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.

The Death of Moto Morini – Acquisition Deal Falls Through as Garelli/Berlusconi Walk Away

06/14/2010 @ 12:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

The Death of Moto Morini   Acquisition Deal Falls Through as Garelli/Berlusconi Walk Away Gran Passo 635x499

We were hoping to hear something definitive about the Moto Morini acquisition early this week, and the news arrived right on schedule…but just not what we thought we’d hear. Unable to reach an agreement with the trade unions, Paolo Berlusconi’s company, New Garelli, which was created specifically for the takeover of Moto Morini, has backed out of the acquisition of the historic Italian brand.

In their statement, New Garelli cites the company’s inability to reach a mutual agreement with the labor unions as it’s main reason for backing out of the deal. With no other buyers in the mix, and the trade unions seemingly an immovable object, Moto Morini seems destined for the dead pool. Find the company’s statement after the jump.

Statement from New Garelli Regarding Closure of Moto Morini Acquisition Proceedings (Google Translated from Italian):

In connection with the negotiation for the acquisition of the bankrupt company Moto Morini, New Garelli SpA intends to clarify that:

The meeting convened by the Department for Productive Activities of the Province of Bologna, Graziano Prantoni, now scheduled for Monday, June 14 at the headquarters of the province itself, was canceled and postponed indefinitely. The communication, received by fax late on Thursday, June 10, pleading for the cancellation, reasons little understood.

The meeting of June 14, started as the previous update, which took place June 7 us, given the positive discussions and in that case, the events of mutual interest to develop a mutually agreed solution between New Garelli and Trade Unions and marginal points remained outstanding in the intentions of all, it would have been an opportunity to formalize and sign the final agreement. Of course the agreement with the Trade Unions, prior to the submission by New Garelli, a new financial proposal to the Bankruptcy Court, would become binding when accepted component of the proposal.

In light of this new obstacle and thus unable to forge an agreement with Trade Unions For unclear reasons, New Garelli feels obliged to put an end to this affair that may have connotations of a soap opera serials, if he saw – which unfortunately happens – and at home without work involved the workers of Moto Morini failure.

New Garelli has gained the decision after twice – the first in the arrangement and the second after the bankruptcy, on specific call councilor Graziano Prantoni to reconsider its position to exclude an interest after the failure itself - sought a solution to another Moto Morini, with proposals that would safeguard the preservation of historical company in Bologna, maintained the occupation of a large number of resources, incentives offered to those residual and invested significantly, and that nevertheless saw the defeat efforts that would allow recovery of the assets of the company in Bologna.

Source: MotoBlog.it


  1. Peter says:

    So now what happens? Does anyone know? Is it certain that MM goes bust now, or how will the ‘pieces’ be handled?

    Too bad this…

  2. MTS Lust says:

    Very sad for the motorcycling industry and the workers. A union sure isn’t helping its people by causing the demise of their employer.

  3. csimon says:

    i believe he struck or is about to strike a deal for MV Agusta…

  4. Argie says:

    They always blame unions, its just a cop out.

  5. Berlusconi is not in the mix for buying MV, one can’t say for certain but I doubt this would make him start pursuing that brand now.

    For Moto Morini, this is basically the end of the road unless another buyer shows up (not likely). Whatever infrastructure that’s not bolted down, will get sold to pay creditors, and the union workers who put the kibosh on the deal, will all go unemployed and on the dole from the government.

    For Garelli the value was less about the Moto Morini brand and line, and more about a facility that’s ready to build motorcycles fairly cheaply. When you have unions that aren’t willing to lower wages, or want quotas on workers, it makes that factory not appealing from a cost perspective. When you’re whole reason for buying is based around finances, when those financial models don’t make sense, you walk away from the deal.

  6. Peter says:

    Jensen, that made the picture much more clear. What are your thoughts on the time frame, would the ‘remains’ be split up fairly rapidly, or what scenarios could be played out over the summer?

  7. The Death of Moto Morini – Acquisition Deal Falls Through as Garelli/Berlusconi Walk Away – http://aspha.lt/12z #motorcycle

  8. Shaitan says:

    Nooooooooooooooo! MM is an icon. Sorry to hear egos and finances couldn’t work things out.

  9. Jaybond says:

    What the heck?! Hopefully somebody will rescue this brand!

    Current MM engine has so much potential waiting to be untaped. An upgraded tuned version could have easily match Ducati’s 1200 cc superbike engine!

  10. Abazabzm says:

    In a perfect world, it would be an employee owned corporation.

  11. Peter, I’m not as familiar with the Italian bankruptcy system, but I would imagine it would be a fairly quick process. Since Moto Morini is already in receivership, Berlusconi’s acquisition was already a hail mary situation.

  12. andrew says:

    We’ve heard a lot from Berlusconi’s side – I for one would like to hear the other side of the argument. I think unions generally prefer to keep their workforce employed so they just might have a good reason for rejecting this deal.

  13. TrlBlazer says:

    10 to 1 Berlusconi has plans on moving MM to china. use the existing plant to build some small piece with a skeleton crew. That’s just what the investor class does these days. buy a company cheap, chop it up, sell the parts, outsource to India, pocket the dough and move to the next one.

    Probably for the best. The world has enuf Chinese junk