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 to Return to 990cc Formula?

11/06/2009 @ 5:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

MotoGP to Return to 990cc Formula? Honda RC211V MotoGP 990cc 560x415

When MotoGP switched from the 990cc displacement format to the 800cc formula, it was done so on the idea that it would make the premiere racing class safer for the riders. This proved to not be the case, as the 800cc bikes clearly carried more corner speed through turns, and were still able to approach 990cc top speeds on the straight-aways.

The result, a racing class that was more dangerous and more expensive for manufacturers.With this in mind, Dorna Boss, Carmeloa Ezpeleta, wants to return the series back its previous 990cc format, by as early as 2011.

Making the switch won’t be easy for Ezpeleta, as the manufacturers’ cost of tooling down their race bikes from 990cc to 800cc cost them millions of dollars, a cost that  likely hasn’t been fully absorbed back yet. As such, many teams would be reluctant to make another switch so soon, even if it is to a displacement that they already have experience with racing.

As Ezpeleta explained, the MSMA (Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers Association) has some reprieve from a quick change.

“Right now, it is not going to be possible to switch in 2011, because the agreement with the manufacturers means that we could only make that change before the end of the 2011 season if there was unanimous agreement among the manufacturers. But we are thinking about a return to a 1000cc capacity from the start of the 2012 season, and we will start discussing it this weekend.”

Ezpeleta isn’t the only one wishing for a change in the MotoGP format. FIM President, Vito Ippolito, has been lobbying the fact that MotoGP needs to cut costs, and that he would like to see MotoGP return to a production racing motorcycle format. Also, the IRTA (the association representing the teams), has made it clear it would like a swtich to a larger capacity, preferably modified production motor, racing format.

Source: MotoMatters


  1. Bjorn says:

    Yes please! The change from 500cc two strokes to MotoGP 990cc four strokes was a blow to those of us who love the sound of a two stroke weapon on the pipe.
    The 990s still had the catchet of being the baddest if not the biggest bikes on the scene. The drop to 800cc while Superbike was getting bigger diminished the prestige of the class and the increasing reliance on electronics made for a bigger gap between the haves and the have nots. The tyre issue and subsequent control tyre rule; while leveling the playing field in rubber availability, has not made for closer fields. What it has done is to damage the competition between tyre manufacturers. Meaning the rate of advance of the tyres available to you and I has been decreased in the long term.
    An increase in capacity could stave off control ECUs and other crap that is being dreamed up to knobble racing and keep the spectacle there for the sponsors and spectators.
    The goal behind prototype racing is to drive developement. If MotoGP moves to a production based engine format to keep the class viable, it will be important to ensure that there is a liberal approach to regulations allowing for clever designers to produce the next big thing.

  2. Ryu says:

    うん、990ccの時の方が面白かったんで、そうしてね。 MotoGP to Return to 990cc Formula?→http://bit.ly/3GdNUx

  3. MotoGP to Return to 1000cc Formula? – http://bit.ly/1lFrDS #motorcycle

  4. Jeff says:

    “The change from 500cc two strokes to MotoGP 990cc four strokes was a blow to those of us who love the sound of a two stroke weapon on the pipe.”

    Disagree, was at Indy when Schwantz took the Lucky Strike out for a couple lap. I was expecting to be blown away with the song of the oil-burner. Underwhelmed. Could barely hear it in the stands.

    Comparably, the Ducati noise will melt your face. If you want to recreate the sound in your driveway, take the exhaust manifold off your car, place ear on on valve cover and have a body floor it.

  5. Dogobrazil says:

    MotoGP to Return to 1000cc Formula? – http://bit.ly/1lFrDS #motorcycle – by @Asphalt_Rubber

  6. Bjorn says:

    Like I said Jeff, “..those of us who love the sound of a two stroke weapon on the pipe.”
    Two strokes resonate on frequency that encourages irresponsible behaviour. Some very clever scientific chaps proved that about 15 years ago, sorry I can’t cite a reference.
    I’m a fan of the various Ducati MotoGP bikes, but there is something about the sound of a two stroke that makes your guts and your nuts quiver.
    I still miss my ported up hand grenade of a Yamaha after 16 years. I sold it to pay for my Ducati. I don’t regret it, but I do miss it.
    That said, I was making the point that going back to 990cc will improve the spectacle without further emasculation of the class.