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.

2011 KTM 1198 RC8 R: 175hp…Sorta

11/12/2010 @ 12:55 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

2011 KTM 1198 RC8 R: 175hp...Sorta KTM 1190 RC8 R octane engine 635x465

If you’ve heard any loud thuds while visiting A&R the past two weeks, it’s been us falling over ourselves over the 2011 KTM 1198 RC8 R. For 2011, the new RC8 R gets a number of refinements to its already stout package, and for the spec sheets racers the most drool-worthy stat perhaps is the bike’s modest power boost to 175hp, up from its base of 167hp. There’s a kicker to that power figure though, it comes from switching the base engine map, which is designed for 91 octane (AKI rating, which is what we use here in the USA), to a 93 octane map.

It could seem like we’re splitting hairs here, but unless you live next to a race track where gas stations will often carry the 93 octane rated fuel, you’ll be risking pinging KTM’s beautiful 1195cc motor with the lower-rated fuel, and be relegated to using the 170hp engine map while on the street. We don’t know how RC8 R owners will only handle 170hp on the street, hopefully the photos after the jump will help.

Source/Photos: KTM


  1. Matt says:

    I think it just varies by region. Here in the Memphis area, 93 octane is the standard premium fuel. On the rare chance that I come across a station with 91 octane (only happened once that I can remember), I move on to a different one with 93.

  2. max says:

    Same here, 98RON (the equivalent of 93AKI) is available at every petrol station. Same with Europe, not a big issue. Plus 99% of the people with this machines would always put premium fuel.

  3. bikepilot says:

    Pretty much every gas station in the eastern half of the US carriers 93 octane as standard. Some stations even have 94. Now mind I have doubts as to how careful stations are not to mix the various grades and then there’s the issue of how much you get from whatever is left in the hose from the previous purchase. Hopefully they are just being cautious with the specs and it’ll actually run fine on anything. I know my TLS does just dandy on anything that more or less resembles gas (dyno tested on 87 with no problems).

  4. ML says:

    I hate california. I really need to move. Ugh!

    We only have 91 octane, but that’s not why I want to move. This was going to be my next bike. Any ideas on getting around the 93 octane requirements? There are a few stations that sell ‘race fuel’ (100 octane) but those are FAR away from where I live. Any additives?

    I really want this bike!!!

  5. spy says:

    I really like this bike… i hope price is inline with a 1198 Base model, no more than $1500 more. it would be nice if they got fueling perfect on this bike. though this bike comes out a year before ducati comes out with their next generation Twin. for those that want the latest and have a preference to a twin like i do, you may want to wait.

  6. Aj says:

    ML, leave California?

    Want to trade? I live in Canada and riding season is just winding down for the next five months, six if you can’t take the single digit (C) temperatures.

    Shell has a 94 Octane out here so that map issue wouldn’t bother me, but why would I buy this bike when for the same money I could get a bike with traction control? If I’m going to be without traction control, I’m better off to stick with my 07 gsxr (or any other mid 00′s literbike).

    The KTM is sexy, but its a few features short of worthwhile when compared to its contemporaries.

  7. RSVDan says:

    “The KTM is sexy, but its a few features short of worthwhile when compared to its contemporaries.”

    I guess that depends on the customer. I still prefer my wrist as the best means of traction control.

  8. uhuk uhuk says:

    what the new things at this 2011 bike compared to previous??from front to tail, no change..

    i dont see any new part except colour and graphic…and it still most ugly compared to other bike in the same class..

    maybe KTM’s engineer doesn’t have any idea at all to create 100% of new KTM RC8 for 2011…..very poor….KTM should fire them and take new man for the job…

    rider just not want the power bike, power engine but new face and change..then they can feel the exciting of new bike than before….with this bike, useless..

    KTM…learn from other brand how to create all new bike…look at Yamaha R1 for example…learn something……….

  9. Ades says:

    Simple solution: Move to Australia.

    You can choose between 91, 95 and 98 octane fuels at every gas station. Personally I use the 98 as it has the “make bike go fast now” effect………

  10. Halfie30 says:

    This bike is by far the sickest looking bike in it’s class (better look out of the New ZX-10R though), but it really does need to be more feature laden to justify it’s price that is on par with Duc’s S models, and Aprilia’s Factory models. Aprilia got the message, and Ducati has been the leader in features for years now. Even Kawi is going to offer a bike with t.c., power modes, and much more than KTM offers for only around 14 grand. I want this bike, but I’ll wait to see what EBR has up their sleeve!

  11. Billy B.Tso says:

    Australia does love its high octane fuels! as ‘Ades’ said, take your pick at any gas station in the city/suburban areas…maybe not deep country gas stations though…so provided you’re not doing a tour of central outback Australia, you should be ok…then again probably not the bike to tour the desert with hey, ha!

  12. Alex says:

    You guys are forgetting the difference between RON and AKI. 98 RON is the same as 93AKI, I am also in Australia, and I agree that we have 91, 95, 98 pretty much at all gas stations, however so does the US (equivelant).