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: Sunshine and Early Knockouts Bring Drama to Superpole at Silverstone

07/30/2011 @ 8:02 am, by Victoria Reid8 COMMENTS

WSBK: Sunshine and Early Knockouts Bring Drama to Superpole at Silverstone John Hopkins Silverstone1 635x421

John Hopkins (2:04.041) provided a stunning show to win pole as a wild card for the 2011 World Superbike round at Silverstone. He set a new fast lap at the circuit, a particular feat when classed against current British Superbike teammate and fellow wild card John Kirkham, who qualified last. Eugene Laverty, Leon Camier, and Carlos Checa will be joining the American rider on the front row on Sunday. Reigning champion Max Biaggi had an early crash but managed to make it through to Superpole 2, where his day ended with an eleventh-place qualifying run.

Hopkins has been having a good weekend, as the first man to go fastest (2:06.667) in the first practice session Friday. He led Camier, Smrz, a recovering Toseland at his home round, and Checa as the fastest five. Hopkins did not fare quite so well in the second session, finishing the first qualifying practice fifth fastest on his British Superbike Cresent Suzuki. His teammate Kirkham was eighteenth and twenty-second fastest in the Friday sessions. Checa (2:05.477) was back on top to take the provisional pole Friday afternoon, leading fellow Ducati rider Berger, Sykes, Camier, and the aforementioned Hopkins as the top five.

They were joined by replacement riders at Castrol Honda Alex Lowes, in for Jonathan Rea, and Fabrizio Lai in for Ruben Xaus. Originally Karl Muggeridge was to replace the Spaniard, but the Australian injured his right wrist in a mountain biking accident in Italy and was forced to withdraw. Badovini had an explosive crash in the morning session, destorying his BMW but was unhurt and finished the first QP just under three tenths slower than teammate Toseland.

Hopkins (2:05.058) was again on top in the final qualifying practice on Saturday, leading Checa by four hundredths. Guintoli and Berger completed an interesting provisional front row while Biaggi languished down in fifteenth. The bad luck continued for Castrol Honda, as Lowes had an off and was unable to haul himself out of the knockout zone, nor was Lai. In the final practice, Checa was again on top, with Laverty, Camier, Badovini, and Haslam the top five. Sykes suffered a concussion and sprained ankle in an off during that practice, and he would not participate in Superpole. Knocked Out in Qualifying Practice: 17. Troy Corser, 18. Alex Lowes, 19. Joan Lascorz, 20. Roberto Rolfo, 21. Fabrizio Lai, 22. John Kirkham.

Superpole 1:
The sun was shining and the weather warm as the first Superpole session got underway. There was a mad dash to get on track, with Biaggi suffering an early crash over some of the bumps on the circuit. He was unhurt and frantically attempted to get the bike running again. Badovini crashed soon thereafter, but it was Haslam, Melandri, Hopkins, Aitchison, and Checa as the top five with eight minutes to go. Meanwhile, Camier, and the two crashers were in the relegation zone at that point. Two minutes later, Laverty had taken over at the top, with Berger, Toseland, Biaggi, and Badovini in the knockout zone.

Biaggi was back on form with four to go, jumping up to fourth fastest and dropping Smrz out. Checa, meanwhile was down in tenth when just two minutes remained. Laverty, Haslam, Melandri, and Biaggi were then the provisional front row while Hopkins was fifth fastest. Berger, Fabrizio, Smrz, and Toseland were those who had to work to move on to S2. The session ended with a fast lap from Fabrizio moving him to second and out of the drop zone. Laverty (2:04.919) was fastest as Fabrizio, Checa, and Haslam joined him on the provisional front row. Haga, Melandri, Biaggi, Hopkins, Aitchison, and Camier completed the top ten. Knocked Out in Superpole 1: 13. Jakub Smrz, 14. James Toseland, 15. Maxime Berger, 16. Tom Sykes.

Superpole 2:
Haga (2:40.627) was the early leader with the fastest lap of the weekend in the second Superpole session, over Guintoli, Hopkins, Fabrizio, Melandri, Haslam, Biaggi, and Badovini as the first times came in. It wouldn’t last, however, as Checa reassserted his dominance over qualifying with a lap nearly two tenths faster. Camier and Laverty also bested Haga’s time on their first fast laps, leaving Haslam, Biaggi, Badovini, and Aitchison in the knockout zone with four minutes to go.

