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 Triumph Speed Triple R Adds Öhlins, Brembo, & PVM

10/24/2011 @ 10:04 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

2012 Triumph Speed Triple R Adds Öhlins, Brembo, & PVM 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R 1 635x476

I’m going to come out and say that I loved the 2011 Triumph Speed Triple when it came out. A divisive model with the Triumph’s loyal fan base, the revised Speed Triple’s aesthetics are a marked improvement over the earlier generations in my book, which was the only thing that kept the peppy three-cylinder machine out of my personal garage. Now to thoroughly ruining my Christmas wish list, the British brand has added the 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R to its EICMA debut list, with the “R” designation denoting the bike’s upgraded Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and PVM wheels.

The Triumph Speed Triple R feature Öhlins NIX30 43mm fork, which are complimented well with the Swedish suspension brand’s TTX36 rear shock. While we’re sure that the Öhlins suspension will add to the ride feel in ways mere mortals won’t even be able to use, flickability has been further increased with the use of PVM’s five-spoke forged aluminum wheels, which are 3.7 lbs lighter than the Speed Triple’s stock wheelset.

The counterpoint to going faster is of course stopping quicker, and to aid in that effort Triumph has added four-piston radial monoblock callipers from Brembo to the 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R. When combined with the PVM wheels, the British brand claims that the Speed Triple R has a 5% increase in braking performance over the standard Speed Triple. As an optional package, Triumph Speed Triple R owners can add ABS to the mix as well.

Of course no “R” package would be complete without some custome paint, and the Triumph Speed Triple R comes in either Phantom Black or Crystal White color options, which will be accented with the bike’s painted red sub-frame and detailing. Expect more details on the 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R at EICMA, and start saving now.

2012 Triumph Speed Triple R Adds Öhlins, Brembo, & PVM 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R 2 635x476

Source: Triumph


  1. luke says:

    meh. still looks like dame edna. I had a 2010 and it looked the absolute biz. I get it is faster now and even better to ride, but for some, the feeling when you look at your bike and go ‘phwoar!’ everytime you walk in the garage is a decent part of what makes you love the bike. I just don’t think I would get that feeling with the new model. Keep trying Triumph, maybe you will get back to the styling that created a cult following eventually.

  2. 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R Adds Öhlins, Brembo, & PVM – http://t.co/w5OjyPVY #motorcycle

  3. Jake Fox says:


    Aesthetically, I think we agree on a lot of bikes. The streetfighter, for example, is a gorgeous bike. Ignoring that we disagree on the old speed triple, I don’t see how you can like the looks of this bike. The headlights look like a squinting bug and the side fairings look like they were thrown on as an afterthought. It’s just, ick. If you hate the original speed triple headlights, LSL makes a nice looking kit that somewhat mimics the streetfighter. If I were to get the new speed triple, that would be the first change I’d make.

  4. Westward says:

    It just goes to show you can’t please everyone. I personally don’t like the exhausts, but the the bike over all is amazing looking…

    What I appreciate the most about it, and bikes like the monster and the street fighter, are that they take risks in design…

    Honda’s, Yamaha’s, Suzuki’s, Mitsubishi’s, Panasonic’s, and Sony’s, all look the same to me…

  5. Tom says:

    What’s with the “Ducati wheels”!?

  6. irksome says:

    I own a ’98 and have always been in love with its looks; as someone stated, I still get a thrill every time I uncover it to ride. To me they’re starting to look like every other naked bike, none of which have interested me for years; bikes have become far to angular for my tastes. Whatever happened to rounded edges? Most every new bike I see these days, especially the “nakeds”, remind me of Transformer toys and this one is no exception.

    This is the only class of bike that interests me these days. At 53, I still dislike cruisers and have zero interest in riding a weapon that’ll do 70mph in 1st gear. Unless the design circle swings back in my direction, my next bike’ll either be a ’00/’04 Guzzi V11 or a used 955 Speed Triple.

    Guess that makes me an old curmudeon; “Hey, get the hell offa my lawn!”

  7. Gary says:

    Headlights. Ugh!

  8. SB says:

    Looks good, but the headlights are not working for me.

  9. Rob says:

    I agree the headlights are ugly, but throw the flyscreen, seat cowl and belly pan on there and it all comes together like christmas morning. I think it like a fantastically modern take on a classic…which it should be. Well done Triumph

  10. MikeD says:

    The FLYSCREEN works WONDERS to make those headlights good enough to look at.

    A sharp tool just got sharper. Now where’s that briefcase full of onehundred dollar bills ready to burn ?

    Tom says:
    October 25, 2011 at 1:11 AM ~ What’s with the “Ducati wheels”!?

    ^LMAO. I like ‘em. Maybe it was too much of a change for some of us, LOL.