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.

Reason #389 to Stay Out of Ohio

06/03/2010 @ 8:54 am, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

Reason #389 to Stay Out of Ohio Ohio State Trooper

In a recent Ohio State Supreme Court decision, the armpit state of America further confirmed its status as the third worst territory in the United States by holding that a driver or motorcyclist can be convicted of speeding purely if it looked to a police officer that the motorist was going too fast.

The decision upholds a lower courts ruling, which held that a driver who challenged a speeding ticket could still be found guilty merely if the trooper stated the driver was “driving too fast” in their estimation.

In a 5-1 decision, Ohio’s highest court ruled that an officer’s visual estimation of speed is sufficient proof to convict a motorist of speeding, as long as the officer has been certified by a training academy, and has experience watching for speeders.

While we here at Asphalt & Rubber can find a number of things logically and legally wrong with this decision, we don’t really expect much from the state the brought us the tramp stamp tattoo and cornholing.

Source: Ohio.com


  1. PA says:

    be careful, some of your most loyal followers (and avid riders) live in that “armpit state of america”.

  2. Don Z. says:

    Yeah, it’s bad here.

    Roads and driver ettiquette get worse and worse here every day. Had a guy literally tailgate me (on my motorcycle) about 2 feet off my back tire and then had the nerve to flip me off when he decided to swerve around me because I was only going 5 over the limit during rushour. Scared the daylights out of me.

    And don’t even THINK about moving here if you’re an allergy sufferer. Ohio is a big bowl and all that crap in the air just settles here.

    - Don (Columbus, OH)

  3. emd says:

    “be careful, some of your most loyal followers (and avid riders) live in that “armpit state of america”.”

    Good thing they cant read

  4. buellracerx says:

    nothing like making the law totally arbitrary.

    at least now officers have an excuse to give you a ticket when they’re pissed off at life…not that they didn’t before, now it’s just legalized

  5. Michael says:

    I’m from Michigan so I absolutely had to laugh at the armpit reference. Not that MI is much better but we all hate Ohio too.

    However, I have to argue with one point of yours; the game of cornhole. I’ve been living in Vegas for the past 5 years and all my Chicago friends out here play that game. This is the first time I’ve heard it called cornhole though. Everyone here seems to just refer to it as “bags”. Anyway, this game is actually a damn good time. You can setup and play almost anywhere, which is really quite advantageous in a densely populated city.

  6. Dan says:

    I live in California, have an MV Agusta and a Ducati and have been riding and racing for 35 years. I’ve travelled the world and the country attending Superbike and GP races and consider bikes an integral part of my life. However, I am now removing your crappy web site from my list of sites I visit regularly due to the idiocy of your comments about Ohio. Good riddance, a-holes.

  7. Howard says:

    Ohio is only good for roller coasters. Unless you want to do that I’d recommend avoiding the state at all costs and efforts.

  8. Cornholeo says:


    Who cares about your MV/Ducati farkle…. What the hell does that have to do with the article???

    You shouldn’t be commenting unless you have been road racing for “36″ years anyway…

    The California residence sums it up nicely. Oh and I’m sure you won’t be reading this and replying back because as you say it, “I am now removing your crappy web site from my list of sites.”

    Your an idiot and lighten up a little

    ~signed Cornholeo

  9. Hmm…it looks like I need to clarify some things. First off, the tone of the article is supposed to be more joking than actual opinion. For those that don’t know, A&R was started in Pennsylvania (now in California), which has a nice running rivalry with Ohio (just go to an OSU vs. PSU game).

    Actually, there’s a lot to like about Ohio, namely Mid-Ohio, which is probably the finest track in the area (although I’ll always be partial to BeaveRun myself). I thought the hazing of our former neighbors of the west would be apparent with article tags like “PENN STATE FOOTBALL RULES!!!” and “MAKING WEST VIRGINIA LOOK GOOD”, but I guess not, so my apologies on that.

    Secondly, cornhole is an awesome game, but tragically named. It’s a staple of college football tailgating, and hot and humid summers of the area. I highly suggest if you haven’t played it, that you should…it’ll change your life.