The slowest seven were back out soon thereafter, as were Haga and Guintoli in fourth and fifth, all looking to better their previous times. Biaggi was in danger of being knocked out of the fight for pole, only tenth fastest with the checkered flag waving, and he was unable to improve. In fact, he dropped to eleven as Badovini improved. The session ended with Checa (2:04.472), Camier, Laverty, and Hopkins the provisional front row. Knocked Out in Superpole 2: 9. Leon Haslam, 10. Ayrton Badovini, 11. Max Biaggi, 12. Mark Aitchison.

Superpole 3:
Haga had a big slide early in the final run to pole, and though he was unhurt the bike disintegrated across the tarmac. Guuintoli had the first timed lap with five minutes remaining, but was soon bested by Hopkins (2:04.041), Laverty, Camier, and Checa. They were the top four with three and a half minutes remaining. At that point, Hopkins had barely less than three hundredths of a margin over Laverty in the fastest lap at Silverstone. Both Hopkins and Laverty were in the garage with two to go, as each had more than two tenths over Camier’s time. The American came back out with twenty seconds remaining as the rest of the riders retired from the field, leaving him to his wild-card pole position.

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Silverstone, England:

Pos. No. Rider Team Time Diff.
1. 211 John Hopkins Samsung Crescent Suzuki 2:04.041 -
2. 58 Eugene Laverty Yamaha WSBK Team 2:04.068 0.027
3. 2 Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 2:04.303 0.262
4. 7 Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati 2:04.362 0.321
5. 50 Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 2:05.456 1.415
6. 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK Team 2:05.639 1.598
7. 84 Michel Fabrizio Team Suzuki Alstare 2:05.997 1.956
8. 41 Noriyuki Haga PATA Racing Team Aprilia no time no time
Out After Superpole 2
9. 91 Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad 2:05.091 0.619
10. 86 Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia 2:05.115 0.643
11. 1 Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 2:05.184 0.712
12. 8 Mark Aitchison Team Pedericini Kawasaki 2:06.238 1.766
Out After Superpole 1
13. 96 Jakub Smrz Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 2:05.400 0.481
14. 52 James Toseland BMW Motorrad Italia 2:05.403 0.484
15. 121 Maxime Berger Supersonic Racing Ducati 2:05.709 0.790
16. 66 Tom Sykes Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki no time no time
Not qualified for Superpole
17. 11 Tory Corser BMW Motorrad 2:06.304 1.246
18. 22 Alex Lowes Castrol Honda 2:06.524 1.466
19. 17 Joan Lascorz Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 2:06.787 1.729
20. 44 Roberto Rolfo Team Pedericini Kawasaki 2:06.895 1.837
21. 32 Fabrizio Lai Castrol Honda 2:07.482 2.424
22. 10 John Kirkham Samsung Crescent Suzuki 2:07.889 2.831

Source: WSBK; Photo: Pirelli (Facebook)


  1. Lord_tizzle says:

    Dzam! way to go Hopper. Dat boy good!. Man I bet those team Hammer boses are feeling the loss right about now huh.

  2. joe says:

    To win as a wildcard would be amazing, other than Baylis who does such a thing?

  3. Chris says:

    I remember a Japanese rider doing it awhile back, never a big Hopper fan but it would be awesome if he pulled off awin(or two)

  4. Kento says:

    “To win as a wildcard would be amazing, other than Baylis who does such a thing?”

    With all due respect to Troy Bayliss, he never won as a wildcard. Neil Hodgson did it twice in 2000 while riding for the GSE Ducati team from BSB, Race Two at Donington Park and Race Two at Brands Hatch. Numerous Japanese wildcard riders have won WSBK races when it ran at Sugo.

  5. GeddyT says:

    Bayliss won the last race of the 990 MotoGP era at Valencia as a wildcard rider on a Ducati GP6. It wasn’t a WSBK wildcard, but it was a wildcard win.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and assume this is what Joe was talking about.

  6. joe says:

    It was kinda epic.

  7. joe says:

    But I had no idea about Hodgson or the unnamed Japanese

  8. QuickNick says:

    Was hoping to see Melandri on the first row, 1.6 sec down is a bit much.