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.

Video: BMW R1200GS vs. BMW HP4 on the Track

06/04/2013 @ 12:21 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Video: BMW R1200GS vs. BMW HP4 on the Track bmw r1200gs bmw hp4 almeria spain track video 635x423

I am just wrapping up my thoughts on the new liquid-cooled 2013 BMW R1200GS, but before I post up the ride review, I thought I would share this little gem of a video that BMW Motorrad USA showed us at the US media launch for the R1200GS. Filmed at the Circuito de Almería in Spain, a new BMW R1200GS gives chase to a BMW HP4, and interesting results ensue.

Now I’m not saying that the R1200GS is a more capable track bike than the HP4, a fast rider on any bike is still a fast rider, after all. But, you have to be impressed by the GS here, it certainly wasn’t losing any ground to the HP4 (except maybe on the straight). As for the the nitty gritty, the R1200GS rider clocked a sub-two-minute lap time, an entirely respectable time at the Spanish circuit, which sees WSBK-spec machines lap in the 1:35 range.

BMW Motorrad says the 2013 BMW R1200GS is like the Swiss Army knife of the motorcycle world, and with some on-track chops like this, we might just have to agree. For those that are wondering, it rides nice on the road and trails as well. Video after the jump, and look for the review this week.

Source: BMW Motorrad USA


  1. Jake F. says:

    Multistrada singing, “Anything you can do, I can do better!”
    See, this is why the decision is so hard!

  2. kww says:

    So where is there no R12S model again?

  3. Starmag says:

    Competent though it may be, after watching Ewan and Charlie burst their spleens picking theirs up a thousand times, for true off road adventure I’d rather have a XR, DR, or KLR than a GS. I’m sure it makes a great comfortable-riding-position street bike though. I’m aware the GS can go off-road, I just wouldn’t want to with it.

  4. Motobell says:

    I rented the top kitted 2013 R1200GS and the 2013 Multistrada GrandTurismo back to back swapping eith by buddy over 3 days across Italy, Switzerland and Monaco, French riviera loop of 1300kms – this was 3 weeks ago begore the monaco F1 gramd Prix. Yes got the ride the track as it was being built.

    Both bikes had the semi active dynamic suspension – the electronics and electronic suspension working together makes everything I have ridden feel like a flip phone versus this an iPhone. ( I currently own a Ducati Streetfighter S, 996, Monster900 and a FJR1300)

    I was left with few things:
    - These two bikes are easily the best two all round bikes in the world right now that despite my utter dislike for tall rounder bike concept – I have a short 30″ inseam
    - the BMW exceeded my expectation more – the multi performed like you expect a Ducati to, but the Beemer was a revelation in the twisties despite being on inferior rubber and larger front wheel. Never once did I wish I the had the other bike for this conditions I was in – we did everything in perfect dry to pouring rain, warm to cold, you get it – yes no dirt
    - what would the Beemer feel like with 17″ wheels up front and wider sport bike wheel at back? I will never go offload anyway
    - damn, if they can the Multi this good, I will take 3 bikes in 1 versus 4in1 attempt – drop the enduro mode give me a proper ST – lower the height, make better panniers that don’t have right side space eaten up by exhaust, add cruise control
    - me holding out for someone to build a proper sport touring bike to replace my FJR is pointless – I just buy one these and figure out effective way to lower by 1.5″ and another .5″ in seat – solo riding was no problem except backing up, lifting off of stand etc and I will not feel safe on either with my wife on back and fully loaded up pulling off to a side gravel road.

    If you have 32″ inseam plus go buy buy either the GS or the MultiGT – you will not miss your sport bikes on the road – they are both unbelievable – rate of progress in motorcycling is awesome.

  5. GM says:

    Sorry if I missed something, but was this supposed to be an actual race? If it was, I’m still not going to buy a GS and now I’m definitely not going to buy an HP4!

  6. FafPak says:

    Excellent! The less demand there is, the lower the markup will be since the HP4 are a limited production model. Spread the word GM, spread the word, not to buy!! >:)

  7. @Jake: Man, Tracy backing that Multistrada into the corner was just crazy good. Unreal.

    @kww: An R12S would be lovely! Classic lines with the upgraded boxer motor, USD fork and up-to-date rear suspension …. *swoon*

  8. paulus - Thailand says:

    It does not surprise me at all.
    ‘Practical’ Nakeds are almost as competent as their super-sports relations.
    Adventure bikes are equally as good in all but the extremes of track riding.
    i have ridden sand and dirt on my B-King.
    Hell, Nick Sanders toured the world on his new R1 (deserts also), just to prove a point…

    Most bikes are far more capable than believed.

  9. 2ndclass says:

    This is like Trackdays 101: never underestimate the bloke on the GS.

  10. mxs says:

    The GS guy was better rider or he simply knew the the particular track. You can easily see how he sets up correctly for turns and hugs the apexes …. nevertheless interesting revelation for some I am sure. It made me smile.

  11. Bill says:

    The HP4 was obliviously just a camera bike. But still really impressive stuff from the GS rider, reminds me of the YouTube vid with the guy on the Goldwing tearing it up on the Tail of the Dragon.

  12. Monkey Painter says:

    Those downshifts were disgusting.

  13. FafPak says:


    I thought it was always the guy on the 2-fiddy with the corner speed? :)

  14. INSULTING! *HP4 looks down contemptuously at GS, spits in its eye and kicks sand in its face*

    I could put my mother on the HP4, and you could put Mark Marquez on the GS, and it would still be a slaughter, with mommy having a beer at the pub with me, while Marquez is still chugging for the finish line. :D

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “@GM
    Excellent! The less demand there is, the lower the markup will be since the HP4 are a limited production model.”

    hey, good luck with that.

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “never underestimate the bloke on the GS.”

    more like never underestimate the bloke on a boxer.

    this was before a lot of your time, but some of you may remember there used to be a series a decade ago known as the boxer cup. it in fact was a support race to MotoGP. guys who used to run in that series as well as motorrad’s HP2 endurance team… ie. penzkofer (ret), cooper, kern, parriot etc, are still out there.

  17. Total unknowns such as Luca Cadalora and Randy Mamola have been known to ride around on boxers and dragging hard bits. :-D

  18. Len says:

    Maybe having a competent rider (or one that was trying) on the HP4 would help illustrate the differences in potential of these bikes.