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.

2014 BMW K1600GT Sport – Familiar, But Different

07/11/2013 @ 8:15 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

2014 BMW K1600GT Sport   Familiar, But Different 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport 02 635x448

BMW Motorrad has just released a bevy of minor changes to its 2014 motorcycle line, and amongst the facelifts and feature changes comes a “new” motorcycle from zie Germans. Unsurprisingly, the 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport is a take on the company’s flagship tourer, the K1600GT, but with a sportier, baggier, feel.

To be honest, we can’t help but think that the folks at BMW Motorrad saw the positive response that Honda had with the Honda Gold Wing F6B bagger conversion, and figured the same would work for them. If you can’t beat them, join them, eh? BMW junkies, we’ll want to hear your thoughts on this one.

BMW lists the changes to the 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport from its paterfamilias as follows, making this strictly a minor derivative of the current K-bike:

  • Two-colour paint finish in Sakhir orange metallic/ Black storm metallic including decor
  • Black gloss coated wheels
  • Low windshield
  • Seat in sporty design

2014 BMW K1600GT Sport   Familiar, But Different 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport 03 635x448

2014 BMW K1600GT Sport   Familiar, But Different 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport 01 635x448

Source: BMW Motorrad


  1. Gonzo says:

    I have an S1000rr, but this intrigues me. Too bad it doesn’t come in blue…

  2. Chris says:

    Still waiting for the naked, hooligan version. Akropovic ? Yes, please.

  3. Alex says:

    @ Gonzo
    2013 comes in a really nice blue, really nice in person. FYI I have a 2012.

    I think we might see the naked S1000 this November, didn’t see any plans for a naked K16..but it would be SIIICK :O)

  4. DWolvin says:

    Seconded that a naked would be Sick…. (daydream)

  5. Shawn says:

    I don’t get it. A K1600GT Sport is a K1600GT with… different color paint, a short windshield, and a different seat?

    No doubt there will be a premium price on it, and the Beemerphiliacs will glom right onto it.

    Not sure how this merits a new model designation, rather than just a variation of the spec sheet checklist.

  6. BrianZ says:

    BMW doesn’t normally play the Honda game, so why start now?

  7. meatspin says:

    i kinda see design elements taken from the new Vstrom.

  8. KSW says:

    As a K1600GTL owner I’ll say it’s really just some color choices. We’d all like color choices but making them available as options at order time would be better than one year this one year that.

    I don’t get the comparison to the F6B unless by that you mean painted rims, barely visible lower shield and two tone paint. The K1600GT/GTL/or Sport can all be fully loaded or naked.

    As an owner I think it needs a K Button much like the coveted M Button in the cars not painted rims and a shield I could lower on my own in the shop in 45 minutes all in off to back on. Think about that BMW, a K button that disables all the electronics like we can do now if we want to go into the menu and do it after stopping. Not enough
    time at a red light for that.

    Now, create a rear trunk for the solo rider that is bigger and comes at least half way over the passenger seat with the tail lights wrapping around the corner of the trunk for visibility.


  9. “Think about that BMW, a K button that disables all the electronics like we can do now if we want to go into the menu and do it after stopping.”

    Yes, because what everybody needs is a bloated touring-bagger with insane-sport mode.

  10. KSW says:


    Actually, take all the bags off for that and loose some weight. Wheel up over rises in the road is a good thing right? Unless you turn it off manually each time you turn the key it’s all on which is good unless you want to go naked and have fun. I’ll take a simple button with a K on it.

  11. paulus says:

    Target market = USA
    black wheels and 2 tone 70′s colours paint…
    Is this the Roland Sands special US edition?… LOL

  12. MikeD says:

    I’m still day dreaming that BMW will surprise us with a mighty K1600R or K1600S.
    C’mon BMW, pull that broom stick out of your lowest back and do something like “Just ’cause we can” like you did with the S1000RR.

    Personally, i can’t see myself choosing this one over the already sporty GT.

    LMAO, whoever can’t connect the dots and see that BMW is trying to pull an F6B here needs badly a brain tune up.

    @Paulus: The RS paint job comment was spot on.

    @KSW: U Sir are a Mad Man, LOL.

  13. Paul McM says:

    I wonder if the lower windscreen is a no-man’s land mistake. Meaning not low enough to allow clear airflow, not high enough (even when raised to full height) that you get still air w/o turbulence. But the real question is how much weight is saved over the K1600gtl which is listed as 797 pounds with fuel. OK, let’s just call it 800 lbs to be simple — that’s 0.4 TONS boys and girls. IMHO anyone willing to toss that kind of poundage around is just going to get a Goldwing. Better seating, better wind protection, better reliability, WAY better passenger accommodations.

    When I sat on the K1600gtl at the Long Beach show I couldn’t believe how massively tall, wide, and thick in the middle the thing seemed. And it was scary top-heavy. I think BMW has jumped the shark on this one. How about giving us a compact 3 cylinder 1300cc powerplant, belt drive, combined with modern long-travel suspension and those kewl headlights — all at around 600 lbs and under $16K. I’m just really not sure how many customers BMW will find for a $25,000 800-lb motorcycle. The “wingers” grown accustomed to bulletproof Honda reliability aren’t going to switch brands.

  14. Stiggleton says:

    ‘Go faster stripes’ do not make a vehicle…er… go faster! The K1600GT Sport does not appear to have any mechanical changes that might warrant the nomenclature of ‘Sport’.

    What’s more is that the K1300GT (with no fantastical V6 engine) had a better power to weight ratio than the K1600GT and a much sportier feel.

    I wish rather than fool a few people with some orange paint, a less protective windshield and a badge with sport written on it they had just done a limited edition run of the K1300GT again :-(

  15. MikeD says:


    Yup, a lot of people saying the same about killing the 4cyl GT. Why they had to go and kill a good bike (specially at a time when almost all of the bugs had been fixed and all the “wrinkles” ironed out) . . . but that’s BMW for you, always doing crazy if not unthinkable shit.
    I hope they slap that 6cyl jewel in other models in the “not too distant future” (next 2 years or so).