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: 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS

06/21/2011 @ 10:01 am, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

LEAKED: 2012 Suzuki V Strom 650 ABS 2011 Suzuki V Strom 650 ABS

The wait is finally over on what Suzuki has been brewing for its middleweight adventure bike offering. Through some HTML trickery, we were able to glean this unreleased information off the Suzuki website, and as such are bringing you the first photos, technical specifications, and design features on the 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS. An evolution of the current V-Strom 650, the new middleweight V-Strom is longer, taller, and lighter than its predecessor, while boasting an updated look to the aging V-Strom exterior.

If you were expecting more, and feel let down…welcome to the club. Though this represents a large portion of the information Suzuki plans on unveiling in the coming days, we still have some unanswered questions: like what’s been changed in the motor (we have yet to see any power figures quoted), though the general specifications on the 645cc v-twin lump appear to be the same. More as we get it. Find the massively underwhelming leaked photos, details, and specifications after the jump. Thanks for the tip Yellow Ranger!

Design Features of the 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS:

  • Compact, slim styling featuring a vivid combination of expressive painted sections and functional black resin components accentuates the sporty profile.
  • The sporty, dynamic front fairing houses compact dual multi-reflector headlight delivering superb light distribution.
  • Stylish and functional front air intakes and side air outlets contribute to both looks and rider comfort.
  • 3-way height-adjustable windscreen, carefully shaped with extensive wind tunnel testing, efficiently reduces wind noise and rider fatigue.
  • Comfortable riding position composed with a well-shaped seat, slim 20-liter fuel tank and compactly tucked-in frame covers make the rider feel at one with the machine.
  • Functional seat, combining red-stitched leather-look sections and suede-look, slip-resistant surfaces, and topped with an embossed V-Strom logo.
  • The upswept muffler, topped with a silver cover and a buffed-finish end cap is gracing the rear end.
  • Lightweight resin luggage carrier comes with a slip-resistant rubber mat and is one piece with well-shaped, easy-to-grasp grab bars.
  • Instruments with an analog tachometer and brightness-adjustable LCD speedometer. LCD readouts include odometer, dual trip meter, gear position, coolant and ambient temperature, average fuel consumption, fuel gauge and clock.
  • Switching between LCD readings can be done with the left handlebar switch.
  • LED indicators include a road freeze warning indicator which, together with the ambient temperature display, helps riders’ awareness of road conditions.
  • 645cm3 V-Twin engine features broad torque delivery, signature V-Twin power pulses and sporty quick-revving high rpm range power surges for a full-range riding enjoyment.
  • Efficient engine designs deliver high mileage and class-leading riding range.
  • Radiator with a more compact core, flanked by wind-directing plates shaped with holes* for enhancing cooling efficiency and allowing hot radiator air to flow out to the side air outlets and away from the rider’s legs.(*Suzuki-patented design.)
  • The fuel injection system uses fine-atomization 10-hole fuel injectors for high combustion efficiency.
  • The 6-speed transmission is tailored for active sporty rides with tighter 1st through 5th gear ratios, while keeping highway cruises comfortable with a tall top gear.
  • A high-speed 32-bit ECU controls Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) system, contributing to enhanced low-to-mid rpm range torque, a linear throttle response and lower emissions.
  • Twin iridium spark plugs for each cylinder heighten the spark strength and combustion efficiency, contributing to increased power, a more linear throttle response, easier engine start-up and a more stable idle.
  • Suzuki-developed and patented Throttle-body Integrated Idle Speed Control (TI-ISC) contributes to easy cold starting, stable idle and lower emissions.
  • Lightweight and rigid twin-spar aluminum-alloy frame and swingarm contribute to smooth handling performance and well-poised running at high-speeds.
  • Spring-preload-adjustable 43mm-stanchion-tube front forks and link-type rear suspension with rebound stepless damping adjuster as well as a preload adjuster.
  • 19-inch front and 17-inch rear radial tires specifically designed for the V-Strom 650 ABS.
  • Front dual 310mm-disc brakes and rear 260mm-disc brake deliver smooth, controllable stopping power. Expansion-resistant high-pressure brake hose enhances the responsive brake feel.
  • Antilock Brake System (ABS)* unit features a lightweight, compact design. The ABS monitors wheel speed, and matches stopping power to available traction.
    *Please note that ABS is a supplemental device for brake operation, not a device for shortening stopping distance. Always remember to reduce speed sufficiently before approaching curves and corners.
  • Transponder-type Suzuki Advanced Immobilizer System (SAIS) helps prevent theft with an electronic code ID system built into the owner’s key.(excluding North American specifications)
  • A wide selection of Suzuki Genuine Accessories, designed for a smooth, easy fit with the V-Strom 650 ABS, adds to both adventure tourer profile and function.

