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.

MotoGP: Here Come the 1,000′s

04/04/2011 @ 1:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Here Come the 1,000s Rossi Ducati Corse Pit Box 635x390

For the 2012 season, MotoGP will be reverting back to its 1,000cc format (actually, it used to be 990cc, but what’s ten cubic centimeters among friends?). While many MotoGP fans have been awaiting the day that the “big bikes” would return to premier racing with their powersliding, rider chewing, wheelie popping ways, it’s hard to get excited when the first two races of the last 800cc season have been so eventful. Nevertheless the die has been cast, and this week should be begin our first glimpse into these two-wheeled monsters.

First on the list is Ducati Corse, which could debut its Desmosedici GP12 as early as at a private test later this week in Jerez. With the MotoGP rules seemingly barring factory riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden from riding the bike, testing duties will fall to Ducati’s test rider Franco Battaini and Ducati Corse Team Manager Vittoriano Guareschi, an accomplished rider in his own right. With three days at the circuit starting this Thursday, Ducati Corse is expected to not only try out an early version of the GP12, but also test parts for the Desmosedici GP11 currently being used by its riders.

According to Ducati Corse, the team has reached the end of what it can do in terms of setup to solve the problems of the GP11, and now require new parts to make further improvements for season. Amongst the items being tested are a new motor that has a revised firing order and heavier crankshaft. Also expected is a new carbon fiber frame, which hopefully will solve the understeer that is prevalent in the Desmosedici GP11 (although the motor could just as easily be to blame for some of the problems the GP11 has had).

Less definitive on its testing schedule is HRC, which was supposed to have its next-generation motorcycle on the track before the season-opening Qatar GP. With the earthquake and tsunami damaging the Motegi circuit, HRC was unable to run at the track, and couldn’t go to other venues because of the fuel shortage. With fuel once again be distributed in Japan, HRC hopes to be on the track soon with its 1,000cc machine, perhaps even in time for the July testing session at Mugello. Meanwhile the team has been testing the bike on the dyno, and likely taking feedback from riders on how to further improve upon its new quick-shifting gearbox.

In the Yamaha camp, things are already on-track for a Mugello unveiling in early-July, where Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies will reportedly take to the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 immediately after the Italian GP at Mugello. Of the items expected on the new machine is a gearbox similar to the one found on the 2011 Honda RC212V. You can also expect the new M1 to have a considerably more power, something the riders have been complaining about to Yamaha for some time. The MotoGP test at Mugello is of course not a certain thing, as Dorna has yet to confirm the outing

Source: MCN & MotorcycleUSA


  1. Jim Race says:

    Ben and Jorge will be pining for ’12 if the newest M1 severely outpowers this years model…


  2. Scruby says:

    Moto Gp bikes get 21L of gas.Many 800″s go into “gas econo mode” the last few laps.The 1000′s will get the same wimpy 21L of gas.Maybe they can go to econo right off the start.Haha.

  3. 76 says:

    Please A&R start a 24L petition or something, its true they need more juice, they could have even given the 800′s 24L’s and it would have been just fine, I mean they are putting out HP over WSBK literbikes already.

    No Traction Control
    24L tanks

    Done simple as that, well until Japan arrives with their wisdom

  4. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: MotoGP: Here Come the 1,000's – http://aspha.lt/fk #motorcycle

  5. sunstroke says:

    I also want 24L, but the prognosis for more fuel isn’t good. An 81mm bore limitation and 24L of fuel would effectively create a horsepower cap in MotoGP. The MSMA are opposed to a horsepower cap at all costs. That’s why the MSMA have pursued fuel-limitations no matter how much it harms the spectacle or drives up costs. Dorna probably want a horsepower cap b/c it will make the series as competitive as WSBK, and it will reduce the cost of the machines by making pneumatic valves optional and reducing the electronic complexity. MotoGP will only get more fuel if Dorna can successfully pack the MSMA with manufacturers who are willing to establish a horsepower ceiling by adding more fuel.

    The 2012 M1 should be more powerful than the current model. The 800cc engine is probably capable of reaching the same peak output as the new 81mm 1000cc engine, but the engine reliability regulations are reducing the revs for the 800cc M1. The new 1000cc engine should easily comply with the engine regulations at max rpm so it should produce 15-20hp more than the 800cc model. No telling whether or not it will be of any benefit during the fuel-restricted races.