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: Catalunya Post-Race Test Times – Lorenzo Edges Hayden, Suzuki up to Speed

06/17/2013 @ 1:31 pm, by David Emmett3 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Catalunya Post Race Test Times   Lorenzo Edges Hayden, Suzuki up to Speed ducati corse garage motogp catalunya test 635x422

Jorge Lorenzo has topped the timesheets at the end of the Barcelona MotoGP test, but the talking point of the test was Suzuki. On its first public run out, Randy de Puniet clocked a time of 1’42.676, just over three quarters of a second off the time set by Lorenzo, an impressive debut.

Nicky Hayden set the second fastest time, close behind Lorenzo and ahead of Stefan Bradl. Both Hayden and Dovizioso ran back-to-back tests with the existing Ducati GP13 and the lab bike, but neither man was convinced that the lab bike was a step forward.

Cal Crutchlow took 5th spot, having spent the day working on the start of the race, as had his teammate Bradley Smith. Both men had made several exits with a completely full tank, to work on improving the first eight or so laps of the race, the point at which the Yamaha riders are struggling.

Valentino Rossi ended the day in 6th, working mainly on set up, but a crash in the afternoon disrupted his testing program. The Italian had gone out with a radically different weight distribution, but crashed in Turn 3, a fast turn. Rossi himself was unhurt, but the bike had been badly damaged while rolling through the gravel, leaving him unable to complete the test.

Aleix Espargaro finished in 6th place, just over six tenths off the pace of Lorenzo, an impressive feat on the Aprilia CRT machine. Espargaro said he had even been using an old spec engine with less power during the test, saving his higher spec engines for the race. But a new frame had offered some improvement for the ART, and allowed Espargaro to get in among the prototypes.

The test had been complicated by the weather conditions, the track temperature being considerably cooler than on race day. That meant an improvement in grip, making comparisons with performance in the race extremely difficult.

Yamaha now packs up and heads to Aragon, to join the Honda teams at the Motorland Aragon circuit. With rain forecast to fall around Alcañiz for the next few days, the factory Yamaha team maybe pleased they decided to stay at Barcelona on Monday.

Final Test Times from the Post-Race test at Catalunya:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff. Previous
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:41.904
2 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1:41.955 0.051 0.051
3 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1:42.227 0.323 0.272
4 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:42.417 0.513 0.190
5 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1:42.462 0.558 0.045
6 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:42.513 0.609 0.051
7 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia ART 1:42.537 0.633 0.024
8 14 Randy de Puniet Suzuki 1:42.676 0.772 0.139
9 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1:42.697 0.793 0.021
10 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 1:43.180 1.276 0.483
11 51 Michele Pirro Ducati 1:43.784 1.880 0.604
12 8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 1:43.899 1.995 0.115
13 5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 1:44.183 2.279 0.284
14 17 Karel Abraham Aprilia ART 1:44.458 2.554 0.275
15 9 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW 1:44.477 2.573 0.019
16 70 Michael Laverty PBM 1:44.547 2.643 0.070
17 71 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 1:44.794 2.890 0.247
18 68 Yonny Hernandez Aprilia ART 1:45.078 3.174 0.284
19 52 Lukas Pesek Suter BMW 1:47.379 5.475 2.301

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Ducati Corse

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


  1. TheSwede says:

    Well its obvious its got the speed needed, right out of the gate which is good. But will it hold up over race distance or fall to pieces ala Ducati? I still want to see someone other that DePuniet ride it. He’s never been the fastest guy around

  2. TheSwede says:

    Also, Laverty deserves Hernandez’s ride. He’s finishing ahead of him almost every time on an unproven, brand new bike. I’d like to see what he can do on the ART that Espargaro is putting up with the prototypes

  3. Espargaro gets my vote for underdog of the year. The guy’s just frickin’ KILLING it out there.