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.

More Photos of the Confederate X132 Hellcat

05/15/2012 @ 2:25 pm, by Jensen Beeler28 COMMENTS

More Photos of the Confederate X132 Hellcat Confederate X132 Hellcat studio 03 635x423

The Confederate X132 Hellcat is the latest creation from the boutique southern motorcycle brand, and continues the Hellcat lineage’s custom-roadster aesthetic. Like any machine produced by Confederate, the real beauty of the new Hellcat comes down to the bike’s detail finishes, which for the X132 includes a motor casing that was built out of two pieces of billet 6061 aircraft grade aluminum.

Officially spec’d with “sufficient” power and torque figures, the  2,163cc v-twin motor on the X132 is more than eye-catching, and should propel you down the road just fine with its estimated 132 peak horsepower and 150 lbs•ft of torque.

With Confederate only expected to make 162 units of the X132 Hellcat, as usual the name of the game is exclusivity. Pricing has jumped from the initial $44,550, and now is $49,500, with another price increase of roughly $5,000 expected after July 4th. Fifteen more photos of the Confederate X132 Hellcat are after the jump for your viewing pleasure.

More Photos of the Confederate X132 Hellcat Confederate X132 Hellcat studio 01 635x423

More Photos of the Confederate X132 Hellcat Confederate X132 Hellcat studio 02 635x423


More Photos of the Confederate X132 Hellcat Confederate X132 Hellcat studio 13 635x423

More Photos of the Confederate X132 Hellcat Confederate X132 Hellcat studio 09 635x414

Source: Confederate


  1. AK says:

    I like there work specially R131 Fighter; but i simply don’t understand price justification.

  2. Mike says:

    Behold the bastard child of Toecutter and a steam punk.

  3. Damo says:

    Two Liter displacement only nets you 132 peak horsepower? Yucko.

  4. Terry says:

    I love all motorcycles , and own three, but as a Black American, I would NEVER buy anything with Confederate in it’s title.

  5. JW says:

    and its probably 100% american made..

  6. JW says:

    @ Terry

    ya the name is a bit overboard for sure

  7. JW says:

    Confederate has a similar effect, as say, a bike called the Talibanator, no?

  8. Davin says:

    Double burn? The lead designer is African American.

  9. Jake says:

    One could try to make the argument that ‘confederate’ is supposed to be understood by its dictionary denotation rather than by its historical connotation but, considering that the company is based in Birmingham, Alabama, that’s a mighty big pill to swallow.

    My opinion: Awesome bike, lousy brand name.

  10. In fairness to that point Jake, Confederate was started in Louisiana, and spent most of its time in New Orleans, until relocated to ‘bama because of Katrina.

  11. Hugh says:

    Or like Horex rebranding itself as Nazix?

    It kind of looks like some guy got given a CNC machine shop and a CAD/CAM package for christmas…

  12. Richard Gozinya says:

    Looks like they ditched the rather elegant exhaust system of the concept/prototype in exchange for something cheap and easy. It wouldn’t be so bad if they actually had a skilled welder. That exhaust looks like it was welded by someone who got a cheap MIG welder for their birthday. To say nothing of the fact that there’s apparently no muffler on it. Loud pipes does not equal a great exhaust note. Especially with big twins, those things sound like crap. The 1200cc and under sized twins sound great, but the real big ones just sound like a whooshy fart.

  13. Brij says:

    I wonder if a more practical approach would be to cast the lower motor casing, after machning the first 2 or 3 prototypes.. unless the point is just to machine it becasue they can!!
    Nothing really extordinary about the styling, there have been better looking bobbers on this site.

    as for the people who seem to get their panties in a bunch over a name, think it is time to move on and not dwell in the past…

  14. Tom says:

    I have a weakness for their bikes even if they heavy and expensive.

    One thing I don’t understand, why does the LED headlight have to come in the traditional round headlight bucket. Seems to be a bit of a missed opportunity there.

  15. Tom says:

    Cool looking bike. Meh performance.

  16. Westward says:

    Im guessing, another candidate for adoption to Brad Pitt’s garage, providing the name is not an Issue…

  17. Ryan says:

    I agree with statements about the cheap exhaust, but disagree with the name complaints. Maybe you all forget that the entire United States was founded on tobacco trade and slave labor? DON”T BUY ANYTHING MADE IN AMERICA OH NOES! Get over it. Anyways, the bike isn’t supposed to be practical. It’s supposed to be different.

  18. Jake says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and wager that the people that are shouting, “it’s just a name, get over it,” are white. The word confederate is racially charged because of it’s history. Whether you personally have a problem with it or not is irrelevant. But even if we forget the racial element, the word conjures up images of a very negative period of American history, our civil war, and for that reason alone it’s a dumb choice of brand name.

  19. Westward says:

    Regardless how one feels personally, the name is not the best idea marketing-wise, obviously some will be offended as evidence on this thread alone. I am inclined to agree with Jake, in that they might as well have had a tagline, “For Whites Only,” as it is going to alienate some from purchase on emotional grounds…

    @ Ryan

    I don’t think Americans should forget the USA was founded on slave labour, but it is not an aspect to necessarily celebrate either. I have a feeling, a significant number of citizens may object to it…

    But what do I know, Americans openly accept a racist moniker for one of it’s most popular sports franchises, The Redskins…

    But then again I could be wrong, maybe it is a term of endearment like limey, gook, or raghead. I always get a kick out of the sophisticated way many, and not just americans, refer to certain motorcycles as “Jap Bikes.”

  20. Just because I like stirring the pot, America was a confederacy before it was a republic, which was well before a bunch of tobacco farmers in the south got tired of politicians in the north telling them what to do (1777-1789).

    To say the American Civil War was started over slavery is a pretty gross generalization of the conflict, as the issues then were extremely complex and there was tremendous tension between the northern and southern states. That’s not to say that slavery wasn’t a central element, but to call it the only element would be inaccurate.

    That being said, I’ve lived in places where the Confederate flag is used as an extension of bigotry, and despite what the concept and flag used to mean, in our modern times its hard not to associate its use with a racist agenda, much as the swastika is associated with the one-race ideology of the Nazi regime, although the symbol itself predates Hitler by hundreds of years and had very different meanings back then.

  21. Matt Chambers says:

    Violence will never stop violence, killing will never create freedom and what you accede to you can secede from.

    Both my grandfathers fought in WWI and my father went to the South Pacific as a private at age 18. He was taken in December, 1941. He didn’t come home until it was over. The Hellcats saved him, and thusly, made me. It seems that we Americans have been fighting ever since.

    In the fall of 2008 it all crystalized. Secretary Paulson got to take 1 trillion of our dollars and buy up toxic bank assets. One minute after the ink dried, he declared it would be better to give the money to his Wall Street cronies so they could consolidate their power evermore at record low, fire-sale prices, ironically, making too big to fail American institutions yet bigger. Later, we learned that 7.2 trillion was made available to this small group of elites by the Fed wizards, at a time when you and I couldn’t borrow a penny. That incomprehensibly huge number is five times our annual GDP.

    This, gentleman, is the Hamiltonian, Whig, Clay, Lincoln, Republican American system. I don’t like it.

    Confederate Motorcycles is inspired by the American Way. Small private ownership of capital, government mandated competition, the right to fail, caveat emptor, laissez les bons temps rouler, pure objective individuality, every man is created equal and, as Jimmy Carter alluded to, what we do, not what we have, is the priority.

    We motorcyclists are individualists and individualism mandates e.e. Cummings’ toughest fight you will ever fight and must keep fighting, the fight to be no one but yourself. At the core of this ongoing struggle resonates Thomas Jefferson’s written words in a letter to Madison, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical”. This is what the American motorcycle is all about, rebellion. If you ever have the privilege of sparking up a Confederate and rolling into it, you’ll immediately get it, I promise you!

  22. zzz says:

    I gotta say, I think I still like the original Hellcat F131 better.

    Regardless, in my opinion, their bikes are works of art – art I’ll likely never see, much less possess.

    I won’t comment on the company name in relation to the “old south” since there isn’t a connection beyond a single word, but I have to comment on the civil war statements, since it was brought up…

    If your childhood education was anything like mine then you were most likely told of the various reason the war was started..taxes, State’s rights, sectionalism….Sadly, an actual review of the States’ own “Declaration of Causes” for Secession clearly lists slavery as the driving factor – their declarations partitioned the states into two groups “slave-holding” and “non-slave-holding” states.

    From Texas:
    “In all the non-slave-holding States…the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, … based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color–a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and the negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.” [1][2]

    From Mississippi:
    “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization” [2]

    [1] https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/secession/2feb1861.html
    [2] http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html#Mississippi

  23. Westward says:

    @ Jensen Beeler

    Saying slavery is a central element, but not the main issue, marginalizes the overall understanding of an historic event in America… Once the slaves were freed, Souths whole social and economical world view changed dramatically, and politicians still seem to tell people what to do. After the revolutionary war, they should not have become the United States of America, but rather the Confederate Sates of America…

    To use an analogy; It’s akin to saying, the reason this wife filed for divorce, is not entirely due to the fact that her husband slept with another woman, that is a central element, but it’s a complex series of actions which includes his checking out other women, and giving them his phone numbers. Maybe they should not have married, but stayed friends with benefits…

    Also, calling them tobacco farmers is like calling Apple an electronics store, or Ford a car dealership.

    @ Matt Chambers

    My man you are all over the place. Just to point out a dichotomy, your quote from Carter, points to the very opposite of what the Confederacy fought for in regards to a race of human beings. As to your quote from Jefferson. Was it not the Confederate state of Virginia that suppressed the rebellion of the abolitionist John Brown, or were they just late in catching his drift…

  24. paulus says:

    I like it… whatever it is called.

  25. tom says:

    “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; it’s foundations are laid, it’s cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition” Andrew H. Stephens, Vice President of The Confederate States of America, the “Cornerstone Speech” Savannah, GA March 21,1861. I believe the Confederate States of America was an enemy of The United States of America of which I am a citizen.

  26. rob says:

    quoting from the article “Pricing has jumped from the initial $44,550, and now is $49,500, with another price increase of roughly $5,000 expected after July 4th”

    This is a joke, right? why would anybody pay this much money for this, this, this – words excape me now. If I saw one of these on the road. I would probably have to pull over to the side of the road, because I would be laughing so hard. I have had to pull over when seeing some fool trying to take a streched out chopper on a entrace ramp to the freeway.

    laughing not because of the name – Confederate. Laughing because its a statement on the person riding it. the custom choppers are not foolish enough, but Confederate had to double down on a dumb idea, dumb idea being $50,000 unrideable choppers.

  27. wondering... says:

    So, how does one register a US factory manufactured, open pipe, no turn signals motorcycle in this country? I thought the US DOT had rules about this sort of thing… or is Confederate so small they are somehow exempt?

    If Brad has one, how did he (or does he) get California plates? There is nothing on the Confederate website about registering one…

  28. Pedro says:

    This bikes is so bad it looks like something taken from Mad Max movie from the 80′s. It looks more like something 2 kids putted together on dad’s garage then a real product. No sense of design, engineering, security, technology, ergonomics or taste. Only in the US. And you wonder why the chineses and Indians are selling more bikes that Harley…