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.

BMW Concept Ninety – Retro Meets Modern

05/24/2013 @ 11:39 am, by Jensen Beeler52 COMMENTS

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 24 635x952

Late last year, we said that BMW Motorrad was working on a special air-cooled motorcycle to help commemorate the German company’s 90th anniversary of making motorbikes. Well, today we get to see what zie Germans have been up to, and it is called the BMW Concept Ninety.

Taking its cues from the BMW R90S, which itself turns 40-years-old today, the BMW Concept Ninety is debuting at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and was designed by America’s own Roland Sands Design and the BMW Motorrad design team.

“The BMW R 90 S hails from an era in which bikers were regarded as outlaws,” said Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design, in the company’s press release. “There was something rebellious about it – it was fast, loud and wild. Pure emotion. And it has retained its fascination to this day.”

With that in mind, we turn our attention to the BMW Concept Ninety. Photos and video are after the jump of course, and leave your thoughts about the machine in the comments.

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 05 635x423

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 07 635x423

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BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 08 635x423

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 09 635x423

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 12 635x423

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 13 635x423

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 14 635x423

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 21 635x423

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 18 635x423

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety 20 635x423

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BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety design 07 635x444

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety sketches 01 635x448

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety sketches 02 635x448

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety sketches 03 635x448

BMW Concept Ninety   Retro Meets Modern BMW Concept Ninety sketches 04 635x448

Source: BMW Group


  1. BBQDog says:

    Nice concept, but as soon as they really make it road legal (TUV) most concepts are totally spoiled.

  2. budspencer says:

    Really cool, not fan of the raw aluminium look on wheels, discs and engine, but the global design is very clean an not already seen somewhere else.
    I don’t see any show-stopper for this bike to be produced as it is, put a couple of blinkers and let’s go.

  3. Ginger says:

    Sweet Jesus. Build it. Exactly. Like. That.Don’t change a thing.

  4. tyler says:

    For the love of god and for all that is holy on Earth, please produce this motorcycle.

    There is a gaping hole in the v twin segment for another marquee to come along and stick it to Ducati.

    I’m sick of Ducati having the only pretty and functional naked air-cooled sport twin on the road. Stick it to them!

  5. TheSwede says:

    Mother of god. Throw some signals on it and get this thing on the road.

  6. Superhawk says:

    As owner of a few R90′s, I do like it. some of it is just over the top, but this will be a one off for the Germans to put on display, so for that… it’s a HOLY piece.

    But I do think a minimalist Boxer with current motor and as a street racer would be great to see and hopefully just make a limited edition and see what happens… Go with Orange first and then if it goes well, build them again in the black and dark smoke color that mine were.

    Good job Roland… :)

  7. Webbiker says:

    Very, very nice. One of the prettiest bikes of all time.

  8. Doug says:

    cool bike. The tail section is a bit too small & out of proportion to the tank & the cross-cut wheels are so 2004

  9. Tony C says:

    Nicely done, BMW. I think you’ve out Ducati’ed Ducati on this one.

  10. potoduc says:

    Doug: spot on description. The bike looks nice, but doesn’t completely hit the mark. The chopped tail section looks forced and messes with the proportions. Instead of slimming down the bike and making it look more purposeful, it just looks like the only seat pan they had around was made for a smaller bike. I like the wheels, but they’re not quite right for this application.

  11. jack says:

    Not a BMW fan, but this bike is great. The chopped tail is part of the real appeal. A minimalist bike is what sets this bike apart. What’s the chances of producing this bike?

  12. TRL says:

    The German rendering is 100% better than the Sands rendering (except for the color), he did nothing to help the proportions. but Sands’ rendering is better than the final concept. Just because you have a CNC and a milling machine doesn’t mean you need to use it for every single damn motorcycle. Really, isn’t anyone else tired of the same old H-D crossover accessories catalog stuff from SoCal? An awful lot of Ducati MH900e references in the design too (might have something to do with the time period reference), including a completely impractical riding position for most.

  13. old surfer says:

    so disappointed in this. it is eithr ugly retro (much prefer the thruxton), or sub par modern. and i can’t imagine it can hang with a modern sportie. my heads touch on my r1150r when i get too far into a corner, so it is either gonna’ scrape or be really uncomfortable with i high center of gravity…..c’mon bmw, you could do so much better.

