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-DM 850 Concept by Luca Bar Design

06/18/2013 @ 5:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Yamaha MT DM 850 Concept by Luca Bar Design Yamaha MTDM Concept Luca Bar Design 01 635x425

By now you have surely seen the 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 naked/standard/street bike from our favorite tuning fork brand. Featuring a 847cc three-cylinder engine that makes 113hp and 65 lbs•ft of torque, all within a 414 lbs curbside hulk, the FZ-09 has a lot of things going for it, not the least of which is the bike’s $7,999 price tag.

Like we said in our first assessment of the Yamaha FZ-09, Yamaha has really hit the nail on the head with a solid middleweight street bike, save for a few design elements that look a bit off to our eyes. We aren’t too worried about it though — an aftermarket exhaust here, a couple cosmetic tweaks there, and just about any motorcyclists can stamp the FZ-09 with their own unique look.

The first of many triples to come from Yamaha, it is easy (perhaps too easy, reading some of the comments left here on A&R) to put the Yamaha FZ-09 into other market segments.

With some longer suspension and armor, an adventure bike could be born from the FZ-09. Just as easily, put some saddlebags, a taller windscreen, and change the ergonomics a tad, and a sport-tourer you have…and that’s exactly what Luca Bar has done here with his Yamaha MT-DM 850 concept.

Taking a page from the Yamaha TDM 850, Luca has built a concept that recreates the parallel-twin tourer with Yamaha’s new three-cylinder street bike. While Yamaha hasn’t declared that the FZ-09 could be the basis for other models, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the 847cc triple find its way into other models. Are a new TDM and Téréré in the cards? Only time can tell.

Yamaha MT DM 850 Concept by Luca Bar Design Yamaha MTDM Concept Luca Bar Design 02 635x425

Yamaha MT DM 850 Concept by Luca Bar Design Yamaha MTDM Concept Luca Bar Design 03 635x425

Yamaha MT DM 850 Concept by Luca Bar Design Yamaha MTDM Concept Luca Bar Design 04 635x425

Source: Luca Bar (blog)


  1. Starmag says:

    I’m sure this bike would be fun as a sport tourer. Let’s hope Yamaha studies the Bmw r1200r bags and mounts if they offer them for this because the BMW’s mounts can’t be seen when the bags are not on the bike and the bags themselves come on and off easily. I’m not that wild abut the fairing looks-wise but it does cover the designed-to-attract-13yr-olds fake scoops and it doesn’t cover the engine. I personally prefer something like a Plexifairng which has better coverage than anything but the biggest touring fairings, weighs 6LBs and can be taken ion and off in under 2 mins. True, they are also not that attractive either, but I only have it on when i need it, cold, rain, freeway etc. Full fairings are too hot to ride behind in summer in Florida and aren’t needed under 50 MPH where I do most of my riding. I’m suprised manufacturers don’t offer something like this from the factory as an optional accessory along with optional bags. As far as upright sporty roadsters with hidden bag mounts go, the only bike is the R1200R and I’m not a fan of it’s engine or styling.

  2. Sentinel says:

    Do want! :o

  3. froryde says:

    That would be a good use of the MT/FZ-09 platform!

  4. hipsabad says:

    This design just makes the bike look less distinctive; more drab and not as attractive. Why bother with the extra grey plastic at the front? And lose the fairing/windshield: all the bikes I’ve ridden with them just create noise and buffeting; I’ll take clean air over that. And there’s nothing attractive about the cheap-looking wide ass you get with hard bags. Good quality bags like Giant Loop’s are one way to go so that you don’t get caught out like this dude:

  5. Gritboy says:

    Love this concept bikes by artists; sure wish more made it into production.

  6. Norm G. says:

    SOLD AMERICAN…!!! cut, print, check the tape. :)

  7. Dawg says:

    I have owned two TDM 900s. They were two of the best bikes I have ever had, covering 50,000 miles between them with only a blown headlight bulb to worry about. As well as being ultra reliable they are superb all round bikes – very comfortable, well built and so easy to ride, with good handling and smooth power.

    I have been waiting for an update for a few years, as all the TDM really needs, is a tad more power. This triple TDM would be ideal – whip the boxes off and you have a real scratcher.

    These concepts look spot on. All I would suggest is to drop the TDM name as it has always been wrongly nicknamed Tedium here in England, and a new name would revitalise the bike. Maybe TDR9 would be better, as the TDR was the original production supermoto.

