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.

MotoGP: Yamaha Loses Petronas Sponsorship

12/30/2011 @ 10:47 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Yamaha Loses Petronas Sponsorship Yamaha YZR M1 Petronas 635x444

Calling it the “natural conclusion” of their partnership, Yamaha’s MotoGP team and Malaysian oil giant Petronas have split ways after three years of racing sponsorship. Concluding a deal that is reportedly worth $8 million a year to the factory MotoGP team, Yamaha’s loss of Petronas will surely be felt in the team’s pocketbook, assuming of course that the Japanese manufacturer cannot replace the company with another on its sponsor roster.

After losing title sponsor Fiat for the 2011 season (due almost entirely to Yamaha’s inability to retain Valentino Rossi), Petronas and Yamaha Motor Kenkana Indonesia (Yamaha’s Indonesian arm) were left as the team’s main backers and official sponsors. Now with the loss of Petronas, many of the names on the side of the Yamaha YZR-M1 are those belonging to the tuning fork brand, leaving the financial burden for Yamaha’s MotoGP racing effort to come squarely out of one Yamaha coffer or another.

Surely to be taken as a sign of the decreased value of racing in MotoGP to race sponsors, this news has to be especially troubling for Yamaha, as it continues to lose its biggest sponsorship accounts, one after another. While it would appear that the Japanese manufacturer will have to foot another $8 million a year out its internal budget, the only silver lining to the situation could be the hope that the loss of Petronas is making way for a more lucrative sponsor. We wouldn’t hold our breath on that one though.

“The relationship between Yamaha and Petronas has been a great success, we have enjoyed some major achievements together in the MotoGP class,” said Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing. “Now that the partnership has reached its natural conclusion I would like to thank our friends at Petronas for the support during their time with us and wish them well for the future.”

“We are happy to have had this opportunity to work with the Yamaha Factory Racing team over the past three years,” stated Mohammad Medan Abdullah, Senior General Manager of Petronas Group Corporate Affairs Division. “In that time, we have enjoyed the benefits of strong brand exposure through the privilege of being associated with a team that shares our values and passion. The team has achieved many successes through a high level of competitiveness and stretched performance standards and we wish the team continued success in the future.”

Source: Yamaha Racing


  1. irksome says:

    And here I thought that Petronas was a Harry Potter spell

  2. aaaannnnnddddd….I just spit water on my keyboard.

  3. kei says:

    “Yamaha Motor Kencana INDONESIA (Yamaha’s Malaysian arm)”

    oh god why…..

  4. Whoops…I’ve got Malaysians on the brain..wait that sounds wrong.

  5. MikeD says:

    Oh well…the fastest way to get over a sponsor is to get under another…right ? LMAO.
    Good luck with your next boyf…i mean sponsor, Yamaha.

  6. THE BOAST says:

    It is very easy to get all of the SPONSORS back, Yamaha just need to RE-SIGN ROSSI, LOLLLLLLL,,,, BLAH BLAH BLAH,,,,,,


    Jarvis: where are you now?
    Rossi: I am in italy, why?
    Jarvis: can you help us to find new sponsors, please??
    Rossi: it is very easy dude, what you need is to re-sign me. Oh, sorry, I forgot you have your new future hero right now. I know him, he is not my friend unfortunately.

  8. dc4go says:

    While Lorenzo being incredibly fast and Spies learning more and more everyday in Gp both of them combined don’t have have the charisma of Rossi or the late Sic (R.I.P.!) … Thats too bad cause a sport once full of characters is now turning into ROBOT racing…Kinda like F1 which is impossible to watch without falling asleep!! Credit to Lorenzo he rode the wheels of the Yami. this year only problem is once the helmets off he just another JERK in the paddock … :/

  9. The funny thing is of course you could say this is one more leg being knocked out from under the chair holding MGP up as a ‘prototype-only’ class: But just as surely as I’m sitting here typing this, 5 to 10 years from now, the CRT machines will cost WAY more than the current mounts, because remember friends one of the Great Commandments: Money Buys Speed.

    I also hope HRC threatening to walk in the face of the CRT’s isn’t inspired by their previous S**T-fit when they walked away from AMA: Boy, THAT was a smart move ! Hey, have ya heard the one where all of their new V4 stuff is gonna look like JetSkis ? ? ? ?

  10. petron says:

    glad to hear that..petronas should do that thing since Rossi left the Yamaha team and sponsor the italian team…as malaysian, i feel very happy…save our money from sponsoring the team without any chance to win the title…

  11. Westward says:

    The biggest problem with MotoGP is coverage and exposure. Outside of motorcyclist, who else is interested in the sport? The casual observer will never purchase access to the channel that displays it or the website that offers it, if they don’t know what they are getting.

    Can’t blame sponsors for leaving a sport only motorcyclist know exists…

  12. rann_32 says:

    Hehehehehehe, Lorenzo finally seen do not have the power to bring sponsors. All of them leave one by one. See Ducati, remained loyal sponsors. All because of the VR 46.

  13. RD says:

    “Rossi’s not a GOD, he can be beaten” Jorge’s comments in “Fastest”. Well, he may be beaten but nobody commands more brand association than #46. If and when they get a replacement, it won’t be a FIAT or Petronas deal. Spain’s a mess, so a Spanish corporate is as scarce as hens teeth. Ben Spies is a bikers Racer but as the previous commentor said, he speaks to BIKERS and hardly anyone else.

    Think about what benefit Petronas got out of their deal though. When FIAT left, their name didn’t get any bigger. In fact, they ran corporate blue and their anniversary red and white for some rounds but besides that,, the Petrona’s. Logo was hidden on the bellypan, next to YAMALUBE ? For 8Million ? Made sense to leave !

    Certain spots are reserved for Title sponsors, I get that, but you got nothing else, so why not make and exception to the rule ?

  14. donno says:

    Don’t forget Petronas already buys the italian Selenia oil company and its products are all renamed Petronas, and now Petronas brand is big in Italy too…

    Maybe the sponsorship is moving to Ducati?

    True Yamaha took Petronas’ sponsorship for granted, not even a special livery for malaysian round, and now petronas left (for good).