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 Kawasaki ZX-14R Breaks Cover

10/10/2011 @ 7:52 am, by Jensen Beeler33 COMMENTS

2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R Breaks Cover 2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R 10 635x483

True to its teaser campaign, the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R (2012 Kawasaki ZZR1400 to our friends abroad) finally got revealed today. Tweaking its hyperbike offering, Kawasaki has confirmed that the ZX-14R (note the added R to the name) will get a displacement bump to 1,441cc, along with a cosmetic overhaul and other basic features. Most notably added to the Kawasaki ZX-14R is the addition traction control, and ride-by-wire throttle control system. Kawasaki hasn’t spilled all the beans about the new ZX-14R, but power is said to be over 200hp at the crank with ram-air.

Kawasaki is already pitting the ZX-14R against Suzuki’s Hayabusa, perhaps in an attempt to re-ignite the speed wars of the 1990′s. While no top speed has been touted, the Japanese company is quoting the Kawasaki ZX-14R as “the world’s fastest accelerating production motorcycle.” A lengthy superlative, but it will be interesting to see if Suzuki responds with an update to the aging Hayabusa, which hasn’t had a meaningful upgrade since its 1999 market introduction.

Perhaps the biggest improvement to the Kawasaki ZZ-14R is in its motor. Notably stroked out by 4mm, the ZX-14R’s cylinders have also been milled, while the cylinder heads have been ported and polished. Cylinder compression has also been increased, while cam timing has been modified, all of which results in more power and torque throughout the Kawasaki ZX-14R’s rev range (again, Kawasaki isn’t saying by how much). Mated with ride-by-wire throttle system, a rider can select between different engine maps that toggle between full and 50% power for different riding conditions.

No 2012 bike would be complete without traction control, and the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R is no different. Getting Kawasaki’s KTRC system, a rider can select at the handlebar from three different traction control settings (full, medium, & low); and for bonus points, Kawasaki has put the selected TC level up in the dash to help notify the rider. Also helping mate the power to the tarmac is a new slipper clutch for the ZX-14R, which should be popular with the “downshift and dump” crowd.

While you wouldn’t know it from looking at it, Kawasaki has also made refinements to the ZX-14R’s frame, incorporating different rigidity and flex to the hyperbike chassis. Other chassis changes include a 10mm longer swingarm, and lighter 10-spoke wheels. Despite the measures designed to lighten the ZX-14R/ZZR1400, Kawasaki’s hyperbike gains 17 lbs for a 584 lbs claimed curb weight.

Lastly, the bike’s overall aesthetics have been subtly changed, and see a minor re-working that keeps the model fresh with the times, though doesn’t stray from the past Kawasaki ZX-14 design. US pricing is set at $14,699.

2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R Breaks Cover 2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R 5 635x476

2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R Breaks Cover 2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R 7 635x606

2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R Breaks Cover 2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R 18 635x476

2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R Breaks Cover 2012 Kawasaki ZX 14R 20 635x483

Source: Kawasaki


  1. JCB says:

    All that hype for that? I just threw up in my mouth.

    The flames add 5hp.

  2. RJ says:

    Agree with JCB. I can’t believe they’ve made it that fackin’ ugly. I mean, really??!! Same frame, same swingarm, and much, much uglier. Who cares if it’s got a slightly bigger motor, it’s not like it’s going to make 250hp now. And it’s not like you can’t easily big-bore the old one. It’ll prob make just over 200hp just to say it makes over 200hp. The old one could make that with bolt-ons, and it didn’t look like it was designed by a 12 year old. I’ll forgive the WORLD’S BIGGEST EXHAUST SYSTEM because it’s obviously for emissions and will most definitely get replaced by future owners within 15 minutes of purchase.

    But the styling? Unforgivable. You took a classy bike and made it trashy looking. That swoop in the new front fairing looks like one of those cheap aftermarket body kits that make your bike look like a Chinese dragon. The flames? If you don’t get that this is the tackiest styling cue in the universe, then you just don’t get it Kawasaki.

    I mean, someone’s head at Kawasaki needs to roll over this…

  3. Keith says:

    heh, looks like the bodywork has been pre-stretched for the drag strip…or is that just me?

