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.

Unified Toll System in the Works for the Europe Union

01/23/2014 @ 7:48 pm, by Bryan Delohery10 COMMENTS

Unified Toll System in the Works for the Europe Union tollbooth kiosk vintage

Since the inception of the European Union in 1993, politicians in the EU have been spouting off about the advantages of a “unified Europe,” claiming that it would bring all of its member states under one economic system with one currency, allowing them to act cooperatively for the “greater good.”

Of the many advantages touted to be included in the EU was the ability to travel freely between member states with no passports, unfortunately one crucial system that was not unified was the toll system.

Because the member states of the EU have been left to implement their own system to collect toll fares, this has left traveling between countries difficult and often expensive, which is why EU is planning to implement the European Electronic Toll Service.

Some of the costs incurred by having multiple different toll systems is the requirement for truck drivers to have several different electronics systems on-board, specifically for those using E-ZPass type systems.

The problem here is that certain countries, choosing not to cooperate, would consider a motorcycle a car simply for toll purposes, while other countries properly distinguish them as motorcycles.

Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark, and Poland have decided they are going to be set the example and be the first to implement an electronic pass system to ease travel across their borders.

According to a report on the Government of the Netherlands website, EETS went into effect for trucks and cargo vehicles in 2012 and is scheduled to take effect for most other vehicles on Oct. 8 of this year. If you wish to read the EU document in it’s entirety, it can be found here.

Source: Bikes in the Fast Lane


  1. paulus says:

    That’s a positive step.
    Here in Thailand we are still fighting to allow motorcycles onto the toll roads :(

  2. BBQdog says:

    The EU, nearly non of their residents want it. Undemocratic like the former USSR and corrupt.
    Currently there are not many countries withing the EU with toll, but when the EU gets their way we always end up paying more.

  3. walkingshadow says:

    @BBQdog : as always nobody want to pay, but everybody wants the service …
    EU is ruled and corrupted by lobbies and big-businness like other “democratic countries” worldwide
    “Technical problems” are generated by politicians than don’t know of EU unity mus to be improved by daily life.
    One example ? Why EU has open the inner borders to citizen and goods but it has not planned an uniforation of traffic signs and road laws ? The answer is political (and here is note the right place to talk about it).
    EU needs unity a technical unity ans it could be easy, simplyfing the daily life.

  4. Jackoat says:

    Sounds like a good move, and whilst it doesn’t affect me it must be good if you drive across Europe for a living. It would be good if the tolls also got ‘managed down’ a chunk too. Bikes impose such a low level of wear and tear on a road that they should go for virtually nothing. It’s trucks that pound the roads to bits and they should bear the proportionate cost, even over cars, if life was fair…….
    I agree that this is a not a political forum but I just cannot help myself making the observation that people dying in Ukraine seems to say something about European democracy being somewhat better than the current Russian version. They seem to be close enough to know……
    That said, Russia also seems to be learning that the world has changed in the last century and they have only moved towards democracy in the relatively recent past.
    On the road signs – I think agreeing a common language might be a slight problem just now. As for the pictograms I think they are fairly easy to understand and at least they are a reminder that driving standards/attitudes are probably a little different to what you are used to.
    Getting everybody driving on the same side is probably a higher, but way more expensive, need.

  5. BBQdog says:

    @walkingshadow: I meant: nobody wants the EU. Nor their toll system.

  6. smiler says:


    Apologies but that is just not true.

    France, Spain and Italy spring to mind.

    The toll bridges between Denmark and Sweden used by millions each year.The internal bridges in Denmark.

    The conjection charge, the M6 Toll Road

    The Chunnel

    To name but a few examples.

    Ever been to the USSR?

    Not to mention the possibility to automate the Chunnel and the congestion charge in the UK, the toll roads in Italy that operate 2 systems,

  7. walkingshadow says:

    @smiler : in Italy 2 systems ? “Telepass” is a de-facto standard of non-stoppping toll system.

    @BBQdog : 1. i dont’ like generalization. 2. I dont’ need more hate around. 3. I live in EU i know what i mean …

  8. Jimmyc says:

    Having travelled through Spain, Italy and France and used the toll system, I can’t say having to stop at tolls and dig some cash out has been too much of a pain. I think this is aimed more at people perhaps living in one country and commuting into another.

    The problem is where does it stop? If it’s easier to pay toll, then it’s also easier to charge tolls. Will this eventually lead to an increase in toll roads in countries like the UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands? Countries that at present don’t have many.

  9. Joe Sixpack says:


    All these “moto” journos should go into regular print journalism they’re so lefty.

  10. walkingshadow says:

    Maybe it was a misunderstanding about the non-stopping toll : no, it isn’t needed.
    But the good news about the intent of a european toll-consortium opens the “practical questions” …
    An “european toll card” or a “EU temporary toll permission (like Austrina system)” will have a warm welcome from a lot of people.