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.

XXX: Randy de Puniet’s 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR

08/24/2012 @ 3:05 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 13 635x423

Since we started Monday off with an ultra hi-res gallery of Valentino Rossi’s 2006 Yamaha YZR-M1, we thought it would be a good bookend to the work-week to conclude with some more hi-res shots of another MotoGP race bike: Randy de Puniet’s 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR. One of those bikes that never really shined in MotoGP, the ZX-RR scored only a modest number of podiums before Kawasaki finally bowed-out of MotoGP, mid-championship in 2008.

Leaving Marco Melandri holding the bag, the Kawasaki racing effort lived on in spirit as the Hayate Racing Team, where the team impressed many in the paddock with its results and limited resources. Absent completely from GP racing from 2009 to 2011, the closest we have to Team Green in the premier class now is the Avintia Blusens Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R powered CRT entry, which just took the honors of Top CRT in the Indianapolis GP.

Like Rossi’s 2006 Yamaha, RdP’s Kawasaki probably doesn’t hold the fondest memories for the Frenchman. His first ride in the premier-class, there is at least some irony in the very green rider (experience-wise) riding the Green Machine.

As Kawasaki has faded out of GP racing, and only exists in CRT form, De Puniet has come into his own as a rider, though through unfortunate circumstance has found his underrated riding skills relegated to Team Aspar’s Aprilia ART CRT — instead of factory-supported bike, like the ZX-RR seen here…which, if you haven’t already noticed, is actually a hyper-accurate scale model of the the real thing.

If you had to do a double-take after that last sentence, don’t feel bad — the attention to detail here is amazing. Constructed by Gennaro Zappa (see similar work at Racing Scale Models), the Tamiya-made set comes to life with some amazing paint-work that replicates the fatigue and use of the motorcycle. Faux-carbon fiber, bluing on the exhaust pips, and shading on the motor…Zappa must have the patience of Job.

While we enjoy the bike porn that comes from a true MotoGP bike with its fairings off, somehow the idea that the same effect is being replicated here, in 1:12 scale, makes it that much more drool-worthy. Enjoy the 40+ photos below in the gallery.

XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 39 635x423

XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 04 635x423


XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 19 635x423

XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 21 635x952

XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 24 635x423


XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 32 635x952

XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 34 635x423

XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 37 635x423

XXX: Randy de Puniets 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX RR Randy de Puniet 2006 Kawasaki ZX RR MotoGP scale model 03 635x423

Source: Racing Cafe


  1. I have a half-complete (actually, make that something more like 1/20th complete) Tamiya model of the LCR RC211V and Gennaro must have the patience of a saint! I might even get it finished this Winter…

    That is a piece of work though – phenomenal crafting skills!

  2. MikeD says:

    Well……….excuuuuussse me for not been able to tell from the get go. LOL.

    Magnificent building skills. BOTH the Model Builder and the guy who putted it together. The amount of details is just mind-blowing.
    Man that thing is “nice-enough-to-stare-at-for-hours”.

    Interesting……………even tho the 4-into-1 config is the one been known for giving the most out of flat crank (screamer) engines they are not bothering to use it here but rather diameter increasing individual headers ? ! Do they know something we don’t ? I bet plenty.

    Danm shame they dropped out of MotoGP… but with all the shit slinging/drama/BS Regulations and constant rules changing that has become MotoGP i don’t blame them if they stay out 4ever.

  3. John says:

    Where can I buy that model???! Or any other sportbike model kit, really?

    @MikeD My guess is that it is a big bang? My understanding is that GP had moved entirely to cross-planes and V’s years ago, and that nobody had really run screamers since the 2 stroke days.

  4. @John not sure if Jensen allows links on the comments here, so I’ll just say search “Tamiya bike” on a well known auction site and that will give you an idea of what’s available. There’s plenty of model/hobby shops to choose from over here in the UK, not sure where you’re posting from.

    If I ever get my current model finished, a Mike Hailwood Ducati from the ’78 TT could well be my next…

  5. MikeD says:


    I said Screamer because i recall the last version, Kawasaki themselves……….were refering to it as “The Screamer”…and were making a big deal also about the switch(about fricking time !) to Neumatic Valves…if memory serves my well.

    If im wrong…anyone….feel free to correct my crooked facts…lol.

  6. aaron says:

    The bike that will always remind me that Kawasaki has less ability to develop a racebike than the poor schmucks (Hayate) left holding the bag when the factory up and left. Far less embarrassing than the Honda/Brawn debacle in F1, though!

    I guess there’s always a slim chance that a silver, Audi badged Desmosedici could romp away with the title next year…

  7. Oh I just love the tilt shift lens shots that make the bike look like a toy, with all the details blurred so I can’t make out anything. NOT!!!!

    To the photographer and editor: Jumping onto the latest fad does not make you hip or the subject more interesting, it just makes you another one of the sheep.

  8. You can always tell who read the article, and who didn’t.

  9. MikeD says:

    Talking like a mad man…Kawi shouldn’t bother crackin their collective heads when the time comes to redesign the new ZX-10R…just look back and slap street lights and a license holder on this thing and booya ! Instant new/old model with all the MotoGP looks/cred u ever wanted…w/o the rediculous price tag.

    BTW: I meant the GP bodywork over the current chasis/engine…let’s try to stay a bit real here…(^_^)

  10. Singletrack says:

    I’m hugely impressed with the finished model. But I think I’m more impressed by the model makers. Imagine what it takes to make the metal moulds for those tiny parts.

    I’ve got a few Tamiya models I built 30 years ago that are still on display in my basement – Kenny Roberts on the YZR500 in full lean, Kawasaki Endurance Racer, Suzuki Katana, CR450 in flight, RD250 etc. Not nearly as nicely painted, but I like ‘em.

    Now days I’m guessing you could load a CAD file into a 3-D printer and end up with the same thing ;) Not quite the same satisfaction in building it though…

  11. Singletrack says:

    And speaking of Tamiya – they produced the BEST calendars. I still have some 1984,85 era GP racing calendars that are awesome. GP bikes and cars with fantastic photography and quality print reproduction. They still look great in my garage. (waiting for the days of the month to align again ;).