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 USA Swallows Up Yamaha Canada

10/04/2011 @ 6:55 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Yamaha USA Swallows Up Yamaha Canada 2011 Yamaha Fazer 8 635x476

The past recession, and its possible double-dipping nature, still has the motorcycle industry on its heels. This fact can be no better exemplified than by the latest move from Yamaha, whose board of directors recently voted to merge its North American operations under one roof. In an effort to restructure itself more appropriately, Yamaha Motor Canada will become a subsidiary of Yamaha Motor USA, which would in turn take responsibility for the entire North American market.

Yamaha likely is undertaking the move because of the operational similarities between the previously separate entities, not to mention the savings involved by reducing  the redundancy). The move places Yamaha Canada as one of Yamaha USA’s 10 subsidiary divisions, which includes the company’s North American manufacturing, Skeeter Products, Tennessee Watercraft, and six others. The result of this business move should have little impact on what consumers in either the US or Canadian market experience.

Source: Yamaha Motor Corporation via Motorcycle.com


  1. John says:

    Any chance we could buy the YZF-R125 here in the states?

  2. Tenefly says:

    Good, now tell them to bring the XT660Z Tenere to the USA.

  3. Beary says:

    2 spelling errors in the very first sentence ;)

  4. Mick says:

    Sorry guys, even us Canucks don’t see the YZF-R125 or the XT660Z Tenere! Wish we did…

  5. SBPilot says:

    Maybe this means more of a road-racing program from Yamaha here in Canada, cause right now we go nothing. Fingers crossed.

  6. Brammofan says:

    @Beary They spell things differently on the west coast.

  7. motomoto2 says:

    We don’t really have a Yamaha road racing program here either (SBPilot). Josh’s effort way predominantly the magic of Graves.. And the once proud Yamaha racing legacy has all but disappeared all over the world.

    The a-holes at Yamaha screwed World Superbike,, The actually have little to nothing to do with World Supersport, yet they take credit for Chaz Davies exceptional privateer win championship, on Cal Crutchlows 2 year old R6. They didn’t invest diddly in their weezing gp engine this year, effectively denying Lorenzo any opportunity of repeating as champion.

    No, Yamaha was one great,, now they are simple pathetic. If your an aspiring racer, you would be an idiot to campaign one of their machines as there really isn’t any program/budget/platform to develop the works bits.

    yeah I’m bitter, and my eyes are wide open. Yamaha makes piano’s

  8. Shawn says:

    It’d be nice if Canada got closer to price parity with the US. Now that Yamaha Canada can’t cite economies of scale for higher prices, perhaps the Yamaha prices will come down.

  9. Shaitan says:

    Cool. Maybe we’ll start getting some of the Euro/Canadian models and paint jobs. Just sayin.

  10. mxs says:

    It will let them lay some people off, but I cannot see how customers would benefit. Doesn’t matter how close USD to CAD is, we will always pay more up here. We don’t get anymore interesting bikes than US does, so no benefit or hope for US customers to see some of the Euro bikes.

    It’s just good for Yamaha to try to stop the bleeding, or at least to lower the flow …

  11. Mick says:

    Yamaha has just reduced pricing on their entire motorcycle lineup in Canada – not to the general public yet – but there are some significant price reductions on all models that will be announced. And in the odd case, some bikes are less in Canada than in the US.

  12. MikeD says:

    Unless this means i can hope to buy an MT-01 from my local Yamaha dealer…this is as relevant to me as ” when will The Sun run out of fuel and go dark ? “…

    U get the point…LOL.

  13. fish_bate says:

    I’ve seen companies in other industries do this for the same reasons as Yamaha. Specifically in the appliance and electronics industries. By “reducing the redundancy”, parts distribution warehouses were closed in Canada and all parts come up from the US. This always adds much more time to estimated parts distribution times that are originally projected. ALWAYS. This adds time to major warranty repairs. As well, because of the increased cost of shipping, replacement parts prices shot up North of the border. So, if you’re happy with Yamaha parts and service in Canada, you might not be a year from now.

  14. SBPilot says:

    @ motomoto2, are you an ex Yamaha racer that got shafted? just kidding.
    But I do agree that Yamaha’s world “efforts” are mainly privateers. Everyone knows Chaz’s bikes are so old. It’s also strange how Yamaha couldn’t find a title sponsor for both their WSBK team or MotoGP team.
    So the AMA effort is mainly a Graves privateer job as well eh? “Yamaha makes Piano” haha, you sound like a good friend of mine, he’s not into Yamaha’s because they make instruments.

    Truthfully I race an R1, and have ridden the ex-Factory Yamaha Canada R1′s and R6′s at tests (they were fun) but at my level (just novice club racing) I’m not really picking brands through what they do, it’s more like ride the best deal bike out there. I’d personally like to be riding a Honda. Wait, forget that I’d rather be on a S1000RR, if only my pockets were that deep.

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