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.

WSBK: Eugene Laverty to Factory Aprilia Team with Biaggi

10/31/2011 @ 11:53 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

WSBK: Eugene Laverty to Factory Aprilia Team with Biaggi Eugene Laverty WSBK Aprilia Portimao test

Officially official now, Eugene Laverty will not only switch to riding the Aprilia RSV4 Factory in the next World Superbike season, but the Irishman will also be Max Biaggi’s teammate in the factory Aprilia squad. Now displacing Leon Camier, Laverty had been signed earlier this month by the Italian factory, but there was uncertainty regarding whether the former-Yamaha rider would enter the factory team or the satellite PATA Racing squad. That speculation of course has been ended by Aprilia’s announcement, though it raises some other worthy questions.

On the most basic of levels, the pairing bodes well for Aprilia, as Laverty was the fastest rider at the post-season Portimao test. Riding Max Biaggi’s own factory-spec RSV4, there is strong suspicion that Laverty’s performance at the test helped decide his fate for the 2012 season. The interesting dynamic however will be how Laverty meshs with teammate Biaggi.

Unable to defend his Championship most of the season because of a broken foot, Biaggi is surely keen to reclaim his status in the WSBK paddock. With Laverty now a strong candidate to rival Biaggi for the 2012 title, showing his promise on the Emperor’s own bike no less, we can only imagine that some ripples would exist in the team pit box. Biaggi has been known not to play well with others, and the question regarding who is the #1 rider in the Aprilia camp could be an argument up for contention.

Source: MotoMatters; Photo: WorldSBK


  1. Bob says:

    Laverty doesn’t need to worry about Biaggi not playing nice in the sandbox. If Biaggi wants to continue to be the #1 team rider, he needs to earn that distinction week after week. Laverty will show where he belongs through results not by seniority and reputation. At the very least, Laverty will push Biaggi to do better, at the most, he will finish ahead of him.

  2. KEVIN says:


  3. 1198freak says:

    Good for Laverty, I would rather have them sign Melandri, but I guess the team knows that would mean all out war between Melandri and Biaggi who hate each other. Laverty should push Biaggi and keep him honest…

  4. Rob says:

    By midseason at the latest, Laverty will be beating Biaggio undoubtedly.

  5. RJ says:

    I’m with Kevin, what about Killa-Cam?!?

    Let’s not forget the master class he put on in BSB in 2009….

    From Wikipedia:

    “….Camier ultimately won a record-breaking 18 races despite only leading out of the first corner twice. His success led to the organizers of the series to adopt the “Matt Kenseth Rule” for 2010. This revised the points system to the split-season format popularly used by saloon-car series in the United States….”

    So, a quality rider then. Hope he doesn’t get stuck in a shitty second rate squad…

  6. 76 says:

    I cant wait, Biaggi will boil like he always does when someone ruffles his feathers, my guess is its his last year

  7. irksome says:

    Biaggi will slap Laverty in the pit, Laverty will spank Max on the track.

  8. BBQdog says:

    The RSV4 deserves a better rider. With all respect for Biaggi, he is not able to push beyond his limits anymore. And once Biaggi gets frustrated, he makes mistake after mistake.

  9. SBPilot says:

    Very happy for Laverty, he should do very well next year and push for the title.
    Camier, confirmed at Crescent Suzuki. After a not so stellar 2 years at Aprilia, maybe the bike just didn’t suit him but he’ll have to really step it up with Suzuki. That team and bike is no slouch, like the Aprilia. Camier needs to step it up big time in ’12 to keep his ride options for the future.

  10. LooLoo#77 says:

    Thought Laverty was heading out with PATA in 2012 but seems like Factory Aprilia had to have him!!! True, if WSBK wanted Drama then Aprilia shoulda hired on Melandri, but this is about racing not purposeful drama, like Valentino Rossi said, “The fight should be out on the track!”