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.

MotoGP: Pedrosa & Hayden Have Metalwork Removed

11/18/2013 @ 8:22 am, by David Emmett8 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Pedrosa & Hayden Have Metalwork Removed Dani Pedrosa MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 4 635x423

With the MotoGP season now officially ended, riders are taking the opportunity to have various medical niggles sorted out ready for 2014. Last week, Dani Pedrosa had the metal plate removed from his right collarbone; and on Sunday, Nicky Hayden had a screw removed from his right wrist.

Pedrosa’s surgery brings to a close a painful chapter in his life. The plate which has just been removed was inserted on his right collarbone after his clash with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans in 2011.

Pedrosa was reluctant to have surgery on his his right collarbone, as he was only just starting to recover from surgery on his left collarbone, which he had injured at Motegi in 2010.

The operation to fix that injury had seen screws compress the artery leading down to his left arm, causing a loss of feeling during racing. The clash with Simoncelli took place just weeks after an operation to resolve the thoracic outlet syndrome which had resulted from the previous injury.

With the plate in his right collarbone removed, Pedrosa will need two weeks of rest before starting physical rehabilitation. The recovery period should give his collarbone time to heal, and for bone growth to fill in the holes left by the screws, restoring his collarbone to full strength.

Over in the US, Nicky Hayden has had surgery to remove a screw holding together the scaphoid he injured in a crash at Valencia in 2011. Since that crash, Hayden had suffered irritation in his right wrist, his hand often swelling up quite badly. Hayden exacerbated the injury in 2012, when he crashed during qualifying at Indianapolis.

With the swelling getting worse this year, Hayden decided to have the screw removed by Dr. Ting in California after this season. Surgery went well, and Hayden posted up pictures both before and after on his Instagram and Twitter pages.

Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.


  1. KSW says:

    Man I’m glad my non healing scaphoid doesn’t have metal. The scaphoid, a common injury among motorcyclists, is indeed a fickle beast and when it goes wrong there it’s a lifetime of pain. Now, if only someone could do something about my non functioning frontal lobes that require a pill every morning…. Head injuries are the other thing that aren’t easy to manage. When these riders become older they will surely be hurting all over. Best to save some of that big $$ they’re making now to take of the injuries later.

  2. TexusTim says:

    these guys are tough..my olner and radius have never been the same in my left wrist..poor circulation…it sucks but when I ride I dont notice it at all but as soon as I get off the bike it hurts like hell. left shoulder, collar bone and vertabrea in base of my neck also…yea I still ride.

  3. ircsmith says:

    I dont understand the plates being used on the top athletes in this class. the protrusion of the plate and the screws just create potential catching points for ligaments and nerves. both my clavicles have been screwed. first figuratively then literally. all internal to the bone. nothing to catch on and much stronger out the door. I was back on the track 5 days (or was it 6?) after my first operation. granted thats no Jorge feat of strength, plus mine didn’t hurt in the least out on track. making me a super wimp! why are these top athletes still getting plated?

  4. Zander says:

    I broke my femur into several pieces, some choosing to exit my leg. After a few screws and a full length Ti rod, plus bone graft surgery and three months to heal, I was back on two wheels (much to my surgeon’s disbelief). I nearly did destroy my sciatic so I have some numb areas but little discomfort otherwise. My orthopedic surgeon later stated that we could have the metal removed so I asked, “what are the benefits?” “None, really.” was his reply. So my options are to live with a titanium reinforced femur or go under the knife for more invasive surgery. I’ll choose the option that keeps me in the saddle and out of the wheelchair, thank you very much.

  5. MIke says:

    ircsmith as to why they are getting plated I do not know but perhaps it is more armor like?
    Considering they will immediately return to a track where they may once again be ejected at 300kph?

    I bet these guys are happy when they get metal removed. Because with all the international travel they do they must set off many detectors passing thru gates at airports. :)

    I knew an older man who had a knee replacement & he always got the TSA third degree leaving America.

  6. L2C says:

    Yo, did HRC and Repsol slip you a fiver this weekend, JB, or what? ;-)

  7. L2C says:

    Oops, wrong thread. Hrhrhr…

  8. Jordan Goodison says:

    Pedrosa is a machine haha… The amount of times he’s gone under the knife is pretty amazing. I broke the scaphoid in my dominant hand in ’11, I was in a cast for a year before they finally decided to due to non-union. Fixed it up with a little titanium screw (doesn’t beep at airports :P) and a bit of bone from my hip. My surgeon said much the same thing about removing it, but it’s only one screw, and tiny. To be honest I was pretty nervous about going under (for a relatively simple op), although the morphine hit me like a truck and I didn’t even start counting backwards from 10.

    But yeah, breaking your scaphoid sucks… no idea how these guys come back from injuries so quickly… The fact that they’re pushing the limit with these types of injuries just show how courageous/mental they are, surely you’ve got to have some self-preservation knowing that your extremities are being held together by metal…