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.

Segway Sponsoring MotoCzysz 2011 Racing Season

05/20/2011 @ 6:26 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Segway Sponsoring MotoCzysz 2011 Racing Season segway swat team 635x467

We heard rumors that Segway was sponsoring the MotoCzysz Isle of Man TT effort, but passed them off as too crazy to be true, as the rumors also suggested a three-bike team at the Isle, which we knew not to be true. Now we get official word that Segway is indeed sponsoring the Portland-based company, but not just at the Isle of Man TT, but throughout the 2011 racing season. We’re not sure which races that will be exactly for MotoCzysz, but you can count on an appearance at the FIM/TTXGP Laguna Seca round at the very least.

The press release goes on to say that “this combination results in a world class team of mechanical, electrical, and software engineers whose years of experience and knowledge will lead both companies to successes not only at the track but also with new vehicles in the marketplace,” which to us sounds like MotoCzysz has been busy hot-rodding a different kind of two-wheeled electric vehicle up in Portland. I can’t speak for the whole A&R crew, but personally I’d pay good money to see Michael Czysz on a Segway.

“Following last year’s TT, Jimi Heselden, the owner of Segway and I became very interested and motivated to be involved in the electric motorcycle racing world. MotoCzysz was our first choice to partner with, and I could not be happier or more excited to be involved for the 2011 season” said Wayne Mitchell, CEO of Segway Inc.

“We’re thrilled to have Segway as a sponsor for the 2011 race season. Segway is a recognized innovator, making them a perfect partner for MotoCzysz. As the CEO of Segway is an ex-British motorcycle champion, and current world motorcycle land speed record holder, Wayne and I are kindred spirits, and look forward to a great 2011 racing season and future together” said Michael Czysz.

Source: MotoCzysz


  1. skadamo says:

    I heard a rumor MotoCzysz bikes will stand upright without kickstands starting this year. ;)

  2. Other Sean says:

    Glad Czysz has a sponsor and didn’t have to sell his Ford GT and Desmocedici!

    That picture above is hilarious, I’m seeing those guys being easily picked off and falling backwards off their Segways.

  3. All I can say is, if a squad of black-clad, gun-toting dickheads are ever coming after me, I dearly hope they are mounted on Segways. Can you imagine actually releasing that image to the press???

    Deeply sorry that Segway owner Jimi Heselden, quote in above press release, won’t be on the IoM because… he… rode a Segway off an embankment on his estate and drowned.

    That’s why I don’t write fiction; you couldn’t make that up.

    But seriously folks… My friend Tony Foale was working at Segway for a couple of years and then was forced back to Europe after his visa ran out. Shame he couldn’t provide input on the Czysz effort. We might break out of the tyranny of sport bike conventionalism.

  4. Brammofan says:

    I predict Segways-a-plenty at Laguna Seca. Maybe they’ll announce the new Czysz-way – with 30% more blinking lights than the existing Segway.

  5. MC says:

    Picture needs moar more war dogs.

  6. Stepon says:

    Sun Tsu, “he who makes his enemy laugh may weaken him to attack or diplomacy” or something.

    As for Czysz, I hope his fans forgive him for this little bit of selling out. Because I’m having trouble with it myself. On the bright side, those guys at Segway have some seriously good software engineers and I begrudgingly admit it could be a great hook-up on the tech front. But man does it leave a bad taste on the American motorcycle mythic of MotoCzysz.

  7. Dr. Gellar says:

    Myself…I’m glad to see MotoCzysz pick up the Segway sponsorship. Good for them! Not really seeing the sell out part of this. What’s the big deal?

    It’s equally cool that MotoCzysz will have the services of Michael Rutter for the TT Zero next month. I’m was disappointed though to find out that only Rutter will actually be on a 2011 E1pc, while Mark Miller will be riding an upgraded 2010 E1pc…rather than both riders on new 2011 machines. Nonetheless, hopefully both riders will do well.

  8. Where did you hear that Dr. G?

  9. Tom says:

    Michael Czysz might be selling out Motoczysz integrity, but on the bright side, its the only thing his company has actually sold in its existence.

  10. Bill says:

    That is not true, they have sold more than their integrity. They sell T-Shirts.

  11. You’d prefer MotoCzysz sold bikes like the Brammo Enertia or Zero S?

    MotoCzysz has one of the most compelling electric race motorcycles in the industry. It doesn’t surprise me that they can attract sponsorship from a brand name company that also has a vesting interest in electrics.

  12. Tom says:

    Jensen, we’d prefer that Motoczysz sell something real to justify its never ending hagiographies. Its been SIX YEARS and there is nothing of substance from them. We want them to succeed but we want something there to succeed. So far in its existence, for Motoczysz there is no there there.

  13. Stepon says:

    We all know Czysz was never going to make a production motorcycle. Sure he meant well at first and got plenty of press for it. We all ate it up…this brass balled sonobich was living our dream, build the all American motorcycle, etc., etc. Then there was the MotoGP bid, then this electric bike thing…I’m still a fan mind you. But hold my breath for a Motoczysz 150kW RR for the 2015 model year…I don’t think so.

  14. singletrack says:

    Marketing 101, as practiced by Motoczysz

    1. Pick a name your potential customers can’t pronounce.
    2. Quote Pierre Terblanche’s wisdom on design in your corporate philosophy.
    3. Partner with a sponsor that builds also two wheel vehicles… for people too lazy to walk, and too uncoordinated to ride a motorcycle, or bicycle.

  15. Warren G says:

    Actually singletrack, it’s quite easy to Segway up an incline at 20km/hr – which is not really achievable when walking for the average person. Even those of us who are fine on m-bikes or bikes.

    Also great for people with mobility problems (ie a disability) like my gf.

    You should try one sometime… or are you too frightened you won’t look macho in front of your bogan mates. :)

  16. Singletrack says:

    Well Warren G., my comments were tongue-in-cheek, but using a Segway as a replacement for walking is just stupid. Even uphills. For mobility enhancement, for those that can’t walk, or have real difficulty – absolutely.

    But the Segway has been touted as a mode of transportation for the masses.
    - Walk if you can ( 1 mile or less)
    - 1- 10 miles – Ride a bicycle and get some exercise. Or use an e-bike. Both are cheaper and faster than a Segway.
    - 10+ miles – use a scooter or motorcycle. Cheaper and faster .

    Segways on sidewalks are dangerous for others. Segways on roads are dangerous for themselves. Segways are only a solution for those who can’t walk, or for security detail in malls/airports. Nothing to do with manly-ness