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: Valencia Race 1 Results

04/06/2009 @ 2:11 am, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT

WSBK: Valencia Race 1 Results valencia race 1 haga ducati1 560x371

The World Superbike Championship visited Valencia this weekend. With three poles and three wins in a row, all eyes were on Ben Spies at the start of the first Superbike race, wondering if the American could close the 10 point lead that Noriyuki Haga had over him. A sweep of the weekend’s races, could mean that Spies could be leading the series, or at the very least tied with Haga, depending on how the Japanese rider fared. Conversely, Haga with a strong showing could lengthen his early lead over the field. With Spies showing almost a full second on Haga at the Superpole, this would be no easy feat. Continue reading for spoilers from Race 1 of the Valencia World Superbike Races, and to see how Race 1 sorted itself out.


It was Spies who was of course at the head of the grid after his masterful showing at the Superpole on Saturday. Seemingly unstoppable, the crowd was shocked when Spies miffed his launch at the start of the race, and entered into the first corner in fifth place, behind a contingency of Ducatis. Regis Laconi led the way, ahead of Noriyuki Haga, Max Neukirchner and Troy Corser. Laconi would not hold the lead for long though, as Haga, followed by Neukirchner, passed Laconi a few corners later. Coming onto the front straightaway, Neukirchner used the speed of his Suzuki to take the lead over Haga at the start line, but Haga was able to move inside of the German, and take the lead back after the exit of the first turn of the second la.

Aidied by Troy Corser who crashed out, Spies was able to take 3rd place by the end of the fifth lap. By this time, Haga had a 2 secondslead over Max Neukirchner,  and 2.7 seconds over Spies. Over the course of the next four laps, Spies would chase down Neukirchner, but ended up pushing the front end of his Yamaha too hard, and ended up in the gravel. On his next lap, Haga’s pit board read “19 OUT”, signaling Haga to not push his luck too hard for the rest of the race, and cruise to a comfortable victory.

While first place was quickly settled, the race for second was much closer. Max Neukirchner looked to have a firm hold on the second step of the podium, but Haga’s Ducati team mate Michel Fabrizio was charging hard through the field. Crossing the line in 8th place on the first lap, the Italian fought his way forward, then closed steadily on Neukirchner as the race reached its conclusion. With three laps to go, Fabrizio was close enough to pull out of Neukirchner’s draft at the end of the straight, passing the German into Turn 1. Neukirchner was not able to repass the Italian, and had to settle for third, ceding the top two steps to the Xerox Ducati riders. Regis Laconi finished just off the podium to make it three Ducatis in the top four.

In his first WSBK outing, John Hopkins finished 11th on the Stiggy Honda, the second Honda across the line, and ahead of Ryuichi Kiyonari on the Ten Kate Racing machine. The other Ten Kate riders had a nightmare of a race, Johnny Rea crashing out on the first lap, Carlos Checa running off twice, before finally pulling into the pits.

Of the new manufacturers to enter the series, Max Biaggi finished best, fighting his way forward from 18th on the grid to take 8th place on the Aprilia, while Ruben Xaus was the sole BMW to finish, climbing from 19th on the grid to take a couple of points in 13th.


Results from Race 1 of the World Superbike Stop at Valencia:

PosNo.RiderCountryBikeFastest LapDiffLaps
141N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R1’34.862 -23
284M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R1’35.1793.67723
376M. NeukirchnerGERSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’35.0333.95923
455R. LaconiFRADucati 1098R1’35.1214.21023
591L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR1’35.38113.82423
671Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’35.28714.56223
766T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R11’35.56215.15523
83M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory1’35.37216.31623
967S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R1’35.68020.36123
1023B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R1’35.52123.87823
11121J. HopkinsUSAHonda CBR1000RR1’35.77830.90223
129R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR1’36.08231.29823
13111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR1’36.47732.66023
14100M. TamadaJPNKawasaki ZX 10R1’36.58842.15623
1533T. HillGBRHonda CBR1000RR1’36.76843.04023
1631K. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’36.57545.20423
1786A. BadoviniITAKawasaki ZX 10R1’37.14652.02323
1899L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R1’37.21252.47423
1925D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R1’36.94655.77523
2015M. BaioccoITAKawasaki ZX 10R1’37.02156.20223
RET7C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR1’35.4712 Laps21
RET94D. ChecaESPYamaha YZF R11’37.02910 Laps13
RET24B. RobertsAUSDucati 1098R1’36.22211 Laps12
RET19B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R11’35.27614 Laps9
RET77V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR1’37.04614 Laps9
RET88R. ReschAUTSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’37.74317 Laps6
RET96J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R1’35.63818 Laps5
RET11T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR 22 Laps1
RET65J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR 22 Laps1


  1. #motorcycle “WSBK: Valencia Race 1 Results” – http://tinyurl.com/d2b7a6