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.

Spotted: 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 – 20 lbs Lighter w/ BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control (Semi-Active Suspension)

07/20/2012 @ 1:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler35 COMMENTS

Spotted: 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4   20 lbs Lighter w/ BMWs Dynamic Damping Control (Semi Active Suspension) 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 635x440

After tweaking the BMW S1000RR for the 2012 model year, it is likely that the liter-bike King will remain relatively unchanged for another year. Though according to SoyMotero, BMW is set to milk the current iteration for bit more value with a more premium model. Teasing out the 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4, zie Germans have finally gotten around to doing some “High Performance” treatment to their only true sport bike. Leaving things relatively unchanged underneath the fairings, the Bavarians have some big changes for the BMW S1000RR HP4, part of which is 20 lbs in less mass.

The big weight savings seem to come from the exhaust system and the addition of forged aluminum wheels. Other changes include revised bodywork, a solo seat, launch control, updated traction control, and wait for it…BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), which as far as we know is the first application of computer-controlled active electronic suspension in the motorcycle market. No prices yet, though we would expect a hefty price tag to be announced when the BMW S1000RR HP4 officially breaks cover later this year during the Intermot or EICMA shows.

If you’re saying to yourself that this news seems almost too good to be true, then we share the same sentiment. Thinking that maybe this is a piece of over-zealous journalism, there was something about the photo for the HP4 that seemed familiar…namely, it’s shot in front of the same backdrop as the press photos for the 2012 BMW S1000RR launch, and in fact it looks almost identical to one of the 3/4 photos of the red/white S1000RR. Surely, it’s a photoshop then, right?

Taking a closer look at the marks on the wall though, it’s clear that the two photos were shot in front of different garage doors (though both doors have seen their fair share of abuse). What’s more interesting is that the photos from 2012 show a second garage was used, one with the exact same markings on the wall. Those shots featured the bike in a fairly different position, not to mention the fact that there are enough different details on the HP4 photo from the ones taken last year.

Our conclusion, whoever took this photo had access to the same garage as the original 2012 BMW S1000RR shoot, which only lends more credence to its authenticity. It would be great to see the DDC system come to the BMW S1000RR, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until October/November to be sure.

Source: SoyMotero


  1. MotoGuru says:

    Damn it!!! They won’t redesign those ugly headlights!!!!!!!!!! I will never buy this bike then.

  2. ryan says:

    Really… the first? That whole panigale thing never happened? They aren’t. Doing it bc they are in direct competition with the ducati 1199? Come on man. Especially now that aufi owns ducati.. we’re going to witness a superbike war like no one has ever seen.

  3. ryan says:

    And ps i love the headlight

  4. The Panigale does not use an active suspension system.

  5. Jayson says:

    Active? fully active? i dont think so. if it uses springs, its not fully active. this is semi-active at best. panigale isnt even semi, it is only able to adjust the settings by wire, but not automatically (with computer pre-programed algorithms) while riding.

    fully active was banned in formula 1 long ago (early 90′s).

  6. Paul McM says:

    Well I’ve heard the S1000RR is a commercial success, but they all must be gathering dust in Rich Boy’s garages since you never see them on the road. And on the track they can’t run at the front with the Yamahonzukis — not yet at least. Maybe the 20-lb liposuction will help there. At $16.5K (with CA tax and delivery fees), I can buy two barely used CBR1000RRs instead, and spend less time in the shop, more time on the road…

    And I don’t have to deal with this: “BMW is issuing a recall on the 2012 BMW S1000RR because of a risk of engine failure. According to a post on the official BMW Motorcycles USA Facebook page, the connecting rod bolts may loosen and fall out. This may result cause the engine to seize, creating the risk of a crash. The problem may also cause the engine to leak oil directly in front of the rear wheel, potentially reducing traction.” Source: http://blog.motorcycle.com/2012/04/26/manufacturers/bmw/2012-bmw-s1000rr-engine-recall/

  7. HM says:


    I see them on the road, just not many, I also seem many of them on the track for trackdays.

    On World Superbike BMW is currently in 2nd behind the Aprilia. They improved their electronics package this year, so I’m not sure which track you’re referring to.

    Disclosure: I don’t own a BMW.


