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.

Silly Season: Ducati Offers Rossi €15 Million & Benefits – Yamaha Reduces Salary to €9 Million

06/24/2010 @ 2:36 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Silly Season: Ducati Offers Rossi €15 Million & Benefits   Yamaha Reduces Salary to €9 Million ducati desmosedici gp10 studio 7 560x373

The Italian press is buzzing about the latest silly season info regarding Valentino Rossi, and where he will be racing next year. According to Corriere dello Sport, Ducati has upped their offer to Rossi to €15 million and has included provisions that would allow the Italian to race later with either Ferrari F1 or Fiat Rally teams once he’s finished with motorcycle racing.

Now…you’d expect Yamaha to up its ante on the nine-time World Champion, right? Not quite. Instead Yamaha has reduced Valentino’s Rossi contract price from the €14 million they current pay him each year to €9 million. More on the reasoning behind that after the jump.

Allegedly Yamaha’s salary cut stems from the team’s need to reduce costs, and also to offer Jorge Lorenzo more money (the Spanish rider currently makes €4 million per year, and is expected to get double that if/when he renews with Fiat-Yamaha), but more on that last bit in a minute. The kicker to the salary reduction is that Rossi is for it in concept. Rossi has made it clear that he wants to end his career with Yamaha, and looks at the salary cut as a way to be a team player. For the World Champion, racing has a lot less to do with his salary (he makes the majority of his money from endorsements, promotions, etc), and more to do with the perks and public perception.

Make no mistake that personalities play a huge role here, and Valentino Rossi isn’t all-together pleased that part of his paycheck would essentially be going to Lorenzo, as the two riders still compete with their egos on & off the track. Add into this the fact that for the first time in a long while, Rossi does not have the upper-hand in his bargaining position.

Not only does Fiat-Yamaha have the best bike on the grid, but the team also has another rider who can equal or best Rossi on any given Sunday. This is to say, Yamaha doesn’t need Valentino Rossi in order to compete for the MotoGP Championship, nor does the team need to find a media friendly rider, and as such may not see a need to compete with Ducati on contract terms. This doesn’t mean that Fiat-Yamaha doesn’t value the star power that Rossi has, but the Italian rider won’t be able to extort grandiose terms like he did when he left HRC for Yamaha back in 2003.

In reality only Ducati can offer Rossi the salary commensurate with his position on and off the MotoGP grid, since the Italian rider on an Italian team is a huge selling point for the company, Ducati can make a large salary make sense from an ROI perspective. However the Desmosedici still proves a tough nut to crack, and a move to Ducati would mean severing ties with a team that has treated Rossi very well in the past.

It’s a tough choice for the Champion to make, and we imagine he’ll be pondering his options quite a bit while he’s recovering from his broken leg.

Source: MotoMatters


  1. Victor Knowles says:

    Of course I would love to Rossi on Ducati. I hope he heals enough before he gets on a bike and doesn’t try to hasten the process. Jorge is an immensely talented rider.I have to admit it took me awhile to admit that. Being a Rossi fan. I hope they make the racing interesting. It isn’t always so. It would be kind of cool to have Rossi and Hayden garaging together again as well.

  2. Lefty says:

    Wow, if those numbers are anywhere close to being the truth, Rossi is as good as gone. I can’t imagine his ego living with Lorenzo having a WC and more or less equal pay.


  3. hoyt says:

    “The Desmosedici still proves a tough nut to crack” –

    Rossi is one of the best development riders around so the challenge with an Italian bike towards the end of a career factors into decision-making for someone like Rossi. Winning a championship on an Italian bike that he helped develop would be a historic final effort.

  4. froryde says:

    I hope Rossi stays at Yamaha. I couldn’t care less about the Italian rider/bike combo – as a matter of fact I prefer if Rossi DIDN’T go just to shut the Ducatistis up – Rossi’s came across as a Yamaha man to me (well, one could say that when he was at Honda I guess).

    However, the option to race F1 or rally post MotoGP sounds tempting, but probably the nail in the coffin would be knowing that part of his salary went towards paying Lorenzo.

    Now if Rossi were on an MV or Aprilia – that would be something!

