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.

The KTM 1290 Super Duke Caught in the Wild

04/20/2013 @ 7:09 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

The KTM 1290 Super Duke Caught in the Wild ktm 1290 super duke prototype spy photo 635x423

Spy photos of the KTM 1290 Super Duke are nothing new, and the Austrian company has even gone as far as to tease us with a heavily massaged KTM 1290 Super Duke R prototype at the 2012 EICMA show. With the final version of the superbike-powered streetfighter expected to be decidedly less edgy, the photo brought to us today (one can only guess when it was taken), if anything else, is a reminder to be reluctant our expectations.

The ever elusive “spy” photo, what we have here looks to be a near production prototype of the KTM 1290 Super Duke that has been caught in the wild. Easily the clearest photo we have seen of the road-going bike, it clearly holds KTM’s LC8 motor as well as the same trellis frame found on the “beast” prototype.

Free of its paint and Kiska-designed graphics, the KTM is without some of our most favorite design elements that we saw on the prototype in Milan — most notably the hybrid underslung / GP-style Akrapovic exhaust (maybe the Slovenians will help us out here).

We imagine that when the Austrians finish gussying her up, we will be more excited about the new Super Duke, and we admit that we would like to see KTM take a longer journey down the edgy route they explored with their EICMA bike.

A solomen reminder about over-hyping a machine before its official launch, if you fail to deliver something that meets or exceeds the expectations you create, you end up with quite the disaster on your hands. Hopefully that’s not the case with here with the KTM 1290 Super Duke.

Source: Bothan Spies


  1. Jaxxx says:

    I was excited about this bike….was.

  2. Drew says:

    +1 for the was above, guess I’ll hang on to my evo monster after all.

  3. Ganny says:

    Here’s another +1 for Jaxxx

  4. Ganny says:

    Hope its just a temp body

  5. vaisakh says:

    niccee… but crappy duke 125 headlight???? cheap!!!!!!!

  6. JeCo says:

    Pheeeewww dodged that new bike purchase.. Thanks KTM.

  7. Kenny says:

    Whats different to the prototype? Dual tuned exhausts, which if a certain slovenian company don’t make I’ll eat my hat. Carbon fibre undertray, and mudguards. The ant-like headlight cluster, again if somebody doesn’t make it… The remote reservoir forks, indicators, fancy levers, licence plate holder, the last four I can live with/without.
    The only think that looks really out of place is that massive coolant reservoir and the exhaust. Otherwise I think a lick of paint would still have me drooling all over it.
    I sincerely hope they live up to the “Beast” ethos.

  8. CTK says:

    I think you guys are overreacting. The most important part, the big 1290cc v-twin, is still intact. Everything else can and probably will change. I am kind of hoping Ducati brings back the big boy Streetfighter with the Panigale lump

  9. CJ says:

    I like it better without all of the ORANGE – KTM, please make mine black with a shine.

  10. bakeery says:

    please just change the headlamp for the real production.

  11. arkangel says:

    @ CTK – my thinking exactly .. till then I’ll keep the dry clutch / trellis frame version
    - may even keep them both – if the make the above desired !

  12. carbon says:

    I like it. I really liked the orange of the ‘beast,’ and really really liked the paint treatment on the beast’s wheels.

    I don’t care about the beast exhaust, as a 2-into-1 makes more torque anyway, and that 2-2 beast exhaust looked like it would be louder than my harley. Can’t stand the harley decibal level; putting on a supertrapp 2-1 to tone it the hell down.

  13. Christ isn’t anybody here familiar with the term test mule?

    And of course for Posers, all that matters is how it looks because they’re never going to REALLY ride it anyway. What matters for REAL motorcyclists, is how does it ride, cosmetics are for girly men, no offense ladies. :)

    Too bad the photographer didn’t take the time to talk to the rider, some feedback would of been nice.

  14. Herb Belin says:

    I’m riding a 990 SD now and have my name on the waiting list at the local dealer. Hopefully the final production version of the 1290 will look more like the prototype with the wild paint and great exhaust. As it now stands I would not upgrade based on what I am seeing……

  15. KEG says:


  16. KEG says:

    i am pissed, actually pissed off! I have been calling dealers trying to place a deposit on 1st orders. Thank god i just bought a 1098 SF. Shame on you KTM. I also got a 2010 Duke R last year instead of the new duke 690: Why? because your new duke is lower, less aggressive and has the most hideous headlights. I bought a ticket and flew to Milan last year only to see the so called beast: again big big shame on you for this rendition. guys I am salty, real salty. I sincerely hope its just a great case of good camo.

    Sincerely, Disappointed Fan

  17. KEG says:

    the back looks like a cb1000r and the front a b-king. oh dear!