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 RC-E Concept to Debut at Tokyo Motor Show

11/10/2011 @ 8:55 am, by Jensen Beeler28 COMMENTS

Honda RC E Concept to Debut at Tokyo Motor Show Honda RC E electric sportbike

The Tokyo Motor Show is next month, and Honda has something special for two-wheeled enthusiasts. Fresh on the heels of KTM debuting the first major OEM electric dirt bike, Honda has an electric concept of its own: the Honda RC-E. The japanese company is being fairly terse about the RC-E’s details, simply stating that the bike is “an EV version of a super sports bike that pursues the joy of riding. A powerful and smooth ride unique to an EV model is achieved with the 250cc-class compact body.”

The bike looks fairly well-finished overall, hinting that the production of such a machine isn’t too far down the development timeline, should Honda give the project a green light. Shod with Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and a motor that looks large enough to come out of hybrid car, Honda’s design here is very appealing.

It’s hard to say how serious the company is about making an electric motorcycle though, but it does seem interesting is that the bike has an RC naming scheme, is wearing number plates, and has an obvious racing slant with its components. Could we HRC go racing electric soon?

Source: Honda


  1. Mike D says:

    Honda…I dont care if this bike is electric or fossil fuel…build this bike please!!!!

  2. Dr. Gellar says:

    O…M…G! Now this is quite a pleasant surprise for a Thursday morning… :-) And here I was thinking last night how the Toyko Motor Show has gotten really stale over the years with nothing of any real interest being debutted or offered. Nice Honda…nice!

    I certainly hope Honda/HRC go electric road-racing soon with a version of this!

  3. adam s says:

    Mike D says it straight… dont care WHAT is under the hood. i want one.

    (incredible how with one stroke- Honda has made Zero, Brammo, Czyz(?) and all those others look like a cheap prop from the original Star Trek)

  4. froryde says:

    From the tank backwards it looks surprisingly like the Brammo Empulse to me?

  5. adam s says:

    the back half does not a whole bike make.

  6. Jackie says:

    Ah, there we go. Way to go Honda.
    Finally, an electric that doesn’t look like it was built in a woodshed.
    Make it red, give it some range, and make the price graspable.

  7. Damo says:

    I dig it. That is a hot little machine.

  8. Gary says:

    Oh to be company president for a day. By morning tea I would have bridged the disconnect between the development and production teams. Never again would the market have to ponder how a company with such consistently brilliant design concepts, could construct the absurd finished products that they do.

  9. Isaac says:

    This is going to be a $50k + bike. I’m not holding my breath. None the less, absolutely beautiful machine!

  10. Isaac says:

    Oh P.S.

    Honda, THIS is how the new CBR600RR should look for ’13.

  11. Random says:

    As good-looking as the CB 1100 R concept. Even seems to be a “functional concept”, if there’s such a thing, with radiators, functional brakes etc. Co-axial swingarm attachment, front sprocket AND eletric motor, take this BMW! :)

  12. John Magnum says:

    Well a little closure for those buying a 2012 CBR1000,
    Your getting an 08 bike with a new face and whatever forks, R&D allocation for watch should have gone to updating the blade has gone here by the looks of things.

  13. Westward says:

    Looks intriguing, but what are the facts. I want to know range, speed, battery technology, and weight…

  14. Nobody says:

    Bitchin. Awesome job, Honda. Give us an option for a V4 1000cc motor, too, please!

  15. wreckah says:

    looks great!

    i wouldn’t say it blows the motoczysz away though, more the contrary. The czysz cost a fortune to build, and it looks it too…IMO one of the most gorgeous and best finished bikes of all times. Nothing woodshed or cheap about that!

  16. Jason says:

    Looks like a Britten with conventional forks to me. (that’s high praise) I’d be seriously considering it if it comes in at a reasonable price. Honda should be able to mass produce something spectacular at a great price if they put their mind to it.

  17. Westward says:

    It all comes down to price… and what type of range you get for it… I like it, and that is hard for me to say for anything Honda…

  18. Alexontwowheels says:

    Tee Tee Ex Gee Pee Domination!

  19. Isaac says:

    @Westward says:

    [QUOTE]PMLooks intriguing, but what are the facts. I want to know range, speed, battery technology, and weight…[/QUOTE]

    Range: 50mi
    Speed: 100+
    Battery: LiOn
    Weight: 500lbs +

    typical of eBikes.

  20. fazer6 says:


  21. Kyle G says:


    Got any sources for those spec classes. I mean they seem reasonable, just curious if you found a leaked spec sheet. I have heard that this uses a Insight Car electric motor

  22. Sean in Oz says:

    Range and particularly recharge time need to improve a LOT before electric sports bikes become relevant to me.

  23. Jason says:

    @ Isaac

    How do you get 500 lb (277 kg) as “typical for ebikes”. There are only two ebikes in any kind of mass production, the Brammo Enertia which is 324 lb (147 kg) and what I have, the Zero DS/S. I have the DS and my ebike has a range of about 50 miles and weighs 268 lb (122 kg). There are no ebikes anywhere near 500 lb either as a production bike or a prototype. The heaviest I know of the Mavizen (which is a built to order thing not a production bike) is 374 lb (170 kg)

    Why have you just made up “”500+, typical for ebikes “as a “fact”? You’re not alone, every single thread about electric bikes is full of made up facts

  24. @Jason. The 500 lbs is typical of the weight the race bikes in the TTXGP and e-Power series, so it’s not baseless.

    I am curious as to where Issac got his info. If those stats are true, compared to CRP’s, Brammo’s, and Zero’s top proposed 2012 bikes, then this is a poor execution by Honda.

  25. Jason says:

    @ttxgpfan Yes, the race bikes can be heavier, but there are only three road bikes in mass production at the moment. Zero XU at 221 poounds, Zero DS/S at 290 pounds and the Brammo Enertia at 324 pounds. Given that this is a road bike we’re talking about if you’re going to put in a throw away line like “typical of ebikes” in response to a request for “facts” then it’s just plain wrong.

    I’ve been involved in a lot of internet discussions and it’s common for people to interpret things differently but it’s rare for people to just make stuff up. (I’ve never noticed it) However in electric bike comments sections it seems to be quite normal.

  26. Jason says:

    Btw In my previous post I gave the 2010 state of play. The second post I gave the 2011 state of play with the entry of the XU and a 10 kg increase in weight for the DS/S. The 2012 Zeros are a bit heavier at up to 340 pounds. Still no where near “500+”

  27. Honda to debut electric racing motorcycle at Tokyo motor show: http://t.co/Yb0V7B7K

  28. 450 says:

    Besides KTM one year later still the same play bike Sherco presented way more advanced real size water cooled two speed off road bike and Gas Gas came up officially with their trials bike. Plus numerous good level children trials brands starting with the bikes for the 2 years old!
    On the street esthetic Volta bikes are way ahead from others for a while now. Honda effort is good if it’s not some pointless prototype again. Husky proto was already strong enough so there is no competition at the moment;) But true as mentioned here above already, give us an option for a V2 1200cc motor, too, please! This electric stuff is lame PlayS generation thing where is no man any more. Any way the bike looks good. Make it happen Honda.