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.

Yamaha Racing Signs Two-Year Contract with Pol Espargaró

08/02/2013 @ 4:01 am, by Jensen Beeler28 COMMENTS

Yamaha Racing Signs Two Year Contract with Pol Espargaró Pol Espargaro Moto2 Valencia Scott Jones

With Cal Crutchlow now confirmed to go to Ducati Corse (the team’s press release came in this morning), Pol Espargaro is now free to replace the Briton at the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 satellite MotoGP team.

Signing a two-year contract with Yamaha Racing, Espargaro will move up from Moto2 into the premier-class, and will campaign a Yamaha YZR-M1 alongside former Moto2 rider Bradley Smith.

Investing in the 22-year-old, the contract with Espargaro marks a clear signal from Yamaha Racing to develop young talent in the MotoGP series through the Tech 3 satellite team, and to have an ongoing chain of top riders on its factory teams for the considerable future.

The news also deals an end to the speculation about the Tech 3 team’s rider line-up, as Crutchlow, Smith, and Espargaro have been engaged in a game of musical chairs thru media reports. The terse announcement from Yamaha Racing is after the jump, along with the more lengthy press release from Tech 3.


Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd is delighted to be able to announce that it has concluded a two-year agreement with current Spanish Moto2 rider Pol Espargaró. As a result of this contract the 22-year-old will make his MotoGP debut in 2014 with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and will ride the Yamaha YZR-M1.

Pol Espargaró is enjoying his third season as a key protagonist in the Moto2 Class and is currently lying second in the Championship standings.


Smith and Espargaro form young and talented Monster Yamaha Tech 3 line-up for 2014

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is delighted to confirm that Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will form a young and exciting line-up for the French-based squad in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship.

British rider Smith has shown tremendous pace and promise in his rookie MotoGP campaign in 2013 and at the halfway stage of the season is only 32-points outside of the top six in the overall rankings.

Smith has adapted quickly to Yamaha’s prototype YZR-M1 machine and he has scored six top 10 finishes in nine races so far, including impressive rides into the top six in Catalunya and Sachsenring.

The 22-year-old has demonstrated great professionalism and willingness to learn in the initial stage of his MotoGP career and theMonster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is looking forward to helping Smith progress and follow in the footsteps of compatriot Cal Crutchlow, who has established himself as a consistent podium challenger under the guidance of Herve Poncharal’s squad.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is also thrilled to welcome highly rated Spaniard Espargaro for 2014. The 22-year-old is currently showing why he has emerged as one of the brightest young talents in the World Championship, with three victories in eight races keeping him firmly in the hunt for the 2013 Moto2 crown.

Espargaro made his World Championship debut in the 125cc category at his home round in Barcelona back in 2006 and he has gone onto to win 12 races and claim 27 other podium finishes.

Immensely popular as well as fast, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is looking forward to helping Espargaro showcase his skills on the biggest stage in world motorcycle racing next season.

Today’s announcement further reaffirms the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad’s commitment to developing and nurturing fast talent in MotoGP.

Source: Yamaha Racing; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Jimbo says:

    Very pleased for Pol, very talented rider. WIsh his brother had moved up to Satelite though, think Alexis is extreemly talented and deserves a step up.
    Congrats Pol!!

  2. Damo says:

    That didn’t take long.

  3. SBPilot says:

    $100 Pol will beat Smith by end of season and at the end of the year Smith will get the boot for someone else.

    Glad he got the ride, he deserves it. Now his older brother needs to get on a prototype as he rightly deserves one too.

  4. marcus667 says:

    See having a spanish passport still counts for something then lol, smiths a spent force after next year then

  5. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    next up, Scott Reading. Who will pick him up?

    I agree with critics of Bradley Smith. He came to the show a season or two early which is too bad because he hasn’t performed thaaaat poorly. It’s unfortunate.

  6. doug says:

    Smiths already confirmed for next year. I agree, Pol will be ahead of Smith, but I think it’ll be sooner than later. Also, I don’t understand why Aleix wasn’t considered for the Tech3 seat. What gives?

  7. doug says:

    *Redding is confirmed for next year..

  8. SBPilot says:

    Just not enough prototypes available sadly because Aleix clearly can ride, I mean, on his ART he is beating prototypes weekend after weekend. Hopefully Aspar gets a production RCV for him next season or Aprilia does a magic trick with the ART to produce more power.

  9. meatspin says:

    people are bagging on Smith but I dont think he is finishing any worse than Cal his rookie season. His seasons in Moto2 seems suspect, but I have no idea how the tech3 moto2 bike faired compared to his competitors.

  10. smiler says:

    Spain in numbers.

    Motorcycle media organisations 1 – Dorna
    Sponsors 6 – Repsol, Estrella Galicia, Quiron, AMG Services, Freixenet, Iveco Spain
    Circuits in the calendar – 4 Spain
    Riders in the Spanish championship – 8/<30 2014

    Championships 1 – MotoGP Spanish Championship.

  11. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Something is up with Spain in general and I think Beeler needs to get to the bottom of it.

    Tennis? Nadal
    MotoGP? too many to name
    football (soccer)? need I say more?
    Formula 1? plenty of talent there.
    Bull fighting? they’re tops
    the Bulls they run? biggest and baddest.

    What the hell aren’t the Spanish the best at?

  12. hoyt says:


  13. smiler says:

    What are the Spanish not good at. Mmmm let me see.
    Administering MotoGP and their glee at making MotoGp into a series Spain can be proud of.

    Tennis – one famous player not administered in Spain.
    Formula 1 – one driver, not administered in Spain.
    Bull fighting – world of 1 champions – administered in Spain.
    Football – Real Madrid and Barca (not really in Spain) – administered in Spain.
    Olympics – 21st behind North Korea – not administered in Spain.

