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.

How to Lose a Motorcycle in a Flash Flood

09/26/2013 @ 2:28 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

How to Lose a Motorcycle in a Flash Flood motorcycle flash flood 635x423

During our Broventure, one of the things Tim and I worried while we were off-roading in Moab, Utah was the prospect of a flash flood. With heavy rain storms looming in the distance, and a forecast for afternoon showers in our location, the dry and rocky canyons and river beds that we were riding through were highly susceptible to flash flood conditions. This idea was only reinforced further by the weather alerts from NOAA, and reports of earlier flash floods from local officials

In a trip where we joked about “what could go wrong” on a regular basis, the real prospect of being caught off-guard by a flash flood in a remote location was something very real that could go wrong very quickly. Lucky for us, we were out of the canyons before the rain really started coming down, and the Moab area in general was relatively unaffected by the storms.

Meanwhile in Colorado though, things of course were very different, and it wasn’t until we got home that we could appreciate the full extent of the flooding that was occurring in The Centennial State.

That brings us to this video on YouTube, which shows a man attempting to cross the wash of a flash flood in Boulder, Colorado on his Suzuki DRZ. Things of course start out as well as one can hope, but like any situation with large volumes of moving water, things can get out of hand quite quickly.

Note the speed and intensity shown when the rider first starts fording the water, and how quickly that translates into a lost motorcycle (and phone). This video easily could have become a snuff film, but luckily our protagonist will live to ride another day. Thanks for the tip Gigi!

Source: YouTube


  1. Shinigami says:

    No sympathy for the incredibly stupid.

  2. “No sympathy for the incredibly stupid.”

    +1. At no point did it ever look as though he had a chance to making it across that wash. The guy was incredibly lucky. Not only did he make it out in one piece, he found the bike a couple of days later. I hope he learned a lesson.

  3. “chance to making it”

    Bleargh. My kingdom for an edit feature. :(

  4. kww says:

    I pulled this stunt in the 90′s on a CL450 – water up to the cylinders, but still below airbox – but the velocities were lower and the road wasn’t washed out…

  5. jzj says:

    Here’s what’s interesting: the thought process. Clearly he identifies the situation as a serious risk. Yet, stopping to take in the information, stopping to think about the pros and cons, stopping to consider everything he sees, he nonetheless comes to what is not only proven to be the wrong decision, but a decision that should have been clearly wrong when he was contemplating it. I can only guess that somehow, despite all the information to the contrary, he actually talked himself into the wrong decision.

    You know that gut reaction that says, “no”? Heed it.

  6. Buzzsaw says:

    What the heck was with all the hands flailing about off the bars as he began to cross. I’m talking before he got into trouble. Strange…

  7. Slangbuster says:

    Good thing there were no little reverse barbed fish that like to swim up the urine stream into the urethra in that water.

  8. smiler says:

    Nationality & location again? Oh yes……..

  9. John says:

    Talk about a Major Brain Fart!!!

  10. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    “snuff film”–is there a creepier term than that?

    its very easy to misjudge how strong that water is. This mistake happens a lot.

    Smiler wth? nationality and location? Floods don’t happen where you’re from: Dumbassikstan? it was a bad decision…the rider clearly had a european-brained moment.

  11. Uberbox says:

    I live here in the Boulder area and I have to say this guy wasn’t alone in his stupidity. I can’t tell you how many SUV soccer dads I saw trying to ford flood water in their luxury SUVs. Hell, in the city of Boulder college kids where floating around on inner tubes and playing in the flood water.

    I’m always shocked by how disconnected from reality people can be.

  12. Spamtasticus says:

    1. Never cross water you can not see the bottom of.
    2. If you absolutely must and cant see, either do it very very slowly so if you hit a bolder you don’t get hurt, or in a situation where slow would be worse, like this one, lean back on the bike while accelerating to lighten the front wheel.
    3. Always get off the seat, legs extended but not locked, head over the handle bars, arms at a 90 deg. angle as if you were going to do a pushup on the bars (attack position) when riding over harsh terrain. This allows you to absorb any unseens forces with your legs and if your front wheel hits something like a bolder or angled trunk under water your arms are in a position they can actually save it.
    4. If you did not know 1, 2, and 3 to begin with and you just learned about them from a motorcycle blog, you should not be fording flooded roads.

  13. james says:

    Years ago while living at Ft. Hood Texas, waiting for the army to decide if they needed me in Vietnam or not we had what was called rain rescue duty. For some reason, every time it rained, the good folks in Texas couldn’t resist trying to cross flooded streets. We hauled them out by the dozens.

  14. Ryno49 says:

    So I know this guy… In fact, he was on his way to meet up with my friends and I so we could take that bike to a race. He called us several hours after this all happened. So I can fill in some of the questions you might have… But, if you knew and raced with him, he is the type that is ‘Jump first, see if you can make it while you’re in the air!’

    All this happened outside of Boulder.

    We joked that he got swept away in the flood when he didn’t call or show up… So we felt a little bad we he told us what happened.