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.

“Maybe If It Snow, I Can Win” – Valentino Rossi, July 2011

01/12/2012 @ 5:31 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Maybe If It Snow, I Can Win   Valentino Rossi, July 2011 Ducati Corse snow Rossi Hayden 635x423

About the only time the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 was competitive last year was during wet sessions and races. This trend lead to one of Valentino Rossi’s more humorous sayings of the season: that in order to win a race on the GP11, it would have to snow. Well Rossi and his teammate Nicky Hayden may have finally gotten the break they needed, as the Ducati Corse crew has outfitted the two-up Desmosedici with studded tires for the Wrooom media event taking place this week at Madonna di Campiglio ski resort.

Maybe If It Snow, I Can Win   Valentino Rossi, July 2011 Ducati Desmosedici snow tiresCareful to avoid running afoul of the winter testing ban by using the two-up Desmo that’s normally reserved for Randy Mamola, Rossi and Hayden got to try out some of their cold-weather settings today, just in case inclement weather hits one of the eighteen races during the 2012 season.

Rossi is reportedly happy with the full-snow Bridgestones, but the nine-time World Champion was cautious about tires’ performance should conditions warm up mid-race. Hayden echoed Rossi’s sentiment, though was still upset about having to ride on the pillion after a brutal game of rock-paper-scissor.

Nicky, nothing beats rock.

Source: Ducati Corse & Valentino Rossi (Twitter)


  1. Ades says:

    Wonder if Rossi was wearing one of those “If you can read this, the B*tch has fallen off!”….. Poor Nicky…

  2. MikeD says:

    If he said that…..props to the guy, he can keep it humble yet cool.

    If he didn’t…A&R(Jensen) ur gonna burn in Motorciclist Hell…LMAO.

  3. Oh Rossi made several quotes like that during the 2011 season.

  4. I read an interview with Kevin Schwantz where he was talking to VR at the California GP, and Valentino gets him off to one side and starts telling him, ‘ Keveen, you’ra just abouta my sizah, why don’ta you ridah thissa theeng ina my leathers, and I’ll justa go to-a the beach’, and Schwantz really wasn’t exactly sure how serious he was !

    Here’s to hoping for a better 2012. IF he could go head-to-head with Lorenzo and Stoner, it would be just epic !

  5. dc4go says:

    Nicky’s riding b*tch!! Lol!!!

  6. 76 says:

    Nothing says exclusive like a ice track spec GPZero

  7. Lol love the link to the simpsons. Probably exactly how it went between Hayden and Rossi

  8. "Maybe If It Snow, I Can Win" – Valentino Rossi, July 2011 – http://t.co/HfBKD6FO #motorcycle

  9. "Maybe If It Snow, I Can Win" – Valentino Rossi, July 2011 – http://t.co/HfBKD6FO #motorcycle

  10. DP says:

    How about those Pirellis!! I wonder how Bridgestone feels about that…

  11. Dr. Gellar says:

    I hate to say it, but Nicky riding bitch in general more or less describes his MotoGP career in a nutshell…

  12. Shaitan says:

    At least Valentino can’t feel Nicky’s package when it’s that cold. :P

  13. @ Dr. Gellar: That’s a bit harsh to say of a World Champion. He might not have 9 titles as does VR, but Nicky’s no slowpoke.

  14. Westward says:

    I like Hayden, but to be honest. If Gibernau doesn’t cause that crash in Catalunya, Capirossi could have easily been the MotoGP champion of 2006.

    Also, if Rossi’s engine doesn’t fail him at LeMans or Laguna, regardless of Elias’s Portugal win, him knocking Rossi off at Jerez, or Rossi’s fall at Valencia. Rossi becomes champion instead of Hayden.

    Being knocked off, edge out of victory, crashes, and tire issues, are all part of racing that can be attributed to the pilot. But when your engine fails you at a race you are winning, and you have one corner left on the last lap… Losing a championship by 5 points, when you should have won by 20 or more, everyone knows 2006 Hayden did not win the championship, it’s more like Rossi lost the championship.

    Hayden was simply the beneficiary of the circumstances that evolved around Rossi and Capirossi…

  15. Dr. Gellar says:

    Trane…Rossi’s 9 titles are irrelevant to my comment regarding Hayden and riding bitch. Nicky has pretty much played second fiddle to his various teammates thoroughout his MotoGP career. At Repsol Honda, it was Rossi and Pedrosa (and Barros and Biaggi to a lesser extent). And at Ducati, it was Stoner and now Rossi again. Nicky has never been the lead rider of a MotoGP team, even when he took the title in 2006.