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.

What Does Valentino Rossi’s Mugello Helmet Mean?

07/14/2012 @ 2:53 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

What Does Valentino Rossis Mugello Helmet Mean? Valentino Rossi Mugello Helmet 2012 11 635x954

I wish I could take credit for having such a deep understanding of Italian culture that the meaning behind Rossi’s Mugello helmet was self-evident, but the credit belongs to Ducati Corse’s PR man, Chris Jonnum. After seeing Alex Brigg’s tweet that featured Rossi’s new helmet design, CJ was kind enough to connect the dots for us on the meaning behind the special Mugello helmet. And let me tell you, as non-Italian, the trail would not have been easy to follow without his help. Get the inside scoop on Rossi’s lid after the jump.

Featured on the top of the helmet is Italian singer, actor, and television host Gianni Morandi. Morandi is something of big deal in the country shaped like a boot, having sold 49 million records worldwide and generally putting light Italian music on the map, so to speak. Circumscribing the photo of Morandi is a ring of flowers, which hail from the city of Sanremo, which CJ tells us is also known as the City of Flowers, since it has been in the business of selling flower year-round since the late 9th century.

Known for the Sanremo Festival, the city hosts one of Italy’s major musical events, and is unsurprisingly characterized by the flowers, which as we have said, the city is also famous for growing. During the 2012 Sanremo Festival, Gianni Morandi was ordering around his work crew and serendipitously coined the now famous motto “restiamo uniti” (also seen on the helmet), which literally translates into “let’s stick together” in Italian. While this is where CJ leaves us to conclude the meaning of the helmet as it relates to Valentino Rossi, we think it speaks pretty loudly for itself.

With Rossi talking very favorably this week about his meeting with Audi’s executives, it seems increasingly likely that the nine-time World Champion will stay on with Ducati Corse for at least another season, despite all the trouble he and his team have had with the GP11 & GP12 race bikes. The bigger question now is whom will be his teammate, Cal or Nicky. For that, only time will tell.

What Does Valentino Rossis Mugello Helmet Mean? Valentino Rossi Mugello Helmet 2012 06 635x711

What Does Valentino Rossis Mugello Helmet Mean? Valentino Rossi Mugello Helmet 2012 05 635x423

Source: Ducati Corse


  1. Skeptical says:

    Would you think that Rossi wants to stick together with Ducati, or he is telling his fans, some of who thinks that Rossi is over, others still carrying some hope, to stick together with Rossi. That he is not over yet, and expect the unexpected. Well, at least, that’s what I wanted to understand from “restiamo unity” message.

    You’ve been dearly missed, Vale.

  2. Kevin says:

    In the words of SNL’s Church Lady, “Well now, isn’t that special?”

  3. Coresect says:

    According to Alessio Salucci, so about as informed as we’re likely to get, it’s to Rossi’s fans, not Ducati.

  4. Bob says:

    I think I am going to follow Nicky going forward, I am tired of the Ducati arrogance.

  5. What Does Valentino Rossi's Mugello Helmet Mean? – http://t.co/2J0kGQ6U #motorcycle

  6. Micahel says:

    So if you follow an Italian translation in the comments on the second video from Monster Energy about the helmets, this is the song that is referenced by Vale, by the Italian singer Gianni Morandi. Something about being jealous about seeing a lover in another hands, and if he see’s the man again “I’ll break is nose.”

    The video is hilarious.

  7. JoeKing says:

    Obviously Rossi hasn’t engaged the services of a PR firm. Because if he had, they would have told him what he is doing by drawing attention to himself with nonsense like flowers & 60′s Italian icons(?) (what next Mario Lanza..Volare) is further tarnishing what little is left of his previously unassailable image.

    Continuing this soap opera as to where he will ride next year has become a tedious distaction. Stay or go..who cares….like he’ll ever win again.

    Hopefully, he stays with Ducati, (or better retires) at least he has an excuse…think if he actually does go to Yamaha or some Honda arrangement & STILL finishes mid pack. Sadly, speaking as an admirer of the rider formerly known as Rossi at Phillips Island 2003, he is rapidly replacing the G.O.A.T sobriquet with J.O.A.T (Joke of all time)..pathetic.

  8. Halfie30 says:

    Being a little harsh their JoeKing.

  9. irksome says:

    Golly, and here I thought it was an homage to Jerry Lewis.

  10. Daniel says:

    As an Italian follower of this great website, I just want to correct a little typo.. It’s “restiamo unitI”, not unity..
    Ah, the youtube link from Micahel redirect to a song that can be roughly translated as “have your mother send you to pick up milk”. Now you can stop wondering why the hell a dozen of guys were drinking from glass mil bottles and dancing..

  11. Thanks Daniel, I’m blaming that one on Apple’s autocorrect.

  12. johnc says:

    cj is the best!!!

  13. pooch says:

    You’ve got to hand it to the guy when he can still carry on with this kind of light hearted fluff when all around him is shit.

  14. paulus says:

    Get another season… get another big bunch of millions of Euro’s.
    Good luck to the man!
    Doing what he loves, having fun… somebody else paying the bills for it.