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.

Austin GP: Yes, No, Maybe So…

02/08/2011 @ 5:22 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Austin GP: Yes, No, Maybe So... Austin GP track elevation 635x433

While the Indianapolis GP has been renewed for another season, talk continues to swell regarding the Brickyard, and whether it will remain on the MotoGP calendar. While a notably historic track in the United States, and a venue capable of easily handling an event like GP racing, track conditions at Indianapolis weighed heavily on riders’ minds while contending with the midwest circuit this past season.

With members of the GP safety commission audibly displeased with the track’s layout and and changing tarmac patches, and a new GP-quality track in Austin, Texas currently being built, the writing appears to be on the wall for Indy. Playing host to Formula One US GP (which ironically used to be held at Indianapolis) from 2012 to 2021, the new track in Austin has however denied talks with MotoGP, and having the series race at its venue. But don’t believe everything you hear.

Dorna boss man Carmelo Ezpeleta has confirmed that he has been in talks with the Texan track, and is eying perhaps a 2013 date with the circuit. Willing to let Formula One take the lead on that locale, Carmelo has simply stated that “it’s a very nice project,” and something he is watching closely. To date, the biggest bargaining chip that Indy has been able to play is the lack of circuits in the United States for GP racing.

Not only must a track meet FIM requirements for safety, distance, and accommodations in order to be in MotoGP’s consideration, but geography plays an integral role as to whether a venue can profitably host such an event. With the only other possibility right now virtually being Miller Motorsports Park, home to the American World Superbike round, MotoGP’s choice with Indy is to either run there, or at an entirely different country (India seems to be high on the list, with another Formula One venue to take place there as well).

While it looks like Indianapolis will be secure in renewing its one-year contract with Dorna this season, expect to see another one-year commitment, and some very tense track officials at the Brickyard this August.

Source: AutoWeekSport Rider


  1. phil says:

    Another crappy “made for television” circuit. Why can’t the circuit designers plan a track that actually is good for racing? Who needs stop/start racing? Where are the sweeping, high-speed corners like the Parabolica at Monza or the similarly named corner at Estoril? They wonder why people don’t want to watch the racing. It’s because the tracks are garbage.

  2. Kev says:

    Finally, Its about time people look past the “Brickyard” and see that there are other venues that could more successfully host a US MotoGP event. I will all ways support Laguna Seca but a second race in Austin would be fantastic!

  3. Shaitan says:

    It should have a crocodile pit or shark water trap and perhaps a topless sunbathing corner just to give the MotoGP riders things to fear (since we know most topless beaches don’t have pretty people anyhow), because the track layout looks kinda dull.

    Then again, so long as the run offs are build safe, the corners wide enough to allow passing, the spectator areas well shaded, and the track surface well maintained it’s a win-win for the U.S.

  4. Philip says:

    I agree that Indy should be dropped from the list of MotoGP circuits, last season proved how inadequate and unsafe that track has become for motorcycle racing – not to mention it’s hideous. However, as much as I love the Laguna Seca GP, the US should have at least one more track that hosts these races if Dorna wants to keep/increase its presence in the states. I think Austin would be fantastic not only because it’s a beautiful city but two highly notable riders in Spies and Edwards are both Texans. Not to mention that words would could not describe how ecstatic I would be if I could ride my bike up there from Houston for a weekend of GP racing!!

  5. RSVDan says:

    I’m really not getting some folks are calling this track dull! It’s far superior to Indy in every way, and Austin is a hell of a lot more fun than Indianapolis to visit, not to mention cheaper! Take another look at the track from the overhead perspective and you get a better idea of the layout. The elevation rendering gives it a strange perspective. The track is long, has a great combination of flowing sections, technical bits, and a long, fast straight combined with some vicious elevation changes. That turn one charge up the hill is gonna be epic!

    Here’s another perspective of the track: http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2010/9/11198.html

    I say bring on Austin!

  6. You forgot to mention the better food Dan. A&R is powered by burritos, and really should be sponsored by Chipotle.

  7. wayne says:

    I have been hoping MotoGP would be in talks with these guys since my buddy, who lives outside Austin, hipped me to the build. After the last Indy GP, I thought it would be the *last* Indy GP based on how the riders were talking. I can’t see this being anything but good for motorcycle racing in the US, the city of Austin and Dorna. And having friends outside Austin where I could crash for free ain’t bad either!

  8. Mike L. says:

    Um, pretty opinionated after seeing a line drawing, eh?

    Road America! It needs some mods, but not many.

    Anyway, as a former racer I can tell you that all tracks are good except the bumpy ones.

  9. Mike L. says:

    Oh, and Phoenix. And Mid Ohio. and Sears when it was so dangerous. Ok, lots of tracks might be a little sketchy and very scary…but not new, wide, smooth ones- they’re all good.

  10. Damo says:


    I am not sure why people are saying this track looks dull either. People are probably just shitting on it because it is another American course.

  11. RSVDan says:

    @ Mike L.

    I agree Road America is a great track as well, but it will never host a GP. It’s in the middle of nowhere! When Sheboygan is your closest city, I doubt DORNA will have much interest, or many other folks for that matter. The infrastructure just isn’t in place. Where are 50,000+ people going to stay, eat and shop?

  12. RSVDan – that is a good question to contemplate over a beverage. Road America will have the track map bottle opener/key chain available for sale this season. Check them out.