  8. Tyler says:

    Most people do not or cannot make positive improvement / adjustments to their suspension, or know what type of adjustment will make it better.

    Add to this most stock bikes are setup very poorly out of the box.

    This active suspension will just remove the rider from learning anything about suspension setup and proper workings of… Sadly. They will just blindly trust the active suspension is doing the right thing when in fact it may be completely mucked up, and they may not know the difference.

    I do not believe this is the way forward.. as much as it’s a cute idea for marketing and arguments can be made for safety, technology, etc.

  9. cairo says:

    Taking 20 lbs from the periphery (wheels, seat, and exhaust, far from the center of mass) is going to make more of a difference in handling than if they lightened the engine, or frame. Even better place to drop some useful pounds is off the lard asses riding these things.

    Looks like a nice bike.

  10. Jensen, just heads-up on a typo: Second last paragraph, first sentence, “cleat” should be “clear”.

  11. SBPilot says:

    @Paul, dont’ fancy BMW much I take? Better get in line with the news cause the S1K does do well in the areas you stated it doesn’t. Recall? So does every other manufacture nowadays (ala 1199, ZX10R etc.)

    Special glamour edition motorbikes, why not? It keeps the industry interesting. Active, semi active, whatever you want to call it, new stuff is good, it’s cool, it’s nice to read about. Ducati can make SP versions why not HP4 from BMW. I think they deserve to do something with the S1K with the success it has had. I hope BMW wins WSBK this year so perhaps they can make a really hardcore S1K to pay homage to the title. Something like the CSL version of the S1000 would be nice. Stripped down, lighter, more powerful, and…more expensive! I do like what I see already though.

  12. marcos says:

    sport bike with abs ,active suspensions ,track control , the next generation will come with auto pilot , cruise control and air conditioning

  13. Paul McM says:

    Not sure the rules that may make the BMW competitive in World Superbike (less restrictive rules on engine mods for one). But at the AMA Superbike races I’ve seen, the bike is NOT competitive with the front runners. Current AMA Superbike standings show only one BMW in top 10, at #6:

    AMA Pro Superbike
    1. Josh Hayes — Yamaha
    2. Blake Young — Suzuki
    3. Josh Herrin — Yamaha
    4. Roger Hayden — Suzuki
    5. Geoff May — Buell 1125RR
    6. Larry Pegram — BMW 1000SS
    7. Steve Rapp — Kawasaki
    8. Danny Eslick — Buell 1190RS
    9. Ben Bostrom — Suzuki
    10. Chris Clark — Suzuki

    Source: http://www.amaproracing.com/rr/events/standings.cfm?class=sb

    @ SBPilot
    Good point. Yes all manufacturers have had recalls, but typically for a small external component or electrical glitch. Here BMW’s “connecting rod bolts may loosen and fall out” causing catastrophic engine failure (with possible life-threatening crash). S0rry, can’t explain that away as “business as usual”.

    I actually like BMWs and have owned them in past. But I can’t see any sane individual buying this bike, given the potentially catastrophic reliability issues and the truly astronomical parts costs. Cycle World did a comparison a few months back on parts that might need replacing after a fall-down. Things like brake levers etc. The BMW S1000RR parts were 5X as expensive on average as parts for the Japanese literbikes. Maybe that’s why you see so few S1000RRs on the road — the owners are terrified of dropping them. (Much like the 99% of R1200GS owners who never ride a km offroad.)

  14. It’s refreshing to see that people still think there’s a connection between professional road racing and what’s on the dealership floors. It makes you wonder why WSBK has the new headlight sticker rule.

  15. SBPilot says:

    @Paul: I’m not sure if the Ducati 1199 recall regarding a non compliant screw connecting swingarm to suspension linkage is considered non catastrophic either. Sounds pretty major to me. Source: http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/recall/ducati-1199-panigale-swingarm-screw/

    RSV4 recall regarding connecting rod failure and they even had a few RSV4 engines blow up during Mugello press event. Then had to issue a recall. I consider that uber catastrophic (and embarrassing). Source: http://www.motorcycle.com/news/aprilia-rsv4-recall-due-to-faulty-conrods-89173.html

    Kawasaki ZX10R (new one) had to have an entire production hold cause of a technical problem they wouldn’t disclose, probably costing the company a lot of money and customers. Source: http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/kawasaki-ninja-zx-10r-technical-hold/

    None of these are considered “business as usual” either, but it happens, and happens to all companies big and small meaning it actually is business as usual.

