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.

Video: Building the MV Agusta F3

12/23/2012 @ 2:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Video: Building the MV Agusta F3 MV Agusta F3 635x425

Have you ever wondered what the backstory was to building a motorcycle? Perhaps no greater version of that story exists than the rebirth of MV Agusta from the hands of Harley-Davidson, and the building of the company’s supersport model, the MV Agusta F3. Making an appearance on National Geographic‘s “Mega Factories” show, the doors of MV Agusta were opened up to the film crew’s cameras, and a fairly candid look at what is behind the curtain takes place.

The reason for the show’s success is because it is always interesting to see what goes into building our favorite machines, and for motorcycle enthusiasts, the insight given by MV Agusta tells more of the saga that surrounded the development and production of the F3, and the reason for its delays to market.

While full of interesting new details, this episode of “Mega Factories” has also substantially whitewashed of some the more important points of the MV Agusta story. For instance, the show goes out of its way not to mention Harley-Davidson’s recent involvement with the brand — namely how it cleared the Italian company’s debts, invested in infrastructure, and created the business plan that is currently being implement with the three-cylinder line of bikes.

Calling the 30-someting Giovanni Castiglioni “the patriarch” of Italian motorcycles, National Geographic sort of jumps the shark with its level of praise for the young CEO, and the canonizing of the late Claudio Castiglioni is well underway here, with nary a mention of how the brand has been run into the ground multiple times. Ducatisti might take offense to the show’s seeming forgetful nature that there is another iconic Italian motorcycle brand just down the road, thriving on a sales that are considerably larger than those of MV Agusta.

All that being said, the good outweighs the bad here, and it is well worth the 45 minutes of your time this holiday weekend to take a glimpse behind the curtain of Varese. After all, the MV Agusta F3 really is motorcycling art. Enjoy.

Source: Faster and Faster


  1. bemer2six says:

    With out any hesitationI enjoyed every minute of it and if it ever becomes possible that I can buy one in the US I’ll have one.

  2. TTT says:

    Just picked mine up yesterday! Still can’t get this stoopid grin off my face… :)

  3. Video: Building the MV Agusta F3 – http://t.co/B6phAa9o #motorcycle

  4. Corey S says:

    Cool videos. It it looks as if MV Agusta will be around for awhile, I would consider buying one.

  5. Dewey says:

    “For instance, the show goes out of its way not to mention Harley-Davidson’s recent involvement with the brand — namely how it cleared the Italian company’s debts, invested in infrastructure, and created the business plan that is currently being implement with the three-cylinder line of bikes.”

    Mr. Beeler,
    I owe you an apology, I had you pegged as the type of “Italophile” elitist who would never have a good word to say about most other makers, especially Harley Davidson. While I’m sure that there are many MV Agusta owners that would simply choose to either ignore or dismiss what HD has done for MV, you are obviously not among them. It is refreshing to see objective reporting in the motorcycle press.
    I heartily apologise.
    Keep up the good work.

  6. Tim Cameron says:

    What a puff piece. I mean, what did we learn here?

    That the F3, despite delays running to YEARS, is the greatest motorcycle to ever be shat out of a bike factory.

    That MV dealers are pretty suggestible if you can show them a bike with a set of empty cases for an engine and still get applause from them.

    That all production line problems are solved by 5 guys gesticulating wildly.

    That an MV doesn’t go into production until some nameless test rider gives his blessing bestowed by thrashing the shit out of it around a racetrack – as opposed to riding it ON THE STREET.

    Actually I liked the F3 except for those three drooping dicks that pass for end pipes…

  7. Tom says:

    Oh please Dewey. Grow up. You Harley people are childish cult members who cannot take an honest statement about your group. From MV’s perspective, sure H-D was a sugar daddy who came in and set things right. But, from a H-D stockholder’s perspective H-D made pathetically disastrous moves that cost the company money and has still hurt it today.

    Its every aspect of life, but some people are just too emotionally invested in Plato’s Cave real estate to be able to deal with the real world as it is.

  8. Dewey says:

    I don’t own a Harley and never have, but you sound like an angry H-D stockholder.

  9. MikeD says:

    Thanks for posting this. Nice insight to the whole “voyage” and most of the kinks and bends to building from “scratch” a new model.

    I hope they stick around (make themselves profitable) and keep building new products.
    There’s no such thing as too many choices when it comes to motorcycles.

  10. Tom says:

    Keep apologizing Dewey. You’re on a roll.

  11. Dewey says:

    I did not apologise, I stated that I did not own a Harley. I don’t know what you mean by “I’m on a roll”, it sounds like you’re “off your meds”.

    I don’t know what particular flavor of Kool-Aid you’re into but you should go have some more.

  12. Tom says:

    Dewey, The lady doth protest too much, methinks.