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.

Officially Official: Ducati and Valentino Part Ways

08/10/2012 @ 2:34 am, by David Emmett14 COMMENTS

Officially Official: Ducati and Valentino Part Ways Valentino Rossi Scream Ducati Desmosedici GP11 635x423

Part 1 of MotoGP’s latest worst-kept secret is out: Valentino Rossi is to leave Ducati at the end of the 2012 season. Ducati this morning issued a press release (printed below) that their working relationship with Rossi will come to an end at the end of the season. The full press release is after the jump.

Ducati and Rossi to part ways at the end of 2012:

As the MotoGP series awaits its return to action for the August 19 Indianapolis Grand Prix, Ducati announces that its working relationship with Valentino Rossi will conclude at the end of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.

Ducati wishes the Italian well for the new challenges that await him, and in the meantime, the team will continue to give its best effort in order to improve over the latter part of the season.

Racing has always been in Ducati’s DNA, and now more than ever, it is integral to the Borgo Panigale company’s product development and image. AUDI shares Ducati’s strategic approach and agrees with its growing commitment to competition.

Therefore, having recently renewed its agreement with American Nicky Hayden, Ducati is in the process of finalizing the team that will take part in the 2013 World Championship, confident that its team and bike will be capable of competing at the highest level.

Source: Ducati Corse

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.


  1. TexusTim says:

    Well now we wait for Yamaha’s announcment…I guess Spies saw the writing on the wall………wouldnt it be crazy if he goes to Ducati ?

  2. Westward says:

    Spies to Ducati, please…

  3. Ken says:

    Spies to Ducati? hell no. Id rather see him in WSBK thank ducati motogp.

    Spies is more suited to WSBK anyway in my opinion.

  4. Jake F. says:

    Yellow looks better on blue than on red. Still, I think all MotoGP fans (unless you hate Rossi or Ducati) wish the marriage had been happier. C’est la vie…

  5. Calisdad says:

    A big collective sigh….. now lets get back to racing.

  6. TimM says:

    It’s a say day when The GOAT says “See ya, yer bike is FUBAR.” A giant PR problem for Ducati, and not a good way to start off a relationship with Lambo/Audi. I wouldn’t want to be Filipo Prezioso right now. What happened? I just watched “Faster” again to get some perspective. When they jumped into GP in ’03 Ducati was competitive and the fastest bike on the track. Then everyone else cranked it up to 11 (or quit) and they just got lost. I hope Audi can help but 4-wheel traction is a lot different than 2-wheel. Bring back Bayliss and the steel trellis frame!

  7. Bryan Niese says:

    I don’t think this is the end of the World for Ducati. Ducati wins where it really matters, on the sales floor. The win on Sunday sell on Monday idea hasn’t really meant much lately. Just look at BMW’s initial struggles in WSBK. For a manufacturer with a smaller budget than the Japanese I think it would have been insane to pay Rossi the 12 million euros that they reportedly offered. Judging by how the Panigale is performing in World Superstock I think Ducatisti will have plenty to cheer about next year as it moves to WSBK. While this news may be bad for Ducati’s MotoGP program, and even that is uncertain, it may be better for Ducati as a whole to not have the pressure or negative PR of trying to satisfy a discontent Rossi.

  8. TimM says:

    ^^True Dat. Eddi La Marra has been tearing it up on the Panigale and WSBK is much more exciting than GP anyway. I’m hoping for someone to campaign an 1199 in AMA SBK.

  9. Dave says:

    Stoner to Ducati! ;) …actually, I wonder if Ducati were to offer Stoner the same deal Rossi just snubbed if Stoner would go back? …especially the part about Ducati listening to whatever the rider asks,… the whole “Audi is in charge now and they’ll make sure Ducati does whatever you tell them to do.” …just wondering.

    Otherwise, with the money they saved by not re-signing Rossi, heck Ducati could pick up 2 more riders. Crutchlow and Dovi.

  10. Neil says:

    I don’t think you’ll see Spies on the Duc….it would be cool to have both Americans riding Red but I think Crutchlow, Dovi or Barbera should fill that roll. Hell, they may even pull Scott Redding from Moto 2 ???

    I hope Ducati gives Nicky what he finally deserves….a true number one rider/bike to challenge with….

  11. Leo says:

    This will be awesome, Audi/ducati snubbed by Rossi… Those Germans will spend whatever it takes to put any of their riders in front of Rossi from now on.. That will be the primary goal of ducati gp program.

  12. A little sad to see VR go, but very happy for Nicky to be Ducati’s number 1 rider! I really hope Ducati go the distance and improve the bike to make him competitive again.

  13. Bryan says:

    Probably best thing to happen to Ducati in a long time. Be good to have at least one more battling at the front next year, as Rossi most definitely will be. A two horse race for 18 races would be the end of Motogp.

  14. Joey Wilson says:

    ‘ . . . .confident that its bike and team will be capable of competing at the highest level.’

    Well for Nicky, I truly hope so. He’s stuck with them, not aired his laundry in public, and out-finished Vale over and over. Good guy.

    On the other hand, unless Audi assigns Dr. Ulrich and the LeMans crew to this moonshot of bringing the Desmo right, Nicky will have a long 2013, though probably longer than FP.