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.

The Definitive Guide on How to Pronounce ‘Lorenzo’

05/03/2010 @ 6:18 pm, by Jensen Beeler26 COMMENTS

The Definitive Guide on How to Pronounce Lorenzo 2010 fiat yamaha jorge lorenzo 3 560x373

It doesn’t seem like a topic that really needs that much explaining, but after suffering through this weekend’s MotoGP race coverage here in the United States, it would seem there is some confusion on how to properly pronounce “Lorenzo”, as in Jorge Lorenzo’s last name. Continue reading if you want to see a leviathan description of Spanish language and how it relates to motorcycle racing in an admittedly over-the-top and pretentious sort of way.

This Isn’t Mexico
The best place for us to start is with the fact that us Americans, by-in-large, are accustomed to Spanish with a Mexican dialect. This due partially to the fact that a large population of Americans don’t travel to Spain with any sort of regularity, but has more to do with the influx of immigrants from our country’s southern border, who have accustomed us to thinking of Spanish words in a particular way. As such, we are comfortable pronouncing names like Lorenzo, in a way that ends similarly to a fine Italian car: Enzo. This is actually an inaccurate pronunciation, but audibly indistinguishable by many non-spanish speaking Americans (the more proper pronunciation would be Enso, but close enough for government work).

Regardless of this slight mispronunciation, south of the border an American ear is going to have a hard time deciphering between words like casa and caza, as we don’t have the natal predisposition to these different phonemes. Unless you grew up with Spanish being spoken around you, you’re going to hear pretty much the same word, and will have to rely on context to dicypher what’s being said.

The Castillian Lisp
However European Spanish, as a general rule, noticeably differs in the pronunciation of these words, with casa being pronounced as you’d expect with an “s” sound, but with caza being pronounced differently. Replacing the “z” sound is what’s called an unvoiced “th” sound (think, theory, etc). Called the Castillian lisp, this difference in sounding is the case for the majority of Spain, and as such the casual student of European Spanish would pronounce Lorenzo with a “th” sound, or ‘Lorentho’ if we’re spelling things phonetically.

This is the same reason why you will hear the Spanish track of Jerez pronounced “Hereth” (the “j” being properly pronounced as an “h”, and the “z” pronounced as a “th” as we just explained) by international commentators. But these same announcers seem to flub the rule when pronouncing Lorenzo’s last name, so what gives?

As we said before the “th” pronunciation is only a general rule, and there are pockets of Spaniards who ignore this rule completely, or have varying forms of it. Primarily located in southern Spain, we have dialects that practice ceceo, seseo, and distinción dialects. These three dialects vary as to whether they pronounce words like casa and caza the same and with a “th” (ceceo), the same but with an “s” (seseo), or differentiate between the two with “s” and “th” (distinción). While the majority of Spain uses distinción dialects, the southern portion of the country sees the use of ceceo and seseo.

But Wait, There’s More
Knowing which regions uses what dialect helps us understand what people indigenous to that region use in their own speech, and for many linguists this is the measuring stick on how to assess the proper pronunciation of a local word or name. Since Jorge Lorenzo was born on the Palma de Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands, it’s this geography that seems appropriate when choosing a dialect.

Since nothing is as straight-forward as it should be, it is of course unsurprising that the Balearic Island residents speak with a seseo dialect, and thus use an “s” sound when pronouncing the letter “z”. Thus the phonetic spelling would be “Lorenso” or “Lorenzo” for us Americans who still want hang onto those “z” sounds when speaking Spanish. So in a roundabout way, many MotoGP fans in the US have probably been pronouncing Jorge Lorenzo’s name properly (unless you’ve been calling him George all this time), but didn’t realize the complexity in the vocalization of the Spaniards name. So there you have it, it’s “Lorenso”, not “Lorentho” as we’ve been hearing as of late on certain TV broadcasts that will go unnamed. We hope that settles it, and if not take it from the man himself.


  1. joe says:

    who cares? does lorentho know how to say Rossi?

  2. Doctor Jelly says:

    I’ve been told too that Xaus is pronounced “Chow-s” and not “sauce with a Z”…

  3. The Definitive Guide on How to Pronounce 'Lorenzo' – http://bit.ly/ayRLD9 #motorcycle

  4. Steve says:

    Yep…I’m sure of it…I could not care less. Let me see If I understand…Haay…DONe, Speeeezzz, Raw SEEEE,………. Yep, I think I’ve got it. Low Rent so….I guess I’m just a fast learner :)

  5. wayne says:

    Okay, I’ll play along: last season I saw several podium interviews (Misano comes to mind) where Rossi, in recapping the race, called him (phonetically) YOR-gay. Do the Italian rules make J into a Y sound, or is Rossi just taking the piss?

  6. RT @fun4veda: RT @Asphalt_Rubber: The Definitive Guide on How to Pronounce 'Lorenzo' – http://bit.ly/ayRLD9 #motorcycle

  7. Carlos says:

    Italian is very similar to Spanish so Rossi is pronounced /Γossi/ and italians and spaniards pronounce the same. It’s good to read about how to pronounce Spanish names. I cna help you if you need help with other names.

    Last year I had to listen to the spanish speaker pronouncing “spais” (Spies) ¬¬ so it’s fun to see the Spies blackboard with “Speeeeeezz” on the top.

