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.

Barbera Speaks Out about Assault Charges – Eh, Not Really

05/13/2013 @ 6:33 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Barbera Speaks Out about Assault Charges   Eh, Not Really the pageantry 635x423

On Friday, reports came out of Jerez that MotoGP rider Hector Barbera had been arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. With the case handled by Spain’s special domestic violence courts, Barbera received a sentence of six months in jail, while his girlfriend also received five months in jail, as she was also found guilty of assaulting Barbera in the exchange. With details of the event seemingly under lock and key by the court’s proceedings, speculation has been rife about the incident.

Hoping to set the record straight, Barbera has released a clarifying statement via his Facebook page, though it does little to shed more light on the situation, and reinforces some very disturbing notions already held about misogyny in Spain, and by proxy MotoGP as well. Stressing that he himself was a victim, as was found by the court, Barbera adds that he would “never think on hurting or damaging any person, no matter woman or men, ” and is adamant that he is “firmly against any type of mistreatment or abuse to anyone.”

That is an interesting statement considering that Barbera’s presumably now ex-girlfriend, identified only by her initials D.P., was sent to the hospital with visible bruising because of Barbera’s own actions. To be fair, Barbera’s own injuries have not been a topic of much discussion, and he is presumed to have suffered some form of battery as well, which presumably makes what he did more justifiable — at least, that seems to be the point Barbera is trying to make in his statement.

Looking at the story from American eyes and predispositions, a man assaulting a woman, whether provoked or not, is automatically cast as the guilty party — it is perhaps the one ironic role-reversal in America’s own battle with sexism and misogyny in its socio-legal systems. As one of my legal colleagues said to me, “a speedy trial, and both parties getting punished? That would never happen here in the United States.” Quite right.

The issue has been an interesting one to follow in the MotoGP paddock, as well as through the Spanish media. While we will likely never know the full extent of what really transpired in that Jerez hotel room, not to mention that ascertaining the “guilt” of what occurred can only be speculated to by media outlets, including us here at Asphalt & Rubber, it is interesting to note the asterisks offered by many Spanish publications that this was “only a lover’s quarrel” and not a case of actual domestic abuse, as well as Barbera’s own description that what happened was “just been a simple couple discussion.” As if such a distinction can rationally be made outside of the 1920′s.

While our own culture automatically condemns Barbera’s actions, rightfully or not (for a moment, would you think differently about the situation if it came out that D.P. lunged at Barbera with a knife, and her injuries were the result of Hector’s self-defence?), it is interesting to note the counterpoint in the Spanish treatment of the event.

In a country that is rife with a serious domestic violence issue, so much so that a fast-track legal system has been put in place to combat its growth, both parties in this incident are found to share the guilt, and are given by American standards, a slap on the wrist for their transgressions. Even more appalling to our senses is that those jail sentences have already been commuted to 14 months of community service.

From my own mind, trained in both American and international jurisprudence, it has hard to fathom that a state like Spain can at one point say that it is committed to turning around an epidemic of domestic violence, and then hands out a punishment for a high-profile crime that is more on par with misdemeanor vandalism. I learned long ago that laws are made by the people they govern, and while the relativist point-of-view says that you cannot pass judgment on them, those laws are still by definition a reflection of the societies that create them.

While I admonish our own American preconceptions to automatically assume the male at fault in a domestic violence incidents, it is even more troubling for me to see the handling of a case like Barbera’s end with such a resolution, knowing full well that there are likely thousands more that will occur this year without such a high level of public scrutiny.

In the end, Barbera’s arrest and sentencing with his girlfriend speaks to a larger cultural issue in Spain regarding misogyny, and while much of that is outside what one would expect from a motorcycle publication such as ours, and easily goes beyond the microcosm of the MotoGP paddock — we have to remember the criticism that Grand Prix motorcycle racing very much so is Spain at this point in time. We like to pretend that our passion of motorcycling doesn’t exist in the dramas of real life, but in earnest, the truth is the other way around.

When I think about how this sport reacts to an event like Barbera’s, and what that says about us as a two-wheeled community, I think too to what my good colleague David Emmett pointed out upon hearing the news of Barbera’s arrest and sentencing. “So I asked about homophobia in the paddock, and had one person deny that they had ever noticed homophobia or misogyny in the paddock. Then a rider gets arrested for beating up his girlfriend. Connect the dots.” Barbera’s statement is below, for your dot-connecting.

Valencia, 12th May 2013

After all the facts happened yesterday, Hector Barbera would like to provide his own version to clarify to all media communication the way they really occurred.

Hector Barbera’s declaration:

About the information that have been published in different press media , I want to clarify with this communication how the facts occurred in the night of the 9th of May.

I obviously do not feel proud at all of what happened, and I want to express my apologizes to all people, specially to my family, my friends and sport team members.

In this procedure, I must assume my duties and responsabilities, but, I feel myself (as also stated the Court) as a attacked and affected part.

