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: Qualifying Results from Catalunya

06/15/2013 @ 2:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Qualifying Results from Catalunya dani pedrosa catalunya hrc motogp repsol honda

MotoGP Qualifying Results from the Catalan GP in Barcelona, Spain:

1Dani PEDROSARepsol Honda TeamHonda339.31’40.893-
2Cal CRUTCHLOWMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha336.31’41.5010.608
3Jorge LORENZOYamaha Factory RacingYamaha336.41’41.5660.673
4Alvaro BAUTISTAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda339.51’41.7140.821
5Nicky HAYDENDucati TeamDucati341.51’41.8000.907
6Marc MARQUEZRepsol Honda TeamHonda342.41’41.8420.949
7Valentino ROSSIYamaha Factory RacingYamaha336.11’41.9591.066
8Andrea IANNONE*Energy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati338.71’41.9631.070
9Andrea DOVIZIOSODucati TeamDucati337.61’42.0531.160
10Stefan BRADLLCR Honda MotoGPHonda339.91’42.0901.197
11Bradley SMITH*Monster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha330.21’42.5481.655
12Aleix ESPARGAROPower Electronics AsparART324.41’42.8781.985
13Randy DE PUNIET*Power Electronics AsparART319.21’43.1860.579
14Michele PIRRO*Ignite Pramac RacingDucati331.81’43.3300.723
15Hector BARBERA*Avintia BlusensFTR318.51’43.6591.052
16Colin EDWARDS*NGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki318.91’43.9831.376
17Karel ABRAHAM*Cardion AB MotoracingART320.91’44.3621.755
18Danilo PETRUCCI*Came IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter317.31’44.3691.762
19Claudio CORTI*NGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki319.31’44.6031.996
20Michael LAVERTY*Paul Bird MotorsportPBM322.01’44.6302.023
21Yonny HERNANDEZ*Paul Bird MotorsportART318.91’44.9132.306
22Bryan STARING*GO&FUN Honda GresiniFTR Honda317.21’45.4412.834
23Lukas PESEK*Came IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter313.21’46.3023.695
24Javier DEL AMOR*Avintia BlusensFTR309.41’48.9526.345

*Participated in QP1

Source: MotoGP; Photo: HRC


  1. kev71 says:

    Only 4 tenths of a second between 2nd and 8th shows these bikes are pretty close (at least in qualifying. Half a second between Pedrosa and 2nd. Could he run away with this race? Doubt it; although I don’t see Crutchlow being able to maintain 2nd place. My guess is Pedrosa and Lorenzo will run away from the rest and race for 1st until Pedrosa makes a mistake and Lorenzo will pass him and disappear. I can see the potential for a 1st lap crash as Crutchlow, Bautista, Rossi, and Dovizioso try to get to the front. Can’t wait for the race. Crossing my fingers Rossi gets a podium finish!

  2. Jonathan says:

    I’m pretty much with you, kev71. :)

    Honourable mention to Nicky Hayden too – it might be easy to dismiss him as “merely” a solid team guy, but where does he find the motivation to turn in quick times season after season when many racers in his situation might be happy to cash the paychecks while looking for a seat in a racing class where they might be guaranteed a spot in the limelight? Top man – if the Suzuki shows promise he would be my first choice for that team. And no – I’m not American, I just don’t think he’s ever got sufficient credit for being a world champ (and a darn fine dirt track rider to boot…)

    Bradl still not 100% on it this season, even if he is only 1/2 a second off second spot.

    Bautista? Crikey. I like him (even if I feel like wringing his neck sometimes!)

    Go Cal…

  3. phs says:

    Agreed Jonathan,
    I am hoping Ducati gets their bike sorted out to be battling for wins. I further hope that it is sooner than later and that Nick Hayden gets to reap the fruits of his labor over the years at Ducati.

    Should be a great race tomorrow.