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.

Left Side Story – Why Alan Kempster is Your Personal Hero

08/30/2012 @ 1:54 pm, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Left Side Story   Why Alan Kempster is Your Personal Hero Alan Kempster 635x425

You probably haven’t heard of Alan Kempster before, but we promise that by the end of the video posted after the jump, he will be your personal hero. A double-amputee, Mr. Kempster lost his right-arm and right-leg after a tragic accident, which saw a drunk driver hit Alan while he was riding his motorcycle.

Where many would have given-up, Alan persevered, and ultimately set out to resume his motorcycle racing efforts. Rigging his motorcycle to have its controls on the left-hand side, Alan finally convinced his local motorcycle racing league to let him compete. He won his very first race. His racing number is ½. Respect. Thanks for the tip John!

Source: Left Side Story


  1. Eric says:

    Older material:

  2. Jake says:

    Great story. Shame about the music, especially when they interrupted him mid sentence to bring us more of the song.

  3. harlan says:

    Oi, that’s not fair, he’s way lighter than his competitors!

    joking aside, he is truly an inspiration. A man with true balls of steel.

  4. MikeD says:

    W/e bitchin, complaint or problem that i had today have been completely made irrelevant AND burried by this.
    This guy just made me feel like some ungrateful S.O.B with no missing limbs (not that i want to miss any of it).
    U Sr. have a will, BALLS and skills made of steel.
    Carry on, inspire and empower others less fortunate in your same situation and/or condition.

  5. Phil says:

    I know Alan reasonably well and I can tell you that he is every bit as inspiring as the video shows him to be. Respect in scarcely adequate.

  6. ass hat says:

    back in the 90′s i was racing and in the field was a guy who lost his right lower leg. well, he lowsided and was fine, but his prosthesis detached.

    i’ll never forget the look of the corner worker who picked up his “leg.”


    good laugh that day.

  7. Wow. That guy’s really somethin’.

  8. mugget says:

    I think I heard of Alan a while ago when he was still trying to get his racing licenses etc. all in order. Was turning out to be a bit of a challenge…

    Glad to know that he has done it!

  9. Dewey says:

    BADASS! A will of iron and balls of steel. This man knows how to live.

  10. Kurt says:

    I’ve been keeping an eye on Al for a little over a year now. He’s truly been an inspiration to everyone I’ve shared his story with. These men and women who race with disabilities are everywhere. They are amazing people, often racing on outdated, ill-equipped machines, simply to enjoy the sport. Makes u step back and think when the last time was that you enjoyed the sport the way they do. RESPECT!!!

  11. Kevin says:

    Go to the face Book page for Left Side Story Alan Kempster Committee and LIKE the page if you think Alan is worth supporting. We are trying to help him fulfil his dreams. Have started to get him sponsors and things are starting to finally look up for him.

  12. Mans tears.

    MikeD agreed.

  13. Jes says:

    Proud to be Australian because of Alan.. Very proud.

  14. gsp75 says:

    Are Australian’s a different breed of racers ??? This man is a great inspiration to all with or w/o limbs !!!

  15. meatspin says:


  16. @Kevin: “Go to the face Book page for Left Side Story Alan Kempster Committee and LIKE the page if you think Alan is worth supporting.”

    Done, mate! :-D

  17. dc4go says:

    Man what a dude!! Sky’s the limit just have to aim for it unbelievable determination good for him…..

  18. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Left Side Story – Why Alan Kempster is Your Personal Hero http://t.co/FgMWB3Js

  19. The country is one where much of the flora and fauna are very dangerous. Its people are made of seriously tough stock.

  20. Ben says:

    to say our Flora and Fauna are very dangerous, that’s highly amusing.

    Alan is a lesson to everyone to take matters into your own hands to acheive what you want – inspirational video but really annoying how the music is brought in over him telling his story, drowning him out. Sack the sound editor please, now.

  21. Gritboy says:

    My dad was a quadriplegic, then triple amputee later in his life and I ride a motorcycle every day. It’s very inspirational to see someone rise up and refuse to abandon his passion.

  22. “to say our Flora and Fauna are very dangerous, that’s highly amusing.”

    I’m delighted to have amused you. A number of friends have regaled me over the years with tales of being chased(!) by eastern taipan and mates suffering from necrosis after being bitten on the sack (eep!) by redbacks. The risks of diving (one friend was an instructor for years) made light venomous fish, stingray and box jellyfish that could all kill ya. Yay! More venomous snakes than non-venomous on the continent. Awesome. And thanks to the funnel web spiders, the getting dressed mantra was “check your boots”. Cool.

    All that amusement aside, it’s fair to say that I haven’t had to deal with that level of f*&^-you-up in all my years of Canada and Japan. The worst I’ve had to deal with in my travels were the occasional bear and a few black widow spiders. I consider the difference between a rattler wanting to be left alone and a taipan coming at you from 4 metres away to be “significant”.

    But, hey, that’s just me. :-D

  23. Ben says:

    LOL… yeah, it’s just you. without wanting to derail what is a motivational thread, I’m sorry, but the chances of being chased by a snake, Eastern Taipan or otherwise, is limited to small parts of Australia, and only in the wilderness. Box jellyfish, funnel webs, you’re funny. You don’t walk out of your house and get confronted by these things. Your second-hand sensationalist reports are good entertainment though. Born here, lived in every state, including the bush. Sorry but your ideas are pure fantasy, but keep it up, for the entertainment of the readers :-D

  24. @Ben:

    Good to hear that the potential for demise of Australians has been greatly exaggerated! Would love to make it down to Phillip Island and catch the MotoGP some year. :)

  25. Bert says:

    Respeckt for Alan

    I know wat is it to drive 1-handed