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.

Ducati Will Run Six Bikes in MotoGP Next Year

07/29/2010 @ 5:58 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Ducati Will Run Six Bikes in MotoGP Next Year Karel Abraham Barcelona Cardion AB1 635x423

Karel Abraham has just confirmed that he will be riding a Ducati Desmosedici GP11 in next year’s MotoGP Championship series. Who is Abraham you may be asking? Well he’s the son of Karel Abraham of course. Yeah…we didn’t think that would explain things very well either. Let’s put it this way, Abraham Sr. is the owner of the GP track at Brno, and Abraham Jr. is his son that has never won a race, let alone a podium, at any GP level race.

Swelling Ducati’s numbers on the MotoGP grid, Karel Abraham (Jr.) will be the sixth Ducati on the grid, which includes the two factory Ducatis of Marlboro Ducati, the two semi-factory Ducatis of Pramac Ducati, and the satellite Ducati of Team Aspar. That’s a lot of Desmos.

Currently rolling around the Moto2 series in 14th, the 20-year-old Abraham Jr. will continue to under the Cardion AB Motoracing banner in MotoGP. The deal seemingly has come together as Dorna looks for more bikes to fill the 2011 ranks, and to expand it’s appeal to international markets, which seemingly means where there’s a GP there should be a native rider as well. The word on the street is the Abraham Sr. is financing most of the MotoGP team for Jr., who will certainly get a trial by fire in the big show.

We can expect a formal announcement at the Czech GP in two weeks time. In other news, our Dad bought us a pony.

Source & Photo: Karel Abraham’s Blog


  1. Ed Gray says:

    Do they still have the 107% cut off time?

  2. Peter says:

    Oh god. This could be really bad. Not only for the young man, but for others on the track with him.

    Who says money doesn’t buy happiness? I would do a lot of things to be able to ride a Desmo.

  3. waepoint says:

    I’m sure the Czech fans will go wild watching their native son getting lapped.

  4. eze1976 says:

    MotoGP needs more racers not backmarkers, and it sounds like this one is going to just get left for dead, no way he finishes season, maybe 4 races

  5. motojp46 says:

    87 races, 29 DNFs, no wins, no podiums, no poles, and no fastest laps. Crashed out of his home race (Dads track) 4 out of five times. He aint ready. Getting in way over his head. My concern is rider safety.

  6. e6 says:

    Is desmo desperate for money? WTF! I have a brilliant idea, lets get a kid who spend more time on the asphalt then on the bike. FIM needs to step in, not only for his safety and of other but for the sport.

  7. buellracerx says:

    I wonder how many truly great racers there are out there that just never get the $ opportunity to try…tragic

    this is like cheating to win…how can he enjoy running when he knows it’s just b/c daddy bought his way in??

  8. Allan Engel says:

    Via another site I am to understand that in testing the GP11 at Mugello earlier this year Karel equaled Hayden’s times and was half a second quicker then the other satellite Ducati riders. Don’t be too quick to judge.

  9. Jenny Gun says:

    If I told you I lapped quicker than Nicky Hayden at a private test, would you believe me?

  10. joe says:

    Only if the lap included an essay portion.

  11. patron says:

    Was there anyone from Ducati to verify his times? Did they just give him a bike and say, “let us know how it goes”?

  12. Ducati Will Run Six Bikes in MotoGP Next Year – http://aspha.lt/18f #motorcycle

  13. Dave says:

    @Joe… HA! cracked me up

    To be 14th in Moto2 you can’t be too much of a slouch.
    But to move to MotoGP with that record…like Eastwood said…”deserve’s got nothin to do with it.” I guess that is true to some degree in racing also.

  14. Bjorn says:

    Is Abraham senior looking to adopt? If so, please pass on my details.

  15. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Ducati Will Run Six Bikes in MotoGP Next Year – http://aspha.lt/18f #motorcycle

  16. Dmoney says:

    Money talks BS walks, you can buy a ride in most racing series, including F1. Also testing is testing, the riders are not usually going for lap times, they are busy doing other things like setting up the bike. I would like to see his fastest laps and compare them to the other satellite riders fastest laps.

  17. loki says:

    Yes, I am “Ducatist”. I have owned a few Ducatis now, and I am just proud that such a small manufacturer will have so many bikes on the grid of the sport that is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. Well done Bologna!

  18. Chris says:

    Like Ducati is going to say no? He owns one of the freakin tracks on the MotoGp circuit for God sake! Just take the money and smile as you continue to sell him millions in tech support and crash replacement parts! : )