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 Photos of the Roland Sands Design Ducati Diavel

10/17/2010 @ 11:16 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

More Photos of the Roland Sands Design Ducati Diavel Roland Sands Design Ducati Diavel custom 3 635x476

Our good friends at Ducati News Today have released more photos of the Ducati Diavel that Roland Sands built at his Southern California shop. While this photo is RSD’s take on how the Diavel should look, Roland and his crew have made a variety of accessories and OEM parts that Ducati will carry for the Diavel when it officially launches.

You’re not likely to hear Ducati brass tout the fact though, as they’ve tried to distance themselves from Roland Sand Design’s involvement — a misstep in our opinion. If anyone can connect the stodgy custom chopper market to a more hip and younger motorcycling audience, it’s Roland Sands Design, and Ducati could do well to associate themselves with the talent surrounding that firm. After all Roland Sands Design is really the only link in the US market that exists between the sport bike and cruiser markets.

Regardless the 2011 Ducati Diavel is Ducati’s take on the performance cruiser category, and may rival the Monster 696 as Ducati’s shortest motorcycle. Based on the Multistrada 1200′s 11° Testastretta motor, the Diavel will make more power than its sport-touring counterpart, and weighs a paltry 456lbs. With Ducati Traction Control (DTC), anti-lock brakes, and multiple rider modes, the Diavel continues Ducati’s use of electronics on consumer vehicles, and cleverly enough will be a first to do so for this market segment (a high-tech cruiser, who would have thunk it?).

The 2011 Ducati Diavel will come in two versions, one with obviously more bling and performance parts. Good money also suggests the higher-spec model will feature a plethora of carbon fiber body work, which was officially teased by Ducati last week. Expect to see more teasers as we get closer to the 2010 Ducati Diavel’s unveiling at the EICMA show in Milan. More info as we get it.

Source: Ducati News Today


  1. Isaac says:

    See, not even Roland could save this ugly girl.

  2. Johndo says:

    Amazing… Amazing how ugly this bike is.

  3. hoyt says:

    Is it ugly because it is a cruiser?

    If a company is going to build a cruiser, there are 2 obvious, broad ways to approach it…a vintage re-do or something not yet tried. The latter will always generate various opinions.

    If you are a designer @ Ducati and management tasked you w/building their cruiser, how would your design look?

    (nevermind about the decision to build a cruiser in the first place because the decision has been made)

    More dragbike styling instead of Ducati Fighter-influence?

  4. JR says:

    Yeah, it looks better than the V-rod and you don’t look like you’re taking a crap with your feet below you rather than sticking straight out in front of you.

    It’s a power cruiser, it’s not going to look like a sportbike… if it did, people would bitch that it looks too much like a sportbike.

  5. CBR600RR 09 says:

    2009? Is that photo lying to us?

    Otherwise I think it is an exceptional bike! Smooth flowing lines and a super awesome speedo to boot!

  6. Isaac says:

    hoyt would you like to see what I would have done for a cruiser? I am an Industrial Designer you know.

  7. hoyt says:

    sure, Isaac, but it was a rhetorical question to anyone, regardless if they’re an industrial designer

  8. Tom says:

    At least Ducati isn’t going the bland route like Harley does decade after decade. Bold designs evoke strong emotions. Thankfully, Ducati doesn’t try to appeal to everyone. There will never be a Ducati Camry.

  9. wacom says:

    Isaac, I am calling you out. Lets see it. I know ID fellas a pleanty, and I (we) would like to see a link to your power cruiser.

    I will hold my judgement on Ducati’s power cruiser attempt until I can get some seat time. However, in this boring american cruiser market, we need something to revolutionize the way these “tired” manufactures/consumers view the market. If is was not for products like the Diavel, we would be building aircooled twins until apocolypse. So I guess I can say I am optimistic about this Ducati departure in direction.

  10. Andrey says:

    Well I have to give credit to Roland Sands for making the back half of this look pretty good to my eye. Cannot understand why Ducati altered the design of the back of the bike to what they chose… I mean this is sleek at the back end…….. what they have on the spyshot bike looks like someone hacked the end of with a machete. In the first photo above the back half of the bike looks OK to me…

  11. gnmac says:

    Son of a buck this thing just gets uglier and uglier – why must we continued to be tortured by this beastly stepsister of the Italian beauty???!!!! You know, Luca Bar (Bar Design, check it) rendered out a cruiser concept called the D66 (I think) and it looked like the sickest power cruiser ever while retaining the lithe, aggressive, track-bred swagger of the Streetfighter, Monster, and the SBK and MotoGP Duc’s. Why couldn’t Duc’ have just hired Bar to pen it rather than this porker????? Luca Bar – where the h are you – save us from Duca-zilla please!!!

  12. Keith says:

    WTF? Have they decided to see if they can design something UGLIER than a BMW?????

  13. MrBlistershifter says:

    Ducati should keep their distance from Roland Sands. He has effed up a lot of great bikes because he has no concept of how to design anything that looks decent.

  14. MrBlistershifter says:

    Why would Ducati let someone “customize” a new bike and show it before the bike is even released ??
    Roland Sands should take up knitting.

  15. Erez says:

    It’s an amazing machine no matter what u guys say,,,,,,,the master of all masterpiece of any bike ever made,,!!!!

  16. Erez says:

    I will be the firest one in Israel to get this bike!

  17. Erez says:

    I hope they will relies it as soon as possible!

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