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.

You Know, This Used To Be a Helluva Good Country…

11/09/2010 @ 1:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.

Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared, man.

George Hanson: They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ‘em.

Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.

George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.

Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.

George Hanson: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.

Source: halfthrottle (YouTube)


  1. johnrdupree says:

    Was Harley Davidson ever about motorcycles or has it always been about the perception of motorcycles?

  2. irksome says:

    “Y’know, this used to be a helluva good motorcycle company.”

    “All you represent to them is a company that hires $17 an hr. “casual workers”, screws their workers while raking in executive salaries, bribes the State of Wisconsin for $25 million, screws Erik Buell, buys MV for millions and then sells it back to the same guy for a dollar, hires a blue jean designer for its board, hasn’t developed a new technology in 50 years and cares more about marketing their brand than making anything beyond the same archaic bikes.”

  3. Tom says:

    You know, you used to be a helluva good motorcycle company. You people think that you’re cool and powerful but talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be respected when you rely on yesterday’s technology and are sold are tomorrow’s prices. Of course, don’t ever tell the HOGs that they’re not cool or powerful, ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy whinin’ and getting people banned to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom while everyone looks, talks, acts, & thinks the same, how women lust after them, how they really made an investment in their motorcycle, and how they are the only real true American. But they see a freethinking individual who not only knows their “lifestyle” is bought and paid for by a credit card, he’s gonna tell ‘em that they’re frauds and their god that they worship in Milwaukee is a fake as the Wizard of Oz. It’s gonna scare ‘em.

  4. joe says:

    I do love that movie.

  5. halfthrottle says:

    @Tom Your comment belongs in the commenter’s hall of fame. I ROFL’ed myself throughly.

  6. lutherG says:

    They were a good company….hmm….never. They used their leverage to muscle Indian out of the police bike business by selling bikes at cost, and taking competing bikes in as trade ins and destroying them in a crusher–like GM did with the streetcar system. Back in the late 30′s they were competitive with flathead engines, but really slower than the big head Daytona scouts of the era. In fact Indians were quite a bit quicker, and better handling. The indian 4 was a better highway bike than the v twin, but cost too much. After the british invasion in the 50′s, harley changed the AMA rules to keep competitive on the track by making overhead valve engines displace 500 cc, while the side valvers were 750cc’s. They have continued to muscle the AMA until the 1125 buell was racing 600′s. Come on. Harley? Freedom?
    What they should do is sell life sized photographs of harleys for 5000$. That is about as much riding as most of them get.
    But I used to have a Harley. I made it out of parts I found laying on the side of the road.

  7. Mike L. says:

    Watching this, I almost threw up a little, and then remembered that Harley is a brilliant marketing company. They are a one trick pony, but it’s a good trick:

    Douchebag lawyer by day; tough guy on a Harley (with Harley bandanna and Harley wallet) by night!

    Everyone wants their customers to buy into a lifestyle, but apparently being a thug is everyman’s dream, and Harley is really the only company selling it.

  8. lutherG says:

    Here is a case in point the Republican Governor of our State, Indiana is a Harley rider. He was GWB’s Budget director, and before that the CEO of Eli Lilly, one of the largest pharmacuetical companies in the world. He is also about the same size as the average lawn jockey. HE is the man, if you mean the establishment. Myself, I’ve always been partial to british machines, at least now I don’t have to do final development engineering on the new ones. I love the new triumph sports bikes The cruisers I could do without (though i am a douchbag lawyer, I am a criminal defense lawyer so I’ve got all the cred I need). I did have to learn how to shift on the left.

  9. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: You Know, This Used To Be a Helluva Good Country… – http://bit.ly/c88q4l #motorcycle

  10. Jim says:

    I recall TV news clip from Daytona a few years ago where the comely news interviewer was speaking with a HD riding, refugee from Gold’s Gym, wearing a wife-beater adorned with the bar and shield. The interviewee went on about being a real biker, freedom, blah, blah. Then she asked what he did for a day job – he taught in a Montessori school. There went the image.

  11. Skipper says:

    Give me a break – What a bunch of BS!!! I am totally sick of Harley Davidson. Every Harley I see has some moron on it dressed up like the Village People with 3 foot tall handle bars and no muffler. They ride around showing off there loud bikes. These guys ride down the street with there legs spread out in front of them and it looks like they just got there ass examined. Why would I pay HD a huge price for a 1960 motorcycle? There dealers are terrible to do business with. They are more interested in selling you a Harley belt buckle, Harley fingerless nose picker gloves, do-rags and best of all a Screaming Beagle Kit so your new Harley will at least come close to performing as good as the competition. The typical Harley rider is 60 years old with a pot belly, tattoos and a pony tail. Why would I want to be associated with a bunch of old Harley morons? A Harley is a total turn off – over priced and out dated technology.

  12. Odie says:

    I like the sound clip from Easy Rider, too bad they gotta ruin it with the HD BS.
    You know what freedom is?
    A KLR, V-Strom, or GS with all the gear to cross a continent, a GPS and a couple months of free time, that’s what.
    Can’t do that on a HD.

  13. Sid says:

    Skipper – Southpark audio comes through clear as I read your post

  14. Mike L. says:

    Luther, criminal defense lawyers are the only subset of your breed that would be allowed oxygen in my version of Utopia. Sorry about the slam!

  15. Jake Fox says:

    I guess your version of Utopia would still have criminals then…interesting.

  16. Scooter says:

    Harley pulled the biggest bo bo when they canned Buell. Now HD wants us to think they are a real motorcycle company rather than a clothing manufacturer that sells motorcycles as a side line. Harley keeps there aging line of bikes around as a platform to sell there clothes, clocks and other crap and the good ole American public suckers for it every year. I don’t even think HD has an engineering dept. I think they have a couple guys in there that just change the names and colors every year and call it the new model. Harley really spends its R&D money on the new line of belt buckles and do rags.

  17. Tom says:

    Hey scooter, check out the 2011 Harley Sportster 48 review.

  18. Franklin says:

    I really believe that Buell was the only way that HD could have survived into the future. When the current HD rider trades his Harley in for a walker or a motor home HD will be in deep trouble. The majority of the younger riders really shy away from the Harley line-up as it only offers a moronic lifestyle and no performance. The Buell line had just dumped the antique Harley motor in favor of the Rotax V twin and much more performance options. Had Harley put some thought into the Buell lineup with the new Rotax motor they might have realized that it was the door into the future for HD. Young riders are not interested in a outdated heavy cruiser and wearing pirate outfits or spending there money on all the Harley aftermarket nonsense.