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.

Help Design Asphalt & Rubber’s New Logo

10/20/2013 @ 3:47 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Help Design Asphalt & Rubbers New Logo asphalt and rubber logo 635x425

It’s that time of year: the almost-end of a (thankfully) exciting and penalty-ridden MotoGP season, and soon we will be into motorcycling’s long winter hibernation: no weekend racing, little street riding, and hours spent in the garage, counting down the days until the start of the season in 2014.

Here at Asphalt & Rubber, we have found ourselves finally getting a chance to dust out the shelves, clean the office, and oh yeah…redesign our beloved logo. Inspired and humbled by the arrival of our five-year blogiversary, we decided to give the logo a nip and tuck, but we need your help.

Because of our deep appreciation for community resourcing, we have turned to DesignCrowd.com. As the name infers, designs are crowdsourced from around the globe, and a variety of design perspectives are submitted in the hopes of becoming the chosen one.

This is where you come in: we are inviting our Asphalt & Rubber readers to participate. You can submit as many designs as you like before the October 28th deadline, then we will choose the winner. Think of it as Beyond Thunderdome for logo designers, and what motorcycle fan doesn’t like a good Mad Max analogy?

What’s in it for you? A small cash reward and the ability to peacock in front of all your friends. You’ll see your designs on our website, our leathers, and eventually, the World. Imagine how popular you will be.

Visit DesignCrowd, read the creative brief, submit your design, win our eternal gratitude.

Comment:

  1. Jensen, I think you should reconsider changing your logo. Your logo is the identifier of your brand, which you’ve worked hard to cultivate over 5 years. In fact, were I you, I’d make sure that you not only retain the sweeping tach logo, but also change your favicon to suit.

    My opinion, of course, is worth precisely what you paid for it. :)

  2. marc says:

    Just my humble opinion too. Don’t change your logo!!!!!!

  3. SPEKTRE76 says:

    Maybe a modernization? I’ll get to work ASAP.

  4. Danno says:

    I agree. Easily recognized, elegantly simple, and considering it’s near redline, speaks to all our hearts.

    All that AND it’s not easily confused for anything else, I’d say you have a rare winner here.

  5. The problem with our logo is that the tach details get lost super quick when it’s miniaturized. Also, when it’s coupled to the words “Asphalt & Rubber” (something we really need to do more of) it becomes super wide.

    I need something that’ll work t-shirts as well as it does on the website. Think 4:3 dimensions. If someone can restylize the words to work better with the current logo, that could work.

    For a fun backstory on the A&R tach logo, it’s actually been around for over a decade. Freshman year in college I was a part of a business plan competition, and the company we entered was an aftermarket motorcycle parts business, surprise surprise.

    The company ultimately never got off the ground, though our designs suspiciously ended up in the industry anyways — you can see them on just about any modern sport bike now. Anyhoo, we all disbanded from the venture (good friends to this day), but when I started A&R, I repurposed the logo (different color scheme). Everything comes full circle I guess.

  6. irksome says:

    Jenson: It’s a shed, not a garage. Thanks for your great coverage, although you should probably talk to someone about your exotic unobtanium Ducati obsession.

    As to your logo, 5 yrs in your pretty well established with it. If I did anything, I’d flesh out the outer edge of the tach and turn it into a motorcycle tire.

    But if you think I’m gonna draw it for you, you can’t afford me.

  7. Matt says:

    I’m thinking… something along the lines of a dildo and an exhaust pipe?

  8. smiler says:

    Why do you want to change the logo?

    If you do then:

    rear wheel of a race bike with black line underneath
    The tyre is black rubber all round

    then Rear sprocket extending from 6 o clock up until @2:00pm

    Keep the needle extending from the spindle / axle hole

    Add name in italics underneath or as the name of the tyre.

    Best logos have the name and the log together.

  9. Gabe says:

    Find out which website steals the most from your stories and pictures, and steal their logo.

  10. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Being a native Michigander this would be about the time to hibernate the bike in favor of the car. But since moving to California 10 years ago there’s no hibernation period. I hate riding in rain…but getting more used to it. Heated grips and rain gear keep my hibernation periods short.

    I like the logo. I’m kinda hoping you don’t change it.

    If you must change the logo, change it to something that doesn’t suck.

  11. DeezToolz says:

    That was a fun business plan competition…. Just a bit ahead of our time, that’s all.

    Good luck with the redesign, and congrats on the 5-year blogiversary!

  12. jr2 says:

    Jeez… I already thought it was a tire combined with a tach…. or a tire and a kickstand (the tach needle is all out of proportion and position for me)…

    BTW congrats on 5!! Keep up the good work… miss the occasional lawyer rants…

    I show my support by randomly clicking the ads every couple of day, so you get paid and give Google something to chew on…

  13. Nick N says:

    I like the logo. It’s easily recognizable and I like seeing it in my browser. I think you would be making a mistake to change it.

  14. singletrack says:

    If you’re going to change the logo, then go whole hog and change the name too. ;)

    You’ve already shown your acceptance of off-road motorcycles (truly enlightened, btw) in the A&R world.

    Keep the slick tire and tach as the upper portion of the logo.
    Continue the ‘tire’ around the bottom (2:00 – 7:00) but make it knobbly.

    Then call the site Dirty Asphalt & Rubbers.

    Or, just stay focused on creating great content and stick with what’s been working. I can guarantee you that no one has stumbled across your site and left because of the logo.