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 Marquez Breaks Freddie Spencer’s Record- Becomes the Youngest Person to Win a MotoGP/500cc Class Race

04/21/2013 @ 4:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

Marc Marquez Breaks Freddie Spencers Record  Becomes the Youngest Person to Win a MotoGP/500cc Class Race marc marquez youngest motogp win scott jones 635x422

Winning a duel that went down to the final laps of the Grand Prix of the Americas, Marc Marquez has become the youngest rider ever to win a premier-class grand prix race. At 20 years, 2 months, and 5 days old on race day, Marquez’s victory breaks the one previously held by American Freddie Spencer, and could very well best Spencer’s previous record on a few more occasions with the 10-round window that still remains.

Taking to Twitter after the race, Spencer congratulated the young Marquez on his record-breaking racing victory by saying, “Great job to Marquez on being the youngest rider ever to win a #motogp race!! I feel very happy for Marc! Truly an incredible moment!! Best!”

Talking about his achievement in the post-race press conference, Marquez stated that “for me it’s another motivation, no? Since I start with MotoGP everything was going so good, but a rider’s first victory is something different — your confidence change a little bit.”

“It’s just a result that looks like everything is going well, but we cannot forget that now we come to some tracks that will be more difficult for us,” he continued modestly. “The victory is so good in just the second race, but I think it will be a difficult fight with these guys every race and to keep this level.”

Making his mark on MotoGP so early in his life and career, it is no wonder that many in the paddock mention Valentino Rossi while talking about Marquez. Talent recognizes talent too. Virtually all the riders in the paddock have spoken highly about the young Spaniard, including Rossi himself.

“Impressive,” said The Doctor simply, after being asked about Marquez. “Win the second race in MotoGP? It’s impressive. It’s not the case [It's not normal -JB]. He’s a great rider. But also, he is in front in the championship, he take the podium of both the races, and it’s just him and Jorge — he is very fast, he will be very hard to beat him, for sure.”

For a series that for the past decade has been so greatly defined by the talent of Valentino Rossi, many in the paddock wondered what would happen to MotoGP after the nine-time World Champion left the sport. However, with his dominant riding and youthful personality, Marquez could very well be the next-gernation of GP rider that transcends nationalities and the sport’s own barriers.

“I don’t see just a Spanish flag up there. I see an athlete that you can admire —  including Valentino Rossi and the rest of the champions who are around,” said Randy Mamola when we talked to him after the race at Austin. “It’s just awesome. I’m sure Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, and Kenny Roberts watched that race on TV and their jaw were on the ground.”

“I think that if he is managed really well, which I believe that he is — he is so grounded. They just need to do the right things,” added Mamola. “If any of these guys went out and sat in that crowd they would be loved. Cal is so funny, so charismatic. Jorge? Same. If you know them, like we know them, they’re different.”

Could MotoGP have found its next golden meal-ticket? Only time will tell, but for now we have many congratulations for the young Marquez, and hopefully the downtown Austin bars don’t card him too often.

Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Mp says:

    Having been perched at the top of turn one, I can say that mm displayed a different kind of ease at work. The big hill to turn 1 made many riders appear as if they were doing push ups on the bars but Marquez just motored up the hill, subtly sat up and just draped off the left side of the bike in one, effortless movement. It was near impossible to even hear him downshift through the box as his throttle control and clutch work was robotic perfection. Driving out of the corner was just as smooth. He put in a fantastic effort but made it appear as if he wasn’t trying very hard at all. It was an impressive sight in an otherwise unspectacular race.

  2. Jazzy says:

    Sitting near turn 11 at COTA it was unbelievable to watch Marquez rocket down hill out of turn 10 (180mph+) and hammer the brakes lifting the rear wheel, then sweeping the hairpin turn 11 and speeding down the straight. Congratulations #93.

  3. Fantastic race to watch, really was a nail biter right til the last couple of laps. Unbelievable riding by Marquez, and not to diminish his great talent at all, I can’t help feel like this was a “perfect storm” situation at COTA. It’s a difficult track no doubt and the fact that this was the first MotoGP race there played into Marquez favor, the rest of the tracks where many of the more seasoned riders have ridin many times on 1000/800cc bikes will probably give him more of a fight.

    In any case it should be a blast to watch! Still kinda wish Stoner was around and of course Simoncelli, but the fight between Bradl and Crutchlow was pretty good.

  4. Like the first commenter, I was on the hill in 1 for the race. But I think one of the most interesting things was what I didn’t see: Marc y Marq was not pushing the bike nearly as hard in the race as he did in P&Q. I honestly think that he had a little in hand in the race. Very impressive. He fell hard early in practice, on an out lap; that looked like the Marquez from Moto2. But he looked mature and collected in the race. If he’s going to be more like the guy he was on Friday and Saturday, he’ll be fast but inconsistent. If he’s going to be more like the guy he was on Sunday, he’ll be a threat for the championship in his rookie year. When was the last time that happened?

  5. orang keren says:

    Marc is awesome