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.

2011 Aprilia Tuono V4 R: Proof That Some Bikes Should Leave Their Clothes On [UPDATED]

11/01/2010 @ 9:28 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

2011 Aprilia Tuono V4 R: Proof That Some Bikes Should Leave Their Clothes On [UPDATED] 2011 aprilia tuono v4 r 2 medium

UPDATE: Larger photos and more details have been added.

Well here’s your first look at the 2011 Aprilia Tuono V4 R. While we don’t have official information, the Tuono V4 line seemingly comes equipped with the Aprilia Performance Rider Control package. Sharing its frame with the RSV4 superbike, the Aprilia Tuono V4 R receives a de-tuned motor with performance figures coming in at 162hp and 81 lbs•ft of torque. Like the Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE, the Tuono V4 R will be fitted with APRC system, which will bring traction control, anti-lock brakes, wheelie control, launch control, quick-shifter, and rider-selectable driving modes to the naked V4.

Braking power comes from radial Brembo monobloc calipers mated to 320mm discs up front. Suspension is done by Sachs, with 43mm titanium nitride (TiN) forks and a four-way adjustable (compression, rebound, pre-load, and ride height) rear shock with piggyback reservoir. The 2011 Tuono V4 R comes with new wheels that are 5 lbs lighter than the ones that come on the Aprilia RSV4 R. We apologize for the small photos after the jump, but perhaps that’s better so as to help you avert your eyes from this abortion of a motorcycle.

Derived from the flagship 2011 Aprilia RSV4 APRC, Aprilia set out to make the most powerful street naked on the market, and have clearly met that goal, besting the rival Ducati Streetfighter by 7hp. Aprilia says the 2011 Aprilia Tuono V4 R will tips the scales at 394.6 lbs with fuel, making the Tuono V4 R a very light package. Helping it reach that weight is its lighter wheels and exhaust (both of which shave 5 lbs off the bike’s curb weight). Seat height is 33″ while the fuel tank holds 4.5 gallons. No word yet on pricing or availability, but expect it to be aggressively priced against the Ducati Streetfighter, we’d expect in the $14,000 range.

2011 Aprilia Tuono VR 4 APRC Technical Specifications:

Engine type: Aprilia longitudinal 65° V-4 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooling system, double overhead camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder

Fuel: Unleaded petrol

Bore and stroke: 78 x 52.3 mm

Total engine capacity: 999.6 cc

Compression ratio: 13:1

Maximum power at crankshaft: 162 hp (119 kW) at 11,000 rpm

Maximum torque at crankshaft: 79.4 lbs.-ft. (110 Nm) at 9,000 rpm

Fuel system: Airbox with front dynamic air intakes. 4 Weber-Marelli 48-mm throttle bodies with 4 injectors and latest generation Ride-by-Wire engine management.

Choice of three different engine maps selectable by the rider with bike in motion: T (Track), S (Sport), R (Road)

Ignition: Magneti Marelli digital electronic ignition system integrated in engine control system, with one spark plug per cylinder and “stick-coil” type coils

Starting: Electric

Exhaust system: 4 into 2 into 1 layout, single oxygen sensor, lateral single silencer with engine management system controlled butterfly valve and integrated trivalent catalytic converter (already meets future Euro4 regulations)

Alternator: Flywheel mounted 420W alternator with rare earth magnets

Lubrication: Wet sump lubrication system with oil radiator and two oil pumps (lubrication and cooling)

Gearbox: 6-speed cassette type gearbox

1st: 39/15 (2.600)
2nd: 33/16 (2.063)
3rd: 34/20 (1.700)
4th: 32/22 (1,455)
5th: 34/26 (1,308)
6th: 33/27 (1,222)

Gear lever with Aprilia Quick Shift electronic system (AQS)

Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch with mechanical slipper system

Primary drive: Straight cut gears and integrated flexible coupling, drive ratio: 73/44 (1,659)

Secondary drive: Chain; Drive ratio: 42/16 (2.625)

Traction management: APRC System (Aprilia Performance Ride Control), which includes Traction Control (ATC), Wheelie Control (AWC), Launch Control (ALC), all of which can be configured and deactivated independently.

Frame: Aluminium dual beam chassis with pressed and cast sheet elements.

Sachs steering damper.

Front suspension: Sachs upside down front fork with 43 mm stanchions. Low profile forged aluminium calliper mountings for radial callipers. Completely adjustable spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. Wheel travel: 120 mm

Rear suspension: Double braced aluminium swingarm; mixed low thickness and sheet casting technology. Sachs piggy back monoshock with completely adjustable: spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. APS progressive linkage. Wheel travel: 130 mm

Brakes front: Dual 320 mm floating stainless steel discs with lightweight stainless steel rotor with 6 studs. Brembo radial callipers with 4 horizontally opposed 32 mm pistons. Sintered pads. Axial pump master cylinder and metal braided brake hoses.

