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.

Yamaha 250cc Sport Bike Confirmed for India

12/12/2012 @ 4:35 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Yamaha 250cc Sport Bike Confirmed for India Yamaha YZF R125 WGP 635x476

Evidence of a Yamaha’s 250cc sport bike, which is expected for a 2014 model year debut, continues to mount as India Yamaha Motor CEO Hiroyuki Suzuki confirmed that a “powerful” quarter-liter sport bike is headed for the Indian market after the next model year.

Taking the place of the 150ccc Yamaha YZF-R15 sport bike, and likely to look similar to the Yamaha YZF-R125 (shown above), Yamaha hopes to compete on a more level playing field with bikes like the Honda CBR250R, Kawasaki Ninja 250/300, and other models from Indian manufacturers Bajaj & Hero MotoCorp.

Expected to make it to markets beyond India, the Yamaha YZF-R250 will likely be available in Europe and North America. However, with over a year before its debut, one has to wonder whether Yamaha will be too late to the quarter-liter party.

“The motorcycles manufactured in India meet the advanced specification of developed markets and they are produced at a lower cost,” said Suzuki while talking to Financial Chronicle. “The price is almost double in Japanese market. We are sending R15 to Japan to test market, and if the response is good, we may explore more products for export to Japan and other advanced markets.”

Source: Financial Chronicle


  1. jackie says:

    Small and tidy.

  2. Jim Race says:

    Stretching the article rather thin to build another rumour. ;)


  3. Are you British now Jim?

    I wouldn’t call this article another rumor, but more the reinforcement of a current rumor.

  4. MikeD says:

    Yamaha, the new KTM…when it comes to kicking new models out the door in the shortest possible ,most favourable , most convenient time frame.
    Better late than never…right ? LOL.

    I hope this “thing” is worth the weight and superior to the others, is the least they could do if they are taking FOREVER developing the dang thing.

  5. BBQdog says:

    Hope it is not again one of those too heavy 250′s with the handlebars too high like the CBR 250r and the Ninja 250. There is enough of that.

  6. ヤマハ、YZF-R250の販売予定を公式に認める。但しインド製。但し2014年予定…遅い、遅すぎるよ! RT @ Asphalt_Rubber: Yamaha 250cc Sport Bike Confirmed for India – http://t.co/678Q6nng

  7. Damo says:

    I always thought the YZF-R125 looks far and away the best out of the small displacement bikes. Looks like a wee R-1, which is what I would expect.

  8. frogy6 says:

    Mm define powerful?

    Will it get near 40 hp

  9. AK says:

    Suzuki works for Yamaha !!!!

  10. meatspin says:

    i remember a decade ago, someone showed up at the track on a grey market 250. It might have been a Honda but I remember it sounded like a F1 car.

  11. BBQdog says:

    @Damo: I prefer the Cagiva Mito and the Aprilia RS 125 …..

  12. Campisi says:

    Give it an actual sports bike engine, Yamaha. After riding a few Hornets and whatnot overseas, I cannot help but think of the engine in my CBR250 as anything other than a plow horse.

  13. TC says:

    @ meatspin. You might be thinking about the CBR250RR (2 R’s) of the late 80s and early 90s. Unless the current single cylinder version, the yesteryear models came with inline 4… Yawzer!

  14. MikeD says:


    Dreaming is free, i do it all the time. ROTFLMAO.

  15. A 250 inline-4 @ 14k rpm is a glorious sound.

  16. a tom says:

    The CBR250RR, the FZR250RR, the ZX-2R, the GSXR250R… all out of production and completely thrashed if you ever find one on sale. KHAN!

    The RS250 Aprilia would’ve been great too, but 2-stroke sportbikes have also gone the way of the dodo… Oh well.

  17. Praveen says:

    This is no rumor given how serious Yamaha has been about the Indian market in the past 5 years. They used to rule it in the two-stroke era, which I miss a lot (was a proud RX-100 owner), but lost groud with the advent of high fuel prices and supremely fuel-efficient four-stroke Hondas.