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 Motus MST Sport-Tourer Launching at Laguna Seca

07/12/2013 @ 6:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler37 COMMENTS

2014 Motus MST Sport Tourer Launching at Laguna Seca motus mst production 05 635x407

It was two years ago that I first caught glimpse of the Motus MST at Laguna Seca (actually, I missed seeing the prototype machine at the track, and had to ambush the Motus crew at Alice’s Restaurant the next day), but now the American motorcycle upstart is ready to debut its production sport-tourer.

As Motus Motorcycles CEO Lee Conn attests to in the company’s teaser video (below), it has been a long road for Motus to get to this point. Dropping gasoline direct injection (GDI) for port fuel injection on it proprietary 1,650cc V4 engine (which is available too as a crate motor), Motus has also struggled to find dealers out west, and meet its time-to-market goals.

That all seems to be behind the Motus team now, as they gear up to debut their $30,975 in front of California’s MotoGP race weekend crowd. Putting a capital “S” in sport-tourer, Motus hopes that the 165hp MST or 185hp MST-R ($36,975) will be ample fun for any rider on a curvy road, whether they are hitting the corners hard for recreation, or putting down the long lonely miles during a country tour.

Asphalt & Rubber will be on-hand the Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca (natch) to see the MST launch, and Lee…you know I’ll be bugging you for a ride on the MST, right?

Photos of the 2014 Motus MST & Motus MST-R:

Source: Motus Motorcycles

Comment:

  1. wayne says:

    That bike is absolutely stunning, but $36K worth of stunning? Probably not.

  2. Faust says:

    I think it looks cool, and if anyone wants to buy one, that would be awesome. Over 36k for the 185 hp one though? A sporty tourer? For that money you could buy a Multistrada for touring and a Panigale for hitting the corners, and do both better. That’s a ton of money.

  3. TexusTim says:

    wow 40 k for a sport touring bike…I call that a tubular pipe dream..lots of pipes and tubes and there dreaming on the price tag k tech motor or not no one is going to pay that much for a bike with half a v8 engine and side pipes especially in this economy…were is the lower fairing ?..lol reminds me of the kawi gpz of the 80s

  4. Mr.X says:

    American-made engine, chassis, and most of the motorcycle- a truly impressive feat.
    Seriously, this is so difficult to do ans their persistence in making it to where they are now cannot be overstated. The endless obstacles absolutely suck.

    If the motorcycle is good they deserve sales and success.

    Of course, as Clint Eastwood said in The Unforgiven, “Deserve’s got nothing’ to do with it.” And then he shot Gene Hackman in the face.

  5. bemer2six says:

    A butt ugly bike built for rich old men… thanks but no thanks. I wish them the best of luck tho.

  6. Mr.X says:

    That could have been punctuated better.

  7. JoeD says:

    I like it without the trunk. It has the look of rightness that is elusive. OK, I’m biased with a Guzzi Café Sport V11 in the harem. Price is up there but this IS a new and exclusive thing. Chevy is not Ferrari but the pistons come from NAPA regardless. If it has the owner friendly maintenance of say Guzzi or Benelli, then I’ll take it.

  8. RBS says:

    Honda offers the very similar ST1300, with extras such as an aluminum frame, ABS, and shaft drive, for less than half the price:
    http://powersports.honda.com/2012/st1300.aspx
    Sure, it makes a good deal less horsepower (but at 125HP the ST isn’t at all a slug), but for the amount of money saved you can also purchase a 600cc repli-racer.

    Or, also for about half the price of a Motus, you can purchase a six cylinder BMW K1600GT:
    http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/us/en/index.html?content=http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/us/en/bike/tour/k1600gt/k1600gt_overview.html

    If I wanted a high-performance sport tourer I’d be much more inclined to purchase a Triumph Speed Triple for about $13,000:
    http://www.triumphmotorcycles.com/motorcycles/range/roadsters/speed-triple/2013/speed-triple
    and put bags and a flyscreen on it. The Speed Triple wouldn’t have as much power as the Motus, but it would weigh less, and I’d save about $18,000.

