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.

Spy Shots: A New Water-Cooled 1198cc Ducati Monster?

06/26/2013 @ 7:53 pm, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

Spy Shots: A New Water Cooled 1198cc Ducati Monster? 2014 ducati monster 1198 water cooled spy photo 02

Oh the ever *cough* elusive motorcycle spy photo, how we love to hate thee. No brand has been a greater “victim” of its pre-production motorcycle being caught by eagle-eyed photographers than Ducati, so it should come as no surprise then that first machine on the pre-EICMA buzz machine should be one from the Bologna brand — though cynicism, it is an interesting machine that has been spied.

Having the clear lines of the Ducati Monster line, our subject today has the curious oddity of being equipped with what appears to be a water-cooled Testastretta 11° motor, which is fitted with an exhaust that looks suspiciously like the lump found in the Ducati Diavel.

If the interwebs are correct, and this new Monster is indeed a 1198cc beast, then that means that we likely have a modern take on the Ducati Monster S4 on our hands, which should good for 150 hp of street terror.

News of this machine doesn’t surprise us here at Asphalt & Rubber, as we have been expecting the Ducati Monster line to move to water-cooled engines, as emission standards are constantly pushing beyond the boundaries of air-cooled engine designs, especially in the European market.

With Ducati showing a new Testastretta 11° motor for the Hypermotard and Hyperstrada, one would guess that the peppy 821cc v-twin would end up in the Monster line as well, since the two bikes’ predecessors also shared power plants.

That still may be the case though, since the Ducati Monster plays an important entry-point to the Italian brand’s product line-up; however, with this presumed 1198cc Ducati Monster on the horizon, the Italians clearly have another devious plan also in the works for 2014.

Like the S4R & S4RS, we  would expect the new Monster to be a curious oddity in Ducati’s line, and one that is meant for the more discerning Ducatisti who likes mega-horsepower in more streetable motorcycles. Plan on seeing this new Monster debut in November at the 2013 EICMA show, when all our question shall be answered.

Spy Shots: A New Water Cooled 1198cc Ducati Monster? 2014 ducati monster 1198 water cooled spy photo 01

Spy Shots: A New Water Cooled 1198cc Ducati Monster? 2014 ducati monster 1198 water cooled spy photo 03

Spy Shots: A New Water Cooled 1198cc Ducati Monster? 2014 ducati monster 1198 water cooled spy photo 04

Spy Shots: A New Water Cooled 1198cc Ducati Monster? 2014 ducati monster 1198 water cooled spy photo 05

Source: MCNMoto.it, & Motociclismo.it


  1. Grant Madden says:

    Am just loving the textured tank look.Got to be the new thing.Mind you those spirals look pretty zoomy.Bit more grunt wont hurt the little sucker.Better for pulling wheelies with I suppose.

  2. Max says:

    Yes. So much.

    Totally prefer the feel of the Monster and sometimes wish it had more power than the 1100 evo offers. Boom, this is my next bike.

  3. Nicolas says:

    Aesthetics aside, wouldn’t this cannibalize Streetfighter sales? Personally I would rather see an updated streetfighter 848 S or better yet, a Panigale Streetfighter.

  4. Jeram says:

    yeah whats the difference between the monster and the streetfighter it terms of functionality?

    Nothing wrong with the air cooled 1100′s… so much more torque down low than the 1198 short stroke motor!

    it sort of defeats the purspose, the monster is meant to be a practical performance bike for the road, not a rip snorting road racer with no grunt bellow 4000rpm!

  5. Sixty7 says:

    Personally I don’t think the streetfighter is a good seller…….I mean when they built the S4R and S4RS in the older shape the bikes sold well but since introducing the streetfighter range their sales have been poor this is whats needed get rid of the SF it’s ugly anyway….

  6. Damo says:

    “Nothing wrong with the air cooled 1100″: Aside from the service intervals, I agree the engine is great.

    Currently Ducati annual sale reports show the Monster line to be outselling the Streetfighter by almost 4 to 1 (even when both SF’s were still available). I love the Streetfighter as well, but try riding a pillion on that thing.

    I personally think these spy photos are of a Monster fitted with the 821cc Hyper powerplant, but it could be the 1198.

    They really seem to be taking practicality and ergos into account with their new models. Look at the right leg side shot of the bike and see how they modified the pillion foot pegs for passenger comfort.

    The new Hyper is very similar. I sat on one with my wife a few weeks back (I am 6’1″ and she is 5’11″) and we both fit on it perfectly, I was shocked.

  7. Starmag says:

    Amazingly the seat and passenger pegs look like they are made for adults. Even with the disguises the tank shape isn’t what I’d call pretty though.

  8. Jason says:

    Am I the only one who sees what looks like the “frameless” design being used here??? The front end seems to be attached directly to the heads of the motor by a camouflaged triangle in the shape of the Panigale frame/air box…

  9. Reed Parker says:

    Jason – No, I can see the frame in the shot where the rider is looking over their shoulder. Look right behind the headlight and you can see the red frame.

