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.

Confederate Motorcycles to Stay in ‘bama

06/22/2011 @ 3:03 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Confederate Motorcycles to Stay in bama Confederate Hellcat C3 X132

Talking to the Birmingham NewsConfederate Motorcycles spokesman Clay Morrison said that the boutique motorcycle firm will remain in Alabama, opting not to return to its origin of New Orleans. Expecting its best sales year ever, Confederate was reportedly offered $750,000 by the City of New Orleans to return to the bayou, but with most of its staff based out of Birmingham now, not to mention the supplier and vendor relationships the company has created in the Southern state, Confederate has decided to stay-put.

“The main thing is that most of our staff is from Birmingham and we’ve come to consider this our home,” said Morrison. “To uproot our operation now with the new Hellcat starting production just did not make good business sense.”

Confederate also reports that it has 39 C3 X123 Hellcat motorcycles on backorder, which must represent the total number of people signed up for the “entry-level” Confederate motorcycle. Last we heard on the X132 was that it was hopelessly behind schedule, existed only in CAD, and saw its price tag raised to $45,000. Speaking of $40,000+ motorcycles, Motus Motorcycles is also based out of Birmingham, Alabama, making the city, with its close proximity to Barber Motorsports Park, a hotbed for motorcycles in the South.

Source: Birmingham News


  1. Mark says:

    “Expecting it’s best sales year ever” The key word being “Expecting”, we all expect a lot of things don’t we.

    How does this company stay in business selling only a hand full of bikes a year, if that?

  2. GeddyT says:

    $750K? Isn’t that like, what, one of their bikes?

  3. Richard Gozinya says:

    Mark, it’s a lot like how Bugatti remains a profitable venture, big profit margins.

  4. Bjorn says:


    A bit off topic but from what I’ve heard; Volkswagen own Bugatti and they make a loss on each vehicle they sell. It is considered a worthwhile loss leader for the prestige of being the producer of the worlds fastest production car.
    Probably need a better/ different example.
    Sorry, I can’t help my self; I’m a hopeless pedant.

  5. Damo says:


    I have no idea how they do business either, I also have no idea who their market is! I have never read anything or seen a single performance statistic that would justify the price of these “bikes”.

  6. anonymous says:

    You don’t have to “do business” if you never pay your bills. Confederate is run my crooks.

  7. Jim Marshall says:

    As an owner of a Confederate motorcycle, I don’t understand where all this negativity comes from… I’ve enjoyed a first class experience not only with my bike, but also in my relationship with the Confederate team. I, for one, will support any small American company that can produce a world-class product. Even if you don’t like their bikes or their prices, you have to at least respect what they’re doing…

  8. anonymous says:

    They’re behind schedule, but it definitely exists in more than a CAD model… I’ve been following the prototyping on their blog: http://confederate.com/development

  9. Tom says:

    Jim, you don’t have to agree with the critics but to say that no critic has any justification in their comments or that you don’t understand their criticism reflects more on you than the critics.

  10. Jim Marshall says:

    Tom, I’m not suggesting that the criticism is unjustified, I’m just wondering why most of the comments are negative. I understand that blog comments are often prime examples of the bandwagon effect, but for a seemingly good story, I am a little surprised. I see this as a great story… They are a small American company that is developing a new American motorcycle that costs over $35,000 less than their current lineup. I say keep up the good work, Confederate!

  11. Bjorn says:

    It’s quite telling that he person who made a direct accusation chooses not to stand behind it, instead choosing anonymity. If there was any truth to anonymous’ claims, I’d assume that we would hear about supply problems or lawsuits.
    If their business model is unsustainable, time will reveal that.
    While Confederate’s offerings don’t appeal to me; we are richer as motorcyclists for there being another choice.

  12. joe says:

    The Wraith was a thing of beauty, not my typical bike, but I’d love to ride one.

  13. Damo says:

    It is all well and good that these types of companies exist, but I am a utilitarian. I have no use for a bike with such a high price tag that couldn’t pull a faster lap time or boast the mechanical reliability of a $13,000 Honda, $16,000 BMW, etc.

    It is all well and good to have something “unique”, but the prices they post I could buy a brand new BMW s1000rr, some nice aftermarket exhaust and still have money left over to buy a decent used Jaguar :)

  14. Rexr says:

    Aren’t they owned by the American government or something they’ve had enough hand outs from them…..it’s a real shame because they make some really cool expensive bike….