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.

Are You The New Ducati Scrambler?

10/03/2013 @ 3:45 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Are You The New Ducati Scrambler? 2014 ducati scrambler spy photo

Back in July, Asphalt & Rubber broke the news that Ducati was working on a Scrambler model, which was based on the drawings originally inked by Pierre Terblanche during his tenure at the Italian company.

A month later we confirmed that report, noting the Ducati had trademarked the use of “Ducati Scrambler” for the American market, in relation to a model of motorcycle. Throughout all this time though, we had yet to see a photo of the expected 2015 model — that is, until now.

Getting our first look at the 2014 Ducati Scrambler, we are finally able to draw some definitive answers to the earlier speculation, namely that the Italians have chosen to mount one of their air-cooled v-twin motors for the machine.

Likely the same 803cc v-twin found in the Monster 796, the engine has been mated to trellis frame with a double-sided swingarm, and we can also see that the Ducati Scrambler here has a traditional 17″ rear wheel, while it looks to be sporting a spoked 19″ wheel up front.

The seat appears to be a flat, single-piece, “banana” seat, with the fuel tank elongated for that unique scrambler style. The overall fit and finish is clearly lacking from this photo, but if the radially mounted Brembo calipers are any indication, Ducati does not plan on making the Scrambler a budget model, which had been rumored previously.

With only a few more months until the EICMA show, we won’t have to wait long to find out all the details of Ducati’s new bikes. Stay tuned loyal Ducatisti.

Source: Insella.it


  1. eg says:

    honestly dont see the point to this

  2. ross ewich says:

    i was honestly looking forward to this from the previous leaks. a simple, back to basics, ‘leave the racer fairings and egos behind’- kind of bike.

    but after seeing this monstrosity… i’m happy i didnt wait for it and bought my aprilia shiver.

    (i realize that the awful front headlight is probably a stuck on piece to throw off looks for under-the-radar testing… as is the three spoke rear and the zebra-flage on the tank… but still, it looks like more of a “why?” than a “wow!”)

  3. smiler says:

    899 swing arm, oh dear.

  4. Norm G. says:

    re: “we can also see that the Ducati Scrambler here has a traditional 17″ rear wheel, while it sports a spoked 19″ wheel up front.”

    wait, you can…? that is…?

  5. frod04 says:

    I wonder what are Ducati’s designers thinking! oh well, moving along

  6. chris says:

    “but if the radially mounted Brembo calipers are any indication, Ducati does not plan on making the Scrambler a budget model”

    all ducatis, even their budget models, have used radial mounted brembos for the past five years, right?

  7. JoeD says:

    Almost there. Move the pegs down 2″ and forward a bit and install a steel trellis type swingarm with spoked wheel for a lighter look. I rode the ’12 Monster 1200 last weekend and the pegs were perfect.

  8. TJ99 says:


    I wonder what all of you are thinking, passing judgment based on some random photo of an obviously unfinished bike/test mule/proof of concept/who knows, that may or may not be on the lineup next or any other year…

    Granted this is the internet, but a little common sense would be nice.

  9. Jerry says:

    I am surprised to see a 19″ front!

    I would have thought the Multistrada or Hyperstrada clearly deserved 19″ front wheels!

  10. Brandon says:

    So what exactly would be the real difference between this and a Hypermotard besides styling (slightly)?

  11. Scott says:

    We were always told the old Monster was a “parts bin” bike made out of various components from other Ducatis mixed in with some new styling. This Scrambler looks more pieced together than the Monster ever did. Like eg said in the first post, “I don’t see the point”. The low seat and high bars along with the big front wheel is going to just make this an oddball. The styling is not that interesting either. Makes me excited to still have my S2R1000.

  12. Nick Brown says:

    There is no point in Ducati introducing a bike and calling it the “Scrambler” if you can’t participate in scrambles on it.

  13. BBQdog says:

    With some luck they took the standing cilinder of and made it a real scrambler, not another too fat Duc.

  14. TJ99 says:

    “Too fat”, ha, every Duc made is the lightest bike in its segment. Am I taking crazy pills here?!?

  15. MikeG81 says:

    Well, it doesn’t have a single sided swingarm, so it’s clearly not a Ducati.

  16. Tony C says:

    Ducati has a history of “leaking” spy pics of their prototypes. With the Multi, they put a midget (sorry, small people) on bike that was far from the final product, just to mess with people. I doubt the final Scrambler would look anything like this one.

    I, for one, am looking forward to the final revewal.

  17. Aaron says:

    I like Nick Brown’s comments…a real ‘Scrambler’ would be awesome. Ducati has been in the habbit of blowing peoples minds lately and I doubt they’re about to stop now…time will tell.

  18. Brian stevens says:

    Why do “stolen” pics allways look as if shot with a 200 pixel phone camera of ten years ago ?

  19. ZootCadillac says:

    After some of the false alarms in the press, yes. this is a test bike for the scrambler platform. Whilst the trademark registration was no more than a commercial move on the part of Ducati it’s been no secret they are to produce a bike which nods back to one of its best loved models.
    Viewers should not concern themselves with what they see as we all know test bikes are always full of bolt-ons from the shelf of existing parts. What should be of interest is the choice of engine and frame.
    Showroom bikes rarely resemble the test bikes, especially when they are over a year away from announcement, as this is.
    Regarding the swingarm. I don’t comprehend the problem with the banana swingarm. On a scrambler/enduro type bike it’s almost essential for the clearance. It’s not like Ducati invented the single-sided swingarm and truth be told it’s only been on 3 of their sport platforms (916-998, 848/1*98 and the 1199) and even the bread and butter monster did not get the sssa until it was well into its life cycle and even then on the flagship model.

    The Ducati scrambler is looking good and will bring a whole new group of people to market for the company. That’s the direction now.

    As for the leak? I think this is a public shot from the phone. Yes Ducati do leak pics of their models to create buzz. That 899 pic was an internal leak. This? My opinion is that it’s a shot taken by a member of the public on a phone cam.

  20. MikeD says:

    I understand this is only a “test mule”, but did the have to make so damn fugly ? LMAO.
    P.S: Is cool, scramblers do nothing for me . . . so carry on DUC. (^_^)

  21. paulus says:

    Dont worry… to sell it into the US there will be a Roland Sands Designs version
    black performance machine wheels with CNC milled accents and black belt covers with CNC milled accents and black ‘everything’ covers with CNC milled accents…. bike will be painted 70′s candy apple red

  22. Damo says:


    EVERYTHING? Hypermotard has a different swing arm, wheels, frame, engine, etc.

    I am guessing this will be a fruity off road monster, not a parallel product to the Hyper line.

  23. Ruyters says:

    Are You The New Ducati Scrambler? – No, i am not. I am a so called “Versuchsträger” (german word for prototypes who will never been built). This bike was assembled for riding tests (engine testing, exhaust and Euro 4/5 behaviour) and nothing more.

    Zoot is right.

    And second: Who said a scrambler made by Ducati has to be cheap? My guess is somewhat on 10-11.000 Euros, means probably around 9.500$?

  24. Duc guy says:

    I have seen this bike in person…I can’t say when or where but rest assured it is not ugly at all!!!

  25. MeatyBeard says:

    Guys, it’s a test mule. Not production ready. It will look nothing like this. Calm down.