows this. Never mind the Lib-tard peanut gallery.

  13. lalaland says:

    There is no government. Only a vehicle for special interests to control us by threatening with death, economic ruination, or life in a cage. The old have built a welfare society upon the backs of the young. The poor stay poor. The middle-aged do all the work. Universal socialism for the elderly is consuming this country. 70% of all Federal revenues fund social initiatives which aren’t even enumerated in the Constitution (approx. $2trilion). Over 50% of the total Federal budget ($1.5T) is spent on the elderly in the form of pension, medical, and interest on the debt to pay the pension and medical bills. It is the greatest generational theft the world has ever known.

    The old were deceived by politicians who were eager to take their money and leave them with nothing but promises. Healthcare reform, anyone?. Our generation cannot be so stupid. Democrats created this mess and they continue to make it worse. Republicans are dumb enough to believe they can build an artificial free market to pay for it all.

    They will all burn in hell.

    Happy July 4th. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

  14. Josh says:

    Great post. The government is certainly deeply flawed, all the more reason to remember the principles on which we based our revolution to free ourselves from the last tyrannical government.

    The liberal/conservative divide doesn’t split in terms of liberty vs tyranny, it never has. The conservatives would leave us, at least in theory, free to conduct our economic affairs mostly as we like, but won’t allow us to watch the TV we want, have the porn we want, ride motorcycles when and where we want, marry who we like, dress how we like, consume, inject or inhale what we like, avail ourselves of the medical treatments most likely to help us or order virtually any other aspect of our lives in the way we wish free of their supervision.

    It is combating these many attacks on personal liberties where the ACLU earns its keep. Sure its gets bogged down in other matters and tends to be pretty “liberal”, but its a strand of liberalism that’s needed to keep the social conservatives from turning this into a fascist state.

    Similarly, the liberals would eventually lead us into socialism and subsequent economic collapse (wait, too late for that?). Many organizations push against this as well – FEE, CATO, The Locke Institute, The Institute for Justice, the entire field of Austrian Economics and many others.

    Sadly neither political camp will really help the situation. Few voters think through a coherent political philosophy, finding it easier to vote for the president with the nicer hair, the more trendy campaign or the most lucrative bribes. Politicians then serve up what the masses clamor for. This has lead to two parties, neither of which has a consistent identity. Republicans taxed and spent like mad, the Democrats have done little to improve individual, personal liberties. Rather than press each other where they fundamentally agree they seem to be converging into a socially conservative, economically liberal totalitarian entity that will have both our personal liberties as well as our wallets.

    No single political personality is going to save us from our own willingness to steal our fellow citizens’ cash (even if our method of coercion is the state), our haughty belief that we should dictate morals to each other or our general apathy that leads to incoherent policy and rampant special interest successes.

    Truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror…

    Now, anyone have directions for a certain Gulch in Colorado? I’m sure the riding there will be fantastic;)

  15. Tom says:

    ACLwhat???, not at all. Obama is a Democrat. I am not. That you would think that is enough shows that the depth of your thinking is as deep as a Limbaugh buy gold commercial. Some of us prefer to drag our knees through a corner….not to live on them.

  16. Jake Fox says:

    You know, I blame the framers of the Constitution. They set up a system where things would be endlessly debated, where it would be very difficult to get anything done unless it was apparent to almost everyone that the thing needed doing, and where when something was finally decided, it could be overturned at any point down the road. Oh wait…that was the whole point.