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.

Nissan Responds Over Juke Commercial Controversy

09/09/2011 @ 11:32 am, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Nissan Responds Over Juke Commercial Controversy Nissan Juke center console 635x396

After an outpouring of criticism of its Nissan Juke commercial, it looks like someone at the Japanese company has yanked its videos of the motorcycle-eating CUV from the internet. With the videos on YouTube and Vimeo now set to “private” and requiring a password to watch, it would seem that Nissan wisely doesn’t want you to see one of its latest promotions of the Juke, where a computer animated version of the Nissan Juke turns the tables on the “predatory” motorcycles, and hunts them down by running-over the motorcyclists. The pièce de résistance to this motorcyclist massacre is that the Juke’s motorcycle-inspired center console is in fact a trophy from one of the CUV’s many kills from the video. We seriously couldn’t make this up if we tried, and yet that very storyboard somehow made its way through an ad agency pitch.

Getting a proper roasting here at Asphalt & Rubber, we can only imagine that the frustration vented by motorcyclists in our comments showed a glimpse into the emails that Nissan recieved from the advertisement. Luckily one of our readers here at A&R shared with us the response they got from Nissan Canada, the branch responsible for the online Nissan Juke campaign in question. The reply confirms that the videos are in the process of being removed, though we’re not sure the duration of the campaign, nor its “super-natural” fell has much relevancy to the situation, and it certainly does not ease the fact that Nissan is showing an automobile maliciously run-over motorcyclists.

Considering that many of the members of the motorcycle community can share a common story about how a negligent or road-raged driver has nearly run them of the road (or worse, succeeded in that endeavor), we stand behind our position that Nissan probably could have picked a better way to make references to motorcycling-inspired design elements than what the company produced in this “trophy” storyline. A copy Nissan Canada’s response, with redacted names, is after the jump.

Dear ***********:

Thank you for comments regarding the advertising clip for the Nissan JUKE you recently viewed on ‘YouTube’.

The advert you have made reference to in your recent email has been run by Nissan in Canada for the past 12 months as part of a fantasy-inspired promotional campaign.

We at Nissan Canada wish to advise you that the advertising campaign featuring fantasy-inspired digital videos was created exclusively for online audiences, to showcase the unique design and performance of the Nissan Juke, including the motorcycle-inspired design elements of the car.

The clips were purposefully created in a supernatural setting so as not to draw on the reality of reckless driving and its consequences, which Nissan would in no way wish to promote.

Please accept my apologies on behalf of Nissan for any distress that this advertising campaign may have caused you. I can confirm that the advert is being removed by Nissan Canada from its ‘YouTube Channel’ .

We appreciate you taking time to get in touch with us to share your concerns, and would like to assure you of our commitment to road safety for both drivers of our vehicles, and other road users and that Nissan do not condone or promote carless driving under any circumstances.

Sincerely yours,

Consumer Relations Representative
Nissan Canada Inc.


  1. Matt says:

    Since the online Juke commercial is inspired by video games why stop there? Let’s protest every game that allows the player to drive recklessly on or around motorcycles like Race to the Rally or Grand Theft Auto . Or boycott every movie that depicts violence against motorcyclists like ‘Torque’ & ‘Hell Ride’.

    You see where I am going with this? =)

  2. Jonathan Garrish says:

    “Nissan do not condone or promote carless driving under any circumstances.”

    Heh, Freudian slip of the week.

    Congratulations to all those who complained and succeeded in getting this tacky ad pulled. I guess the corporate mumbo jumbo from Nissan is the closest we will get to an apology.

  3. BikePilot says:

    I didn’t see a problem with the commercial, some folks are just way too whiny. Nissan should have just done a second one involving an enormous amount of cheese.

  4. Jonathan Garrish says:

    I guess that what grinds my gears the most is that motorcycle commercials tend to be such gutless affairs – the motorcycle industry tends to be so timid and politically correct because it lives in fear of offending anyone, whilst the car industry will resort to anything to sell it’s soulless little tin boxes.

    Plus there are far too many car drivers who regard motorcyclists as pond life already. I don’t see how the Nissan ad does anything to help that.

  5. Nobody says:

    Now if they’d only pull the Juke.

  6. six3seven says:

    Ha! If it weren’t for all the bandstanding by motorcycle blogs, I’d never heard of the Nissan Juke.

