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 Honda CBR1000RR SP – A Better Fireblade

11/04/2013 @ 12:10 pm, by Jensen Beeler36 COMMENTS

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP 18 635x423

The Honda CBR1000RR is a great street bike, albeit a little long-in-the-tooth in the fast-paced liter-bike category. The big hope and rumor for the 2013 EICMA show was that Honda would have its V4-powered superbike finally ready for debut, though plans for that machine seem to have been delayed…again.

Instead, Big Red has for us the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP, which is basically your standard Fireblade with premium kit bolted onto it, along with a very gentle engine massaging.

This sort of dual-pronged approach is fairly standard fare for the European brands (did you see what Ducati just did with the Monster 1200 and Monster 1200 S?), but for a Japanese OEM like Honda, it is a pretty revolutionary approach to model segmentation, but we digress.

The short and the sweet of it, when it comes to the Honda CBR1000RR SP, is that Honda has added a laundry list of go-fast parts to the Fireblade, which should entice collectors and track day enthusiast alike. The changes are as follows:

  • 43mm Öhlins NIX30 inverted fork with spring preload, rebound, and compression damping
  • Unit Pro-Link® Öhlins shock with spring preload, rebound, and compression damping
  • Brembo front brakes with four-piston calipers and 320mm floating rotors
  • Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC tires
  • Lightweight subframe, which lowers CG
  • A new cylinder head, intake tract, and exhaust system
  • Special pistons and connecting rods
  • New riding position with new handlebars and relocated footpegs
  • A bubble windscreen
  • Solo seat cowl
  • Tri-color paint scheme

Despite all this talk of weight savings, Honda’s claimed a curb weight (with a full tank of gas) for the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP is 440.9 lbs, which is actually a pound heavier than the base model CBR1000RR. With the engine re-tooling, the Honda CBR1000RR SP is good for 178hp and 84 lbs•ft of torque, with a fatter midrange power band says Honda Europe.

That is a modest gain over the CBR1000RR’s previous 175hp figure, though we think connoisseurs will appreciate the total package that Honda has put together here, and avoid the spec sheet racing. Still it would have been nice to have been “wowed” about bit more with the SP. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed, but the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP will be in Honda dealers comes February of the new year.

*Note: the photos below are of the ABS-equipped European version. America will only be getting a non-ABS version of the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP.

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP 13 635x423

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP 14 635x332

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP 15 635x355

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP 16 635x299

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP 17 635x423

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2104 Honda CBR1000RR SP 05 635x405

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP 21 635x303

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2104 Honda CBR1000RR SP 02 635x423

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2104 Honda CBR1000RR SP 03 635x423

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2104 Honda CBR1000RR SP 10 635x847

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2104 Honda CBR1000RR SP 04 635x475

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2104 Honda CBR1000RR SP 07 635x475

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2104 Honda CBR1000RR SP 09 635x475

2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP   A Better Fireblade 2104 Honda CBR1000RR SP 11 635x847

Source: Honda


  1. sideswipeasaurus says:

    Very pretty. An SP version Honda? Wow. They should do this every year. This would have been cool edition a couple years ago. Honda left with nothing new for 2014? So, I take it they will be languishing in WSBK again.
    Wonder if that V4 will show up this time next year? If not they might as well pull out of production racing altogether.

  2. 2ndclass says:

    •Lightweight subframe, which lowers CG
    •A new cylinder head, intake tract, and exhaust system
    •Special pistons and connecting rods

    Sounds like Honda’s getting some better bits in for the EVO class next year.

  3. Gutterslob says:

    ^ I’m pretty sure the EVO class allows a change of subframe, in any case.

  4. Ian says:

    So, the “new” CBR is basically the same as the bikes I have been seeing at local track days for three years now (upgraded suspension and brake, along with various lesser improvements).

    Fancy paint jobs and bolt on upgrades aren’t going to cut it against the 1000RR, 1199, and RSV4.

    When is one of the Japanese manufacturers going to finally catch up with the Euros. God, I hope it is Yamaha that come out with a completely new R1 replacement for 2015!

  5. Anvil says:

    Nice idea for a stopgap model but I agree they didn’t do enough.

    After all the money they spend on electronics in MotoGP, how does Honda not have a decent TC system installed on this bike?

    And no ABS option for the U.S.?

  6. Faust says:

    “When is one of the Japanese manufacturers going to finally catch up with the Euros.”

