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.

Polaris Packs Up Manufacturing and Moves to Mexico

05/21/2010 @ 6:21 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Polaris Packs Up Manufacturing and Moves to Mexico PolarisSnowmobile 560x420

In about 18 months, roughly a thousand workers will be out of a job at the Polaris plant in Osceola, Wisconsin. In that timeframe Polaris plans to close the Osceola plant, and move its production south of the border to Mexico. The move comes about as Polaris looks to increase production efficiency (i.e. lower production costs with cheaper labor), which will then allow the company to be more competitive with its products’ positions in their respective marketplaces.

Polaris will continue to produce snowmobiles at its Roseau, Minnesota plant, and motorcycles at its Spirit Lake, Iowa plant, however some operations from both of these plants will be relocated to Mexico as well.

The only good news for American laborers in this story is that Polaris is in the process of selling pieces of its manufacturing processes and equipment to suppliers in the Osceola area, so they can continue to make components for the north star company. Thanks for the tip Dan!

Source: WCCO (CBS Local Affiliate)


  1. buellracerx says:

    congratulations, Polaris. You have just lost a fan of over 10 years. Disappointing…

  2. Dan says:

    So will the Mexicans then buy the products that the newly-unemployed workers won’t be buying? Once again a US company thinking about the fiscal quarter instead of the century.

  3. Sean Mitchell says:

    Glad I don’t have a Polaris/Victory and I’ll never buy one now. Do they get much snow in Mexico?

  4. Harumph says:

    Shrewd move, Mexico is the perfect place for testing snowmobiles.

  5. Hayabrusa says:

    Yep, a real head-scratcher. Dan, you’re right on the money! Although, I have known plenty of people in Northern MN involved with one of their component makers (Team Industries), and that company is a joke. So, really, if Mexico takes some of Team Ind. work, I can’t see that it could get much worse.

  6. Polaris Packs Up Manufacturing and Moves to Mexico – http://aspha.lt/110 #motorcycle

  7. crt says:

    of workers..what do the unions expect…most are lazy,slow,whiners…and depend on non union workers to support their retirement..that hurts 90 % of all other americans…
    And these union call non union workers scabs….and in reality…no one can say different without lying to ones self….unions are scab suckers…right or scab eaters…unions now depend on non union worker….I hate that they are moving…but…it’s OBAMAs and the unions fault…
    thank you and dwell and a spell…

  8. Dan says:

    crt, it’s Obama’s fault? This is the result of decades of the crappiest trade policy imaginable. If this is the type of negotiation you got from a salesman, you’d fire him for giving away the farm. China is kicking our ass in a full-blown trade war, and our “army” in the battle is just beyond criticism, they are really only helping corporations make quarterly returns by outsourcing to China’s .25 per hour slaves and Mexico’s .75 per hour slaves, thus eliminating manufacturing from our economy while pumping all of our capital into another, competing economy faster than a BP well pumps oil up a fisherman’s ass.
    But one thing you are right about, the pathetic work ethic of some of America’s workers, irrespective of union affiliation or non, has been a real problem. The arrogance and laziness of many companies has astounded me, and sometimes chased me to China to source components- not by choice. American companies 4 years ago would actually refuse to work for money. It was astounding and frustrating. Now, though, because Americans are getting hungry again, we are moving work back here. Funny cycle. Glad to be bringing work back here. Now if our government just thought it was a good idea to manufacture in the US….

  9. crt says:

    yes obama is a scab suckers sucker…he has bolster there lazy asses…..you are wrong…he has more than allowed the immigrants to flood in…yes it took decades to ruin…but obama has let them suck off the scabs..he worked this deal…not any other president…OBAMA IS A COMMIE turd…Deal with the truth…yes Unions are to blame about where the unions got…but UBAMA made it worse….look at them silly dummies showing up at families homes…tacky and low grade scum..
    just like the president…SCUM COMMIE…

  10. crt says:

    companies are leaving america…what planet you from…

  11. Nathan says:

    I’ve been a loyal and proud owner of Polaris products since 1971. I am so ashamed at Polaris’ decision to turn their backs on American workers. It’s not right. If this really happens I will not be buying any more Polaris products. This disgusts me!

  12. Dan says:

    crt, I feel like I just showed up for a debate and they accidentally scheduled it against the “special” school.
    No, but your clearly well-read. The way you support your arguments shows that with your intellectual pedigree you’re quite beyond reproach.

    Seriously, though, I did leave out the fact that our government does great things to support business, we shouldn’t forget how lucky we are to live here. Trade policy, however, is an area which needs work, in my opinion.

  13. Greg says:

    CRT=Smart as yogurt.

  14. Hayabrusa says:

    Hey Fellas -

    We need to leave the political bickering to some other site – this is motorcycles (and associated motorized recreational products)!! Nathan is right about the loyalty thing – I am in the same situation with GM shutting down Pontiac – loyal owner for 30 years, will be moving on to something else (non-GM) in the futre.

  15. Wilford says:

    We have a small powersports shop, and we quit working on Polaris sometime back, poorly engineered and quality control was terrible. We will put Polaris in the junk heap with the chinese crap out back of the shop in the scrap metal bins.
    But this latest moves shows their true colors. But there is truth to the unionized worker
    riding the backs of all non-union labor.
    We are done with Polaris, and we will never own one in our lifetime. I called them and told them so, the person answering the phone, hadnt even heard, and went into shock right there. Im sure that office went crazy after we hung up.

    Lets hope Arctic Industries doesnt make the same lame move.

  16. Josh says:

    Stupid Stupid move man people including me will no longer purchase polaris vehicles now there is only one american made sled and it’s Cat never thuoght i would say this but Cat here i come….

  17. Argie says:

    I’m not as smart as some here, cause i can’t figure out how unionized workers ride the back of non union labor.
    Polaris is a non union company to begin with, and obviously the non unionized are paid too much as well…lol
    and crt, scabs are union busters, not non union workers.

  18. Polaris Packs Up Manufacturing and Moves to Mexico http://aspha.lt/110