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 One Motorcycle Show 2014 – A Moto Snowmageddon

02/10/2014 @ 8:26 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

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By the time you read this, I will hopefully be on my way out of Portland, Oregon — having just attended The One Motorcycle Show. I say hopefully because the Polar Vortex dumped a bunch of cold fluffy white stuff on the ground on Friday, and the Portlandians have been calling it a snowmageddon ever since they slowly began littering the streets with stranded vehicles.

The weather may have been wreaking havoc on the highways and in town, Portland is after all where Volvo station wagons go to die, but it didn’t keep the hordes of motorcycle fans away from the show — in fact, some intrepid souls even road their way to the packed two-floor exhibit.

As one can expect from the Portland motorcycle scene, the atmosphere was hipster-chic, and laden with PBR cans, form fitting jeans, and epic beards.

Not exactly our cup of tea here at Asphalt & Rubber (I wore my best plaid shirt in an effort to blend with the natives, but was easily called out for my blasé attitude towards free-trade coffee), but that’s just fine — we like motorcycles just as much as the next guy or girl, and that’s what it is all about. Right?

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept behind The One Motorcycle Show, the idea is pretty simple and centers around the idea of that one motorcycle that fits all your tw0-wheeled needs and lusts.

It is about bikes that incorporate maybe the best aspects of all the other motorcycle you have ever owned, and represents everything about your two-wheeled life. Needless to say, the resulting builds had some interesting crossovers in style.

2014 marks the fifth year that The One Motorcycle Show has been put on by Thor Drake and his cohorts, and the once niche gathering has blown up quite a bit in that timeframe. With headline sponsors like BMW Motorrad USA and ICON, you could get some jabs in about the show “going corporate” (there was a stock BMW R nineT on the show floor, after all).

But at the same time though, the increased exposure and professionalism brought in a bevy of high-quality bikes and builders; and if you were in attendance this weekend, you could only be impressed by the overall exhibition (or is it a party?) and its unique character.

If more big name sponsors mean even more bikes, more world-class builders, and even bigger crowds looking to get their motolust serviced, then I say bring it on. As for the bikes themselves, you can break things down into four categories: the choppers, the street-trackers, the cafe racers, and everything else.

For their sponsor dollars, BMW brought with them a number of boxer-twins, all of which fit perfectly with the genre at hand (you have to admit, the R nineT does embody the spirit of the show’s one bike mantra). Of course there were a few Honda CB’s amongst the lot, but not so much that you noticed and felt like you were reading the BikeEXIF calendar (go buy yours today, and help support Chris Hunter’s awesome site, by the way).

Our favorite bike was “Mabel” by TPJ Customs, which was more streetfighter than street-tracker in its form, though you could probably get away defining it with either label. Super clean lines, subtle design elements, and sporty components — it’s right up the A&R alley, and gets bonus points for being a NorCal outfit too.

With other bikes from Roland Sands, Classified Moto, Deux Ex Machina, Dime City Cycles, and others in attendance, you could spend hours on each bike picking out the details and admiring the effort and craftsmanship that went into each of the motorcycles’ elements.

In addition to the bikes, The One Motorcycle Show offers a bevy of original art pieces on display as well. Paintings, photos, sculptures, and drawings of all aspects of the motorcycle lifestyle abounded. Additionally, there was the”21 Helmets” exhibit, which was sponsored by Bell Helmets and celebrates the company’s 60th anniversary.

A good time out, and if you find yourself in the Portland area this time next year, we highly recommend adding The One Motorcycle Show to your list of things to do. You don’t have to be a wayward lumberjack to attend, though it might help, and Portland has much to offer a visiting motorcyclist outside of the show’s events. Just be sure to check the weather before you leave.

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Photos: © 2014 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0


  1. KSW says:

    Glad to see team A&R made it back safely. Oh Jen’s, you fit in fine anywhere mate. Love the mix of that show.

