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 Heads to Indonesia for 2013 – India Next on the List

02/22/2012 @ 4:34 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

WSBK Heads to Indonesia for 2013   India Next on the List Sentul International Circuit grid

It seems sometimes that the title “World Sueprbike” is a bit of a misnomer, as the premier production motorcycle racing championship is hardly a worldly affair at all. With fourteen races on the 2012 World Superbike Championship calendar, WSBK will leave Europe a grand total of two times: once for the season-opener at Phillip Island, and once for the American round at Miller Motorsports Park. Holding the other twelve races on the European continent, World Superbike is really stretching its legs this year by holding a race outside of Moscow, Russia.

Progress will apparently be made to rectify this situation though, as starting in 2013 World Superbike will head to Indonesia with a five year contract (races to be held 2013-2017). Set to either end the 2013 calendar with a race at the Sentul International Circuit, or lump the race at the beginning of the season with Phillip Island, the announcement ends s 15 year draught of WSBK racing in Indonesia. Infront and the FIM clearly must be recognizing that the Southeast Asian country is a hot bed for the motorcycle industry (Jakarta is A&R‘s single-largest city of readership).

“We are proud of the growth of the Superbike calendar, which thanks to the inclusion of the latest rounds is obtaining a presence in countries of major importance for the development of our championship on a sporting and commercial level,” announced Infront Motor Sports President Maurizio Flammini. “After Russia, where Superbike has now arrived before any other world motorsport championship, thanks to more than two years of intense work in the Asian area, we have now been able to insert Indonesia, which has in the past already played host to a race of considerable success and appeal, in the calendar.”

Extremely Eurocentric, World Superbike is surely feeling the decline it sport bike purchases in Europe, as well as the overall struggling motorcycle economy in the EU. While MotoGP is more diversified in its market placements, WSBK is making a much more decisive move by choosing to host a race in Indonesia and other locations. Helping ensure its success, Infront has secured the aid of the Indonesian government, which has devoted a task force to being handling and promoting the race.

Infront also made it clear in its announcement that a race at the Buddh International Circuit in India is next on the list of venues to be added to the World Superbike Championship’s calendar. Locking down races in two of the most important motorcycle markets, Infront is setting up WSBK to have a much greater relevancy to OEMs and sponsors. Dorna, are you reading this?

Source: WSBK


  1. Afletra says:

    Yes, I’m proud to be Indonesian :)
    I hope our country will be a good place to held World SBK Championship, just can’t wait to see the race!

  2. Peter Pan says:

    Agree totally on the NOT so worldly bit but they are taking the lead in exploring new markets. It would be interesting to see a comparison between the emerging Asian Economies vs. Europe in the Sportbike segement specifically . I still see smaller displacement machines dominating there and Europe & America (for now) outperforming Asia in terms of Fireblade and R1 sales as an example. On a recent visit to Thailand, Phuket, I managed to see all but ONE R1 & 10 Million scooters. I got the impression that bigger bikes were pointless there as its near impossible to get to any road worth riding and if you did, you probably needed to own it . Good on the “European” Superbike Championship for taking the show to untapped territories.

  3. Afletra says:

    @Peter Pan
    Because in here, you have to be sooo rich to buy those bikes (superbike, supersport, an such).
    Why? First, the price of those bikes is drastically increased when it comes to our country (especially Indonesia, that’s so far I know). for example; the price of the brand new Ninja ZX-10R in Europe is $9,799.00 which is around Rp. 89,244,098.53 when converted to IDR, but…if you look for it at all Kawasaki Dealer in Indonesia, the price is Rp. 223,000,000.00! (its more than double the price!!!). I dunno why it must be like that, I’m a high school student after all (maybe it’s because the tax, etc).
    Second, the yearly tax we have to pay for the bikes is doubled because the goverment has decided to doubled the tax for luxury vehicle (supersport and superbikes is considered as luxury vehicle here in Indonesia).
    That’s why you’ll rarely see people own/use those bikes, besides…the rule in our country said that bike with displacement higher than 250 is not allowed in public road (the reverse of Europe rule I think)…
    So, although the fact is like that, people here really enthusiast when it comes to sportbikes championship (WSBK or MotoGP), you see that “SEMAKIN DI DEPAN” on M1? It’s Indonesian language because Yamaha Indonesia have a big role to support Yamaha Team in MotoGP :)

    That’s all I wanna share, sorry for my bed english, and just correct me if I wrong…

  4. I imagine that if Dorna were to take MotoGP to Indonesia, the Moto3 and Moto2 classes would prove to be exceptionally relevant to the markets there.

  5. Andre says:

    @Peter Pan
    You’re wrong dude.
    People in south east asia buy small displacement bike because it’s cheap and very efficient in fuel consumption. The other reason is, big displacement bike price is doubled or even tripled here (In Indonesia) because of stupid rule created by our governor. Bike with displacement larger than 250 cc is considered as a luxury vehicle so you must pay tax 100% of the bike price. And 100% is the minimum tax value for a luxury vehicle. Even, you have to pay 200% for other kind of vehicle depend on the price. And for the cars, it is considered as luxury if its displacement is larger than 2000 cc.

    Do you want to know how much a new Yamaha R1 is here? It’s about $38,000.
    And did you know how much a used R1 here? It’s about $15,000.
    That’s we have a thought: with that money, it’s better to buy a car than a superbike.
    Only a few people own superbikes here. And they are considered as richer people

    Fvcking stupid governor created that rule… It’s an old rule that still exists. But our economy is growing now. Actually we can afford those big bike if the tax is not that high. We love big bikes too…

    Our people love racing. We love to watch racing like MotoGP, WSBK and F1 in TV. It doesn’t have relationship with which bikes is racing or is it big bike or small bike. As long as it is a popular racing, we love to watch it.

    @Trane Francks
    No need for moto3 or moto2. As long as it is a popular racing, we love to watch it. We always watch MotoGP and WSBK in local TV. And we are the number 3 of largest motorcycle buyer in the world. That’s why you can see the tagline “semakin di depan” on M1 or “satu hati” on RC212V. Yamaha and Honda gain a lot of money from us. They can sell million bikes in a year here. They are competing each other in our country. So in order to prove which is better, they should win in MotoGP. Because that is one of the way to increase their sales. Eventhough they only sell small bikes here.

    Maybe you will laugh at this picture
    But, by doing this and participate in MotoGP, they can sell million scooters and moped bikes
    That’s how they are success selling the motorcycle

    That’s the story of motorcycling in my country. Sorry for bad English…

  6. Andre: The smaller displacement classes tend to offer better racing, in my opinion. Also, KTM and Aprillia have had competitive bikes in the 125cc class. I’m VERY much looking forward to watching the Moto3 class this year. And the 600s in Moto2 have all the “backing it into corners” that used to be a feature of MotoGP, but which has largely been removed by the use of sophisticated electronics in the premier class.

    Then again, maybe it’s just me. I’ve always had a great love for small-displacement sport bikes. <3

  7. kei says:

    andre, seen that ad for honda blade or watever? tagged ‘real racing spirit’. fucking hilarious.