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.

California “Liberates” OHV Funds for Non-OHV Purposes

06/04/2012 @ 12:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

California Liberates OHV Funds for Non OHV Purposes piggy bank 635x542

Despite being the eighth largest in the world, California is fairly upside-down when it comes to the state’s balance sheet. Looking for places to make up the difference, California has had to make some hard choices with its budgets and cash reserves.

One such choice of course has an effect on our dirt-loving two-wheeled brethren. With roughly $60 million in the Off-Highway Vehicles Trust Fund sitting on the books, the California State Assembly Budget Sub-Committee could not help but vote for a transfer of $31 million from the OHV fund to use for in non-OHV programs. Yay.

With OHV fees being collected under the auspices that the money collected would go back into off-highway programs, the largest issue at stake in California is the unintended usage of ear-marked funds. For motorcyclists, the reality is that the loss of funds will affect riding areas like Mendocino and Six Rivers National Forests, the BLM Cow Mountain Recreation near Ukiah, and the BLM Samoa Dunes Recreation Area near Eureka.

What will be interesting to see is whether the move by California’s legislature will set a precedent that sees the OHV fund becoming a regular piggybank to be raided, or if this piggy will only be cracked open once (we’ll give you two guesses on that, but you need only one). What is also worrying is the massive amount being taken out of the fund, and how greatly that will impact the intended uses of the OHV fund.

Source: DealerNews


  1. ZeitgeistXiii says:

    They have done this for over twenty years going back to the late 80s when the “crisis” of mismanagement happened then too. No guesses needed the state takes what it wants and a FU you cant do a thing. History repeats itself again.

  2. MikeD says:

    Well…what else is new ? Is cool, the lambs can’t decide…so we let the wolves do as they please…for us.

  3. JRl says:

    If you don’t spend it, they’ll take it…

  4. Grant Madden says:

    So the governor needs a new car?Guess who is going to pay for it.They will say its for the state but you know that the men in charge wont chip in to pay when they can rip off the populace so easily.Sounds like your political representation has gone and left you all in the crap as usual.So much for democracy.
    Civil rights right?Na just the usual crap.

  5. Keith says:

    So glad I don’t live in the cess pit known as california…who need them? Well, not the ones from teh western half of the state.

  6. Spamtasticus says:

    Bastards did that to us here in FL. I have been paying for titles on my red sticker motocross bikes for almost a decade and none of that suposed off road riding trail money has been spent on trails.

  7. Richard Gozinya says:


    That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve read this week. California is the nation’s leading industrial state, is a net exporter of federal tax dollars (Gives more money than it gets back), essentially subsidizing states like Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. There’s also that whole Silicon Valley thing, basically the reason you’re able to post comments on blogs and look at porn.

    Then there’s that whole year round riding weather, with some of the most fun backroads in the nation thing, but who would ever want that?

  8. California also produces a large portion of the USA’s food, and then there’s that whole Hollywood thing…

  9. Mike says:

    Dear Governor and Past Attorney General Brown:

    This is outrageous!!! The portion of the so called “gas tax” that this being stolen is in fact all that remains of a bastardized version of what was originally a road tax and the theft is a clear demonstration of TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!! Furthermore it is totally unfair that the OHMVR trust is the only user/gas tax funded program being ripped off!!!

    Funding from OHVMR grants assures that it is California’s off-roaders themselves that pay for the services of law enforcement agencies in policing this popular and growing recreational activity and through the OHMVR Commission, off-roaders make possible our State Vehicular Recreation Areas. SVRAs, like any well managed park, provide the general public with a variety of recreational opportunities, related facilities and services but they provide us a place for regulated off-roading as well.

    Gutting the off-road fund makes no economic sense, none! And it will threaten any continued support of the program by its taxpaying participants.

    As a CALIFORNIA TAX PAYER I ask you to stop this ill-conceived plan.

    Mike Hawkins

  10. Gritboy says:

    Con job as usual. It’s a you payee… we takey world in CA.

  11. Tom says:

    California’s budget woes are the fault of the people themselves. You people voted to make the situation this way and the politicians or both parties have to work within the mindless tax/referendum system that the people created. Good job Californians for creating a system where it is wrong to blame the politicians.

  12. diogenes says:


    Nice, blame the victims. Motorcyclists, especially those who ride off-road are in the minority in this state. We suffer at the hands of the of liberals, who vote for the ecologist misanthropes (people haters). You missed this in U.S. history 101, it’s called the tyranny of the majority. Unfortunately, the bill of rights wasn’t written to guarantee that taxation could not be levied against the populace. That argument was lost during the Whiskey rebellion, which happened before California existed as a U.S. state.

    Not our fault Bozo.

  13. robin st. denis says:

    At this point it becomes pure extortion,The green sticker fund which did not always exist,Becomes a tax for one group of people that have no say.Which leads to the larger question of weather this can be fixed within the current system?Since all we can do is vote and write to our reps. that don,t seem to represent us.