    Ps: and remember, in Spain we don’t speak like mexicans ;-)

  8. jim says:

    i love how rossi mispronounces jorge .he does it on purpose to piss him off

  9. TeeJay says:

    Rossi’s pronunciation is legendary…ridiculous. Practically he says “Yamakka” instead of “Yamaha” (imagine the right pronunciation here). Does he want to piss of the Iwata House as well? Or he’s just not a linguistic phenomenon…

  10. Carlos says:

    But… what happens with Rossi’s pronounce? In spasnish tv he usually speak good, with italian accent, but good

  11. Sean Mitchell says:

    I for one, was wondering about this, and appreciate the article. Sorry A&R, for all the “who cares” ulgy Americans.

  12. patron says:

    Appologize only for yourself only Sean. We are not all “ulgy” americans.

  13. patron says:

    redundant yes, but not ulgy. hahaha

  14. Khayman says:

    there is only one problem: In USA dosen´t know how to say J sound in Spanish

  15. skadamo says:

    If your going to the TTXGP final in Spain this might come in handy.RT @Asphalt_Rubber …How to Pronounce 'Lorenzo' http://bit.ly/ayRLD9

  16. Kirk says:

    I actually don’t know any Mexicans but do know Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Colombians, etc and my wife is Chilean. There are actually other spanish speaking countries south of Mexico… I’m not so sure Americans are specifically used to hearing Mexicans so much as central and south Americans in general.

  17. Ken says:

    Is it just me or is that pic kinda creepy??

  18. Reed says:

    Thank you for this article!!!!

    Unfortunately after they have corrected the pronunciation, the viewers will no longer have the ability to tell that the announcers have never watched a MotoGp race that did not have Ben Spies in it.

    One more horrible broadcast like that, and I will be attempting to download a Eurosport feeds for the rest of the season.

  19. Chuck says:

    It drives me crazy to hear the “American” announcer butcher a name during a race. Are they listening/watching the same race we are? Have they ever heard of studying up on their craft? If I were going to announce a sporting event you can bet that I would find different resources to listen to other announcers for the correct pronunciation or at least the most commonly accepted pronunciation. Hey Greg White, stop calling him “Vally”, it’s “Mr. Rossi” to you ya tool!

  20. Khayman says:

    But Lorenzo is SPANISH from SPAIN in EUROPE not in South America

  21. Steve says:

    That’s funny! I never gave it much thought when Rossi called him “YOR-gay” but now that you mention it….that’s pretty funny. Rossi is a crack up. And yes…. your right, that picture is creepy. Creepy or not, he (Low Rent so) rode like a demon in Spain. Bravo!

    These times are exciting. It was Rainey, Mamolla, Doohan, Schwantz, Kocinski, Gardner, Spencer and now it’s Rossi, Hayden, Padrosa, YOR-gay, Stoner and Spies. Sit back and enjoy….we are all in for a treat.

  22. Dawg says:

    Just to be pedantic and bloody minded. I’m afraid I need to correct you on your geography. Palma de Mallorca is the name of the capital city of the island of Mallorca.

    In Mallorca they speak Mallorquín. The Mallorquín language shares features with Spanish, French and Catalan and is really a separate language, not a dialect.

    Mallorquín was banned under Franco’s régime and not taught at school during that time, which is part of the reason that the islanders speak mainly mainland Spanish or Castellaño. However, Mallorquín has been very much revived and is now being taught again so when you hear locals talking amongst themselves it could be in Mallorquín not Spanish.

    Complicated? You bet!

  23. JMB says:

    This is a very interesting article. In that video you provided, it sounds to me like Lorenzo is saying “Lorentho”! lol

    This guy agrees:


    I agree the coverage of Jerez was odd. The “narrator” said it two different ways. Have no idea why.

    What really steams me is that Speed (in the USA) has cut out the interviews and podium celebrations. That blows! I wanted to see Lorenzo jump 5 feet in the air off the top step of the podium!

  24. JC says:

    The price we pay for live coverage is that we don’t get to see the interviews. In Europe, ratings are such that BBC and Eurosport can burn 90+ minutes on a motorcycle race, whereas here there is always another NASCAR program waiting in the wings.
    It sucks, but I’d rather watch the race at the same time that the boys are on track and then read the interviews later, rather than having to avoid the internet all day Sunday before I watch the delayed coverage.
    Anyway, Live HD coverage is an improvement, so maybe Speed is starting to see that people like racing with left AND right hand turns. More proof of this is the new web-based Speed2, which will offer coverage of a bunch of non-stock-car racing.

    Oh, and, nice article. I’d wondered about which was correct (but I guess I still do, so…).

  25. Brandon says:

    As long as we’re talking about pronunciation in motorcycles…
    Akrapovic = uh-CRAW-puh-vitch
    Termignoni = terr-min-YO-nee

  26. Faceplanter says:

    Who gives a crap, really. If we have to start pronouncing rider’s names in their regional dialect, then I guess we have to start pronouncing everything that way… Rome is now Roma, Seville is Sevilla, Munich is Munchen, and let’s also bend over backwards for however Qatar, Motegi, Sepang, etc.. are pronounced locally.

    Btw, if you were saying Lorentho, you sounded like a pompous idiot.