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 Ducati Monster 1200 – Water-Cooling an Icon

11/04/2013 @ 8:20 am, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

2014 Ducati Monster 1200   Water Cooling an Icon 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 635x423

With the Ducati 1199 Superleggera already shown ahead of the 2013 EICMA show, the big news from Milan for Ducati is the long-rumored 2014 Ducati Monster 1200.

Saying goodbye to the Monster’s air-cooled v-twin, the Monster 1200 takes a page of history from the Ducati S4/S4R, and uses Ducati’s water-cooled Testastretta 11° motor (as seen on the Ducati Multistrada 1200 and Ducati Diavel) for its locomotion.

Surely to ruffle a few feathers with the hardcore Ducatisti, the water-cooled engine isn’t the only big innovation for the Ducati Monster 1200, as the motorcycle is the continuation of Ducati’s chassis philosophy, as seen on the Ducati 1199 Panigale. As such, both the steel trellis main frame, and steel subframe, attach directly to the Testastretta 11° engine’s cylinder heads.

Touring fans will be happy to hear that the new Ducati Monster 1200 comes with a 17.5 liter fuel tank, the biggest ever for the Monster line. Though what we think will really get your fancy is that power for the base model is 135hp at 8,750 rpm, while torque is 87 lbs•ft at 7,250 rpm.

Although the exhaust routing can be a bit distracting, the overall aesthetic of the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 is both true to the original machine, and also a fresh approach for this next iteration.

Other details of note are the Monster 1200’s banana seat, which is adjustable in height, and the Monster 1200’s LCD display, which is similar to the unit on the Panigale. Available March 2014, new Monster 1200 owners can expect to plunk down $13,495 at their local Ducati dealership.

2014 Ducati Monster 1200   Water Cooling an Icon 2104 Ducati Monster 1200 13 635x475

2014 Ducati Monster 1200   Water Cooling an Icon 2104 Ducati Monster 1200 16 635x475

2014 Ducati Monster 1200   Water Cooling an Icon 2104 Ducati Monster 1200 02 635x475

2014 Ducati Monster 1200   Water Cooling an Icon 2104 Ducati Monster 1200 03 635x475

2014 Ducati Monster 1200   Water Cooling an Icon 2104 Ducati Monster 1200 04 635x475

2014 Ducati Monster 1200   Water Cooling an Icon 2104 Ducati Monster 1200 05 635x475

2014 Ducati Monster 1200   Water Cooling an Icon 2104 Ducati Monster 1200 071 635x475

Source: Ducati


  1. @DaveMinella says:

    And the best part about it? So long, Steetfighter, you hideous thing, you.

  2. Frito says:

    Oh yes, deposit put down a month ago and I do not regret it.

  3. Ray says:

    I honestly like the looks of this better than the “current” air cooled Monsters. While I like the exhaust routing’s snake-like curves, it sure will make replacing belts a pain…

    Oh…and wheels on this one sure look sweet.

  4. Tifo says:

    Hmm…I like the simplicity and minimalism of the subframe…not so sure about the trellis…er…frame? It’s a bit short and fat looking. Doesn’t seem to quite fit or something and I still don’t like Ducati’s new wheel design. It’s a bit too tarty and to me looks cheap. Over all though I reckon it’s a job well done. Looks like a Monster should and the water cooling seems to have added very little extta bulk aesthetically. It will be interesting to see where it leads. New top spec S4R a like maybe?

  5. Tifo says:

    I should just add that it is still by far the best looking naked bike out there though. IMHO of course.

  6. Zano says:

    Looks like it will fit nicely next to my 1200 Mulitstrada S.

    Check the units on the torque specs though.

    That motor has plenty of torque but not that much.

  7. Coreyvwc says:

    The “Icon” has already been water cooled in the past… Did everyone already forget about the fire breathing Monster S4RS from way in 2007? You know, the one with the motor pulled strait from the 999 Superbike!

