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.

Spy Shots: BMW NineT Spotted in the Wild

09/25/2013 @ 12:23 pm, by Jensen Beeler28 COMMENTS

Spy Shots: BMW NineT Spotted in the Wild BMW NineT roadster spy photo 03 635x448

At the EICMA show last year, BMW Motorrad announced that it would make another air-cooled model, in order to commemorate the 90 years that the German OEM has been producing two-wheelers.

Expected to be the production version of the company’s LoRider concept, we got our first taste of what BMW had in store for us with the BMW Concept Ninety — which had its retro goodness co-developed with America’s own Roland Sands.

Now seemingly ready for a true production model, BMW Motorrad has been caught testing the BMW NineT street bike inside the Lake Garda region in Italy.

Obviously fitted with the venerable 1,200cc air-cooled boxer twin that has made the GS and RT such steady steeds, the NineT uses classic motorcycle aesthetics, mated to classic BMW design pieces.

Shaft-driven and fitted with telescopic forks, the full retro effect is a bit intriguing on the BMW NineT. From what we can see in these photos, the bike fits the silhouette quite well from BMW’s announcement last year, with its long fuel tank and cafe racer style tail.

The aesthetic gets a bit confused with the bulky shaft drive, but we think the model will strike a chord for riders looking for an uncluttered street-naked from the German marque.

Further details are light at this point, but BMW is expected to release more information by mid-October, and we certainly will have a better glimpse of the machine at the 2013 EICMA show.

Spy Shots: BMW NineT Spotted in the Wild BMW NineT roadster spy photo 01 635x448

Spy Shots: BMW NineT Spotted in the Wild BMW NineT roadster spy photo 02 635x448

Source: Motorrad Magazin


  1. MrDefo says:

    I love the low-maintenance of shaft drives, maybe the size of the engine will make up for the weight.

    I’ve always liked the way BMWs are put together. This is a little…boring to me, honestly, but I’m sure the production bike will be much more intruiging.

  2. paulus - Thailand says:

    It is a BMW version of a Ducati monster.
    It does not scream ‘retro’… but it is a nice naked bike alternative to a sports or adventure ride.

  3. JoeD says:

    Nicely done. I want to see one live and better yet, test ride.

  4. Sentinel says:

    I am VERY interested in how this bike turns out!

    Is this a soon to be released 2014 model?

  5. Steve says:

    looks like different exhaust systems…. the top pic has a higher pipe, the bottom has dual outlet lower pipe…

  6. 2ndclass says:

    I’d say that high-mount pipe will be an optional Akrapovic jobbie

  7. JOBIE says:

    Hummmm, I was expecting, well, something more exciting. I would pick a Moto Guzzi Griso over this, prob pay less too.

  8. jackie says:

    Those look great. I’d go for the high-mount pipe myself.

    I’d sell my Monster evo for that. I love boxer engines.

  9. EPF says:

    Spoked wheels and chrome exhaust. The idiots at BMW apparently learned NOTHING from the failure of the R12R Classic.
    They want to make an anniversary model? They could have simply cleaned up the aesthetics on the R12R – the best motorcycle no one knows about.

  10. Can we please stop using 100 pound spoke wheels? ANYBODY?…. Sigh. I don’t care how “retro” they look they are horrible for performance.. Unless these are magically lighter than all other spoke wheels… *prays*

    Now let us see the MSRP… should come in under 12K, no?

  11. American Iron says:

    OMG — Fuh-Guh-Lee…. Just say “NO” to invasive species.

  12. birch says:

    More Roland Sands, less BMW please… this doesn’t work at all. Concept90 was minimalistic and awesome, this is not…

  13. lux aureole says:

    While this looks OK, I think they have missed a trick not putting the Concept 90 bike into production, even if limited. That was such an interesting bike, absolutely BMW yet exciting and fresh too. This, well, it isn’t.

  14. pooch says:

    A bit boring looking. Doesn’t seem to know what or who it wants to be. Meh.

  15. k1200R rider says:

    I love it! would make a great addition to my K1200R, got to sell my zx10r and start putting away money for when it hits the market! i am sold!!

  16. I like it…I don’t love it. Maybe with a full fairing it’ll change but its a great platform to start with. I’ll stick with my R1200s any day though.

  17. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Aesthetics seem impossible to judge, except to say–if a design gets a reaction then you might be on the right path. …or the path may lead to a cliff.

    I think I like it because I don’t know what to make of it. It’s more interesting than it is boring. But it’s more subtle than it is flashy. It is modern with retro cues but it isn’t mimicking anything…maybe a monster.

    I wonder what the bike would be for-long rides? urban? something in between? sporty cruiser maybe?

    Funny how the Italians can get the form but occasionally miss on the function and the Germans are the other way around.

  18. Damo says:

    Not a bad looking bike overall.

    As others have said though, I will ONLY run spoke wheels on an offroad bike. You are leaving way too much weight on the table for asphalt.

  19. Dewey says:

    MrDefo says: I love the low-maintenance of shaft drives

    That’s a good one. Have you owned a BMW with “low-maintenance” shaft drive?

  20. kww says:

    When I think R90, I think of an S model. This is a warmed over R12R. The R was a nice, yet standard bike. This version looks like a piece of shit.

  21. paulus - Thailand says:

    spoked wheels look cool. Nothing wrong with them…. give it the retro-vibe

  22. Paul McM says:

    I like the big forks and… well the forks are nice. Cafe racer tail-piece with an afterthought extension sticking way out for the plate — major fail. V-shaped thingy below the seat — really ugly. Plastic side-cover under the tank — design band-aid that makes the bike look junky. Does this thing have a center-stand? Wouldn’t buy a Beemer without one. Overall this bike falls into my “terminate the stylist now — with extreme prejudice” category. Anybody remember the BMW R1200C? This NineT gives that homely pig a run for its money: http://bimmerin.net/pics/moto/r1200c/BMW-R1200C-Classic-2003.jpg

    @ Birch. More Roland Sands? God forbid. The guy is really giving us some phenomenally ugly and impractical designs of late. If I never seen another RS project I’ll be delighted.

  23. MikeD says:

    Let see here . . .

    Cafe Racer wannabe looks , ugly (heavy looking and probably is) shotgun exhaust, silly high mount exhaust, long silly looking tank, spoked wheels, regular forks with a bit too much rake, friggin huge poorly integrated headlite . . . (o_O)’

    (checks the situation inside his pants) . . . NOPE, THAT’S A NO GO.

    This thing is doing NOTHING FOR ME.

    NEXT ! ! !

    Shout at me if they ever build a K1600R or bring over the K1300R.

  24. MikeD says:

    @ Paul McM:

    The R1200C ? I sure do. Wouldn’t buy one with my own money but would sure ride the wheels off of it if given to me.

    +1 on RSD, that guy is practically molesting, raping stock good looking motorcycles and turning them into transvestites that if they had a mind of it’s own would probably jump from the top of Mount Everest to put an end to their misery.

  25. Bicho says:

    This bike is meant to be the perfect bmw(boxer)platform for customising!!!.forks are now standard items(interchangeable with aftermarket items)and it looks like the seat-subframe could come off easily,so you can make a new tail-seat(tank)combination,no cutting to the frame needed….!And the stunt with RSD was made for a good reason…

  26. Norm G. says:

    ok, how can I put this…? either build something as close as possible to Roland’s bike or don’t bother.

  27. EPF says:

    Please, no more RSD builds. EVER.

  28. MikeD says: