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.

Jesse James Closes Down West Coast Choppers

10/16/2010 @ 9:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Jesse James Closes Down West Coast Choppers West Coast Choppers Dominator Ted Puryer 635x458

This one hits us out of the blue, but according to Cyril Huze, Jesse James has shutdown for good his custom chopper business: West Coast Choppers. If true, it’s not clear what will become of James’ Long Beach based company, but it looks like West Coast Choppers’ frames and parts will be produced by Daytec and Belt Drive LTD respectively, and sold through Custom Chrome. More info as we get it, but considering this news is hitting us during the weekend, we don’t expect to hear much before Monday.

Source: Cyril Huze Blog via Basem Wasef; Photos: West Coast Choppers


  1. gloverka says:

    Jesse James Closes Down West Coast Choppers – http://bit.ly/b39pOm #motorcycle http://ow.ly/19uhRO

  2. Rolf says:

    Probably an impulsive emotional decision, my guess is that he’ll be back.

  3. irksome says:

    Probably a rational business decision; my guess is America’s chopper fascination is all done.

  4. CZ says:


  5. Tom says:

    America’s love of overpriced underperforming poseurmobiles has come to an end. They were bikes for a time of easy credit and low self-esteem. I haven’t done the market research to validate this, but I think that there is a considerable market of Americans who would buy an American made bike that was special (like a Ducati) but not a chopper or cruiser. I sure as hell would and I finally have the disposable income to buy one so long as it were priced around (lower than) a Ducati. West Coast Choppers will not be missed by many.

  6. import says:

    Tom, America made those bikes. They were called Buells. No one bought them either. Maybe Erik will have better luck now that he is out from under the HD banner.

  7. Sean says:

    Too close to call! While you are all correct, it indeed could be a rash decision. Jesse James isn’t exactly Warren Buffett.

  8. CP says:

    Buells were garbage. under performing, overpriced, and ugly as sin. Then they payed off DMG so they could run almost twice the displacement of it’s competitor’s Japanese made sport bikes to make a name for themselves as a “performance” company. I agree with Tom. the US needs a national brand like Ducati. HD almost had it with their short term ownership of MV Augusta too, but MV is back in the hand of the italians.

  9. froryde says:

    @ CP: No matter even if HD still owned MV, MV will always be considered an Italian company and Italian brand.

    As much as you hate to admit it, Buell was the closest the US came to having an national performance bike brand (and probably will be for a while).

  10. Tom says:

    froryde, you are probably right about Buell being it for a while. However, CP is also correct n the Buell’s were subpar in their engines and design – although I still think that the Buell Blast was the ideal beginner bike that has been made in my adult lifetime. There are a few Buells that I have seen here in Japan and they all have crap seats, but over 20,000K so the Japanese must love them. Buell’s also had a design that most people didn’t grab on to but Buell’s biggest problem was always being sold at HD dealers where the faithful would not touch them and non-HD people simply will not go. I went to some HD dealers near West Palm Beach a few years ago looking for a Blast and you’d thought I had come in as a Muslim terrorist!

    Ducatis are beautiful and so are MV Agustas – you are right about MV always being an Italian brand but HD could have taken things it learned there and applied them to Buells……but, HD chose, once again, to be losers. HD has no design aesthetic and they think that every American bike must only have a V-Twin.

    There could have been an American sport company if Eller had gotten Indian and if Excelsior-Henderson hadn’t had the rug pulled out from under them. I still think that there is a market of Americans who want to win and would support an American company that cost a little more than the Japanese bikes if the US bike were well engineered and aesthetically beautiful. I think that the Americans could never compete with the Japanese on price but we certainly could compete with the Italians on engineering and design.

  11. shawn says:

    jesse closeing down the west coast shop!!!! say it anit so? ive alwas been a big fan of jesse work and alwas will be tell the day i die! when the time came to watch occ or west coast choppers or monster garage i was glued to the tv wacthen jesse and his crazy and sick biker build off.if i’d had a chance to build a bike with jesse i quit work and leave everything behind and go do it! oh well guess that will never happen will it your #1 fan

  12. Dave says:

    Don’t know why his shutting his doors “hit you out of the blue”, when he had announced a month or so earlier that he was moving to Texas to be close to his estranged wife and the kid(s) they had together.

  13. Greg says:

    Good riddance! I wish nothing but poverty and unhappiness on this racist dbag……..

  14. Pearl Jones says:

    Jesse James Closes Down West Coast Choppers: This one hits us out of the blue, but according to Cyril Huze, Jesse … http://bit.ly/c97wPM

  15. Roger says:

    As a ex-GP motorcycle racer, I have generally dispised harleys or anything that looks or underperforms on paved roads. I have raced pupose built racing 125 and 250cc GP bikes in the US, Europe and Japan. But Jesse James motorcylces sparked my interest in artisan motorcycles. He is an artist who produces works of art. His designs are unconventional yet graceful.
    One look at designs like The Radial Engine bike he built demonstrate his genius and just how radical his designs can go. His less radical designs leave me in awe in their compactness and simplicity. The organic look and feel of his designs are obviously the result of hand-worked materials that make me want to own one. His respect for Ducatis and MV Agustas demonstrate his openmindedness and respect for performance oriented manufacturers and designs. I don’t look at his motorcycles as such, rather I look at them no differently than a sculpture.

  16. Shovelman says:

    For Greg, who are you to call Jessie James a racist dbag. He works for a living like alot of people don’t, and hide under the minority banner and are racist exempted. Probably fits your description Jackass!

  17. lutherG says:

    @shovelman: perhaps the phrase “like a lot of people don’t, and hide under the minority banner” might seem ok to you, to the rest of us it sure looks bigoted. As to american sport bikes, I think indian could have become this except for the fact that every owner has tried to reproduce it as the 53 chief which really ran the factory into the ground. The 101 scout,and sport scouts of the 30′s were smoking hot little machines, and with overhead valve kits could match the horsepower produced by the sporters of the 70′s.

    Eric Buell is an amazing egomanic, and his bikes are quite possibly the ugliest on the road.

  18. sharin says:

    OH I’M SO sorry…I actually thought u were dead…
    New the name, not the face , and I just saw u baggin out pilgrams….m.m.m.m. how funny.
    why cant u play the trumpet? yeah I get IT…
    Who r u…and what else can u do?
    jesse james homemade toolboxes…What colours are they in.
    I have to agree… that bike u designed…ahh..I LIKE IT..
    Im sure This chick was on the radio…(oz) talkin bout u and what u do…u know…If ur the guy resting from s.bullock… she was atellin all about ur…package and how it works… Some hoe bags …I hope u dont give a shit…or did u just set it all up..
    need to make a coffee… wanna check some of those tatts, no I not tryin to tune u…
    Yes… mysterious… you have one of my grand fathers names.
    im not trying to give o.winfrey shit…she does that all by herself…
    Can:t u get a replacement shift…she stay way where she is u come down under give me one of ur custom made tool boxes… that sounds much more feesible than a potential terrorrists attack…

    Where the remote… shes on the right now..

    I should’nt talk to strangers..

  19. ray says:

    you guys all ssuck you dont even know jessee i help put hes figer 8 cars together sandra was eight behind him thats why she went to txas they bouth had houses there out of the bull like you all go jessee and sandea stay happy f cal