  5. Silly Season: Ducati Offers Rossi €15 Million & Benefits – Yamaha Reduces Salary to €9 M… – http://aspha.lt/146 #motorcycle

  6. ted says:

    I quote from your article:

    “In reality only Ducati can offer Rossi the salary COMMISERATE with his position on and off the MotoGP grid…”


    Wrong word boys.

    Gentlemen…*shakes head*. Please. You’re supposed to be journalists, trained in the proper use of the english language. Please use the proper words for what you’re trying to express:

       /kəˈmɪzəˌreɪt/ Show Spelled [kuh-miz-uh-reyt] Show IPA verb, -at·ed, -at·ing.
    –verb (used with object)
    to feel or express sorrow or sympathy for; empathize with; pity.

       /kəˈmɛnsərɪt, -ʃər-/ Show Spelled[kuh-men-ser-it, -sher-] Show IPA
    having the same measure; of equal extent or duration.
    corresponding in amount, magnitude, or degree: Your paycheck should be commensurate with the amount of time worked.
    proportionate; adequate.
    having a common measure; commensurable.

  7. Silly Season: Ducati Offers Rossi 15 Million & Benefits – Yamaha Reduces Salary to 9 Million – http://aspha.lt/146 (via @Asphalt_Rubber )

  8. eze1976 says:

    Rossi is the ultimate development rider, with motoGP going to 1000cc for 2012 I think for ducati to pick him up for the entire process would a brilliant move. If they can get him for 15 so be it he will bring more than a couple people to ducati plus float some italian egos as well.

  9. eze1976 says:

    oh yeah, Ted your a jackass, talk bikes not grammer

  10. GeddyT says:

    to eze1976:

    If you did that on purpose, that’s some funny stuff!

  11. Grimmy says:

    Looks to me Yamaha are forgetting what Rossi did for them. What has Lorenzo done to benifit the team. Agreed he is a very talented rider and no dought win a WC this year. But if not for Rossi would he be on a winning Yamaha this year? I just fell Yamaha are doing the dirty on Rossi.
    Quit MotoGP and give Aprilia a call Valentino! Now that I would love to see.

  12. Sam says:

    15 million and benefits..?
    start painting those ducs yellow!

  13. CSimmo says:


    Learn to read you dyslexic donky, it does say COMMENSURATE.

    While I agree that Lorenzo is probably the second best rider in the GP padock, I don’t believe he would be anywhere near Valentino had he had to develop his own bike. That is the big difference, Valentino is a genius at both riding and development – the best ever!

    While I’m not a big fan of Ducatti, I think Vally should go there and wipe the floor with the upstart and the ungreatful Yamaha team. He needs to keep Jerry Burgess and co. tho.

  14. Graeme says:

    CSimmo, I totally agree with your comments. Yamaha seem to have forgotten were Rossi got them, considering they were nowhere when he joined and basically, Lorenzo was handed a competitive bike that was developed in a big part by Rossi and his team. Would Lorenzo be looking at a title this year other wise? To me Yamaha has a short memory, Rossi did the hard yards for them and should be getting paid more, Lorenzo just seems to have no respect for what Rossi achieved in the past and only wants to boost his own ego at Rossi’s expence.

  15. Simmo says:

    Agree with most that has been said, Rossi should go to Ducati. If he stays at Yamaha an wins the title in 2011 it is another win, but to win at Ducati would be Special. As for ego’s yes both Rossi and Lorenzo both have them, but Rossi didn’t get it by acting a prat. Why would Lorenzo be a Spanish person dressing as an Italian (Roman), and from the last attempt, he has proved himself to be a Space Cadet, but a talented rider, next year should be good.

  16. Ted says:

    This article fails to mention that the only reason the yamaha is the bike to be on is because of Rossi. If we go back into the not so distant past when Max Biaggi was riding the yamaha and said the bike was not capable of winning. Rossi left honda and won a title his first year on the yamaha. Since then he has developed the bike so that if you have any talent you should be able to be competitive on it. The real test for Lorenzo is to see if he has the talent to develop the bike further. Ducati has realize that only stoner is able to ride the ducati to competitive level and has been trying to fix that problem. Rossi and Burgess should be able to give ducati the info needed to make the bike number 1.

  17. ragha says:

    wether rossi is departin

    however he is a best driver, also suits for yamaha no 1 compare to other bikes
    as he doesnt suits to ducati very well known about tat, let us see how he will be in in the grid from next race in ducati.