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.

Suter 500 Factory V4 – Thank You for Smoking

05/14/2012 @ 12:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

Suter 500 Factory V4   Thank You for Smoking Suter SRT 500 Factory V4 track bike

Asphalt & Rubber is based out of California, so that means smoking is akin to a cardinal sin out here, and on the hierarchy of egregious crimes against humanity, it ranks just slightly under torturing babies with hot pincers (heaven forbid you cause a baby to start smoking). Smoking indoors in outright verboten virtually everywhere, while puffing some nicotine anywhere outside that is near a restaurant, bar, club, ATM, hospital, pre-school, or tobacco shop is liable to cause a citizen to go murder-death-kill on you John Spartan.

The issue is so pervasive here, that it has even extended beyond cigarettes and into the realm of motorcycling, with The Golden State leading the charge on the banning of two-stroke motorcycles. We are now purely a “suck, squeeze, bang, blow” society, and while that suits many motorists just fine, there are some who enjoy the smell of pre-mix in the morning — you know who you are. You enjoy the sound of angry bees following you from apex to off-camber. You think a displacement for “serious riders” starts at around 250cc. You like your engine compression low, and your powerbands narrow. You sir (or madam), are a two-stroke junky, and we have just the fix you need.

Just as MotoGP replaced 500GP, we know see Moto2 & Moto3 replacing the lower two-stroke classes that remained in Grand Prix racing. Leading the charge on this mechanical front are a slew of new companies, most notably the chassis manufacturers, of which Suter is perhaps the most well-regarded. Making the weapon of choice for Marc Marquez in Moto2 this year, the Swiss company already had a sterling reputation before it went racing at an international level, but the firm’s success in the 2010 Championship exposed it to a whole new world of tw0-wheel performance.

Having a bevy of intriguing two-wheeled projects within its walls, the Swiss bike that catches our eye today is the Suter 500 Factory V4: a two-stroke, 500cc, V4, track weapon that puts out over 200 hp and weighs 284 lbs ready to race — no, that is not a typo. We’ll let you take a moment before continuing past the jump for more.

With its GP pedigree at hand, and surely on those specs alone, you would expect the Suter 500 Factory V4 to command a price that only GP race teams could afford, but its modest cost of 156,00 CHF (about $166,845 USD at the time of this writing) is a bit more down to earth, though still decidedly pricey, even when compared to the Ducati Desmosedici RR. Of course, Suter is building the bike to your specifications, and the opportunity to ride a motorcycle with nearly a 2:1 power-to-weight ratio (hp:kg) is a rare one indeed (for reference, production sport bikes are lucky if they can best a 1:1 ratio).

Features include all the usual components you would expect: Marchesini wheels, Öhlins suspension, Brembo Brakes, Marelli electronics. The frame is a tried-and-true twin-spar aluminum design, while the motor has counter-rotating crankshafts, and a dry SRT slipper clutch. With four cans in a traditional GP arrangement, you will surely get to enjoy the titanium exhaust that Suter provides as well. The only downside? It takes six to eight months for Suter to build and deliver your machine. If you want one in time for Christmas, we suggest placing your order now.

Suter 500 Factory V4   Thank You for Smoking Suter SRT 500 Factory V4 track bike 06 635x613

Suter 500 Factory V4   Thank You for Smoking Suter SRT 500 Factory V4 track bike 07 635x693

Suter 500 Factory V4   Thank You for Smoking Suter SRT 500 Factory V4 track bike 01

Suter 500 Factory V4   Thank You for Smoking Suter SRT 500 Factory V4 track bike 15 635x444

Technical Specificaitons of the Suter 500 Factory V4:

Chassis Specifications:
Frame CNC machined Aluminium twin spar with multi adjustable steering/wheelbase/riding position/height
Swingarm Aluminium swingarm, CNC machined, adjustable
Suspension Öhlins upside down front fork & rear shock; all adjustable for pre-load, high & low speed compression & rebound damping.
Different rear links available
Wheel Marchesini or OZ
17x 3,75 Front
17x 6,5 Rear
Tyres 125/75 R 17 Front
205/75 R 17 Rear
Brakes Brembo
Two 320mm steel front disc with
4 piston calipers
One 218 mm steel rear disc with
2 piston caliper
Fuel Tank Carbon Fibre
inbuilt fuel pump
Bodywork Carbon Fibre
Dry Weight 129kg
(complete, ready to race)
Engine Specifications:
Engine Type 4 Cylinder V4 two stroke
double counter rotating crankshaft, roller bearings
Displacement 54 x 54,5
(56 x 58,5 optional version)
Power min. 200hp
Aspiration Electronic fuel injection
four port throttle body
four carbon reed valve
Exhaust Valve Double flap
electronic controlled
Exhaust four single resonance steel chambers
(optional Titanium)
Gearbox SRT six speed cassette gearbox
Clutch SuterClutch multi disc dry
Ignition Marelli ECU

Source: Suter via Racing Café


  1. preeng ding ding ding says:

    dear santa..

