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.

Suter Unveils S1000RR Powered MotoGP Bike

09/07/2010 @ 10:00 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Suter Unveils S1000RR Powered MotoGP Bike Suter Racing CRT S1000RR prototype 1 560x356

When the guidelines for the 2012 MotoGP season were released, a new class of motorcycle was allowed entry into the top series of motorcycle racing. Allowing the use of production-based motors in prototype chassis, claiming rule teams will be able to enter into the series theoretically for much less money than non-factory teams could in the past, which is a move by Dorna to bolster the GP grid size.

One of the first firms to jump on the opportunity is Suter Racing Technology, the maker of one of the more popular chassis being used in Moto2 this season. Using a BMW S1000RR motor as the power plant, the prototype race bike is based heavily off Suter’s MMX Moto2 bike.

“Our goal is to offer customers a competitive but affordable chassis package, and our first estimate are costs of something between 350,000 and 600,000 Euro for one rider with a set of two bikes per season, engines not included,” said Eskil Suter. “This is obviously a higher price than our Moto2 offers, but developing a competitive MotoGP racer is also a much more complicated and costly task. Our calculation is also based on a maximum of four Suter bikes on the MotoGP grid and not on 13 bikes that we are currently running in the Moto2 class.”

For now the bike uses a stock motor, but the firm plans on introducing engine upgrades as the bike develops further. Buyers of the Suter race bike will have to source their own motors, with WSBK performance specs and beyond being possible. BMW of course is not involved with the project, because if they were, Suter could lose its claiming rule status.

Source: Suter Racing Technology


  1. Ken C. says:

    This is great, but it would be even better if it were a BMW factory backed bike. They just can’t expect to have a strong showing without factory support. I’d like to see them prove me wrong though.

  2. FastBikeGear says:

    Looks great! These new rules will at least give us a small connection with bikes we can buy off the show room floor. Bing it on!

  3. johnrdupree says:

    Jenny, you bring up an interesting point. What if a team develops a chassis around a particular production engine as a claiming rule team, and then the maker of that engine decides to enter the series with a 1000cc prototype? Does that affect the claiming rule team’s status? What if the manufacturer just gives the claiming team money but no technical support?

    Can a manufacturer supply hot rodded production engines to the claiming rule teams or do the engines have to come from a 3rd party shop? Aprilia, BMW, MV Agusta, they could all supply engines in lieu of entering a prototype. Or they could use a production engine in a prototype chassis of their own design.

    Dorna is going to have a can of worms on their hands.

  4. Jenny Gun says:


    We talked to Hervé Poncharal, head of the IRTA and Team Manager to Tech3, about that. He basically said that CRT teams will be judged on the level of involvement given to them by manufacturers. So if BMW gives Suter money, or helps develop the motor for the them, then they’re no longer a CRT. Plain and simple.

    I don’t think having the manufacturer in the series will change anything. They can’t run a production motor, and they can’t help the CRT’s.

  5. steveo says:

    so effectively this will become a 2 championship series.

    If CRT’s vs Factories. Now if BMW gives info and tech to Suter but does not fund the venture per se is he still a CRT?

    We do CRT racing in michigan for circle track. You can run certain small block V8′s. If you podium your engine can be purchased for 500 bucks no questions asked less accesories. This cuts out cheating, and big money motors. It just so happens that everyone in the series runs a chevy motor.

    So if I run a BMW and Tech 3 yamaha and gresini a Honda and someone else a Kawa and aprillia there is no reason to CR anyones engine the similarities are not there.

    This is a Prototype series, get rid of bore stroke and cylinder restrictions, keep a min weight limit high enough to exclude exotic materials. remove fuel control aids, limit rider aids to wheel spin and ABS no more gyros, and telemetry setups or corner to corner trac. control.

    That will slightly reduce costs.

    Make the series follow a pattern. Phillip ISle. Japan, China, east north europe, USA(Indy, Houston, Miller, Guna) England, Spain Italy france.

    No more qatar, japan, europe China Usa europe usa europe.

    Some common sense is needed.

    Also tell the stuffy heads that its ok to eat rice all week to be able to afford tires and gas to the next venue. Thats what makes people nuts about racing. If the money and support comes back to GP to buy 1000 a night hotels then so be it if not it will slowly disappear.

  6. johnrdupree says:

    So the production motors will have to be developed by the CRTs or come from 3rd party shops like Yoshimura. Or can it? Everybody knows about Yoshimura’s ties to Suzuki. Would that disqualify me from running a GSXR1000 motor in a Suter chassis? Can Ten Kate supply CBR motors?

    Have they specified what a production motor is? I haven’t seen anything, but I haven’t looked too hard either. The reason I ask is what if an engine maker (e.g. Cosworth) wanted to offer engines to the CRTs? I’m guessing they’d have to run as a factory prototype even though they aren’t really a factory.

    I’m not poo-pooing the idea of CRTs or the new regulations, I’m just trying to figure out how people can game the system. I’m smarmy like that. I rather like the idea of the CRTs. It makes the field more like Moto2 or the old bike F1 class. You get more chassis/engine combos and more companies involved. More players = more fun.

    The CRTs still won’t put too much money in their motors because they know somebody else will claim it if it’s too fast. The claiming team may not be able to use it, but they’ll keep the original team from using it, too.

    Speaking of claiming, do claimed motors count against your allotment? I should hope not.

  7. Jenny Gun says:

    The issue at point is factory involvement, which includes both money and information. Teams are certainly going to have to turn to tuning shops for motor development, and at the end of the day I guess its going to be how involved that shop is with the factory.

    Yoshimura does do a lot of work with Suzuki, but I don’t think there’s any actual ties to the company (I could be wrong on that point).

    The same could be said of Erion Racing. They’re well known Honda tuners, but no actual affiliation with Honda N.A. beyond some joint racing efforts (RLH Moto2 being the latest).

    Cosworth would be free to enter as a CRT team…they’re not a motorcycle manufacture.

    Remember this is a claiming rule, teams are only going to develop the bikes to the point they’re worth…otherwise some team would buy their engine for the preset price.

  8. Steveo says:

    I understand the purchasing end of CRT’s but still drop a supposed 25K on a motor that has little in common with the motor you are running makes little sense.

    The cost of a motor in prototype or production prototype is in the development IE cam profiles, compr ratio. porting, pocketing. Once the pattern is found costs drop significantly Albeit still rediculously expensive.

    So I run a kaw. suter runs a BMW I claim Suters motor, they just build another one, I can’t use it and they can’t. If they get another allotment then they get a fresh slug and I have a really nice technical conversation piece.

    I know that a ton of development would not go into this but still

    2nd what prevents a factory from running a production GSXR motor highly modified and not CRT status or are they limited to a non production block only?