    Who won the SBK championship this year? Here’s a hint, they like green. Look at the more production based series where they are limited on mods. In BSB it was down to the Honda and Kawi for the championship. In British Superstock, you basically can’t win unless you’re on a ZX10. In SSTK the Ninja finished one point out of second place. In any endurance/road racing the Japanese bikes rule. Honda dominates the TT. Manufacturers standings in world endurance racing are the Japanese big four with BMW a WAY distant 5th…. The ZX10R is a match for the Euro bikes and that’s a fact. In street trim all the 1000s offer serious performance. Just buy what you like. The stat sheets are irrelevant if you are not racing.

  7. greg says:

    for a company of Hondas reputation and size they never cease to disappoint. this release is nothin short of a joke, a six year old model tarted up cheap, shoddy and why i havent bought a honda since 2004. compared to the euros this is embarrassing

  8. proudAmerican says:

    I bought a 2010 VFR1200F (a fantastic streetbike, by the way) and love it. But, in 2012, they updated that bike with a massaged ECU for the DCT, and they added traction control. Why didn’t they just put t.c. on it when the model was brand-new? Arrrggghhh!!

    I’m very interested in this bike to replace my 2008 CBR1000RR. But, I’m not going to buy the 2014 model, and then watch Honda finally put traction control on the bike a year or two later.

    Come on Honda, nice Special, but you forgot traction control–which is quickly becoming standard-fare on literbikes.

  9. proudAmerican says:

    Crap, I just saw that we won’t be getting the ABS in the US!

    Are you phucking kidding me Honda?!?!?!

  10. TexusTim says:

    I have not seen that version of the ttx rear shock, so honda lowered the seating postion too.
    I wonder why they are making it for a smaller person ? not that im complaining about that.
    I wonder if these bits will be standard on the v4 coming mid year 2014 and I dont see a brembo mc.
    the question begs would you buy this for next years riding season or hold on a little more for the all new v4 superbike ? I wonder which one will cost more ?
    If I learned anything about first year models I would buy this first as it will be the finest version of this model made by honda I’ll let someone else test buy the first year of the v4 and see what happens.

  11. philly phil says:

    they call that a “bubble” windsheild?

  12. MikeG81 says:

    Tasty bits, nice.

  13. I’ve been on a Honda guy for a long time, and I’d take this over anything currently out there right now. I might prefer to ride an Aprilia from an aesthetic, engine feel and cutting-edge performance perspective, but I know that this bike would be a lot easier to live with as a daily rider. And for the same money I could make it out perform the Aprilia… easily.

    For those complaining about how out of date the CBR is, notice that the best riders in the world turn the fastest laps on these, over every other comparably priced Production 1 L bike. There is a reason for that, it’s called refinement and confidence inspiring.

    Until the Honda V4 (my one true love) comes out as a genuine production model, this bike would certainly satisfy all my riding needs and desires.

  14. Judge says:

    “I’ve been on a Honda guy for a long time…”

    Well hop on one of these and give him a break!

  15. TexusTim says:

    o snap no edit button to give that poor honda guy a break..bawawawawahaha.

    um theres nothing that could be done to make the current cbr out perform the aprilla rsv4 at this time. even with the full bazzaz and ohlins setup, the apriila electronics are the top of the heap right now…maybe honda will get it right with the new v4 superbike but knowing honda it wont be the full monty in the first release and it better not smoke after 2000 miles…IM STILL MADE AT THEM OVER MY FIRST 08 LITRE BIKE.. I NOW HAVE THE 12 HRC AND I LIKE IT! I know I would like this even better but I wont be pulling the pin on the v4 till the second model..LESSON LEARNED.
    ps I have done enough dyno pulls on the cbr and I have never seen one hit 170 + hp more like 155 if you have the timming advancer like the zbomb and a least a slipon, even race gas wont get it there.

  16. Poor boy TexasTim, apparently he don’t know any real tuners, or where to get REAL parts cheap either I’ll bet. How sad for him, especially considering where he works and who he works for. I won’t out him though, if he wants to stay in the closet, that’s his choice. :)

  17. L2C says:

    This thread is hilarious. :-)

  18. Norm G. says:

    ahem, i believe i am on record as saying you would be getting a warmed over blade. between the trellis kit for the 1199 and this SP blade, my accuracy rating has just crept up to 2 points to 98%. you may now call me…



  19. smiler says:

    Takes the Italians and the Swedes to make the Blade great. Fine by me.

    Wish these companies would stop with the photoshop, digitially enhanced, smoothed over “action” shots and put out some real content though.

    Could be a Blade to cherish before the inline four gets dropped.

