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.

Confederate P120 Fighter Breaks Cover

08/02/2009 @ 5:55 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Confederate P120 Fighter Breaks Cover Confederate Motorcycles P120 Fighter 1 560x315

Confederate Motorcycles is back with their latest motorcycle post-Katrina, the P120 Fighter. Taking similar cues from the Wraith, sans the giant carbon front spars, the Fighter is made out of copious amounts of the polished hard stuff. Built around an aluminum frame, the center-piece of the bike is the machine’s 1966cc v-twin motor, making 160hp and 145lbs•ft of torque.

You can get your first glipse of the P120 Fighter at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel, California this coming August 14th, which is a part of the famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

No word on price or delivery times yet, but figure on somewhere along the lines of a donor kidney or unicorn tears. You would think for the price though, some snazier wheels would come with the package. Maybe that’s just how things are done down South.



  1. Confederate P120 Fighter Breaks Cover – http://bit.ly/3gzah7 #motorcycle

  2. JR says:

    Beautiful bike, reminds me of the Terminator. I love how there is an ubroken line from the top of the “tank” all the way to the rear wheel bearing.

  3. Gary says:

    Absolutely amazing bike. It’s their best design yet. Very industrial yet still sleek and sexy. I totally disagree with your statement about the wheels. They’re perfect. Very nice looking and simple, which is what a bike like this needs. You don’t want to distract attention from the other details. Plus, they’re beautiful carbon fiber jobs. What’s wrong with that???

  4. JR says:

    Going to agree with Gary there also, I think the c-f wheels are simple and understated and nice. No need for blingy wheels here.

  5. Jenny Gun says:

    Yeah, nothing wrong with carbon wheels…especially from a utilitarian point of view (which I take a lot in my articles), so I’ll give you that. Maybe the pictures don’t do it justice (Carmel isn’t far from SF, so we might make it down for the Concours and check the bike out), but to me I look at all this detailed metal work, and I get to the wheels and feel underwhelmed. It might be because they’re the basic 5-spoke design that OEM’s seem to have cast their alum. wheels in.

    Anyways, a bike with a style as unique like this, is going to be subject to a lot of subjective thought. The wheels are mine. For the record, best looking bike I’ve ever seen is the Wraith. To me, this is an assault on that perfect bike.

  6. elie says:

    Confederate P120 Fighter Breaks Cover – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/PI7AD Insane Bike!!

  7. As a former designer at Confederate (REL AMERICA GT) I continue to be dumbstruck by the ever evolving offerings from Mat. Again, the Wraith will probably always be my favorite. J.T. Nesbit’s early efforts were equally matched by Mat’s thoughtful refinement of the Wraith.

    As for this P120- great effort. I’m not totally on board with the “simple shapes” methodology of inspiration, however it’s easy to see they have pushed the envelope on this one, I think to great result.

    In spite of years of purposeful neglect by the motor press, Chambers has kicked the door off it’s hinges and shown us all what can be done when a fertile mind meets a high powered computer, without the restrictions of large corporate bureaucracy.

    Mat, Not bad. Not bad.

    -Richard Lee

  8. Josh says:

    Matt did not re design the Wraith. Ed Jacobs and Brian Case did. As for the Fighter, that was an Ed Jacobs creation with a fair amount of functional input from myself and the 2 other fabricators. We built that bike from the ground up in a little over a month and had it on the salt 2 days after it’s completion.
    This bike may look “simple” but there is nothing simple or easy about it. I probably have close to 40 hours of tig time in each one. They look great in pictures, but do yourself a favor and see one in person.

  9. Colin says:

    I absolutely love this bike. It is one of my favorite bikes I have ever seen.
    I think it look even rawer in matte black.