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.

Oh, Good Grief: AMA Homologates the 636cc 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R for Supersport Class Racing

03/06/2013 @ 6:35 pm, by Jensen Beeler30 COMMENTS

Oh, Good Grief: AMA Homologates the 636cc 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 6R for Supersport Class Racing 2013 kawasaki ninja zx 6r  635x484

AMA Pro Racing continues to show that it’s homolo-flexible when it comes to supersport regulations, as America’s premier road racing series has homologated the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R and its 636cc engine displacement to compete in the supersport class (the new ZX-6R is also homologated for the Daytona Sport Bike class as well).

“Kawasaki has a strong racing heritage,” said Kawasaki Racing Senior Manager Reid Nordin. “Our Ninja brand is synonymous with success on the track. When we brought back the 636cc engine we knew there would be interest in racing and we have taken the steps necessary to have the new Ninja ZX-6R on the track and out front in 2013.”

The last time Kawasaki stroked-out its 599cc inline-four power plant to 636cc, the Japanese manufacturer had to offer a race-oriented 599cc Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6RR model for racing use, as the street bike would not meet the racing requirements for Supersport classes in various local markets.

For 2013 however, it seems to be AMA Pro Road Racing that is making the concessions, and will allow Kawasaki to campaign its ZX-6R against other inline-four manufacturers, who won’t get the extra 37cc advantage.

This isn’t the first time that AMA Pro Road Racing has made obvious concessions to benefit a single manufacturer — but hey, at least it’s not like the AMA homologated something ridiculous like an Aprilia RSV4 for the Supersport class, right?

Source: Kawasaki


  1. haryudh4 says:

    But i think, they should give the New ZX-6R extra weight :)

  2. Brandon says:

    they let 848s and 675s race in those classes, so far it hasn’t made a difference.

  3. Michael says:

    Does this mean that Suzuki can run the Gixxer 750 in this class? Seems only fair to me.

  4. Rob says:

    Sure the GSXR750 could race in that class with inlet restrictors and added weight. As long as the power/weight ratio is the same, who cares.

  5. MikeD says:

    HA ! U don’t say ! I wonder how the AMA hand was “greased” and how much ?
    I doubt the “others” will stay quiet about it if Kawasaki starts a wining streak.

  6. phs says:

    When will the AMA Pro Racing group get their heads out of their Nascar asses and right the ship?!

  7. 76 says:

    ?, really such BS… Does that mean we can all throw a 3 or 4mm overbore on all inline4 600′s? Such BS, destroying the 600 class is all this is doing, then what? Superbike is already broken…AMA is a fcking joke, I hate to say it but it should die. Fck kawasaki for doing the displacement in the first place and trying to race it….

  8. realist says:

    The AMA has always been a few top level corrupt idiots in control since the inception.

    I think a history lesson is in-store for you young fucks.

  9. dc4go says:

    That’s ridiculous 4 cylinder engines should all be 600cc, triples a maximum of 700cc, and twins 800cc in a supersport class. Ducati was allowed 848 but with restrictors and 25 lbs.. Not mad at Kawi but all year long all the other teams will bitch and complain.. Cut a cylinder off and run a 700cc and make it real interesting fair and square..

  10. Or they could just run to FIM WSB/WSS rules. Or use those basic rules while adding extensions/restrictions the way that BSB/BSS and the European championships do. What exactly is wrong with 600-4,675-3, 750-2 ?

    Meanwhile, a 599cc Kawasaki won the first WSS race of the year. Did anything actually need to change?

  11. Jim says:

    Guys, seriously its 36 cc, less then a typical whipper snipper, and I’ll bet the HP reading are the same as any of the other AMA bikes. I race honda and welcome the 636, bring it on, I’m not gonna whinge and cry that there’s a competent bike out there that just might beat me if ridden well. I’m used to racing in classes with multiple types of bikes and the outcome really doesn’t have as much to do with the machine as your ego’s think.

    “Do you want cries with that?’

  12. joeD says:

    AMA/DMG racing lost my respect years ago.

  13. Diesel says:

    You guys complain too much. You sound like a bunch of old women.

  14. R Stie says:

    That’s idiotic

  15. Keith says:

    sheesh, the france family screws with nascrap all the time…what makes you think that under the guise of DMG they aren’t going to screw up a superior racing series also? Not that it matters, the stuck up jackanapes have effectivly removed AMA racing from televison thus getting nascrap more screen time. meh, a pox on DMG and I hope they go bankrupt.

