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.

Mission Motorcycles Debuts the Mission RS – 160hp, 200 Mile Range, and a $58,999 Price Tag

05/31/2013 @ 4:33 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Mission Motorcycles Debuts the Mission RS   160hp, 200 Mile Range, and a $58,999 Price Tag mission r left side 635x635

As we suspected, the Mission R by Mission Motors lives, albeit in a new company and with a new name. Coming from Mission Motorcycles, the now-called Mission RS (race special) is the realization of what we consider to be the finest road-going electric motorcycle…and we should know, we’ve ridden them all.

Essentially the electric race bike that Steve Rapp piloted to Supersport class lap times at the Laguna Seca MotoGP/AMA/e-Power round in 2011, but with a headlight, taillight and mirrors, the Mission RS boasts some impressive figures.

Sport bike enthusiasts will enjoy the quoted 160hp horsepower, 120 lbs•ft of torque across the rev range, and 17 kWh battery pack, which Mission says is good for a 200 mile range (140 mile real world) and a 150 mph top speed. However, the $58,999 price tag may take some getting used to (insert sticker shock joke here, as well as corresponding eye roll).

With only 40 motorcycles to be made (a bike for every second the Mission R beat its competition by at Laguna Seca — cheeky), and the Mission RS coming with BST carbon fiber wheels, Öhlins WSBK-spec suspension, and MotoGP-spec Brembo brakes, the “race special” designation seems to have been earned, along with its price tag of course. Fret not though, Mission Motorcycles aims to bring a “more affordable” model to market as well, confusingly named the Mission R.

It seems we will have to wait a bit longer to learn about the new Mission R motorcycle, but we do know that it will cost $29,999 in its base form, and will have battery pack options of 12 kWh, 15 kWh and 17 kWh, along with other configurable options.

Said to be an entirely new machine, the Mission R from Mission Motorcycles will have lower-spec components than the Mission RS, so buyers will have to learn to make do with having only regular Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and forged aluminum wheels.

Both machines will feature the company’s MissionOS software, which we saw an early version of when we test rode the Mission R last year. Comprised of a very elegant design layout, the MissionOS will bring not only your typical riding information to the touchscreen dashboard, but it also includes GPS directions via Google and a built in LTE internet connection, as well as Bluetooth connectivity for Mission’s planned helmet with a heads-up-display (HUD).

The Mission RS can connect to your iOS or Android device via that same Bluetooth connection, and has a stabilized 1080p camera mounted in the nose of that bike that can record on-board footage with a data overlay (located just above the bike’s LED headlight).

Something new for most motorcyclists, the Mission RS also comes with a built in reverse, though no word if the company has cracked the nut regarding the  parking of electric motorcycles on hills with some sort of parking brake.

With two on-board chargers (Level-2 J1772 and a standard 120v plug), Mission says it can pump up to 9 KW into the Mission RS, which should be good for close to a two-hour recharge time.

For those A&R readers who understand our ongoing Star Wars references and general geek-out moments, you will be happy to hear that Mission Motorcycles plans on making available and SDK for the MissionOS ahead of its launch. Booyah!

Expect to see the Mission RS and Mission R in the summer of 2014. The Mission R will go into production once the Mission RS is delivered to all its customers. More info on the new Mission R, as we get it.

Photos of the Mission RS from Mission Motorcycles:

Photos of the Mission R from Mission Motors:

Source: Autopia


  1. Gutterslob says:

    GPS, Google Maps, 1080p camera, Bluetooth, iOS and Android, Mission OS… and even an upcoming SDK?!!

    Jeez….. and here I was hoping that electrics would simplify motorcycling (like the KTM Freeride E). They’re just iPhone-ifying it here, adding more (somewhat trivial) things that can go wrong, and that’s just the riding experience I’m talking about. It’ll probably be a similar case with regards to servicing the thing. Instead of simplifying and just having the owner change lubricants and check the chain and tyres every few thousand miles (provided they can ensure the battery pack is maintenance free), it seems owners will have to visit some sort of Mission Genius Bar to get the thing to even turn a wheel.

