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.

Max Biaggi Officially Retires from Motorcycle Racing

11/07/2012 @ 8:46 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Max Biaggi Officially Retires from Motorcycle Racing Max Biaggi Miller Motorsports Park WSBK Aprilia Scott Jones

True to speculation, Max Biaggi’s media presentation today announced the retirement of the reigning World Superbike Champion, at the ripe age of 41. A six-time World Champion, Biaggi’s latest stars to his leathers have come from his involvement in the factory Aprilia Racing team in WSBK, with the other four stars coming from his consecutive 250GP World Championships.

Winning his crown by half a point, in what will surely be the narrowest margin ever in World Superbike history, Biaggi’s last season went right down to the wire until the end of the season at Portimao, as the Roman Emperor had to fend off strong contentions from both Tom Sykes and Macro Melandri throughout the 2012 Championship.

“It ‘s been the longest night, but I’m happy to leave now. I do not want to be like politicians attached to the chair. I thought about it a lot, I said to myself continuous 1 or 2 years or I stop? And I decided to leave now,” said Biaggi during his announcement at Vallelunga, the circuit where he started his racing career.

A polarizing figure, Biaggi found himself in World Superbike after his popularity in the MotoGP paddock waned because of comments he made about HRC, which lead to the Japanese manufacturer helping route the Italian into a one-year hiatus from motorcycle racing, before returning to motorbike racing in WSBK.

The antagonist to popular riders like Loris Capirossi and Valentino Rossi, Biaggi’s role in GP racing has often be likened to the role of the villain, a casting only perpetrated further by Biaggi’s prickly and temperamental persona.

Said to be the most highly-paid athlete in the WSBK paddock, by an extra digit on the paycheck, Biaggi was also the linchpin to Aprilia’s racing effort in the premier production-based racing class. His absence next season will surely be felt by the Italian team, and his successor has yet to be named, though Sylvain Guintoli is a heavy favorite to fill the role.

Retiring to spend more time with his family, Biaggi has ruled out racing again, though hinted at some sort of collaboration with Aprilia Racing in possibly in the future — let the speculation begin on that chapter.

“The family has counted in my decision. I think I’ve taken enough time to my children and my wife and I think it is right to devote to them because time passes and you can not stop. But today I want it to be a sad day. I quit because I want to stop and not because I was not competitive,” he continued.

“I have written important pages in the history of motorcycles. I gave up a contract with Aprilia identical to that of this year, same money, same bike, but I leave with no regrets. In fact I thank all those who have accompanied me in these 20 years. It ‘was still a very hard choice, but not forced by anyone, today let stand on my legs, others had serious injuries. I’m thinking of a collaboration with the Aprilia off the track, you will soon have news about it.”

Source: Piaggio Group; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Buellbafett says:

    A career to be proud of. I’ll miss the roles he has played and the performance he displayed in the MotoGP and WSBK “operas.” Well done Max!

  2. Halfie 30 says:

    Good on you Max! What a career!

  3. Westward says:

    The writing was on the tarmac, Melandri’s surge and BMW’s technology will soon surpass the Aprilia. Even Ducati seems to be a threat now that the ballast weight was lifted for the new Panigale.

    It is perfect timing, six championships and all with Aprilia is an awesome thing. Besides, he was never going to race or beat Rossi again. It is far better to stop while he is on top of the heap…

    It would have been a different story if he had won this season in dominating fashion…

    Good luck Max, enjoy the rest of your years, and can’t wait to see what you and Aprilia plan to collaborate on in the near future…

  4. Dc4go says:

    Great career Max nothing like going out on top the #1 plate on that beautiful Rsv4!!!!

  5. Victor Knowles says:

    I didn’t like him , it seemed he was a bit of a whiner. But after he got into WSBK I learned to respect him and admire him. He will be missed.

  6. Tyler says:

    BMW & Ducati.. sure they are moving forward, and this season was the best WSBK season in recent years in my opinion.

    But Aprilia isn’t standing still either… and I am certain a new version of the RSV4 will be upon us before too many more years… add to this Yamaha’s possible return and we will have a very, very interesting championship.

    Cheers to Max – congrats for going out on top, as so few can.

  7. I remember almost trying to dislike Max, but every time I watched/heard him speak of racing, his passion put an end to it. I’ll remember him for his championships, but also for being rare in winning his very first race in the 500 class. Unreal.

    Well done, Max. Great to see you stepping down from such a wonderfully high note.

  8. Gutterslob says:

    The thing I remember most about Max was that crazy wheelie he did on a 500, where he nearly flipped himself (and the bike) backwards. A very un-Max thing, but mad nonetheless.

  9. MotoGuru says: