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.

Carlos Checa Retiring from Motorcycle Racing

10/18/2013 @ 10:56 am, by David Emmett18 COMMENTS

Carlos Checa Retiring from Motorcycle Racing Carlos Checa Althea Racing 635x474

Carlos Checa is to retire from racing. The 41-year-old Spaniard had been forced to skip the last four rounds of the 2013 World Superbike season after crashing heavily during practice at the Istanbul Park circuit in Turkey, fracturing his pelvis. That injury, and the lack of a strong offer for the 2014 season, caused Checa to decide to retire.

Checa’s final season has been a very hard one, the Spanish veteran struggling to get to grips with the Ducati Panigale, while the Alstare team battled Ducati over the lack of development for Ducati’s flagship superbike.

After a solitary pole at the first race of the year in Phillip Island, Checa’s season has proven to be fruitless — managing not a single podium and scoring just 80 points, which puts him currently 15th in the standings.

Checa had held talks with both his former team Althea Racing and with Kawasaki, but after Kawasaki re-signed Loris Baz to race alongside Tom Sykes, Checa felt his best option was to retire.

Checa’s career has been a long one. Checa first entered Grand Prix racing in 1993, where he spent half a season in 125′s and then in 250′s. Checa soon graduated to 500′s with some success, winning two Grand Prix and scoring a total of 24 podiums. His best championship finish was 4th place in 1998, riding a Movistar Honda.

After running out of options in MotoGP after the 2007 season, he switched to World Superbikes, following in the footsteps of Max Biaggi, and with similar success.

He joined the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team in 2008, winning two races. Two years later, he switched to Ducati, making a return to the factory for which he rode in MotoGP.

The return was successful, Checa becoming WSBK champion in 2011. He leaves racing with an impressive record. From 150 races, Checa took 24 wins and 49 podiums, as well as his one world title.

Checa is due to hold a press conference on Saturday, to announce his retirement officially.

Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0


  1. Ken C. says:

    Carlos Checa is a class act. He’ll be missed on the grid.

  2. Second the class act remark. Just a really great guy.

  3. Will says:

    Adios Careless Chucker. Always a friendly guy and took the time to speak w/ the fans.

  4. gabe says:

    I will miss seeing him on post race interview with his gigantic helmet sitting on the press desk.

  5. Craig says:

    Carlos… you will be missed for sure… truly a great talent and some didn’t shine until WSB, but you proved your worth not only riding but being a great ambassador for the sport.

    BTW… will we see you at the Isle of Man next year? Just kidding… :)

  6. TexusTim says:

    and another ducati rider retires this season and for him its the last one.
    great competive rider, he’ll be missed in the padaock..to bad he had to end it like this.

  7. krissrock says:

    This saddens me. He was the man, and the only rider i felt a connection with as he as very humble man.
    i’m not sure who i’m gonna rooting for next year.
    I’ll still be a ducati fan, but it’s different when you never see your favorite bike on tv cause the rider isn’t competitive. I hope they get someone good to replace him.

    But i wish Carlos all the best.

  8. dc4go says:

    Thanks for all the great racing and being an even better person!! Great rider, great person!

  9. damn says:

    if IT had a frame he would still be riding

  10. Afar says:

    I’m glad. He always pissed me off, when I was playing against him, in the Moto GP game for my old PS2. Of course, I was always Rossi (back when Rossi was worth a damn) and Checa would Fuck up my run, going slow, and I would bang into him. He, of course, would then commence to bang into me and cause me to loose the race. I would then proceed to throw a tantrum, until my dad would start beating me. Yes. I’m glad he’s retiring.

  11. gsp75 says:

    Its sad to see these GREAT mature riders retire being an oldie it was always great to see them smash on the young guns being the WORLD CHAMPS for the past years they prove age is just a number !!!

  12. MikeD says:

    One season too late. Should have done when the 1198 went the way of the Dodo.
    Broken Pelvis . . . that’s going to take time to heal.
    Even farting most feel like being in labor for him.
    Best of wishes for a speedy recovery.

  13. Bruce Monighan says:

    Checa, Chili, Corser, all cool class act guys. Always hate to see a great guy stop racing but it has to happen. Loved watching that guy race and hearing his thoughts and stories. Going to miss Checa, I was always pulling for him. Have a great retirement Carlos!

  14. Stanford Crane says:

    He is a gentleman and that’s about as good a compliment as anyone should want. He’s also a heck of a rider!

  15. Norm G. says:

    fair thee well Carlos checa. fair thee well mighty warrior.

  16. smiler says:

    He will be missed. Hopefully the exotic finger food will be promoted from Superstocks. He can clearly ride the 1199.

  17. zipidachimp says:

    Good to hear. Have a terrific retirement Carlos. was always pleased to see you on the TV on Sundays, at least until speedtv went into the shitter.
    One thing I always liked about WSBK, the racers were always tough as nails, without the attitudes that permeate MotoGP. The Laguna race was poorer without you.

  18. Halfie30 says:

    Nice guy, great at story telling, fun to watch… I will miss this guy a lot!!!