  10. Nick Napoda says:

    Nobody sees the frameless design really??? There is no trellis frame connecting the front and rear! The front “frame” is very very short and clearly bolted to the front cylinders. The subframe is clearly bolted to the rear cylinder/transmission. Rather than the cast aluminum front on the Panigale, they have made a welded tubular piece which is similar in function.

  11. Brandon says:

    I love my Streetfighter, and sad to see only the 848 still being sold. This would be a perfect compromise though. I’m thinking the Panigale streetfighter would kind of miss the mark for me; the whole point is the massive torque. Nobody’s doing 150mph on the track with a naked bike, so what’s the point of changing to a higher-revving engine?

  12. Miles Prower says:

    @Nick Napoda, I agree. In the first shot, you can clearly see the rear subframe is bolted to something other than a main trellis frame. And if there is a trellis frame, it too is bolted to parts of the engine, as @Jason mentions.

  13. Max says:

    @Brandon – You’re right, a high revving naked bike may not make much sense… but if this is a Diavel engine in a Monster, I’m all about it. The Diavel is liquid cooled and has plenty of torque. People literally giggle in video reviews, hah.

  14. Willie says:

    I believe its a very small frame – even shorter that the Diavel. A triangle from the stem to the front cyclinders

  15. buellracerx says:

    perfect bike for Ducati to take back the PPIHC crown…oh wait, the Streetfighter can already do that…

  16. Joerg says:

    Also interesting… It has the Hyper speedometer, a new handlebar mount, a new headlight and probably a lot which is not visible yet… This could ne a completely new Monster line for 2014. Maybe something which could stay in parallel to the air cooled line which still sells really good.

  17. jet057 says:

    Just having that oil cooler that looks lower to the ground and is huge makes me say dont but it,punchering oil cooler scares the heck at of me..

  18. arkangel says:

    love my street_fighter 1098 .. very underrated – which is great .. xx

  19. Norm G. says:

    is it me, or was there nothing wrong with the old monster that required a makeover…? the gen 2 language only came out in ’07 with the 696 and was brilliant there is clearly something different going on with that chassis. look at that subframe…? the gen 2 had adopted the MV philosophy of mixing trellis and castings. did I mention it was brilliant…?

  20. ZootCadillac says:

    I know exactly what Jensen speaks of in the first paragraph. I’m almost certain that many ‘spy’ shots are spoon fed to us with a wink but i can say from my own experience that Ducati are not always up to it ( but in this case i think they are ).
    I’ve often had a visit to their offices, taken a trip down into the warehouse to look at some bikes, camera ever in hand. Taken some pictures and gone one twitter that night to say, hey, look at my day. Only to wake up with phone calls from irate people in a Ducati office, Journalists complaining about something I have ‘broken’ without them getting a nod and a very Irate Press officer ( who has since banned me from taking any photos inside Ducati now despite the fact that I will be working the UK MotoGP for them…as a photog ;)) asking me what I was thinking posting pictures of a certain thing before an official launch.

    We are all friends ;) But they do keep secrets, or at least deadlines for secrets to be launched. That’s my experience.

    As for the comparison to a naked bike like this and the streetfighter? I think you have to ride them to understand. They are not the same bike. Big difference in weight distribution and ride height for one. They ride very differently.
    The streetfighter is not a big seller in Europe, being more suited to the US it would appear. The monster is Ducati’s bread and butter, sells great worldwide. It’s time for a facelift and lets face it, all their range has transitioned to liquid cooled now. It was inevitable after the Hypermotard and Hyperstrada ( which is another great ride, but another odd bike, very close to the Multistrada )

    Don’t take any notice of the bits you can see, they will be off the shelf and used for the dev bike to get it on the road. There is no guarantee that things like that will remain on the prod bike.
    One thing is for sure, they will get it right, they can’t afford to mess up the monster, it brings home the bacon for Ducati.

  21. arkangel says:

    @ Zoot

    Well said re the ride height and weight distribution on the street_fighter verse the monster range .. not the same bikes at all. ..
    Yet the water cooled motor on a monster will narrow a margin somewhat. Personally, I can’t wait for the Panegali styled street_fighter .. Hope it’s in development / then I can hopefully afford to have an old and a new !

    The new monster will be stunning though – for every day commuter / consumer riders !

  22. Chris says:

    @Norm G
    Nope, you’re not the only one. They really lost me with the 2nd gen Monsters, and now moreso if the aircooled motors are going away.
    If the aircooleds vanish completely, I’m picking up a spare M900 to go along with my ’99.

    I remain skeptical however, that emissions is really forcing this shift and that there’s no technical solution to this.
    HD seems to be managing just fine, for now (Yes, I know about the rumors..they seem to crop up every couple of years)

  23. The 821 engines clutch cover is quite distinctive. The engine in these pictures definitely does not have the 821 clutch cover. Also the 821cc engine does not need/use an oil cooler in the Hypermotard/strada. However what’s the bet Ducati don’t bring out two different size engines in the new water cooled monsters as replacements for the twos different size options in the current air cooled bikes. One engine based on the Diavel engine and another based on the 821cc engine in the 2013 hypermotard/strada?