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.

Ulrich Says Hopper ‘Misled’ About His Fitness for 2010

12/09/2010 @ 7:15 am, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

Ulrich Says Hopper Misled About His Fitness for 2010 John Hopkins Daytona AMA American Superbike 1024 635x423

John Ulrich, the man behind both Team Hammer and publication Roadracing World, seems to be content on airing his dirty laundry about rider John Hopkins on the WERA board this week. In his postings, Ulrich accuses Hopkins of keeping secret his hand’s deteriorated condition, and misrepresenting his physical fitness and readiness for the 2010 season. This issue has lead to Ulrich saying he won’t work with Hopkins ever again, despite Ulrich discovering the Anglo-American rider at a young age, and essentially jump-starting his motorcycle racing career.

If true, these acts and omissions could amount to fraud and misrepresentation on Hopkins’ part, and our sources tell us Monster Energy Drink is less than enthralled about Ulrich failing to take proper due diligence before signing the rider.

Politely accusing Hopper of being misleading about his physical condition and ability before the 2010 season Ulrich says, “I did a good-faith deal with him based on being told that he was in the same condition as he was when he was getting on MotoGP podiums in 2007. I thought he was ready to win AMA Pro Superbike races in 2010.”

Hopkins in the 2010 season would later go on to have two surgeries to his hand, and as Ulrich puts it, “had the problem and associated extreme pain prior to signing the contract. He [John Hopkins] said afterwards that his wrist lacked so much mobility and had so little range of motion that at the first couple races he had to put his palm flat on the top of the twist grip and pull his hand back to work the throttle, vs. a normal twist of the wrist.”

Hiding an injury is of course nothing new to professional sports, but it could land Hopper in hot water legally if things get taken to court. While oral statements made during a contract negotiation are typically not binding unless written down and incorporated into the contract, it still could be argued that Hopkins entered into his contract with Team Hammer under bad faith, knowing that he would not be able to meet the terms of the agreement.

Whatever the legal ramifications, this appears to be the end of the road for Ulrich and Hopkins. After discovering Hopper when he was eight-years-old, and giving Hopkins his big break in motorcycle racing, Ulrich now says that he won’t be working with the Anglo-American ever again, which may have prompted Hopkins to begin looking for a ride in British Superbike.

While this is certainly just one side of what is surely to be a complex story, John Ulrich has been left holding the bag on the situation with Monster Energy Drink. Rightfully saying that Ulrich failed to do his due diligence before signing Hopkins to Team Hammer, our sources tell us Monster Energy Drink is not too happy about signing up to be a title sponsor to team with an internationally known racer, only to see him not compete in 8 out of 19 races during the season. It’s not clear at this time who will replace Hopkins at Team Hammer, although some indications of whom it will not be, namely Jake Zemke, have been made by Ulrich. As the world turns…

Source: WERA Board; Photo: © 2010 Dan Lo / CornerSpeedPhoto.com


  1. bruce armstrong says:

    So……..in addition to being a motorcycle racer, Hopkins is expected to be a doctor, able to predict how physically fit he’ll be months out…….and Ulrich is surprised that a motorcycle racer would put a smiley-face of his future physical prospects in search of a contract ride. Sounds more like basketball to me.

  2. georGe aka-VintageWrencher says:

    Bruce,no doctor can give as accurate a prognosis as the patient himself/herself. Its not that Hopper was expected to be a doctor,it was expected that Hopper be up front. It doesnt seem like he was.

  3. Keith says:

    John Ulrich is the worst thing to happen to US motorcycle roadracing.

  4. keet says:

    well, we know john doesn’t really care about winning, well, as long as he keeps his son as a rider.

  5. LutherG says:

    I feel sorry for Hopkins to a certain extent. I’ve seen enough of him to see he is not very mature, and could well have personality disorders. His crashing, which can be traced to his inablity to control his emotions on the track, has severely damaged his career.
    Ulrich now has his own son to push along in racing. No kidding the racer downplayed his injuries. What a shock. The proper thing to do is not blame the racer for saying he’ll be fine. How much schooling does that kid have anyways? Due diligence is having an independent doctor evaluate the rider.

  6. Steveo says:

    Keith You are dead wrong.

    Ulrich and the life saving efforts of Roadracing Action fund, Starting Ben Spies, Hopper, Geoff May, Elena Myers, Jason Disalvo, Martin Cardenas. And hundred of other riders, not to mention the solid advocation for better safety, pay, equipment rules etc. John is a man that supports and loves the sport. And he got his start because he truthfully wrote about performance part that was not very performing on more than one occasion…

    Hopper missed a ton of races and did not perform well at the beginning of the season, to Oust him like that is a bit extreme but in the end if Hopper lied or misled Ulrich I can’t blame him, Remember he was sought by Hopper’s Mom to coach him after her Husband died. Hopper owes a great deal to Ulrich period. Imagine if your own son lied to you just so that he could have a 2nd chance and in doing so put your reputation, business and livelihood at stake.

