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 Begins Teasing a New Monster

10/29/2013 @ 2:03 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

Ducati Begins Teasing a New Monster Ducati Monster EICMA teaser 08

Earlier this month, it appears Ducati setup a Twitter account to promote the Monster brand, and for the past couple of weeks the tweets have been fairly mundane. However, the latest cropping of 140 character messages reveal that the company is ready to spill some of the secrets of its upcoming water-cooled Monster.

We have already seen Ducati’s teaser for this bike, and it has been “caught testing” on more than one occasion already. We know the bike uses Ducati’s Testastretta 11° engine, and thus will be a water cooled machine. The lines of the street bike are very similar to those of the Monster line, though this “Monster 1200″ appears to sit a bit higher, and presumably would slot in approximately where the Streetfighter 1098 once resided.

Teasing now photos of a Testastretta 11° clutch cover, it seems other photos (and video: #1, #2, & #3) by the “InstinctMonster” Twitter account could be of the new street bike as well. And with that, let the great media hype begin. Thanks for the tip Python4933!

Ducati Begins Teasing a New Monster Ducati Monster EICMA teaser 01

Ducati Begins Teasing a New Monster Ducati Monster EICMA teaser 02

Ducati Begins Teasing a New Monster Ducati Monster EICMA teaser 03

Ducati Begins Teasing a New Monster Ducati Monster EICMA teaser 04

Ducati Begins Teasing a New Monster Ducati Monster EICMA teaser 05

Ducati Begins Teasing a New Monster Ducati Monster EICMA teaser 06

Ducati Begins Teasing a New Monster Ducati Monster EICMA teaser 07

Source: Instinct Monster (Twitter)

Comment:

  1. Ton Up Jax says:

    So, it’s a naked Streetfighter…

  2. Eh, not really. It’s not based off the superbike platform.

    The design brief probably reads something like “unfaired water-cooled performance street bike” or something of that nature, so I wouldn’t call it a direct replacement of the SF1098, but it does fill some of that bike’s gap.

  3. Stiffler says:

    Gosh I hope it comes in red.

  4. Jobie says:

    I am soooooooooo tired of these “teasers” and “leaked pictures”, PLEASE just keep it under wraps until you decide to unveil.

  5. Josh says:

    @Jobie

    You realize that “leaking” and teasers are free advertisement correct?

  6. Max Headroom says:

    I have to agree with Jobie. Give it a rest. The idea that these kinds of campaigns generate more interest which leads to more sales is lame. This new monster will abandon the simplicity of the air cooled platform that has been so successful for Ducati for many years (although the 1100 had gained ABS and traction control in its last iteration). Yes, there is still a 696 and a 796 but the big Monster was such a refreshing break from all the complexity and electronics that adorn all of the other bikes in Ducati’s line up. It wasn’t a rocket but it had loads of mid range and was a blast to ride on the street. And not all of us are looking for 150hp and blistering quarter mile times and 250km plus. The new bike will be faster, safer (?) and certainly more expensive. Ah well.

  7. Frito says:

    I put a deposit down last month on this bike. Local dealer gave me some information on the bike when he went to the international delaer show in New Orleans. According to him, base model will come with 135bhp and the “S” model will come with 10 more bhp, carbon fiber bits,ohlins suspesion, and other goodies. Prices are around 13k for base and 16k for “S” with a release of MAR/APR.

  8. MikeD says:

    After the unveil of the 1290 EVERYTHING seems so low, small and tamed. LMAO.
    Not even the Tuono looks that wild anymore.

    If what Frito got told holds water then is up to BMW to up the ante (wich i honestly doubt will topple the 1290, at least HP Wise) although i’m 100% positive it’ll win “The ugliest bike at EICMA” Title.

    C’mon November 4th !

    All of the above is not to say 135~145 hp on a naked bike is a joke or too little, far from it, I can hardly manage the 118 i got on mine most of the time, LOL.

    I’m just happy to see the OEMs still pushing the envelope at any given chance. At the end, is us(the buyer) the ones that come out wining. (^_^)

    Those of us thinking about higher prices &/or complicated “systems”. . . get used to it, get rich or buy used. I usually stick to last one & so far so good.

  9. tyler says:

    How many more bikes can Ducati fit into the similar segments? Basically this is a big-monster-not-a-streetfighter?

    It all comes down to the handling of this thing, and whether it completely cannibalizes the street fighter, making it seem completely useless. They probably just want to capitalize on the Monster name, and I can’t blame them…

    But I ask, if it is NOT a street fighter, what is the damned point in having it at all? A stripped sport bike that doesn’t work like a sport bike? (“super bike derived” or not, who gives a rats ass, it is a standard sport bike and should handle like a sport bike, not something else tame)

    And if you don’t want a naked to work like a more-comfortable sport bike, buy a cruiser, sport touring bike, or ‘vintage cafe racer’ to cruise to Starbucks to, just don’t compromise my sport bike in the name of the everyman.

  10. Andrey says:

    Adding the less tractable and more finicky water cooled 4valve motor takes the evolution of the Monster even further from it’s original broadly appealing product offering; ease of use. The demise of the air cooled motor across the range represents a loss of ease of use across the range that will only open the door further for competitors with products like Triumph, Guzzi, the Big 4 and others.
    Remember that the marketing and bean counting departments of most companies often steer their product offerings away from, not toward, their customers needs and wants.
    The StreetFighter was a beast because of what it was derived from. A water cooled motor in a Monster, does not a SterrtFighter make.

