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 R Electric Superbike Breaks Cover

12/17/2010 @ 12:01 am, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Mission R Electric Superbike Breaks Cover Mission R electric motorcycle Mission Motors 635x447

After teasing us earlier last month with its silhouette, Mission Motors has finally taken the wraps off its Mission R electric race bike. Boasting some big numbers, namely a 14.4 kWh battery pack and a 3-phace AC induction motor that makes 141hp and 115 lbs•ft of torque, the Mission R ticks all the right performance boxes with its 160mph top speed, 100 kW motor controller, regenative breaking, and barely race legal 545 lbs weight.

Taking lessons learned from the Mission One, Mission Motors has built the Mission R from the ground-up, and tapped some well known names to help the company make this striking motorcycle. With James Parker (of GSX-RADD fame) designing the chassis, and Tim Prentice of Motonium working on the industrial design, the Mission R is not only a very pleasing motorcycle to look at (drool over that billet single-sided swingarm), but also incorporates some advanced concepts to make it a potent and compact racing weapon. Oh, and did we mention the bike looks freaking fantastic?

Starting with the chassis, James Parker designed the Mission R’s unique Quad-Element frame layout, which has a chrome-moly trellis frame, joined to a billet aluminum front piece that incorporates the head stock and forward sub-frame. Enclosed in a carbon fiber box, the Mission Motors managed to fit 14.4kWh of MissionEVT battery packs into the chassis design, while Parker’s main focus was centering the new Mission Motors AC induction motor at the Mission R’s exact center of gravity.

The densest component on the Mission R, Parker’s goal was to put the 3-phase AC induction motor as close to the center of gravity on the Mission R, so as to have the lowest moment of inertia possible. With a wheelbase just 3/4 of an inch longer than a Ducati 1198 Superbike’s, the Mission R should be very flickable and responsive, and Mission touts that it will be one of the most compact and well-balanced designs on the 2011 racing grid.

With Tim Prentice working intimately with the Mission Motors engineers, Motonium’s industrial design aspects have not only made the Mission R very pragmatic in its design, with a small frontal-area and aggressive ergonomic, but also the electric race bike is a stunning two-wheeler that should turn more than a few petrol-minded heads at this weekend’s Long International Motorcycle Show. We especially like Prentice’s fairing design that sweeps down from the front fairing to the bellypan, elegantly showing off the orange trellis frame. With plenty of carbon, and all the right go-fast parts, we challenge anyone not to get excited about this bike visually.

The Mission R isn’t destined to sit around and just look good though, as Mission Motors plans on going racing with the bike in the TTXGP series (just barely under the newly imposed maximum weight provision of 250kg), as well as taking on other series like the Laguna Seca e-Power Championship and Isle of Man TT Zero as Mission deems them fitting with the company’s goals. As of right now Mission plans to only field one bike, with a rider not yet named, but could possibly field a second bike if the sponsorship and funding materializes for such an addition. “Racing is in our DNA,” said Mission Motors Founder Edward West. “The crucible of the racing circuit is one of the key ways we advance our technology. Pushing the envelope for what is possible with electric drive shapes not only the future of motorsports, but the future of transportation.”

Using the Mission R as a rolling showcase of its designs and brainpower, there are no immediate plans at this time for the Mission R to be available as a street bike from Mission Motors, but the San Francisco based company is not willing to say never on that idea. For now though, the Mission R will serve as a proving ground for the MissionEVT components and expertise, which Mission Motors hopes to sell to other manufacturers and OEMs inside and outside of the motorcycle industry. While business seems to be booming for Mission, we think the sound we’ll be hearing the most of this weekend will be peoples’ jaws dropping when they see the Mission R in person at the Long Beach show. Scroll down for photos and technical specs.

Mission R Specifications

Motor: 141 horsepower liquid-cooled 3-phase AC induction

Torque: Crank: 115 ft-lb (0 – 6400RPM)

Top Speed: 160+ mph

Energy Storage

  • MissionEVT battery modules with integrated Battery Management System
  • Carbon fiber casing with dielectric liner
  • Swappable architecture
  • 14.4 kWh total energy storage

Power Control:
MissionEVT 100kW controller with integrated Vehicle Management System

  • Adjustable throttle mapping
  • Regenerative braking
  • WiFi & 3G data connectivity

Single speed, gear-driven primary reduction

RADD-designed Quad-Element Frame

  • Billet aluminum and
  • Chrome-moly
  • Power-Unit as fully-stressed member
  • Battery box as semi-stressed member

Front Suspension:

  • Öhlins FGR-000 TTX25 Gas Charged Fork
  • Adjustment for preload, ride height, high and low speed compression and rebound

Rear Suspension:

  • Single-sided billet aluminum swingarm with linear wheelbase/chain adjustment
  • Öhlins TTX36 Shock and progressive linkage system
  • Adjustment for preload, ride height, high and low speed compression and rebound

Marchesini forged magnesium 10-spoke.

