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.

Concept: Chaparral A1 e-Racer by Oberdan Bezzi

08/03/2010 @ 7:52 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Concept: Chaparral A1 e Racer by Oberdan Bezzi Oberdan Bezzi Chaparral A1 e Racer 1 635x449

Italian designer Oberdan Bezzi (view our coverage here) is at it again with his pen and paper, and this time he’s set his mind to imagining a battery-powered electric motorcycle. Based off the now defunked Chaparral brand, Bezzi sees the Texan company reinventing itself and entering the electric motorcycle racing scene. The bike has a full carbon chassis, a liquid cooled motor, and great attention to aerodynamics, according to Obiboi. We can also see five removable battery packs on each side of the motorcycle, and single shock suspension used not only on the rear, but also on the front fork assembly.

Wait…we feel like we’ve seen this before…Yes, it seems Bezzi has ripped-off every detail found on the MotoCzysz E1pc, right down to the motor and controller mounting points. Of course the A1 e-Racer looks like the E1pc 1.0, with its square battery packs. Oberdan must have missed our article on the eDD where we explained that the E1pc’s chevron shaped batteries allowed for more front wheel clearance. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right Michael?

Concept: Chaparral A1 e Racer by Oberdan Bezzi Oberdan Bezzi Chaparral A1 e Racer 2 635x449

Concept: Chaparral A1 e Racer by Oberdan Bezzi Oberdan Bezzi Chaparral A1 e Racer 3 635x449

We do like those winglets though…

Source: Oberdan Bezzi


  1. Ian says:

    Those ‘removeable’ battery packs don’t look like a quick change- looks like every major piece of body work would have to come off first!

    The nose looks suspiciously like that on the new Kawasaki shown a few weeks ago:

  2. skadamo says:

    Not even a mention of the e1pc in his post. Has Oberdan always ripped off designs like this?

    The e1pc looks better.

  3. Sen Heng says:

    In defense of Obiboi, it’s not like he’s actually an engineer/designer working on a real chassis design/packaging. He does fancy drawings of cool looking motorcycles so his main job is to focus on the asthetics and he does that well enough.

  4. Aj says:

    Does this guy actually have a job designing bikes or does he just do a bunch of hopeful concepts? I see his concepts all over the internet but none of them are even remotely official.

  5. skadamo says:

    Sen Heng, don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved seeing Obiboi work. Not sure how you can defend him having such a similar design to the e1pc without the mention of Michael Czysz.

    I left a comment on his post. Maybe he has a legitimate reason.

  6. Nimdae says:

    I’m not sure how you can call it a ripoff of another bike. If the design has any basis on the technology being used to build an actual bike, then the design is within the constraints of possibility provided. The only real similarity I see is the arrangement of batteries, and that’s not really saying much. The frame is only similar in that it’s an obvious motorcycle design, and the body work is completely different.

    To say that the battery arrangement and design is what makes it a ripoff is to say that Suzuki rips off Kawasaki because of their inline 4 cylinder motorcycles. As more people get into the electric motorcycle arena, you’re going to see some designs that resemble others, mostly due to the technology being used.

  7. skadamo says:

    @Nimdae (re: suzuki vs kawasaki) I guess your right in a way but it’s kind of a stretch considering where the development and design of electric motorcycles stands.

    Maybe Oberdan has not seen MotoCzysz’s bike. Maybe I am overly sensitive to giving credit to inspiration. Well see if he approves my comment and responds.

  8. Concept: Chaparral A1 e-Racer by Oberdan Bezzi – http://aspha.lt/18r #motorcycle

  9. Motoczysz didn’t mention in his post.

    What is the problem? we take care to mention! :-P

    In my post I mentioned the EPC1. X-D

    Not escape!

  10. @Motoelettriche

    Yes you did, and that’s Peter Lombardi’s photo of the E1pc (a photo he took for us) that you use in your header too. ;)

  11. I dig the fighter jet shaped fairing. RT @ Asphalt_Rubber Concept Chaparral A1 e-Racer http://aspha.lt/18r #art #design #motorcycle

  12. Have checked out the gorgeous E1pc at the TT2010 and make the following comments on the A1 eRacer. Dont understand the battery stacks so ‘high’ in the frame, put the smarts up high (light weight) and the batteries as low as practicable. Why have what appears to be a lay shaft for the output sprocket to chain, wasted space and energy, I reckon the motor needs to go ‘into’ the rear wheel, get rid of all the drive chains, sprockets etc., some Electric Scooters already have this, ultimately forsee motors in both wheels allowing switchable 1/2 wheel drive and regen on overrun/braking. Did I mention Fuel Cell tech….

  13. I don’t know off the top of my head how heavy the D1-10 motor is, but I’d guess ~40lbs . That’s a lot of unsprung weight going on there.

  14. skadamo says:

    Interesting MotoCzysz e1pc copy RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Concept: Chaparral A1 e-Racer by Oberdan Bezzi http://aspha.lt/18r

  15. skadamo says:

    Thanks for heads up, left a comment for h
    Oberdan. RT @motoelettriche: @skadamo thancks ,http://bit.ly/aWxGtx

  16. Rob says:

    FYI: The word is, “defunct.”

  17. buellracerx says:

    I would have to agree with Derek; the most logical path for motor development to go is to in-wheel mounting. Different configurations will allow for this, as will advanced structural/thermal analysis, allowing optimized and lighter designs. Really though Jensen, in a road bike (especially race, where the surface is smoother), I can’t see how unsprung weight makes that big of a difference. What’s the max travel of a wheel, 2.5-3 in.?? now rotational inertia, that makes all the difference…

    As to the sketch, though, looks pretty sick…ridiculously unrealistic, but who among us has never drooled over a concept car/bike @ IMS or IAS?

  18. Yes, rotational mass is a much large concern, but I still think it makes a big difference when you consider that 40lbs is about 10% of the bike’s weight. Combined with the weight of the wheels, tires, and brake rotors, that’s a lot of mass that’s un-sprung.

  19. buellracerx says:

    Very true. I’d just be interested to see what kind of traction difference it would make…

    Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to wait until somebody starts pouring $$ at the idea