    Anyways, congrats to Mission Motors if they come through and deliver by Summer 2014.

  2. Richard Gozinya says:

    That’s so totally and completely ridiculously over the top. And exactly what the electric motorcycle world needs. All those added toys, some of them people will enjoy, other stuff people won’t. Some stupidly expensive toy for some lucky rich bastards to enjoy (Hopefully they’ll ride them) And for the rest of us to buy a few years later on the used market.

  3. Richard Gozinya says:

    Oh, the first page of results for “Mission RS” On Google is a restaurant supply store, and ski boots.

  4. Congrats to Mission for deciding to bring this beautiful machine to market. I hope this means we’ll be seeing more of them at the track this season! Any word on them attending the Laguna Seca FIM eRoadRacing round with MotoGP in July?

  5. george says:

    I’m down for the $30k version right now! … Monday cannot come soon enough!!

  6. Silas says:

    Anyone know how much it weighs?

  7. Damo says:

    This thing is f*cking awesome….excuse me I have to go buy some power ball tickets.

  8. jzj says:

    Competition improves the breed. At the higher end, we now have Lightning and Mission. At the middler end (?), we have Brammo Empulse and Zero S. At the lower end, we have Brammo Enertia and Zero XU. Great news all around.

    (In the meantime, I’m searching how to best replace my DIY electric motorcycle’s lead-acid batteries with lithium, and there’s still no definitive solution: I’d have thought that this would have been worked out by now.)

  9. Andrey says:

    Now THAT is a bike!!
    Good on them for doing this…

  10. MrP says:

    No clutch, no gears? What in the world is going on?

  11. Phil says:

    $59,999 !!!! Are you sure about this… did you do your research?… Ever heard of the word ‘recession’!!

  12. Gutterslob says:

    In case you haven’t heard (or just didn’t read past the headline), there’s also an ‘entry-level’ version going for $30K. Still not cheap, but a bit more reasonable.

  13. steve_a says:

    A 17 kWh pack will only give a range of about 100 miles at 75 mph or so. I’m sure the 200 mile range figure is for a speed of about 45-50 mph, or in urban riding.

    Regardless of price, I’m still trying to understand who this makes sense for.

  14. @BrammoBrian, Bothans say 2013 not gonna happen, 2014 most likely.

    @Silas, it’s interesting. That’s the one figure that wasn’t include. When I rode the Mission R, it was 550 lbs at the curb.

  15. L2C says:

    $60,000. Let’s see…an Audi TT RS? A Porsche Cayman? Okay, I get it. The Mission RS is just as beautiful and desirable, if not more so. Yeah, there will be buyers. And the $30,000 “Focus ST” version will speak to many more.

    That is one seriously beautiful machine.

  16. Bob says:

    Cool bike. Over priced, but go figure, it’s built in CA and not mass produced.

    … and what’s with the hokey-ass music in the youtube videos?

  17. MikeD says:

    That thing looks SWEET, and this coming from an electric bike NAY-SAYER.
    I hope the specs are real, specially the range one, sounds too good to be true.
    Hard to argue with torque that high at any RPM…Ah, The Beauty.

  18. Silas says:

    @Jensen. OK, that’s not surprising since I couldn’t find it on their site either.

    This thing looks amazing, is superbly equipped and 160hp is enough for me BUT at a gnats whisker off of 250kg, that just doesn’t cut it for me. I would have found myself seriously considering the 30-40K version but not with those stats.

    I’m sure these things will be mainstream by the time my young’un is riding. Until then, I can see no reason why the replacement for my RSV4 Factory wouldn’t be the next Aprilia or a Panigale S.

  19. Derek C says:

    So is this the beginning of the digital camera phase of motorcycles.
    I remember some time ago when I took my old Nikon in to a local shop to be repaired and there was a woman in front of me with a “new” digital camera wanting to get it repaired. The service person responded upon seeing it, “That’s not a camera, that’s a computer”!
    Will these bikes become obsolete in ten years?