    Third, this law holding by the Ohio State Supreme Court should trouble all residents. I see where the judges reasoning is coming from, but it’s highly troubling that they still came to this conclusion. Since it affects all motorists, I’m surprised there isn’t a larger outcry over the implications it will have.

    Breathe and ride safe. It’s gorgeous weather over 98% of the country right now.

  10. Woody says:

    I’m pretty sure the whole midwest sucks, not just Ohio. There’s a reason I left Michigan.

    And if you don’t think it’s bullshit that a pig just has to say you were speeding to ticket you, maybe you should ride your MV Agusta into the bay.

  11. doug says:

    Wow- This is almost as bad as a “what kind of oil should I use in my bike?” thread.

  12. MTGR says:

    I tell ya, Orwells’ book “1984″ was not wrong, it is just taking a couple extra decades to get Big Brother all the way there.

    Not a curprise that book is no longer on the school reading lists anymore.

  13. Wavex says:

    Same law in California and other states… nothing ground breaking here.

  14. WTF of the week. RT @Asphalt_Rubber Reason #389 to Stay Out of Ohio – http://aspha.lt/11z #motorcycles #cars #law

  15. Jacob Fox says:

    Really, don’t waste time trying to defend Ohio. There are two kinds of Ohioans, those that are trying to leave the state, and those that have already left.

  16. Kevin White says:

    Why the focus on Ohio? It’s just the first. You *know* this is coming to a state near you.

  17. Westminister says:

    Won’t happen in California, we’re not that stupid nor timid to let that happen. The Officer is on a horse for Christ-sake… After I’ve ditched him on my bike , I’d be out of the state, before he could reach the telegraph to signal for assistance…

    Stupid is as Stupid does…

    Your Honour, that man is a criminal. Look at them clothes, I would know, as an officer of the law I see criminals every day…

  18. Relax says:

    Dan in CA-Grow a sense of humor. The article was funny. I actually chuckled a little when I read the headline.

    I live in CA too and we’ve got plenty to be thankfull for, but also plenty wrong with our state and local government.

  19. BikePilot says:

    I think (but haven’t actually checked the statutes/case law) that VA has had a similar law for quite some time. I also picked up on the humorous tone of the article, no worries there.

  20. P.W. says:

    You know, you might get out of the ticket this way:

    “driver was going to fast”

    to = traveling to

    too = too much

    Writing the ticket this way indicates the driver was traveling to the location named “fast”

  21. Cru Jones says:

    As a former Ohioan I can’t help, but do a giant face-palm and think WTF? I propose this: In exchange for such arbitrary speed measurements by Troopers I think they should let Ohio taxpayers decide if they’ve paid enough taxes by letting them ask themselves if they’ve paid enough already. I mean if they can’t be bothered to look at their radar/laser gun then Ohioans shouldn’t be bothered to fill out a 1040.

  22. Peter says:

    Wow. Looks like Dan really isn’t coming back.

    Good riddance.

    Keep up the good work Jensen and crew.

  23. Kubby says:

    I too live in California, having moved here from Ohio. I’m an excellent driver and the only points against my license got there because I was cited for speeding in… where? Ohio, naturally.

    Whether it’s the armpit of America is debatable. But it deserves all the bad press it gets for its overzealous cops and ubiquitous speedtraps. It’d be a different if Ohio had an incredibly low highway fatality rate – that would demonstrate that speed limits were enforced for a good reason. But Ohio’s rate is only about average – higher than states like New York, New Jersey, and Michigan, in fact. So it’s clear: Ohio’s speed limits are strictly enforced with no regard for safety, but only as a means of raising revenue.

  24. unclewill says:

    Writing speeding tickets is like shooting fish in a barrel. When you get a ticket you are breaking the law. It’s too easy to write legitimate tickets to select out marginal cases because of a “bad day.” If you don’t want to be the source of “revenue,” don’t exceed the speed limit! Life is simple that way.