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 Frog FZ750 Rana Heads to SFMOMA

03/20/2012 @ 11:22 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

The Frog FZ750 Rana Heads to SFMOMA Frog Design FZ7501 635x420

Frog Design is better known for its work designing computer cases for Apple, but  in 1985 Frog Design’s Founder Hartmut Esslinger designed the Frog FZ750. A two-wheeled concept vehicle that was a Yamaha FZ750 underneath the skin, the Frog FZ750 actually helped give birth to the venerable Honda Hurricane.

Conceived just a few years after Frog Design opened its California office, the now iconic Frog FZ750 was a reaction to increasing pressure for safer motorcycles (the Yamaha FZ750 was outlawed in the Golden State at the time), and set the standard for a generation of motorcycle design to come.

After residing in the company’s San Francisco office for the past 25 years, the Frog FZ750 is about to make one last journey — down the street to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Going on permanent display at SFMOMA, the folks at Frog have put together an interesting history of how the Frog FZ750 came to be. Check out the story on the Frog Design company blog, and if you are in San Francisco, be sure to stop by the SFMOMA. Thanks for the tip Mike!

The Frog FZ750 Rana Heads to SFMOMA frog fz750 helmet

The Frog FZ750 Rana Heads to SFMOMA frog fz750 street

Source: Frog Design


  1. BBQdog says:

    I am sorry, but one that is not even able to pump up his motorcycle tyres shouldn’t design motorcycles.

  2. FeelgoodInc says:

    Never seen this before. Where have I been? Beautiful looking bike in it’s own way. Like Akira meets a Sinclair C5! Frog NEED to do this again with a modern bike. Would love to see what they could do with the current crop of somewhat awkwardly styled litre class sportsbikes such as the R1 or GSXR.

  3. Stacius says:

    Hm. They have an office just down the street from mine. I’ll have to check it out…

  4. jtb says:

    Same year that Ducati showed the Paso. :-)

  5. kumo says:

    Love the helmet. It’s so Sci-fi.

  6. johnrudpree says:

    Outlawed in the Golden State? That doesn’t sound right. Was it just not being imported because of the tariff Harley got the ITC to impose on Japanese bikes over 700cc?

    And does anybody else thing the front end look like a Dakar bike?

  7. Ed Gray says:

    Christ what a mess. I do see the connection to the Hurricane and Paso both design disasters in their own right. At least Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki didn’t get sucked into that psychedelic hell.

  8. Marc F says:

    FeelGoodInc, I hear from my old colleagues there that the thought of losing this bike from the front lobby prompted a couple of designers to take up arms (err, pencils… errr, styli) for a 21st century version. Not sure how far along they are, but I bet you see something in the near future.

  9. If you check the Frog Blog (some trademark that name ASAP) posting’s last photo, I believe we’re getting a glimpse of that bike Marc, no?

  10. MikeD says:

    If no one told me what i was before me laying eyes on it i could have sworn it was a BMW !


    Indeed, it looks Dakar-ish.



    I think it looks alright…like a LEGO Bike…lol.

  11. Grant Madden says:

    Yes,the Ducati Paso.The helmet looks like a Givi top box!!

  12. Johnny says:

    Wow, the helmet looks like my old Shoei GX-1 !

  13. carboncanyon says:

    Horrendously ugly bike that has not weathered the passing of time well.

    Was it designed with a ruler and circle guides? Where is the emotion in the lines?

  14. Bob says:

    Looks like a plastic toy version of a Suzuki GS 1200.

  15. FeelgoodInc says:

    @Marc F, class!!! One to look forward to. Interesting to see what bike they choose as a basis and why. All the comment s on here about why this bike is so wrong are, to me, missing the point a little. Yes it looks a bit Dakary…daiquiri…like a rally raid bike, it looks a bit Lego, it looks a bit like Asimo or like a Buck Rogers prop and that is what makes it so good. Its from a different mold an all these year later its still dividing opinion and getting talked about! In nearly 3 decades time, who is going to be talking about a 2012 GSXR1000?

  16. Gritboy says:

    Gods that’s hideous. As a graphic artist, I’d say that’s a miss. I’ll take a Suzuki Falco Rustico prototype any day for cool bizzaro, or better yet, a mint condition red/silver FZ750. ;-)