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: Seeing is Believing at the Valencian GP

11/11/2012 @ 4:25 pm, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Seeing is Believing at the Valencian GP Valencian GP MotoGP Sunday Scott Jones 11

Another GP race weekend, and another weekend where the weather looms over the MotoGP paddock. Wasting Friday, and getting a reprieve on Saturday, the rain of Valencia was back for Sunday’s race, leaving a drying, but wet, course for the MotoGP riders to contend with on 200+ hp machines.

Casey Stoner’s last race, Dani Pedrosa’s last chance to have the most race wins, and Jorge Lorenzo’s final chapter to a flawless season, the script for the front-row starters was intriguing to say the least.

It all went out the window though, as we can confidently say that the following information contains no spoilers for those who have yet to see the race, since no human could possibly guess the outcome of the Valencian GP: a CRT bike lead the race for multiple laps, a Yamaha is on the podium, a world champion was lapped, and a satellite team finished both its bikes in the Top 5. Words can barely describe the race, but we will try after the jump.

Even before the pre-race grid up, things got interesting, as Jorge Lorenzo dismounted his rain-shod Yamaha YZR-M1 and finished his sighting lap on racing slicks. By the end of the warm-up lap, Pedrosa, Hayden, Bautista, and Crutchlow had entered pit lane, also looking for bikes with racing slicks — they would have to start the race from pit lane because of this choice.

This left a very sparse grid for the start of the Valencian GP, though the extra slots certainly helped the field, which was divided by tires. With the bikes on slicks having remarkably less traction as the lights went out and the Valencian GP started, the extra space ensured no entanglements as everyone fishtailed from the starting line.

An absolute melee, it would be worth buying a MotoGP.com subscription just to see this race, as words fail to asses the full-scope of the action on the track. The highlights included a flurry of riders swapping bikes in pit lane, and crashing them in the gravel traps. One of the latter, Lorenzo lost out on the lead as Pedrosa pressed him with what might be the Repsol Honda rider’s best race to-date.

Leading the first few laps of the race, Aleix Espargaro shocked the field with hits rain-shod Aprilia ART machine. Putting on a good initial battle with Andrea Dovizioso, Espargaro’s tire choice ultimately caught up to him on the drying Spanish track, and the Spaniard finished 11th, just ahead of teammate Randy de Puniet. For his efforts though, Espargaro clinched the CRT Championship.

Crashing out of second, Cal Crutchlow handed the podium position to Yamaha Racing’s wild card rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga. Alvaro Bautista looked to continue the bizzaro, but was passed in the closing laps by Casey Stoner, leaving the satellite Honda rider to finish fourth, one spot ahead of his teammate Michele Pirro, whose fifth place finish is the top CRT result for the 2012 season.

Despite starting from pit lane, Pedrosa passed every rider on the track, and lapped a number of riders, even ones on prototype machines. In that vein, Pedrosa’s best scalp has to be the one that belonged to Valentino Rossi on the factory Ducati Desmosedici GP12. With 14 laps still remaining in the race, Pedrosa lapped Rossi who was circulating in the 10th place position, making Valencia a forgettable experience for Rossi, who will surely be looking forward to Tuesday when he sits atop the Yamaha YZR-M1 once again.

For Dani Pedrosa, the race-win at Valencia marks the Spanish rider securing the most win, the most podium, all in front of a home crowd. He finished the Championship just 18 points behind rival Jorge Lorenzo. Now begins the long countdown to the 2013 MotoGP Championship season.

Race Results from the Valencian GP at Valencia, Spain:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 48’23.819
2 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +37.661
3 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda +1’00.633
4 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda +1’02.811
5 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR +1’26.608
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +1’30.423
7 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati +1’31.789
8 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 1 Lap
9 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 1 Lap
10 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1 Lap
11 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 1 Lap
12 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 2 Laps
13 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens BQR 2 Laps
14 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 3 Laps
Not Classified
Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 8 Laps
Claudio CORTI ITA Avintia Blusens Inmotec 13 Laps
Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 14 Laps
Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 17 Laps
Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 21 Laps
Roberto ROLFO ITA Speed Master ART 24 Laps
Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 28 Laps
Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 28 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Joey Wilson says:

    I’ll say it was confusing for Yamaha as well as those of us watching: Obviously, Nakasuga actually was given Lorenzo’s bike, and made it to the podium, rare for a ‘stand-in’ development rider. Meanwhile, Jorge OBVIOUSLY got the bike they’d set up for Ben . . . . .

  2. meh says:

    the word is “assess.”

    you just said the plural of ass.

    he he he