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.

Crighton Racing CR700P – Because Pistons Are So Passé

10/09/2013 @ 4:15 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Crighton Racing CR700P   Because Pistons Are So Passé Crighton Racing CR700P rotary 03

At 300 lbs dry and producing 200hp, the Crighton Racing CR700P should catch your attention right away. Diving deeper into the machine, the CR700P’s 700cc twin-rotor rotary engine should further pique your interest — and then of course there is the Crighton Racing’s interesting past.

Astute observers will note that the Crighton Racing CR700P looks exactly like the Norton NRV588, and that is because of the involvement of Brian Crighton in both projects. A continuation of the project that started out in the Norton Motorcycles R&D laboratory in 1986, the Crighton Racing CR700P is the realization of Crighton’s dream to build a rotary-powered motorcycle that can top the very best racing bikes in the world.

For a bit of back story, Crighton’s work at Norton eventually evolved into the NRV588 project by the time 2006 hit the calendars. Finding rotary engines banned in virtually every racing league, and watching Norton Motorcycles go a different direction with its brand, the 700cc project was spun out of Norton and into Crighton’s own marque, Crighton Racing.

Now debuting the 700cc iteration of the twin-rotor machine, the Crighton Racing CR700P revives our rotorlust, and looks bonkers both on paper and on video.

The frame is still the SPONDON number from the NRV588 days, with the rest of the chassis being fairly “normal” with its Brembo/AP Racing brakes and Bitubo suspension pieces. The showcase element is of course the Rotron RT700 Twin Rotor Rotary engine.

Making 200 hp at 11,000 rpm and 100 lbs•ft of torque at 9,500 rpm, the Crighton Racing CR700P is easily in liter-bike territory with its engine output, though it is a bit peaky, as rotaries tend to be. We imagine the CR700P is a bit like a 500cc two-stroke in its power delivery, a thought that seems to be confirmed by the company’s video below. “Fucking quick” is the phrase, is it? Where can we sign-up for a turn boys?

Crighton Racing CR700P   Because Pistons Are So Passé Crighton Racing CR700P rotary 02

Crighton Racing CR700P   Because Pistons Are So Passé Crighton Racing CR700P rotary 04

Crighton Racing CR700P   Because Pistons Are So Passé Crighton Racing CR700P rotary 05

Crighton Racing CR700P   Because Pistons Are So Passé Crighton Racing CR700P rotary 06

Technical Specifications of the Crighton Racing CR700P:

Engine TypeRotron RT700 Twin Rotor Rotary
Compression Ratio10:1
Max Power200HP @ 11,000RPM
Max Torque100 lbs/ft @ 9,500RPM
Cooling SystemRotron Pressurised Gas
Clutch TypeMultiplate Slipper
Primary DriveKevlar Belt
Ignition SystemGEMS ECU
Fuel SystemGEMS ECU
Transmission6 Speed Sequential
Chassis Frame7000 Series Aluminium Beam
Front SuspensionBitubo
Rear SuspensionBitubo
Front BrakeBrembo 4 Piston 320mm Discs
Rear BrakeAP Racing Single 2 Piston 195mm Disc
WheelbaseAprox. 1,445mm
Dry Weight136kg
Fuel Capacity22 Litres
Oil Tank Capacity1.2 Litres

Source: Crighton Racing


  1. Richard Gozinya says:

    Great to see someone continuing the rotary engine, since Norton chickened out on that. Bet that thing is a pants shitting blast to ride.

  2. coreyvwc says:

    Amazing bit of engineering right there! My god that little rocket ship must be terrifying to ride though! hahaha

  3. Anvil says:

    Imagine an 850cc version of this in MotoGP. That would make things a bit more interesting, even if it never got on the podium.

    Someone ring Carmelo about 2017. And maybe give Hayden a call, too.

  4. irksome says:

    Now there’s a snappy advert phrase…

    “It’s fucking quick!”

  5. TexusTim says:

    wow..sounds like a two stroke on steroids.

  6. TheSwede says:

    Woah momma, that thing sounds mean!

  7. Neil says:

    Richard, Thank you.

    You have just given me my new catch phrase….

    “Pants Shitting Blast”….

    Now if they would market this beast to the masses…..


  8. Jimbo says:

    Problem with Rotarys (rotaries?) is that they have terrible fuel economy. Small capacity but big power and big consumption. It is unlikely they would ever go maistream on Motorcycles and certainly not in MotoGP where the principle of “filtering down tech” ie they want to develop tech for bikes that will eventually find itself on the road is pushing Dorner et al to make fueling a constraint in the races. Could even an 850 rotary in MotoGP (@anvil) complete a race on 20 litres of fuel?

  9. If rotaries have been banned by every racing league, where is this bike going to be raced? Wouldn’t it have made sense to have developed this bike to be the ultimate sport-bike for the street instead?

    I’d love to see some pictures of the engine, or, even better, inside the engine. Early Norton rotaries used a unique method of cooling the internals with intake air. That appears to have been abandoned. Are the intake and exhaust ports in the side housings, or are they peripheral? It would be nice to know what new technology has been applied in the past 20 years.

  10. smiler says:

    Jamie has a lovely Tsubaki chrome chain on. Remember seeing the F1 in the transatlantic series. All the other bikes were stood still as it went past. Beautiful. The Owner of Norton (Gartiner) owns Spondon as well.
    Isn’t a 2 stroke motor quite like a rotary. Rotary takes the principle further though?

  11. philly Phil says:

    i’d really like to see more different engine configurations in racing…they should really get this in WSBK or MotoGP…I guess GP would be better since they don’t have to homologate it…

    this is the type of thing that racing needs to get ppl back to watchin it! Let the electric bikes too for all i care

  12. philly Phil says:

    awww man, i love those classic frame mounted stabilizers!

  13. Doctor Jelly says:


    A wankel is and isn’t really like anything. It’s more like a 2 stroke in terms of power and how it makes that power (more combustions per revolution) but more like a 4 stroke in terms of the combustion events (intake, compression, combustion, exhaust are all seperate events). But it uses ports like a 2 stroke and intakes air like a 4 stroke (can be naturally aspirated instead of having to force air in).

    Wankels are just nifty cool engines that have a few major downfalls (seals, heat, powerband, fuel consumption), but a few major advantages (weight, peak power, minimal moving parts). Check out how they work because it’s pretty brilliant!

  14. MikeD says:

    Haaa, another misfit/outcast from the motorcycle world (Yes, i’m looking at you too, BUELL). Best of luck to him but where’s he supposed to run this thing and make his point ? And what’s up with the single shock on the side ? IS almost 2014, get with the times.

    Wankels are COOL & all that but they still have a mountain of “side effects” to fix before we get to see them by the SHIPLOAD on the streets.
    I would rather much see someone advance 2 Smokes in the 2 wheeled sector like Evinrude & Mercury did for the Marine side.

  15. MikeD says:

    P.S: That thing got one seriously wicked top end.

  16. The rotary engine has always been a design that was ahead of the technological capabilities of the day, even diehard Mazda finally gave up on it as a production engine. But it is ideally suited for motorcycle applications, small light and none of the reciprocal inertia problems posed by piston engines.

    This is an impressive achievement, and if somebody gets it right, it could spell the end of the piston Engine in motorcycles, at least in racing.