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 Supersport Concept by Luca Bar

07/15/2011 @ 11:41 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Ducati Supersport Concept by Luca Bar Ducati Supersport Luca Bar Design 635x476

Tracing back to when Ducati made the SS line, Luca Bar has put pen to pad again, rendering a modern-day version of the Ducati Supersport. Envisioning a motorcycle based off Ducati’s popular Monster 1100 EVO platform, the Supersport would feature the same 1,078cc air-cooled two-valve v-twin motor of the Monster, which should provide plenty of power and take some design cues from the top-spec naked bike. Bar also points out that using the Monster as the basis for the Supersport could help keep costs down as well, and keep the MSRP close to the Monster 1100 EVO (we’d imagine pricing would have the SS as slightly pricier than the Monster).

The idea of a Ducati Supersport is an interesting one, as the model already has a rich history with the Italian company. With the Ducati Superbike 1199 coming out later this year, and a revision to the Streetfighter model also expected, it’s a thin line where the Supersport could fit into Ducati’s lineup. Sportier than the Monster, but not as sporty as the Superbike, and unlike the Streetfighter with its liquid-cooled motor, there could be enough differentiation from the Monster, Streetfighter, and Superbike to justify the Supersport in Ducati’s repertoire.

The catch will be on whom Ducati sees buying such a model, as the company has lately been going after customer demographics that currently are not in the Bologna brand’s core constituency. Perhaps an answer to what an aging sportbiker would ride, the Supersport could cannabalize on sales for the Diavel and Multistrada 1200 (which are currently serving this need in the Ducati brand), though it could also provide an avenue for an older rider to own a more comfortable, but still racy Italian rocket (arguably something the Diavel and MTS 1200 are not).

It’s certainly a concept to ponder, and as usual, Luca makes the machine look enticing. Will Ducati make on though? Only time will tell.

Source: Luca Bar (blog)


  1. patron says:

    Reminds me of the old Superhawk.

  2. KillerKW says:

    As a satisfied owner of a 900SS, I can certainly see the charm of an aggressive air-cooled street bike. Although I was sad to see the SuperSport disappear from the Ducati lineup a few years ago, it was replaced with the pretty (in pictures) Sport Classic line for the poseurs, and the Hypermotard for the hooligans; pretty much covering all of the people who would purchase an SS. With the demise of the Sport Classics (poor sales?) there is certainly a market for those who want others to beleive they own a ‘real Ducati Superbike.’ For those with deep pockets and a real love of air-cooled Ducatis, there are a few good choices out there from Pierobon, Bimota, and NCR among others (albeit not so much street legal in the US).

    It seems right now that Ducati is more concerned with looking into the future than dreaming of past glory days. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (1199 looks to be pretty mean), I will still be dreaming of that Pierobon Fo42 Street.

  3. Alexontwowheels says:

    Meh… kinda fugly. Not a fan of the halfway sport halfway naked bikes personally. Why blur the lines between the two, especially when Ducati excels at both so supremely?

  4. ML says:

    This looks, umm… ugly. Please don’t make this, ever.

  5. Andrew says:

    I love the idea, but not this styling, it looks pretty ordinary to me. I’d love a superlight, torquey super handler with the best suspension with styling cues and colors from the original bevelhead 750/900SS bikes, but thats just coz I’m old enough to remember them fondly.

    The Paul Smart was ok looking, but had the plastic tank problems, and the compromised suspension, both of which put me off buying one. I like the look of nostalga, but I don’t want to step back in time when it comes to road ability. A factory Ducati with big dose of NCR ‘New Blue’ syling flair would be a very tempting platform.

  6. Alex says:

    Not very easy on the eyes.

  7. george_fla says:

    As long as they stick to that atrocious trellis front and cast sub frame rear the bike is gonna look like ass, no matter what goodies they hang on it. Not that they couldnt get the 2 to compliment each its just that they DIDNT.

  8. Andrew says:

    This is an ugly attempt at something Ducati should have retained in their line up. There are better renderings out there for an SS for sure. The front fairing just doesn’t fit… the lines just do not flow with the rest of the bike. Looks just right from an accountants perspective though because cobbled together “parts bin specials” keep costs down and margins up!
    I love my Ducatis’ but still long for a bike that I can take the wife riding on. Apart from its odd appearance and ridiculously high seat, the MTS1200 pillion accommodation is good, I’ll give you that. (but man it’s an ugly bike and certainly not sporty looking). The Superbike, Monster, Streetfighter and Hyper are NOT pillion friendly by any means. The Diavel seems OK for a small passenger only; but its a cruiser :-(
    Ducati, in their bean counter driven pursuit of the bottom line, have forgotten one of the core market segments that kept them alive for a couple decades, namely a reasonably comfortable sporty looking bike with touring ability FOR TWO PEOPLE!.
    I don’t think the SportClassic was ever meant to remain a key part of their product lineup and certainly with the demise of the GT they have little for those who wish to ride with a partner. Proof of the fact that the market exists is shown by the fact the GT was carried for longer than the other SportClassics. Further evidence that the market is there can be seen in the many online forums but they just haven’t addressed the need. They are so busy segmenting the market they have overlooked the need for an all purpose machine with great sporty looks offering the traditional Ducati experience.
    I suppose it should not come as a surprise because one thing they have done consistently from the early 70′s onward, is to make some pretty bad marketing decisions on occasion. Thats the Italian way!

  9. Walter says:

    Ugly enough to be a BMW

  10. gonzalo says:

    There is a better option http://www.f042.com!
    That supersport rocks!

  11. Hodgmo says:

    I’m going to buck the trend here. To me, the look of this bike is just about right on the money. Exhaust mounted low on the opposite side of the single swing-arm? -correct. Open visibility of the beautiful air cooled twin? -correct. Long saddle with room to move around? -correct. Stripped down look but still a useable fairing? -correct. The bottom line is, this could be a daily rider you enjoy every time you fire it up. It depends how well the product delivers verses the concept intent. If it was sitting on the showroom floor, would you want to test ride it? -correct.