    I’m not sure who is going to purchase a Motus, except for possibly Jay Leno. It’s not that it doesn’t seem like a nice bike, it’s just that you can get so much more value for the amount of money you would spend on one. I’d love to see a U.S. motorcycle startup do well, but it doesn’t seem as if Motus has a rational recipe for success.

  9. Phil says:

    If they’ve made most of the bike well done to them. But surely they’d be better off building something not so ugly! It would be like meeting your bride for the first ever and realising she has two heads and weighs 400lb.

    This is a not a good look for a first bike and very overpriced, but, I’m sure some fat over yank with too much money in his pocket will but it.

    I don’t think it’ll sell in the Europe!

  10. Brijesh Jagan says:

    I am still waiting on their naked version bike!! Price is a little steep. i am all about buying an all american sportsbike (yes i used to own a BUell). But anything over a realistic $13-14K price tag.. my wallet spanks my patriotism…big time!! I wish them sucess down the road.. it has been a wild trip from sketch to reality!!

  11. Damo says:

    I am glad people are trying to get some motorbikes built here in the U.S.

    That being said, this bike is OVERPRICED as a muthafugga.

    I could buy a nice bike and a commuter car for the same price.

  12. Keith says:

    Still looks better than the bmw 1200c, the Rune, DN-01 most any Harley bagger you can find on the road. If that’s ugly then I’m your father. Price is steep, yeah. It’s a start up what did you expect? Puppies and Kittens the world GIVEN to you on a platter? What a bunch of whining spoilt brats.

  13. Tony Davidson says:

    Dream bike, Nightmare price.

  14. Grimey Benson says:

    “It’s a start up what did you expect? Puppies and Kittens the world GIVEN to you on a platter? What a bunch of whining spoilt brats.”

    Keith, seriously STFU and try to have some perspective here.

    The point isn’t that bike is expensive, EVERYONE knew it would expensive, it is the fact that it is gratuitously BEYOND expensive. The bike looks good, the engine is probably awesome, but this isn’t a rare hand built bike with any level of pedigree. Like you said it is a HIGH risk start-up with no track record. Unfortunately Motus WILL fail, which is sad.

    If it was $25,000 USD it would still be expensive, but people on the fence might actually think about it.

    Hell, for the cost of the $30,000 “base model” (lol) I could go get a flipping Multistrada Pikes Peak edition, with a two year warranty and an actual dealer network.

  15. Richard Gozinya says:

    As I understand it, the frame, fairing and engine were designed, and will be manufactured, in Michigan. And looking at their site, they don’t make the seat, luggage, suspension, brakes or wheels either. I’m just wondering what part of the bike is actually made by this company.

    But yeah, great work by Katech and Pratt & Miller.

  16. Dewey says:

    Any vehicle that is produced in the extremely limited numbers that this bike is being made HAS to be expensive since economy-of-scale does not apply. The baffling thing is why they targeted the sport-touring market, that is a segment that seems to place a high value on exactly that – value. One can understand a company like Confederate that makes bikes that are designed for no purpose but to elicit an emotional response , the motorcycle as art, and at 65,000 dollars each they seem to sell enough to keep the lights on. The people who buy them appreciate them as mechanical art and there is much to appreciate regardless of whether or not the bike does anything well. This bike does not even offer anything in the way of beautifully CNC’d billet parts or gorgeous 80′s-era Bimota hand TIG welds to stare at and give a sense of value for cost. What you do get is Two Brothers pipes (at this price?, really?) and an overall look like the engine guys didn’t get along with the transmission/final-drive guys and a very kit-bike looking frame. This motorcycle is not art like an early Bimota or a Confederate, it is going head-to-head in a segment where its competition is established, gives more of everything for less money and has dealer and parts support not to mention shaft drive. Without the GDI this bike lost the ONLY thing it had that no one else did.

  17. Faust says:

    +1 Richard

    This bike is a parts bin special. Also I don’t really think carbon fiber wheels are appropriate standard fitment for a tourer. I can’t see any reason to buy this bike. As for the crate motor….like 10K for a half a V8? I can get on Jegs right now and buy a fully assembled 502ci engine with 450HP for $6,498. So where exactly is all this money going?