  16. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Let the good times roll!

  17. John says:

    Jensen, can you confirm that the new ZX-6R is explicitly homologated *without* any restrictor or weight penalties?

  18. MikeD says:

    @Diesel & Jim:

    LMAO. Personally, i think is nothing to make a fuss about but good enough for the other OEMs to start complaining and bitching.

  19. Brian says:

    A 36cc jump in displacement is 6% over everyone else’s 600cc engine. Assuming 120HP (very reasonable figure for these bikes) for the true 600s, The Kawasaki basically gets an extra 7.2HP for free. If you’ve never raced at the AMA level I promise an extra 7.2HP would make a substantial difference.

  20. proudAmerican says:

    AMA racing has been a joke for years, and this doesn’t help. Have you seen the fan turn-out at an AMA race?–nobody in the stands, and maybe a few hundred people lining the walls next to their motorhomes and travel trailers.

    Next, AMA will have the riders wearing microphones in their helmets.

  21. For those asking, the only caveat that AMA Pro Road Racing makes in its rulebook for the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is a 375 lbs minimum weight.

  22. Richard Gozinya says:

    Would make it more interesting if they limited all the engines to 120 hp, and removed the minimum weight. If they’re going to come up with stupid homologation rules, at least make things interesting. Who cares about number of cylinders and displacement? It’d be way more interesting if someone took a Wankel rotary engine, which is quite light, and stuck it in a titanium frame, or perhaps a fuel in frame set up. The Norton 588 makes 170hp, so you could go a bit smaller and lighter with the engine to make 120.

    Do that for a few years, and see how much different motorcycle design becomes.

  23. dc4go says:

    As long as there’s a weight penalty it should be ok.. Biggest difference is the smoother torque the additional 36cc will give. But if Kawi wins a couple of races everybody will complain……

  24. Craig says:

    There is a penalty everyone… this story didn’t really do justice with the details, but the DUCK 848 is severely penalized at 375 pounds and restrictors… It’s why they don’t do well as well as quick handling of the 600′s.

    The new 636 will have the same weight penalty of the 675′s at 20 lbs…

    They penalized the Vtwin Aprilia’s so hard that not even Chaz Davies could podium that beast…

    I think the 600′s will still do the thing… 675′s close and we’ll see about that 636… ummmmm

  25. Badlarry says:

    I think the majority rules here, Kawi has a 636 to sell street bikes, the AMA needs Kawi because their grasping at shreds of their former slightly more appealing existence and the AMA needs all the $$$ they can get their mits on… None of us can watch any fcking racing at decent times on nascrap tv…. It’s a fcking shame.. Motorcycle road racing is affectivly dead in the US compared to the UK, the general public here wouldn’t know a riders name if they heard it…. Have any of you ordered a AMA season review lately? I did a couple years ago and it totally sucked… I’m on a rant…..

  26. Are we going to see the return of the 650cc motorcycle for the street as well as racing? Old-school :)

    Stroked engines are always better for street riding, better torque and low RPM performance particularly in-line four bangers and V4 plants. In general they tend to make more overall peak and across the rev range horsepower. Lower octane fuel required and less timing advance in race applications.

  27. “Are we going to see the return of the 650cc motorcycle for the street as well as racing? Old-school :)”

    One can only hope, Aaron. One can only hope. :)

  28. sunstroke says:

    Do people really not understand that everything in Supersport and DSB is performance balanced? If you guys want to complain, you should at least learn how to hate on DMG.

    Honda and Kawasaki left b/c they ruined Supersport and DSB is performance balanced. They have no SBK-style rules for 600cc competition so they bailed.

  29. 76 says:

    Oh yeah, please fill me in on this performance balance? So the Honda CBR600 thats down on HP in SS by more than 10hp gets what? Oh thats right they get to race with 10 less hp… Such blanket statements reflect the same myopic perspective ass AMA & their rules to make the sport “Cheaper”

  30. buellracerx says:

    Really, 37 additional cc’s, eh? What is the difference in volumetric efficiency? How about bsfc? Displacement is a number, not the ONLY variable driving power. I mean seriously guys, close this web page and pick up a book..

    Turning around a racing series and rebuilding public confidence is not an easy task, but the fine men and women working hard at those AMA rounds are trying. Disappointing to see people hating on their efforts without really understanding much about the complex machine that is a racing series.