Technical Specifications of the 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS:

Engine Type 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90°V-Twin
Bore x Stroke 81.0 mm x 62.6 mm (3.2 in x 2.5 in)
Engine Displacement 645 cm3 (40.2 cu.in)
Compression Ratio 11.2 : 1
Carburetion Fuel injection
Oil Capacity (overhaul) 3.0 L (3.2 / 2.6 US / Imp qt)
Starter System Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Lubrication System Wet sump
Transmission 6-speed constant mesh
Primary Reduction Ratio 2.088 (71 / 34)
Final Reduction Ratio 3.133 (47 / 15)
Rake/Trail 26°/ 110 mm (4.3 in)
Suspension Front Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Rear Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front Disc, twin
Rear Disc
Tires Front 110/80R19M/C 59H
Rear 150/70R17M/C 69H
Fuel tank 20.0 L (5.3 / 4.4 US / Imp gal)
Overall length 2,290 mm (90.2 in)
Overall Width 835 mm (32.9 in)
Overall height 1,405 mm (55.3 in)
Wheelbase 1,560 mm (61.4 in)
Seat height 835 mm (32.9 in)
Curb mass 214 kg (472 lbs)

Source: Suzuki


  1. Keith says:

    No real need to do anything to the motor…maybe more torque. But that ONLY because in the real world torque is king and Hp secondary imho. But for ghu’s sake…abs?

  2. BikePilot says:

    This is how the bike should have been the first time around – lets hope its not too little, too late for wee-fans.

  3. skadamo says:

    The bike definitely looks better after the front fairing girth reduction.

    I was hoping for a 21″ front wheel, 18″ rear, spokes and a little more suspension travel. More KLR like. But I guess they gotta build what will sell.

  4. JJJ says:

    A 21″ front wheel would sell with spoked wheels. Another worthless middle weight touring bike that would never meet my needs as an adventure bike. KTM is still the king…

  5. Shawn says:


    Suzuki sell the DR650 for people who want more of a KLR-style big dirt-bike dualsport. They’re not going to cut in to their own sales. But I agree that it would make the V-Strom more appealing to me. I ride a KLR now for dual-sporting. My next bike will probably be a Tiger 800XC, to get more power, better road handling, and still have good off-road specs.

  6. Shaitan says:

    The old Wee-Strom was great. Glad to see an update, but I think it probably is too minimal an update.

  7. joe says:

    I understand there is pressure for abs, but what a bunch of worthless tech. If you need abs on your motorcycle, just end yourself.

  8. Tortious says:

    Is this a joke…?

  9. Jc. says:

    talk about lipstick on a pig!

    didnt even change the suspension or swingarm..

    Lets hope they at least put the Gladius motor and its EFI components into it.

    That bike was a dude in sales but amazing to ride with its new 650 twin motor, next gen EFI and perfect shifting tranny.

    again, lets just hope they put those Gladius motors in this (There must be tons of them sitting around without any buyers for that bike.) or else it will be the end of the line (EOL) for the suzuki V-strom.

  10. Jc. says:


    is a 650cc engine really considered a ‘middle weight’ at this point?

    I mean really. shouldn’t a middle weight be a 800cc bike??

    650cc seems so ‘lower weight’ to me….!

    btw: Suz, in case you’re listening. A large size ( or weight ) displacement bike is now considered 1100cc and above. especially if its a V-twin!

    Just a FYI in case you’re listening…

  11. Andrew says:

    @Jc – FYI, the tide is turning and bikes are growing smaller again, as demonstrated for example by all the hoopla about CBR250R… Mark my words, in a couple of years 650 will be considered large. And yes, even now 650cc is considered middle weight by most people on this planet, including whole of third world where 125cc is the norm, Europe where young new riders are restricted to 125cc or Australia where we can’t ride anything above 600cc (and power limits come into it as well) for the first two years.

