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.

2014 World Superbike Provisional Calendar Released

11/30/2013 @ 12:31 pm, by David Emmett12 COMMENTS

2014 World Superbike Provisional Calendar Released tom sykes kawasaki racing laguna seca jensen beeler 635x421

At long last, the FIM and Dorna have released a calendar for the World Superbike and World Supersport classes for 2014. The calendar features fourteen World Superbike events, but it is still very much a provisional list, with three of the fourteen still subject to contract, and the final race still marked as to be confirmed, with neither the location nor the country known.

The season kicks off as always in Australia, the World Superbike and World Supersport classes headed to the Phillip Island circuit for the opener on 23rd of February.

There follows another WSBK tradition: the interminable wait for the second round. In 2014, there are seven weeks between the first and second rounds, with the second event taking place at the Motorland Aragon circuit just outside of Alcañiz.

The WSBK circus then takes off for a tour through Europe, heading to Assen, Imola and Donington Park, before heading overseas again to Sepang, and a Malaysian round. Two rounds in Europe follow, at Misano and Portimao, before the World Superbike class heads to Laguna Seca, taking the slot vacated by the MotoGP class.

Another eight week layoff follows, WSBK only reconvening again at Jerez in early September, before heading east to Russia, then back to France and Magny Cours. The season then winds up overseas, with a return to South Africa – to Welkom, this time, rather than Kyalami – before the final ‘mystery’ round on 2nd November, taking place overseas.

That final round could possibly be another attempt to race in India, at the Buddh Internation Circuit outside Delhi, or it could be a return to South America, at either the Argentinian or Brazilian circuit.

Two names are missing from the 2014 WSBK calendar. That World Superbikes would not be returning to Silverstone had already been announced, but confirmation has also come that Monza has been dropped from the calendar over safety concerns.

Despite both its legendary status in World Superbike history, the circuit is no longer able to provide the safety required by the performance of modern superbikes. Safety is manageable in the dry, but as recent years demonstrated, the track is not safe enough in the wet. The 2014 provisional WSBK calendar is shown below.

2014 FIM World Superbike Championships Provisional Calendar (Last Updated Nov. 29, 2013):

DATECOUNTRYCIRCUITWSBKWSSSTK
23 FebruaryAustraliaPhillip Island GP CircuitXX
13 AprilSpainMotorLand AragónXXX
27 AprilThe NetherlandsTT AssenXXX
11 MayItalyImolaXXX
25 MayUKDonington ParkXX
08 JuneMalaysiaSepang International Circuit (STC)XX
22 JuneItalyMisano World Circuit Marco SimoncelliXXX
06 JulyPortugalAutódromo Internacional do AlgarveXXX
13 JulyUSAMazda Raceway Laguna Seca (STC)X
07 SeptemberSpainCircuito de JerezXXX
21 SeptemberRussiaMoscow RacewayXX
05 OctoberFranceCircuit de Magny-CoursXXX
19 OctoberSouth AfricaPhakisa Freeway (STC)XX
02 NovemberOverseasTBCXX

STC = Subject to contract
TBC = To be confirmed

Source: WorldSBK; Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. james h says:

    I’m glad to see Laguna on there. I do wish some sort of deal could be made so that WSS could be supported also. Until that happens, I guess we have to be happy with seeing only half of the show as we did with MotoGP, Moto’s 2 & 3.

  2. speedrider says:

    Welcome back Sepang!

  3. KSW says:

    David,

    With the announcement in this weekends Wall Street Journal regarding Repsol’s settlement with YPF, the Argentinian National Oil Company, which also included the involvement of Mexico’s PEMEX, I’m betting that WSBK will be going to Argentina. Just a hunch. The way I see it, Bridgepoint has gotten Canadian, Indianan and Argentinian tax payers to fork over money that will be going into the Dorna debt payment.

  4. jet says:

    Laguna baby,we’ll be there..

  5. smiler says:

    Seeing as MotoGP has 4 rounds in Spain and WSBK 3 on the Iberian Penninsula, then either Dorna will cave into their copatriot sponsor and have one in Argentina (thathuge market and well known place for motorsport) or go the distance and have another one in Spain.

    The rot has set in already.

  6. L2C says:

    Smiler, how many letters of protest have you sent Dorna this year?

  7. donno says:

    AFAIK this will be the 1st time Sepang will host a WSBK round.

  8. Kev71 says:

    Would love to see another round in USA, can’t make it to Cali. Every year

  9. Norm G. says:

    and still no love for any circuit in the homeland of the Japanese manufacturers. ironic innit…?

  10. KSW says:

    Donno,

    I get more analytics from Southern Asia than Spain. With everyone including Harley looking to that market why wouldn’t Dorna? Even if they do race in the rain

    Norm G.,

    Does Bridgepoint have a business in there private equity folio in Japan? Or one that they’re trying to buy? enough said.

    Kev71,

    There is nothing driving riders to sport bikes in the USA and Honda US just spent a boat load getting Nicky on Honda in hopes of selling bikes here rather than put the money into racing in the USA. They don’t have faith in AMA either so ….

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “Norm G., Does Bridgepoint have a business in there private equity folio in Japan? Or one that they’re trying to buy? enough said.”

    perhaps some better questions: what happened overnite to the Japanese feeder system…? and does the culture now see racing motorcycles nothing more than a fast track to death, a dishonorable pursuit better left to decadent Westerners…?

    less speaking, more thinking.

  12. Would love to see the WSBK circus at Barber with all classes supported, it is a waste for me to travel all the way to Laguna again to just see the NASCAR bikes and the top tier Superbikes.