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.

WSBK: Race 2 at Donington Shows More of What’s to Come

03/27/2011 @ 11:24 am, by Victoria Reid1 COMMENT

WSBK: Race 2 at Donington Shows More of Whats to Come Marco Melandri Donington Park

Donington Park remained cold for the second race of the second round of the World Superbike Championship, though there was plenty of drama both on and off the track to keep things heated up. Race 1 featured a thrilling charge through the field by one protagonist, while Superpole had drama all its own. Though Checa won pole convincingly for the second time in a row this season, it was Max Biaggi who garnered the most attention after Saturday’s qualifying. Reigning champion Max Biaggi had some traffic issues during Superpole, first holding up, and then being held up by rival and WSBK rookie Marco Melandri.

Neither James Toseland nor Chris Vermeulen participated in either race. Toseland was home recovering from a fractured wrist, injured in a testing crash last week, while Vermeulen was at Donington and participated in Fridays practice sessions, only to sit out qualifying and the races with his knee still recovering from a 2010 crash and surgery.

With Race 2 underway at a revised Donington Park, Haslam again got a great start, with Haga, Camier, Rea, and Melandri the top five into the first turn. By the end of that lap, riders had shaken out a bit, though Haslam still led, with Checa having moved up to second and Hagga down to fourth. Checa made his move early, taking the lead from Haslam on L3 and never looking back. Biaggi, who never made any ground after jumping the start, was assessed a ride-through penalty, and later was black flagged when he did not come into the pits. Meanwhile, Melandri had pushed his way up to fourth while Camier went after Haslam and his second position. The two fought until Melandri made an appearance.

The Race 1 winner diced with both, passing Camier, then Haslam, then Camier passed Haslam as well. With sixteen laps left, Melandri was just over two seconds behind Checa. By this time, Haga had dropped back to last, after an off-track excursion cost him many positions. Haslam was also sliding backward in the field, also because of a trip through the grass.

Up at the front, Melandri simply could not catch Checa, despite plenty of time to do so. With ten laps to go, Checa, Melandri, Camier, Lascorz, and Rea were the top five. Camier was trying hard to get around Melandri for a return to second position, but the Yamaha’s speed on the straight held him off. At the same time, the other Leon had worked his way up to sixth, and was fighting with Rea over fifth. Haslam made the pass and made it stick with a few to go, as did Camier on Melandri.

Checa still had a comfortable margin over Camier, Melandri, Lascorz, and Haslam as the top five with five laps to go. Soon thereafter, Melandri was back under Camier, where he would remain for the final four laps. Once the Italian passed that last time, Camier drifted back a bit on his own comfortable margin, as Lascorz was coming under attack from Haslam, and the Brit made the pass for fourth stick with one lap to go. There were no final moment skirmishes for position, as Checa cruised to his third victory in four races.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 2 at Donington Park:

17Carlos ChecaAlthea Ducati-
233Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team3.397
32Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team5.902
491Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad Motorsport13.842
517Joan LascorzPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki14.253
64Jonathan ReaCastrol Honda19.413
784Michel FabrizioAlstare Suzuki20.278
896Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati21.160
986Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia24.298
10111Ruben XausCastrol Honda24.907
1150Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati32.440
1266Tom SykesPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki32.679
1311Troy CorserBMW Motorrad Motorsport34.070
1458Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team36.418
1544Roberto RolfoTeam Pedercini Kawasaki44.037
168Mark AitchisonTeam Pedercini Kawasaki52.412
1741Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia56.634
Not Classified
121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati22 Laps
DQ1Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team


  1. spytech says:

    Checa has once again “checa out”. it is his championship to lose – i think. he has good synergy with the team, the bike is working very well for him. i think he has a unique opportunity to seize the championship.

    even after a bad start in Race 1, still managed to salvage something of the race and get a 3rd place podium finish. this is not a track he does well at, so i see good things in checa’s future. i might go out and buy the checa’s xlite continent replica helmet

    biaggi is disgusting. i hope he never wins again!!!