    Hopper I was a fan keyword

  7. richmeyer says:

    I think Jake Holden did a pretty good job at filling in for Hopper so I cant see the argument of Monster Energy being that torqued off. Holden regularly ran up front, providing the energy drink maker with tons of exposure.

    Though I’m sure John Ulrich has done his fair share for American road racing, he still comes off as a self-serving jack wagon.

  8. LutherG says:

    Look, the whole hopper mythology is built on what I beleive is a lie. His dad won the junior TT at the Isle of mann and was disqualified for being too young? And he never raced again. Oh, come on. I don’t care what year it was, you didn’t get on that course without some proof of age. And to be so good as to win it, and then never race again? please.

    Ulrich should not be airing his laundry–or as I would say –trying to cover his ass– by posting this crap in public. He is likely to lose Monster energy, so he is blaming Hopper. Frankly, that kid’s wrist was trashed in 2007, who knows what happened in between the signing and the racing. All I know is Ulrich is busy covering his rear on this one, otherwise he would not be publicly floating this all out there.


  9. Ed Gray says:

    Ulrich is always going to go public. It’s his MO. It’s what we love and hate him for. He is a reporter.

    Clearly the relationship between them was deeper than usual in the business. As a father I feel for them both.

    I would have to guess that getting on the bad side of John U. is probably the singular worst thing a rider could do to his/her career barring jumping a contract.

  10. ck says:

    i’m sorry but like JU or not, he is the best thing that has happened to road racing, air fence fund, changing rules for rider safety, RRW is a great mag, shall i go on

  11. Bobby Ricigliano says:

    Heres an idea, if you don’t want something spread, don’t talk about it on the WORLD WIDE WEB. Buncha Mongo-loids lol.

  12. I was always under the impression that Hopkins brought Monster to Ulrich, not the other way ’round. Wasn’t he a Monster athlete long before RRW ever carried Monster sponsorship?

  13. vonich says:

    oh boy.. that is the final nail on the coffin of hopkins road racing career.. i think its time for hopkins to hung the leathers..

  14. Shrike says:

    Hopper is a great guy. I have met him on several occasions and pitted next to him at Daytona this year. You can’t honestly say that he knew that this was going to turn out the way it did. Even if his hand hurt when he was making the deal it is no assurance that it would not heal. I have had many many injuries in my life and the all get better. Some slowly and some quickly.

  15. Bobby Ricigliano says:

    Three sides to every story. JU’s, Hopper’s, and the TRUTH! That thread on WERA is very unprofessional to be spewing such information.

  16. LutherG says:

    I am totally with Bobby on this one. You can’t tell me JU got nothing from hopper? When healthy, he was winning races for him. Then he got credit for being an amazing talent spotter. JU is busy covering his ass for failing to properly assess this kid, and he’s trying to twist opinion against Hopper to prevent monster fro
    coming after him.

    It is absolutely as unforgivable as misrepresenting your health. Hopper doesnt have a
    Magazine to push his point of view. Frankly, I prefer the British racing mags, and bike magazines far more than the us magazines. Suzuki can’t seem to win in anyplace other than the US.

  17. jack k willie says:

    whats his problem with jake zemke // jake is the best guy for the job//

  18. John D'Orazio says:

    Its a fact that Hopkins never lived up to the hype surrounding him. It always looked like he had more guts than skill. It has been sad to watch him fall from Moto GP to World Superbike to AMA racing. Signing him was a gamble with long odds in my opinion. No doubt he is a great guy, but you have to perform to keep a ride and crashing is not going to advance your career. All that being said, I think airing this type of comment about Hopkins in public does not really help anyone.

  19. LutherG says:

    Jason disalvo? You mean the kid who had a factory ride with triumph WSS only because he was an American, left them high and dry, and then ran down the team in public after he was gone?

  20. Ricardo says:

    “LutherG says:
    December 9, 2010 at 9:24 AM
    I feel sorry for Hopkins to a certain extent. I’ve seen enough of him to see he is not very mature, and could well have personality disorders. His crashing, which can be traced to his inablity to control his emotions on the track, has severely damaged his career.”

    I recommend you go back and see how many skeletons the Suzuki gp bike has broken after Hopkins was gone. It actually has the highest record of injuries of the 4 stroke era.

    Hopkins’ falls were clearly due to the bike being a POS. Look how poorly Bautista and Capirossi are doing on it.

  21. LutherG says:


    There isnt much doubt the Suzuki gp bike is a POS. In fact, I’m confused as to why suzuki only wins in american road racing. But hoppy was unforced crashing back when he was on yamahas.
    My opinion regarding his emotions afftecting his driving was gathered from listening to him commenting on his racing in the documentary “the doctor, tornado, and Kentucky kid.”. His talking about getting his energy from anger.

  22. Drifter says:

    As this thing all plays out it becomes quite evident that Ulrich was just after the Monster Energy cash. As for the poster praising JU for the air fences……….. he has an alterior motive, keeping his no talent son Chris from getting killed!