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.

Movistar To Sponsor Yamaha Racing in MotoGP for 2014?

01/27/2014 @ 9:45 am, by David Emmett7 COMMENTS

Movistar To Sponsor Yamaha Racing in MotoGP for 2014? Suzuki GSV R Telefonica 635x425

It looks like Movistar is on the verge of a return to MotoGP. Italian site GPOne.com is reporting that the Spanish telecoms giant is close to signing a deal with Yamaha to sponsor the Japanese factory’s MotoGP team of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

According to the report, the sponsorship deal is set to be announced at the first Sepang test, at a press conference to be held there.

Just how accurate this report is remains to be seen, but there are many indications that the deal could happen. Movistar was a major supporter of motorcycle racing in the past, having backed teams at many levels of racing.

Movistar sponsored the junior cup competition in Spain run by Alberto Puig, which unearthed the talents of Casey Stoner, Chaz Davies, Leon Camier, Joan Lascorz and many more. Through Puig, they also backed Dani Pedrosa through his years in the 125 and 250 classes.

Movistar was also active in the MotoGP class, backing the Suzuki team of Kenny Roberts Jr, and the Gresini Honda squad of Sete Gibernau at the start of the century.

Movistar (and Telefonica, the telecoms giant which owns the Movistar brand) eventually pulled out of racing over a disagreement with Honda and Repsol. When Honda signed Dani Pedrosa, Telefonica had wanted to continue their backing of the Spaniard, having funded his way through the junior classes.

Petroleum giant Repsol insisted that if Pedrosa was to be in the factory team, he should be racing in Repsol colors, not in Telefonica colors. Seeing their investment in Pedrosa going to waste, Telefonica pulled out of Grand Prix motorcycle racing altogether.

They have been biding their time for a return, however. Rumors emerged two years ago that Telefonica had been in talks with Yamaha, but had decided against backing the factory after market research indicated limited return on investment.

With MotoGP going to South America – a key market for the Spanish telecoms giant – the sponsorship equation may now make more financial sense. At the presentation of the MotoGP in Jakarta earlier this month, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told Indonesian blog TMCBlog that more sponsors would be announced before the season started. We shall see at Sepang whether Movistar is among them.

Source: GPOne

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.


  1. sideswipe says:

    Would be cool to see Movistar livery back on the grid.

  2. ngads says:


    This would be awesome….but if something was that close to being finalized why would Yamaha reveal their bike for next year a week before?

  3. Kaw4Life says:

    Funny looking Yamaha.

  4. L2C says:

    “We shall see…”

    I’m not sure if this sounds like confidence or not. But good on Yamaha if they can recharge their sponsorship cash flow. They need it.

  5. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Movistar livery does look cool.

    …but hate to say it, Yamaha seems to be going the way of Ducati, building a bike only 1 man on the planet can ride faster than the Hondas. I’m not trying to be a Rossi fanboy, but come on. Rossi isn’t even close on that bike. Burgess was wrong–its not because Rossi lost his nerve. It’s the bike.

    Ducati had the Marlboro money during the Casey Stoner days and they had that money after Casey left…throw all the money you want at Ducati and Dovi will still get 10th place.

    I just hope Crutchlow doesn’t get hurt this season. Dovi already knows not to hurt himself trying to pretend effort and rider talent could possibly put that bike on the podium.

  6. blade_us says:


    This would be awesome….but if something was that close to being finalized why would Yamaha reveal their bike for next year a week before?”


    Yamaha reveal their bike last week just for media marketing for the Yamaha’s largest profit country, Indonesia :mrgreen:

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “Rumors emerged two years ago that Telefonica had been in talks with Yamaha, but had decided against backing the factory after market research indicated limited return on investment.”

    and there it is.

    c’mon “fansumers” don’t be shy, step right up and take a bow. Yamaha (and 100′s of thousands of others) would like to congratulate you on all your hard work at NOT coming off the dime. if you recall, Normstradamus has only been telling you about yourselves for some time.

    re: “They have been biding their time for a return”

    just so we’re clear on what he means about “biding their time”. he doesn’t mean they were standing pat, pining for some gold opportunity to advertise with MotoGP….? oh no, throw their toys out the pram they did not . they took their cash and pumped it into OTHER sports. took their advertising budget and sought out OTHER branding opportunities.

    since they left, i’ve seen Telefonica on everything from the jerseys of footballers to the sails of those swanky 12 meter racing yachts. nothing cheap about either of those sports so it’s really hard to see this as anything but a condemnation of YOU/ME/WE/US.

    Q: This would be awesome….but if something was that close to being finalized why would Yamaha reveal their bike for next year a week before?

    A: Movistar may not be in it for the long haul. the full monty is just something that our “natural beggar nature” causes us to look for. they may only do part-time sponsorship where they only buy the fairings for a few select rounds, like say… only Argentina…? sponsors have done this in the past. if this falls through they could continue the trend of AVOIDING TEAM ENRICHMENT LIKE THE PLAGUE and just sponsor the event itself…? or place their branding trackside. still no assurance of a return, but this way they have some guarantee that their brand will AT LEAST get the TV time they’ve paid for.

    see, the trick to getting sponsors is simple… put THEIR needs first, and YOUR needs second.