  12. neil'o says:

    Still looks terrible, like a crash between a sports bike and a trail bike. Take a clean sheet of paper and put those great engines in something that is designed by desingers not engineers and accountants. Jeez. The GS has been killing it for years and others still can’t come up with a competitive look.

  13. GeddyT says:

    There is zero reason for a bigger engine in a bike like this. Even the 650 is pretty much overkill if you’re going to be doing any trail riding. I rode an SV650 for a while and it’s still an engine I look back on with fondness. Very smooth, very crisp throttle response, great power characteristics.

    But, Suzuki, where’d you get the time machine that you clearly used to go back to the ’80s and acquire a shipment of forks and brakes?

  14. V-Tom says:

    I like it! I love my 2006 DL650 and was worried they would totally screw it up. They haven’t, just made some nice improvements. I would have like a larger tank but perhaps increaxed fuel mileage will make up for that. The Thermometer and trip computer are nice updates, the liquid based oil coooler is a nice improvement, and styling was cleaned up a bit. All in all a nice upgrade for when I need to repalce my Strom (which has ove 101,000 miles on it.)

  15. You’re welcome. Though I can’t claim credit; someone on Stromtrooper.com posted up the link. I just payed it forward.

  16. Keith says:

    It’s amusing to see all the enzyte buyers saying things like “650 is middle weight” or “it doesn’t have enough power” and the ever popular “it isn’t a BMW”.

    News flash people…800 is a BIG bike and no amount of compensating with more cc’s will make up for your lack of ability to ride. 8^\ Y’all sound as sissyfied as the limey prats at mcn. Gutless, spineless fair weather riders. Adventure riders? NOT! Do like the lads who did last years cannonball…oh wait those OLD non suspended bike don’t have enough cc’s for you lot of whiny little cry babies. Kiss my kick starter…whiners.

  17. madenusa says:

    I think the new styling is cool for a strom . I was hoping to see a 750cc engine and I was surprised the fuel tank is now only 4.4 gal. I will wait to see if they come out with a 1000cc big-strom and check out the reviews for the new 650 . Ideally I would like to see at least a 5gal. tank , upgraded suspension and brakes with 180 rear tire set up like on the multistrada (190) and Gs 1200 (150) . They have that cool rear tire fender . But if they did all this than the bike may not be as affordable to the mass public and affordability is their main objective . Well done suzuki . Nice refresh for what it is . Looking forward to the ride reviews , dyno info , mpg info , and checking out the accesssories . Big-strom on the way (o:

  18. Robin says:

    20L fuel tank and smaller engine capacity compared to other midrange bikes destroys my hope of this bike being an adventure bike in Australian conditions.

  19. matt says:

    now it looks like the previous generation Triumph Tiger. Smaller gas tank is fine, keeps it from getting so top heavy. If you need 5+ gal range you are 1 in 50,000 people. Get an accessory fuel cell and go away.

    Agreed that this is basically a BNG update but that’s not all bad. Nobody sane wants a 180 section tire. I agree the suspension needs to be upgraded to the cheap end of Showa’s cartridges like even cheaper bikes have from Kawasaki etc. I have GSXR K1-3 cartridges in my otherwise stock SV forks and the transformation is profound.

    The 2-pot calipers are more than adequate. Legions of SV racers use the stock brakes.

  20. Enrico says:

    Bella nel complesso,ma sella troppo alta per persone di media statura,speriamo arrivi versione con altezza sella 800 o 815 e versione con motore quattro cilindri (750),sicuramente più proporzionato alla mole complessiva.Saluti

  21. Chris says:

    The Vstrom is NOT meant to be a dedicated adventure bike, even though it’s introduced (incorrectly by the author) in this article as one, this bike is an allrounder. And the Vstrom does the allround thing very well indeed.

    IE, if you want to make like those jolly actor-buddies you watch on the videos on your 50″ flatscreens you shouldn’t be buying this bike. If you want a bike that can do a bit of everything; scratching, touring, dirt, then I think in the market today there is little that matches the sheer capability and competency of the Vstrom 650, and I think this update is a very nice one indeed.