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.

Roland Sands Design Ducati Desmo Tracker

03/14/2011 @ 7:42 am, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Roland Sands Design Ducati Desmo Tracker Roland Sands Design Desmo Tracker tailsection 635x423

Those boys in Southern California are at it again, as Roland Sands Design has taken on building a customer’s Ducati Desmosedici RR into a custom street tracker. According to RSD the lucky owner is Justyn Amstutz, and this zero miles Desmosedici RR is one of three in his stable. With 989cc 200+ hp V4 motor that revs to 16,000 rpm, RSD hopes to take Ducati’s beast of a street bike, and turn it into something that requires a steel boot to ride.

So far RSD is still midway through the project, fabbing up a sub-frame, welding together an aluminum gas tank, and putting some spoked wheels with flat track race tires on the Desmo. The team is still working on the tail section, and we’re very curious to see how the bike comes out. It’s not like we have $72,500 Desmosedici at our disposal to even consider a job like this (motorcycle blogging doesn’t pay that well), but we like to dream. Hopefully Roland Sands Design will keep us updated with the bike’s build progress, and include LOTS of photos.

Source: Roland Sands Design via AutoBlog


  1. 76 says:

    Wow, way to fck up a GP bike. Sure a street tracker could be cool, on a GP bike just plain dumb, sorry for that kind of money should have just tracked the thing and had no worries dumping it

  2. Earl Shives says:

    Once again, you don’t have to be intelligent to have money. Retards.

  3. Kevin says:

    To the same end, I think this belongs in the just-because-you-can-doesn’t-mean-you-should file.

  4. Keith says:

    BRILLIANT! That’s how it’s done…if something isn’t availble, you find the best you can find and hac^H^H^H^H modifiy it so it can do it. Mind you, I’d have gone for a but nekked cafe’ treatment with parts sourced from bikes of people that can’t ride. ;^)

  5. Earl Shives says:

    Roland Sands parents are the owners of Performance Machine. He’s a motorcycling celebutard for bolting billet stuff on sports bikes. Not so hard to do when you have access to unlimited amounts of scrap and machinery supplied by your parents. From the few photos you can tell this foolio is using the stock frame and swingarm. So he basically fabricates a subframe and tank (or has an employee do it), throws on some spoked wheels and headlights off a Triumph Speed Triple. This is news why? Retarded. A&R is a great website. The breakdown in lap times of the Qatar test, “Who Really Was the Fastest,” is absolutely brilliant stuff. Thank you. But c’mon, don’t report this kind of crap. Why not put someone in the spotlight who needs it? Maybe an up and coming bike painter or a small scale fabricator. What about some WERA or AFM guys and the companies that sponsor them. I’d rather read about the local motorcycle scene in Qatar. When you run stuff like this you’re just feeding into the deflating bubble that is/was West Coast Choppers, Orange County Choppers, Alcoholic Monster Truck Driving Murderous Choppers INC., etc. Not what an already hurting industry needs. Use the bandwidth for something useful. Thanks for listening.

  6. AnOn says:

    For the love of God somebody stop Roland Sands and the rest of the hipsters who think that because they can weld, they can design.

    Oh, and stop the RSD print ads too. They are just awful.

  7. MikeD says:

    Easy Solution, Take BOTH RSD and this Justyn guy to the Boonies and shoot them on the back of their heads after making them dig their own graves. The world doesn’t have to know about such Crime (not their deaths but what they’re doing to that poor Desmo).

  8. lord_tizzle says:

    People with money, can be the stupidest creatures on earth sometimes. It’s like making a dune buggy out of an Enzo, just because you have 3.

  9. machrage says:

    RSD and company are tripping over their collective egos obviously since they actually accepted a project like this. Who do they think they are?! Leonardo da Vinci’s they’re not! What’s next? Maybe N.Y. graffiti artists could make over the Mona Lisa.

  10. Steve says:

    Ahhhh…A&R looks like you’ve struck a chord with this one. Quick…somebody call Charlie Sheene, maybe he’ll buy one.

  11. Steve says:

    Hey Earl Shives…ever think of running for office? I’d vote for you.

  12. Seriously Steve. I thought this bike was WINNING – DUH! I personally like the stuff Roland Sands Design has been rolling out on its custom projects, and think this bike could look tits mcgee when done.

    It’s worthy of note that the RSD blog is currently featuring the F1 Tracker by Marcus Moto Design, a story first published here btw, which is another Ducati meets street tracker concept that went over swimmingly well here.

    If Roland & Co. are digging that vibe, I think we’ll be digging there’s when this Desmo Tracker is done.

  13. Rossi 46 says:

    Umm, I’m not a welder by any means (actually a racer, kind of a big deal), but does the welding on the tank in the last pic look a little rough?

  14. BuellRider says:

    Hey, if the guy has the money to do what he wants to the Desmosedici, who are you guys to call him retarded? Do you guys have a Desmosedici? How about a HyperMotard?….. Didn’t think so.

  15. MikeD says:

    Money, machinery, leverage and contacts doesn’t make u a “designer”… but rather a spoiled half ass bike butcher.

    U can’t buy that kind of talent…u either have or u don’t, thats a fact. U can always buy someone’s else tho (a proper talented creative person).

    U don’t HAVE to own a Ducati to spot a WACK JOB. I love ur anology… so pointless…just like what he’s doing to that Desmo.

  16. MikeD says:

    P.S: All of the above is just one man’s opinion…u know whats been said about it (we all have one and they all stink).

  17. TomC says:

    Nice job on the tank. What are the holes in the welds for, venting?

  18. DH says:

    WOW all this trash talking and still RSD is quite a reputable company with alot of new and innovative designs. Give me an 80K bike and he’s the one i would take it too. And too sit behind your computers and not know either of these succesful gentlemen….HATERS…. Ridiculous cuz the DESMO will be BADASS when its finished up see what you all have to say about the finished product… enjoi

  19. MikeD says:


    LMAO. Go suck on his big toe and hump his leg…lol.