  20. TexusTim says:

    @Aron with two As..Im self employed man so I dont know were you get that remark? and I do not know you by that name..and why are you taking shots at me when you would die for my sponsor list man and I think I know some very good tuners and without head work and cams your not getting 177 hp to the rear wheel on the honda end of story. with all the stops pulled out the most I have seen is 166 hp that was full bazzaz,exhaust and M4 race gas. the average for these bikes in street trim is right at 156..thats at the wheel sir..and thats real world….anyway this version may get close to 178 claimed but we wont know that till it gets out there in peoples hands..I wonder if the U.S. version will have the timing retarded like all the others my guess is it will or it wont pass emissions with that “hotted ” up engine.
    I agree though this could be the final version before the v4…but just like the cbrf4I and the 600RR I dont think Honda will drop the in line 4 litre bike from it’s lineup.
    NORMSTRADAMUS. hahahaha thats funny shit right there.

  21. G.Irish says:

    @Aaron B. Brown
    I went from a ’08 CBR1000RR to an RSV4 (with an 1199 inbetween). The Aprilia is no harder to live with than my CBR was. The seat is more comfortable actually.

    And the difference in MSRP is only about $2000 now. Out the door you can get a CBR for far less but the Aprilia is worth the price premium IMO, what with the TC, quickshifter, ABS, fuel maps, and launch control.

  22. Norm G. says:

    re: “Sounds like Honda’s getting some better bits in for the EVO class next year.”

    exactly, you don’t up and build 2,000 pricey V4′s for a suddenly decontented championship. a championship you haven’t been interested in for MORE than a decade, even when it was full tilt.

    this homologation path from grandprix to wsbk is PRECISELY what ezpelata’s machinations are meant to disrupt. honda’s announcement of the V4 was purely brinksmanship in the rules standoff. dorna then countered with the announcement that they had SIEZED control of production racing. doesn’t anybody remember the time line…?

  23. 2ndclass says:

    Actually I’d say WSBK heading back to it’s production bike roots would make this mythical V4 Honda more relevant than now when the bikes are able to be more extensively modified. Honda could be getting this out there to get teams on Fireblades in Superstock or WSB EVO with intent of getting them to run a V4 in 2015 when it’s all EVO.

  24. greg says:


  25. Grandprix34 says:

    I’m not a Honda fan by any stretch but thank you Honda for finally offering a bike for those who want an uncompromised sport bike. If Honda gets it why can’t the other Japanese manufacturers get it?

  26. TexusTim says:

    So I have been going to Honda’s website since this anouncment and it has updated except for the price, so here is the low down.
    the lowered seat postition is standard on all 2014 versions.
    the new head work is standard on all 2014 versions.
    the sp model will get selected rods out of batch of rods…I guess the other engines are not ballanced ? (maybe this will make the rod clatter go away?? or call it piston slap they all do it.) anyway thats the only difference in the engines.
    the sp model will have the lightned rear subframe although this may be incorrect as the pictures show the same subframe on all models right now.
    so the big difference is really the ohlins suspension and the brembo calipers…you dont get a brembo master cylinder and not sure who’s disc are on it…the nisson radial mc is pretty good so thats not bad but am surprised brembo would let them do that without there mc in the system…maybe jensen could stroll over the the sp version and confirm if it is a nisson or brembo master cylinder and maybe check the subframe against the other model too PLEASE sir? here is the press release http://www.honda.com/newsandviews/article.aspx?id=7452-en

  27. tony says:

    ok, so, #1, i like the bike- looks like mac’s tt legends bike, and that alone is worth sumpin. but i’m scared of that 95 octane rating sticker on the tank. cripes!

    #2, yes this thread is hilarious…

    #3, congrats norm, you got me laughin- i take back the shitty things i said about you before !

    ps- and those digitized, cgi’ed, airbrushed photos? really not in love…

  28. These are European photos, so that’s 95 RON, which is the same as 91 here in the USA.

  29. 2ndclass says:

    Is premium petrol hard to find in the USA?

  30. Just as hard to find as the other gasoline grades. We calculate octane ratings differently here. (R+M)/2, whereas most other countries use the RON method (the “R” in that equation).

  31. I love the smell of race fuel in the morning… smells like… victory. :)


    VP stations will let you pump 101 directly into your bike, Which I believe is 97 octane.

  32. paulus says:

    Ohlins and Brembo parts defining this as the premium model….
    Honda’s own Showa and Nissin distinctly absent.

  33. TexusTim says:

    tokico makes the calipers nissin makes the master cylinder. dont know if honda owns them or they own honda…….. oops

  34. 2ndclass says:

    @ Jensen,

    Ah ok. Always seem to see Americans whining about needing premium, a bit odd for an Australian where pretty much every servo has 98RON available (hell, Shell even used to sell 100RON)

  35. paulus says:

    Tokico is/was Hitachi owned. Honda have interests in Nissin
    The new ‘privateer’ bike is sporting them.

  36. TexusTim says:

    yea I saw that, will be interesting to hear what nicky thinks monday.