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.

Kawasaki Deals Suzuki an Upset at the 76th Bol d’Or

04/16/2012 @ 4:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

Kawasaki Deals Suzuki an Upset at the 76th Bol dOr 2012 Bol dOr SERT 21 635x423

With the weather changing almost constantly during the weekend’s race and close to freezing at night, the 76th annual Bol d’Or proved to be both an exciting and grueling race that saw teams changing to wets, slicks, and cut-slicks almost constantly in the pit stops. Racing for 24 hours, the SRC Kawasaki Team did the unthinkable, and beat the heavily favored Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) in this year’s Bol d’Or endurance race. Losing most of its time in the pits, SERT had to contend with a crash in the fourth hour of the Bol d’Or, which sent lead-rider Vincent Philippe home early with a broken collarbone.

Completing the remaining 20 hours of the race with only two riders, SERT was able to close the gap to SRC Kawasaki in the final hours of the contest to only 60 seconds, but after several more pit stops the team would have to settle for finishing just on the same lap as the Kawasaki squad, as they slowed their pace to ensure victory. While one could make the argument that SERT lost the race instead of SRC Kawasaki winning it, riding a flawless and careful 24 hours is a part of the winning strategy in the FIM World Endurance Championship. Kudos to the SRC Kawasaki Team.

Also playing the hare to Kawasaki’s tortoise was the Honda TT Legends crew, which also suffered a crash on Sunday morning. Losing the front-end of the Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR at high-speeds, Cameron Donald had to push the battered CBR back to the team’s pits, where after a 20 minute pit stop the Honda TT Legends crew was able to get back to racing with John McGuinness at the helm. The quick rebuild allowed the Honda TT Legends to salvage ninth place overall, and sixth place in the WEC standings.

“Not the result we came for but it was one of our strongest rides yet,” said Honda TT Legends Rider John McGuinness. “We were holding fifth and looking good in very difficult conditions. It was a gruelling race with temperatures as low as 2 or 3 degrees through the night. I got caught up in some of the bad weather and had to pit for tyres changes which meant I then had to do double stints with 50 or 60 laps at a time and that is hard work.

“After Cameron slipping off at probably 150mph and the bike cart wheeling its way though the gravel, luckily Cam was alright and the team did amazing job at getting the bike back out there,” continued McGuinness. “We wanted to be a bit further up but at least we’ve picked up some world championship points.”

Finishing third was the Monster Yamaha YART squad, while the Yamaha France backed Yamaha GMT94 Michelin Yamalube finished a close fourth to its Austrian factory rival. With the Yamalube Folch Endurance team finishing fifth, Yamaha accounted for three of the top-five positions.

Race Results from the 76th Bol d’Or 24 Hours at Magny-Cours, France:

1Team Kawasaki SRCKawasakiDa Costa/Leblanc/FourWEC781 laps

2Suzuki Endurance Racing TeamSuzukiPhilippe/Delhalle/ForetWEC+ 1’41.055
3Monster Yamaha YARTYamahaJerman/Martin/GiabbaniWEC5 laps
4Yamaha GMT94 Michelin YamalubeYamahaCheca/Foray/LagriveWEC5 laps
5Yamalube Folch EnduranceYamahaRibalta/Dos Santos/TizonWEC16 laps
63D Endurance Moto CenterKawasakiDebise/Delegue/HolubSST31 laps
7Penz13 Kraftwerk HerpignyBMWBuisson/Fastre/VallcanerasSST32 laps
8Starteam 67SuzukiLucas/Hardt/DiguetSST33 laps
9Honda TT LegendsHondaDonald/McGuinness/AndrewsWEC34 laps
10DG Sport HerockYamahaVan Keymeulen/Cudlin/VizzielloSST40 laps
11Atomic MotorsportSuzukiMuteau/JondSST44 laps
12Team 18 Sapeurs PompiersBMWMolinier/Prulhiere/BriereWEC45 laps
13Racing Team SarazinKawasakiGerouah/Kokes/BernonSST46 laps
14Louit Moto 33KawasakiBaz/Guarnoni/ChevauxSST49 laps
15Dunlop Motors EventsSuzukiCharpin/Maccio/WolfWEC51 laps
16Team R2CLSuzukiCapela/Dumain/CheronWEC54 laps
17SH Technologie ScrubsBMWPouhair/Teramoto/DemareyWEC59 laps
18Moto AIN Racing TeamYamahaHaquin/Mizera/VarescoSST63 laps
19MCS Racing IponeSuzukiDevoyon/Bellucci/SasetaSST70 laps
20National MotosHondaMonge/Bocquet/MassonWEC77 laps
21Space MotoSuzukiNouvellon/Deneque/GallerandWEC81 laps
22Aprilia Le Mans 2 RouesApriliaBoue/Parisse/Le RoyerSST91 laps
23Viltais Racing DivisionYamahaBardet/Besnard/BerthomeSST91 laps
24Motors Events AMT AssurancesSuzukiSavary/Dietrich/MoreiraSST98 laps
25Leman RacingBMWVillarroya/Monnot/VinetWEC106 laps
26BI-Meca Racing TeamKawasakiFeuillee/Pons/BergeronSST109 laps
2724 Racing + Lesmotard.comBMWDelage/Romanens/BrunoSST111 laps
28Max et Yann Racing TeamSuzukiThepaut/Cury/LanielWEC113 laps
29Motos Actives Sport 14SuzukiPigeon/Pigeon/RocheSST115 laps
30Acro Racing TeamYamahaJean/Grimber/LucasSST116 laps
31Team Racing 85KawasakiGaugfreteau/Landreau/PerrinSST126 laps
32AZ Moto ExpertSuzukiMezard/Mau/NavarreteSST133 laps
33Flembbo Dijamant SerbiaKawasakiBosio/Cersosimo/DehayeWEC133 laps
34Team Racing+ Oui FMHondaDubarle/Tabaries/De SousaSST135 laps
35Team ACR 74SuzukiHuguenin/Schertenleib/PetitjeanSST144 laps
36YD Racgin CG MotosKawasakiThouzet/Deneque/BelmommeSST157 laps
37Ecurie Chrono SportKawasakiHerveux/Pibolleau/SeguraSST179 laps

Source: Bol d’Or; Photo: SERT


  1. Jake says:

    “Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s legacy of FIM World Endurance Championship domination remains intact, which lead SERT Team Principal to say, “I don’t understand what the competition is doing!” during the press debrief.”

    Karma has a way of knocking you down a peg when you make those kinds of proclamations.