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.

John Hopkins to World Superbike with Crescent Suzuki

11/21/2011 @ 12:23 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

John Hopkins to World Superbike with Crescent Suzuki john hopkins crescent suzuk bsb 635x677

With the news that Crescent Suzuki would make a move from the British Superbike Championship, and enter into the World Superbike Championship, all eyes have been on whom the British team would field as riders. Anglo-American John Hopkins was heavily favored to be the still-unannounced teammate to Leon Camier on the squad, provided the former-MotoGP racer didn’t find his way back into the premier class. With Suzuki withdrawing from MotoGP last week and effectively ending Hopper’s 2012 MotoGP bid, Crescent Suzuki has now confirmed that Hopkins will make his return to World Superbike racing with the all-British team.

While surely not the ride Hopkins had at the top of his wish list, Hopper’s return to World Superbike marks the California native’s recovery and return to racing form, after more than a few tumultuous seasons. Moving from MotoGP to World Superbike and then AMA Pro Racing, Hopper’s return back to the US culminated with the falling out between him John Ulrich, the man often credited with discovering the talented American rider. After a lackluster season in the AMA, Hopkins moved across the pond where he found his old racing form.

Narrowly losing the British Superbike Championship, and having several wild card attempts in WSBK and MotoGP, Hopkins showed that he was overcoming not only his physical but mental demons, and was eager to reclaim his top-rider status in a world venue. Heavily rumored to several MotoGP rides, Hopkins is staying loyal to the Crescent Racing squad, and will continue his path back to MotoGP by competing in the 2012 World Superbike Championship.

“I am really happy to be joining up with the Crescent guys again. We had a great year in British Superbike and I’m sure we can continue that in WSB,” said Hopkins. “I wanted to get back into world championship racing and this is a natural progression from last year. The difference this time is that I will be going to tracks that I already know and have some reference from, so that should make some things a bit easier.”

“I know it’s going to be a big step, but with some big technical advances and Yoshimura on board, I’m sure the bike will be fully competitive. It will be great to work with Lez Pearson again, as we built up a strong relationship and his understanding of the way the bike works will be invaluable next year. I’m also looking forward to riding with Leon. I’m sure he’ll be strong next year and will be a difficult teammate to beat and also one who will push me to the limit.”

“I want to say thanks to Paul, Martyn, Jack and everyone at Crescent Suzuki for believing in me and giving me this opportunity,” Hopper continued. “I can’t wait to get on the bike and see what we can do. I know it’s not going to be an easy task by any means, but I have every intention of going out and trying to earn my first ever world championship for myself and the team. I’ll be doing everything in my power to make it happen.”

Source/Photo: Suzuki


  1. Billy B.Tso says:

    good news there is a ride for him…although sorry to get off track, but why the two earings?…i don’t get it…unshaven, with a pearly white grin & earings, he’s looking like an ‘alternative’ pirate….

  2. Halfie 30 says:

    Go on Hopper. Good to see him riding for the love and not the money!

  3. Pops559 says:

    Give ‘em hell Hopper… CA all day!

  4. SBPilot says:

    He expressed his desire to get back into GP racing, he really shoulda taken that LCR ride. But none the less really happy to see him in WSBK and even happier to see a top team like Crescent Suzuki.

    On the other hand I am a bit worried about the Yoshimura partnership. It’s already evident that Crescent can build a bike competitive enough to run in WSBK. Why take such a big risk and partner with Yosh for the engines? Their bike has been far from competitive in the wild cards they ran…

    IMO Crescent should have just run their team and built their own engines, I hope this partnership does make them stronger though…bit of a gamble.

  5. raymond17 says:

    Woo-Hoo!!!! Go John!

  6. Guzzigray says:

    There’s some big nashers right there…….

  7. Beary says:

    Hopper was, and is a great rider has made a great fist of re-inventing himself… hope he does good things in WSBK.

  8. Damo says:

    WSBK is shaping up to be THE class to watch next year. I am wicked excited to see Hopper on the grid.

    It will be nice to him race at the world stage on tracks he is used to again. He did so well in BSB on completely foreign tracks.


    Yoshi has proved they can make fast engines and Crescent have proved they setup a race bike, so where is the risk? Yoshi is only providing the lumps. With talent like Hopper and Camier on the team, I can only be excited.

    There are going to be alot of guys that can win on the grid next year. February 26th can’t come soon enough!

  9. KEVIN says:

    I still can’t believe he thought he could get a decent Moto GP ride. Honestly, take a look at his career statistics, not to mention recent history (crash, crash, crash, etc…) No factory can take a chance with him on a GP bike; there are much younger, healthier, faster riders to choose from. Hopkins is to the point where each crash means extra time off the bike and more time to recover. I hate to say it but his days as a premier class rider are over.

    I am glad he has a superbike ride. I question his durability and if he can make it through the whole racing schedule w/out having to take time off to recover from injuries.

  10. Kevin – did you miss the part of this season where he raced a full BSB schedule (bar one round due to MotoGP-induced injury) and narrowly missed out on the title?

  11. steveo says:

    Or the fact that he poled on a WSBK race as a wild card. Or that he actually wild Carded 3 gp Races and did an admirable job on the suzuki which had a best finish of 4th? I was pretty sick of Hopper when he screwed up at Stiggy, and at Team Hammer but I am thrilled he is back on the right side of living and hoping for the best.

    I heard him talk at Seca 2 yrs ago and he was sounding much more upbeat compared to where he was 2 yrs before that when Kawasaki Pulled the plug, The Sad part is that even though Kawa was out of GP they made him keep his contract till the end therefore drying up any decent rides. Then he tried to out ride the Stiggy and crashed. Where he then drank and goofed off at the WSBK events and pretty much was banished from teh Paddock. Even Denning said he sure looked like a loser.

    Just ot remind everyone he gave all of his 400K sponsorship to team hammer 2 yrs ago and paid to ride at Crescent this season.

  12. KEVIN says:

    OK, he got 2nd place in BSB this year…. what else has he done? He poled at a WSBK race but what happened in the actual race? He “wild carded” 3 moto gp races but once again…. how did he finish… or did he even finish?

    In his Moto GP career he has 0 victories, 1 2nd, and 3 3rd place finishes…. that’s it! And he thinks he should be riding for a top flight Moto GP Factory Program? Would you really put him in the same class as Stoner, Pedroza, Lorenzo, Spies, Rossi, Dovizioso , even Hayden?

    I am not denying that he has talent, just making the obvious point that he cannot stay off the ground and when he does crash it leads to more injuries, longer time to heal, etc. I wish him well in WSBK and hope he does not have the same problems he has had in the past.

    If you were sponsoring a team would you take John Hopkins and his “history” over a younger rider with more upside?

  13. Kawafreak1209 says:

    Hey Hoppa………..i have a huge amount of respect for your grit and determination but for goodness sake please loose the earrings……they look like something designed to hold your head in place with wires……