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.

2011 Yamaha YZF-R1 – Now With Skulls

09/24/2010 @ 5:43 am, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

2011 Yamaha YZF R1   Now With Skulls 2011 Yamaha YZF R1 skulls red

Yamaha has quietly released information on the 2011 Yamaha YZF-R1 on its website, and as expected there are few changes for the new year. With plenty of R1′s sitting in the factory, Yamaha took a slugging during the recession, and is still unloading leftover inventory onto dealers. To help sell those 2011 Yamaha R1′s though, the tuning fork brand has thrown some new paint on the faster red ones…and by new paint we mean skulls with wisps of fire and brimstone.

We’d be lying to you if we said the disappointment ended there. Hoping to sell those R1′s more readily, Yamaha has increased the price on the 2011 Yamaha YZF-R1 by $300 across the board ($13,590 MSRP Raven Black & Yamaha Racing Blue/White), except for the red skull bike, which will command a $500 premium over last year’s model ($13,790 MSRP Candy Red/Raven). With prices like that, the ridiculous Yamaha R1 Rossi Edition is starting to look good.

Other than cosmetics, no other changes come to the 2011 Yamaha YZF-R1. Expect them to hit dealers in October of this year.

Source: Yamaha


  1. Ricardo says:


    I just wish I had a bit more dough and less common sense, so I could rush out and get me one of these gems!

  2. Isaac says:

    LOL…..that is the truth! I’d do the same except I’d have to be a ‘squid’ as well.

    They need to selling these ‘gems’ at 40% off if they want to move them.

  3. Sean says:

    Destined to be ridden in straight lines for hundreds of miles…before meeting a bitter end turning into the driveway at 25 mph.

  4. TES says:

    Really? Skulls? Really? Pretty cheezy and very uninspiring… Yamaha can (and should have) done better.

  5. Ian says:

    I believe the term the kids use these days is… OMG. And not in a good way

  6. wookee says:

    Haha nice. Where is my Tapout or Affliction edition? Gotta cash in on the MMA wannabes crowd.

  7. Kevin White says:

    “and by new paint we mean skulls with wisps of fire and brimstone”

    Except it’s not paint, it’s a decal. Downside is it’s even cheesier, upside is it can be removed.

  8. Greg says:

    Dudes, c’mon skulls are kewl!

  9. Rexr says:

    What a load of shit….ffs

  10. Keith says:

    let’s see it be comfortable (bone stock) for a 24hr ride…straight through no sleep, stop for fuel only. Oddly enough an EX250 can do that @ 80mph.

  11. skadamo says:

    They should have rolled that paint scheme out closer to Halloween.

    The wookee might be right, maybe there is a group out there on the fence about the boring paint schemes over the last decade. umm… prob not.

    Good times.

  12. RGR says:

    Forget the skulls, that front fairing is still the fugliest in all of sportbikedom. The R1 is in serious need of an overhaul. Ugh… those headlights…

  13. Isaac says:

    RGR you said it, amen! That bike has such a wonderful motor but it looks like a pig on wheels.

    I can see the squids now in the showroom, “Yo dawg…these skullz be match’n my tatt’s yo”.

    All you need is the R1 logo, that alone is enough to carry the bike.

  14. MikeD says:

    HEY HEY HEY, Stop picking on my favorite Piggy from all 1K’s.

    I could put up with cheesy decals, the verbal abuse and name calling just because that Engine sounds OH SO SWEET…(^_^ )

    Kinda like dating an ugly chic with a spankin body…hehehe. Priorities man, priorities…

  15. Ken C. says:

    I never liked the headlights because it makes the bike look like it has 2 beady little eyes in big empty eye sockets. Bringing the skull theme into the mix actually reinforces that stigma, and that’s not good.

    The R1 needs a facelift, badly, AND they need to clean up that tail section. Those cans look chunky under there.

  16. MikeD says:

    @Ken C:
    Tail section does look FAT, even tho the undertail exhaust is a landmark on the R1(as of late anyways) i think they should revert to the first Gen Style or at least “Condense” the current one a little (in a way that the muffler wouldn’t be visible hanging under the heat shields) i think it would be slim enough to look aceptable.

    Or make it like a Taylordmade for the 08-09 CBR1000RR.

  17. Greg says:

    MikeD, you mean a butter face girl?

  18. ty says:

    Sounds like Furusawa got his grubby hands on the design department as well.

    After effing up the relationship with the greatest ambassador for marketing the industry has ever seen (apart from the small detail of possibly being the greatest GP rider ever), it looks like these idiots are truly serious about demolishing the legacy of the tuning fork. I guess we’ll soon see skulls on pianos and guitars – just before the final gasp of its corporate harakiri.

  19. brandon says:

    At a glance, those skulls seriously look like roadrash.

  20. MikeD says:

    U said it Greg, not Me…lol.

  21. Jake Fox says:

    So from the Japanese I have the options of the Yamaha with Skulls, The Honda CBR with some chick’s O-face plastered all over it, the Kawi that turns me into two-wheeled free advertising for Monster Energy drinks, or the Suzuki GSXR whose paint schemes have never been easy on the eyes. Is it just me or do the Japanese bikes get progressively uglier every year? Recession aside, they might sell a few more bikes if they weren’t emptying whole clips into their feet at every available opportunity.

  22. Shaitan says:

    Wassup with Yamaha’s styling of R1′s and R6′s lately. Some (not all) are super gimmicky the last 4-5 years with designs that might look cool for about a month, then you’ll feel like a 12-year old dork. I love skulls, dragons and demons sometimes, but NOT on the side of my bike or helmet. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I want a wicked looking bike that doesn’t look like it came out of a custom paint shop, but instead out of a futuristic factory or racetrack. I think Kawi, BMW, Aprilia, KTM and Ducati all get it, but Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha seemed lost on styling lately. Just my humble opinion of course…it’s all subjective.