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.

Skully Helmets Debuts Integrated HUD Helmet

01/03/2014 @ 1:09 pm, by Aakash Desai15 COMMENTS

Skully Helmets Debuts Integrated HUD Helmet skully helmet black 635x357

Bay Area based startup, Skully Helmets, has a unique solution for the future motorcycle heads-up display (HUD) market. While other players like Nuviz and Bike HUD are developing add-on solutions for your existing helmet, Skully intends to introduce a fully integrated, standalone helmet system that internally incorporates the HUD display tech, in addition to other features.

In addition to normal HUD information features such as turn-by-turn navigation, smartphone integration, and Bluetooth connectivity, the Skully AR-1 features a 180-degree rear-view camera that affords the rider a digital representation of what’s going on behind them. Along with the fully integrated system, the rear-view camera is a major feature that sets Skully apart from its competitors.

Enthusiasts will be able to add to Skully’s system abilities, as the company plans on releasing an SDK (software development kit) for developers. In addition to all this, the Skully AR-1 is a full-featured helmet behind all the next-gen tech; it will feature ECE and DOT certification as well as a anti-fog visor with quick-release.

What remains to be revealed is an actual release date (they estimate sometime in 2014) and price, but currently you can go on the company’s website and register to be a beta tester.

With the Nuviz coming in at around $600, we expect the Skully helmet to come in easily over $1000. Which begs the question, will riders be willing to pay the premium for the convenience, aesthetics and simplicity of integrated HUD?

Time will tell. Either way, the market for high-tech rider information technology is shaping up to be a highly relevant and exciting field.

Skully Helmets Debuts Integrated HUD Helmet skully helmet hud 635x356

Source: Skully Helmets


  1. Andrew says:

    I wonder how much it all weights… and where is the power coming from? Would the rider have to plug into the bike or wear a battery on their body, or is the battery integrated into the helmet? I think it’s sort of interesting in principle, but would I pay thousand bucks for it? I don’t think so. Truth is I don’t really need most of these gadgets and while I like rear-view camera, for that I’d be more inclined to go with Reevu helmet which uses a simple system of mirrors – no power required.

  2. jet says:

    I’m going to get one,soon,Feb.I enjoy all that stuff,i just hope the speaker’s is of sound quality.I will ride up there and check it out 1st.It plug’s in to a power source and off your phone..

  3. paulus says:

    Should be popular with the adventure riding crowd…. but, not my cup of tea.
    There will be additional weight and that makes distance riding more tiring.

  4. Ty says:

    I love HUD’s in say a fighter jet, but the sky is quite a wide open space. I’m not sure how I feel about this in a motorcycle helmet. I’m sure we’ve all used our cell phones, eat, or mess with our overly complicated dashboards in our cars once or twice while driving, but having a HUD’s that can interfere with your vision/attention to the road is dangerous.

    Yes some of us have better abilities than others on our bikes, but for new riders and the masses who like to mob in 100+ man biker groups, this could be out right dangerous for those riders. Not to mention that woman who got a ticket for wearing her google glasses. I hope the HUD Industry gets some powerful lawyers and lobbyist, or this things gonna get the axe from the law before the industry sky rockets.

    That being said, where do I sign my life away and how can I get this on an Arai helmet. If its not Arai, it better be a Darth Vader helmet!

  5. K-bone says:

    Let me – guess… you need a goddamn smart phone for it to work? Lame.

    Why can’t we just get speed and at most, RPM projected onto the visor? Why do we need to be able to take fucking phone calls – that is one reason why I ride, after all… to get away from things…

  6. Bailey says:

    I’m not sure I really want to see what’s actually happening behind me….

  7. smiler says:

    Good looking helmet but the only part of this that will enhance rider safety rather than making motorcycling more dangerous is the 180 degree camera.

  8. JoeD says:

    Too much information. Distracted riding. A fellow rider had a GF tally 3 wrecks because she watches Netflix on her smartphone while driving. No longer a GF but still behind the wheel. Now this?

  9. KSW says:

    Andrew is on to something with the weight issue.

    If you’ve been lucky enough to hold a carbon fibre race helmet you know they weigh about as much as a feather. Added weight to the helmet causes added neck injury at impact as the muscles try to control the mass. Not the case in all helmets without the added weight. Being fit is better for your health in a lot of ways including good muscle development.


    Exactly, too much distracted driving. What, putting the iPhone sideways in front of the gauges with a movie is a bad thing? Oh right, this is America and unlike the rest of the developed world we put ISP profits above common sense.

  10. Marc F says:

    Having played around with a prototype, I can say that the rear camera functionality is a huge benefit and requires less effort and distraction than use of mirrors. Even if you turn off every other feature, you’d benefit from that. The weight is negligible and well within the norms of other full face helmets. Don’t hold me to this, but from what I understand, rearview does not require phone integration and the system battery is integrated into the helmet so there’s no piggyback or wires needed when riding. You’ll have to decide whether the cost is worth it to you, but based on what I’ve seen so far, there is NO functional downside to the system.

  11. Syd says:

    I’m completely uninterested in gimics like this until the helmets are able to easily interface with each other. ie. you have a true all in one system.

    if a helmet maker combined rearview system & helmet to helmet communication then they would have a killer product. go riding with your buds all wearing the same helmet interfaced together. ride pillion and be able to display the rear cam of your pillion on your HUD etc.

    total dream with the current state of tech, but not far off. call me then, HUD systems should be 10x better by then as well..

  12. Syd says:

    also, it would have to have a degree of modularity. u dont want to ditch your helmet and lose out on your $$$ HUD system as well. should snap in & out.

  13. sideswipeasaurus says:

    Very intrigued by this and the other offerings coming available. The rear camera would be a godsend and worth it just for that but… all of us who’ve been riding for some time know that all helmets are not created equal. The current helmet makers have poured much R&D and experience into making the safest, lightest, quietest, most cofortable helmets on the market. Still not all helmets are best for all people. Among the top tier people have their preferences based on their own head shape, facial features, and venting, noise abatement requirements. While having a bunch of apps on a HUD is great how good will the prime function of this unit be, you know, the helmet?

  14. The helmet should fit comfortably and snugly without moving.
    There’s definitely a spot for helmet manufacturers within this category as well as we are just as delighted to find a bargain as anyone else.
    Buy a helmet that suits perfectly and doesn’t hinder the
    experiencing or even vision.

  15. tom says:


    Of course the early helmets aren’t going to be perfect for what you want, but early adopters will allow the cash flow to continue R&D. Just just at the iPhone 1 versus the iPhone 5. Once the tech and stable communications get worked out, then the helmet will be ready for primetime – or the’ll just license their tech to all the other helmet makers and cash in. The concept is sound and the time is coming.