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.

Rumor: Lorenzo/Ducati Deal All But Done

08/20/2009 @ 9:00 am, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

Rumor: Lorenzo/Ducati Deal All But Done Jorge Lorenzo Ducati contract nearly signed 560x401

As we reported earlier this week, Ducati has allegedly handed Lorenzo a very generous monetary offer to ride for the Bologna team for the next two seasons, replacing the ill and questionable Casey Stoner. Reliable sources are now stating that Lorenzo and Marlboro/Ducati have come to a basic agreement, and that a deal could be announced at the Indianapolis GP.

Spanish paper, Motocuatro, is reporting that the deal between Jorge Lorenzo and Marlboro has been agreed to in principle, with the finer details of the contract still being ironed out. They also report that the figures being floated around would make Jorge Lorenzo the second highest paid rider in MotoGP, right behind current teammate Valentino Rossi.

This would therefore suggest the €7 million figure we quoted earlier as being in the ballpark of reality, and again nearly double what Fiat-Yamaha was willing to pay.

Also emerging in the news, is the apparent lack of concern Stoner had for his team regarding his decision to sit out the Brno, Indy, and San Marion GP’s. Apparently, the former champion did not consult anyone on the factory Ducati team, giving only a weeks notice of his decision. For tobacco sponsor Marlboro, this was the final straw in a long line of poor performances for the Australian outside of the race track.

Stoner has avoided and shirked his sponsorship duties, even sitting out post-race press conferences where he wasn’t a podium finisher. For a company like Marlboro, which foots a substantial part of Stoner’s salary, this lack of return on their investment must certainly be intolerable, and it begins to shape the understanding of why they would pay such a high price for Lorenzo. More on this as it unfolds.

Source: Motocuatro


  1. I hope this comes to pass. I have argued that Ducati must secure Lorenzo in order to hedge against the risk that Stoner is finished and the growing reputation of Ducati as a career killer. Stoner is a strange personality that is hard to warm to and Randy Mamola’s on camera comments to the effect that “Casey needs to deal with stress” suggest we don’t yet know all the details of what ails Stoner


  2. Billy B says:

    The criticism of Stoner sounds more tabloid style than anything. Leave that crap to the women’s magazines! Health should always come first, and you can be sure the sponsors/team management would have race wins on their mind! It would be a tough situation for all involved. Either way, the show must go on.

  3. AT_R6 says:

    I’m not a huge Lorenzo fan, but I’d like to see him in another team and there’s only Ducati that can produce a consistent race-winning bike to take the challenge to Yamaha (providing Lorenzo can ride it…). He must also now be thinking that the only way to beat Rossi will be with another team – last Sunday won’t have helped putting pen to another Yamaha contract.

    I agree with Mark Morrison – I think there’s more going on behind the scenes with Stoner and his attitude obviously hasn’t gone unnoticed. Hugely talented on the right day, but ultimately flawed.

    He’s no Rossi, that ‘Stoner the Moaner’

  4. paul says:

    This must be really driving CS nuts !

  5. hjworton says:

    Let us not get ahead of ourselves – Lorenzo has not signed for anyone yet. After what may or may not have happened in negotiation with Honda, this could be seen as yet more bluffing in order to secure equality – or close to it – at Yamaha.

    Personally I think Lorenzo would be taking a huge risk and a brave step to move to Ducati. It would be fantastic for the sport if someone else could put the thing at the front – to be frank, I think any of the top guys could, Melandri and Hayden do not come into that catagory. Put VR, Lorenzo or Dani on the red thing and it would win races. If I were Casey Stoner this must all be very stressful and not very helpful to his condition, whatever it might be. Lorenzo as a teammate is something he would not like. Let us hope that if all this talk has some substance to it, that it actually comes to pass. The championship would be re-invigorated with JL on the red thing.

  6. Paul sheather says:

    I think its all smoke and mirrors. Lorenzo is playing the game to get more money from yamaha.

    Also they should roll back the electronic on the bikes then we will see who can ride these beasts