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.

Video: Ben Bostrom vs. Roger Lee Hayden at Homestead

11/15/2012 @ 4:04 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Video: Ben Bostrom vs. Roger Lee Hayden at Homestead Ben Bostrom Roger Lee Hayden National Guard Jordan Suzuki 635x357

One of our favorite parts about MotoGP’s recent coverage are the slow-motion shots of riders going through corners, especially when the Dorna folk in the switchroom line-up a few riders through the same turn, giving us a sampling of the different riding styles that exist in the premier class. It is through this sort of coverage that you begin to see the real art behind riding a motorcycle at speed, not the brute force brawl that it looks like in real-time.

Here we have another side-by-side comparison, quite literally actually. Dropping a 1-2 qualifying session at Homestead this year, Roger Lee Hayden was fastest on his National Guard Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 (1’22.746), while Ben Bostrom qualified 2nd on his Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 (1’22.857). What is interesting in this video is the subtle differences between the two riders, which results in over a one-tenth of a second difference at the finish line.

With the camera located in the rear and facing forward, we get a great shot of how Roger and Ben move their bodies on the bikes. Roger doesn’t get too far off the seat, but also minimizes his body movements, whereas Ben gets more of a butt cheek off the seat pad in the turns, but often does a double-movement when coming back off the corner. You could watch this video a dozen times and still not pick it all the way apart.

Interesting stuff. Leave your notes in the comments.

Source: Jordan Motorsports (YouTube)


  1. MikeD says:

    Ahhh ! YES, our lovely Dade County Skies…those clouds white like cotton, it’s a rain-forest swamp paradise down here !

    I guess this went on like 1-1/2 months ago…………fricking rain wouldn’t let go not even for a day. Frigging rain forest weather.

  2. CMRAsloguy says:

    this is awesome! i wish teams with riders this close would do more of these! great idea!

  3. buellracerx says:

    What’s really mind-blowing is how two very different styles on two different suspension setups can converge on the same lap time. While other forms of racing become more dependent on strategy or $$ in the vehicle, motorcycle road racing will always be about the rider

  4. Jason says:

    buellracerx says:
    November 15, 2012 at 5:37 PM
    What’s really mind-blowing is how two very different styles on two different suspension setups can converge on the same lap time. While other forms of racing become more dependent on strategy or $$ in the vehicle, motorcycle road racing will always be about the rider


  5. Homesteads sucks, half-ass NASCAR track converted to a third rate road race track. There never were any decent tracks in South Florida. Sebring is about as good as it gets and it’s just a rather crappy converted airstrip.

    Florida is flat as a pancake, no hills whatsoever, so there are no elevation changes in any of the local club tracks. Moroso in Palm Beach County was the only one we had when I was growing up, and it still can’t get an FIA certification. Maybe something new has opened up in recent years but I’m not aware of it.

  6. Video: Ben Bostrom vs. Roger Lee Hayden at Homestead – http://t.co/A7AWCOIP #motorcycle

  7. RJ says:

    Hey Aaron, there’s always Jennings, though that’s not really South Florida…

  8. Craig says:

    Yep…. there is always Jennings… but when you live in the point of the US that furtherest South East of anything; you are stuck with what you have unless you are willing to travel.

    That little course isn’t great, but it’s better than running the on-ramps on 95 for sure… cheer up man!

    Nice vid… Now if only they could actually do that right next to each other… :)

  9. MikeD says:

    Craig said:

    Yep…. there is always Jennings… but when you live in the point of the US that furtherest South East of anything; you are stuck with what you have unless you are willing to travel.

    That little course isn’t great, but it’s better than running the on-ramps on 95 for sure… cheer up man!

    ^………this guy, he pretty much nailed it. The only thing i know as a curve down here is the junction of The Palmetto with I-75, BIG ASS FAST CURVE (~90MPH)…both ways…and the only others being the on-off ramps, some with some significant elevation changes.
    Besides me being a lazy bum that’s one of the main reasons i found myself riding less and less every month…no real incentive to go out there…JMHO.
    And then people ask themselves why the kids around here all they do is haul ass on the freeways.

    So…..if any of you have any good twistys and mountains near home, go on and rip’em good…(^_^)

  10. Kelso says:

    Tallahassee has the best riding roads in FL, but at that point its basically GA

  11. rms says:

    If I recall correctly, Ben was a Keith Code kid and the way he moves his but on the bike sort of fits with that style. Rodger hardly moves at all, and when he does it is fast and he gets planted immediately. He doesn’t sit up much when braking either which is unusual for me at least. Seems like Roger is totally focused and part of the bike while Ben is riding it.