  8. Julian Bond says:

    I’m sure there’s another manufacturer that specialises in triples. Begins with a T! So can Yamaha make a range that has something faster than the Daytona, more fun than the Street Triple, more of a hooligan than the Speed Triple, goes further, faster, more off road, than the 800/Explorer/Trophy and so on. Or maybe they should compete with Ducati/MV How about a 3 cyl Hypermotard or Multistrada?

    You kind of know that they’ll bottle out. And what we get will cheap and good value but a bit bland and a bit sh*t. It’s puzzling that the Japanese have never worked out how to produce properly exciting motorcycles outside of their pure sportsbikes.

  9. Dawg says:

    I have just converted the Dollar price for the MT 09 into sterling!!!! That is so cheap. Lets hope the suspension isn’t too budget because the specs are looking like this is going to be an amazingly capable bike.

  10. Emptybee says:

    Looks like a Triumph Tiger 1050,

  11. KittyLitterKid says:

    Dawg, I wouldn’t get to excited about a usd to gbp conversion.

    New bikes in the UK are generally pricier than our good friends over the pond have to shell out.
    At the moment based on RRP’s, a Yam FZ8 would cost you $8890 (that’s £5675) in the States.
    Whereas they RRP at £6999 here in Blighty, which is $10,963!
    So I wouldn’t be surprized if Yam UK don’t just change the dollar sign for a pound sign for the UK RRP. It will sit at least £6999 as that’s the RRP of the FZ8.

    It’s not just the Japanese Manufacturers either, in the UK a 2013 Triumph Street Triple RRP’s at £6999 ($11,276).
    A stark difference to the US RRP of $8799 (£5626), and that’s from a UK Manufacturer.
    * I’m pretty sure the street trip is still made in Hinckley, UK.(?)

  12. Dawg says:

    Hi KittyLitterKid

    I was expecting the UK price to be around £7k, which is still a good price for Blighty. I was just surprised how cheap this bike is likely to be in the states.

    At least in the UK we don’t pay as much as in parts of Europe!

  13. Julian Bond says:

    Don’t forget that UK prices are typically quoted as on-the-road, all-in prices including VAT at 20% but without any dealer discounting. And it’s pretty rare to pay full list price unless you’re trying to get finance. Whereas US prices are before the extras and any state taxes.

    Conversely, the manufacturers also charge what the market will bear. And UK mature motorcyclists will pay more than their equivalent in the US.

  14. Damo says:

    They forgot to move the pillion foot pegs to and actual usable position.

  15. Paul McM says:

    Clever work, but the ugly headlight basket, strange gray side panels, and useless pillion still ruin it. You know something is wrong with a bike’s aesthetics if people are photo-shopping away the flaws before it has even hit the showrooms.

    Maybe, in a parallel universe, Yamaha can make a bike as handsome, comfortable, ergonomic, and versatile as my nearly 30-year-old FJ1100 from 1984. Huge torque, 47 mph on the highway. It had one of the best 1/4 fairings ever put on a sport tourer — not too big, not too small. No turbulence, no excessive wind noise (unlike many modern bikes). Yamaha — please just make this bike again, but with the lighter 3-cylinder engine, belt drive, Fuel injection and modern lighting and stoppers. (The FJR is too big and heavy). Notice the FJ1100 actually had CURVES and doesn’t look like a basket of assorted parts cobbled together.

    FJ1100 1984: http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/1172/yamahafj1100d.jpg

  16. para says:

    Putting the engine into a new Tenere is fine by me. Put for gods sake leave the rest of the stuff off that bike. We dont need another fake dual sport, especially since it would be an utter disgrace to the Tenere-name.

    This design here would indeed make a nice replacement for the TDM850, which, while being a very practical day-to-day bike, is also arguably one of the ugliest creations around.

  17. Singletrack says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I agree, the current trend of odd shaped bits all lumped together on a stubby frame ain’t beauty.
    I’m partial to the ThunderAce/Cat generation of Yamaha sport bikes, but I wouldn’t want Yamaha to go all retro. I just hope that some new design trends come out in the next few years when the Sport Touring version of this bike will be released. Or maybe the aftermarket could come up with a cool 1/2 fairing for the naked version….

  18. idjdalsin says:

    Nice!!! A real do-it-all bike: commuting, weekend touring or back road scratching in a lightweight, powerful and affordable package – sign me up.