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.

Schwantz v. COTA Heading to Trial in February 2014

12/17/2013 @ 10:39 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Schwantz v. COTA Heading to Trial in February 2014 kevin schwantz cota scott jones 635x422

Last year’s Grand Prix of the Americas was marred by the dispute between Kevin Schwantz and the Circuit of the Americas, which saw the former GP Champion accusing the new MotoGP circuit of cutting him out of a deal with Dorna, the media rights holder to MotoGP.

The legal dispute has simmered since the MotoGP race, but it is unfortunately finding a new spotlight now, as a court date has been set. Scheduled February 10, 2014 as a ten-day trial, Schwantz and COTA will get to argue their claims before a jury of their peers in Austin, Texas.

In the suit, Schwantz alleges that COTA, and its former President Steve Sexton, tortiously interfered with their contract with 3FourTexas (Schwantz’s company), as well as fraudulently misrepresented themselves.

COTA is counter-suing Schwantz, claiming that 3FourTexas misrepresented its promotional right to both to COTA and Dorna. In its suit, COTA is seeking attorney’s fees and costs for litigation.

The deciding factor in these claims for both sides will surely rest on the validity and performance of the contract between 3FourTexas, COTA, and Dorna.

Time will tell where the law resides between all the parties, and it doesn’t look like a resolution is in sight before the scheduled court date.

That being said, it seems the fiasco will once again overshadow the running of the Grand Prix of the Americas, which is scheduled for April 13th.

Source: American-Statesman; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Norm G. says:

    LLLLLLET’S GET READY FOR OWNAGE…!!! (Michael Buffer voice)

  2. Bob says:

    Does Sexton’s exit from his exec position, in November, have anything to do with this?

  3. Bruce Monighan says:

    These are always sticky deals. Attorneys can fabricate any fact from words in or not in an agreement. That said it is clear that Schwantz was in the deal early and had a lot of pull with DORNA to bring the GP to Austin. Where it ends is legal land.

    That said I have no intention of going back to my favorite city Austin, or going to the COTA track or attending a Moto GP there until it is settled and COTA is treating Schwantz with more respect. For them to ban him from the track last year was shameful. I canceled my trip last year and will stay away until there is a respectful outcome.

  4. TexusTim says:

    K.S. tirelessly promoted the race track when it was just dirt and cow paddies..he came to “wild bills” many times to meet with homeowners and landowners to get them on board then met with Dorna to get the gp race here for ten years…the investers knew there was a deadline and stalled it so they could go and cut him out of the deal…then they insult him on a global stage when they threw him off the track…I hope he wins, I pray he wins…but it will be very hard now that Austin feels like they made all this happen with the Mcombs people..K.S. was isntrumenatal even in the design so it would be motorcycle friendly and now he will get his day in court..I would love to sit in on this trial and hear just what B.S. the group will throw at the wall.GIVE EM HELL KEVIN !! GIVE EM HELL…O and he doesnt us the rear brake either….bawawawawawhaha

  5. Jw says:

    Goes to show how much money and greed is involved in this sport. No matter the outcome.. This will not rest well for the sport unfortunately. I wouldn’t be surprised if this settles in the 11th hour.

  6. L2C says:

    “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.” Schwantz is going to need all the help he can get. The strength of his claim and his ability to support it is was this trial will be all about. And considering that he has been the loudest barking dog in this fight, he had better hope that he’s not just some toothless canine barking up the wrong tree.

    “In the suit, Schwantz alleges that COTA, and its former President Steve Sexton, tortiously interfered with their contract with 3FourTexas (Schwantz’s company), as well as fraudulently misrepresented themselves.”

    Good luck with proving that.

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “And considering that he has been the loudest barking dog in this fight, he had better hope that he’s not just some toothless canine barking up the wrong tree.”

    he’s not. he already posted copies of the sign documents (THEY gave him) to social media several months ago as a response to when they were trying to clown him. to this point he was being a gentleman. Ezpelata’s signature was on it. my client has a case. (attorney voice)

    they keep f#@kin’ around and kev’s gonna end up owning THE WHOLE DAMN CIRCUIT, or at least have a corner named after him.


  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “I wouldn’t be surprised if this settles in the 11th hour.”

    the “11th hour” came and went 11 hours ago. empathy was yesterday, today they’re wasting his time…

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “but it will be very hard now that Austin feels like they made all this happen with the Mcombs people”

    it’s a good job “feelings” don’t mean dikk in the context of jurisprudence and a court of law. in contrast, signed documents are the equivalent of DEATH and TAXES.