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.

New Colors Only for the 2013 Yamaha YZF-R1

09/12/2012 @ 5:16 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

New Colors Only for the 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 02 635x423

Unless Yamaha has some Steve Jobs-esque “one more thing” trick up its sleeve for its 2013 sport bike line, fans of the tuning fork brand should prepare themselves for a color and graphics package-only update to the 2013 Yamaha YZF-R1 & 2013 Yamaha YZF-R6.

Simply stating that the “2013 YZF-R1 and YZF-R6 come back in a variety of new and exciting colors,” Yamaha’s press release is void of any mentioning of an update to the R1 or R6′s electronics package or other technical add-ons, let alone any revision to the major components of the machines.

With Honda already showing us its re-styled Honda CBR1000RR for 2012, and Kawasaki and Suzuki expected to stay the course with their liter-bike models, it would seem the only guaranteed change in sport bike offerings from the Big 4 for 2013 is the revamped Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, which sees the same chassis outfitted with a 636cc motor and new bodywork. Humpf.

What is perhaps more interesting is that there appears to be no movement from Yamaha or Suzuki in bringing a 250cc class sport bike to the American market — thus leaving all the quarter-liter fun to Honda and Kawasaki. Photos of the 2013 Yamaha YZF-R1 are after the jump.

New Colors Only for the 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 34 635x423

New Colors Only for the 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 39 635x423

New Colors Only for the 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 31 635x423

New Colors Only for the 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 2013 Yamaha YZF R1 09 635x423

Source: Yamaha USA


  1. whiskthecat says:

    The Honda link is to a post from September of last year, 2011. I am pretty sure that it is not at all related to a 2013 model.

  2. Spektre76 says:

    Yet another disappointment from Yamaha. I guess tired old men really are afraid of change. New decals don’t make it a new bike. Just call it a 2009.4 model.

  3. To be fair, the recession was one big pause button for the Japanese manufacturers when it came to their new-model road maps.

  4. Gutterslob says:

    The first R1 of this style (meaning first R1 with underseat pipe) was a stunner. The styling changes made after they went cross-crank made it less so. Now, next to the lithe Fireblade and ZX10R, this thing just looks obese.

  5. MikeD says:

    Hurray Yamaha……….NEIN.

    I guess we’ll have to make do with this until 2014 , when we’ll get the Rossi developed next Gen R1 ? LOL.

    LOL, yeah, but u can’t blame them with the state of the economy……..then again, if they already have a new R1 and haven’t released it yet for economic related fears…I would hang all of them by the Sack.

    What’s the point on letting a possible good tomatoe ROT in the field instead of giving it a fighting chance at the Supermarket’s stand ?

    SAME THING goes for the R6.

    Amen Brother…im a fan of the 04-06 Generation…the 07 refresh started the tilting towards ” The Fugly Side”.

    YUP, she’s as wide as a barn. LMAO. Whe should call her Bettsy.

  6. New Colors Only for the 2013 Yamaha YZF-R1 – http://t.co/8i2vlG5X #motorcycle

  7. "@Asphalt_Rubber: New Colors Only for the 2013 Yamaha YZF-R1 – http://t.co/HI1XUbQq #motorcycle"

  8. Damo says:

    I have always lover R1′s, but despite being a bit on the heavy side the bike feels so tiny to me when I ride one. I am 6’2″, 200lbs and when I took a friends R1 out I looked like a Great Dane humping a toy Poodle.

    The ergos felt way cramped for me. A pity too, because it is the best sounding I4 on the market.

  9. AC says:


    Interesting that the recession caused pause for the Japanese makes while the Euros doubled-down and are seeing stellar numbers. I don’t have proof, but I’d say the Euro bikes are selling because the manufacturers are actually putting out new and interesting product.

  10. Damo says:


    The earthquake didn’t help them any either.

  11. smiler says:

    Practically every other nation can still produce great and innovative bikes except the Japs.
    The UK is in a huge recession. Yet Triumph can. And are oping a factory in India.
    Buell was spat out by Hog but bounced back.
    Ducati are in a country svaged by Bellusconni for the past x years. They can. Same for MV and Aprillllla. Christ even though MV were spat out by Hog and as usual shot themselves in the foot they build a triple.

    No one to copy anymore? Formula run out of interest, more horses, less weight, less fairing, different colours?
    Yamahahahahahaha. At least Rossi is going back there then.
    How about an M1 for the road?????

  12. meatspin says:

    i dont get the hate. The R1 is still an awesome bike with a stellar racing pedigree as well.

    is the crossplane crank not innovative? There is nothing else like it from the other manufacturers. Over the years they’ve added TCS, slipper clutch YCC.

    people must have some short memories. I guess if they came out with some true limited edition models like the OW-O1 and the R7 then peoples perceptions might change.

  13. Gutterslob says:

    You guys seem to forget that the R1 is still the top selling 1000cc bike in the US (where many of you are posting from, I believe). It’s probably got something to do with the Graves team winning in AMA SBK (or DMG or whatever they call it these days).

    Problem for Yamaha is;
    They a much bigger company than most of the European marques, so selling a few more units than the EU rivals each month isn’t quite enough to sustain profitability.

    But I do agree that taking risks in times of financial uncertainty does pay dividends if done right. Best examples being Triumph and Ducati, I suppose. Yamaha are playing it way too safe/conservative for their own good.

  14. Paul says:

    I miss my 2004 R1….

  15. Damo says:


    I agree, all the liter bikes on the markets these days are pretty awesome and extremely high performance.

    These days it really comes down to preference. I still think the R1 is the best looking (and sounding) Japanese liter bike on the market. I personally just prefer torquey twins and roomy ergos.

  16. calvin says:

    I totaly agree with you Damo and meatspin is right to.
    The R1 realy is the best looking japanese bike and by far the best sound.
    Yamaha is the italian under the japanese.
    but im sure that the new R1 wil be the best bike ever.

  17. kuncoro says:

    truuzzz gua mesti bilang waw gitu…

  18. B Whittaker says:

    I hear folks saying there is no change.
    I have also seen on the Yamaha site that the ’13 has 16 valves, vs. previous year’s 20 valves.
    Notwithstanding, they claim the same horsepower and weight.
    Where is the truth hiding???