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: Two Rounds in Malaysia?

12/05/2012 @ 1:34 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Two Rounds in Malaysia? Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Racing 635x423

According to MCN, Yamaha Racing’s Lin Jarvis is keen for more rounds in the Asian market — he is so keen in fact, that Jarvis has even suggested that s second round be held in Malaysia. With southeast asia proving to be an important market for the big motorcycle OEMs, the idea of doubling up on Malaysia for the MotoGP calendar is certainly not the worst idea ever proposed to Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta.

For Yamaha Racing in particular, a second round in the southeast asian territory would dovetail nicely with the team’s already extensive connection to the region’s markets. While everyone in the paddock would seem to be in agreement on MotoGP’s needs to get out of Europe and into other markets, Jarvis’s request to Ezpeleta is still a tall order, as it is a tough proposition for the MotoGP Championship to double-dip not only a small country, but also the same venue.

As GPone points out today though, Malaysia is set to get another world-class racing venue, as McLaren’s Peter Lim has officially started construction on a Formula One-compliant facility just north of the country’s border with Singapore. Five minutes from the border crossing into Singapore, and four hours away from the Sepang International Circuit, “Motorsport City” is being built on 270 acres of land and will meet FIA Grade 2 certification.

Pitched as a testing facility for car racing teams, it is not a big stretch of the imagination to foresee motorcycle events at the circuit as well. The question remains though, with the Motorsport City in such close proximity to Sepang, would the two tracks cannibalize off each other if MotoGP made both stops in Malaysia?

In developed countries, the answer would likely be an assured yes, however in Malaysia, it might be a different story, and with Singapore just a stone’s throw across the border, things get very interesting.

Source: MCNGPone, & Autosport; Photo: Yamaha Racing


  1. JoeD says:

    The US has Laguna, Indianapolis and Austin so why not?

  2. Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

    The USA is also the same size as all of Europe. Many states are larger than European countries. So, it’s like going to different countries.

    Forget 2 in Malaysia. Bring back the Chinese round. I liked that track.

  3. wasiF1 says:

    Two rounds in the same circuit isn’t required but I guess they should have a race in Thailand.& Moto GP needs to go to India

  4. Sean in OZ says:

    Jarvis was suggesting 2 races at Sepang as a short term solution until other circuits are in place in Asia.
    China and India are obvious future locations. Indonesia is also a big growing market, but its proximity to Sepang may make building a circuit there unviable.

  5. David says:

    I think there needs to be more races. If those chubby, beer drinking NASCAR drivers can do 36 races in a season then why can’t motorcycle racers have more races.

    At least have MotoGp stay at each venue for a longer time period so the teams could have tailgate parties so the spectators could hang out with the teams and eat and drink beer with them and (in the case of Larenzo) dance Gangnam style.

    Maybe even have track days with the MotoGp teams so we could at least be on the track with them at the same time during practice.

    Something, ANYTHING, I’m dying (or going crazy) here during this slow part of the season without MotoGp racing.

  6. Damo says:


    To be fair, Tony Stewart is one of the only fatties left on the NASCAR grid.

    But I agree, I think we all want more races. Bring back the Chinese round, that track is awesome.

    Yeah, off season sucks. No races, the new Top Gear Season is still a month away and no Walking Dead or Game of Thrones until February. Now that the daily temperature is dropping below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, not much riding either.

  7. ... says:

    Don’t forget there is still another FIM sanctioned circuit in Malaysia, and just over the border from Singapore. The Pasir Gudang Circuit…

    As for 2 MotoGP’s in Malaysia? Bring it on!

  8. Gutterslob says:

    I remember when they had races in Pasir Gudang on the strokers. Not exactly the most rippin track in the world, but still decent for its time.

  9. Patron says:

    @ David – Are you suggesting that the public should participate in a track day where Joe track day would be lapping while the current MotoGP world champion is looking for his race day setup? Or did I read that wrong?

  10. Afletra says:

    SENTUL should be able for this…unfortunately, due to our (Indonesia) stupid and greedy leaders, we can’t…yet. Even the SBK that has been officially confirmed is canceled because the circuit is not worth it.
    Me as Indonesian really sad with this, our two wheels market is one of the biggest in the world, and you know how crazy our people when it comes to motorcycle race (especially motoGP).
    I hope in the near future motoGP can be held in Indonesia.

  11. ah seng says:

    i’m malaysian. personally, i think our country is not too keen to watch 2 motoGP in a year..
    i’m worry about ticket sales…

    i back the idea of a indonesia/thailand/brunei/philipines round…

  12. Afletra says:

    @ah seng
    You got point there, I agree with you