  2. Greg says:


    Population: me

    That is an insane piece of machinery which I hope will grace the pages (printed, YouTube, etc) of at least one Motorcycle publication in the near future. That way, we mortals can enjoy hearing about the kind of bleeding-edge motorcycle that ~$170,000 can buy.

  3. 2moker says:

    Simply the most beautiful factory repo made. I hope they sell hundreds if not thousands of these, and make every other manufacturer sorry they didnt think of it first. 284lbs, v4 2stroke? Probably going to sound better than anything ever made :-)

  4. Alex says:

    Awesome… but your figures don’t add up. First of all if the bike did have a power- to-weight ratio of 2:1 then it would have 258 hp ( for 129 kg) not the 200 hp they state… I’m guessing they can’t get another 60 hp out of it? Not sure. Also, when you attempted at clarifying what the power to weight ratio means you wrote (kg:hp)… which is of course a weight to power ratio.

  5. FeelgoodInc says:

    Good Lord Alex, enjoy it for what it is…200bhp for 129kg may not be quite 2:1 or indeed 1:2 or whatever it is you’re worrying about but why get caught up in semantics. What it is, is a whole lot of power in a lightweight package that will no doubt be highly strung and scare hairs onto your chest. Enough to make me want to take up smoking again. Possibly even both kinds as here in Ireland one is tolerated and the other is loved.

  6. Woody says:

    There should be a drinking game for this site. Every time the author:

    -Talks about being from California, take a drink
    -makes a grammatical or spelling error, take a drink
    -talks about Bothan spies, take a drink

    It’d make for a pretty happy afternoon. Oh yeah, awesome bike, by the way. :)

  7. Ed Gray says:

    Where can I get a test ride. That would be worth the airline ticket. Heh.

  8. The best part about that game Woody, the more you drink, the fewer typos you see!

  9. MikeD says:

    At last…a bike article….(^_^)…and WHAT A BIKE ! Total FAP Material.

    Please, don’t get the wrong idea…i love hanging out on A&R…but like on any bike blog it can get a bit old when all u read about is “Race & Racers”…I try to stay open minded about it since the current situation doesn’t help any of the OEMs pushing new model out the door.

  10. Noted Mike. Having both David and Scott on board this year is probably skewing things a bit…just means I have to step it up another notch to bring other news from the industry. I do love me some motorcycle racing though…

  11. RIDER says:

    I watch every race from moto2 motoGgp, wsbk wss, bsb bss etc so I gotta stay away from A&R on weekends :- )

  12. Westward says:


    Speaking about MotoGP and such, Is it not about time Moto2 & Moto3 are added to the Laguna Seca round in July. I know everyone state side are paying for the full monty, but only getting MotoGP or Moto1…

    Sorry, no Marquez, Espargaro, Luthi or Iannone for you… That Portugal race was fantastic…

  13. z says:

    MotoGP needs to bring the 2-strokes back. Rather than fuel restrictions to appease the manufacturers, what about emissions restrictions. Bring back the strokers… please…

  14. FastBikeGear says:

    Please vote Z for president.

  15. Gosh, that’s beautiful.

    I miss my Daytona Special. *sniff*

  16. GeddyT says:

    Westward, the only way you’re ever going to see Moto2 or Moto3 at Laguna-Seca is if either everyone on the hills around the track simultaneously move away, or if the AMA stops racing there. That track has a deal with the county that it can only have so many days per year with unmuffled racing activity, and it’s a SMALL number. The only way for both AMA and MotoGP to race at that track is for both to do it in the same weekend.

    That’s the rub.

  17. mark says:

    I really want to get a Kawasaki H1 just so I can ride it around town and piss off all the eco-hippies. Mmm, two-smoke! And also, that 2-stroke triple sounds AMAZING.

  18. JW says:

    if i could have it my way the 2 stroke would still be racing today in GP..

  19. Odie says:


    “The first time you try the 500..aaaaah, faaaack!” – V. Rossi

  20. Grant Madden says:

    Awesome,definately on the Santa list for me.Here in NZ its allowed to have 2strokes although all the enviromentalists hate it,this is SMOKIN HOT.I used to have a TZ250 years ago which is about half the size but it was lucky to make 60hp and it weighed about 90kg but this is another step beyond and over here you could still race it at clubdays as a clubman which is an open class.Wicked fun ,that would blow some minds.What fun!

  21. BBQdog says:

    Great ! Sold my TZ 125 a few years ago, still miss the technology.

  22. Glenn Plummer says:

    If the FIM had a development Two Stroke Championship, we would be well on our way to riding smog legal injected 2 strokes. No Slipper Clutch Heaven!

  23. BikePilot says:

    What an awesome machine, makes me want to take up roadracing just to put it to use!

    Mark, I commuted in and out of DC for a good bit over the last couple of years on my H1, great fun, particularly buzzing by the “occupy” idiots’ tents at 6:30am :)