    Keith

    That was one of the dumbest comments I’ve seen on here. People don’t want to pay 36K for a bike that’s not worth it. Why do you care? Since the world is apparently not all puppies and kittens, and we are supposed to care about helping a start up, then are you forking over 36k for the R version? If not, why not? Are you a spoiled brat or something? I mean, quite being cheap and help em out!

  18. Dewey says:

    Yup, stuff that comes standard on any Japan Inc. sport-tourer is optional on these bikes and the GDI didn’t make it to production, it was dropped in favor of garden-variety port fuel injection. But hey, for 30-37k you get a “premium” Sargent seat and a centerstand.
    With a dealer network of exactly 7, you will have no trouble at all getting service whilst touring the country and wearing your shiny new Arai Carbon Corsair V.

    Pity, it is a wicked cool looking bike but the price is outrageous and to have the brass ones to charge that much and then offer basic stuff as options is criminal.

  19. “This bike is a parts bin special.”

    Yeah? So are many exotics out there over which many of us begin frothing at the mouth and get weak at the knees. Many a bike claim bragging rights over using parts from Brembo, Ohlins, Marchenisi, etc.

    Honestly, the negative comments strike me as cranky, old women swinging handbags and hoping that their presumed enemy fails. Get some perspective already. If the bike doesn’t fit you, don’t buy one. If you can’t afford it or it doesn’t tickle your buy button, don’t spend your coinage.

    It reminds me of discussions of Harley … Inevitably, somebody will bash H-D for always doing it the same, but H-D will assuredly get bashed for trying to do it differently. The handbag MUST have its target.

  20. Damo says:

    @Dewey

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    (Judging by your use of the word “wicked” I am guessing I have a fellow New Englander in the house?)

  21. Grimey Benson says:

    ” Get some perspective already.”

    Trane, I think you need to get some goddamn perspective. A $30,000 USD bike with Two Brothers Exhaust, REALLY? Are you high?

    Like everyone else has said, this is not a Bimota, Confederat, NCR, RSD, etc. bespoke exotic bike. This is a decent looking sport tourer with a semi-unique engine, that TOTALLY LACKS standard features found on budget priced Japanese bikes. That is delusional and unacceptable.

    The thing is, most of us would love to see all new motorcycle companies succeed, but don’t pretend for an instant this bike is going to be anything more than a flash in the pan.

    We are critical of it BECAUSE we want to see shit like this succeed. What Motus has done is arguably make a bike for a market that doesn’t exist, although I am sure Jay Leno will buy one….

  22. @Grimey Benson: No need for the potty mouth. I’ve long since noted that we have MotoGP bikes cruising the paddock worth millions of Euros that have Akrapovic exhausts. Really? Yeah, really. No, I’m not high. If you think it’s okay for a zillion-buck race bike to use something from Arrow or Akrapovic, but some start-up manufacturer needs to roll its own headers, I think that’s weird, but, hey, it’s your world, bro.

    “We are critical of it BECAUSE we want to see shit like this succeed.”

    No, you want something somewhat different than this to succeed. If you wanted THIS to succeed, you’d be happy with what you’ve seen. You’re complaining about the successful execution of somebody’s vision, and that makes no sense whatsoever.

  23. andrey says:

    It’s bloody ugly!

  24. SquidleyMcSquidson says:

    Why even have a comment section on the site? Apparently we aren’t allowed to say anything about this bike. The fact that most people don’t like it or think its worth it is apparently not a sign that it’s not an effective package from a marketing perspective. Nope, instead it means that everyone needs to shut up because we are spoiled brats who think the world is all puppies and kittens, or old ladies swinging hand bags. How dare anyone express their opinion in an open online forum? I mean, what were we thinking? How dare you question putting 2 bros exhaust on a 30k bike?! Now shut up anyone who thinks this bike is ugly, or overpriced! You’ve been declared wrong by the Gods of the Internet. Learn your place. Your opinions are invalid. You are only permitted to give positive opinions about bikes you like and intend to buy. Now shut up and color. The Internet would be a better and more interesting place if we all liked exactly the sane thing and agreed about everything. From now on only post “+1″ or “I totally agree”.

