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: Time Marches on at the Japanese GP

10/14/2012 @ 4:23 am, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Time Marches on at the Japanese GP Jorge Lorenzo MotoGP Yamaha Motegi 635x421

One of the three “flyaway” races before the season finale in Valencia, the Japanese GP is race that is not only important to the two remaining Japanese manufacturers in the premier class, but it begins the dénouement of the MotoGP Championship.

Finding renewed vigor in his Championship hunt, Dani Pedrosa has only a handful of races left to catch Jorge Lorenzo, and win his first premier-class title. Truthfully needing Lorenzo to make a critical mistake or suffer a mechanical failure, Pedrosa also has to keep the pressure on his rival, and try to minimize the gap to his fellow Spaniard.

With each place separating the two riders likely to play a pivotal role at the end of the season, the drama unfolding in Motegi was palpable, though the action itself was a slow grind of a multi-campaign war.

Sitting on the pole-position, Jorge Lorenzo seemed to be in a commanding position on his Yamaha, though Pedrosa showed an uncanny pace on his Honda as well. Leading into the first turns, Lorenzo would take charge of the race, or so it seemed. A replay of the last race at Aragon, Pedrosa stalked and studied his pray, before finally making his move on Lorenzo with 13 laps remaining.

Putting down the hammer, Pedrosa ensured that Lorenzo had no response to his charge, leaving the Yamaha man to settle for second place. While definitively losing the battle, Lorenzo is clearly winning the war, and even a string of third place finishes in the next three races would assure the factory Yamaha rider of regaining his reigning World Champion status. Though, if Lorenzo is racing with his head, Pedrosa is racing with his heart — and winning over critics in the process.

Marginally more entertaining than the battle at the front, the battle for third was full of intrigue in the final laps, though it ended with a whimper. Early in the race, Cal Crutchlow seemed to have a lonely, but assured podium in the bag, but Alvaro Bautista made a charge, and caught the satellite Yamaha rider mid-race. Swapping corners, and nearly swapping paint, the re-signed Bautista put on a good show for his renewed team, though the battle was cut short as Crutchlow’s M1 ran out of fuel in Turn 3 of the final lap.

Handing Bautista his second podium of the year, Cal’s race retirement also handed his teammate Andrea Dovizioso a fourth place finish. Noticeably absent from the mix was Ben Spies, who crashed in the second lap of the race, doing so while in third place and close to the leading riders — again teasing Yamaha with a result that could have been.

Casey Stoner easily takes the “Hero of the Day” award, as the Australian powered through the pain in his right ankle, and finished a solid fifth place for his hard work. Citing a supreme package from the team, Stoner attributed his finish to his personal fitness not being up to the task to ride around the foot injury. For the Australian, we imagine the only race that truly matters in the season is his home round at Phillip Island in two weeks’ time.

Race Results from the Japanese GP at Motegi, Japan:

1Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda42’31.569
2Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha+4.275
3Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda+6.752
4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+16.397
5Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda+20.566
6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda+24.567
7Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati+26.072
8Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati+36.724
9Katsuyuki NAKASUGAJPNYamaha YSP Racing TeamYamaha+36.794
10Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati+1’10.729
11Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati+1’15.658
12Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART+1’22.769
13Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter+1’24.968
14James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART+1’29.388
15Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR+1’34.612
16Roberto ROLFOITASpeed MasterART+1’50.853
Not Classified
Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha1 Lap
Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter1 Lap
Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR10 Laps
Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART10 Laps
Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha23 Laps
Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR23 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Yamaha Racing


  1. MikeD says:

    A REAL SHAME for Spies…what a waste of bike and rider.
    Also for Stoner…too bad he can’t properly put the pressure on Lorenzo…….YET. (^_^)
    But money shot took it Crutchlow………….talk about saying ” Earth, open up and swallow me down ” , running out of fuel on the last lap…i would shoot myself on the face.
    Why fuel limit’s ? Another awesome rule that should bite the dust and die.

  2. seburo says:

    I agree, some stupid rules…