  8. ross ewich says:

    what is with all this “mashed in/pulled down” head lights and “drag the guts on the ground” styling? the KTM Super Duke R, the recent Kawasaki, that MV… and now the venerable Monster?

    i swear- every one of those profiles will fit +/-10% into the same cookie cutter.

    do not like.

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “Although the exhaust routing can be a bit distracting, the overall aesthetic of the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 is…”

    (drumroll, wait for it, wait for it)

    …naked diavel.

  10. eg says:

    @ DaveMinella , I loved the SF and thought it was one of ducati’s best. I- owned a 2010 1100s and a 2012 evo and SF 1098 was one of the best bikes I ever owned. The design to me was flawless and when talking about power, it was a demon to ride. I hope this one stands up to it. In all great bikes

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “While I like the exhaust routing’s snake-like curves, it sure will make replacing belts a pain”

    FYI, your keen observation means I now get to hold you accountable. I suggest you start planning/budgeting accordingly. you have a whopping 18,000 miles to prepare. no whining/no excuses 2 years from now.

  12. Anvil says:

    I need to see this bike in person. Much of it looks nice but that tank shape is distracting.

    The chassis should work fine for its intended purpose.

    I’m with Norm on this one; it does have hints of a naked Diavel, although it’s not quite as front-heavy and the riding position is clearly sporty.

  13. Halfie30 says:

    While I know it’s not necessary anymore, I miss the intake holes on the tank. Helps make the shape pop in front a bit. I was hoping for something a bit more “muscley” looking, but the simplicity is cool too. Nothing some aftermarket love won’t fix.

  14. Bryce says:

    I like it is
    That the price for the states or Aus ??

  15. paulus says:

    Not getting it… all Ducati’s are evolving into Britten’s. Bits of seat/tank plopped on top of the V twin.

  16. Faust says:

    Full TFT display on the Monster but only LCD for the 899? M50 calipers on the 1200 S but M4s on the 899…. Ducati is confusing me. I still plan on getting an 899, but I don’t see why they would do a TFT display on these and not the 899 when they already have all the parts and mounting figured out on the bigger Panigale. I mean why does a naked bike with 145hp need M50 Brembos but a bike listed on their site as a “superbike” with 148hp doesn’t rate them?

  17. B-ry says:

    much better than the last “new” version…

  18. tonyfumi says:

    TFT instruments are nice but NO fuel gauge and NO gear indicator are pretty big omissions if you are trying to convince us that data/info is more comprehensive with a digital dash.

    I’n not against water cooling but it wrecks the styling on this bike and I think Ducati are moving into dangerous territory with a bike like this. It ain’t as stylish as before and it ain’t as quick as some other bikes and it ain’t cheap …..so why buy one?

  19. Frito says:


    It’s a few hundred more than its nearest competitors, the Speed Triple/R. Figure in fancy electronics and such and that makes up for it. I think ducati is straying away from making crazy naked bikes like some companies such as KTM and the new BMW naked. Let those companies have that little gap for a 180+ bhp naked.

    Fuel gauge, thats your gripe. I fill up every 100 miles no matter what. It has a fuel light for when running low, that is good enough.

  20. Nick says:

    I like everything but that oil cooler. It looks weird and the body color finishing draws attention to it. Otherwise, the move to the stressed member engine and liquid cooling was inevitable, we knew they would do it. The air cooled monster will remain the best looking. But it’s you, consumers, who are demanding more more more. So they gave you what you asked for. And it’s not what it used to be.

  21. Anthony says:

    Ugly as hell

  22. Enzo says:

    What? No fuel gauge and no gear position indicator? What the hell is the purpose of a nice TFT display if you can’t get basic information? The fact that it is 2013 and motorcycles still don’t have fuel gauges and gear position indicators is a joke. What the fuck is so hard about these basic stats? I don’t get it.

  23. Gary says:

    Major improvement! They’ve almost got it! I would like to see the air cooled 2-valve stay in the line though. Such a rewarding little motor.