  25. Faust says:

    Hey trane, benson didn’t mention Akrapovic. Not once. He mentions Two Brothers. On a 30k bike. Way to be selective in your response. Arrow and akrapovic are high quality racing parts. The akrapovic exhausts on gp bikes are custom made, not something you can just order online, so yeah it makes tons of sense. You really should read something about the company and how they develop exhausts to meet their customers needs. You know, since you don’t understand how that works and think its weird. Google is your friend.

  26. “The akrapovic exhausts on gp bikes are custom made, not something you can just order online”

    Same is true of the 2Bros on the Motus. Just sayin’.

    Note: This bike isn’t my cuppa at all, but I do wish the manufacturer all manner of success. They’ve got an uphill battle going with going for the market segment they did. Add virtually no dealers signing up and, well, that just doesn’t bode well. I think the motor looks gorgeous, though; although I’m a complete sucker for sideways Vs. I’ll happily drool on a CX650. lol

  27. Damo says:

    @Trane

    2Bros is low quality exhaust and be honest, that can looks like it came off of an old K5 GSXR. That was probably the point Grimey was trying to make.

    Yes the motor does look great, but 185 Hp out of a 1650cc engine isn’t very impressive. I don’t know maybe it wont require much maintenance because the engine is over spun.

    I am trying to find an upside to this bike, but other than engine cosmetics, I can’t.

  28. Doug says:

    Suppose this bike’s price was in the mix of a BMW Sport Tourer….

    What would the comments be like?

    Before any comments are written about not wanting to discuss in hypothetical-terms, consider where Indian Motorcycles was just over 2-3 years ago. Indian’s price was much more than an already rich HD Road King and the former didnt have a significantly different engine to call their own.

    Now, Indian is priced within HD’s equivalent models and has a completely new motor.

    point: it’s not too far of a stretch to imagine some type of manufacturing partnership with Motus (or acquisition) to bring the price down.

  29. Norm G. says:

    re: “This is a not a good look for a first bike and very overpriced, but, I’m sure some fat over yank with too much money in his pocket will but it.”

    with his head…? why that’s uncalled for…! :)

  30. Norm G. says:

    re: “Trane, I think you need to get some goddamn perspective. A $30,000 USD bike with Two Brothers Exhaust, REALLY? Are you high?”

    i’ll give you some perspective. the engine by itself is worth $30 grand. the bike wrapped around it is being thrown in for free. whaddaya think about that…?

  31. Faust says:

    If the engine is worth 30k, why can you buy one for 10k? Whaddaya think about that? People are getting ridiculous about this bike.

  32. “People are getting ridiculous about this bike.”

    +1

    There’s a lot of angst about a bike that hasn’t seen a showroom floor yet. :)

    Getting back to the 2Bros for a moment, apparently there’s some stigma attached to the brand that is most unfortunate. One can only hope that the exhausts supplied to Motus are a step or two above general consumer opinion. That said, it does make sales a tougher go.

    “that can looks like it came off of an old K5 GSXR.”

    Maybe it does, I dunno. I think the system itself looks fine. At the end of the day, it’ll be very interesting to see how the sum of the parts works together. Judging from the sound bite at the end of the teaser vid, it should sound like a beast.

    More popcorn!

  33. Variable says:

    This looks like the easiest bike in the world to change spark plugs on, or to access the valve train for an adjustment. Everything is just right there. This bike is screaming for crash bungs. I’d be scared to move this thing without putting sliders, covers or something on that engine area. I doubt anyone makes stuff like that for this though.

  34. Grimey Benson says:

    “i’ll give you some perspective. the engine by itself is worth $30 grand. the bike wrapped around it is being thrown in for free. whaddaya think about that…?”

    I think Norm G. took a hit off that crack pipe before posting again.

  35. anders 'ace' eliasson says:

    I think if you have your wife or GF on the back with you, she’s gonna be unhappy with how her crotch feels at the end of any significant ride … :^D …

    ACE

  36. Gritboy says:

    Eager to see how it sells and how reliability reports pan out. In a couple of real world years and reviews I’ll take another look.

  37. Norm G. says:

    re: “If the engine is worth 30k, why can you buy one for 10k?”

    because you’re buying a short block. it’s useless without a clutch, and transmission, and some sort of final drive that you can take power from. smarten up.