After the opportune denouncements, we strictly follow the protocol marked by the law for that kind of facts. Once in the Court, both parts declared and were visited by the medical examiner, who certified the injuries I had. In any case and been respectful I renounce to provide more details about this. Lately both parts accepted the Jerez Court resolution.

Me and my previous couple have accepted immediately this Court resolution as an attempt to conclude not only with this legal procedure but also with the unfair social and media treatment I have suffered undeservedly with opinions and statements which are far away from reality, all based in rumors not verified.

In my family we are three kids, two girls and one boy, we grown together, learning the values of respect, fairness and love, I would never think on hurting or damaging any person, no matter woman or men. I am firmly against any type of mistreatement or abuse to anyone.

To me this matter is now definitely closed forever and just want to dedicate all my efforts to my sport career as I have been doing till now. I refer to my Press and legal advisors if required.

Source: Hector Barbera (Facebook); Photo: Red Bull


  1. Gennadiy says:

    Ex-wife of Tiger Woods was not prosecuted for beating him. In fact, this particular detail of the scandal wasn’t even analyzed in depth by the media.

  2. MajorTom says:

    If you are going to talk about misogyny, then you really should at least mention that misandry in American culture is viewed as humor.

  3. Thank you says:

    Thank you MajorTom. You took the words right out of my mouth. Good on ya.

  4. TexusTim says:

    we the “older generation” grew up watching famous stars like John Wayne,Rock Hudson (actully was the first gay actor to have aids) any way we grew up watching them slap women when they were out of control or deemed hysterical and in the movies this allways worked and the women calmed down or somtimes seemd to aprove of there own abuse, crazy right ? today you go strait to jail for that.
    This was the lexicon of the 60s and early 70s along with promoting cigarettes… ok so that was then and now is now and I agree a woman should only be restrained if causing you injury not assaulted back from defensive.
    welcome to 2013 were todays woman enjoy all the things in life that men have,good pay,great job advancment, all the equal rights they need and deserve….BUT

    Women get automatic custody and temporary child support in divorce procedures regadless.. in many states they get allimony and child support and dont lose the aliomony till they remarry with or with out children envolved !!
    so to hell with misoghny or misandry…WHAT EVER HAPPEND TO EQUAL RIGHTS ? the way I see it todays women have there cake and eat it too….this comment wont make me popular with the ladies either….so much for the truth settingyou free.

  5. Mike says:

    Interesting that he gets 6 mos AND she gets 5 mos. maybe if you send both parties to jail more often, it would cause the “victims” to get out of toxic relationships. Let me explain, let’s say some dude beats on his girl, she calls cops and he goes to jail. While he’s in jail, she starts to miss him or maybe even feel guilty. When he gets out, all is forgiven and she takes him back. The cycle continues. Throw them both in jail, maybe that drives the point home.

  6. Mike says:

    Interesting that he gets 6 mos AND she gets 5 mos. maybe if you send both parties to jail more often, it would cause the “victims” to get out of toxic relationships. Let me explain, let’s say some dude beats on his girl, she calls cops and he goes to jail. While he’s in jail, she starts to miss him or maybe even feel guilty. When he gets out, all is forgiven and she takes him back. The cycle continues. Throw them both in jail, maybe that drives the point home.

  7. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Since nothing is known about the case I don’t see why an editorial on the topic has to be had here.

    Domestic violence is wrong. It’s rife in Spain (if you say so), well, it’s rife everywhere. And that’s before having any discussion about the recent gang rape case in India, or the teenaged girl from Pakistan who spoke out in favor of women’s rights and was shot in the head for it, or women who get stoned in Arab countries, or women who suffer mutilation of their genitalia in some African countries.

    I think if we actually knew the details of what the heck happened then we could make some opinion on the court ruling and the state of human society around the world. But since we don’t know anything about what happened I think the best course of action is to continue foward with our escape from all that is wrong in the world (domestic violence being high on that list) by reading stuff about motorcycles.

  8. “Ex-wife of Tiger Woods was not prosecuted for beating him.”

    I had an ex- who liked to play the “If you leave, I’ll call the police and say you hit me” during arguments, to extremely good effect. The threat of going straight to the can in a losing case of her word against mine made for a most disempowering experience.

    Domestic violence IS wrong, regardless of whether it be physical or emotional.

  9. mrnick says:

    For me, even IF Hector was defending himself, It’s still wrong. Be a man and take control of yourself. Sounds like it was likely a toxic relationship and hopefully it’s over. Should have ended a while ago probably. Men abusing women, women abusing men, both equally inexcusable.

  10. Grimey Benson says:


    If a women is brave enough to attack you, she should be ready to get triangle choked unconscious….at least that way the situation is diffused and you don’t leave any marks

  11. Seanzo says:

    Wow – since you were there and saw it happen, shouldn’t offer your testimony to the court?
    Otherwise, how do you know, that this is not case of a 5’5″, 140lb man defending himself from assault?

    > While I admonish our own American preconceptions to automatically assume
    > the male at fault in a domestic violence incidents

    Oh, why don’t you white-knight some more?

  12. pooch says:

    denim hot pants….

    denim hot pants…

    what was that about Barbera ?