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.

Brutus, This Is What Half an ATV Looks Like

11/15/2012 @ 3:43 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

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You know that scene in Crocodile Dundee where Mick says, “that’s not a knife, this is a knife!” and whips out a big-ass bowie blade? That’s the inner-dialogue Alessandro Tartarini (of modern Lambretta fame) must have had as he designed the simply named “Brutus” motorcycle concept. Likened to being half an ATV, the main calling in life for the Brutus is to go where no other motorcycle dare dream.

Helping it achieve that lofty goal, the Brutus has a massive 750cc water-cooled single-cylinder motor, which is rated at around 50hp, and is paired with a CVT transmission. 14″ wheels are mated to Maxxis Big Horn tires, which give the two-wheeler that Bigfoot look, though we were surprised to learn that the Brutus is only one-wheel drive.

Expected to debut a production model later this year, with public availability in Spring 2013, the Brutus will come with a bevy of options, including sidecar, ski, and fire-fighting configurations. Massively over built, the Brutus is completely ridiculous in almost every way, yet the idea of monster-trucking our way through the most rugged terrain seems oddly appealing. Hrmmm…

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Source: EICMA


  1. Damo says:

    Probably not going to go too far with what appears to be about 2 inches of front end suspension travel.

    Would be fun to commute to the office on that though.

  2. Naw, there’s nearly 7″ of travel there…now clearance with the front fender is a totally different matter.

  3. Damo says:


    Doh! That’s what meant.

  4. Jake F. says:

    Brutus – The less effective solution to problems that were solved long ago.

  5. Jake F. says:

    Strike that.

    Brutus – The less effective, less practical, more expensive solution to problems that were solved long ago.

  6. Kurt says:

    Ummm… can you say, “Yamaha TW 200″? The Trailway was and is a fully capable vehicle. This seems to be a result of the “Bigger is Better” mentality. However, anyone who rode the TW or the competing Honda BigWheel can tell you… the smaller displacement engines are perfectly suited to the task. When crawling the kinds of obstacles and tackling the types of terrain that these bikes are designed for, you dont want a fire-breathing 750 spewing rocks and dirt in all directions. You want a nice, smooth, controllable 200-400 with smooth power delivery and a great bottom end torque curve. This bike, as cool as the design may be, is the combat equivalent of a tank in a firefight. You may accomplish the task, but at the cost of only being able to utilize 15% of the intended capabilities of the system. Sick looking bike… but, overkill. IMHO.

  7. ToddyO says:

    To Jake F.

    I’m not being snarky, really, I’m not. What is “the solution to the problems that were solved long ago” that you are referring to?

    I live in Montana, and I like to get into the mountains. But where I want to go does not allow ATVs, only single track vehicles (if any motorized vehicles are allowed at all – a lot of it is horse-packing only). A small enduro or dirt-bike works, but they break your ba**s with high, narrow and hard seats, and have short range. Some people use Rokons or old Tote-Gotes, but they are very slow and nearly as uncomfortable as a dirt bike. But they can haul out your deer or elk or bear.

    I’d love a motorized mule that has modern power and technology, serious range, an ATV like seat and some comfort and convenience for long hunting trips. I’ve been looking for some kind of two wheeled Jeep for some time, and this comes pretty close. Bet I can’t afford it, though

  8. nick says:

    Anyone see any foot controls?

  9. Jake F. says:


    There are any number of dual-sport or enduro bikes currently on the market to suit your purpose. Don’t like the factory seat? There are several companies in the business of making comfortable custom seats. Plus, the pics shown here don’t exactly convey a comfortable, cushy ride. We don’t know what the range of this bike is just yet, but I’d bet a fair chunk of change it’ll be thirstier and with a shorter range than many other two-wheeled alternatives.

  10. jackie says:

    Transformers. More than meets the eye. Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons…

  11. Jay says:

    this reminds me of what a honda ruckus would look like if you threw in a 750cc engine and big fatties on it.

  12. Dr. Gellar says:

    I’m sorry…hahaha, but I love this bike. Yeeeah…it might look like overkill of sorts, but so what. It just looks cool.. :-) I agree with Jensen….if this is to be a more practical sort of machine (if that is actually possible), then I’d think you’d want it to have a 2WD option.

  13. Emptybee says:

    Looks like the spawn of a Honda Rukus and a Rokon Ranger. At least the Rokon is 2WD.

  14. MikeD says:

    I like it.

    TW200 was my first thought. LOL. No clutch, perfect for urban dicing…more street biased tires wouldn’t hurt while at the same time giving back more front wheel travel….OR slap longer suspenders(up front at least).

    But w/o an average 6′ human standing next to it i don’t have a clue as too how big or small this is.
    No fuel capacity, speed, nothing ? I’ll reserve further skinning of this til i see some specs.

    How much would this thing cost ?

  15. I know some places in South Florida where this would be the perfect vehicle, places where four wheelers are too wide to get through, and standard dirt bikes sink up to their axles and spin. Now it just needs a couple of inflatable floats, and a snorkel for the air intake, to get it through the deeper holes, and you’re all set. :-)

    It’s a design that is really only suitable for some very extreme environments close to the equator, and close to the Poles. And I agree that the addition of a driven front wheel would be more practical and preferable in such environments. But if you want hold wheel stands on the tundra to impress those polar bears, this is the bike for you.

  16. F says:

    Is there a website for the Brutus, too bad it aint 2 wheel drive…..it’s definitely cool