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.

LEAKED: 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R Details

09/29/2010 @ 1:07 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

LEAKED: 2011 Kawasaki ZX 10R Details 2011 Kawasaki ZX 10R Cycle World newsstand leak 1206x1600

Who has two thumbs, $4.99, and no embargo obligations? These guys [holds up thumbs]! Do you want to know every dirty secret about the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R, but don’t want to wait until the big end-of-the-year bike shows? Well don’t worry, we won’t make you wait any longer than these overly-hyperbolized introductory paragraphs.

In what can only be described as another “accidental” story leak by Cycle World, this embargoed information could be bought for $4.99 at the right news stand in Hollywood this evening (by the way, it’s a long drive from San Francisco). Since Asphalt & Rubber isn’t under any obligations to keep this information secret, we’ve waded through the non-copyrightable facts and figures on the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R and printed them here.

The first thing you need to know about the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R is that it comes in the color green. Continue past the jump for other juicy details.

Somewhere in the offices at Kawasaki HQ, it was realized that something had to be done about the company’s racing endeavours. Kawasaki pulled-out of MotoGP in a dramatic move that saw private team Hayate and sole-rider Marco Melandri picking up the pieces of Kawi’s shambled racing effort (Melandri would go on to finish the MotoGP Championship in 10th place that year with an impressive showing on the Hayate bike). In World Superbike Team Green wasn’t fairing much better, clearly out-classed by its opponents and their machinery. So what’s a manufacturer to do?

With MotoGP still too expensive for the Japanese manufacturer (Suzuki is still trying to figure out how to get out of the money trap) the decision was made to hook-up an defibrillator to the ZX-10R, and jump-start a new World Superbike effort. Taking a bottom-up approach, Kawasaki decided to develop a powerful racing package, and then figure out a way to make a street version that would pass for homologation, rather than the traditional other way around. Kawasaki has made no efforts to hide it’s attempt, and has been slowly leaking information about the 2011 Kawasaki WSBK-spec ZX-10R on its @Next_Ninja twitter account. But until now, details on the street bike have been sparse.

For starters the all-new 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R will make more power than the 2010 model, which was good for around 160hp at the wheel depending on whose dyno you believe. The new ZX-10R also underwent some lyposuction, losing nearly 20lbs from its predecessor’s bulk. If you follow the path of the air entering the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R’s prominent ram-air intake, you’ll find at the end of the tube a larger air filter (48% larger than the 2010 model). Once past the larger filter, there is the larger and taller airbox. The air will then pass through larger throttle bodies (47mm, up from 43mm) and down into larger intake valve (+1 mm). Are you starting to notice a trend yet? Couple that with the fat trimmings found here and there on the ZX-10R, and an impressive improvement on the bike’s design comes to fruition.

However, Kawasaki has made it clear leading up to the 2011 ZX-10R’s launch: the focus has been on mid-range power, not top-end. While they won’t release dyno charts of the 2011 compared the 2010 model, we can deduce that some significant mid-range gains have been made with the modest horsepower increases up-top. For many sportbike fans, these numbers are the holy grail of tech spec sheet racing; but for 2011, Kawasaki is instituting a major change in sportbike philosophy. Derived from the latest trends in MotoGP and WBSK, Kawasaki is implementing a higher degree of electronic rider aids to make sure that the added performance values actually equate into improved bike performance in the hands of mere biking mortals like you and I.

The first of these aids is Kawasaki’s new traction control system (S-KTRC) and anti-lock brake system (KIBS). Like its MotoGP counterpart, the Sport-Kawasaki Traction-Control (S-KTRC) is intended to allow a rider to put down the maximum amount of throttle regardless of lean-angle. Stepping in only when it feels traction is being compromised (it makes that assessment from numerous sources throughout the bike), S-KTRC is a race-bred traction control system that’s designed to let a rider push the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R closer to the edge, and can be adjusted to suit different rider needs and conditions.

Similarly, the new ZX-10R’s ABS system has also been refined from what’s in the Kawasaki parts bin. Lighter than its predecessor, the Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS…seriously who makes these acronyms?) has no adjustability, but functions much more effectively that other similar systems, both inside and outside of Kawasaki. Designed by Bosch specifically for use on motorcycles, KIBS won’t give you the noticeable pulsation that you’ll find on other ABS-spec bikes, making the system one of the most sophisticated to-date.

Suspension has been improved upon, with the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R getting the big piston fork treatment. The rear shock has also been horizontally mounted, to allow for a larger pre-chamber in the titanium tubed/stainless steal canned exhaust system. There are other various chassis changes that accompany the 2011 ZX-10R, but the big takeaway from this bike is its racing-bred ethos.

With Kawasaki still finalizing other details on the new ZX-10R expect more information to trickle out after the Intermot and EICMA bike shows. Thanks for the tip Evan!

Source: Kawasaki & Cycle World


  1. Andrew says:

    What happened to the “Big Bang” engine with electric motor? Is that just for the race bike?

  2. LEAKED: 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R Details – http://aspha.lt/1e9 #motorcycle

  3. Evan says:

    Very fast turnover. Anything to give back to my favorite two wheel publication :)

  4. Deez Toolz says:

    Evan, you’re a hero. Jensen, you’re a diligent and driven man, go get some sleep.

  5. MikeD says:


    Tail section: FAIL! Looks Horrible compared to Race Version. Fender or no Fender still FUGLY.

    Wheels: FAIL! Why go back to Ancient Looking 3spokes style, ITS ALMOST 2011 FOR GOD’S SAKE, IT looks HORRIBLE. I don’t care if it weights 100grams a piece.
    Whats wrong with knocking off some Carrozeria’s styled wheels ? Or some similar to the Race Bike Version ? Even the 6 spoke ones from the previus model but these.

    Windshield: FAIL! Looks like something of an aftertougth and tacked in place. MAYBE if it was blacked out where it meets the instrument cover OR integrated to the front fairing ?

    I was gonna mention FuglyXhaust Canister but thats something easely Fix by the aftermarket. Nevertheless, the form of the LeoVince on the side was a great alternative look, why didn’t they (Kawi) adopted it with some legal can (lower decibel count) beats me.

    Headligths are a marked improvement, not pretty but way better than Projectors.

  6. skadamo says:

    No embargo for A&R. Nice, free to publish… RT @Asphalt_Rubber: LEAKED: 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R Details – http://aspha.lt/1e9 #motorcycle

  7. :) says:

    Hey A&R guys we need more details on the higher horsepower numbers -> http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2010/10/207-hp-full-details-on-the-2011-kawasaki-zx-10r/
    Is it true?

  8. Jeram says:

    looks like an aprilia nosecone to me