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 CBR650F — More of a Good Thing

11/08/2013 @ 1:15 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

2014 Honda CBR650F    More of a Good Thing 2014 Honda CBR650F 10 635x423

We didn’t get the Honda CBR600F here in the States, so it seems unlikely that we will get that bike’s successor, the 2014 Honda CBR650F. Taking the popular road bike platform, and slapping an obvious 50cc of additional engine displacement, Honda’s mantra for 2014 is clear: more is better.

We already saw that the Honda CBR300R added 37cc to Big Red’s baby CBR, and the Japanese OEM has done a similar treatments with its new NC750 platform as well. As they say, there is no replacement for displacement, but the 2014 Honda CBR650F is more than just a re-worked street bike — it is a brand new machine from the wheels up.

Sharing the same platform as the 2014 Honda CB650F, the Honda CBR650F features an all-new 649cc inline-four engine, that Honda says has been engineered to deliver high torque in the low-to-mid rpm range, especially below 4,000 rpm. Picking an engineering staff that is mostly in its 20′s to develop this machine, Honda hopes that the new CBR650F will appeal to younger buyers.

Honda says that steel twin-spar frame for the CBR650F has a tuned rigidity balance along with cast pivot plates and aluminum swingarm — i.e. the Honda CBR650F is much stiffer around the headstock and more flexible in the spar sections .

A bit cheap in its Showa suspension components, Honda is making its dual-channel ABS standard with its Nissin braking package, and one can’t argue with the near 60 mpg that is being quoted.

With peak power is 86hp at 11,000, peak torque comes in at 46 lbs•ft at 8,000 rpm. That power will be needed, a sthe 2014 Honda CBR650F isn’t the lightest bike on the market, tipping the scales at 465 lbs at the curb.

We expect the 2014 Honda CBR650F to be aggressive pricing though, which means that the Honda CBR650F is cheap and well put-together machine that looks great — new riders should be intrigued.

2014 Honda CBR650F    More of a Good Thing 2014 Honda CBR650F 03 635x475

2014 Honda CBR650F    More of a Good Thing 2014 Honda CBR650F 12 635x847

2014 Honda CBR650F    More of a Good Thing 2014 Honda CBR650F 01 635x423

2014 Honda CBR650F    More of a Good Thing 2014 Honda CBR650F 02 635x423

2014 Honda CBR650F    More of a Good Thing 2014 Honda CBR650F 11 635x423

Source: Honda


  1. Jimbo says:

    Only 86bhp??? The current 600 Hornet honda make has 97. And that is being replaced by the non faired version of this – why the power downgrade?

  2. Jan says:

    @Jimbo: Probably less hp for more mpg.

    Does the current hornet 600 also have 60MPG?

  3. Leo says:

    Is this a Honda Katana????? Or a Honda Scion…”Honda hopes that the new CBR650F will appeal to younger buyers.” …

    Either way its booooooring.

  4. jimmy smith jr says:

    Whoa…this is almost an exact replica of the current Yam FZ6R. Compare them from the front and side view. Wish I could post a pick in here.

  5. Sentinel says:

    @ “Jimbo”, perhaps when we get to see a comparison of the actual power curves and peak torque values from some dyno graphs we my find that things have been enhanced and shifted further down the rev-range a bit to offer a better spread of more “usable” and readily accessible power. Personally I’d bet that’s the case.

  6. JoeD says:

    The US market is dying and Honda is marketing for other areas. It would not surprise me to see the model lineup severely cut for all Asian manufacturers if ’14 numbers stay flat. The 60′ and 70′s were the heyday here.

  7. I like it. Nice lines, a decent-looking seating position and better exhaust treatment than the Yamaha FZ6R. I’ll be curious to have a seat on one of these.

  8. Anvil says:

    This bike is much better looking than most of the other sporty models that Honda has come up with recently.

    465 lbs. is a bit higher than I hoped it would be, but it’s the curb weight, so not bad.

    I’d like to see a bit more power, but it doesn’t need a load of hp if the torque is spread nicely.

    The suspension is a little wanting. The brakes may or may not be decent. Hard to say.

    It looks like it would be a really nice do-it-all sport bike that would work pretty well as a small tourer, too. The ergos seem just right and the seat looks slim but well proportioned and padded. It even has a top box as an accessory.

  9. Norm G. says:

    I don’t care how much HP this has (or hasn’t), this is a DAMN good looking bike. that swingarm would like at home on an 899. these aren’t the kind of comments one has been able to say about Honda in more than a decade…?

  10. MikeD says:

    I see nothing but good things here.
    They should try selling this on the USA. At least it comes with plenty of plastic (is a fact most of don’t care for nakeds on the USA).
    At 465 lbs she’s a bit on the Porky side but Ehhh, it could be worse. If weight is properly managed and positioned it won’t hurt the overall experience.
    Standard ABS ? Cool. Almost 60 mpg ? Cool. It’s got the looks, now let’s see about the Price.
    The only thing i don’t like about these small I4s is you have to REV it to the Moon.
    Torque 8k, Hp 11K . . . better than the Supersports but still pretty high . . . but i guess some things can’t be helped (Nature of the Beast ?). LOL.

  11. Kevin White says:

    Like it. I ride an FZ6R. It’s a great bike for a variety of purposes, and better (in my opinion) in every way than the ’05 ZZR600 I owned in the past.

    One notable difference is this has clip-ons, where the FZ6R features a handlebar (which I’ve rotated a bit on mine). Curb weights are almost identical (FZ6R 2 pounds heavier). This should have a bit more torque and around 20% more rwHP than the FZ6R. It would be interesting to see the first dynojet readings and compare them to the FZ6R’s, along with a comparison of gear ratios and final gearing.

    Alas, probably not coming here…

  12. Anvil says:

    Anybody notice the grip that’s integrated into the frame spar? Very nice touch.

    Shame these won’t be coming here. I’d seriously consider one as a light tourer and maybe throw a few bucks at the suspension. Sounds like the price will reasonable and I could easily justify adding one to the stable.

  13. twoversion says:

    the best thing about this bike is the design cues that will likely translate into future models ala the CBR600rr – LED lighting, simplified and less prone windshield, multispoke wheels, mono headlight again less prone during a crash, simplified fairings – under body exhaust – etc