    Excellent advertising. Well done to the agency, you got the Juke more air play than such an uninspiring vehicle would have received on it’s own.

  7. yup they responed and pulled! http://t.co/prGiNH8 #motochat

  8. GeddyT says:

    I’m with the first poster. Nobody takes commercials seriously. It’s not like somebody is going to intentionally hunt down a motorcyclist with their car because they’ve seen this. The ad fails for a million reasons (making no sense, for instance), but for me one of them is NOT that it’s “offensive.” If the ad featured cars hunting motorcycles but was actually funny or well made or made sense, I’d say, “Great ad, Nissan.”

  9. Leyobahn says:

    To you twats who can’t see what all the fuss is about? Simple. You don’t ride a bike or have to deal with all the twats that we do every fooking day!

    This ad is a computer generated “fantasy” ad? Why not have the next one showing a computer generated car mowing old people down on the sidewalk and scoring points? “The New Nissin Juke… Death Race 2000 made REAL!”. Would be funny in a parody, but they are not aiming for humour, they are trying to sell cars. Fuck Nissin and fuck you for saying this is acceptable!

  10. mark says:

    I was broadsided by an SUV a month ago today, breaking my right femur in three places. It was purely an accident, caused not by any sort of maliciousness, but by a simple failure of either of us, apparently, to see the other due to obscured sightlines. As a result I spent two and a half weeks in the hospital and won’t be able to put weight on my right leg for another four weeks.

    We already face enough dangers on the road. The last thing we need is for the sort of young drivers the Juke is aimed at to think it’s somehow funny to mess with motorcyclists.

  11. Richard Gozinya says:

    Leyobahn, what do you have against ramen noodles?

  12. sunstroke says:

    I’ve gone over the hood of two SUV’s in my life, and in both instances I was lucky to escape unscathed. An ad that glorifies slamming motorcyclists with a real production car (CGI-rendered or not) is bad taste.

    Some things don’t play out even if it’s fantasy. Glorifying domestic violence doesn’t work. Glorifying racism doesn’t work. Glorifying intentional collisions with motorcyclists doesn’t work either. I’m sure we could all list 20 things that still aren’t admirable in the world of fiction. If they are being used to sell consumer goods, people will protest adamantly.

    I wonder why Nissan didn’t censor themselves before the ad was released to the public.

  13. SBPilot says:

    well put Sunstroke!

  14. Reductio ad Absurdum says:

    I’m not sure which I find more offensive: that Nissan made a commercial about how great their car is at running down motorcycles or that they think we are stupid enough to believe a POS Juke could hope to keep up with a bike that was trying to get away.

    That just got me thinking about an even better ad! Juke vs Bicycles! How much would you like to see a too cool hipster, complete with messenger bag and “fixie” bike, get mangled by a Juke.

    Lets keep going! New ad: “Juke, Urban Warfare Edition”. The commercial shows a Juke tricked out with a cow-catcher on the front to take care of those pesky pedestrians, Ben Hur style spikes attached to the wheels and an oil-slick-cannon (sponsored by BP)!

  15. Nissan Juke Runs Down Motorcyclists in Commercial
    http://t.co/i4gmeh8 An explanation instead of an apology kinda makes it worse #motorcycle

  16. Steve Lang says:

    They should re-name it “The Joke”. Idiots!

  17. Matt says:

    How about the new Icon video where the motorcyclists destroyed the car??!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T_-cxt6ETc

  18. bucky says:

    OK Game On, lets live up to nissan’s stunted imagination, ethics and cynical tactics to sell their krap to ball-less cage drivers. From now on, all jukes are fair game for getting their mirrors kicked off and paint scraped as we lane split by.

  19. Dale says:

    I’ve had two bike accidents, one where a car pulled out in front of me, ran a stop sign, and another where a suv turned in front of me no signal. Many would think I’d be ticked at a video that ”glorifies” chasing down a motorcyclists. I’m not ticked in any way, shape or form by this advertisement and I’ve sent an email to Nissan to that effect because I get the ad. She was chasing down a thief on a motorcycle, not a motorcyclist. There is a difference in the focus, of the advertisement. Only the obtuse are missing this. This isn’t forest for the trees, people aren’t even seeing the forest.