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.

NGM Forward Talking with Kawasaki for a MotoGP Return?

03/06/2013 @ 1:31 pm, by David Emmett6 COMMENTS

NGM Forward Talking with Kawasaki for a MotoGP Return? Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki MotoGP Qatar Scott Jones 635x422

The NGM Forward racing team was a pioneer of the CRT concept. It was the NGM Forward team who was the first to present its plans to race the bikes presented as an alternative to the cripplingly expensive factory prototypes, launching their 2012 campaign with Colin Edwards at Misano in 2011 — though Edwards had an excruciating year aboard the Suter BMW, jumping ship to the Kawasaki-powered FTR for the 2013 season.

Now, Forward is preparing the ground for its 2014 campaign even earlier. In an interview with GPOne, NGM Forward boss Giovanni Cuzari revealed that the team is already in talks with several manufacturers for the season after this one.

Cuzari said he had had a recent meeting with Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta to discuss 2014, when major changes will take place in MotoGP, with the dropping of the CRT category and the introduction of a new division, between the MSMA entries and the non-MSMA entries. Cuzari told GPOne that he had discussed the projects proposed by Honda (the production version of the RC213V) and Yamaha (leasing M1 engines for use in custom-built chassis), but he also said he had had contacts with both Suzuki and Kawasaki.

That Forward should be linked with Suzuki is no surprise: the Suzuki MotoGP project is proceeding apace, with the first appearance expected at Barcelona as part of a full testing program which will include five tests in Europe, according to MCN. Suzuki will have to work with an existing team on their return to MotoGP, and though the Aspar squad are the hot favorites for the spot, Suzuki has been in talks with a number of teams.

The news that Kawasaki is interested in making a return to MotoGP is more of a surprise. Cuzari told GPOne that he had already had talks with Kawasaki boss and engineer Ichiro Yoda. “I spoke to Ichiro Yoda, and they are interested,” Cuzari said.

That Kawasaki should approach Forward over a possible return is not surprising. The Forward team took over the Kawasaki project at the beginning of 2009, after Kawasaki had first announced it was pulling out of MotoGP, then agreed to stay on for one more year to avoid an eight-figure fine for breach of the contract it had signed with Dorna, which was set to run through the end of 2011.

In 2009, Kawasaki and Forward ran under the Hayate banner, with Marco Melandri as a rider, even managing a podium at Le Mans that year. If Kawasaki were to return, Forward would be the obvious partner.

News that Kawasaki is showing interest in MotoGP is a positive sign that manufacturers other than the three competing – Honda, Yamaha and Ducati – are still interested in MotoGP. The problem they face is the same reason they left: the astronomical cost of competing in the sport, driven mainly by the switch from two strokes to four strokes, and the increasing focus on electronics as the basis for increasing performance.

Whether the rule changes for 2014 will make MotoGP more affordable is debatable – the reduction in fuel consumption from 21 to 20 liters, and with software development remaining unregulated, costs will continue to skyrocket – and so much will come down to whether Yoda is capable of persuading the board to see either the R&D or the marketing benefits from participating.

For 2013, the NGM Forward will continue to participate under the CRT rules, with Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti racing FTR Kawasakis. Edwards has already spoken with great enthusiasm over the switch to the FTR chassis, which is slightly more flexible and provides more feedback than the Suter BMW machine he raced last year, but in an interview with Motoblog, Edwards was damning on the new spec Magneti Marelli electronics.

“We don’t have the parameters we want to use,” Edwards said. “The electronics we have are practically what we used to have 5 or 6 years ago, so we’re having to try to invent ways of doing what we want and getting them to do what we need.” Clearly, much work is still needed on the Magneti Marelli system.

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

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.


  1. MikeD says:


    Please, no half ass effort, go BIG or go Home. Not another Pile of Bull Manure CRT. This is MotoGP, not WSBK.
    If u can’t handle the Heat( $$$$ and resources needed) then stay da f*&^ out of the kitchen !

  2. sideswipe says:

    That last year Hayate was beautiful and Melandri showed that even with a bike that had stopped development he could do better than on that Ducati.

  3. CTK says:

    Man I don’t know. I want to see a 5 or even 6 way battle for the podium among all the manufacturers (Honda, Yami, Ducati, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Aprilia), but everyone but Honda/Yami has their work cut out for them. Personally I think they should ditch the spec tires and let manufacturers develop + bring their own rubber like the old days, or at least give them a range of tires to choose from. I feel like that is the big hurdle. Do that and maybe cap horsepower to ~250HP, and make a spec ECU.

  4. GT says:

    Bring back the two stroke 500′s that most of the manufacturers have in moth balls for a vintage round!

  5. Norm G. says:

    now publish the follow-up article where KHI tells us all with our wishful thinking to go pound sand.

  6. MikeD says:

    @Norm G: