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 Kawasaki Z1000 Debuting at EICMA

10/01/2013 @ 2:44 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

2014 Kawasaki Z1000 Debuting at EICMA 2014 kawasaki z1000 teaser 635x423

With the KTM Super Duke 1290 R debuting today, and BMW Motorrad set to show its BMW S1000RR-based streetfighter in a couple weeks, we get news that Kawasaki will be upping its game in the street-naked category as well — debuting an all new 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 at the 2013 EICMA show in Milan, Italy.

Teasing the bike for the past few weeks, this is the first news confirming the date and model in question from Kawasaki. Big Green isn’t talking specs at this point in time, but instead is using the Japanese word sugomi — “the intense aura or energy given off by a person or object of greatness and felt by the viewer” – to pitch the new Z1000.

With the liter-bike streetfighter segment pushing 165+ hp on new models, it will be interesting if Kawasaki’s “emotion and feel” pitch works on buyers. In our opinions, anything over 150hp just silly on a street bike, but street-naked owners are victim to the same spec-sheet racing forces that drive the the superbike market’s quest for more peak horsepower.

We assume the new Kawasaki Z1000 won’t quite have the same jaw-dropping horsepower figures that are found on the 2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R, 2014 KTM Super Duke R, or 2014 BMW S1000R, but Kawasaki could really bring a potent package with a budget price tag to fruition here, which could really get the attention of riders who commute during the week and canyon carve on the weekend. We’re certainly excited.

Source: Kawasaki



  1. Anvil says:

    Oh, no.

    That silhouette looks mutant.

    I’m worried.

  2. meatspin says:

    yeah, I dont get these new tank lines. I see a similar silhouette on the new 1290 KTM as well. It reminds me of a cats arched back.

  3. “the intense aura or energy given off by a person or object of greatness and felt by the viewer”

    That’s an interesting translation. Certainly not one with which I’m familiar. 凄み typically translates to mean “intimidating” or “having appalling force”. Curious. Either way, though, sugomi seems applicable. :)

  4. Nick N says:

    Slow bikes are more fun to ride fast, even on the track. This, the 1290 duke, I don’t get it. Why buy these, to compensate for erectile dysfunction? On what public road can you use 150+ HP? On what track will those speeds be fun on a naked bike? The industry moves upward and onward, but not forward.

  5. paulus - thailand says:

    “In our opinions, anything over 150hp just silly on a street bike”

    Manufacturers continue to miss the point. Torque is the important number on a naked and/or street bike.
    They should be chasing torque.
    Big torque… starting as low down the range as possible :)

    B-King – 96.5 ft lbs of torque@ 7000 – rides like a pussy cat from tick over, if you want to.
    Z1 (current) – 81 ft lbs @ 7800 – less go, at higher revs
    Tuono V4 – 82.2 ft-lb 9.500 rpm – high and impractical road revs

  6. Anvil says:

    Yeah, I know a lot of people are getting all hot and bothered over the KTM, but I don’t really get it. The law of diminishing returns applies here.

    I don’t really see the use of a 1300cc, 150+rwhp street bike, especially a naked bike. I downsized to a middleweight years ago because I just have no use for all that power on the street where I live. It was starting to get very frustrating and boring. Middleweights are even overkill.

    I think you can also overdo torque. I also don’t need or want a bike that will break the rear wheel loose at the slightest provocation. Give me a bike with a good balance between torque and revs and I’m happy. Just make it light and make it handle like a scalpel. That’s where the real fun is.

  7. Too fast says:

    Menuda copia del lanzamiento de la Superduke 1290…la foto en la oscuridad, el video derrapando…qué poco originales…

  8. MikeD says:


    I’m going to wait for the whole picture before i “roast it” . . . lol.

    So far it looks like a magnificent candidate for the “hot seat”.

    Dang thing looks already like it has some form of tumor growing full steam.

    Reminds of this this togheter with the SD1290R:


    I bet it’ll have tons of plastics for what it should really wear. (-_-)’

  9. Phil K says:

    Whats with all the poo pooing Of big hp and performance. I’m lovin it. Add in all the electronics and this Power level works Great. I’m coming off a cbr1100xx and I felt like it needed more power. I say bring it on. People said the same thing When Bikes cracked 100hp then 125hp. Blah Blah Blah. Now those bikes are considered under powered. You Sound like a bunch of little girls.

  10. MikeD says:

    @Phil K.

    Pay no mind to it. They (the HP shunning tribe) , just like each of us, have a right to voice their opinions. Read on with lots of salt. I find it funny because if anyone really spent some time looking around would realize there’s plenty of modern “under powered” good looking motorcycles to choose from . . . with more on the way, I HOPE.

    Good thing there’s always that ZX-14, Hayabusa, K1300S, VMAX 1700 or C14 to fix your HP fix.

  11. Ross W says:

    I would love to get a few more ponies out of the current (2010+) ZR1000. However, the biggest up-grade a bike like that would benefit from is a taller 6th gear. The few times I’ve stretched the legs on my 2010, I wished for a little taller 6th. 100mph is a lot funner when your not at 10k rpm!