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 WSBK Trucks Found Trafficking Drugs?

05/02/2011 @ 12:46 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Kawasaki WSBK Trucks Found Trafficking Drugs? 2011 Kawasaki ZX 10R WSBK race 635x476

According to the UK’s Telegraph, the Kawasaki World Superbike trucks of Paul Bird Motorsport were stopped by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), and found drugs and a gun with 35 rounds. Now, we know what you’re thinking, someone forgot to hide their stash, and the media is making a mountain out of a molehill, right?

However crossing by ferry into England, presumably for the Donington Park round, the UKBA allegedly stopped and searched a pair of Kawasaki trucks, finding 157 lbs (71kg) of amphetamine tablets, more than 220 lbs (100kg) of marijuana, and enough cocaine to kill a small elephant (18 lbs/ 8kg).

While the intent to traffic the drugs into the UK hasn’t been established, it is hard to imagine that amount of narcotics going towards someone’s personal use (Charlie Sheen?). Unsurprisingly then, four members of the Paul Bird Motorsport team were arrested, questioned, and later released on bail by the British Police.

The Kawasaki WSBK team is set to go racing in Monza this coming weekend, and so far Paul Bird Motorsport and Kawasaki have not addressed this news, how the drugs could have made it onboard the trucks, and whether the detained team members would be participating in the Italian race weekend.

We expect though that with the pace this story is spreading, a statement will be coming forth shortly. More news as we get it.

Source: Telegraph


  1. spanner says:

    so thats how kawasaki is funding their superbike operations these days eh!? hehe!

  2. Grass for Gas says:

    Gotta pay the bills somehow, why not make a few folks happy along the way:)

  3. “Enough cocaine to kill a small elephant”?!? They’d better not be hurting elephants! It was bad enough watching that Reese Witherspoon circus movie…

    But seriously folks, having crossed borders frequently with a race bike in the back of a van or pickup truck, I can attest to the fact that motorcycles serve as a great distraction for customs officers. “Cool! Where are you going?” is a more common reaction than, “Can you prove that’s yours?” or “Pull over here, for inspection.”

    This is not nearly the first time I’ve heard of drugs being shipped across border in race teams’ trucks. Sometimes, this is an outgrowth of the terrible salaries paid to race mechanics – even in MotoGP most team members are paid less than 20k Euros/year; no wonder they freelance a bit. Other times, it’s team principals who, like racers, will often do almost anything to get a bike on track.

    What’s noteworthy here is the quantity (and the gun, which would be trivial here but is anything but in the UK.) Someone would have been paid a lot of money to deliver that load. Does it go to the top of the Paul Bird team? I bet you could fund a (typically less-than-competitive Kawasaki) SBK team for a round or two on the mule’s share of that load. You could buy the Paul Bird team outright for the difference between wholesale and retail on the coke alone…

    And they say racing gets in your blood…

  4. georGe aka-VintageWrencher says:

    Didnt Birdy’s girlfriend/wife have acid thrown on her a few years back? And now a shit-ton of dope is found in one of his transporters coming into the UK. Me thinks something is fishy in Birdyland.

  5. Zeitgeist says:

    Hey I did not know Lucchinelli was working for them!

  6. Shaitan says:

    That explains why they’re not winning…they’re hopped up. :P

  7. 76 says:

    Thats what I thought when I read the UK news, uh oh, definitely not a personal stash, or even a team one at that. That there is alot of loot and one can imagine with that kind of money, some bigger names are going to come along with it. I mean thats a half million dollars worth of drugs at cost, if anyone thinks a mechanic and a couple friends can come up with 500K or the clout to back it without some very powerful people they are living in la la land.

    Hope it turns out to just include people out of the sport, cheers too that

  8. UlyssesRider says:

    While it is unfortunate for the people involved and Kawasaki as well, this only goes to show that there is a big demand for these drugs. Now why might that be? Obviously, many people like to get high and enjoy life a little more. What is so wrong with that? In my opinion, people all over the planet should be free to purchase and consume whatever they want, be it a Coca-Cola (which had cocaine before the government took that freedom away from the people!) or some good green bud to smoke. And I should be able to purchase a new TDR 500 two stroke twin at the nearest Yamaha dealer, but no, the government has decided to “save the planet” and nearly outlawed two strokes and it just pisses me off to no end that I gotta ride a heavy four stroke instead of a much lighter two-banger! I can only dream of what a two-stroke Buell Ulysses would have been like. Definitely much lighter and faster but the government has decided that they are killing the planet. Well, what about Obama’s personal 747 Air Force One? How much does it pollute? The space shuttle, how much does it pollute? Basically, the people need to vote where they are allowed to do so and change these silly and restrictive regulations and let people and the capitalist system work. A good book and movie to see: Atlas Shrugged.