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.

Indy Mile Flat Track Grand National Cancelled

08/19/2011 @ 2:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

“The examination of the wreckage is expected to continue for an indefinite period of time,” said a release from the promoters. “This has forced the closing of the Grandstand and one-mile dirt track to events until the investigation is completed and the debris is removed.”

“Losing a round is nothing compared to the loss of life,” said AMA Pro Racing’s Director of Flat Track, Dan Johnsen, “and our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. AMA Pro Racing’s thoughts are with all of those now coping with the after-effects.”

Source: AMA Pro Racing; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Butch says:

    OK, I was waiting for someone else to say it, but no one else has. So flame me at will for being an inconsiderate jerk, but I think cancelling the Indy Mile sucks and I’m not happy about it. Yes, the stage collapse and death of six individuals is undeniably tragic and the stage debris needs to be examined to prevent this type of thing in the future to the extent possible. However, when planes crash on runways, the debris is typically relocated to a hanger for examination. Major airports are not closed to air traffic for weeks. On average 90 to 100 people die PER DAY in traffic accidents, but we don’t see roads and highways closed for weeks at a time for accident reconstruction. They have, or should have, the engineering specs of the stage, they have video of the accident from many angles, they can estimate wind speeds at the time, they have the damaged supports to look at, etc. The debris should have been cleaned up within a week and the race should have proceeded from there…IMO.

  2. Tee-Dot says:

    Pretty disrespectful to the victims and their families to hold a sporting event at a location where people were injured and killed the week before.

    The difference between an accident on a highway or airport runway and the one @ the State Fairgrounds is that there’s really no way to close a highway or runway for an ongoing investigation (especially one that’s expected to go on for an indefinite time). They serve a real purpose, other than just to entertain us.

    Even if there is no investigation, to hold a sporting event @ the Fairgrounds on the same ground of last week’s tragedy would be extremely disrespectful to all those involved. Good for the AMA.

  3. Butch says:

    Come on Tee-Dot. They ran the MotoGP within 2 hours of Peter Lenz’s death last year on the same track. There was no disrespect then, and there would be no disrespect now.

  4. Tee-Dot says:

    My response to that is that fatalities in racing are an accepted risk. Nobody shows up as a concert spectator and expects to be killed.

    Also, Peter Lenz died at IMS, not the state fairgrounds.

    Local to Indy, fyi.

  5. Butch says:

    I know where he died…I was there, fyi. I said the MotoGP race ran on the same track he died, not that he died at the fairgrounds.

    Death is death regardless of your activity at the time.. Heart stops, respiration stops, people grieve. I work in healthcare, fyi. I’ll venture to guess I’ve been at the bedside and curbside of more death than you have. It’s always tragic. But fortunately life goes on and we should celebrate that it does.

    The story states that they can’t clear the debris because the examination of the material continues, not because the area is now hallowed ground as you imply. Therefore my point is that the examination of the material could be done at an alternate location or more quickly than it is.

    If you’re making the case that the delay is to show respect for the victims, then that’s a different argument. Either way, I’m sure we would disagree on that too.

  6. Tee-Dot says:

    I’m not making a case for “hallowed ground”. Sure, it’s got something to do w/ the big picture, but it’s not the sole reason for canceling the race. I’m stating the difference b/t a racing accident (which is an accepted part of the sport) and a mechanical failure that resulted in the deaths of five concert spectators – okay, four spectators and a stage rigger.

    I’ll guess that this investigation is taking longer because someone is going to be at fault, be it the company who was subcontracted to build the stage, the state, the fairgrounds, or some other related entity. An auto accident, by comparison, is a much simpler investigation. How did it happen? Who was at fault? (driver a, driver b or…??)

    My misunderstanding of the Peter Lenz death location was due to the vagueness of your post. Oops! Congratulations on being a healthcare worker, though!