    As for the exhaust between emissions and attempting to keep it semi-quiet I doubt that ANY aftermarket exhaust will flow better all around than the stock one. Me I prefer stock or quieter exhaust and frankly the ONLY street benifit is weight loss. Not in this day and age. 10-20 years ago, yes aftermarket worked better. But now days? yeah right…loud pipse belong on the track, kids bikes and those who have small ego’s in their pants.

  4. Ken C. says:


    Massive design failure.

  5. Richard Gozinya says:

    If I wanted an overweight, overpriced pig of a bike with flames, I’d buy a Harley.

  6. DareN says:

    Are you kidding? This is sooo 90s`. It would certainly appeal to the certain crowd on the Chicago`s soutside..

  7. deeds says:

    that is absolutely hideous. can’t say i expected much for a 1400cc bike.

  8. Steve Lang says:

    The only thing better than reading new reviews, is reading the comments and some of these are priceless. “Looks like a Chinese Dragon” / God that’s funny! I guess it could be worse, Kawasaki could have offered to throw in a matching helmet with a 6″ tall red Mohawk on top. shhhhhh….. I better not give them any ideas…….

  9. RJ says:

    So we are all in agreement then. Jensen, please forward this to Kawasaki asap before they fuck up the next zx6-r…

  10. JR says:

    OMG it looks….exactly the same…

  11. gildas says:

    Is this the 1990′s and am I 14? Nooo. And even then, nobody in the school yard would have dared have this err, waste of design space, due to peer pressure (like having Maggie thatcher’s poster instead of the requisite Sabrina/Pam Anderson one). It’s so ugly even the Teutul’s are shaking their heads in disbelief…

    Even Junior, would have said “Flames, on this bike, I don’t think so and it’s too busy”…

  12. This thing should have never been revealed!

  13. Damo says:

    After all the awesome that is the ZX10R, I guess it was too much to hope this would turn out well :(

  14. Shaitan says:

    Butt ugly!

  15. BikePilot says:

    Seems an awfully modest refresh for so much hype. So they stroked it a little and threw some electronics and a slipper on that, probably, no one wanted anyway and some silly graphics. Its an excellent sport-tourer I’m sure, but thumbs down to the weight gain. It should be ~50-60lbs heavier than a ZX 10, but no more. For that matter, if the lump is just too big to fit in a package of reasonable weight, maybe replacing it all together with a blown version of the ninja 1000 would make some sense.

  16. Pat Walker says:

    So this overweight pig makes 200 hp with ram air and Ducati’s new
    Ducati 1199 Superquadro makes 195 hp with no mention of ram air
    and two less cylinders.

  17. Hayabrusa says:

    Yep, a serious let-down. And, I don’t know what rock the author was hiding under when Suzuki updated the Hayabusa (eerily similar to this conception) in 2008! I HATE is when Manufacturer’s lie? about a new bike. Bet it gets 15 mpg to boot!

  18. ML says:

    Thankfully the motorcycle market is filled with insecure men who’ll buy this to feel better about themselves, right? I mean, what market were they targeting with that hideous things?

  19. Jake Fox says:

    Dear God, can someone please explain to me why the entire country of Japan has been unable to produce an aesthetically pleasing motorcycle for the past 5 years? The new Zx-14R is just the latest and most egregious example. They really need to do away with that entrenched promotion by seniority system over there and hire some designers with actual talent!

  20. Greg says:

    Ugliest piece of crap I’ve ever seen in my life and probably ever will see :( !!!!! This makes that pot-bellied Ducati Diavel look like a prom queen in comparison (saw the Diavel in person 1st time the other day… what a gawd forsaken ugly stepsister empregnated by a whale)!

  21. MikeD says:

    I think the SQUID Demon took a hold of Jensen’s Soul. All the first and big pics on the article are of the green FLAMED HIDEOUS Contraption.

    QUICK ! SOMEONE SPRAY HIM with HOLY MOTORCYCLE WATER before we loose him ! (^_^ )

    Bad Jokes aside…I think whoever was doing the publicity stunt campaing for Kawi should get a BIG FAT BONUS CHECK…i mean, they sure got us(me) running wild here and there and lifted our(my) hopes…only to CRAP IT OUT in truly Epic Ways & Proportions.

    RJ pretty much summarized it up for me. LMAO.