Brake rear: 220-mm diameter disc; Brembo floating calliper with two 32 mm isolated pistons. Pump with integrated tank and metal braided hose

Wheel rims: Aprilia cast aluminium wheels with 3 split spoke design.

Front: 3.5”X17”

Rear: 6”X17”

Tires: Radial tubeless.

Front: 120/70 ZR 17

Rear: 190/55 ZR 17 (alternative: 190/50 ZR 17; 200/55 ZR 17)

Dimensions (default settings)

Max. length: 2060 mm

Max. width: 800 mm (at the handlebar)

Max. height: 1100 mm

Min. height from the ground: 120 mm

Saddle height: 840 mm

Centre to centre distance: 1440 mm

Trail: 107.5 mm

Steering angle: 25°

Curb weight: 394.6 pounds (179 kg) *

Tank: 17 liters (4-liter reserve included)

Source: Aprilia


  1. bikepilot says:

    I kinda like it, though I’d prefer a 1200cc v2 in place of the v4 ;)

  2. duke says:

    Would look better if the exhaust stopped where the metal ends :)

  3. Toby says:

    Abortion is dead on! Pick, either make it naked or not! Bad ass engine and chassis that needs to have the rest of the fairings thrown away and mount an aftermarket LSL streetfighter headlight on it. Also why do all the bike manufacturers have to detune naked engines.

  4. Hamish says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many thought that the Gen II Tuono was fugly at first but then realized how beuatiful they REALLY were. After 45K km my Tuono is just getting more beautiful.
    Abortion of a motorcycle?? Up yours and your subjective and totally inaccurate assessment.

  5. Rexr says:

    I really wonder what A & R are on about sometimes that bike is mean as f**k better than any of that american shite harleys

  6. Faster1 says:

    That is a Beautiful Bike! Appropriately minimally shrouded, great contemporary uppers, civilized above triple clamp handle bars. You have no taste Jensen.
    You want ugly, Try everything BMW makes because it’s afraid to be symetrical. Why does one headlight have to be bigger/different than the other.,, now that is ugly. Also, most (but not all) everything made by KTM is ugly. No, this Apriia has the correct proportions and looks fast.
    Jensen, you must be new at motorcycles. Chalk this one up to “learning”. Try again, we forgive you.

  7. akatsuki says:

    Nothing that a headlight transplant wouldn’t fix.

  8. Nob says:

    Not what I expected. Aprilia go mainstream design. Dull dull dull. Don’t care about the alleged performance, first and foremost a bike has to be eye candy imho.

  9. kumo says:

    Not exactly ugly, but that headlight and… Where is the rest of the fairing?

    +1 Toby about detuned engines for nakes. Most when yougive a “R” surname to a bike.

  10. Tom says:

    Rexr, just because the bike is mean and better than American bikes does not mean that its not ugly.

  11. 76 says:

    Why do manufactures detune superbikes when they go naked? Lets start with ergos for one, two its a naked you dont have wind protection and at umm 180 it matters, and the other obvious, if you really want a direct naked translation buy the superbike and sell the bodywork, there you go who knew they already made one?? Yes you can buy your own risers, handlebars and triples.

    In this case I must admit, the front cowl headlamp area is so large it really does border on the original. Esp since the RSV4 is tiny to begin with. The tuono was a blast I’m sure this wont let anyone down

  12. MikeD says:

    Fugly Headlight Nacelle…the rest is “do-able”.

  13. Isaac says:

    WTF Aprilia, why are you following Honda?

  14. Bannedwolf says:

    Well, first things first “Toby” said “why do all the bike manufacturers have to detune naked engines” for your info the gen two Tuono which I own has not been de-tuned.

    And being a gen2 owner I think this T is well not pretty, it looks more like a Jap naked.

    And is that a cable clutch I see ???? I’ll make my mind up about it when I see the Factory version then I can compare it against my Gen2 Factory.

    Don’t think I will be rushing out to the dealers though, too part with my hard earned cash.

  15. Jeram says:

    I give those titties two thumbs down

  16. Moody says:

    no taste, it’s a great looking bike, small minds they say…

  17. Fearse says:

    Abortion? Are you kidding me! Thats gonna draw a crowd unlike your cookie cutter clipon queens.

  18. Chris says:

    I am an artist for a living and I think this is a beautiful bike, I think Jensen Beeler should keep his inaccurate biased opinions to himself. have you seen his pic?


    now HE has no room to be talking about things being ugly….

  19. Oh-no-you-di’int! At least I’m able to laugh at myself Chris. Loosen up, it’s just a motorcycle blog.