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.

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries

01/09/2012 @ 5:36 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 01 635x419

Here at Asphalt & Rubber, we don’t feature too many bikes that subscribe to the “modern-take on the retro look” hipster theory of motorcycling. Maybe it’s because we prefer to go fast rather than look cool, or maybe it’s because we don’t own any form fitting denim pants — honestly, it could go either way on that one. That being said, we know what we like, and more importantly when know what we like when we see it, and that pretty much sums up our thoughts on the 1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries.

Beginning life in the mundane, the Honda CB is a crowd favorite with the retro-turned-hipster crowd for making modern takes on the café racer design aesthetic. Don’t get us wrong, we have seen plenty of café racers that we like, and the market segment enjoys a small but militant following of motorcycle enthusiasts. However, rarely does a Honda CB, no matter how much beauty school it has attended, floor you in your seat. This work by Derek Pauletto however, would be the exception to that statement.

Comprised of parts from all the major Japanese manufacturers, Pauletto has a few American bits and pieces on the Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 for good measure as well. The front-end is off a Kawasaki sportbike, while the headlight is from a Harley-Davidson V-Rod. The frame, swingarm, and wheels have all been widened, and the Honda CB650 motor has been slightly tuned for a bit more pep-in-the-step.

However, what we think really crowns the work that Pauletto has put into his former commuter is the exhaust system. The happy marriage of four exhaust pipes making a short convergence into a single muffler, the work really shows off the creative thinking and skills found at Trillion Industries. Rated at 63hp stock, we doubt this ’79 CB 650 would blow our hair too far back when said literally, but metaphorical? Consider us wind-blasted.

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 07 635x952

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 06 635x423

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 02 635x952

Source: Pipeburn


  1. Hollywood says:

    Liked everything but the exhaust, it looks like a after thought

  2. Andrey says:

    Cool bike but that exhaust is a mess. Why not conceal the sound attenuation inside some larger diameter pipes?
    Front end view looks like a modern superbike. Back end is the opposite but still cool.
    Just wish I had more time and money to play like many of these bikes here on EXIF!

  3. max says:

    Exhaust is definitely interesting. I wouldn’t mind having something like that on my bike though, nothing wrong with something a bit different.

  4. BBQdog says:

    Agree: nice except for the exhaust.

  5. No, no, no. Wot the fuck. I suppose it’s ok if you like having your knees up near your balls and lying on the tank. And wot about the car muffler stuck on looking like they ran out of money for the pipes? And how about all the road grit blown up in your face when stopped, idling. But then again, I suppose the dicks who rode this would never be brave enough to wear an open face helmet ? !

  6. Damo says:

    That thing might be reasonably quick. If the weight is down around 250 pounds and it has close to 70 horse, that is about the same power to weight ratio as a late 90′s super sport.

    Which is faster then I would want to go on a home-made bike.

  7. Daniel Croft says:

    Great looking bike, I’d rock it for sure.

    If I had a project like this, I’d locate a Kawasaki H2 and start chopping. 750cc inline 2 stroke triple with modern suspension & brakes… mmmmmmm

  8. John says:

    Nice looking bike, but the oversize rear tire and exhaust are just plain stupid.

  9. jamesy says:

    Although the “look” was achieved (mostly, tank is way too long both aesthetically and ergonomically/dynamically) it was done at the cost of proper fore/aft balance needed in a machine capable of using that much front tire. Toshiro would’ve shat at the exhaust heat on his clutch housing, let alone leg. I do kinda like the can tho…
    Let me guess; the shifter’s on the left hand and throttle on the foot? ALL THAT WEIGHT on the rear=Rossi could not go fast on this machine! Not to mention the rear axel adjuster lock nut is not locking diddly at that end, but hey, we be coool!
    I like Dan Crofts idea, go for it Dan but get the motor further fwd than this!

  10. Johndo says:

    I just love these projects. That said I love the headers but not the exhaust hanging on the side like that and tank could be just slightly shorter. Otherwise it looks like quite a fun ride. And the finish of the bike looks quite neat.

  11. jamesy says:

    Good point Johndo, didnt give props to the build quality, it is nicely detailed! But in the real of “form follows function” it is a non-sequitur. I’d hate to try and tighten up a corner with all the weight on the back

  12. Johndo says:

    I think these just need to be seen for what they are. Cool creative projects. They will never go after an R6, but will certainly have loads of personality and character :) If the tank was about 5″ shorter, and I had 5-6 bikes in my garage, I’d certainly appreciate this bike as one of them for a fun sunday ride. In fact I wish I had the knowledge and talent to build a project like this myself!

  13. Westward says:

    I’m with “max” on this one, It is interesting & different. I could be wrong but, the fact that the pipes and the exhaust are at the front, doesn’t that mean there would be more weight in that area too. Besides, might be a new way to heat that front tire.

    I like it, as for the length of the tank, looking at the guy standing behind it in one of the pics, makes me think its just right. Not all of us are Motogp racer height. Pedrosa might struggle on it, but those aggressive cafe racer style handlebars should be enough for a guy like him to reach…

    I’ll take one…

  14. mxs says:

    The position of the tank, seat and pegs is definitely weird. The knee angle will be …. strange. but I am sure that’s what the builder wanted. Strange and different bike to the army of cafe racer out there nowadays.

  15. Sporty4Life says:

    “Real” motorcyclists truly appreciate ALL motorcycles, regardless of type, country of origin, or buildup, and this one is certain worthy of honorable mention. My mother taught me that “If you can’t say anything nice; don’t say anything at all.” She would say that a couple of you responders (you know who you are) should have your mouths washed out with (tire-mounting) soap. I very much appreciate our webmasters daily coverage and all the diversity that he includes! KUDOS!!!

  16. MikeD says:

    Cool little thing to look at, maybe even ride…but definitively not something is would own or even pay for. Im too square for that…LMAO.
    Cafe RACERS don’t do it for me…unless we are talking about this one:


  17. jamesy says:

    So, pardon me for asking for a mechanical device which we all use for SOOO much fun, to ride as good as it looks. You can get all kissy face with its creator, hey, fair enough, but to expect a toy being shown as a major lust item for enthusiasts to not get any criticism for its function is a bit naive. I think that was the attitude at General Motors right before they required massive subsidy from your tax dollars, ne ce pas?
    Not a hater at all. It is a far better accomplishment than any motorcycle I’ve made from scratch, which is none. But unless it comes with a major disclaimer that it is intended for use predominantly on its rear wheel (which will suit some of us for sure!) then it must be viewed for what it is AND is not. Great powder coat on the frame, truly bitchin set of forks, cobby welds on the pipes, etc.
    Thanks for your permission to keep it real.

  18. Well then. Every one else’s comments seem far more polite than mine. I meant no disrepect to the builder(s). I just stated my opinion. But………I will agree with jamesy.

  19. Garrett says:

    Wow, lots of negative comments from people who have most likely never attempted any project much less a custom one off cafe job. It stands head and shoulders above most of the garbage produced for so called reality shows. Yup, I like it, very very cool.

  20. Soos says:


    Having owned/modded 6 ’79-81 cb650′s, I must say I am impressed with the look.

    And as for the tuning…. you can get a cb650 (stock262cc) up to 763cc with the right pistons.
    (yes I have done, this as well as several other cc variations.)
    :) being a machinist has it’s benefits.
    At 763cc it getsthats around 72hp AT the rear wheel.(roughly 79-80 flywheel HP)
    for a 30 yr. old bike amazing.

    Gotta say the exhaust… not my cup o tea, but not the worst I’ve seen.
    Great cb650 cafe setup though.