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.

Ian Hutchinson Wins the 2013 Macau GP

11/16/2013 @ 11:23 am, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

Ian Hutchinson Wins the 2013 Macau GP ian hutchinson michael rutter macau gp GCS 635x422

Defying the odds against him, Ian Hutchinson has won the 2013 Macau GP, beating fierce competitor Michael Rutter in the shortened race. Hutchinson took the lead from Rutter on the fourth lap of fifteen, though a crash on the eleventh lap by Dean Harrison brought the Macau GP to an early end.

Thankfully Harrison was unhurt by the crash, though his bike was in the middle of the course, and forced race officials to red flag the race. Despite the premature ending, there can be no question that it was Hutchinson’s day, as the man from Bingley had a solid two-second gap over Rutter.

Coming off an eighteen month recovery period, Hutchinson’s win reconfirms the young Yorkshireman as a true talent in road racing, with today’s Macau GP win adding another impressive entry on Hutchinson’s already illustrious resumé, which includes a clean sweep of the 2010 Isle of Man TT’s five solo-class races.

“It’s probably one of the most special wins I’ve ever had with what’s gone on in the last few years, but hopefully now I can move on to carrying on back where I left off three years ago,” said Hutchinson after the race.

“I had about 10 plans of what to do whatever situation happened before the race, and I didn’t really have a plan for the one that did happen but I knew that once Michael got past Gary I needed to get past Gary and to go with it.”

“I got past on the same lap and worked away. I’d rather have stayed behind Michael for a few more laps to be honest as the laps just got faster. I took the lead and just put the hammer down for a few laps to see where we were at.  Michael came with me and I didn’t really expect to pull away from him massively, and I think he was a little bit unlucky with the backmarkers.”

“It’s definitely one of toughest races [I’ve had] here,” said Michael Rutter. “I tried as hard as I could. I led for a bit and tried to make a bit of a gap, but wasn’t surprised when he came past. I thought I’d just try and hang on the back of him and he just pulled a massive gap. ”

“I thought ‘this is going to be a bit of a fun race’, and I’d get my head down and try and start catching him. I made up a bit of ground but to be fair to Ian, he looked dead smooth. I made a bit and lost a bit and tried as hard as I could.”

Gary Johnson rounded out the podium, a first for the popular TT rider, while John McGuinness had to settle for a fourth place finish. American Jeremy Toye finished an impressive sixth on his Penz13.com BMW S1000RR, while his fellow Americans Mark Miller and Brandon Cretu improved upon their grid positions by the race’s end, getting 11th and 20th respectively with the EBR 1190RS.

Race Results for the 2013 Macau GP:

Pos. Rider Team Bike Diff.
1 Ian Hutchinson Milwaukee Yamaha Yamaha YZF R1 -
2 Michael Rutter SMT Racing Honda CBR 1000RR +2.418
3 Gary Johnson Quattro Plant Motorsports Honda CBR 1000RR +8.741
4 John McGuinness Honda TT Legends Honda CBR 1000RR +23.018
5 James Storrar DMR Racing BMW S1000RR +24.271
6 Jeremy Toye Penz13.com BMW Racing Team BMW HP4 +26.969
7 Martin Jessopp Riders Motorcycles BMW BMW S1000RR +27.209
8 Didier Grams Heidger-Motorsport.de BMW S1000RR +44.791
9 Lee Johnston East Coast Racing Honda CBR 1000RR +50.568
10 Stephen Thompson T&R Motorsport Suzuki GSX-R 1000 +52.893
11 Mark Miller Splitlath Redmond Racing EBR 1190RS +1’07.675
12 Dean Harrison RC Express by MSS Performance Kawasaki ZX-10R +1’14.854
13 Andre Pires SBK/Incortcar Suzuki GSX-R 1000 +1’18.101
14 Jamie Hamilton VRS Racing Team Honda CBR 1000RR +1’24.573
15 Hervé Gantner Penz13.com BMW Racing Team BMW HP4 +1’35.196
16 Ian Lougher ILR/Barnes Racing Honda CBR 1000RR +1’48.289
17 Paul Shoesmith Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade BMW S1000RR +1’58.659
18 Allan Jon Venter Quattro Plant Motorsports Kawasaki ZX-10R +2’15.557
19 Sandon Bitter Quattro Plant Motorsports Kawasaki ZX-10R +2’39.724
20 Brandon Cretu Splitlath Redmond Racing EBR 1190RS +2’40.969
21 Ben Wylie Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade BMW S1000RR +2’41.065
22 Graham English TIVA Engineering Ltd BMW S1000RR +2’41.304
23 Brian McCormack TAG Racing Honda CBR 1000RR +2’41.737
24 Nuno Caetano KD Team of Portugal Kawasaki ZX-10R +2’49.814

Source: Macau GP; Photo: © 2013 GCS / Macau GP – All Rights Reserved


  1. KSW says:

    As the last time I saw Ian was his first attempt at a comeback and he looked more than fearful on his ride at the NW200 then IOMTT. It was something even picked up by his crew. Seeing him finally comeback strong and take not only the challenge to Michael but this win is indeed a massive accomplishment. Congrats Hutchy. It was at Lemans for the 24 hour race I last saw John McGuinness get relegated to backup rider after the younger Michael Dunlop (missing in macau) out paced him it’s also a pleasure to John back on bike and pushing as hard as always. So to the entire field and a certain Mr. Cretu who improved his pace this year a might hi-ho and cheers to all on another great Macau GP. The beer certainly flowed if Johnson and Miller where anywhere in the vicinity. Will we see a certain Mr. Johnson at the Daytona 200 2014? Hmmmmm

  2. tony says:

    congrats hutchy, long time coming son- what a gentleman ! but fuck, toye in 6th! thats news! whens the last time an american finished that high in gp or wsbk? congrats jt …

  3. birchtree says:

    Wow! Nice guy finished first! It’s sooooo good to see him on the top again! Can’t wait for IOM TT 2014! Go Hutchi!