  14. L2C says:

    All I know is that thing says, “I’m a man, baby!” It absolutely oozes machismo.

  15. Smitch says:

    I agree TRL, the front fairing reminds me quite a bit of the MH900e, which is funny since some of these posters think it’s “out Ducati’ed Ducati.” Doesn’t count if you do it 11 years later.

    Still, it is pretty, I like it, and they should make it.

  16. jackie says:

    Love boxers and cant wait to see BMW’s next S…

    But this looks horrid. The proportions are all wrong.
    The tank is too large compared to the seat, and the quarter fairing looks like someone dropped it.
    The lines just go all over the place.

    These are sooo much better looking imho:


  17. Very cool looking bike, nicely done from an artistic standpoint. I’m sure it would make a beautiful centerpiece for someone’s living room.

    But from a rider’s standpoint it has some pretty obvious flaws, flaws which are all too common to Café racer concepts making them more than a little impractical to ride. Look at the angle of the bars, good luck trying to park that thing without mashing your hands against the tank. And you can’t move the bars farther forward or the brake and clutch levers will be impacting the fairing.

    Bikes like these are a lot like women who look really good, often they don’t turn out to be very fun rides. :)

  18. Tanker Man says:

    Looks hot. Might be my imagination but the rake looks a little relaxed. I hope the wheels are forged.

  19. Alex MacPherson says:

    Damn… looks like a winner to me. I’d buy one!

  20. GeddyT says:

    I’m with a lot of other posters: Don’t like the wheels, the tail is too small, and the front fairing is too squat. One of the drawings has a longer screen, and it looks much better.

    I really want to like this bike, but you could probably paint the HP2 Sport this same color and it would look twice as good. Three times as good in the original blue/black/white.

    I still think the HP2 Sport is one of the most beautiful machines–of any kind–I’ve ever laid eyes on.

    Anyway, I just don’t think I own jeans skinny enough to wear while riding this bike…

  21. Homage to the R90s/50years is cool and new. If the Munich Purist turn their nose at this fun and sexy bike, then I want. Air cooled and 2 wheeled anything is cool!

  22. Halfie30 says:

    I like it a lot. Very “clean Mad Max”esque… I wish they would have done something to put angles on it though. Just too modernize it a bit more.

  23. smiler says:

    THe instruments are great, real shame the rest of it looks terrible. Headlight copied from the MH900, rear seat too short, tank much to o large and dominating. Boxer engine is as usual the wrong design for the vehicle it is powering but German persistence has made it work, much like the VW Beetle Porsche / 911 layout.
    The rear wheel set up is too “American chopper” for a BMW anniversary bike. Would look great elsewhere.
    Fabulous paint job though.

  24. BBQdog says:

    Don’t like to the two exhausts on one side though ….

  25. JoeD says:

    I slept overnight on this one. My only negatives are the disproportionate length of the swingarm and the dual exhausts on one side. Ditch the single shock so as to bring the wheel closer to the rest of the bike, a proper dual sided swingarm in tubular steel (Benelli) and a really nice 2-1-2 centerline collector/headers setup with a muffler on each side. Love the tangerine color.

  26. Richard Gozinya says:

    I love the looks of it, but I’d never want to own it. That said, this isn’t something that’s likely going to be put into production. Some of the parts RSD made for this bike on the other hand, now that’s another matter entirely. The engine stuff, especially those valve covers, are pure win.

  27. paganmachine says:

    as soon as i looked at the photo, it looked like roland sands had something to do with it. no bmw should bring to mind roland sands. period.

  28. arkangel says:

    I like the bike as is – love the dual exhaust to off set the drive shaft – love the seat
    (agreed it could be a fraction longer ) & I’d prefer the fairing a tad higher.

    My only consideration is how much will it cost / when will it be ready ..
    & will I be able to get one in South Africa. !!

    I look froward to spoiling myself with this cycle – it’s a forever keeper..

    well done Roland

  29. Andrey says:

    Bloody brilliant bike.
    They need to build it.

  30. Pete says:

    Another typical RSD bike… Boring and unoriginal. Wheels look out of place. Proportions are wonky. And why cover up a single-sided swingarm with an exhaust?

  31. Norm G. says:

    gotta say RSD has done some really great bikes, but this has to be one of his top 5 (if not 3) creations. the wheels are absolutely bananas…! they are one of the best pieces that make they whole bike imo.

    you can almost tell roland told the germans, look guys, i know your’e excited and want to be involved and all, but just stay outta my way, and outta the process… open your checkbooks, and i’ll build you something you won’t regret. i got this.

  32. Paul McM says:

    I love it (and the color)… from the steering head back. The fairing is too styled, too cartoony, too low. And the ultra-low position of the clip-on bars is beyond idiotic. Look at the riding position — the handlebar ends are at the level of the guy’s kneecaps and he’s totally cramped. DER Boss at BMW should have told Roland — “Sketches are great for concept. Now raise the friggin’ bars.” And when Sands starts whining, BMW should have bitch-slapped him. I don’t care if this is a show bike, the riding position is stupid, and ruins the whole project in my view. It’s like viewing a fashion model with rotten teeth. One thing can spoil it all.

  33. Nice…….but unrealistic and lots of parts are missing for road use………not to mention the guys that appreciate this R90S homage wouldn’t buy such a rack to ride as they can’t deal with such ergonomics. Ducati tried it with their Sport Classice series and it didn’t fly.

    Hey Tony C….nobody out-does Ducati. Try World Championships how many times ?

  34. Richard Gozinya says:

    @ Pete

    The swingarm is on the other side, along with the drive shaft.

  35. Mike Cecchini says:

    True. Strange there’s no pics of the right side.

  36. meatspin says:

    i like the concept pics better than the real thing. I dont see old BMW guys going for this thing either.

  37. Brett says:

    Where’s the wonky, asymmetrical headlight?

  38. Damo says:

    Not going to lie, I think it is hideous.

  39. Grimey Benson says:

    I will never understand most custom bike builders.

    Why bother putting headlights on your bike when you have no other indicators, brake lights, etc.

    If it is a track only bike, keep the track only looks.

    Shit is weird.

  40. SquidleyMcSquidson says:


    How does the LED bar under the tail section count as no brake lights? Or did you just not look at it before you passed judgement? 7th pic from the bottom. In a lot of places (Texas for example) you don’t have to have turn signals.

  41. Grimey Benson says:


    You maybe right, but it still looks rubbish.

  42. CycleBum says:

    Wicked COOL. All you haters have no taste.

  43. paulus - Thailand says:

    This is a bike designed for the US market.
    CNC accents on black anodised… very much RSD.

    Nice execution, interesting styling. Any bike is better than no bike… rock on, enjoy the ride

  44. electricPaul says:

    The chassis is probably from the upcoming road version of the LoRider concept from about 5 years ago. The new bike will enable BMW to expand their market in a new direction. Namely, a versitile air-cooled twin with proven capability , conventional (upside-down) forks and an accessory range which includes pipes, tanks, tail-sections, wheels, bars, grips, clothing etc. This concept is a halo product to garner attention from the media and the public so that we will all be looking when the new bike is launched later in the year. Roland Sands parts and highlights will be part of the catalogue so that the basic bike can be dressed up to look like the concept.
    Bring it on!

  45. paulus - Thailand says:

    … exactly the same execution as the Ducati Diavel a couple of years back
    RSD concept and accessories package for the US market.
    Well done to RSD for being the go-to guy for Euro bike launch in the USofA

  46. kww says:

    Perhaps this is a sign that BMW will extract their head out of their ass and make a R12S boxer again?

  47. Mike Cecchini says:

    Pull their heads out ? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  48. TRL says:

    @paulus – Thailand

    Except that in the case of the Diavel, for the U.S., the target demographic seemed to be the H-D crossover crowd (an awful lot of aging Ducati riders had/have an H-D stashed away as well) so , while horrible, the RSD accessories made sense. I’d be willing to bet that, aside from a few SoCal riders, the demographic for this bike is not very interested in Sand’s thoughts on design and will happily forego the RSD accessories. I could see his influence on this concept possibly hurting rather than helping.

  49. Mike Cecchini says:

    You nailed it.

  50. William Walling says:

    A nice effort by BMW affording Roland an opportunity to exhibit RSD ware.
    Kindly visit my Facebook page to view a ‘Concept Ninety’ cycle as Munich would present such for production.