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 KTM RC390 Cup – A Glimpse of What’s to Come

07/14/2013 @ 1:21 am, by Jensen Beeler27 COMMENTS

2014 KTM RC390 Cup   A Glimpse of Whats to Come 2014 KTM RC390 race bike unveil 15 635x345

Helping cultivate road racing’s future talent, KTM has teamed up with ADAS to bring you the “ADAC Junior Cup powered by KTM” series. Along the same vein as the Red Bull Rookies Cup for MotoGP, and the European Junior Cup for World Superbike, the ADAC Junior Cup is a spec-bike series aimed at developing young riders — good stuff, but not exactly a new concept.

What is exciting though is the “powered by KTM” part because zie Austrians have basically just unwrapped their new small-displacment street bike that is based off the KTM 390 Duke, you know it as the KTM RC390, and for the ADAC series, we know it as the 2014 KTM RC390 Cup Racer. Missing only a headlight, signals, and a license plate, the cup race bike is essentially what KTM will debut at EICMA in a few months’ time. We like.

Making a modest 37.5 hp from its 373.2cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, the KTM RC390 isn’t exactly blowing the doors off the competition in the horsepower department (the Kawasaki Ninja 300 makes nigh 40hp in stock form), though it is positively anorexic with its 286 lbs claimed curb weight figure (sans gas).

“We developed a pure GP racing machine for the Moto3 World Championship. In contrast, the RC 390 Cup is based on a series model project,” says KTM CEO Stefan Pierer. “Both of these two projects were given the highest priority because the development of lower displacement, high quality street bikes are among our core activities. The new KTM RC 390, which will be available for sale in 2014 will meet a big demand for affordable, quality sport bikes for the lower displacement class.”

“Since 1993, ADAC has achieved a great deal with excellent work with up-and-coming riders in the Junior Cup,” added Pierer. “The promotion and support of young talent is also a very important aspect for KTM. We are happy to put a lot of energy into this because we actively engage in the promotion of young riders both in off-road sports and on asphalt. We are honestly thrilled that we will be able to support the ADAC Junior Cup as the KTM 390 Cup with all KTM bikes. Also because with ADAC we have a committed, reliable and strong partner in which everyone involved is a professional.”

2014 KTM RC390 Cup   A Glimpse of Whats to Come 2014 KTM RC390 race bike unveil 12 635x541

2014 KTM RC390 Cup   A Glimpse of Whats to Come 2014 KTM RC390 race bike unveil 13 635x512

2014 KTM RC390 Cup   A Glimpse of Whats to Come 2014 KTM RC390 race bike unveil 14 635x346

2014 KTM RC390 Cup   A Glimpse of Whats to Come 2014 KTM RC390 race bike unveil 16 635x989

2014 KTM RC390 Cup Race Bike Technical Specifications:

Engine typesingle-cylinder, four-stroke
Displacement373.2 cc
Power38 PS (37.48 hp)
Fuel SystemBosch EFI (throttle valve 46 mm)
Control4 V / DOHC
Engine LubricationWet sump system
Cooling systemLiquid
ClutchMechanical multi-disc clutch in oil bath
Engine managementBosch EMS
FrameSteel tube frame, powder coated
Front suspensionWP-USD Ø 43 mm
Rear suspensionWP-Monoshock
Brake system frontFour-piston brake caliper, radially symmetric sealed-off rim brake, brake disc Ø 300 mm
Rear brakeSingle-piston brake caliper, floating caliper brake, brake disc Ø 230 mm
Wheels front / rearCast aluminum wheels 3.00 x 17 “, 4.00 x 17″
Front / rear tires110/70 ZR 17, 150/60 ZR 17
SilencersAkrapovic titanium silencer with regulated catalytic converter
Steering head angle66.5 °
Wheelbase1340 + / -15 mm
Seat Height850 mm (33.5 inches)
Fuel tank capacity9.5 liters (2.51 gallons)
Weight130 kg (286.6 lbs.)

Source: KTM & ADAC; Photos: KTM


  1. Prasenjit says:

    This is a fabulous designed machine.
    Don’t know why they have detuned the power though.
    Looking forward to the RC 390 at Milan.

  2. ted says:

    Until I see a 390 on the showroom floor KTM can suck lemons… KTM talks a big game but their outreach to street riders in N. America is a joke.

  3. BBQdog says:

    Just ordered one :-)

  4. TLee says:

    As much as I wish, I don’t see this exact bike being sold here. It’s going to be severally watered down. Even with the addition lights and plate holder. But I’m waiting to be provened wrong.

