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 Tightening Control Over WSBK Team in 2012 – Paul Bird Motorsport Out

09/13/2011 @ 10:20 am, by Victoria Reid4 COMMENTS

Kawasaki Tightening Control Over WSBK Team in 2012   Paul Bird Motorsport Out Tom Sykes Kawasaki Victory 635x433

Kawasaki will not renew its World Superbike contract with Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) for 2012, instead focusing on bringing the race team further under the control of the Japanese manufacturer. Kawasaki had invited bids for teams interested in the 2012 and beyond contract, and received as many as six offers. Just days ago though, Kawasaki European Race Planning Manager Steve Gutteridge indicated that a decision between PBM and current Kawasaki factory World Supersport team Provec would be forthcoming.

Now stating that is has made the decision not to renew PBM’s contract, Kawasaki’s announcement is also devoid of naming the Provec team as the bid winner. “We have enjoyed three valuable years alongside the Paul Bird Motorsport team and would like to put on record our sincere thanks for the time, effort and dedication they have shown to the Kawasaki World Superbike racing programme,” said Race Manager Ichiro Yoda, as he indicated that there would be no contract renewal.

Instead, Yoda explained, “The direction of our World Superbike effort from 2012 moves to even closer control from our HQ where decisions will be made back in Japan next year.” He added, without actually naming a bid winner, “There are plans for much more testing in the future and so from a European logistical perspective Kawasaki’s WSB operating base will need to be close to the best circuits and good weather conditions, for practical reasons.” That statement could indicate that France-based Provec team has won the contract over British-based PBM, but the wording also leaves the suggestion that Kawasaki could be fielding an in-house effort for the 2012 season.

Though there were many legitimite reasons for PBM’s involvement with Kawasaki to come to an end, this announcement came just days after Tom Sykes won the rain-soaked Race 2 at the Nurburgring on his PBM Kawasaki, bringing Team Green is first race victory of the season. This however was not enough to counteract the team’s generally poor performance, the earlier drugs and weapons haul by British customs earlier this season, and the desire for tighter control of the race team by Kawasaki. Making matters worse on the three-rider team has been the complete absence of PBM’s third rider, Chris Vermeulen, who has spent much of the season recovering from previously and newly sustained injuries.

Source: Kawasaki Racing; Photo: Kawasaki Racing


  1. Dr. Gellar says:

    Regardless what Kawasaki ultimately decides, PBM had to go. The drug and gun fiasco was, to say the least…disgraceful.

    Hopefully bringing the racing program closer to the factory will lead to some greater success. As good as Sykes win was, he owes some thanks to Noriyuki Haga (who led nearly all of the race before the race was stopped) for throwing his Aprilia into the weeds.

  2. Just wanted to pass comment on this part of your article:

    “Making matters worse on the three-rider team has been the complete absence of PBM’s third rider, Chris Vermeulen, who has spent much of the season recovering from previously and newly sustained injuries”

    PBM didn’t want Vermeulen to stay on for 2011, it was Kawasaki who made them honour the contract so you can’t count vermeulen being injured for PBM’s downfalls.

    I think more Kawsaki control is definitely needed to progress this bike however I think it would have been clever to keep it in the hands of a team that are familiar with it.

    Although, it’s good to see they are interested in keeping TS.

  3. I’m sorry I didn’t make it clear, but I was attempting to indicate that the “making matters worse” was regarding the results for Kawasaki without Vermeulen racing, not so much making matters worse for PBM in contract negotiations. Sorry about the confusion.

  4. Tiago Neves says:

    I feel a lot for PBM because i tinck this guys like the Grean and most of the situations they have been unlucky… Chris Vermelleun was a big probleme with is injury but i dont no wy i feel that most of the problems of the Kawasaki are still the problems that they had in the past.. They created new bike after new bike promoting the new better handling the new better grip control more Power but at the end off the race we allways see Kawasaki struggling to keep the bike on the track… Im my live i never wach so many times the grean make at least one good qualafy star weell the races and then or crash or end at the back off the field=(…

    And i know wy i love Kawasaki’ s i love because of its FILOSAFI they are made for Ninjas, they are know to be dangerous because off its Screamer Top end Power engines… But its he’s Bad ass FILOSAFI for me that its what is killing Kawasaki performance.. Just like Bmw S 1000rr for comparacing.. its another bike that star faste but ends slow, and in this departement i tinck the best bike that will be in advantege its the Ducati..

    Como on people the true its that if we are allways crying for the rules allow more engine capacity for Vtwins engines we are solving the only probleme that a Vtwin engine will had.. because on the rest off the history the Vtwin is better then the 4 cilinder..

    The Vtwin can generated more Torque and aceleration on the Lowest powerband possible and its Hp its preety much similar to the 4 Ciinder.. Ok 4 cilinder had more Top power but most off the times they can only used this extra top Power on the first 5 laps of the race wen the bike had grip and exit the corners with Ful Power and Grip, because to the end off the races 4 cilinder bikes are more dangerous to ride Hard…

    I love Vtwins engines.. But all say that the best comparating year off the best Vtwin engine vs the 4 cilinder was in 2007 with the 999 of Troy vs James Toseland… The Ducati was 1000cc and the 4 cilender 1000cc…

    4 cilinder– Many bikes have diferents caracteres but i shall say that the Honda machine its the most complete 4 cilinder being able to put more power then the Ducati and at the same time build a well balance Machine and was a great battle to win the champion

    Vtwin- Sharp bike and faster handling better trottle reaction and Economical to tyres because they worck all race under 10.000 11 or 12.000 Rpm wille te 4 cilinder are allways screeming in 14.000 15.000 or iven 16.000 rpm…

    Ok return to Kawasaki i beliave that one screamer engine can better, to be honest with all this nerw electonics i was expecting kawasaki to be a better all round track bike but they never had grip..
    only in Rain they can win.. jejjeje How the Hell a dangerous bike to ride wins on Wet???????????????????????????????

    I just hope to see the gran at front many times will see for 2012