    If you fall on your S1K, R1, 1198, Fireblade, whatever, if you go to the dealer, they will charge an arm and a leg. That’s where ‘stealership’ comes from.That’s why there is a plethora of after market options for stuff that usually breaks first (levers etc.)

    Regarding the AMA results, yes they aren’t there because BMW has no factory team there and the contingency for running a BMW as far as I know is nil. Larry Pegram is a privateer on his S1K, ahead of him are all factory racing teams (save Roger Hayden but Jordan Suzuki is very set up), well established, well funded and with the best riders.

    You could say AMA has no Honda’s too, does that mean they are really crap? No, it’s politics, just like BMW. Honda has no part in AMA road racing due to politics, not due to the fact the fireblade is a terrible bike. As far as I’m concerned, BMW has no part in AMA either (but at least they aren’t banned).

  16. Dan says:

    Am I the only one that thinks it is photo shopped? front calipers and fork bottoms look dodgy, as does the side fairing, there is shadowing on the rest of the bike as tho there is lighting above and forward of the bike yet there is no shadow on the engine from the side cases…

  17. Ben says:

    I’m going to have to get off my ass and buy one of these things with launch control. Just to have a bit of fun. Waiting in vain for an R1 with traction control, launch control, abs…might have squeeze my lard ass onto an RSV or an S1000!

    Just as happy to ride an older 1000 without all the crap but some of this stuff’s fun to try. Either way, 90% of the time it’s beside the point rolling around on the road.

    Good luck to the Germans. They’ve spiced up the class a bit at pretty good prices.

  18. frogy6 says:

    Iv never seen someone use launch control at a drag and be faster. In Ireland they turn off the bmw system and do it as normal. It was the only way they could get near the k5s

  19. Tom says:

    20lbs lighter? I have thought for many years now that bike companies intentionally leave in additional weight only to cut it out later presenting the idea of improvement. But the weight should never have been there to start with. Its not like a bike gets made for a few years and then BAM! there is a new space age material fresh on the market that is lighter.

  20. frog king says:

    nothing new with this bike than the graphic and color..other competitors change the bike’s facelift every 2 or 4 years………….what a waste to have the bike this one…

  21. SBPilot says:

    Awaiting moderation? test

  22. meatspin says:

    i used to dig the assymetry of the headlight, but now, not so much. Still, its a good looking bike and 20 pounds is A LOT of weight to drop.

  23. Damo says:

    The BMW is a great fast bike, I just don’t like the styling or the ergos.

  24. MikeD says:



  25. MikeD says:

    Im still not buying this whole “special version 20lbs ligther” story…i think is a fan made hoax.
    We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out during “new model debut silly season”.
    Trying to learn to lower my xpectations…specially during this “New Bike Drought Season” (2007-2xxx ?).

    And if it’s true….hey, it’s more than welcome by me. \(^_^)/

  26. spectre says:

    Having owned one, I can say it’s the friendliest, most balanced bike in its class I’ve ridden so far. As for 20lb of weight that ‘shouldn’t be there in the first place’ – it comes with nice practical things like pillion facilities and an exhaust that isn’t illegal. It was easy to drop more than 20lb off it; this didn’t mean it was wrong to begin with.

    Quoting AMA is a waste of time (especially when it’s sixth anyway); how many teams are actually running an S1000? Often they’ll side with whatever they have experience tuning, or whoever they can get parts backing from. In WSB the S1000 is showing itself stronger and stronger, after having already dominated various superstock classes (arguably a better gauge).

    Brno was another good advert…

  27. MikeD says:


    “Having owned one, I can say it’s the friendliest, most balanced bike in its class I’ve ridden so far.”

    Careful there, those kind of comments could get u in trouble, u don’t want to agitate the HONDA CBR1000RR FanBoys/Honda Inquisitors Squad to come drag your bike to the middle of the street in the middle of the nite and set it on fire.
    I know there’s a bunch of them lurking around here…LMAO.

