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.

Yamaha MT-09 Ténéré Concept by Oberdan Bezzi

02/19/2014 @ 5:47 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Yamaha MT 09 Ténéré Concept by Oberdan Bezzi yamaha mt 09 tenere concept oberdan bezzi 635x425

The Yamaha FZ-09, or the Yamaha MT-09 as it’s known outside of the USA, has become a big win for the tuning fork brand. A fun three-cylinder machine that has enough pep to carve up the canyons, yet also has a relaxed enough riding position to handle commuting duties, the Yamaha FZ-09 really wins our hearts and minds with its dirt-cheap price tag of $7,990 MSRP.

We’re not alone in our opinion, as the MT-09 has done so well in the global market, that Yamaha built off the buzz and released its two-cylinder cousin: the Yamaha MT-07.

If the Japanese OEM truly is eyeing more three-cylinder machines, we are excited for the prospect. Oberdan Bezzi is excited too, as the Italian designer has imagined his own interpretation of what Yamaha could do with the MT-09 line.

Envisioning a smaller displacement version of the Yamaha Super Ténéré, Bezzi sees Yamaha tapping the MT-09 chassis and engine to make a solid 847cc three-cylinder adventure-tourer. Smaller and lighter, such a design would be a great middleweight addition for the Yamaha line.

We’ve seen a lot of intriguing, yet fanciful, designs from Obiboi before, but this has to be the most practical concept to come from the Italian designer. Hopefully Yamaha is paying attention, they would do well to consider the prospect of an MT-09 base ADV bike.

Source: Obderdan Bezzi


  1. Paul McM says:

    First things first. FIX the Throttle!!!!!!!! I rode the MT-09 at Long Beach. The motor is stupendous — spins like a 750, but has torque like a liter-bike. But… the throttle response in A mode and Standard mode is completely terrible — as in “unridable and dangerous” terrible. And even in B mode it is bad — bad as any FI bike ever built. I rode with a group, tasked with maintaining position in a “convoy” on a highway, and then city boulevards. It was absurdly difficult to just maintain position relative to another bike. When you even slightly rolled off the throttle it felt like you had no gas at all. I have read (but don’t know if this is true), that the MT-09 actually uses a separate fuel injection cut-off circuit to meet emissions. If so, a simple mapping change (with power commander) won’t necessarily fix this bike. It’s a shame. I loved the motor, and the machine is a wheelie monster in A mode. But with the throttle I experienced I consider this bike fatally flawed.

  2. paulus says:

    I guess it will depend upon how many unsold XT660z Tenere’s there are in Yamaha stock.

  3. Marc F says:

    I’d prefer one built on the MT-07 twin, but yes please I’ll take either one over the ridiculous Super even at the same price

    Super Tenere: 587lbs wet, $13,900
    MT-09: 414lbs wet, $7,990
    MT-07: 395lbs wet, ??? but less than $7,990

    Why the shit does long travel suspension weigh almost 200lbs and cost $6,000 at Yamaha, especially when it includes lopping off a cylinder?

    Please please, can someone build a reasonable offroadable, tourable actual adventure bike that fits in the giant chasm between a KLR and a GS?

  4. Kaw4Life says:

    USA ?

  5. 2ndclass says:

    @Marc F,

    Wouldn’t the Triumph Tiger 800XC fit that bill?

  6. Vulture says:

    Triumph Tiger 800XC does it all and better style.

  7. Marc F says:

    @2ndclass, Tiger is still bigger and more precious than what I have in mind. Especially with the idiotic fixed passenger pegs and subframe, it’s a bike I would not ever want to drop off road – one 0mph fall on the peg and the frame is done. The NC700X and Versys (and wee strom) are closer to what I’m looking for. A version built on the MT-07 for actual offroad would be ideal… a 2-cylinder, reliable Adventure 640. Just enough power and cylinders to cruise smoothly and happily at 80 loaded up; no more weight, width and expense than necessary.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “Please please, can someone build a reasonable offroadable, tourable actual adventure bike that fits in the giant chasm between a KLR and a GS?”

    see entry for Suzuki V-strom 1000. beak lovers, your ship has come in.

  9. DeezO says:


    Throttle’s already been fixed by Stoltec Moto. They’ll reflash the ECU to remove the fuel cut, the speed limiter, timing retard, and make the throttle maps more predictable. The result is that B Mode is basically useless now that STD mode is so smooth.

  10. Gutterslob says:

    RE: “…as the MT-09 has done so well in the global market”

    Any link to worldwide sales figures?

  11. AK says:

    I will consider tradding in tiger roadie for more power :)

  12. teanau says:

    Marc F, I’m pretty sure what you seek will come out of india. I havent seen any efforts to bring anything fitting the bill to the american market. I cant find a replacement for my husky 610.

  13. mxs says:

    The bike has barely sold anywhere yet, but A&R knows it has done well world wide????

    I don’t think there’s many people who would dislike MT-09, but there’s a huge difference between like and actually pay for it.

    I let you on a secret the MT-07 will sell even better …. it’s lighter and less expensive with enough power to excite most people. But you will have to move to Europe to ride it … LOL

  14. Ian Pinner says:

    An MT – 09 Tenere styled bike would certainly go down well in Europe. This is assuming that the throttle “problem” has been sorted, of course!

    Provided that it had good pillion accommodating, a decent sized fuel tank – at least 20 litres – and sold for around the £8K/€9,500 mark it would find a lot of buyers!

  15. Michael says:

    Just what we don’t need, another overweight monster poser “adventure” touring bike that will be bought by thousands of fat, middle-aged, used to be fast, touring guys who want to re-live their youth by pretending they are going to ride offroad like a rally rider; when in reality the bike will be lucky if it seems a dirt road. But hey, you can pretend you are as cool as your richer, bigger poser friends who can afford the overpriced and useless BMW GS series bikes.

  16. steve says:

    I like long travel suspended bikes for urban commuting. That thing would be perfect for me as the ergos on the 09 are a bit tight. This style of bike is awesome as there are so many applications for it. Even jaded cynical bastards like them once they get over themselves.

  17. Matt says:

    Marc F – “A version built on the MT-07 for actual offroad would be ideal… a 2-cylinder, reliable Adventure 640. Just enough power and cylinders to cruise smoothly and happily at 80 loaded up; no more weight, width and expense than necessary.”

    +100, amen, halleluiah, ditto

  18. ben says:

    DO NOT DE-TUNE THE MOTOR. at all. in any way.
    that, and try not to gain much weight.’
    do these two things and I will absolutely RUN to the dealer to buy one

  19. Frans says:

    I want one !!