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 Superbike 1199 Rendered by Luca Bar Design

06/15/2011 @ 11:30 am, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Rendered by Luca Bar Design 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Luca Bar Design 1 635x461

Ever since we heard about the new 2012 Ducati Superbike, we’ve been marking the days until we could see the v-twin sex machine in the flesh. There’s no denying that the specs being banded about on the new Superquadrata motor are impressive, as the new bike is expected to make up to 20hp more than the current Superbike 1198 (though peak performance numbers only tell one side of the story). Also intriguing is the MotoGP-derived stressed-airbox chassis arrangement, which finally does away with the iconic trellis chassis, though has caused some problems for Valentino Rossi on his move to Ducati Corse.

Just last month we got our first look at the new Superbike prototype, as Ducati leaked first a Supersport spec version of what many think will be called the Ducati Superbike 1199. An encore to that moment, the street version of the v-twin superbike leaked just days later. While many of us will have to use our imagination on what Ducati’s latest creation will look like, we’re lucky that Luca Bar Design (website here: bar-design.net) can take those thoughts and put them to paper, err…pixels. Rendering the 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 from what information that is available, this is perhaps one of the best glimpses as to what the Bologna Bullet will look like. Two more renders after the jump.

2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Rendered by Luca Bar Design 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Luca Bar Design 2 635x461

2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Rendered by Luca Bar Design 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Luca Bar Design 3 635x461

Source: Luca Bar (blog)


  1. Matt A says:

    Lord how I hope those are more innacurate than the spy shots would lead me to believe. Looks like we’re going to have a repeat of the 749/999 era as far as aesthetics go (not that I thought those bikes were unattractive but the majority of Ducatisti thought they were heresy). Hopefully I can find a leftover 1198SP when the time comes to move up.

  2. buzz says:

    I think I’d wait a year to let them get the bugs out. A lot of big changes in one year.

  3. Really Matt? I think the 1199 looks great, though I thought the 749/999 were good looking bikes in their own right (just not right for Ducati).

  4. Tyler Sanborn says:

    Ugh, I hope these renderings are NOT an accurate attempt at what the new 1199 might look like… Ducati can do MUCH better than that (I hope). As a fellow Ducatisti, I am well aware (and appreciative) of the past & present ‘iconic’ designs that they are famous for, and this “rendering” in comparison to the current superbike is utterly HOMELY. If the new Engine Technology is going to eliminate the famed trellis & underseat dual-exhaust, then the new design had better blow your fucking socks off… this sketch simply does not do that.

    Please Ducati… don’t disappoint the motorcycle world!

  5. bill says:

    I’m calling BS on these. Ducati would never leak that. The square head lights with a swoopy tank, back to square and straight, – no way that is not theirs.

  6. There weren’t leaked by Ducati, they were made by Luca Bar Design. They’re based off photos of the 1199 testing at Mugello a few weeks back.

  7. Jason says:

    @matt, i wouldn’t worry too much (i’m trying not to). these pics are some guy’s best interpretation/extrapolation of the bike’s appearance from a low-res photo of said bike under a lot of camo. these renderings are weak sauce imho, but we’re all taking the bait now aren’t we?!

  8. Rob749 says:

    Looks like a 1000SS, far uglier than 999 based bike, crossed with a Ninja 650F (the horizontal shock) and general ugliness. With a hideous fishbowl tank, and that side fairing makes me feel sick.

    I am hoping Ducati run the bottom fairing the whole length of the bike, with a hole cut for the side exit exhaust (perhaps one each side?). Also hoping for a one piece sub-frame, that can easily switch out between monoposto and biposto.

    And the talk of them throwing away there traditional fuel-tank design hurts me :(

    I really hope Ducati’s version looks better than this, I’m confident it will, but after seeing this I’m cautious… I normally enjoy Luca Bar’s work, but this just… wrong.

  9. luke says:

    that sketch makes baby jesus cry. Don’t do that ducati, you’ve been making some great looking bikes of late!

  10. ML says:

    If this is how the next gen Duc’s are going to look, my next bike with indeed be the MV Agusta F3.

  11. MikeD says:

    AHHhhh… NO. Try HARDER Lucas, u might get it less FuGly.

  12. Sleazy says:

    looks like like that friggin Buell. just with a few corners rounded off.

  13. Damo says:

    The bike will be great looking I have no doubt. But seems to be going the same way Aprilia went with the RSV4, making a super compact super race oriented bike. This is great, unless you are over 5’10″.

    The advent of these super small Italian bikes is forcing me back to Japan (or possibly Austria) in a hurry. I like a superbike I can use as an everyday driver and at 6’2″ 198lbs, these new machines are not an option.

    I could see the advertising campaign: The performance….unmatched, the styling….flawless, the ergonomics….crippling.

  14. Kevin says:

    @Damo- Have you sat on or ridden the 1098/1198/848? You might like it! I would say these bikes are great unless you’re UNDER 5’10″. At 5’8″, I found that I was too stretched out on my 1198. A friend of mine, who is 6’4″, rode it back to back with his S1000 and found the 1198 to be much roomier and more comfortable for him. By comparison, I found his more compact S1000 to fit me better.

    Don’t go to Japan! (…or Austria, well maybe Austria)

  15. Damo says:


    That is just it! The 1198/1098 is comfortable for me, so are the last gen Aprilia RSV’s. But the new RSV4 is trick tiny. (I currently ride a 2003 Aprilia RSV Mille)

    The BMW s1000, KTM RC8R and CBR1000 have been the more comfortable bikes of the current generation. I plan on upgrading within the next 18 months or so and it will probably be one of these. I haven’t checked out the new ZX10 or the MVF4 yet.

  16. justin caruana says:

    for sure that front end is not designed by ducati and even that fuel tank.
    the 1198 is a jewel and i cant imagine how prettier they can make the 1199 lets wait and see.

  17. Klaus says:

    Looks aren’t the most important thing to me. Performance is!!! I would rather have a Ducati that out performs every other superbike, than have a beautiful bike that performs like shit!

  18. 190mph says:

    I’ve seen MCN’s take on this bike in last weeks paper and it looks CONSIDERABLY better. When i first saw the spy shots i thought Ducati had made a big mistake, it seemed so far removed from the 1198, but if it ends up looking like MCN’s take on it it will be a big success.

    But, if it ends up looking like the Luca Bar design then who knows, looks ARE important when it comes to a Ducati superbike, that’s what seperates it from the Japanese. The petrol tank on the Luca Bar bike looks like it’s just been plonked on there – it seems totally alien to the rest of the design.

  19. Doug says:

    Why is there a picture of an Aprilia V4 posted? Kidding…but it looks like an Aprilia V4 and a Ninja 650 did the nasty and this is the aftermath.

  20. 1198freak says:

    They shouldn’t make these renderings with manufacturer’s logo on them, people begin to think the bike will really look like this and they start crying about it. These are just a figment of someone’s imagination, however I wouldn’t be surprised if the bike really does look like this, Ducati has been coming out with some real weird stuff lately. I for one think these are not so much ugly, just not sexy at all, unlike the 1198. Even the 999 looked better than this. Looks are the most important thing about a bike anyway (from a sales point of view) when you really think about it, I bet that a full 90% of bikes sold are sold based on looks. So I hope Ducati take their time and do it right, the new bike’s chassis is completely different so lets keep the looks evolutionary rather than revolutionary.