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.

The Big Question for Tomorrow’s TT Zero Is…

06/08/2010 @ 3:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

The Big Question for Tomorrows TT Zero Is... MotoCzysz streamliner rumor 560x416

What’s going to be mounted on these protruding brackets? So far the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc has been lapping the Isle of Man without its full fairing on the motorcycle. If history teaches us anything, the presumption, of course, should be that MotoCzysz has something still up its sleeve before the team takes to the Mountain Course tomorrow for the TT Zero event. Last year it was batteries in the tail-section, this year it would seem to be streamlining the E1pc.

While Michael Czysz has derided the use of a dustbin style fairings in road racing, he has acknowledged that a course like the Isle of Man creates an opportunity for a race team to find some benefits in the design. As such, Czysz wrote three months ago that he would have a dustbin fairing at the ready, should someone else show up with one as well…and that’s exactly what’s happened.

Team Agni showed up to the Isle of Man with two of its TTx01 race bikes, one which mimicked last year’s winning stead, and another that’s been fitted with a dustbin-style fairing (see photo below in the gallery). The streamlined front-end of the Agni has done little to help the team improve on their time around the Mountain Course (last practice they were down 3 MPH from last year’s average speed), but this isn’t too unexpected since the team is not streamlining their tail section, and thus still creating a significant amount of displaced air behind them. This displaced air is effectively sucking the motorcycle rearward, negating the benefits of the forward aerodynamics.

It could be an oversight by Agni, but it’s more likely to be the team not wanting to tip their hand too early in TT Zero. Perhaps the goal is to instead check the front-fairing’s affect on the air-cooling that the Agni motors need so desperately, so they don’t grenade during the race.

For MotoCzysz, the past week has likely been a waiting game. With Agni the team to beat, and likely the only team that can give MotoCzysz a run for their money tomorrow (there’s £10,000 up for grabs that goes to the team that breaks the 100 MPH average speed barrier), the Czysz strategy likely hinges around waiting to see what his competitors have brought to the fight.

Our latest spy reports tell us that the standard Agni bike is in pieces right now, and feverishly being worked on…its prognosis for tomorrow is questionable, which may mean Agni is running their dustbin bike whether they want to or not. This would thus seem to assure that Czysz & Co. will run the same, and puts the 100 MPH well within reach for the team.

Other clues we have for tomorrow’s race is the Kate Moss styled bony ass on the E1pc that we caught last week, courtesy of our Bothan Spies. The good money is that, like the front fairing, the tail section of the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc hasn’t been mounted to the bike yet, and contains more Czysz trickery. For starters, there appears to be a Czysz-styled power plug on the bottom of tail, and we know the MotoCzysz D-10 motor can take a massive amount of power, making the platform easily scalable.

More power? More aerodynamics? Both? Only time will tell for certain, but what we do know is that Czysz painstakingly designs his projects with an eye for the aesthetic. It’s doubtful he’d leave the seat in a manner that detracts from the bike, as it does now…and then of course there’s the fact that the MotoCzysz crew is here to prove a point, after suffering devastating technical problems last year.

We’ll know more tomorrow as TT Zero hits the Mountain Course at 4:30PM Isle of Man local time.

Photos: 1st (Amadeus Photography), 2nd (Isle of Man), 3rd (A&R)


  1. travis says:

    they’re fairing mounts, the fairings aren’t installed…

  2. dlloyd says:

    I think you missed the point of the article Travis…

  3. cycleguy says:

    I don’t think we are going to see a dustbin fairing on the bike. Most likely, the fairings aren’t ready yet which explains why they are missing.
    I really don’t think that they would take the chance and run a dustbin, since they know they are the fastest bike already. There are also reservations regarding its effectiveness as well as potentially serious stability issues. Without extensive testing beforehand, I seriously doubt they would take the risk.

  4. The Big Question for Tomorrow’s TT Zero Is… – http://aspha.lt/12f #motorcycle

  5. travis says:

    I didn’t miss the point…. I was just reitterating it….. I’ve got close ties to one of the designers of the bike…. I won’t say much, but I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  6. travis says:


    Now I can say something, since its public…

    “two days ago, the [E1PC] was missing its body panels (stuck in customs).”

    see pictures here:

  7. Felipe says:

    You suck! Release me from your capture!!!

  8. Trent says:

    Why the hell is this still on the front page? Tomorrow’s TT Zero was a LONG time ago!

  9. deejay51 says:

    Trent, it confused me and I was there like um 5ish weeks ago. I have covered all the racing and critically here the TTZero event on my website now at http://www.deejay51.com/isle_of_man_tt2010.htm

    The MotoCzysz E1pc, truly a work of art, congrats Michael!!

  10. So I’m a little behind on my op-eds…new one coming folks, bear with me.

  11. Mr. Annoyed says:

    For the love of all things with two wheels, please — PLEASE — remove this story from the front page. Every day, we, the faithful readers of Asphalt and Rubber come here for our morning fix. The stories, articles and pictures are fantastic, and we love the site. But enough already. Get this off the front page. NOW. PLEASE.

  12. jeez says:

    +1 to above

    why are we still highlighting this story thats almost 2.5 months old now?