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 2014 Yamaha YZR-M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia

01/17/2014 @ 9:32 am, by David Emmett18 COMMENTS

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 08 635x423

Yamaha today launched their 2014 MotoGP livery in Jakarta Indonesia. Both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were present at the launch, along with Yamaha racing boss Lin Jarvis and the MotoGP group leader Kouichi Tsuji.

The new livery resembles both the 2013 and 2012 color schemes very closely, with this year’s color scheme featuring a lot more white. Conspicuous by their absence were any new sponsor names, though Lin Jarvis assured Indonesian motorcycling blog TMCBlog that more sponsors would be announced before the season started. Earlier reports that a deal with Adidas was close appear not to have had much truth in them.

The reports yesterday that Jorge Lorenzo had reached a pre-agreement with Ducati for 2015 were also denied, by both Lin Jarvis to TMCBlog and in the press release itself, by Jorge Lorenzo. Jarvis told TMCBlog “I don’t think Jorge has signed any deal with Ducati. Will ducati make him a proposal? Maybe, but right now there is no truth of this rumour and hopely Jorge will be stay with us in the future.”

In the press release, Lorenzo is quoted as saying “I have to clarify that there is no truth in the rumours that there is a contract with another manufacturer and I would like to start negotiating as soon as possible for my future with Yamaha. My dream is to retire after my career as a Yamaha rider.”

The choice of Jakarta for Yamaha’s launch underlines the importance of the region for Yamaha. The launch took place at a large dealer meeting in Indonesia, and with the Indonesian distributor being one of the main sponsors behind Yamaha’s MotoGP project, the Japanese factory is keen to expand in the region.

Lin Jarvis has spoken repeatedly and publicly of the need to go back to racing in Indonesia, or at least expanding the number of races in the region. The problem for Indonesia at the moment is the lack of a suitable facility, with the Sentul track not up to current safety standards. However, it seems inevitable that more races are likely to be added in South East Asia in the next few years.

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 10 635x423

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 11 635x423

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 12 635x952

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 13 635x423

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 14 635x423

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 15 635x423

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 16 635x423

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 17 635x423

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 18 635x423

The 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover in Indonesia 2014 Yamaha YZR M1 Livery 20 635x423

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Source: Yamaha Racing


  1. Norm G. says:

    photochop me some white wheels please. thank you.

  2. L2C says:

    It would look like a rally car then. But not a bad idea!

  3. Mr.X says:

    One could argue for consistent branding or a conservative corporate theme….sure, OK.
    MotoGP, however, ain’t golf.
    I’m not asking for a return of the pink and gold Vance and Hines bikes, but geez, a little flash would be nice.

  4. These have to be the most unprofessional debut photos I’ve ever seen. It looks like they didn’t even go through post, just straight from the card to the media website. I know Yamaha’s PR machine lost a lot of steam last year, but I didn’t think things had gotten this bad!

    Meanwhile, here’s 20 photos of a poorly lit bike in what looks like a broom closet in Indonesia.

  5. L2C says:

    Yeah, JB, I agree. I noticed the same thing, but it doesn’t matter that we noticed. If it did, they wouldn’t have been released in the first place.

    And, yeah, they don’t tell a good story for Yamaha. Or the riders, for that matter.

    Contrary to Rossi’s positive outlook on the season, the photos seem to be saying that both he and Lorenzo will be scraping the bottom of the barrel for upgrades throughout the year. Hope that’s not true!

  6. L2C says:

    Another thing I noticed is that nearly all of the press shots used in the media reporting this story only showed Lorenzo. Some others showed Rossi chopped off on the side of the picture, or in his leathers looking away from the camera. And those shots were ass too. It seemed very odd.

    Only on this site (+Motomatters, just a second ago) have I seen full pictures of Rossi and his bike.

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “here’s 20 photos of a poorly lit bike in what looks like a broom closet in Indonesia.”

    I was thinking sub-basement, but it’s Indonesia. whaddaya gon’ do…? grass roots, time to cut the lil’ people in on the action. let ‘em have their fun. they can save the pomp and circumstance for something important, like be named host city for a Summer Olympics.

  8. paulus says:

    The fact that the launch took place in Indonesia shows that MotoGP real fans, money and backers are not US/European.

    A main sponsor of Yamaha MotoGP effort is Yamaha Indonesia. These are not the little people… they are the 800 pound gorilla of Yamaha’s GP efforts.

  9. Efendi says:

    does everybody jealous here? why Yamaha MotoGP team launched their livery on Indonesia

  10. taikebo says:

    hahaha…. too many jealous people here. Accept it, Indonesia is the most important market for Yamaha. Who cares about closet broom. Lorenzo & Rossi love the fans from Indonesia.
    BTW, it’s not a photo studio. There are many better studios here. Who gives a flying f**k to closet broom?

  11. chris says:

    i expect better pictures to eventually be in an “official” official intro press intro. perhaps with additional sposorship? it wouldn’t be fair to new sponsors to not be included. remember when ducati didn’t have a new bike to introduce? you should… it keeps happening.

  12. Norm G. says:

    re: “These are not the little people… they are the 800 pound gorilla of Yamaha’s GP efforts…”

    …who after all these years still don’t have a race. interesting.

    how big are they again…?

  13. reffy says:

    no more wonder if there’s no japs or asian rider succed in this racing show :-/

  14. reffy says:

    I mean failed to succed

  15. Highsider says:

    Now I really can’t understand anymore why they complainedso much about this photo! http://www.oliepeil.nl/nieuws/4747-dit-is-de-2014-yamaha-mt-07.html

  16. Trend-setter. Be sure to send them a bill for your artistic talents.

  17. taikebo says:

    @ reffy

    no more wonder if there’s no japs or asian rider succed in this racing show :-/
    yeah, because Asians build bikes & smartphones.

  18. paulus says:

    @ Norm G

    re: how big are they again…?

    Indonesia had 7 million units sold in 2012/2013… they ARE the 800 pound Gorilla.
    They are also Big enough to pay to give you “Yamaha viewing pleasure” :) …. otherwise there might be an empty pit where the Yamaha team should be.