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.

The Countdown to V-Day

07/29/2010 @ 3:10 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

The Countdown to V Day Jorge Lorenzo six wins 560x372

No it’s not Victory Day, nor Valentine’s Day, and not even the next showing of the Vagina Monologues, the countdown to V-Day in the motorcycle world is the day that Valentino Rossi announces his move to Ducati in MotoGP racing. Slated to occur at Brno during the Czech GP because of a gentlemen’s agreement, Valentino Rossi’s announcement will be the crack in the doors that opens the flood gates of other announcements. Like a line of domino’s strewn about the MotoGP paddock, Rossi’s plans for 2011 are the tipping stone that sets the rest of the paddock in motion…and we’re sure he’d have it no other way.

For starters, Rossi’s departure leaves a vacancy at the Factory Yamaha team that must be filled. Perhaps the second (or third) worst kept secret in the MotoGP paddock, the promotion of Ben Spies to a factory Yamaha bike is also directly linked to Rossi’s departure. Talking today to the Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport, Fiat-Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis all but confirmed this notion saying,  “If one of our two riders leave, then he [Spies] will be in the team.” “We believe we will have a winning team in 2011,” Jarvis continued. Likely wanting to offset the commotion that the departure of Rossi will bring, we can expect Yamaha to counter-announce the signing of both Lorenzo and Spies to the factory squad when Ducati announces the arrival of Vale.

Don’t expect the winning team that Jarvis mentioned to be called Fiat-Yamaha though. With Valentino out the door, the Italian car company is expected to leave with the Italian rider. Presumably Fiat was keen to snuggle up with Rossi to help bolster Ferrari’s, a Fiat subsidiary, chances of getting Valentino to drive/race in Formula 1…and occasionally hock Italian cars to European families. Thus with no Valentino in the mix, no Fiat sponsorship for the team.

Yamaha has been in talks with Petronas, who is already a current sponsor, in taking on a larger role in the team’s landscape, which could make the announcement at Brno a big one for Yamaha. There are also reports that Telefonica Moviestar would like to enter back into MotoGP racing, and a Spanish company sponsoring a Spanish soon-to-be Champion (Lorenzo), makes a lot of sense/cents in our minds.

All of this commotion at the factory level leaves a vacuum in the satellite squads. With Spies certain to move up from Monster Tech3 Yamaha to the factory squad, Team Manager Hervé Poncharal has all but assured us that a British rider will enter back into the team. With the UK being a large market for MotoGP, and no British riders in the series, there is certainly a lot of pressure on Dorna to bring in a worthy rider from the island country.

Who that rider will be leaves us with some conjecture, but perhaps the larger question is the status of Colin Edwards. Poncharal made no qualms telling us that he’s seen the American rider quietly discontent with his situation. Will he remain at Tech3? Remain in MotoGP? Remain in motorcycle racing? Only time will tell, so keep counting down the days during the summer break to Brno.

Source: MotoMattersCrash.net


  1. N2bateu says:

    What would the team be called if fiat comes with rossi?
    Fiat-marlboro anyone??

  2. that other guy says:

    hi there
    new moto fan here getting on the wagon, what exactly is a factory team or a satellite team?? or when a bike is/not factory whaterver,

  3. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: The Countdown to V-Day – http://aspha.lt/18i #motorcycle

  4. ladyhawke82 says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber The Countdown to V-Day – http://aspha.lt/18i #motorcycle #MotoGP

  5. Maxx says:

    Ducati Marlboro fiat……..who knows

    As for ur question well a factory team is as it sounds offical yamaha team and the satelite is well a private team (like u could run if u had the money) hope this helps..

  6. I wouldn’t count on team name change at Ducati. They’re already sponsored by Marlboro, which is also the main sponsor behind the Ferrari F1 team. Marlboro and Fiat may be different entities, but they have similar objectives.

  7. Sean Mitchell says:

    I wonder, is Ducati so over the moon with getting Rossi that they’re going to let him run his awful dayglow green colors on his leathers and number plate? That’ll look nasty against Bologna red.

  8. loki says:

    @ Sean Mitchell: lol. Well said. Though, with Rossi and Ducati being italian, I am sure that they will come to a right agreement. And it will look good. As, again, thay are italian… So yes, it will look good, don’t worry :)

  9. Scatterbrained says:

    Just wondering, why a pic of Lorenzo with this story?

  10. Jenny Gun says:

    Lorenzo’s rising star is one of the big reasons Rossi is leaving Fiat-Yamaha in the first place…that and he’s counting in the photo, and this is a “countdown” post.

  11. eze1976 says:

    actually looking forward to seeing how rossi/drudi incorporate the trademark colors into the mix, going to be a challenge but something pretty cool will come of it I’m sure