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.

Triumph Tiger Explorer XC Breaks Cover

09/01/2012 @ 3:02 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Triumph Tiger Explorer XC Breaks Cover 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC 635x476

If last year’s debut of the Triumph Tiger Explorer left you wanting a more off-road capable machine, then the British brand hopes that its now unveiled Triumph Tiger Explorer XC will suit your tastes. Featuring the same 135 hp / 89 lbs•ft 1215cc three cylinder motor as the Tiger Explorer, the Tiger Explorer XC primarily differentiates itself with its tubeless steel spoked wheels (19″ front, 17″ rear), and off-road accessories (hand guards, fog lights, engine crash bars, and an aluminum belly pan).

Like its on-road counterpart, the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC also features a ride-by-wire throttle, traction control, cruise control, switchable anti-locking brakes (ABS) , and shaft-driven final drive. Expected to be in dealers by April 2013, Triumph has also tacked on a two-year unlimited mileage warranty, while service intervals are said to be every 10,000 miles. You can get the Triumph Explorer XC in any color you want, as long as it’s Khaki Green.

The announcement of the Tiger Explorer XC brings some symmetry to Triumph’s adventure touring line, as it mimics how the Triumph Tiger 800 XC compliments the more street-oriented Triumph Tiger 800. However, what is interesting here with the Tiger Explorer XC is how similar its specs are to the Tiger Explorer.

Hardcore adventure-touring fans will probably be disappointed in the 19″ front wheel choice by Triumph, while the rest of the differences seemingly come from the aftermarket parts bin.

Another issue will be the 10,000 mile service interval, which is even less than the mechanic-friendly Ducati Multistrada 1200, though the two-year unlimited mileage warranty makes up for things to some degree.

We will have to see when Triumph officially debuts the Tiger Explorer XC at INTERMOT what other details emerge about the bike, but we suspect pricing will be the biggest factor.

We’d expect to see the Triumph Tiger Explorer XC list for around $16,000 (the Triumph Tiger Explorer sells for $15,699 MSRP here in the US), which would make it a very tempting offer from the British brand, though time will tell on that one.

Source: Triumph


  1. john says:

    please, for god’s sake… cover it back up!

  2. dream bikes says:

    See photo compilation… http://youtu.be/e8IgSXK5Jq4

  3. Paul McM says:

    What’s next… an “Adventure” Softtail Fatboy from Harley. The world really doesn’t need another high COG, 600+ lb “adventure” bike that most owners can’t pick up if they dropped it in their driveway. Why can’t someone simply build something like a DRZ400 with a wide, properly shaped “all-day” seat, a 5.5-gallon gas tank, and dual HIDs. Is that so difficult? These adventure bikes have become the stuff of ridicule. I see them ridden by balding execs compensating for their declining testosterone counts.

  4. MikeD says:

    Meh ? This is basically a more powerfull and more electronics loaded SuperTenere. This should have been the regular version from the begining…and the first one with cast wheels should had come with a 17″ front hoop and no silly stereotypical Beak.
    Can’t wait for something else other than Dual Sports and Sport Bikes…some Roadster with a hot rodded 1215cc Triple would be nice…something along the lines of the old BMW K1200R ?

  5. It would be nice if someone built a hybrid motorcycle for adventure riding, a small V-twin high torque motor, sub 500 cc putting out maybe 70 hp with an electric motor partner with an additional 35 hp, that would give you something equivalent to 100 mpg, and weigh under 350 lbs.

  6. Gutterslob says:

    Motorcycling seriously needs some sort of new catalytic converter/muffler technology. It’s always the stock exhaust that ruins the look (and adds a ton of weight in the process). Can’t recall when it was exactly, but I’m guessing it was sometime between 2004 – 2006 where some new emmission reg made the pipes obese beyond belief.

  7. kevin says:

    It seems manufacturers and for that matter many riders think they need a bike like this (or the BMW’s etc) to ride trails. Most adventure riders are not riding through Patagonia (though that may be the dream) and that’s what these high end, large and heavy adventure bikes are best for.

    For a day or two of riding trails, a nice light enduro will do quite well.

  8. Richard Gozinya says:

    If I understand things, the beak is supposed to resemble a sort of high fender. Yet this thing has a beak, and a fender. At least the MTS’s hideous beak-like thing serves a function. This, this is just stupid. Then again, this whole segment is stupid. The only one that actually looks good is the Stelvio, and that’s due mainly to that purdy Guzzi engine, and the lack of a beak.

  9. Richard Gozinya says:

    @ Gutterslob

    I think it has more to do with European and Asian noise regulations than anything else.

  10. Gutterslob says:

    ^ Yes, It could’ve been noise regs as well. Sorry I left that out. But whatever the regs, we’ll be needing some sort of saviour newfangled tech if we’re to avoid having howitzer sized pipes in a few years. Ether that or electrics with a deck of cards.

  11. Damo says:

    So Triumph finally makes a bike in Proper British Racing Green…..and it’s their adventure bike? Odd.

    Can I get that color on a Street Triple please?

    You guys are right for the most part though. I never see the big displacement adventure actually going off roading, that being said they do make excellent touring bikes and are comfortable/powerful for long trips.

    Anyone serious about real adventure biking should quite bullshitting and just buy a KTM Adventure 690 or a KLX650 and have done with it.

  12. MikeD says:

    I knew that front end reminded me of someone, THIS GUY:


  13. Sixty7 says:

    Still to heavy……..can’t triumph make a lighter version……I tested the road version it’s a bloody barge….and handles like one as well……get a grip triumph the last thing u need after a few hours in the seat is a lead weight…..

  14. paulus says:

    as a tourer… it will be awesome. Comfortable and practical.
    You CAN also go offroad if you want or necessary.

    It is a market segment… and Triumph now has an offering for it.

  15. Sixty7 says:

    Triumph is going after the GS, KTM ADV,Yamaha Super T and the Triumph is heavier……259kg……..I know where my money isn’t going…..

  16. Jonathan says:

    @ paulus: I know a few “adventure bike” owners. Their bikes never leave the tarmac. To be honest they only rarely leave the garage. I guess that any road with a handful of gravel on it counts as “offroad” to some people.

    It’s a styling exercise to appeal to the same people who buy a mahoosive 4WD to take the kids to school. The Triumph looks better than most IMO (and is the proper colour!), but Sweet Baby Jesus, any modern bike that weighs more than a quarter of a tonne should be sent back to the factory with a note saying “Must try harder.”

  17. MikeD says:

    Jonathan says:

    “Any modern bike that weighs more than a quarter of a tonne should be sent back to the factory with a note saying “Must try harder.”

    ROTFLMAO. Good one, Dude.