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 R nineT – 90 Years in the Making

10/16/2013 @ 5:04 am, by Jensen Beeler38 COMMENTS

BMW R nineT   90 Years in the Making BMW R NineT studio 37 635x476

Officially official now, BMW Motorrad has taken the wraps off its new BMW R nineT cafe racer motorcycle. Helping the German brand celebrate 90 years of building motorcycles, the nineT is an air-cooled homage to BMW’s rich motorcycling past.

Based around the iconic 1,170cc air-cooled boxer engine that BMW has employed in a number of its best selling machines, the BMW R nineT is good for 108hp and 88 lbs•ft of torque.

With styling said to be based off the legandary BMW R32 from 1923, the nineT has more traditional cafe racer lines, mated to some of BMW’s best technology.

BMW hopes that the production model R nineT will be the basis for more custom builds though, citing the company’s collaboration with Roland Sands for the BMW Concept Ninety project as one such project to use the nineT’s roots for inspiration.

Accordingly, BMW Motorrad has a litany of customization options available as official accessories, not to mention the offerings available from third-parties.

More importantly, the German OEM says that the BMW R nineT was designed with customizers in mind, and has made numerous chassis and design choices to aid in people customizing the nineT to their tastes — a decision that harkens back to the machines original “LoRider” modular motorcycle design concept.

BMW Motorrad Lists the Highlights of the BMW R nineT as the Following:

  • Puristic design.
  • Hand-built feel of the workmanship.
  • Air/oil-cooled twin-cylinder boxer engine with a displacement of 1,170 cc. Output 81 kW (110 hp) at 7,750 rpm, maximum torque 119 Nm (88 lb-ft) at 6,000 rpm.
  • Ideally suited to customisation.
  • Modular frame concept with removable pillion frame and frame end-piece.
  • Classic wheel suspension concept using high-quality upside-down telescopic fork at the front and paralever at the rear.
  • Exhaust system with two silencers on the left-hand side, with variation options.
  • Traditional wire-spoke wheels with black rims and hubs.
  • Radial 4-piston monoblock brake callipers, steel-braided brake lines and floating 320 mm brake discs.
  • Model plate riveted onto steering head in classic BMW Motorrad style.
  • Bespoke range of special accessories made to BMW Motorrad’s customary high standards of quality.

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Source: BMW Mottorad


  1. TJ says:

    well, well, well.
    nice to see the conventional forks on a beemer.

  2. pooch says:

    Sweet. I like the high mounted akrapovic version , looks hotter but also get a much better look at the lovely single sided swing arm. Finally a BMW I actually liked the look of.

  3. paulus says:

    it has a ‘monster/Triumph scrambler’ mash up feel to it…. quite nice!

  4. Norm G. says:

    gold anodizing = sore thumb…?

  5. Hugo says:

    Nice bike and specs are good too (I had a R1100S which was heavier and had less HP but was still quick enough for me;) Finally a “Cafe Racer” with modern suspension.
    I never understand why the current retro bikes have to have “old suspension and handling”?
    Cafe racers were the racers of their days (modified for speed and handling, as wiki says;) when transferring that thought/idea to current times it seems a nice combination of classical looks/proportions with modern handling&suspension is the way to go.

  6. Colin Williams says:

    its a guzzi griso clone

  7. JJ says:

    If only it didn’t cost so much to maintain.

    Will the Japanese follow?

    I’ve found the style of my next bike.

  8. smiler says:

    And an engine 90 years old too. Just dropped my bike. Well Sir that will be a new cylinder head and crank case please. One thing Triumph do much better.

  9. Richard Gozinya says:

    That sure is a pretty bike. It’d be interesting to compare it with the R1200R, to really see how telelever compares with a more conventional set up.

  10. MikeG81 says:

    Nice bike.

    Too bad about the stupid name.

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “If only it didn’t cost so much to maintain.”

    if only you knew from discipline and how to budget your money and save for the things you want/need to pay for.

  12. j.davis says:

    I’m not sure what is the point that BMW is trying to make with this bike, but at least it’s not another R1200C.

  13. Jimboecv says:

    I like it. The R1200R’s are great bikes. When I sold BMW’s I found many fans of the brand walked right past R12R’s for something with more gismos. It’s easy to find one a few years old with low miles, makes a great commuter, a ‘simple’ touring bike or a customization project, ala Monster.

  14. SoCalPhun says:

    Will this be a limited edition bike or permanent (or semi) model in their line-up?

    @JJ- learn to turn a wrench and cost won’t be an issue. I’m a longtime R-series bike owner and I’m far from rich.

  15. K1200Rider says:

    Any news on what the cost of this bike is going to be? I want one!! I hope they dont deny the US of this bike like they did with the K1300R. Also hope it is not a limited run, like the R1200s!

  16. kbasa says:

    WRT to maintenance, BMW boxers are stone simple to maintain. If you have a bit of knowledge, you can do a full tune up in about an hour, including a valve adjustment. Easy peasy. WRT to crashing the jug and cylinder off, in 40 years of riding them, I’ve never heard of that happening, even in some fairly gnarly backroad getoffs at high speed.

    That said, I’m kind of underwhelmed by its appearance and specs. I was hoping for an R12R with the full on HP2 Sport level hp.


  17. Richard Gozinya says:

    K1200Rider, it’s listed on their USA website, so I assume it’ll be available here.

