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.

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200

10/27/2013 @ 1:40 am, by Jensen Beeler34 COMMENTS

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC125 black 02

If it is connected by a series of tubes, we will find it; and thus here are photos of the still unreleased KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 street bikes — the kid-siblings to the recently leaked KTM RC390. Like the RC390, the RC125 & RC200 are visually similar, and share a common vein in their Made-in-India single-cylinder engines.

No word on specs, but we foresee the 125cc and 200cc iterations sharing similar technical listings as their Duke counterparts. We should know more at EICMA, where all three of these street bikes are expect to debut. More photos after the jump.

As we can see from the leaked photos, KTM has a variety of fetching color schemes available for the three models, though we have to say that we enjoy the race livery the most (we think we would forgo the Akrapovic exhaust though, and rock the stock underslung unit instead).

All the models are pillion ready, though look best with the solo-cowl on them. If long distances on a small-displacement machine are your thing, KTM has even included a tail travel bag in its power parts catalog.

Price will be key with the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200, though we think the Austrian brand’s partnership with Bajaj should help in that regard, not to mention the boat-load of units KTM stands to sell in India and Southeast Asia. Volume is king. Hail to the King baby.

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC390 detail 05

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC390 white 02

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 ktm rc390 635x457

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC125 black 01

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC125 black 03

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC200 black 07

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC200 black 10

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC200 travel 01

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC200 travel 02

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC390 black orange 01

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC390 black orange 02

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC390 race 01

First Photos of the KTM RC125 & KTM RC200 2014 KTM RC390 race 02

Source: Bothan Spies


  1. BBQdog says:

    Deeply disappointed by the front. And surfing the internet I don’t seem to
    be the only one. Seemed they changed it at the last moment.
    I hoped it would have been as on this prototype:


  2. Yeah, I feel like I’ve seen this headlight before…and didn’t go over well the first time.


  3. monkeyfumi says:

    They could have just made it look like the moto3 bike, and it would have been beautiful.
    Instead, they give us this, and it’s bag-of-dicks ugly.

  4. Lovard says:

    I thought this and the RC390 looked amazing before BBQdog’s post which showed how much better the front could have looked…. Could they not get the prototype headlight to work well? did it cost too much? it just doesn’t make sense, unless these leaks are intended to create a controversy ahead of the real release which’ll look just like the prototype.

    BTW, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen those headlights on a 50cc Yamaha scooter from a few years ago?

    I do like the idea of a tailpack option designed to suit, not necessarily for touring rather commuting, I just dislike wearing a backpack on the bike, but so many tailpacks just don’t seem to work well on specific bikes. Having a GPS mount does indicate KTM think it’s capable of touring..
    The indicators are well done into the mirrors too.

    Looks like some of the picks show an accessory rider seat, but no pics with the pillion seat, same with the 390 pics?

  5. BBQdog says:

    >> ….unless these leaks are intended to create a controversy ahead of the real release which’ll look just like the prototype.

    I REALLY hope so. I intended to buy this bike but KTM doesn’t make is easy with the added weight (compared with the Duke 390), the headlight and the transparent plastic front.

  6. RL says:

    I’m pretty sure the headlight design was inspired by Crow from Mystery Science Theater 3000.

  7. RL says:

    I’m pretty sure the headlight design was inspired by Crow on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

  8. TheSeaward says:

    I’m fine with budget headlights and the like but the supposedly integrated subframe is worrisome.

  9. Mxs says:

    Absolutely stunning best looking bikes in a long time. Throw a low price on the top and you have a winning formula. I donq’t think Ktm has to worry about your comments regarding headlight or a frame.

  10. TheSeaward says:

    I’ll probably buy a 390 regardless of the uni-frame, but it would be nice if it was detachable to make it cheaper and easier to repair after a crash. Personally if it reviews as well as I hope it will there will be one in my garage for track only duty.

