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 Tiger Explorer Breaks Cover

10/24/2011 @ 8:52 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer Breaks Cover 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 635x476

Officially breaking cover now, the 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer continues the British company’s revamping of its adventure-tourer line. Featuring a 1200cc three-cylinder motor, the Tiger Explorer is the bigger brother of the popular mid-sized Tiger 800, which debuted last year after much build-up. Sans a few spy photos and some rumormill, Triumph has taken a decidedly different and more low-key approach in getting buyers excited about the new Tiger, though we think Triumph fans will like what they see.

Unsurprisingly Triumph is keeping most of the details on the Tiger Explorer still under wraps, likely wanting to wait until EICMA to release full the technical specifications, but we do know that the 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer will be shaft-driven, have ride-by-wire throttle control, and come standard with switchable ABS & traction control. The chassis is made of steel, while the wheels are cast aluminum (19″ up front, 17″ in the back).

We really like what Triumph has done with the Tiger Explorer’s styling, keeping the larger adventure-tourer close enough to the Tiger 800′s aesthetic, while keeping them different enough to make each model unique. Of course, it helps that we’re suckers for a nice single-sided swingarm design, which adds to the premium look and feel that you expect from the British brand. No word yet on pricing or availability, so stay tuned as we get closer to EICMA.

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer Breaks Cover 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer action 635x423

Source: Triumph


  1. Michael Entner says:

    Really nice looking bike BUT…where are the wire wheels. I have an F650GS and I regret not getting the 800 with the spoke wheels :-( Next adventure bike will definitely have them!

  2. Shaitan says:

    I know these might be early “unofficial” shots and things might change a bit — like spoked wheels — but really nice looking. I’ve been pondering a new Adventure Bike and while the 800 is nice, a 1200 would be sweeter. :D

  3. Steve says:

    I love my F800GS, but I like what I see in this new Tiger Explorer. It could possibly lure me away from the GS line if the specs and price are right!

  4. Maxx says:

    Now that a nice looking bike……..could be temped

  5. Jake Fox says:

    Triumph does it again! Beautiful bike. I can’t wait to see some specs.

  6. Wire wheels says:

    Just curious having never ridden this kind of bike, what’s the deal with wire wheels?

  7. Dave Bardell says:

    Nice bike, SS swingarm looks cool, shaft drive is the big plus for touring. But till I see weight and seat height, bigger isn’t always better.. Sold my 07 Tiger and went back to a wee Strom and am happy again.

  8. Gary says:

    Very nice. While many other makers seem to flounder along, Triumph continues to forge ahead.

    On a side note, as one who performs his own maintenance (yes, including tire changes) I’m just not getting the love affair with fussier spoked wheels. Especially given the difficulty in making the argument for unsprung mass on an adventure-tourer or the split in cost of repair for a bent rim. Just saying.

  9. Bob says:

    Gary, the wire wheels are not about unsprung mass. Quite a few wire wheel sets are actually heavier. The need for wire wheels lies in off road ability. Spokes flex, deflect and bend…a necessity for off road abuse. But just because there is flexibility doesn’t mean the whole wheel will bend and stay bent. You would have to bend it beyond the material’s ability to spring back. Spoked wheels work a a system. A cast wheel can fracture or even shatter.

    The big thing for me is I like tubeless spoked wheels like on the big BMW and Yamaha. Easier to plug than de-mount , install a new tube and re-mount, hp[ing you don’t pinch the tube in the process. In fact, carrying spare tubes sucks as well, especially when 2 different sizes are required per bike.

    Spokes are pretty easy to maintain. As long as the nipples are lubed, the spokes can rotate freely as they stretch without twisting. Twisting have less strength and higher stress. Truing is dirt easy too, even on the bike.

  10. Gary says:

    Hmmm, enlightening (and well delivered) perspective. Thanks for the nugget, Bob.

  11. MikeD says:

    Haaa, i see they still insisted on slapping on “the mandatory novelty item” on what basically is an Upright Seating Tourer. I guess it can’t be helped, SIGH…(-_- )
    I would rather have two versions of the same theme similar to the 800 siblings.

    Road bias: 17″ Front and Back Wheels.

    Dirt bias: 21″ Front and 19″ Rear Wheels, SPOKED WHEELS. Not my thing, but for those of u who “need it”. lol.

    Go all out or go home.

    Im really liking this thing, from the colors to the features. I look forward to picking a ligthly used sample in the coming years…for NOT an arm and a leg.

    And now JUST BECAUSE Day Dreaming is a BLISS:

    Where’s that future 190hp DAYTONA 1200 ? Sorry, i can’t be helped. LOL.