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.

Marco Simoncelli To Be Named a “MotoGP Legend”

02/03/2014 @ 1:00 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Marco Simoncelli To Be Named a MotoGP Legend Marco Simoncelli MotoGP Legend Scott Jones 635x423

The MotoGP Championship is in Sepang this week, for the first of its pre-season tests ahead of the 2014 season. Making an announcement at the site where Marco Simoncelli tragically lost his life during the Malaysian Grand Prix back in 2011, MotoGP has come up with a fitting way to tribute the popular Italian rider.

Simoncelli will thus join Grand Prix racing’s hall of fame, and officially become a “MotoGP Legend” — the 21st rider to receive the sport’s high honor — with a ceremony that will be held at the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello.

Marco Simoncelli’s introduction as a MotoGP Legend means he will join the ranks of Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Freddie Spencer, John Surtees, Casey Stoner, and Carlo Ubbiali in this great recognition from our sport.

Source: Dorna; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    I loved Simoncelli. I loved the way he rode, his crazy afro, the way he cheezed off the really talented riders (Lorenzo). …I hate to be a wet blanket, but Simoncelli was a fan favorite and he was big on ballz but he wasn’t on his way to becoming a legend. He was on the level of a Bradl or Bautista or maybe a Crutchlow in terms of talent.

    He gave his life to the sport and there should be a special place for him. Not sure the HOF is that place.

  2. crshnbrn says:

    “He gave his life to the sport and there should be a special place for him.” Of that there is no doubt.

    “Not sure the HOF is that place.” It is too bad he didn’t have the opportunity to prove it is.

  3. Smitch says:

    I agree with Chaz. I’ve argued with friends that there seems to be this Simoncelli death cult. He seems more popular because he died. He was an interesting character and I think he was good for the sport, but he was not a legend.

  4. paulus says:

    I am with the above… Legend is not warranted

  5. ML says:

    I think he was on his way to become a legend in one form or another, but the tragic accident cut his life short.

    I am glad he will be honored and no, I’m not part of the death cult. That’s somewhat silly….

  6. tonifumi says:

    Oh, come on! A tragic death – certainly, a future Motogp champion – maybe, a Motogp legend – NO.

  7. L2C says:

    Well, he is a MotoGP legend. Of that there can be no doubt. Not in the same way as Agostini or Stoner, but in his own way. For whatever reason, or however it happened, he captured the imagination of legions of fans, the media, as well as his competitors. This qualifies. Therefore his place in the Hall of Fame is completely appropriate.

    A personality cult is a basic requirement of legendary status. All of the MotoGP Legends have one. The votes are simply in Marco Simoncelli’s favor, in addition to his World Champion Status. There is no reasonable way to argue against his induction. Besides, I happen to agree with this final measure of honoring him and letting him go. It is deserving of his memory. His memory, which of course, we now hold.

  8. L2C says:

    And anyway, what is it about “Hall of Fame” or “Legend” that’s so hard to understand?

    Pedantic? Maybe. But *Fame* and *Legend* are the two titles that Marco claimed while he was alive and well. His third title, the 250 Champion, is almost beside the point of how most people perceived him.

    Again, his induction is completely appropriate. And, again, I happen to agree with it.

  9. Damn says:

    wrong just wrong. nice rider with charisma but absolutely no legend. but that was the same for stoner. a 2 times champ and LEGEND!! maybe next you can become legend not even winning the title!!! oh damn that just happend!!! maybe i can become legend to by watching motogp

  10. L2C says:

    He’s a legend because you’re sitting there writing about him and saying that he isn’t one. You think a legend is unanimous? That’s where you’re wrong. All legends are controversial.

    In other words, all legends are the same story told in countless different ways. Ask Jesus. Ask Mohammad. Ask Buddha.

    Marco may not have been your hero, but he is certainly now the stuff of legend. Whether you agree or not. His narrative has been spread far and wide — much of it by himself just living life how he saw fit. And here you are on a blog participating in a forum that exists for the sole purpose of extending his legend.

    Denial does not trump recognition. You cannot revoke your praises.

  11. David says:

    These riders died racing 500cc Grand Prix (some in practise):

    Dave Bennett (UK),Ernie Ring (AUS),Dennis Lashmar (UK),Ricardo Galvagni (ARG)(practise),Adolfo Covi (ITA), Karl Recktenwald (GER), Christian Ravel (FRA), Patrick Pons (FRA), Iwao Ishikawa (JPN)(practise),Michel Frutschi (CH),Norman Brown (UK),Peter Huber (CH),Kevin Wrettom (UK)(practise),Daijiro Kato (JPN)

    Where do they fit in?

  12. MrDefo says:

    So where’s Rossi? He’s a multiple season champion – and has a cult of personality. I haven’t done much research on it, but doesn’t he seem more deserving than Simoncelli? Or is it a requirement to die before you can be a legend? Micky Doohan’s still alive.

  13. gene church says:

    who said you had to win championships . he was a champion in the making.

  14. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    I don’t think I ever saw anything in his short MotoGP career to suggest he was a champion in the making, let alone a legend in the making. He was barely hanging onto his ride with San Carlo Honda, he was fighting tooth and nail with Bautista. That wouldn’t suggest a championship is right around the corner or “in the making.” He was a great character. Would he have one day been a champion? maybe… but honestly, probably not.

    Another thing, I would contend his riding style wasn’t condusive to becoming a champion. He was reckless. Let’s just call it like it was. Pedrosa and Lorenzo complained about it (rightfully) during that fateful season and certainly others felt the same. Before anyone suggests “well so was Marquez.” Marquez is dominating the field and winning races and at a talent level that has him on a factory bike.

    Why does he have to be crowned a legend anyway? Why can’t he just be remembered for exactly as he was? I’m forever his fan regardless.

  15. Peter G says:

    He wasn’t a ” legend ” in my opinion… Just a reckless rider.

  16. crshnbrn says:

    @ Mr Defo,

    It is more common for people to be inducted into a Hall Of Fame after they retire than it is while they are still actively engaged in whatever pursuits they are recognized for. Rossi will be inducted in due time.

    I hate to say it, but sometimes it seems as if inductions such as this are more generously awarded posthumously. Someone who gives their life to something is honored, while somone who doesn’t yet achieves greater success is not recognized. It is unfortunate that this post is not over whether his accomplishments during a lengthy MotoGP career warranted being inducted into the Hall Of Fame instead of if it is a fitting way to honor his life.

  17. rt says:

    This seems like some PR move. He was fast and capable of winning races but nowhere close to aliens or winning championships. This is very bad.

  18. Phil says:

    It’s a hard one. I like that guy a lot and had him down for Motogp wins in his second year. All he needed was one year to get to grips with the bike ( like most do ) and he’s going to scare the pants off the lot of the Aliens. But sadly that never happened.

    Yes other riders have died but it’s really down to the organisers to decide who goes in and who stays out.

    “There is no right or wrong. I guess it’s a question of who you can relate to”

  19. Gutterslob says:

    The late Daijiro Kato – popular, very fast, 250cc champion – is on that list as well, so it’s not entirely unprecedented to include Simoncelli, I suppose.