  11. SBPilot says:

    Um….this looks so strange. Dual sport ADV front end on a sport bike. What the hell were they thinking it looks hideous.

  12. Nick N says:

    Hideous headlights!

  13. TexusTim says:

    I just dont get all the wierd displacments…125 I get that but 200 and then 390 ?…what gives ? isnt 125,300,600,1000cc were its all going in class racing ? most why make these displacmenst in between?

  14. Stop thinking like an American.

  15. I much prefer the look with the Akrapovic can. It looks like a ‘real bike’. (Yeah, old-school dinosaur here. No apologies for that.) :)

  16. Justus says:

    The “prototype” image linked to by BBQdog is not a prototype at all, that was just a photoshop mockup done by a fan using an image of the race bike and a headlight from the RC8. I doubt this bike was ever going to look like that.

    I really don’t mind this look at all.

  17. Looter says:

    The headlights are a miss but the rest of the bike is a hit. Still won’t deter me from adding one to the stable.

  18. Jaybond says:

    Why can’t Ducati make something like this?

  19. “Why can’t Ducati make something like this?”

    I think it’s more a case of won’t than can’t.

  20. Some_people_call_me Maurice' says:

    Funny I thought the same thing about Ducati when I see their new 1201 project
    I thought big deal another of the same or maybe yet another limited edition to be parked in some rich guys collection?

    Nah KTM is doing it & other should have been doing it for awhile now. Get back to some root level fun twisty road bikes.

    Something affordable but done right with decent suspension/brakes & low weight.
    Add a decent HP level & get a good power to weight level & let the grins begin

    That is what it was always about. Sure the liter bikes are great & I enjoyed mine.
    But not as much as my 600 & the 600 not as much as the 250/125 race bikes I have owned.

    You can get a lot of fun out of these & corner speed is as good or better than the bigger bikes.
    Economical to ride … find some tight twisty mountain roads …so much fun there.

    Kawasaki has been knocking on the door for years but just cannot take the final step to a better frame/suspension
    Honda? Forget it they have completely lost the plot & now build sensible commuters in this size range trying instead to keep the sales on the costly stuff up.

    So go ahead KTM fill that void. Ducati? a nice 400 will sell if your interested.
    Kawasaki give the ninja 300 some legs in front & better brakes, Honda?? Come on man you folks use to rule this class on the streets I know you still do on many tracks or will again next year in Moto3
    But KTM waxed you in Moto3 now they do the same on the streets get with it.

  21. MikeD says:

    IF i hear ANYONE complaint about the LACK of SMALL Motorcycles available on the market i swear i’m going to CHOKE A BITCH. (+_+)

    As of now, even if we only get the 390 version i think it will be a huge positive step towards smaller YET more capable, somewhat affordable bikes.

    Thanks KTM, on behalf of the others because personally i have no use for a sport bike, big or small (roads here are all flat and straight).

    DANG IT JENSEN, u beat me to it with the Bimota look alike headlites comment. LOL. I say is not the prettiest front end solution they could have slapped on it but i could live with it.

  22. BBQdog says:

    @Trane Francks: Why can’t Ducati make something like this?”

    And what about Aprilia ?? They once started with building bikes in the small segment.
    RS 125 and RS 250. Remember ??

    I hope KTM has woken up other manufacturers and we get a nice competition.
    Ducati promised us a street SuperMono 20 years ago. Gilera tested their aluminium
    framed Saturno Piuma 40.000 km on the street. We didn’t see them.

  23. @BBQdog: “I hope KTM has woken up other manufacturers and we get a nice competition.”

    Agreed. To date, my old ’79 RD400F Daytona Special has been my favourite ride. I would love to find something as light, nimble and giggle-inspiring as that old RD. Every ride with that thing was EPIC.

  24. Javed says:

    Any idea about pricing in India of RC390 ?

  25. Mike says:

    Javed says:
    “Any idea about pricing in India of RC390 ?”

