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: Ben Spies Has Double Shoulder Surgery, Not Expected to Return in the Short-Term

08/23/2013 @ 12:15 pm, by David Emmett11 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Ben Spies Has Double Shoulder Surgery, Not Expected to Return in the Short Term Friday Indianapolis GP MotoGP Scott Jones 01 635x422

Ben Spies has undergone surgery on both his shoulders in Dallas yesterday. The Ignite Pramac rider had surgery to fix the acromioclavicular joint in his left shoulder he dislocated in a practice crash at Indianapolis.

Spies also had a minor procedure already scheduled for his previously injured right shoulder, to clean out scar tissue, according to a report in US publication Cycle News. The Texan posted a picture of himself after surgery on his Twitter page, announcing his surgery, but no official word has come from Ducati or Pramac just yet.

The bad news for Spies was that after further examination, Spies’ left shoulder was found to have suffered a grade five separation, or 100% dislocation, rather than the grade three previously diagnosed.

The surgery was required to fix the clavicle in place to allow the joint to heal faster. Recovery from such surgery is generally between six and twelve weeks, meaning that the earliest Spies could return would be Aragon.

Spies’ enforced absence will mean even more missed races. So far, the Texan has competed in just two of the ten races completed so far, and if he makes his return at Aragon, he will have missed a total of eleven of thirteen races.

Though Spies is still under contract to Ducati for 2014, such an extended absence could cause Ducati to reevaluate the situation. Spies will be replaced by Pirro at the next three races.

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Source: Cycle News & Ben Spies (Twitter); Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. proudAmerican says:

    Poor Ben–last year his bike kept breaking. This year, it’s his body. I’m guessing Ducati will exercise an option to end his contract. After that, no one will want to gamble with hiring him.

  2. Halfie30 says:

    This is proof positive that Spies, Hayden, and Edwars need to go to WSBK on competitive machinery and give America one last hoorah on the world stage for a while…

  3. Gutterslob says:

    Saddens me to say this, but I suspect the boy’s GP career might be over. Hope I’m wrong.

  4. L2C says:

    Sad news.

  5. buellracerx says:

    his career was over the second he swung a leg over that career-ending bike

  6. Phil says:

    “This is proof positive that Spies, Hayden, and Edwars need to go to WSBK on competitive machinery and give America one last hoorah on the world stage for a while…”

    What the hell are you talking about!!! This isn’t the court of law or the FBI.

    Anything is possible but Ben’s career in MotoGP isn’t looking good. and most that jump on DucAudi’s seem to have committed Harakiri. I think Rossi has been more than lucky to get away with it, even though it appears to have dented his confidence.

    Looks like Ben’s run out of Luck for this season……..and last season…and…

  7. kev71 says:

    Have to agree Spies is wearing out his welcome in MotkoGP. He should not have even sigkned to ride this year knowing he was not near 100%. Seems a bit shady to me, reminds me of Hopkins signing to ride for John Ulrich knowing he wasn’t close to 100%. His character will be seriously questioned from now on. He’ll get no love from Yamaha and Honda views him as damaged goods and they have better talent they can sign. If Ducati gives him the boot, which they should, he’ll be left with an even less competitive bike to ride.
    Of course some will say, “what about Suzuki?” They would be crazy to sign him. Some also like the Suzuki ride to Hopkins as well. Again, this would be a disaster! They’d get a lot of crash data but. That’s about all.

  8. Mr.X says:

    Breaking news! We are getting unconfirmed reports that a surgeon has advised one of his patients that he DID NOT NEED SURGERY! If this is true, it will be the first time in modern history that a surgeon did not supplant his personal desire for a newer car or larger home with the actual best interest of his patient.
    Alas, this mythical man does not treat anyone in MotoGP.

    It is a fact that so much surgery is performed on patients who would be much better served with ice, rest, and physical therapy. I don’t know if that’s the case in this case, but it’s not NEVER the case! It’s ridiculous, but in what other field than medicine is the salesman given so much trust? and in what other field is that trust so misplaced, or the results so severe?

  9. benji says:

    Ben crashes more than my 8 year old laptop. Doesn’t matter what he’s riding. And he keeps saying ‘I wont come back till I’m 100%’ Sorry Ben, but at this level, you can’t be a pussy like that. Have a look around you at what other riders, not necessarily top level riders, do to keep their privileged place at the top level, riding while injured. You’re acting as if you can afford the time off – you can’t. WAKE UP.

  10. Kaw4Life says:

    MrX – Not even close to true, I have been told that many times. To date I have only been on the table 14 times.

    benji – It is my belief that he does not want to race. He has given up. How does anyone crash in pit lane?

  11. Scott says:

    Mr. X, you are an idiot. How many ways can you spell moron? I know of 2 and one way is “Mr. X”. Don’t be a bitch by hiding your real name because you can hide behind a computer screen that makes it easy to post such false information that it wasn’t even a rumor anywhere. It’s irritating that very reliable sources (i.e. MotoGP.com) confirms Spies needed surgery. As far as his career? Just shut up!! It’s his problem, not yours. So stop being a fool and typing words that you heard from your stupid, un-resourceful, lying, friends whom most likely live with you in your mom’s basement. So go back to playing world of Warcraft for an easy average of 11 hours a day and working a part time minimum wage job which prevents you from playing video games literally all day and leave the real motorcycle racing fans to watch each season as it unfolds while we give our support regardless of what happens behind the scenes. Thank you. (also you shouldn’t have dropped out of school, your grammar sucks!)