  14. L2C says:

    “Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd is delighted to be able to announce that it has concluded a two-year agreement with current Spanish Moto2 rider Pol Espargaró.”

    I wonder how “delighted” Hervé Poncharal is with Espargaro joining Tech 3. I seem to remember him not being too fond of the idea. In fact, he seemed very much against it.

    Poncharal wil adapt because he’s a professional – but if he’s not passionate about Pol’s promise, what could that mean for Pol and the team?

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “Poncharal wil adapt because he’s a professional – but if he’s not passionate about Pol’s promise, what could that mean for Pol and the team?

    for not keeping up with the script, he’ll get promptly chewed out by Yamaha and Dorna, he’s been chewed out before.

  16. Chaz Michael Michaels says:


    lol! just checked back in on my break. Coworkers heard me laughing in my cube, had to log out again…

    Smiler’s comments funny too.

    A good way to finish the work week.

    Have a great weekend guys! looking forward to the 2nd half of the season. Cheers.

  17. “people are bagging on Smith but I dont think he is finishing any worse than Cal his rookie season.”

    In fact, he’s got more finishes than Cal did in his first year at this point in the season. In the first 9 races of each respective rookie season, Cal had 2 DNFs and 1 DNS versus Smith’s 2 DNFs. People expecting Marquez-like ascension up through the field are, I think, being unrealistic. He’s having a credible rookie season.

  18. 2ndclass says:

    And one of Smith’s DNFs was a mechanical failure.

  19. TexusTim says:

    so i guess crutclow was just to “old” already to develope to the fatcory seat when it becomes available ? that is what smith and espargo will have to do and cal is finishing well on the satalite bike…so did they calculate that when the time comes and rossi hangs it up (i dont see him outlasting lorenzo..lol) that cal will be too old?..or does eveyone really think it’s were he’s from?..cuz he has great sponosrs and there not goiing with him to ducati as far as I can see right now..so a brit goes to ducati and thats were he end his career…sounds like what nicky just got thru with only difference is the stars in the flag. maybe cal has a plan beyond ducati, he needs to

  20. TwoWheelLoo says:

    Redding is said to be making the move to GP’s next year; maybe on a satellite Ducati? Be sad if he moves to a CRT ride.

  21. Damn says:

    i’m glad for both POL and CAL. glad for pol to join Yamaha and i expect good things from him. i’m also glad for cal because he now get what every rider in motogp wants…………. to finish out side top 10 and going mental

  22. smiler says:

    And another thing. The rookie rule was generated by Dorna to prevent rooie’s moving straight into factory teams.

    That lasted precisely a year. The first rider that this was waved for was Merguez (Spanish), the secons will be Pol Paella (Spanish).

    Now I love Spain and seeing as it was a Dicatorship in 75 it has come a very long way but MotoGP is really starting to stink of rotten fish paella mixed with a splash of backhander and national bias sauce on the side.

  23. smiler says:

    Her is another thought. At the Press Conference in Laguna Seca Rossi looked and behaved like the father of all the others present. It looked interesting because he was asked both about his opinion of his prospects but also a number of questions regarding other racers.

    He wants to extend his contract until 2016. Even though, Pol Paella and Scott Redding will be moving up. Additionally Marc Merguez will get better on the Honda and there is a chance that Ducati will get the GP bike right next year with Dovi and Cal jostling for position. 2015 marks the return of Suzuki as well. So it not as if the competition is going to get less.
    Now I have a huge amount of respect for Rossi and for his simple desire to race, bikes and anything else.
    But he must be clear that he cannot win another championship and to be honest will struggle to win another race. So why continue?
    I would put money on the idea that it is to get to know and understand how the young racers race so he can cream off the best riders into a team. Who would not want to sponsor a team with Rossi as Manager, his mates managing the publicity and with Merguez and a couple of other stars on board.
    Manufacturers and riders would surely be queuing up as well as sponsors.

    Just a thought……

  24. “Redding is said to be making the move to GP’s next year; maybe on a satellite Ducati?”

    I suspect that Ducati will be ‘excusing’ Spies from his contract and taking Redding on in his stead. I like Spies very, very much, but his last season and a half have not looked very good on his CV, regardless of the mitigating circumstances.

  25. 2ndclass says:

    I thought Redding was in line for one of the proddy-spec RCVs at Gresini?

  26. While Redding’s presence on the grid has been confirmed, his team has not been announced. It’s possible he may end up on one of the RC213Vs, but as he was already tested by Ducati last year I still think that’s the most logical place for him to settle.

  27. Jimbo says:

    @hoyt hahahahahahah!

    In other news hopefully Suzuki’s return may offer Alexis Espagaro a factory ride – I think while he is no marquez he is a talented rider.

    As for Bradley Smith – no he isnt the best and he should probably be dropped a the end of next year if there is no improvement. But he is doing better than Cal Crutchlow did in his first season…

  28. Ba Wild says:

    Bit bored of criticism of Smith- he is having a good rookie season by any standards but Marquez, who is spectacular. He has nearly as many points already than Cal finished with as rookie of the year. His moto2 performances were poor but so was the bike even admitted by tech3, whom hapilly signed him seeing those performances. His 125cc final season, he finished runner up in the championship too. The guy can clearly ride and needs to be given a break.

    As for Cal, he is good but too old. By the time a seat in the factory team opens up he will be into his thirties and that would be at the start. Yamaha needed to develop younger riders, or try to, whom will reach maturity in terms of performances to be understudy then replace Lorenzo. Rossi is a special case had it been any other rider, I suspect Cal would have his seat next year, rightly or wrongly. Regardless, I am pleased Ducati will have a rider that will give 100%. I’m not convinced they have had that since Stoner.