  28. Nick says:

    Paul, if you want closest to stock then you need to look at Superstock where in 2010 the S1000RR finished first in all but one race.


    And those used Hondas you talk of, I seem to remember a recall for them when they were released for burning oil which resulted in a number of riders seizing engines.

  29. meatspin says:

    lets not talk reliability when it comes to BMW motorcycles. The s1000rr is a big offender here.

  30. MikeD says:


    I don’t think so…would u care to elaborate on that a bit more with some real world facts ?
    One recall or 2 does not make this bike a repeated OFFENDER.
    Remenber what happened to Aprilia when they made the press launch of their ALL MIGHTY RSV4 ? Does anyone remenbers or bothers to talk about it now ? Nope.

    BTW: I don’t own a BMW, much less an S1000RR…too broke and no real use for a sport bike, much less one with 190hp.
    But i have to give them credit for getting it pretty damn close to perfect from the first get go…the thing is a diamond on the rough that just needs to be kept polishing itself.
    I HONESTLY can’t see what will they do to raise the bar when the time comes to re-new[not refresh] this first Generation… [o_O]

  31. RobertIII says:

    I went through the recall with my 2012 and was quite pissed – till I finally got it on the track. It is mighty! Handling is great, brakes are scary good, it has more legroom than my TL and a shorter bar reach, and I did 240 miles on it this weekend visiting the GF, 120 without a rest stop.
    It also has the ultra wow factor when you park it somewhere bike-friendly : )

    I looked at the Honda and the Kawi, and our local multibox multidealer wouldn’t even give me a test ride. BMW rolled out the carpet, gave me a very spirited test ride, and hunted down a 3% and change rate for the financing, too.
    My only minuses on the S1000RR: front fork is a touch stiff and probably needs a little massage; what stock bike doesn’t though? The other general BMW minus is that dealer visits are costly and should be taken into account…and with the 3 year warranty you’d better document maintenance thoroughly.

  32. laubin says:

    BMW is the bee’s knees now—They’re setting themselves up to dominate WSB…they’re practically the only facoty team…now Ben Spies is rumored to been in contact with them( he’s leaving yamaha in Motogp)
    now this tarted up version that has the harley guys even wowing at here in my office. I dont need the active suspension( i dont think so) –Lighter wheels? sure! gimme that damn paint job for sure though… I’ve spent the last 14 years on liter bikes( 600s,750s)( before that)– wearing them down as I go-CBR900rr,cbr1000rr GSXR1000(meh…), R1(x2)(eh…) this new fangled BMW has my interest–as it is purported to have the hotrod( and then some) feel my old cbr900rr had ..but none of its headache. …I remember when i just wanted a fuel injected bike9 so i didnt have to choke it anymore…)
    now you can get abs TC,LC,WC,PC,—active suspension(maybe)..it loks like a freakin shark from the side….( my 09 r1 looks like a box turturtle)…..the price is high—about 20% more than I want–I’ll have to actually save up for this German delight….siiiigh…reden ohne Punkt und Komma
    .I’ll just have to learn to live with the stroke victim look of the head lights..

  33. Jammer says:

    I have an RR and it makes me a better rider than I ever expected. (I race off road). BMW’s investment in R&D if far greater than any other manufacture and it’s easy to tell once you ride anyone of there products. The brakes are outstanding and the power is useable power. Go by and test ride one and you will see why there sales numbers increase year over year.

  34. Ed Gray says:

    Sorry terminology nitpick.

    I believe you are misusing the term “active suspension”. As I understand it active suspension has no dampers or springs. The position of the wheels relative to the vehicle is controlled by hydraulics or linear electric drivers.

    The system on the BMW sounds very similar to the system now available on the Panigale S, which has the computer controlling the damper settings on otherwise normal spring damper units. This is not even the magneto-rheological system available on some cars now, in which the viscosity of the damper fluid is controlled electronically which reduces the reaction time of the damping adjustments.

  35. ryan says:

    Now all we need is VW to stick porsches PDCC in the panigale and we’ll have a battle. Ps. Sorry didnt read that it was fully active. 1199 is manual adjustment