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 Trademarks “YZF-R3″ & “R3″ Name for Motorcycles

01/16/2014 @ 4:10 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Yamaha Trademarks YZF R3 & R3 Name for Motorcycles Yamaha R25 Concept 02

Could the next Yamaha sport bike be a triple? That’s been the rumor for some time now, but there hasn’t been too much evidence to support the matter. Just last week, Yamaha Motor Corporation filed for trademarks in the European Union and United States that include “YZF-R3″ and “R3″ names for motorcycles.

The first reaction to the news is that Yamaha is finally reading a three-cylinder versions of its popular YZF-R1 and YZF-R6 machines; however, with some understanding of Yamaha’s naming conventions, the more likely assumption to make from this trademark filings is that Yamaha is readying a 300cc class sport bike, likely along the same veins as the Yamaha YZF-R25 concept that was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show.

News of a three-cylinder version of the Yamaha’s supersport and superbike motorcycles has been rumored since the very day that the Japanese OEM debuted its three-cylinder prototype at the INTERMOT show in 2012.

Since that time, there have been rumors about Yamaha petitioning the World Superbike Championship to allows 1,100cc triples in the superbike category (triples like the Triumph Daytona 675 and MV Agusta F3 are already permitted in the Supersport class), but beyond that chatter, we haven’t seen any real concrete evidence that Yamaha was working on a three-cylinder sport model.

That being said, Yamaha seems set to use the three-cylinder engine design to distinguish itself from the other Japanese brands, and bikes like the MT-09 / FZ-09 have been well received thus far by the press and riding public.

Whether or not Yamaha intends to apply that thinking to its supersport and superbike models remains to be seen though, and even if it does, it is unlikely that the new models would be called anything other than the YZF-R1 and YZF-R6.

Thus the most likely explanation is that the YZF-R3 and R3 designation is for a 300cc class motorcycle, keeping with Yamaha’s naming convention to-date. In foreign markets, Yamaha has used full number designations for small-displacement bikes, e.g. the Yamaha YZF-R125 for its 125cc sport bike.

And when Yamaha debuted its 250cc concept sport bike, it came named as the Yamaha YZF-R25, keeping with the company’s tradition of dropping only the zeros from a machines displacement for its model designation. So, for a machine named the Yamaha YZF-R3, we can expect a 300cc displacement to accompany it.

With both Honda and Kawasaki having 300cc sport bikes on the market, it seems only natural that Yamaha would enter the small-displacement battle that is currently being waged with a similar weapon. Adding more fuel to the fire was the “concept” designation given to the YZF-R25 that debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show, which implies some uncertainty for its final design.

Could Yamaha have been playing its cards close its chest regarding its plans in the quarter-liter-plus category? We certainly wouldn’t put it past them.

With sharp lines, a presumably peppy motor, and Valentino Rossi at the helm, we predict Yamaha will sell these bikes by the boat load. How many cubic centimeters will be beneath the fairings though, that’s for time to tell.

Source: TMDN & TESS via Motorcycle.com


  1. paulus says:

    R1 is 1000cc
    R6 is 600cc
    R15 is a 150cc
    R25 is a 250cc
    R3… probably a 300cc…. but a triple would be interesting

    it would make sense that Yamaha chase Honda and Kawa into the 300cc segment.

  2. jeram says:

    Its a long shot, but a 300cc triple sportsbike would be lovely!

    Imagine the sounds of 18000 rpm triple!

    but lets face it, its going to be a 300cc twin or single

  3. MikeD says:

    A 300cc Triple . . . you guys sure don’t give up hope, LMAO. It’s Ok. Yeah, i would love it too but i don’t hold any hope about it.

    I think it’ll be a single or with good luck, a parallel twin.

  4. BBQdog says:

    A 300 cc triple will get way way too heavy ….

  5. L2C says:

    A 300cc triple? That’s some funny sh*t, but it would sell like hotcakes and make Yamaha some much needed dough.

  6. If it’s a 300cc bike, it definitely won’t be a triple.

  7. Ba Wild says:

    A year or so ago the head of Yamaha made a big announcement about how Yamaha needs to return to innovation and interesting bikes rather than churn out typical Japanese fare. Sadly, so far this has not shown to be the case- a Street triple clone and uninspiring parallel twin are not innovative or interesting. A 300cc triple, now we’re talking. Better yet a 500cc triple to stomp the CBR500 into the ground, now that would make people take notice and genuinely turn Yamaha into a unique prospect. Sadly, it will never happen. The innovative and interesting is PR talk for slightly less dull than Honda’s machines. And yes, this will be a 300cc single- in what fashion that can be called innovative I have no idea. Come Yamaha surprise us!

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “If it’s a 300cc bike, it definitely won’t be a triple.”

    yeah, what JB said. let go of the dream.

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “it would sell like hotcakes and make Yamaha some much needed dough.”

    sadly, just another internet fantasy in a long line of internet fantasies.

  10. Roadrash says:

    I know the small bike market is the bomb in most of the world but all I care is they come out with a sport touring bike with multiple displacements to satisfy all. Something like a Ducati ST3 with a optional centerstand bags and a decent size fuel tank, maybe a 500 and a 1000 cc. It would be even better if it had carburetors lol.