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: Malaysian GP Cancelled

10/23/2011 @ 2:09 am, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Malaysian GP Cancelled Marco Simoncelli MotoGP Gresini Honda

After a tragic accident involving Marco Simoncelli, Colin Edwards, and Valentino Rossi, MotoGP has decided not to resume the Malaysian GP. The decision came down as Marco Simoncelli battled for his life at the track-side medical center, with Race Direction stating that it would be inappropriate to restart the race while Simoncelli was in such a precarious position medically. Succumbing to his injuries shortly after the cancellation was announced, heartbreak swept the paddock with the news that Marco Simoncelli died at the age of 24.

The Malaysian GP managed less than two full laps before the tragic incident occurred, which saw the San Carlo Gresini Honda rider lose the front-end of his motorcycle while keeping the bike upright with his knee. Off-balance and off the saddle, Simoncelli and his Honda RC212V cut back across the track near Turn 11, right in front of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. With nowhere to go, Edwards locked up the front of his Yamaha race bike, nearly crashing in the process, and unfortunately collided with Simoncelli. Valentino Rossi also made contact with his fellow Italian, a force so brutal it dislodged Simoncelli‘s helmet from his head.

Taking the brunt of the impacts, Simoncelli lay unconscious in the middle of the circuit, while Colin Edwards crashed off the track grasping his arm and hand (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha has announced that Edwards has dislocated his shoulder). Rossi was able to keep his Ducati upright, and ride back into the pits. With the race immediately red-flagged, Simoncelli was driven by ambulance to the circuit medical center, where he was initially said to be conscious but critical in his condition. Choosing to cancel the day’s race because of the horrific accident, MotoGP soon after lost one of its biggest personalities and rising stars, as Marco Simoncelli succumb to his injuries at 4:56pm local time.

Making a statement about the accident, Medical Director Michele Macchiagodena stated the following:

“I’m very sad to be here to report about the death of Marco Simoncelli, a friend. Because of the crash he had during the race, in which he was hit by other riders, he suffered a very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest. When our medical staff got to him he was unconscious. In the ambulance because there was a cardiac arrest they started CPR (cardiac pulmonary resuscitation). Immediately in the Medical Centre, with the help also of the Doctor of our staff at the Clinica Mobile and local Doctors, he was intubated and it was possible to take off some blood from the thorax. The CPR was continued for 45 minutes because we tried to help him for as long as we thought it was possible. Unfortunately it was not possible to help him and at 16:56 (local time) we had to declare he was dead.”

The news has hit the MotoGP paddock, with riders and teams pouring out their sympathies for Marco’s family, friends, loved ones, and teammates. The second to last race of the season, the Malaysian GP will surely carry a dark cloud to Valencia, as MotoGP‘s final race of the season is in two weeks’ time. Godspeed Marco. You will be missed, and motorcycle racing is the lesser because of your absence.

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. RJ says:

    Words fail. A very big loss to the whole GP community. Super Sic was by far the most entertaining rider to watch in GP and was a very awesome person off the track.


    Also, I think the FIM should retire number 58 in honor of a great man.

  2. DanG says:

    I met him purely by chance at the Indy Museum in 2008… he was remarkably modest and friendly. Truly charming, kind and bright. My hands are shaking as I type this… I agree with RJ that his number should be retired.
    MotoGP will miss presence forever.

  3. Westward says:

    The FIM, Dorna, Tech3, & Ducati should be responsible for providing extensive counselling to both Edwards and Rossi… I cannot imagine what the two must be going through, and I doubt even they know how to handle this event…

    Not to take anything away from the Tomizawa incident of last year, involving Redding and D’Angelis, however, Edwards and Rossi, are older and more reflective, not to mention the close relationship the two men had, Rossi and Simoncelli both…

    Godspeed Simoncelli, and may God comfort Rossi as well, to ease his suffering for the loss of a dear friend…

  4. Cpt.Slow says:

    M#&# F@#$ heart breaking….

    I would not be too surprised if Rossi, Edwards, or both retire…

  5. Alexontwowheels says:

    Crushing. A tremendous loss to the sport, and the world.

    @Cpt. Slow, if you think either Rossi or Edwards would retire as a result, you’re not very familiar with the way this works. To retire/quit would be the LAST think Simoncelli would want, and to do so would be to disrespect his memory. These riders know the raises they take, and it is accepted as part of the deal. Heartbreaking, emotional, difficult to swallow… Yes. But in the mind of a competitor it is all the more reason to go out and ride harder/better/faster/stronger, because it’s in their blood.

  6. Steve Lang says:

    This is a sad, sad day and a tragic loss for all of us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He was so fortunate to have lived his life doing what he loved. He was living his dream and he knew it. We were just sharing in it as we watched. Our hearts and prayers go out to Edwards, Rossi and all of Moto GP. I’m so sorry………

  7. Kroeter says:

    Bad day for MotoGP and the racing world. Sad feelings and sympathy go out to Marco’s family and friends and well wishes to Edwards and Rossi. Another hard reminder the speed and excitement of racing is balanced by the danger it also presents. Let’s hope everyone can re-focus and get back to riding to the best of their abilities. I’ll miss seeing Super Sic swing out his long leg while slowing for a tight turn. R.I.P. #58.