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.

Leaked Photo of the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000

10/25/2013 @ 10:58 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Leaked Photo of the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 kawasaki z1000 leak 635x400

We know that Kawasaki plans to update the Z1000 for the 2014 model year, and it looks like our friends at Oliepeil have gotten their hands on one of the first clear photos of the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000.

Obvious from the photo is the new Z1000′s aggressive bodywork, with the headlight getting a significant reworking from the Decepticon department. Mechanically, the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 looks fairly similar to the 2013 model though, with the signature exhaust pipes keeping their shape for next year.

What will concern most buyers will be what is underneath the hood of the new Z1000, and from our eyes it looks like the same 1,043cc inline-four engine from previous generations, as the engine case covers appear to be identical to last year’s, just sans painting. The frame too appears to have gone unchanged, another sign that the motor remains the same.

With speculation rife that the Z1000 could get a proper update with a lump from the ZX-10R, this news is a bit of disappointment. Full details on the Kawasaki Z1000 will drop in a couple weeks’ time, at the EICMA show in Milan.

Source: Oliepeil


  1. Ganny says:

    This looks like a Monster that could eat ‘The Beast’

  2. Ganny says:

    Only looks

  3. johnnymac says:

    Terrible. And NOT a KTM Beast eater.

  4. Ton Up Jax says:

    Horrible. Truly horrible. Did I mention it is horrifically horrible.

  5. Coreyvwc says:

    Born on a Japanese space station, fell back down to earth, crash landed in the magical ugly tree, and struck every branch on the way down. And everyone lived happily ever after because not a single one was ever sold…

  6. Paul McM says:

    Why, why, why are the Japanese still using stylists that are producing such monuments to the god of ugliness. Nobody likes these insect bikes — not even the 20-something GSXR fanbois.

  7. Anvil says:

    What the…?

    I have nothing to add.

  8. Mike says:

    April fool! Oh, um, wait…

  9. ryu says:

    o yea the front was inspired from the last lord of the ring movie didn’t it

  10. jet says:

    That’s it,I’m selling the Duc for one of these…….lol

  11. jo says:

    Are you serious? I agree…what the …. is going on with these headlights? Can’t we just get a nice ROUND headlight! Next it will be on top of the front fender…..i don’t get it.

  12. AntiHero says:

    Nice to see Chris Bangle working his magic on motorcycles now.

  13. k1200Rider says:

    thankyou kawasaki for making this fugly bike.. now i wont be tempted to buy one for sure…

    whatever happens please keep those crazy designers away from the zx1000!!

  14. paulus says:

    this style of light seems to be the new standard for nakeds… shame, it sucks!

  15. Punchc says:

    Its hard to believe that bikes could get any uglier ….. but hats off to Kawasaki, they are making a good go of it. FooknFugly

  16. MFNPNCH says:

    Looks like Kawi is making a feeble attempt to follow custom streetfighter “trends” with that horrendous excuse for what appears to be the headlight. Unfortunately what they apparently failed to learn in their research is that those awful, alien-looking Acerbis headlights are not put on fighters because they look good. They are used because they are cheap, in every conceivable way! (Much like the demographic they are trying to cater to) Its kind of a bass-akwards business strategy if you ask me.

    Still, there is a pretty good likelihood that that “spy-photo” is a photochop to through us all off. You cant believe everything you read on the interwebs. I reserve judgement until I see the production bike officially released. Holding out hope for a bad-ass beast eater! I particularly like the current Z1000.

  17. avsatishchandra says:

    I really hope this is some prankster circulating this picture. Kawasaki are known to produce the most emotionally evocative motorcycles from among all the Japanese brands. At this rate, the only emotions that they will evoke are disgust and disbelief. If they want to close down their motorcycle division, a more dignified way would be to just tell everybody that they have decided to close down, instead of taking this rather complicated route. I really hope that this is a hoax, otherwise Kawasaki will lose a loyal fan of more than 2o years.

  18. avsatishchandra says:

    Whoa 1000cc. Easy does it boy. Relax, have a cigar and a beer.