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.

Photo: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199′s Headlights

06/27/2011 @ 3:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Photo: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199s Headlights 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 motociclismo

Motociclismo.it continues to be Ducati’s favorite channel to leak teasers of its upcoming Superbike, the 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199. Promising to be a revolutionary design for the Italian brand, we know already that the bike will shed roughly 20 lbs from the 1198 model, while adding 20hp to its peak horsepower figure. This astonishing power increase comes from the “Superquadrata” v-twin motor, which features an overly-square cylinder design, that should rev to peaky power delivery delight (if you’re into that sort of thing).

From this latest photo we see that the new 1199 (we’ve been enjoying the rumors that the new Superbike would be called the Xtreme) borrows from the 916′s squinty highlight design, while adding the 1098/1198′s more pronounced air intake structure. The Ducati Superbike 1199 will be fed that healthy dose of oxygen through a stressed aluminum airbox/headtube design, à la its MotoGP frameless technology, and for which we’ve already seen patents of the design.

In other “leaked” photos (here & here) we’ve already seen that the rear shock will be horizontally mounted, and will attach the extra-long swingarm to the chassis. Our sources tell us that the Superbike 1199 will have an underslung and tail exhaust, much like the Ducati Desmosedici GP12. So far we’ve only seen the underslung exhaust, but we hear the tail section in its full glory is a thing of beauty. Looking at what side photos we have of the bike already, the design would appear to be very well integrated, as its lines have barely been given away (check out Luca Bar’s take on what the Superbike 1199 will look like).

From a purely speculation point-of-view, it’s interesting that this photo doesn’t show pronounced headlamps or projector assemblies. If Ducati really wanted to blow our minds, an LED headlight system would be very trick. Watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it’s clear that LED headlight technology has come a long way, and can be very, very bright indeed. Something to ponder, though we doubt such an arrangement exists in the Superbike 1199‘s design.

Source: Motociclismo.it


  1. Other Sean says:

    I was concerned about the headlights in particular, but this looks promising. For cripes sake, they’d better not call it some stupid name. Xtreme? Seriously, lame. That’s what they name those multi blade face razors.

  2. Don’t worry Sean, anyone who thinks Ducati would name their Superbike that has serious issues, or likes to stir a good pot. Remember when the Diavel came out and there was rumors it would be called the Mega Monster? Or when the Diavel was supposed to be called the Cayenne? It’s the same thing going on here.

  3. Duckblind says:

    Maybe I’m seeing things but it looks like this bike does indeed have LED daytime running lights above the main lights per BMWs automobile arrangement. Look at the multiple little diodes .

  4. I think those are just decorative “cuts” in the headlight reflector, my Streetfighter has them as well.

  5. 2ndclass says:

    Aprilia called, they want their front end back.

    I’m guessing this new bike will suffer from the same issue that the 999/749 did. A better rider but no one gives a shit because it doesn’t look like a 916/996.

  6. ML says:

    It does look like it’ll have LED running lights as Duckblind states. I think it’ll a common feature going forward on all street bikes. The new ZX-10R sports LED day time running lights.

  7. sunstroke says:

    My guesses:

    People have heard the bike at full chat so I’m inclined to believe the 14,000rpm rumors are true, and to believe the Superquadrata/Hypersport nomenclature is accurate in describing the bike’s characteristics.

    This bike is going to be a 1000. The old 999R was 104mm x 58.8mm. This new twin will be 108 x 54.5mm, a bore-stroke ratio of almost 2:1, hence Superquadrata. Entirely titanium internals like the 999R, but maybe with a twist like 5 or 6 valves per cylinder. I think the 1198 will actually stay in production since this bike will be homologation exotica for racers and wealthy Ducatisti.

    IMS and MSMA hate performance-indexing across multiple displacements in SBK, that’s why Ducati are introducing the bike 1 year before the 1198R’s 5-year life cycle is complete.

  8. Cpt.Slow says:


  9. Duckblind says:

    It’s nice to see Ducati innovating again. The chassis and motor innovations are going to make this a Ducati worthy of it’s storied history. I was a bit let down by the evolutionary updates on the last two generations of super bikes they’ve produced. Not since Mossimo Tamburini left have they really found their voice. I hope th styling is up to snuff. I must say I’m not too confident from the teasers. I know styling is just that, but Tamburini was able to meld both revolutionary engineering in styling that was beautiful and ground breaking. It’s why no one will let go of the 916, or the MV agusta F4. Italian machinery needs a fresh new look, here’s hoping Ducati pulls it off.

  10. MikeD says:


    Yup, same thing went thru my head. What’s with the ugly “Joker Smile” side intakes ?

    W/e happened to the central air intake concept of being the place with the HIGHEST/CLEANEST air pressure point ?

    I guess it will always be Form over Function…after all, this is just a “street” bike…looks first.



    If they can make that lump of a Twin rev 14k w/o self-grenading itself then i don’t know what’s next. Those pistons must be the size of a Toilet Plunger OR BIGGER !

    More than 4 Valves per cylinder ? I can see the real state to make it happen and the asociated potential gains but that is so unlike Ducati…but so was ditching the trellis frame…we’ll have to wait and see.

  11. Shereef says:

    I tend to agree with MikeD. The 14K redline sounds a bit ambitious; although, it would be nice if they can acheive it. The RSV 4 is about 14.2K and the ZX10R and BMW are in about the same range. These are a V-4 and I-line-4s respectively. If ducati does indeed use an oversquared v-twin and not a 4 banger, then I think it is unlikely they can match the revy competition. Still, the main purpose of their engine will probably be to provide useable torque instead of peak power, I think. Is there any confirmation that the superquadrata is a L-twin and not a L-four (double L-twin) with smaller pistons?

  12. 76 says:

    Yes those are LED running lights on top and yes those are actual LED “Headlamps” in the picture. no projector is that samll in dia. and for sure no coventional reflector / 2way

    There are already street legal full LED aftermarket headlamps for sale right now, Polaris just released a SxS with full LED headlamps which put out about just as much as needed for a bike from one. Of course none have pulled it off so trick as this though, I like what I’m seeing here

  13. tone says:

    Why can’t the exhaust just be underslung only? Tail exhuasts are so passé. Fron the pics it looks like the exhaust is like a Kawi Versys but the exhaust exits both sides of the bike. If it is, this will be a cool feature !! I want the 848 version !!!! Yes Santa !!!

  14. sunstroke says:

    @ Mike D

    The 999R revved to 13,000rpm. The titanium bottom end could handle the strain, but the giant valves and the tiny valve clearance tolerances on the Desmoquattro top end were not up to the task for long. If Ducati were to add valves, the smaller top end components would probably handle the stress a bit better.

    I don’t know that it is a 1000, but Superquadrata sounds a bit like boastfulness. Ducati already built the 999R with bore-stroke of about 1.8:1. You’d think the Superquadrata would be even more oversquare than the old 999R.

    Shereef’s idea of a Twin Pulse (as Ducati have named it) V4 is interesting as well since Ducati have built Twin Pulse engines before, but I’m not sure where Superquadrata fits into that equation.

    One thing is for sure. With all of the hype/tease Ducati have done for this bike, it must be very special or people will be quite disappointed.

  15. DucracerX says:

    I couldn’t have designed the front end nose fairing better myself!! bellissimo!!!! Now I am waiting to see the complete package. The most interseing part will be the exhaust system. And Luca Bars drawings are so ugly and such garbage! This beauty will look NOTHING like his drawings.

  16. MikeD says:

    C’mon People… There must be an A&R reader that lives in Italy…go buy the July Issue of Motociclismo, photocopy the thing and send it to Jensen so we can finally see the real deal.