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.

Buell Builds Last Motorcycle Before Closing

11/19/2009 @ 4:30 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Buell Builds Last Motorcycle Before Closing Buell last motorcycle XB12Scg 560x429

The last Buell rolled off the East Troy, Wisconsin assembly line this past November 12th, thus closing the final chapter for the American street bike company. After creating 136,923 motorcycles over the last 26 years, it is a Buell Lightning XB12Scg that will be the last motorcycle to bear Erik Buell’s name.

On October 15, 2009 Harley-Davidson, Inc. announced that Buell motorcycles would be officially closed for business come December 18th of this year. Also seeing the axe in that announcement was MV Agusta, which is up for sale, with many suspecting a return to Italian soil in the company’s future.

Both companies fell victim to Harley-Davidson’s rapidly deteriorating net income, which has seen declines upwards of 71% from last year’s numbers. The loss has caused the Milwaukee brand to circle the wagons around its core business and profit centers, unfortunately at the expense of shutting down Buell Motorcycles.

Source: Harley-Davison


  1. Lionel says:

    Sad… But at least the last one is a nice one.

  2. RT @Asphalt_Rubber Buell Builds Last Motorcycle Before Closing http://bit.ly/28A7TH

  3. tim says:

    I just read your comments on the Kneeslider. I think you’ve absolutely nailed it.

    All very well to wring hands, and feel sorry for Erik Buell and the people involvec, but I think your analysis is spot on.

    If i owned stock in HD (I dont) I would be sending bottles of wine to the CEO and board about now. $1B in borrowed money? How the hell does that happen!!

  4. PTO says:

    ” it is a Buell Lightning XB12Scg that will be the last motorcycle to bear Erik Buell’s name.” Unless you have plans to murder the man yourself, this is a particularly venal piece of conjecture disguised as reporting. It is your opinion, and tacking it onto the factual half of the sentence: ” After creating 136,923 motorcycles over the last 26 years” does nothing to imbue it with truth.

    Regardless of the merits or mistakes of the man’s past accomplishments or your tumescent ardor for HD’s stock value, wishing an inventor a future in which his name never appears on another motorcycle might well have been the cruellest dig you could scrape out. I myself have no need to wish failure on HD in order to wish future success to Erik Buell and the possibility of a motorcycle landscape with more than one American brand in it.

  5. Buell builds last motorcycle before shutdown. http://bit.ly/14dFJG

  6. BikePilot says:

    I haven’t actually checked, but I suspect HD owns the Buell Trademark – the statement in the article that this is the last bike to bear Erik Buell’s name is likely true if HD does not bring back or sell the brand. This has very little to do with whether Mr. Buell will design or produce bikes again in the future. Careful our you’ll hurt yourself making such a large jump to a conclusion.

  7. PTO says:

    Ms Gun did not write ‘might be the last bike to bear his name’, she wrote ‘will’. Phrasing your conjecture as fact does not make it so. I think Erik’s name ‘might’ appear on some motorcycle sometime in the future. Anyone who conjectures otherwise is equally entitled to their opinion, but those who throw around words like ‘will’ and, as you do, ‘true’, is merely using rhetoric to try and add seriousness to their opinions. Phrase it however you and she may, neither of you is any more entitled to know the future than me, and her negativity is the real message, couched disengenously as reporting. Reporters report, predictors predict, but only the arrogant will TELL the future.

  8. Jenny Gun says:

    I am from the future. Luckily, all of this works out reasonably well.

  9. OddBall says:

    That scg rolled off the line 29 oct. A picture of it and Henry Duga (seen in the background of this photo) was posted on BadWeatherBikers that evening.

  10. IceBreaker406 says:

    I’ve known Erik Buell since the late 1970s when he got going in a one car garage
    out in Mukwagano Wisconsin. Everybody back then thought he was a raving
    mad lunatic for building Sportster powered bikes that handled and stopped like
    real sport bikes. I kept saying “he’s on to something and I hope he succeeds”.
    Well, he did succeed and a few years ago in Libertyville H-D at a BuellRide
    I asked him if he ever had a chance to talk to John Britten and try to get
    a joint project going with him.
    How sadly prophetic in a way, H-D doing Buell in…

    Keep going Erik they can’t keep a great man and a great bike down!!!!