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.

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory

01/19/2014 @ 12:03 am, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 32 635x422

The 2014 Dakar Rally is finally done, after two weeks of hard racing across Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Despite a slow start to this year’s Dakar, KTM’s Marc Coma took his fourth career win of the iconic rally raid race, aboard KTM’s all new KTM 450 Rally race bike.

Finishing almost two hours clear of his nearest competitor, teammate Jordi Viladoms, Coma took the lead on Stage Five and never looked back. The Spaniard’s fourth Dakar win came primarily from consistent riding, which saw Coma slowly rise in the rankings as Despres and Barreda made mistakes and encountered technical difficulties with their machinery.

“Without the right people behind me it would have been impossible to win,” said Coma. “We have worked very well throughout the race and also before. Last year I went through a very difficult situation not being able to compete because of injury and I came back to win the race. I think this says a lot about the people I have around me. I am very proud of this victory. What was key to winning the Dakar was not to make any mistakes.”

Marc Coma dedicated his win to his late teammate Kurt Caselli, who tragically died during the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000. Caselli filled in for Coma in the 2013 rally, earning himself great praise for his assention in the ranks, and two stage wins. Coma’s victory is a fitting tribute to the American rider.

For Cyril Despres, the Frenchman has to be wondering about the mistakes he made on Stage Four and Stage Five, which saw the factory Yamaha rider first encounter an electrical short, and cost him 40 minutes in time.

The very next day, Despres wasted 45 minutes look for a waypoint, and upon realizing he was low on fuel, had to abandon his pursuit, and take a one-hour penalty. Without those mistakes Despres surely would have been on the podium, and could very well have found himself his sixth Dakar Rally victory.

Also a victim to the grueling race that is The Dakar, HRC’s Joan Barreda found himself out of podium contention when his Honda CRF450 Rally suffered an electrical issue on Stage Twelve. Barreda won five of the stages in the 2014 Dakar Rally, and right away was a favorite to win the rally.

Both riders can take solace in the fact that their efforts proved that Yamaha and Honda can compete against KTM in the Dakar Rally. The Austrian company took its 13th consecutive win in this year’s Dakar, though with the defection of Despres, the rise of Barreda, and the increased competitiveness amongst the other OEMs has made predicting next year’s rally very difficult.

With the car class mired in a horrible affair of team orders, it is great to see the motorcycle class providing great racing for Dakar fans.

A&R would also like to give a special shout-outs to Laia Sanz, for being the fastest girl in the 2014 Dakar Rally, as she finished 16th overall on her KTM, and to Mike Johnson, the sole American competitor in the 2014 Dakar Rally, who finished 74th on his Honda.

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 15 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 05 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 06 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 08 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 09 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 12 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 16 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 21 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 23 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 25 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 26 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 27 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 30 635x422

Marc Coma Takes His Fourth Career Dakar Rally Victory Marc Coma Dakar Rally KTM 31 635x422

Final Results of the Motorcycle Class for the 2014 Dakar Rally:

7BARREDA BORTESPHONDA57:44:5402:54:0100:15:30
12VAN NIEKERKZAFKTM60:24:3105:33:38-
20CARDONA VAGNONIVENYAMAHA63:37:4308:46:5000:09:00
21PEDRERO GARCIAESPSHERCO64:10:1209:19:1901:55:00
25GUASCHESPGAS – GAS65:37:1210:46:1900:01:00
27VAN PELTNLDHONDA66:10:5211:19:59-
29BIANCHI PRATAPRTHUSQVARNA66:33:1011:42:1700:05:00
33NASER COLOMBOCHLKTM68:08:4313:17:5001:00:00
34DE SOULTRAITFRAYAMAHA68:19:4013:28:4701:00:00
35DA COSTAFRAYAMAHA69:08:4714:17:5402:00:00
36OLIVERAS CARRERASESPGAS – GAS69:35:1414:44:2101:00:00
50NIJEN TWILHAARNLDKTM75:03:1020:12:17-
56ARANA COBEAGAESPYAMAHA79:26:0824:35:1503:57:00
58SARMIENTO CERONCOLYAMAHA80:49:1925:58:2601:01:30
59DEL ZOTTOARGGAS – GAS80:57:1126:06:1802:15:00
61GRACIDA GARZAMEXHONDA81:19:2026:28:2704:15:00
63GUZMAN BLANCOCHLKTM81:54:1927:03:2603:02:00
65PENATE MUNOZESPKTM82:10:1027:19:1702:40:00
66DE GROOTNLDHONDA85:18:0630:27:1303:00:00
70PUERTAS HERRERAESPGAS – GAS91:26:5736:36:0403:00:00
72BATALLAESPGAS – GAS91:44:3236:53:3903:00:00
73CID DE LA PAZARGYAMAHA91:51:4637:00:5303:55:00
75HOYOS LLACHCOLHONDA102:03:2647:12:3302:40:00
77CHIVITE RUIZESPYAMAHA108:43:4053:52:4705:56:00

Source: Dakar; Photos: © 2014 Maragni M. / KTM Images — All Rights Reserved


  1. paulus says:

    Well done Coma/KTM!

    A classy touch dedicating the win to Kurt Caselli

  2. It’s been really hard to get decent coverage of the Dakar in the UK.

    By all accounts though Coma rode brilliantly.

    It’s a shame Despres ran short of fuel, missing the way point and earning a 1hr penalty. He seemed to be a far too conservative in the early rounds though.