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 Magny-Cours Brings a Double, Dicing & Battling Teammates

10/02/2011 @ 7:19 am, by Victoria Reid5 COMMENTS

WSBK: Race 2 at Magny Cours Brings a Double, Dicing & Battling Teammates checa pirelli mc 635x420

Jonathan Rea (1:37.490) won pole for the 2011 World Superbike round at Magny-Cours, beating out fellow front-row starters Eugene Laverty, Carlos Checa, and Leon Camier to the position with a new lap record. Rea won his first pole in WSBK after his Race 1 win last weekend at Imola, holding off marginally struggling championship leader Checa. The Spaniard was fastest in both Friday sessions, but lost the provisional pole to title rival Marco Melandri (who starts eight) Saturday morning. Then, Checa struggled to get out of both Superpole 1 and Superpole 2 on Saturday, barely making the final session to fight for pole.

Only Melandri had a mathematical chance of beating Checa to the championship going into the Magny-Cours round, as reigning champion Max Biaggi’s season slumped. After focus issues at Donington, the Italian has been forced to sit out three races weekends in a row with a slowly healing injury sustained at the Nurburgring. Checa looked to wrap up the title last weekend, but a late race resurgence in Race 2 in Imola by Melandi kept that Italian in the hunt. With no wild card entries, Ruben Xaus out with a neck injury, and Chris Vermeulen still unable to race, the field is down to eighteen riders. Race 1 had plenty of action, leading in the crowning of a champion from the top step of the podium. In other news of the day, Melandri has signed to race with BMW Motorrad for 2012, alongside Haslam and without Corser.

Despite a massive highside in the first race, Aitchison did start the race, though Smrz, who lost the front end, did not. It was hotter still at Magny-Cours for the start of the second race, as Rea got a proper start, leading into the first turn. He was followed by Laverty, Camier, Sykes, and Checa as the top five. Checa picked off Sykes, holding off the British rider for fourth. Ending the lap, Sykes went in too deep and lost the front end whilst attempting to not hit Checa, and ended his own race. At the end of the first lap of twenty-three, Rea led Laverty by almost a second, with Camier, Checa, Haga, Guintoli, Haslam, Melandri, Corser, and Fabrizio the top ten. Checa next picked off Camier for second, at about the time Haslam took fourth from Guintoli.

In yet another consecutive race, Fabrizio also crashed out, causing a pack of riders to sit up to avoid him. Ahead, Checa looked to take second from Laverty, only to make a small mistake, run wide and drop down to fifth. He came back under Haga for fourth, only to lose the position again. Laverty had clawed back a couple of tenths on  the leading Rea when five laps had gone, as Camier, Haga, Checa, Melandri, Haslam, Guintoli, Corser, and Badovini completed the top ten.

On the next lap, Rea had run wide and allowed the pack to catch him up. Laverty made great use of his sudden closeness, just dipping closely on the inside of Rea to take the lead from him. Haga and Checa also continued to trade position. Meanwhile, the injured Aitchison retired from the race. Laverty soon gained a tiny gap on Rea and the rest, as the top four got away from Haga and Melandri. Melandri managed to pass Haga, as Haslam followed him through on the next turn. The next to make a pass was Checa, taking third from Camier as the race approached halfway.

Soon, the top six had broken clearly into two groups, with Laverty, Rea, and Checa even spaced out, then Camier almost holding up Melandri, and Haslam barely trailing behind alone. However, Melandri was able to go under Camier for fourth. Ahead, Checa was taking some wider lines and appearing to take a look for a way through on Rea. He made the move on the inside a lap or two later, as Rea attempted to keep the speed up on the outside, but Checa was firmly into second. Once he got around, Checa was directly on Laverty’s back wheel with ten laps to go.

Rea, however, had to pull off for the second weekend in a row. That retirement moved Melandri up to third. Just a few turns later, Checa came from well back to dive up under Laverty to take the lead. Riders appeared to have settled in for the next couple of laps once Checa got to the front, as the Spaniard pulled out a few tenths gap. However, Haslam was soon on the move, sliding past Camier for fourth.

With five laps to go, Checa had nearly a second gap back to Laverty. Melandri was setting the same times as his teammate, but remained two second behind. He was pushing hard, looking to double up his second place finish from the first race. Further back, Rolfo ended his race in the gravel, though he appeared unhurt. With just one lap left, Melandri was all over the back of his teammate. Laverty was waving his leg about, but Melandri moved in late to take the position. He pushed through, leaving Laverty to sit up and allow Melandri the position or end both their races. Laverty chose the former. Checa kept his lead to double the win on his championship winning weekend, with Melandri and Laverty on the podium.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 2 at Magny-Cours:

17Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati-
233Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team1.267
358Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team2.043
491Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad6.506
550Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati7.843
62Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team8.360
717Joan LascorzPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki15.285
886Aytron BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia15.549
911Troy CorserBMW Motorrad16.278
1041Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia22.996
11112Javier ForesBMW Motorrad Italia43.132
12121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati47.846
Not Classified
44Roberto RolfoTeam Pedericini Kawaski4 Laps
4Jonathan ReaCastrol Honda10 Laps
8Mark AitchisonTeam Pedericini Kawaski19 Laps
84Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare21 Laps
66Tom SykesPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki

Source: WSBK; Photo: Pirelli (Facebook)


  1. Cpt.Slow says:

    Great racing, great riding, and congratulations to Carlos and the team!

  2. Rob says:

    indeed very good racing. As usual the most entertaining international motorcycle racing on TV. Big congratulations to King Carlos as Althea Ducati. I have no doubt the bike is fantasic, but Carlos was nearly mistake free all season. Hell of a ride.

  3. Other Sean says:

    Johny Rea is a bafoon, does anybody crash more than him? I don’t know why teams put up with him destroying their equipment year after year.

  4. irksome says:

    Hopefully Mad Max will race before the season is over so Melandri can b!tch slap HIM.

  5. Steven V says:

    @Other Sean: You clearly didn’t watch the race, my friend. Rea didn’t crash; he had another problem with the bike. Last week at Imola it was a battery connector, this week it was a crank ignition pickup according to Castrol Honda’s twitter. They also said: “chance of two such parts failing on successive weekend’s described by R10K8 as a million to one. ” So bad luck for Rea. He deserved the double at Imola, and had at least a chance at another win this weekend. Glad to see Castrol Honda doing well again!