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.

Horex VR6 1200cc Supercharged Concept

06/15/2010 @ 3:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Horex VR6 1200cc Supercharged Concept Horex VR6 635x458

Out of stealth mode today in Munich, Horex Motorcycles is back after getting the axe from Daimler-Benz back in 1960. To help usher the company back into the motorcycle industry, Horex has developed a V6 1200cc supercharged concept bike that uses a VR6 cylinder configuration. A solid looking street-standard, the Horex VR6 concept is expected to begin production late in 2011, and make somewhere between 175hp-200hp, and over 110lbs•ft of torque.

At the core of the Horex VR6 is a 15° V6 motor, that takes up the same width as your standard inline-four motor. Like it’s Volkswagen of a similar name, the Horex VR6′s slightly offset cylinders allow the motor to become more compact across the width of the motorcycle, while still employing more cylinders. Horex says it has secured the patent to bring the VR6 cylinder configuration to two-wheel vehicles.

Making the VR6 configuartion possible is a triple overhead cam design (TOHC). The TOHC allows all the cylinder heads to be on the same plane, and keeps the motor’s two intake valves and one exhaust valve to stay in sync.

The results of all this, according to Horex, is an exceptionally smooth power delivery. The smoothness will be necessary considering how much power is expected to be on-tap on the Horex. Helping give the 1200cc motor some boost is a radial supercharger that’s cooled by an integrated intercooler found in the motor cooling system.

Other goodies will come in the form of 50mm Marzocchi forks, that feature radially-mounted brakes with ABS. Also noticeable is a single-sided swingarm that’s fitted with a belt drive from the motor to the wheel.

While there’s still a lengthy wait ahead of us until we can see production of the VR6 two-wheeler, Horex says its has secured euros in the double digit millions to bring the project into fruition. A final production venue hasn’t been decided, but the bike is expected to be released in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland before coming to the rest of Europe and the US. Thanks for the tip Tito!


  1. RSVDan says:

    I am in love with this engine concept. Imagine the sound this thing is going to make with six sylinders on offset crank pins and a radial supercharger. So very, very cool.

  2. jay says:

    Bumble bee. Stylistic creation, the concept, the custom leaves a lot to be desired. why should anyone steal a watch when he could have this for reasonable price.

  3. fazer6 says:

    So Cool.
    I need more $$

  4. Horex VR6 1200cc Supercharged Concept – http://aspha.lt/134 #motorcycle

  5. Will says:

    Better looking than many of the other “concepts” offered.

  6. hoyt says:

    RSVDan – the sound must be intense.

    The 1st picture looks good, but the outside engine cases* need more character for such a unique soul

    *aluminum? bits

  7. MTS Lust says:

    Very cool, but only 200hp from a forced-induction 1200cc 6cyl? They could achieve that without the forced induction – perhaps the supercharger is just to pump up what is probably an otherwise weak low end from the relatively tiny individual cylinder displacement. Would be curious to see what sort of boost its running. I’d also love to see direct injection so more boost could be had with a fairly high CR without detonation. Better power and better mpg.

  8. Josh says:

    The Super Squalo, a supercharged ducati 999 makes 200hp with fewer cylinders and 200cc less displacement.

  9. BikePilot says:

    They’ll probably have to come up with a new name given that VW has already claimed VR6 for their own narrow-angle V6 engine.

  10. RSVDan says:

    Josh: The Sqalo runs pretty high boost and is a very highly stressed motor. This thing could likely make far more than the 175hp-200hp with higher boost, but who on God’s good Earth needs that?? I nice 180hp with 110ft’lbs of torque should do quite nicely I would think, and do it in a nice comfortable, non-frantic sort of way (as non-frantic as a 200hp motorcycle can be anyway…)

  11. Josh says:

    Fair enough. I certainly don’t need that much power, it just seems like a lot of work for not a lot of gain. Another motor that makes this sound a bit weak is the sea-doo PWC motor – 1.5L supercharged 3cyl making 260hp with a 8200rpm rev limit. relaxed, will make peak power hours on end. Its more displacement, but the extra cylinders and presumably more rpm of this v6 should make up for the 300cc disadvantage.

  12. Racklefratz says:

    @Josh: <>

    But what self-respecting rider would be seen on anything called a “Squalo”?


    Different strokes. I need a lot more, which is why I own/ride a 445hp Boss Hoss. And it does that without a supercharger or turbo.

  13. Well. Not rather what I expected, but you have produced me feel about this topic from yet another perspective. Wonderful job.