  5. BBQdog says:

    Why watered down ?? Cup bikes like these are highly based on street machines to keep them affordable.
    So I don’t see it much watered down. Would like to know what the street version will weight.
    I would have expected such a bike from Aprilia but they seem to have been sleeping.

  6. Westward says:

    If the Kawasaki Ninja 300cc gets 40 ponies, why doesn’t this get closer to 50 ?

    I guess that’s for the crew chief dad to tweak it out of it…

  7. BBQdog says:

    The Kawa is a twin, this is a single cylinder. And the Kawa is a fat cow compared to this.

  8. TheSeaward says:

    I’d rather have the low weight and nice suspension than a screaming engine.

  9. coreyvwc says:

    That will be one hell of a trackday weapon in the right hands!

  10. Halfie30 says:

    I really hope this happens, and is affordable. If they can hit around the $6,500 mark I’m in.

  11. Norm G. says:

    hey audi, I dare you to look at this kit and tell me your neighbors to the south don’t know the value of a full trellis…? :) there’s enough tubing here for 2 desmos with some left over to build a push bike for spies. LOL

  12. jackie says:

    Cant wait. Looks like a fun little scalpel of a bike.

  13. ADG says:

    Yeah, the sub-frame looks a little over-kill.

    This would be real nice with a 690 shoved in it.

  14. JoeD says:

    HP is RPM controlled. A twin will rev higher than a same size single. Assume both have the same torque, the twin will “make” more HP because of math. HP=Tq X RPM/5252. Geared long and tall. a torquer wins with manners for me coming off the apex and “putin’ the spurs to her”.

  15. JoeD says:

    Oh, and ask Peter Williams about “adding lightness” along with “a solid connection from steering head to swingarm”.

  16. TheSwede says:

    If the road bike looks anything like this I’m so down to get one

  17. MikeD says:

    I’m glad for those people that want something like this. The specs look pretty decent, nothing to write a book about but not bad at all.
    I think getting 37hp out of 370cc is nothing to scoff about…you could always squeeze more out of it but then what about longevity and reliability ? Even more so on the “future street version”.

    @Norm G: ROTFLMAO.

    @ADG: On this race bike ? Absolutely over-built. On the street version ? Looks right.
    I do find that Akra canister more out of place (disproportionate) than anything else, like something taken from a Concours 14 or K1300S. It would have looked better with an under belly a la RC8.

  18. Mitch says:

    Yeah, the Duke 390′s underbelly exhaust looks better than this thing, however we must remember that Euro5 emissions and sound standards are so tight that bike makers are having trouble including all the space they need in the exhaust. The size of this can probably means the cat and muffler are all one piece (versus many sportbikes that seperate the two, modern 600RR, S1000RR, R6, 675, etc.)

  19. paulus says:

    Great looking cup bike.
    KTM know how to build a tractable motor… their EXC engines pull like trains.
    It looks like the subframe is a solid weldment to the frame… expensive to replace in the inevitable crashes of racing.
    Other than that… it’s all good!

  20. MikeD says:


    It does seem to have a box (pre-muffler ? Catalytic converter ? Both ?) in front of the rear tire.
    Maybe the muffler is just being a muffler and nothing else ? /(o_O)\ Go figure.

  21. TexusTim says:

    ever since the kawi 300 came out I have been wondering what is going to happen to the 250 class in club racing, this makes me wonder even more my guess is that the displacment, piston configuration will have to change in light of the 250s giving way to larger displacment bikes..wonder what honda is going to do? there 250 is only 2 years old, but to me a 350 4 srtoke twin with nikosill treated cylinders would be perfect that would keep it narrow,light and high reving.

  22. BBQdog says:

    Seat is a bit high at 85 cm …..

  23. RJ says:

    That really should have been a detachable subframe. This wont crash well, and they will be crashing a butt load of these things…. A lot.

    Would have much prefered a true Moto3 replica…

  24. Hi-Res photos now added to the article.

  25. Jk says:

    I want a moto3 replica with cheaper parts as in built to price. We have a new road track in New Orleans and this would be a starter bike. I was hopeful but this is just a duke with clip ons and different plastic. I don’t want a street bike that I have to convert to a track bike. I’m new to this but who builds track bikes in the 250 spec class in the USA for under 10k?

  26. BBQdog says:

    @Jensen: thnx for high res picts. This bike has my interrest.

  27. BBQdog says:

    I don’t like the handlebars fixed in the same way as on the Kawa Ninja 250 and the CBR 250 R.
    Would prefer clip-on’s.