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.

World Superbike Finally Gets Online Video Streaming

01/23/2014 @ 1:39 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

World Superbike Finally Gets Online Video Streaming World Superbike logo 635x425

I know that I have seen more than a few loyal Asphalt & Rubber readers lament the lack of an online video feed for World Superbike races, and that they hoped that the takeover of the premier production motorcycle racing class by Dorna would add this feature, which is already available with the MotoGP Championship.

Well today, my good friends, that day has come. Dorna has revamped WorldSBK.com, and with those changes comes the WSBK VideoPass feature.

From the limited description given by World Superbike, the WSBK VideoPass sounds pretty much exactly like its MotoGP counterpart, with video streams from the practice, qualifying, and race sessions being made available, along with exclusive behind the scenes footage and interviews.

The catch in the plan is that Dorna says the WSBK VideoPass will be available only in certain countries. Which countries those could be, isn’t clear; though we are waiting to hear back from WSBK about the issue, and whether the USA will have access. Fingers crossed.

Assuming that most markets will have access to the stream, the WSBK VideoPass could be a huge boon for the series, as it will give more markets exposure to what has been great racing thus far in the past seasons — World Superbike does not have a product problem when it comes to fan entertainment.

TV exposure is the lifeblood of professional motorsport, WSBK included, and other motorcycle racing series would do well to understand that more exposure means more eyeballs, and more eyeballs mean more advertising dollars, which in turn means more money in the sport, along with more teams and more riders.

Yes, AMA Pro Road Racing, I’m talking about you here…just so we’re clear here.

Source: WorldSBK


  1. Funnyman6869 says:

    FINALLY! ABOUT DAMN TIME! Now maybe there will be more than 20 people in Laguna this year.
    GREAT NEW! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kevin says:


    And … hurrah for VPN! Best thing I ever did was ditch broadcast TV and go for Netflix with HMA… and it just keeps getting better!

  3. Mike says:

    SWEET MERCY please be available in the U.S.!!!!!

  4. smiler says:

    Which means that they will screw coverage down so far it will be impossible to get any footage other than paying thru the nose.
    On a good day you can see an entire WSBK race for free the day after.

  5. SBPilot says:

    Hell yes. I have to really give it to Dorna. They did as they said, and that’s not easy. Sometimes it’s good to have a corporate take over. Many times companies to not follow through but bravo to Dorna.The old WSBK website was a hack job.

    Also, love it how they make all the videos free right now to get the audience reeled in and then eventually we’ll have to pay to watch. Yes, this means that it will be almost impossible to watch for free on TV, but then again, the reason this is happening is because there is no TV channels wanting to pay to broadcast.

    I’m all for it, and damn, Chaz looks good on that Panigale. So excited.

  6. sideswipe says:

    Hallelujah & amen!
    As a long time MotoGP.com pass subscriber I’ve felt it’s really the only way to go. Broadcast coverage is usually pretty dodgy. When they show it, commercial breaks, sometimes no support classes, no QP, no practices. Face it, motorcycle road racing is a niche sport. It’s never going to get the respect and consideration for air coverage as more popular sports. Subscription just like boxing & MMA pay per view delivers the full experience for the small markets that are interested.

  7. Norm G. says:

    get ready for the crack down smack down. all the people rejoicing apparently never did a you tube search…? good or bad, all the Eurosport feed was there. you’d think the “free lunch types” would’ve been all over this.

  8. brian says:

    Norm G.
    If the SBK coverage is similar to MotoGP coverage, I’ll HAPPILY pay for it. I’ve done the YouTube thing and it’s dodgy at best finding good SBK coverage; a few times being forced to watch in either italian or spanish. Last year BeIN had decent coverage, but I’d love to be able to sign on and have the coverage streaming all weekend long. The same way I watch GP races. ¡Esta Fantastico!

  9. Clive says:

    So from reading these posts the US does not get SBK live on any cable or satellite feed? What will happen in New Zealand is what happened last year with Motogp. Dorna screwed the price to broadcast so high that SKY NZ refused to show it so we all had to buy Dorna’s live streaming. You bet the same will happen for SBK this year and bike race fans in NZ will have to pay twice to watch both.

  10. philly phil says:

    Hmmmm this is great…but i wonder i the price would be greater than just paying for the sports package to get BeIn Sports which shows the races already in the US…

    i just wanna see the races… i prefer WSBK waaaaay over MotoGP.

  11. Mariano says:

    To all the whinning free-loaders, why don’t you ( paraphrasing JFK’s famous quote) ask your self not what the sport you love can do for you, but what can you do for the sport you love.

    How about supporting your sport? Sorry for stating the obvious, but it takes a lot of money and effort yo bring a quality product.

    I’ve been a subscriber of MotoGP for years, best 130 bucks I spend in the whole year. A whole year of coverage, live races, or TIVO, reports, interviews, press conferences, and access to 20 years of Grand Prix Races, and no commercials.

    And in top of that I’m supporting the sport I love.

    How is that for a deal?
    Good for Dorna!

  12. SBPilot says:

    @Mariano, I agree. We can easily spend $130 in a day on the silliest things that will never be used or be used and put in the bin within a matter of minutes. So $130 for an entire year with so much media all in extremely good resolution, it’s a no brainer.

    @Norm G. – yes, I am one of those who use to watch all the SBK races on youtube. Sometimes forced to watch in Russian or French commentary, both being unbearable. Also, watching races LIVE is much different than a replay. It’s so much more exciting live. The footage and content Dorna provides is second to none.

    Everyone that puts the videos together, all those camera angles/camera operators, interviews, website updates, news updates etc. These people need to eat and get paid too. So if you’re too bloody cheap to pay a hundred bucks for a years worth of top notch footage, you’re welcome to watch baseball for free.

  13. jet says:

    And pigs will fly,lets just see…

  14. Chris Blair says:

    @Clive – Yes we have complete coverage now thru the BeIN network on DirecTV. Excellent coverage, minus the horrid soccer news in between races. I just use a little eye bleach for that though.

  15. If WSBK doesn’t get streaming in Japan, I’ll be disappointed. I don’t think WSBK gets any coverage on any of the cable stations here, though, so there’s hope. Fingers are crossed. Assuming Dorna’s WSBK coverage will be at least in the same ballpark of quality of MotoGP, it should be worth the coin.

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “If the SBK coverage is similar to MotoGP coverage, I’ll HAPPILY pay for it. I’ve done the YouTube thing and it’s dodgy at best finding good SBK coverage; a few times being forced to watch in either italian or spanish. Last year BeIN had decent coverage, but I’d love to be able to sign on and have the coverage streaming all weekend long. The same way I watch GP races. ¡Esta Fantastico!”

    brian whoa whoa, settled down. i demand you report to quarantine post haste. you and that fancy “valuing mentality” might be contagious…? god forbid it spreads to the next motorcyclist, and then where would we be…?

  17. Dan says:

    Kevin: You’re paying too much for your VPN service, look up ‘Unblock Us’, with the money you save you can buy yourself a beer to drink while watching the racing ;)

  18. elfuque says:

    “Yes, AMA Pro Road Racing, I’m talking about you here…just so we’re clear here”

    Agree 100% – how do they not see the extent to which this would be a huge boon for them. I think fans of motorcycle road racing have proven that they are very willing to pay for good streaming content.

  19. kostritzer says:

    So when are they going to announce pricing and availability? Round one is in a couple of weeks!!!