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.

TT Legends — Episode 6: The Suzuka 8 Hours

02/19/2014 @ 1:28 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

TT Legends — Episode 6: The Suzuka 8 Hours honda tt legends suzuka 635x423

Episode Six of the “TT Legends” documentary is out, and it has the Honda TT Legends crew leaving the Isle of Man for Japan. Taking part in the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race, one of the stops in the Endurance World Championship, the Honda-supported team is racing for the OEM’s glory.

Perhaps not the biggest of races here in the United States or in Europe, but for the Japanese, Suzuka is a huge deal. A place where bragging rights for the Japanese OEMs are born, in the past it hasn’t been uncommon to see OEMs stack their teams with WSBK and GP racers (even Kevin Schwantz raced at Suzuka last year).

Eight hours of racing anywhere is brutal, but at Suzuka, the intense heat and humidity is always an additional factor. Riders cool down in swimming pools, and drink their weight in Gatorade. A truly fantastic event, it should be on any enthusiasts’ bucket list — just be sure to pack a pair of shorts.

Source: Honda Racing Europe


  1. Peter G says:

    I photographed a few Suzuka 8 Hour races in the 1990′s. First visit was 1990, and to see the whole spectacle is amazing. Suzuka is my favourite track, and the Japanese fans there are so funny.

    Until you go there, nothing can prepare you for the heat and humidity. I drank 6 cans of Pocari Sweat when I walked from the pits to the hairpin. Even then, I had to go up into the spectator areas to purchase some more.

    The temperate was around 37C and 80% humidity.

    Hot hard work…

  2. L2C says:

    “The IOMTT is a piece of *bleep* compared to this.” ~John McGuinness

    Pretty much says it all. LOL…

  3. Epic, as always. I never tire of watching this stuff.

  4. manny v says:

    great series of video. ive watched every single episode and they are all top notch.

  5. Shinigami says:

    No green car seats on the Kodama back to Tokyo? Shocking… ;)

  6. Peter G says:

    Why the Kodoma, unless they had to get of somewhere on the way ? Should have been the Hikari or Nozomi.

    No green car seat….. penny pinching :-)

  7. Shinigami says:

    It was just a little joke. Actually the three across seat was probably the train to Nagoya from Suzuka, of course these guys would take nozomi or hikari to Tokyo from Nagoya.

    But on the way to Nagoya they were in standard seats, not green car, which I find really strange!

  8. Peter G says:

    Normally take the Kintetsu line from Suzuka ( Shiroko ) back to Nagoya, then haul all your gear through Nagoya Eki ( station ) to the JR line, and then Nozomi or Hikari back to Tokyo…

    I did that about 6 times a year from 1994 to August 1997…

  9. Slangbuster says:

    Really enjoyed this. Thanks!

  10. Haggis says:

    Peter G, you said you photographed a few Suzuka 8 races in the early 90′s? I have been chasing some photos of RC30′s that raced at Suzuka, you wouldn’t happen to have them digitally somewhere??

  11. Peter G says:

    Dear Haggis,

    Sorry , but, I am unable to help you.

    Back then, all my colour work was on Kodachrome KR64. I used to be able to have Cibachrome prints made from the trannies, but, as far as I know, that process has ” Gone with the wind ” Used to be Ilford paper. unobtainable now.

    I know that one can have trannies scanned, and I even wasted $2,000 on a scanner …. Didn’t work. I think I would have to spend even more money on a better unit.


    I covered the 8 Hour in 1990, 1994 and 1997, and Honda were running RVF bikes. Magic machines . I was living in Japan from 1993 to end August 1997.

    Pity that I didn’t purchase a RC45 …

  12. Haggis says:

    Damn! I recently purchased a VFR750R (RC30) from Japan and it looks to have some race pedigree (Suzuka 8 hour style fairings, lockwired everything, HRC & TT parts) so I have been trying to put together a collection of photos and memorabilia of that era.. The search continues!

    Thanks for the reply though mate! And that sounds like a pretty effective photography method! Its a shame skills and equipment like that are going the way of the Dodo, I guess the simplicity and convenience of Digital triumphs again…

  13. Peter G says:


    I wish ” Digital Photography ” had been invented about 15 years earlier. :-)

    The money that I spent on film in those days ……. $$$$$$$$

    I still have my 1984 Honda VF 1000 R in the garage ( long story ).