  2. Did some homie really track in a snow-caked bike and let it melt all over that gorgeous wood floor?

  3. Yeah. But it was so bad outside, no one could really blame him. 1,000 awesome points for even attempting to get there by two wheels. +5 more awesome points for doing it on street tires.

  4. Funny, my first concern was for the health of the wood flooring rather than the impressive feat it must’ve been to pilot that thing in that weather. I’ve become too domestic…

  5. paulus says:

    Any 2 wheeler beats a 4 wheeler…. there is some funk in some of those machines.

  6. Bert (not Ernie) says:

    If the true essence of this show is “the ONE motorcycle” to do everything… Why isn’t every bike in there some iteration of supermotard? From grocery getting, girlfriend taxiing, track days, to/from work commuting, ripping down dirt or forest trails- that genre of bike is today’s version of yesteryear’s scrambler.

    Yet these guys are more interested in taking a bar find, dressing it up like a Christmas tree, carving a set walnut veneer clip-ons and stuffing and empty PBR case in as an air box. There is not a bike in that entire lot I would consider doing 10% of what a motorcycle is called on to do on a daily basis.

    (And please, I love this site. I look in at least three times a day. But PLEASE can you make it so we can scroll thru the pics. Thanks.)

  7. L2C says:

    Two of my favorite people get the nod every time I see Pabst Blue Ribbon anything. David Lynch and the late, great Dennis Hopper.

  8. AAAMMMHHH says:

    @Bert (not Ernie) why so grouchy? cheer up!

    I do agree that I would love to see a better way to view pics on this website. I love reading all articles, but when it comes to viewing pictures, I usually just get frustrated and stop trying.

  9. Westward says:

    Show more pics of the bike with the wood seat and grips. Was the tank covered with wood too?

  10. ross ewich says:

    just saw a video of that bixby moto sidecar…. the thing is built around like a 75cc scooter frame. the driver has to steer it from the sidecar.

    first- its a crazy/fun build…

    but how does that possibly fit with the “ONE” ethos of the show?

  11. Quiet American says:

    It is good to see love for the Yamaha DT’s of the mid-70′s. I had the 360 and it really rocked the idea of “one bike” during its day. You captured the essence of Portland nicely. And finally, how could anyone consider a custom chopper a “0ne bike” ride?

  12. Jorge says:

    If carnies could afford motorcycles this is what they would do to them. Hence why we don’t allow carnies to afford anything. Yet it seems the universe would not be denied this crap festival of bike molestation. Hope the coffee was good.

  13. Quiet American says:

    Hey Jorge,
    Great observation and post about bikes fit for carnies. It could be that most who commission custom destructions would have been carnies if their moms hadn’t pushed them out of the basement nest towards an apartment and a real job???

  14. Branden says:

    Props for making it there to the show and I am thankful that everyone made it safely home. The ONE is by far more interesting to me than the Int Moto Show (love that too though).
    I drove three hours down with friends to attend the One and the darn thing was closed on Saturday. Regarding the “hordes of motorcycle fans”,.. I did not see them in person nor in the pics.

    I would LOVE to believe that everyone that showed up was able to attend, and that the HORDES and Masses were there, but I just don’t think so.

    Thankfully the Motocorsa Motoczyz Seminar will be rescheduled.

    Thankfully the Int Motorcycle Show in Seattle will be this weekend. -we all need our fixes.

    I could only wish that the One Show could have lasted a bit longer or had just a few Homies with doors open over last weekend for the real men who showed up and made the trek in the freezing rain and snow.

    I must say I was a bit disappointed as one would have thought that the ill weather would have been a challenge to all of the Hipsters to make it in or stay on the couch.

    I guess we have our answer without asking the question.

  15. Branden says:

    Nice pics BTW.

  16. Branden says:

    Love that Terra Corsa. GREAT job Arun!!!!!

    It seems to be one of the few non-tardish bikes there.

    I remember a time when there were more CB750 cafe’s,.. back in the good ‘ole days.

  17. Mike says:

    Can anyone tell me who built the white BMW streettracker? Thanks