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.

BMW Continues Changes in WSBK Team Structure

12/18/2010 @ 7:26 pm, by Victoria Reid11 COMMENTS

BMW Continues Changes in WSBK Team Structure davide tardozzi

After rumored and real strife at the end of the WSBK season, BMW Motorrad continues to rearrange their team structure. The team, according to a recent press release, has continued on with the restructuring. BMW Motorrad Motorsport announced Thursday that Rainer Bäumel is the new Head of Race Operations, after being the Technical Director, with Stephan Fischer Head of Development, and Josef Hofmann the Managing Director of the factory.  After leaving Ducati at the end of the 2009 season and signing on as team manager for BMW for the 2010 season and producing something a turnaround for the team, Davide Tardozzi either left or was forced out due to “different ideas regarding the structure of the team,” leaving Bernhard Gobmeier to named as BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director in October.

According to Gobmeier, Thursday’s announcement might just be the end of the restructuring, “In filling these three key positions we are concluding the restructuring of the team management.” He also noted that this “new formation is leaner and the division of labour more clearly delineated,” which is either a statement of the obvious or a bit of a slap to Tardozzi’s management style, since “All three report directly to…Gobmeier.”

Bäumel’s position looks to be Team Manager with a fancier title, at least according to Gobmeier’s explanation that he “will now control trackside operations and take responsibility for the deployment of the race team.” This announcement also suggests that the team had made good on the rumors circulating at the end of the 2010 season that a clear-out of non-German staff was occurring and that things would soon be settled, at least in the management of the team, with a far heavier German influence.

Meanwhile, according to Gobmeier, “Head of Development Stephan Fischer will be in charge of further development of the BMW S1000RR. This brings with it a much closer interlocking with colleagues in series production development than was previously the case. Josef Hofmann, as Managing Director of alpha Racing, will head up the factory in Stephanskirchen and take care of logistics, personnel and finance.”

With the WSBK season beginning again in just over two months’ time, BMW Motorrad has their work cut out to show that this restructuring has worked for the best. Troy Corser will again race for the team in 2011, with Leon Haslam having replaced Ruben Xaus. They will be testing in Eastern Creek, Australia at the end of January before an early February two day test at Philip Island and participation in the official WSBK test at Philip Island just days before the season kicks off there, with the first race of the season February 27, 2011.

Source: Roadracing World


  1. Craig says:

    You have your riders back to front…..

  2. how so?
    Xaus is riding for Ten Kate in 2011 (taking Max Neukirchner’s 2009 seat as the German is off to Moto2), and Corser has replaced him. Haslam is staying with BMW.

  3. Craig says:

    Your joking right,

    Corser is and has been BMW’s number 1 rider since its conception in Wsbk and Haslam is replacing Xaus for 2011… Its not hard …really!

  4. no, you’re right…I am a monumental idiot sometimes and this is one of them.
    Thanks for catching that and calling me out on it. If you look above, you’ll notice I’ve fixed it. Many apologies, and I’ve no excuse other than not thinking. at all.

  5. Craig says:

    Its all good, im just a bit grumpy as im still hungover from last night….Hahahaha

  6. bruce armstrong says:

    Germans and Italians not getting along! Who’d a’ guessed it? BMW has to win a race or three this year……the development year is done, the consolidation year is done and now it’s time to get on top of the box, expecially given how little new stuff their rivals have thrown at them. Bruce

  7. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: BMW Continues Changes in WSBK Team Structure After Tardozzi Departure – http://bit.ly/h2CXRI #motorcycle

  8. Jim says:

    The smiley faces are off and even BMW’s biggest fanboys are admitting that if the WSBK effort doesn’t produce results soon, it will begin to draw comparisons to Harley’s AMA superbike effort or perhaps closer to Berlin, BMW’s own F1 flailing.

    Speaking of which, the F1 team was dumped before the 2010 season and now BMW is withdrawing from the European touring car series. This retrenchment could be a prelude to shutting down the WSBK effort if it doesn’t produce this year.

  9. Willie says:

    I still don’t understand the strategy. The BMW auto experience should have informed on the myopic philosophy of being in all markets while diluting your ownership of strong segments. Remember the X5 ?

    The affluent segment is the most fickle of any while also offering very limited growth. Especially now. Among those of you ready to buy the best of machines, which is more appealing: Any Italian or the 4 cylinder BMW ?

    I almost understand the new 6 cylinder. But the market perception of “The Ultimate” changes.

    Have to admire the Germans, though. They like a challenge. Even if its just for the sake of challenge.

  10. Damo says:

    I am glad they are trying something, the 2010 was disappointing to say the least.

    If John Rea stays healthy and with the strong team Aprilia is fielding next season, I think it will be another Honda/Aprilia show next year.

  11. SBPilot says:

    @ Jim. BMW is pulling out of a factory effort in WTCC to put in a full factory effort in DTM, which is quite a bit more challenging and resources costing than WTCC. The cars in DTM are exponentially quicker and more complicated.

    BMW has had a great accomplishments in touring cars the past year. With the M3 they won the constructors in American Le Mans in just their second season, and won the 24 Nurburgring out right the in the First year competing in it with the Schnitzer M3 Team. If BMW continues this prgoress in the new year (winning drivers and constructors), and does well in DTM, it will almost be like the E30 days of dominance. BMW proved itself in WTCC already winning multiple championships.

    I am a bit confused with the management shuffling of BMW in WSBK. I agree BMW in ’11 will be expected to start winning races. Hopefully all those S1000RR sales in ’10 will contribute to some investment in their WSBK program! haha. Wasn’t a Haslam fan but, go Haslam and Corser!