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.

Ducati Diavel AMG Special Edition Breaks Cover

09/05/2011 @ 10:35 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Ducati Diavel AMG Special Edition Breaks Cover Ducati Diavel AMG Special Edition 1 635x584

Mercedes-Benz and Ducati continue to circle each other, as the two iconic brands hammer out the details of how an Italian motorcycle company would fit inside a German automobile manufacturer. While the bean-counters and pencil-pushers get that shotgun marriage’s pre-nup arranged, we get to see interesting co-branding “partnerships” like this: the Ducati Diavel AMG Special Edition. While we’ve seen plenty of AMG-tuned cars in Ducati adverts, events, and press materials, this is the first time the sacred three-letter name has graced the haul of one of Bologna’s steads.

Based on the Ducati Diavel Carbon, the Diavel AMG Special Edition features AMG’s signature 5-spoke wheel set (replacing the wheels a certain Roland Sands designed). Other highlights include carbon fiber radiator grills, an AMG-styled exhaust system (very nice, very nice indeed), and a ribbed Alcantara seat. A special edition run from Ducati would of course not be complete without a numbering plaque (no word yet on how high that number will count though), which will be affixed to the gas tank.

The Ducati Diavel AMG Special Edition comes only in matte black carbon fiber bodywork, and has AMG’s “Diamond White Bright” paint striping on the fuel tank, and color-matching frame accents. The special edition wheels, seat, and exhaust end-caps are all AMG branded (natch), while “AMG” is also laser-engraved into the air-duct panels that are on either side of the fuel tank. Expect to see a special AMG branded leather jacket and helmet also become available. Orders will be taken at the bike’s first public showing at the Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany.

Source: Ducati


  1. Johndo says:

    I could see that parked in my garage. Sweet.

  2. irksome says:

    The Germany/Italy alliance has worked so well in the past…

    And I still say it looks like a water buffalo dry-humping a warthog.

  3. BikePilot says:

    The white frame is nice. IMO the cage-connection dilutes the allure of the Ducati brand and motorcycle experience. If they are doing this, they should go all-out and carry on the AMG tradition of forced-induction… =p

  4. Andrey says:

    As an AMG and Ducati owner I have to say that this just appears to be a dress up. AMG means PERFORMANCE. If the Diavel is nothing more than a stickered tart up, then this is a bit of a joke. AMG is all about taking a stock vehicle and turning it into something more. The least they should do is add a bunch of stuff from the Ducati Performance catalog for engine parts and maybe a couple of exclusive extras (other than cosmetic stuff of course) in order to maintain some sense of what AMG means.
    This looks like a troubling signal that the bean counters and marketers are in control…… never a good thing. If this trend continues we can expect to see more dilution of the brand.

  5. Antti says:

    That’s hot!

  6. John Magnum says:

    Well said @Andrey, if that motor hasnt had the mods whats the point, save your coin and stick on a few AMG stickers from Ebay. AMG is supposed to = Steriod / ADHD / crystal meth / Chuck Norris

    sad move……..

  7. Ducati Diavel AMG Special Edition Breaks Cover – http://aspha.lt/t5 #motorcycle

  8. luke says:

    Andrey and John have encapsulated my thoughts exactly :)

  9. Johndo says:

    It’s already a beast what more do you want? a 500HP motorcycle? :P

  10. MikeD says:

    Yeah, i would hit that…AMG badged or not…im a sucker for 5Spokes wheels (the standard wheels look like POOP)…:P

    That FUGLY double decker brushed metal SubWaySandwich Muffler gotta go tho…

    Naaah, why do i kid myself, i still can’t swallow the looks of this Beast after all this time…this sure is an improvement…but still…too bulky/stubby up front…would rather take an obese-thirsty-overpowered VMAX over this.

  11. tom s says:

    Please please keep the Germans away from our beloved Ducat’s! I don’t think any Ducati purist wants to see this happen. Go team up with Lamborghini maybe, who knows but keep it Italian. My two cents.

  12. Jay says:

    Tom, FYI….Lamborghini is owned by Audi! Keep Ducati Italian with an auto maker such as Ferrari!!!

  13. FLABueller says:

    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. There is nothing Ducati or AMG could do to polish that turd. /BLEH