  • Front: 17” x 3.5”
  • Rear: 17” X 6”

Front Brake

  • 2 Brembo 320 mm narrow-band racing stainless rotors
  • 2 Brembo 2-piece billet 4-piston 30/34 mm differential bore radial-mount calipers

Rear Brake

  • 245 mm stainless rotor
  • Brembo HPK 2-piston 34 mm caliper

Source: Mission Motors


  1. Isaac says:

    Still needs to loose about 100lbs however non the less this bike looks hawt. I still think the MotoCzysz E1 looks better. I’d like to see these two duke it out at the TTIOM, oh wait we will! =o)

  2. Doctor Jelly says:

    I’m still quite taken with the E1PC as well, but RAWR! That’s definitely a better looking machine than the Mission One!

  3. JT says:

    i would buy this if it was road legal in australia! well on sale anywhere i guess

  4. wbkr says:

    Looks like a motorcycle unlike the Chris Yates monstrosity. I would be interested in buying one if it wasn’t so fat.

  5. phobos512 says:

    Absolutely gorgeous work of engineering. Interesting to me that they’re still using a single speed gearbox.

  6. Looks sick! Nice job Mission team! Here’s hoping we get to see you at the track this year. And yes… I’m scared. ;)

  7. Other Sean says:

    Very well executed, this is the type of design that’s gonna need to happen if Electric bikes are to ever be marketable. Yes it’s heavy, but that’s where the technology is at this point. Hopefully weight will start coming down in the years where you could actually buy these.

  8. dantheautomator says:

    beautiful. I just wonder if it’s smart to outdate the Mission One… that’s still not available !

  9. Mark says:

    I am so sick and tired of this company hyping themselves up with cool prototypes with no intention of selling these to anyone. Once again this is a bike whose only purpose is to generate more hype and venture capital for themselves. Once they have enough, they will most likely go public and then manufacture bikes in China.
    Anyone can build a bike like this given enough money, the technology used in this bike has been around for decades. The only thing of value that this company can provide to us is selling these for under $20K, which they have no intention of ever doing.

  10. stacius says:

    Beautiful. Here’s an AMERICAN company designing, building and innovating…a company that’s only been in existence since 2007. The tech is coming along, folks…despite the naysayers.

    Of course, they’re building prototypes and hyping themselves, if you’d read the article, you’d know that these technical exercises are about selling COMPONENTS, not just whole bikes. As for manufacturing in China, there are reasons it’s cheaper to do business there. Perhaps if you’d like to explore actually DOING something about that, then a little action on all our parts is necessary.

    Electric motorcycles was just recently only the realm of a few hobbyists; and yet, here we are watching the birth of a new industry, practically overnight! Shouldn’t we be supporting these efforts rather than nitpicking?

  11. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: The Mission R from Mission Motors breaks covers – http://bit.ly/dNaTI8 #motorcycle #ev #omfg

  12. Bob Dogjuice says:

    Looks like they talked Parker out of inflicting his usual hideous front end on the thing. That’s got to be a plus.

  13. gnmac says:

    It still weighs as much as one of those Harley lead sleds, but thank God it looks a hell of a lot better than that dinosaur Chip Yates built (what the hell is Yates thinking, if Mission can do this why can’t he ?!)!! Looks a bit like that Colard Ducati custom, too…

  14. Dantheautomator says:

    @ gnmac : Chip Yates is building his bike on his own money. Mission Motors is a company with other financial resources.

  15. pasroller says:

    Saw the bike yesterday at the Long Beach show. Impressive. Will be a much more interesting year in TTXGP and IOM with this on the track.

    Side note: Zero and Brammo were both missing from the exhibitor list at the show. Can’t believe they’d miss the largest and most important trade show in their industry in the most important market if they could help it.

  16. Dr. Gellar says:

    Even after a few days since first seeing it, I’m still stunned. It’s hard to believe that this bike and the Mission 1 are created by the same company, the Mission R as gorgeous as the Mission 1 is butt-ugly. Interestingly…with it’s trellis frame, single-sided swingarm and Marchesini wheels, all the bike needs is a red paint job and you’d be hard pressed not to think this bike was Ducati’s entry onto the electric racing scene. I bet someone at Ducati must be thinking “Damn…we just got beat to the punch!” :-) Good job Mission!! This bike makes me excited to see what MotoCzysz, Brammo and some of the other electric racing manufacturers will have to offer for the 2011 season.

  17. Sid says:

    Zero & Brammo did not attend the IMS in Long Beach? I thought is was odd not seeing any European OEMs in Seattle (except for Ducati) as well as electric companies.

    Is it something with that show promoter?

    First views of this bike are impressive.

  18. Vektorjati says:

    Mission R is Amazing Electric Motorcycle, I belive this superbike become futuristic bike

  19. pasroller says:

    No, Zero or Brammo were not in attendance. Seems odd as Southern California is by far the largest market with early adopter potential.

  20. Jimmi-O says:

    Mission R nice moto!