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.

Honda NSF250R Moto3 Bike

06/02/2011 @ 8:59 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Honda NSF250R Moto3 Bike Honda NSF250R 635x475

The wait is finally over, as Honda has completely taken the wraps off its 2012 Honda NSF250R Moto3 race bike. Launched at the Catalan GP today, the 250cc four-stroke machine will be one of several options aspiring MotoGP riders will pilot around in the Moto3 Championship. The new NSF250R incorporates a front-intake/rear-exhaust configuratiom, while the cylinder has been tilted back 15° to help concentrate the bike’s mass.

Titanium valves help power throughout the rev range, and the cylinder design reduces friction between piston and cylinder by offsetting the cylinder centerline and applying nickel silicon carbide (Ni-SiC) for the cylinder surface treatment. Matted to the motor is a six-speed gearbox, while the frame is based off the RS125R design, with modifications to suit the power delivered by the four-stroker. Total cost: €23,600, VAT included (Spain). Full technical specs are after the jump.

Honda NSF250R Technical Specifications:

Model nameNSF250R
Model typeMR03
Overall length × Overall width × Overall height(m)1.809×0.560×1.037
Ground clearance(m)0.107
Seat height(m)0.729
Caster angle(degree)22°36″
Curb weight(kg)84
Fuel tank capacity(l)11
Engine typeliquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC single cylinder
Bore × Stroke(mm)78.0×52.2
Maximum power(kW/rpm)35.5/13,000
Maximum torque(N・m/rpm)28.0/10,500
Oil Capacity (ENG OIL/T.M OIL) (l)1.27/0.55
TransmissionTypeConstant mesh
Gear ratio1st1.875
Reduction gear ratioPrimary2.952
Devices (Intake)IACV
Fuel supply systemPGM-FI
Ignition typeFull-transistor
Clutch typeWet multiplate
Lubricating typeSemi-Dry Sump
Tire sizeFront90/580R17
Rim sizeFront2.50-17
BrakeFrontTypeHydraulic disk
RearTypeHydraulic disk
SuspensionFrontInverted telescopic
RearPro-link suspension system
Frame typeAluminum twin tube

Source: Honda World


  1. Benjamin Rowland says:

    A road version of this would be a hoot! Built it Honda.

  2. 76 says:

    I want one, put me on the list

  3. Westward says:

    I want one, and I am not even fond of Honda…

  4. Jeram says:

    what a waste of a motorcycle…

    my 1999 honda 250 two stroke single cylinder dirt bike makes more power than this, has more torque, and doesnt have to rev stupidly high to achieve these specs….
    not to mention 10x longer rebuild intervals, and rebuilds that cost 5 times less

    Thus proving the fact of how inefficient four strokes are…

    what has the world come to!

  5. Ed Gray says:

    More pictures please. I am puzzling over how the exhaust exits from under the rear of the belly pan but exits the rear of the cylinder. I am really surprised how unlike the motocrsoss engine this is described to be. I wonder if this is the furure MX engine layout. Double overhead cams? Yamaha is having considerable success with the reversed cyinder head. There is no doubt that we could whine on endlessly about the racing supeiority of two strokes, but technically the four strokes sure are insteresting.

  6. Jeram says:

    @Ed Gray

    just seems funny that we all accept that going to this 4T format will be more complex and inferior to the 2T 125ers…

    yet we justify it by saying theyre ‘are interesting’

    flying to work in a human powered helicopter made from bread sticks…
    one of many activities just like the Honda NSF250R that are lacking practicality/ yet are interesting

    sure flying a bread stick helicopter to work is great fun!
    but when it rains and your bread goes soggy you’ll hear me fly past on my two stroke.

  7. Ed Gray says:

    @ Jeram

    I’m not justifying i’m trying to look on the bright side. Also being a tech head i enjoy the tech side.

    Without question on the raw performance question two strokes are far superior. Also on the tech side what with direct injection and such maybe two strokes will make a come back.

  8. Jeram says:

    Im just poking fun :)
    all good…

    also I thought that hondas justification for the 4T moto3 was reduced cost????
    so how come the bike costs $34,200 USD???

    How much did hondas basic off the shelf RS125 cost?

    seems like honda pulled the wool over our eyes once again

  9. Jeram says:

    id also like to point out that the 1961 HONDA RC162 four stroke 250cc GP bike made the exact same 33KW/44HP @ 14000RPM

    weve come along way to end up back where we started

  10. Ed Gray says:

    That is a fabulous piece of information, if true. Where did you get it? just imagine what sort of power they could get out of a purpose built 250-4cyl now.

    Back to this cost thing. Somehow the Moto2 bikes are rediculously cheaper than the full race 250s they replaced. I have afeeling that this 250 single is also cheaper than the bikes they leased to the factory supported 125 teams. However all bets are off if they establish factory moto3 teams. I forget are the rules built to contain this some how? Is there a claiming rule on the engines? I wish they would do that with the Moto2 bikes to get the other manufacturers in there.

    Gearhead comment again. I can’t wait to get a look at this engine.

  11. Jeram says:

    I beleive the 250s were only expensive if you compaired the Honda Moto2 bike to the Aprilia/Derbi RSA250′s

    YAMAHA TZ250s and HONDA RS250s arent the most expensive bikes in the world

  12. John says:

    At least it wasn’t styled by Honda’s Team Hideous squad – like the VFR1200 and CBR250. These bikes are the ugliest things I’ve seen since the CX500 Turbo and Suzuki’s original (Hans Muth-designed, if I remember coreectly) Katana.
    Hmmmm… One of these for Track Day enjoyment… Small enough to put technique above aggression and pure power, pretty enough to not offend aesthetic sensibilities. I may never race, but the apex is calling me…

  13. I got a little excited in my pants when I saw this..WANT!!..Honda NSF250R Moto3 Bike http://t.co/rgM8otW @Asphalt_Rubber

  14. Jim Jones says:

    I’d like to point out that by 1966 Honda had the new and improved RC166 (250 cc six) was putting out over 60 horsepower but we haven’t come full circle because they left off 5 cylinders. Just think what they could do with five more cylinders and today’s material technology. And just think, all this and no smoke and ring-ding.