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: Stop-and-Go Qualifying at Assen

06/30/2012 @ 12:03 am, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT

MotoGP: Stop and Go Qualifying at Assen Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Assen 2 635x421

With the Dutch TT taking place on a Saturday, instead of the customary Sunday afternoon for race days, the schedule for MotoGP has been shifted ahead a day, and accordingly qualifying comes to us from a Friday. A pleasant way to end the work-week, the Dutch weather apparently didn’t get the memo before filing its TPS report of off-and-on rain, which made for an interesting qualifying session. Giving riders fifteen minutes of dry track, a drizzle hit Assen, which quickly brought the riders back into the pit box.

Getting a second chance at things though, qualifying only had another 15 minutes of dry track, as qualifying was again interrupted by the rain. With the third time being the charm, riders thrice had a chance for a maximum-speed lap, though only five minutes remained in the session. Still for many, this was enough of an opportunity to get a few flying laps on the time sheets, making for a very sporadic, yet oddly entertaining show for the assembled Dutch fans.

The biggest surprise of the whole qualifying session was Casey Stoner, who in the last remaining laps put on a free clinic of how to ride a chattering Honda RC213V faster than anyone else on the grid, including the well-behaving Yamahas. Overcoming his lackluster week thus far, Stoner will start from pole, followed by teammate Dani Pedrosa. Rounding out the front row is Jorge Lorenzo, who continues to have a firm grip on the MotoGP Championship.

A surprise second-row starter is Stefan Bradl, who got a solid tow from Valentino Rossi down the final section of the Dutch circuit, he will start from the fourth position on his satellite Honda. Meanwhile Cal Crutchlow will start fifth, after getting slowed-down with the paddock’s least favorite rider, Hector Barbera. Rounding out row two is Ben Spies, whose racing orders might be “do or die” on Saturday, as the Texan won at Assen last year.

Noticeably off the pace was Karel Abraham, who is still nursing an injured hand from Catalunya. The Czech rider sat out the British GP, and is clearly not even close to 100% in his riding form. Top CRT goes to RdP, though teammate Aleix Espargaro has been showing an improved form, making for a good scrap between the two Aspar riders. Noticeably going nowhere were the Ducati riders, which included Valentino Rossi, who was once again out-qualifed by his teammate Nicky Hayden.

Qualifying Results from the Dutch TT at Assen, The Netherlands:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike KM/H Time Diff.
1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 303.4 1’33.713 -
2 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 303.4 1’33.828 0.115
3 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 305.7 1’34.001 0.288
4 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 304.0 1’34.035 0.322
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 299.0 1’34.486 0.773
6 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 297.2 1’34.644 0.931
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 299.6 1’34.698 0.985
8 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 299.4 1’34.722 1.009
9 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 300.0 1’34.751 1.038
10 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 302.1 1’35.057 1.344
11 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 305.0 1’35.289 1.576
12 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 286.6 1’35.830 2.117
13 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 286.3 1’36.007 2.294
14 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 283.2 1’36.647 2.934
15 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART 284.7 1’36.943 3.230
16 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda 270.0 1’36.967 3.254
17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 302.8 1’37.110 3.397
18 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR 279.8 1’37.191 3.478
19 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 283.5 1’37.281 3.568
20 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 284.3 1’37.554 3.841
21 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 283.4 1’38.305 4.592


  1. Gutterslob says:

    The race is over now, but I’m posting here just to say that Stoner’s pole lap was the highlight of the entire weekend. It was simply godlike!!