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.

First Photo of MV Agusta Dragster 800

01/15/2014 @ 11:10 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

First Photo of MV Agusta Dragster 800 mv dragster 800

When the brand from Varese debuted the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 at last year’s EICMA show, the folks at MV Agusta told us to expect two more machines in early 2014. One of those machines we have known about for sometime, the MV Agusta Dragster 800.

Taking a cue from the Ducati Diavel, the Dragster is supposed to be a more laid back version of the Brutale; however the only thing we have known for sure is the machine’s name, which showed up in trademark and patent filings. Today however we get our first glimpse at the new MV Agusta Dragster 800, though not too much is given away by the photo.

With production paint and graphics though, we can see that the MV Agusta Dragster 800 is near production-ready, and could break cover very shortly. As the name implies, an 800cc three-cylinder engine is at the Dragster’s corse, which should be good for 125+ horsepower.

We can also expect the Dragster 800 to have MV Agusta’s MVICS electronics package, complete with traction control. What will be interesting to see though is if MV Agusta equips the Dragster with the connectivity package seen on the Turismo Veloce, but our intuition says yes.

As for the other model to come from MV Agusta, no clues have been uncovered yet. Though if we consider the fact that MV Agusta’s strategy to bring out more models hinges drastically on building upon what it already has, an adventure model that shares the Turisimo’s platform seems like a good place to start the speculation.

First Photo of MV Agusta Dragster 800 mv dragster 800 tail

Source: MVAgusta.net & Moto.it


  1. Phil says:

    That’s not the same picture that got me here.

  2. What picture did you see??

  3. Kirk R says:

    I wonder if the name “dragster” will impact insurance rates…

  4. Richard Gozinya says:

    Perhaps their next one will be something along these lines.


  5. John Mith says:

    Dragster? That sounds like a Harley Davidson not an MV. But then again with the declining quality of the bikes coming out of Italy I’m of the opinion that MV died in 2009. Chinese cast aluminum wheels on all MV’s since 2009. Frames made in Vietnam. What happened to the high quality Italian crafted bikes that MV used to make?

  6. paulus says:

    I have worked on projects with some of the great motorcycle and automotive super car brands.
    Some quick answers why parts are globally sourced.

    1. The quality levels of many Asian production locations are equivalent or better than more expensive european operations
    2. The in-house or local factories simply can not viably produce the volumes required.
    3. Technical expertise and production methods are better in some cases.
    4. Cost.

    It is a reality that global sourcing happens and completely in-house built vehicles are a dying breed.
    Many ‘hand built’ vehicles are outsource parts and simply ‘hand assembled’…. to keep the mystique alive.
    Italian bikes have been sourced globally a lot longer than most think.

  7. John Mith says:


    You make some valid points. Since Cagiva many MV’s come with Showa forks and other Japanese components (I own several). I’m perfectly ok with that as long as they are quality “brand name” components that are clearly labeled. MV is not doing this. They are hiding the fact that their bikes are made out of “unbranded” 3rd world produced parts from their buyers. It’s a fact of life to have “internationally” produced products. Using unknown quality Chinese produced parts on a bike and hiding it is a bit sleazy at the price point they are selling their bikes at.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “Using unknown quality Chinese produced parts on a bike and hiding it is a bit sleazy at the price point they are selling their bikes at.”

    no more sleazy than us not coming off the dime and constantly searching for free lunch…

    welcome to the blowback.

  9. John Mith says:

    @Norm G.

    “no more sleazy than us not coming off the dime and constantly searching for free lunch…

    welcome to the blowback.”

    That’s certainly the truth. The ever present quest for a “good deal” ultimately ends up with a bad deal. Welcome to the 21st century.

  10. Wil says:

    @John Mith:

    Tell us of one bike that satisfies your sensibilities where it comes to ‘brand name’ only components, or open declaration of every parts’ nation of origin. Then tell us how much it costs.

    Of course I have no proof, but I have a feeling virtually every machine made these days has some out-sourced component that you appear so disapproving of.

    As for MV, doesn’t everyone rave about the chassis? Frame from Vietnam? Who cares! So long as it meets MV’s engineering and aesthetic requirements, that’s fine with this customer.

  11. jet says:

    It got’s that ugly stick it in the ass high back tail end,more junk !