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.

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848

09/12/2011 @ 10:02 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 51 635x475

After Asphalt & Rubber first announced the bike back in July, the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 has finally made its official debut (with a little teaser help from Nicky Hayden). Expanding Ducati’s Streetfighter brand to now include two bikes (we’ll have to wait a little longer for the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 1198), the Ducati Streetfighter 848 is certainly not a shocking release. True to the streetfighter movement’s ethos, the Streetfighter 848 is a stripped-down version of the Superbike 848, with a twist.

As we predicted, Ducati has brought over the Testastretta 11° engine configuration for the smaller Streetfighter, meaning not only will the Streetfighter 848 have a wet-clutch, but also a 15,000 mile valve service interval. While Ducati is mum on many of the new SF 848′s details, the Bologna brand says the bike will come with the Ducati Traction Control system (DTC), and from what we can see in the photos, unsurprisingly lower-spec Brembo brakes and Marzoochi forks, instead of the Superbike 848′s monoblocs and Sachs units.

While we’re fans of the Streetfighter 1098 and its progeny, the devil is going to be in the details for Ducati when it comes to the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848. Having to strike a balance between the Superbike 848, Monster 1100 EVO, and the soon-to-be-release Streetfighter 1198, the Streetfighter 848′s performance specifications and price point are going to be integral to it success. Expect that Streetfighter 848 to make less power than its Superbike counterpart, while pricing will be nestled above the Monster 1100 EVO.

Available in November 2011 in Europe and January 2012 in North America, the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 comes in traditional Ducati Rosso Corsa, matte-black, and also brings back the Ducati yellow color scheme. Details surely to follow soon.

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 4 635x475

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 6 635x475

Source: Ducati


  1. Johndo says:

    One of the only stock bikes I’ve seen that wouldnt require aftermarket blinkers and a tail tidy, why can’t other manufacturers make theirs as neat as this? Even the mirrors are better looking then most…

  2. Other Sean says:

    Nice work Jensen, you’re article is more clear than the one on MCN and the pictures are bigger and more numerous. They had a confusing sentence about a dry clutch, which sent me over here to get the real story.

  3. Thanks Sean. Their article is really confusing. Andy Downes, MCN’s reporter, usually does a bang up good job on his stuff, so I’m not sure what happened over there. Maybe just rushing to get it out the door. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have days/articles like that too. C’est la vie.

    What will be the real factor in for 2012 will be how the SF 848 is positioned against the SF 1198. The Superbike 848 is Ducati’s best-selling bike in the US, and is near the top or at the top in virtually all the other markets. There has to be some notion in Bologna that the SF 848 could sell like hotcakes, but it’s going to come down to price and how much de-tuning goes on compared to the Superbike model.

    It’s an easy bike for Ducati to make (from a decision perspective), but incredibly hard to position. I’m not sure I see a clear way of doing it, so even I’ll be curious to hear where the final decisions come down.

  4. DC says:

    DTC byt no ABS though apparently?

  5. deckard says:

    Ducati: Gives you less, yet gets more press.

  6. HondaCBR600RR says:

    Think I’ll wait for the SF 848 EVO. Hmm yummy!

  7. DareN says:

    Hey! Where is white?

  8. Keith says:

    finally an non-monster Duc I’d love to have. So spot me a few bucks and tell me a lie and say I only have to adjust the valves every 25k miles. 8^)

  9. luke says:

    no red version? expect crying ducatisti at your local dealership soon. perhaps ducati will do a special edition version a bit later with the classic ducati hue on board.

  10. Fear not Luke, the Streetfighter 848 the bike comes in red, or as we called it “Ducati Rosso Corsa” – the traditional racing red of Italy.

  11. Astro says:

    You gotta give it to the Italians.
    They sure know how to pen a bike
    What gets me is how it costs the same to make a shit looking bike as a hot one.
    How come the japanese giants cant come up with something comparable.
    Thake the Honda CB1000, they did a fair job but still couldnt get it right.
    Bad headlight and bad wheels spoil the look.
    Sure it would be the more reliable of the two, but it just doesnt give you wood.

  12. Nobody says:

    And on top of the 848 StreetFighter we see the 2012 1199′s tank.

  13. konalight says:

    Off topic: next derivative of the 848: a Multistrada 848 (120 HP / 170 Kg)?

  14. Frode says:

    Fxxk me! AWESOME! I WANT ONE!!!

  15. This just might be my next bike… Oooh yes.