    Quite cheap actually & cheaper than a Ninja 300 there.
    They run roughly 215,000 + 6000 register in Rupees
    or $3810.USD

  26. Great work Jensen! Kudos!

    KTM is really making motorcycles the way Market needs em.

    As for the pricing, BAJAJ will ensure the price is bare minimum.

    Heck, I’m now left to ponder and chose between 390 DUKE, RC 390 & GT 650 R.
    The RC 390 seems will win.
    My brother will be getting a 200 DUKE for his birthday. So, an RC or GT would be a good buy •_•

  27. mak lampir says:

    from the front view, its look very very ugly..

    but from other side, left, right& above view, its look very nice, compare to cbr 250 and others

  28. Jaybond says:

    “And what about Aprilia ?? They once started with building bikes in the small segment.
    RS 125 and RS 250. Remember ??”

    Actually, Aprilia already produced the RS4 125 , but they should start building bigger variants maybe RS4 250 or RS4 500. And one more thing, Piaggio Group should also look into introducing a proper entry level sportbike for the Gilera brand worldwide. This brand has some great racing heritage (more recently 250cc GP) but sad to see they are just building scooters these days. Gilera brand certainly has the potential and should be given the chance to produce at least entry level sportbike models.

  29. Paul McM says:

    Do I detect KTM allowing some continuous curves in that fairing, and a bit of roundness on the sides/back of the tank? I like that. It would be nice to see a 1000cc KTM that doesn’t look like an origami project. I wonder what these small-displacement RCs will sell for…

  30. Team Ramrod says:

    I felt compelled to leave my first comment ever to show my appreciation for opening with a Ted Stevens joke and closing with Army Of Darkness.

    Well done.

  31. KTM says:

    An other sad proof from KTM design dep faling appart as KTM hiself.
    The design is old not fresh, legendary very low level graphic is killing all the good form on the sides but all in all it looks like GSXR from the 90ties and ZX10 cheap copy. It just just very sad and started from the new EXC series which where just shocking as new Adventure, new rally etc. Looking new steps from Japan it’s difficult to see how they will continue if the level ain’t going to rise right now. Technically are some models are just massively behind the industry standard specially on open race bikes segment. Year by year using not tested products in production and ready to race is just a big laugh if the engines can not be taken out from the frames even without taking the whole thing apart till swing ain’t acceptable. Race dep is guiding the whole company away from the real work, dealers are leaving, constant situation is where seasons will be cut away as you can’t get the parts even during the season basically. This company really needs more leadership and less party and better hiring system to reach to the real people who actually know what they are doing. Children ain’t going to make anything usable in this industry.

  32. Jaybond says:

    ” from the front view, its look very very ugly..”

    This is also the same case with the BMW S1000RR but it still sells well!

  33. I’d like to have RC390 chassis with a 450cc two stroke engine in it.

  34. paulus says:

    I can’t understand any of those comments.
    I run every week with guys with 390EXC’s. Engine is strong and no spare parts issues.

    The EXC is a strong and stable engine platform. I have a 2013 model 500EXC 6-day, which I imported new. I can get spares online (with a little creative magic), the bike has a hard life and is reliable and needs absolutely no money spent to take it to race level. It truly is ‘ready to race’.

    I hear comments about KTM’s and how unreliable they are from non-owners. The models from a few generations ago had some issues, but KTM has been strong for at least the last 2-3 generations of EXC models.

    To prove a point I have ridden my brand new 500EXC hard. I change oil and filters, but that is it. Every ride, when the engine is hottest, I take out the kickstart and kick it. It starts within 2 kicks… no need to check the valves.
    It is now at over 250 hours, it is still on the original clutch. So far it has just needed rear wheel bearings and the usual consumables (brake pads, chains and sprockets). I will rebuild it over Christmas… because it deserves it… then it will be good for at least another year. I will then buy the 2015 model KTM/Husqvarna, because they have proven how good and tough they are.

    KTM know what they are doing when they build models they know will take abuse.