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.

More High-Res Photos of the KTM 390 Duke

11/16/2012 @ 9:33 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

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Are you ready for KTM’s little thumper to come to US soil? Likely our runner-up  for Best in Show at EICMA 2012, the Austrians have been teasing the idea of the KTM 390 Duke for far too long. Expected to be here in Spring 2013, the bigger baby Duke sports ABS and 43hp for its 300 lbs hulk (sans gas).

A strong contender in the brewing small-displacement wars, American buyers will have the pleasure of choosing between the Honda CBR250R, KTM 390 Duke, Kawasaki Ninja 300, and Suzuki GW250 next year, with Yamaha expected to enter the quarter-liter market in 2014. Does the 2013 KTM 390 Duke tickle your fancy? We’ve got 13 high-res photos for you after the jump.

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Photos: © 2012  Schedl, R. / KTM – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. 76 says:

    Doing alittle hangin out in LA I see..

  2. ML says:

    I don’t think that’s LA (or even in the states).

    This bike looks like its just a tiny bundle of pure fun. Tempting….

  3. BBQdog says:

    Can’t wait ….

  4. Halfie 30 says:

    Might have to get one and throw a pair of clip ons or lower bars on it. The stock bars just come back too far. Other than that… I’m all in!

  5. Sean in Oz says:

    Hope this comes to Oz … at a reasonable price.

  6. MikeD says:

    Pretty little thing…hope it’ll make it over to the U.S.A.
    And unlike the new Hondas 500 it doesn’t exude that “Made of Swiss Cheese” aura.
    Hopefully it’ll cost less than the Hondas ? Fingers crossed.

  7. JoeD says:

    Proof that the Asian Design Mindtrust is like Haiku being a form of poetry. Sure, it fits the category but does it make sense to the Occidental Mind? Just repeat KTM(Auntie M) KTM(Auntie M), threre’s no place like home and Oz will be visited, surely.

  8. cds says:

    Here, just get it over with and take my money..

  9. Carles says:

    This is Barcelona, as always. 95%of the Ktm photoshhotings are in Barcelona city and the roads near to it.

  10. More High-Res Photos of the KTM 390 Duke – http://t.co/ZAFJOHiH #motorcycle

  11. Tim says:

    Hello Jensen,

    Has KTM actually confirmed that the 390 Duke is going to be for sale here in America? I guess Honda didn’t reveil their much talked about RCV 1000 at the EICMA SHOW?

  12. Paul McM says:

    Me Gusta! Love everything ‘cept the stripey graphics. Been hoping a factory would produce something like a “street tracker” minimalist bike for some time — but with modern brakes, suspension, and FI. Thanks KTM! Now if they made this in a 600cc, you might convince me to part with my DR650 (that spends most of its time on the street). Note to Kawazuki stylists — you CAN make a bike look modern without making it look like a transformer or insectizoid!

  13. meatspin says:

    thats a $3500 bike I hope

  14. Rocket Punch says:

    I NEED THIS BIKE NAO!

  15. L2C says:

    Yes. I want this bike. When does it arrive and how much will it be?

  16. Aaron says:

    I was dead set on getting a DRZ400SM but now I’m wavering. This looks like blast, can be found new (assuming it comes to the US and I’ll believe when I see), and for similar money (hopefully) to the used prices on the DRZSM (seriously, WTF).

    I need an autoclutch, though, and it looks like the engine in the Duke 390 is lifted out of a dirtbike. Do you think I could drop a Rekluse in this like bike?

  17. motogpdr says:

    why abs?…more weight and more costs…with this little hooligan i want to slide it!

  18. It’s Bosch’s dual-channel ABS. You can lock up the rear, and pulse the front, if you so desire.

  19. Very nice, I’d like to have one of these as a farm bike. My only issue is with that ridiculous rear fender piece, I think I would’ve much preferred to have a longer tail and a bigger passenger seat than that absurd thing. The aftermarket guys are already making something to replace that right now, and the way it’s attached looks like it’ll be a pain to design.

  20. UP says:

    This might well be my next bike.

  21. I’m pretty sure the bike for sale will have the Orange rims as on the bikes at EICMA. Looks quite a lot better. Like this: http://blog.derestricted.com/motorcycles/ktm-duke-390-eicma-2012/