  18. Damo says:

    I actually like it……I am absurdly surprised with myself, but I like it.

  19. coreyvwc says:

    Please stop comparing it to modern naked bikes and/ or a cafe racers.
    This is a roadster, it is a very large motorcycle.
    There is only one other bike it can be compared to, and that’s the Moto Guzzi Griso.

  20. dcz says:

    This r9t bike is really close to being relevant, but they have added all these over-designed silver parts that look like a design from the 1990′s.

    The video tries to be hip, but the new motorcycle does not belong with the image they try to convey by showing old bikes full of patina and personality.

    Does this bike have much personality? Does light a little fire in our hearts? OR is it just a new thing. I think its too fussy, and soft. 50 year old marketing executives will buy it and add it to their stable of authenticity.

  21. dcz says:

    Have these designers ever seen an r32 ?

    “With styling said to be based off the legandary BMW R32 from 1923, the nineT has more traditional cafe racer lines, mated to some of BMW’s best technology.”

  22. paulus says:

    the single seat/removal of the passenger idea looks cool… but it seems that if the akro exhasuts are on, then there is not a passenger option. I look forward to seeing the real deal at Eicma

  23. Motogpdr says:

    Wow,….bmw is now equal to hardly davidson and ducati ” classics”. Offerring outdated air cooled engine, overweight pigs, with spoke wheels. Well the boys in munich must be smart enough to see the profit margin in old school old technology …..must have gone to seminars put on by the boys in Milwaukee….bmw is a joke

  24. Richard Gozinya says:

    Motogpdr, those boxer engines are great for what they’re used for. Lots of torque, wide power band, reliable, good fuel economy, and ample power for the purpose. The people who own GS’s, RT’s, R’s, all seem to absolutely love them. Same with Guzzis, Triumphs and Harleys. Not every bike is designed to be a sportbike, nor should they be.

    And before you get too high and mighty about technology, remember that what’s considered cutting edge on motorcycles is already commonplace in cars. It’s been that way for a long time. Whether disk brakes, EFI, ABS, traction control, active suspensions, or whatever. Motorcycles always get it decades later than cars do. So if tech is so important to you, why ride at all?

  25. Keitih says:

    Where is the new liquid cooled (partially) boxer???

  26. Jay Stevens says:


    You wrote: “Lots of torque, wide power band, reliable, good fuel economy, and ample power for the purpose.”

    Define “reliable”. Does that include figuring out what causes the sort of random final drive and transmission problems that BMW’s seem prone to?

  27. They should have hired Bob Lutz to design it.

  28. JW says:

    I’ve been a motorcycle enthusiast for 45 years and this has been the only BMW design that I ever looked twice at. I love it,

  29. Slangbuster says:

    Would be nice to see it done in the 70′s R90s livery of Pridmore, Fisher and Mclaughlin.

  30. Norm G. says:

    re: “BMW boxers are stone simple to maintain. If you have a bit of knowledge, you can do a full tune up in about an hour, including a valve adjustment. Easy peasy.”

    careful, lest you be a victim of the consumer/human tendency to “oversimplify”.

    that was the OLD pushrod and tappet engines (air head, oil head, hex head). gotta know what you’re looking at. observe the valve covers and right side oil fill. that’s the DOHC. multiply an escalator of 2.5x – 3.5x to put yourself in “real world” should you actually need to adjust something.

    re: “I was hoping for an R12R with the full on HP2 Sport level hp.”

    again, it IS the HP2 engine. what you do with it is up to you.

  31. Norm G. says:

    re: “Any news on what the cost of this bike is going to be?”

    all the money. what’s your bank balance…? provide a routing # and they’ll do a convenient wealth transfer from YOUR bank to Deutsche Bank. mach schnell…!!!

    re: “hope it is not a limited run, like the R1200s!”

    gonna be tough. they’re making 2 different boxers now. that engine and driveline are only shared with one other model… the 12R. that being said, it’s also shared with 100′s of thousands of kit already in circulation…? so in theory it behooves them to at least keep providing support and replacement parts for these bikes same as with the 12, the 11.5, and 11. tying up production resources that could be better spent churning out margin friendly GS’s…? I dunno, is there a business case…?

  32. Aspberg says:

    90 years of motorcycling and THIS is what they come up with???

    hey, let’s take GS wheels and a GS frame, slap the forks off the S1000 on it… add some bling… Oh and we’ll stick a 1200 cc engine in it, but still call it it a 90, and then charge people up the ass for a “special edition” that lets us use up our spare parts.

    This is supposed to be a cafe racer, yet it has bars?

    For shame

  33. Gary says:

    Dear Ducati,




  34. Steve B. says:

    Everybodys a critic. If you dont like it, dont buy one. It does seem odd though, that BMW has climbed aboard the custom bike bandwagon as its leaving town. Probably have to justify all the R&D on the 4 valve Camhead that was replaced after two years production by the Waterhead.

  35. MikeD says:

    Naaah, i would still take a “bland” looking R1200R over this any day of the week.

    Function over form, any day !

  36. flumpies says:

    roland sands had the design right…this thing is atrocious

  37. Norm G. says:

    re: “It does seem odd though, that BMW has climbed aboard the custom bike bandwagon as its leaving town”

    can’t celebrate 90 years at 87 years. well I guess you could.

  38. German Pijuan says:

    Cool, but it would have been better if they just made it to look like the Lo-rider concept…