  11. Frito says:

    Andrey evolution means the gradual development of something into a more complex or better form. You apparntly have the term mixed up.

    Granted I am a young guy, 29, but why are people still living in the past with this air cooled engine vs liquid cooled debacle? The only thing air cooled engines have is more simplicity, that it is. Ducati is moving forward while ppl want to keep living in the past. Double the service interval on liquid cooled bikes and more room for engineering improvments.

    Change is sometimes a good thing. Besides same dealer told me there are no plans, as of yet, to stop making the 696 and 796.

  12. FranktheTank says:

    It seems like some people forgot Ducati has already done a liquid cooled monster. The S4RS and its kin. Also it seems people are complaining that its not going to be the same as the Streetfighter, but honestly the monster 1100 is a way better street bike. It had better ergo’s and a shorter wheelbase that provided a much better handling bike. If this new 1200 liquid cooled bike ends up being right in in the the middle of the current 1100 and the old Streetfighter. It just might be one of the most fun bikes to come out in a while. Big power is nice ,but not necessary for a really fun ride on the street. If the price is where Frito thinks its going to be then I might consider this instead of the KTM Superduke 1290. I really want that bik,e but if Ducati undercuts them for a similar bike by a few thousand dollars, that’s enough to swing me to Ducati.

  13. Frito says:

    One more thing to add that the dealer told me last month. Base model only comes in red where the “S” comes in both red and white.

    I think I read somewhere that the 1290 is going to be 14k pounds. I understand that true conversions dont really apply but that is 22.5k USD. With the Monster “S” model being around 16k I will be willing to bet that it will be lower by a few/couple thousand USD than the 1290.

  14. FranktheTank says:

    @frito

    I’m pretty sure A&R just had an article not to long ago stating the KTM 1290 will be about €17.6k which is $24,112. I don’t think the bike will be that expensive though. US bikes tend to be a little cheaper in the states (no VAT, but not including state sales tax). Honestly my best guess would be $17-19k. If ducati produces a fun liquid cooled monster that is in the $12.5-15k range (with relatively close performance) then I just can’t see myself buying the KTM. But we really don’t know what Ducati has in store for us yet and, this could be an apples to oranges comparison. Just have to wait and see. Either way a fun loud v-twin naked bike is in my future. Can’t wait.

  15. My guess would be $18k for the KTM, based off previous pricing schemes by the Austrians.

  16. Damo says:

    I am glad they aren’t stuffing the 821cc motor from the Hyper in here, otherwise I would have second guessing my purchase of the 2013 Hypermotard.

    I personally have no use for an over 900cc naked bike. Love that they exist, but personally I like that sweet spot of range, ergos, power, tourability and handling. A tall order I know.

    I guarantee this thing will be excellent.

  17. JohnEE says:

    People seem to forget there where already two previous water cooled monsters, the S4 & S4R. If ducati can get the looks right this new one will sell.

  18. DAMN says:

    Im getting so so so tyred. always that same engine. nothing different nothing else. in every bike ducati has they fit the same engine. that doesn’t sound exclusive or expencive. ducati becomes more crap the last year. they can’t make cool bikes they make an no torque no power 1199 engine an no frame not working bike. ducati becomes more and more boring. no winning no good bike’s engines no good etc etc. the panigale is just ugly! the onlt thing they do is give the same bike a few extra letter. 10 years ago duc was differend. now……. nothing

  19. Chris says:

    My dealer told me exactly the same thing as Frito said.
    15K base, 19K S model with Ohlins, Carbon, 10 more HP etc.
    This is up in Canada.

    A few extra things (important, I think):
    - Ergos will be a little different than old Monsters – MORE upright
    - Map is tuned specifically, with MOST of the torque happening lower in the band

    I’m excited about the grey little button in one of the pics – that is the same switch used to access the riding modes on Diavel and Multi. Based on the earlier spy shots, it should have a similar display to the Diavel… hope for the same riding modes. Gonna be an exciting bike, for sure.

    …oh, and DAMN… punctuation, man!! I was getting “tyred” just reading your post out loud. :)))

  20. Frito says:

    @Chris

    13k for base, 16k for “S” USD is the same as 15k and 19k Canadian? Seems a bit high to me since Canada website is listing all models for 1k more than US.

  21. Chris says:

    @Frito

    Yeah, that sounds about right. I think he was talking OTD (out the door) pricing.

    And that’s our curse… even if the dollar is almost on par, you can always expect a 10% increase compared to the States…

    So 16K plus 10% plus taxes and fees – about 19K.

  22. Rob says:

    Wow.. after decades of riding prices are starting to leave me behind.
    Not because I cannot come up with it but because perceived value is just
    not worth the price of admission IMHO

    I can build small homes for the price of many of the newer “super bike” models.
    Mehhhh guess I am getting old. :)

  23. Halfie30 says:

    I think everyone is forgetting about the emissions aspect of the air cooled motors. Ducati will probably always have smaller displacement air cooled models, but I think anything over 800cc’s will be liquid cooled.

  24. sfbay says:

    I just want to see a Diavel w/ LED headlamps, a fuel gauge, Skyhook DSS, and Bosch MSC. Cash is waiting for you Ducati- make it happen!