    But i must say…kudos to Green Team for trying…that’s more than what can be said for some of the others.

    And if a better Hayabugly comes out of this, then by all means…keep the fight up. We are the most beneficiated out of these OEM dick measuring contests…and im alright with it. LMAO.

  22. MikeD says:

    LOL, seems like someone pressed the “piss me off” button on Jake Fox…LMFAO.

    To quote Steve Lang:

    ” The only thing better than reading new reviews, is reading the comments and some of these are priceless”.

  23. Bjorn says:

    Just the thing for chubby chasers.
    Of course it doesn’t matter what it looks like, ‘cos it’ll just be a green flash as it roars down the road. I saw the promo videos and I know they wouldn’t lie to me.
    Way to under deliver Kawasaki. The only way for this beached whale to redeem itself will be if it has 220+hp at the rear wheel.

  24. Simo says:

    Ok I have to say it was not the love on first sight ….. and i had few laughs reading comments.
    However, maybe with time it will grow on me… like the NEW SPEED TRIPLE did.. . I hated those stupid headlights but now I don’t mind them anymore…

    Though after watching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzO1_EwTnYI&feature=related
    I kind of like it… it’s big but who cares …. I don’t think its weight will impact much on the handling except if you try turning it into a track bike Its not for everyone but like BUSA it will turn heads and god it will fly.

    PS. I never saw a person who rides Busa or zzr1400 complain about the way it looks or handles…. all that torque it must be worthed.

    Cant wait to test ride one..

  25. AK says:

    Sorry, I still find it ugly…

  26. JCB says:

    Just checked this out again, threw up in mouth again. It looks kinda green with flames. Must have ate too much wasabi.

    Some prefer a gorgeous Italian model like me (1199 Panigale or the 1198SP).

    Others dig face first into a BBW with food hiding under her fat rolls, while dreaming of chrome, stretch swing arms, and NOS.

    To each their own…

  27. Keith says:

    all these comments about ugly…puhlease. Y’all wouldn’t know ugly if it set you on fire then backed a D-10 cat over you. Ugly the standard was and is STILL any windjammer fairing, saddlbag/trunk set.

  28. MikeD says:

    After only 2 days seeing it, I guess i don’t have standards anymore or it never existed…i’ll take this “BBW” in, no questions asked…and at the risk of been called racist only the Blue and Black ones…no Green for me, specially those tacky flames.

    LMFAO. (^o^) WHAAAT?!

  29. Wat heeft een 1.4 blok, maar tikt de 160 vanuit stilstand toch eerder aan dan een Ferrari 458? http://t.co/wNr2Y8hL

  30. This bike is defeating Suzuki Hayabusa, Now Kawasaki ZZR1400 become the Fastest hyperbike in the world :roll:

  31. Gordy says:

    Bet if you turn it upside down it says Matel matchbox.

  32. Zrider says:

    Guys…please! Obviously you are not Kawasaki fans and are just looking to beat on it. And that is fine. I now own a Suzuki, but I love most all brands. Bikes rule! I’m 50 and rarely a day goes by I don’t go over 100 and/or drag a knee on my commute. :-)
    Fact is, at 200+hp and 125ft.lbs. torque, this thing is a monster and will kill anything on the road and not have to rev over 10k rpms to do it. I’ve riden the older ZX-14′s with minor mods as well as most of the 1000 supersports. The 14 simply put will leave anything else in the dust without effort. Think of 100 HP at 6k rpms or 160 at 8k. Your BMW puts out 60 to 90 at the same r’s. You have to be a racing RPM’s to get to the real power of the race bikes.

    That said, 1000 cc race bikes will certainly beat a 14 on the race track JUST like the 600 cc bikes get better times than the 1000′s do. But on the street, it is a totally different story. the 14 has freaking gobs of power in a usable range without letting every cop within 5 miles know you are flying.

    BTW-And if you don’t like flames, don’t buy the green one.

    But all this is just banter. Until we actaully get to see what one does, it is all just talk. I’m sure the busa is much faster as well. The ZX-10 for that matter is supposed to put out 197hp! And that is the US model that was limited by 20hp by the EPA.

    Tighten the straps on your helmets sport riders! Things are about to really heat up! Thanks for the competition BMW!!! :-)