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.

2013 Ducati Hyperstrada – $13,295 & Ready to Tour

11/12/2012 @ 9:01 am, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

2013 Ducati Hyperstrada   $13,295 & Ready to Tour 2013 Ducati Hyperstrada 01 635x475

With the rumors of the liquid-cooled 2013 Ducati Hypermotard, there was also talk of a midrange Multistrada model at EICMA as well. This rumor then morphed into three distinct Hypermotard models, with one model set on the task of bringing touring to the maxi-motard line. In essence though, what we have is a cross between the Ducati Hypermotard and a Ducati Multistrada 1200 — Bologna just calls it the 2013 Ducati Hyperstrada.

On the outside, the Ducati Hyperstrada is a Hypermotard with revised suspension and a few more goodies to aid in those long-distance trips. However, on its inside, the Hyperstrada really wants to be the Multistrada 1200′s smaller counterpart.

Putting things in motion is the same 110hp 821cc Testastretta 11° DS v-twin engine, and the Hyperstrada features the Ducati Safety Package as well (ABS & traction control). Making this Hyper a Strada though is 50 liters of quick-detaching side luggage, an optional 31 liter top case, center stand, taller handlebars (20mm), a touring screen, and a wider/thicker touring seat.

Other more subtle changes include 43mm Kayaba USD forks with 5.9″ of travel, which is .8″ less than the Hypermotard, though both machines use the same Sachs rear shock that has rebound and preload adjustments only. Add in two auxiliary 12v power outlets for charging sat navs and heated vests, and you have a 449.7 lbs motorcycle when at the curb. Available in either Ducati Red or Arctic White, the  2013 Ducati Hyperstrada will cost $13,295 in the US.

A compromise to having a midrange Hyper and midrange Multi, the Ducati Hyperstrada will attempt to straddle both sides of the Ducati camp with its offering. Did Bologna’s balancing act payoff? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

Source: Ducati


  1. Jobie says:

    I want one now!! This is the bike I have been waiting for. Great all around bike, I can even live with the new beak. The exaust doesnt look like it came off a battleship either. Great work DUCATI.

  2. Jerry says:

    Its about time!!

    To bad the Hyper comes with 50mm Marzocchi forks and an Öhlins rear shock in the S model and the Hyperstrada doesn’t

  3. Dave says:

    Looks like the Honda CB500X and the Gladius had an ugly child together. So not appealing.

  4. Johan Schoofs says:

    I think it looks very weird!

  5. gophersassasin says:

    they had to put something out there to compete with the Triumph Tiger.

  6. wreckah says:

    KTM 990 SMT…4 years ago :-)

  7. Lee says:

    Looks a lot like the KTM 990 SMT.

  8. AC says:

    Not great looking but neither is the Multi. This looks to be exactly what I need for commuting and long-distance touring with the GF. Price range is perfect, too!

  9. Hunter says:

    @AC – Price range is perfect?

    Brother, can you spare a dime then? I make $60k/year and i still wouldn’t call that affordable…

  10. akatsuki says:

    They need a Hyperstrada S model with all the goodies of the MTS 1200.

  11. The front end has a certain angry-chicken look about it. Not that would necessarily be a bad thing … assuming you like the look of angry chickens.

  12. Sam Adams says:

    I love it. Lightweight sporty fun with real touring ability. Ticks all the boxes that my Buell CityX falls short on. (600 mile days require physiotherapy)

  13. Ganny says:

    I feel Ducati missed out on the opportunity to bring out a truly rugged all terrain bike in the form of 2013 hypermotard and hyperstrada, with off road tyres and all. In fact the new hypermotard lineup seems to have gone softer still than its predecessor.

  14. Rmcobb says:

    God, I love this thing. Take the bags off and you have a machine truly capable track machine. Yeah, the new 1200 has some extra goodies, but its $8K grand more……I’m drooling!

  15. Chileansurg says:

    This is definitely the bike the Crossrunner should have been: +/- 800cc, abs, traction control, etc. Looks are not the best but the whole package is pretty appealing!

  16. Chiara says:

    Tour-tard? I’m interested, and will probably book a test ride when they start showing up.

  17. John Kelly says:

    There will never ever be a single bike that suits everyone…But for me to replace my Uly….This is the “ONE”.

  18. Aks says:

    Nice bike, but it will be haunted by the “semi-rigid” bags and the total lack of the after-market bags for it. Common these zippers on the bags will break in a year, one low speed fall and you will wear a hole through it. Are they even waterproof ?
    Why don’t they just put the Givi mono-key adapters on the bike and be done with it…

  19. Capt Prospect says:

    Does anyone know when they’re actually likely to arrive – specifically into Canada actually?

    A swift tyre change and it looks like it could comfortably handle fire or gravel roads, the clearance is easily enough. I’ve struggled knowing which direction to buy in – on the one hand I like the idea of a fun bike to blast around on for the day (hypermotard); on the other I want a tourer/adventure bike I can use for weekends away (BMW GS, although I’ve nothing more hairy than gravel roads in mind).

    This looks like it could cover both bases.

  20. John says:

    I want one now. I love it.

  21. Gene says:

    Shame it is so tall, 33.5 inches for the strada version is too tall for many os us. At 5’9″ and 30″ inseam I fit the profile of an average american male and many other countries for that matter. I just do not undersatnd why it has to be that tall, none of my current Ducatis are that tall including my 04′ ST3 which I guess I’ll be keeping.

  22. Scott says:

    Perfect. This is the bike I’ve been waiting for. Bags for the weekend, motard for the weekdays. Lightweight (relatively) urban, commuter, and tourer. A one bike solution with better components and fit (and I’d bet handling) than the new crop of economy standards. I want one in red.