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.

Too Loud for Japan – The Ducati 1199 Panigale Gets Ruined for the Japanese Market

08/14/2012 @ 11:55 am, by Jensen Beeler51 COMMENTS

Too Loud for Japan   The Ducati 1199 Panigale Gets Ruined for the Japanese Market Ducati 1199 Panigale Japan exhaust 01 635x423

We have to feel sorry for our Japanese readers today, as a crime against motorcycling has occurred in the Japanese motorcycle market. The bike of 2012, and arguably one of the more beautiful designs to come out of Bologna (don’t worry 916 fans, we still like the Tamburini classic more), it turns out that the Ducati 1199 Panigale was a touch too loud for the Japanese market, and modifications had to be made before it is released to the island nation next month. Some extra baffle, maybe some tuning to the ECU, and no big deal right? Well…no, not quite.

Getting a black carbon fiber snorkel, a larger plastic clutch cover, and a revised engine map, the Japanese market Panigale is one of those things that once you have seen it, it cannot be forgotten. An abomination to our senses, the revised exhaust system is reportedly adds 8 lbs to the stock system, which it appear to have been just welded onto directly.

If that wasn’t bad enough, peak horsepower is said to be limited to 135 hp. Not exactly an elegant solution to a simple problem, the only piece of solace we can find in this story is that we expect Termignoni sales to boom in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Too Loud for Japan   The Ducati 1199 Panigale Gets Ruined for the Japanese Market Ducati 1199 Panigale Japan exhaust 02 635x469

Too Loud for Japan   The Ducati 1199 Panigale Gets Ruined for the Japanese Market Ducati 1199 Panigale Japan exhaust 03 635x468

Source: Ducati1199.comVisordown, & Motoblog.it


  1. Afletra says:

    What the…

  2. Dc4go says:

    That sucks!!! But that’s what the Japanese get they build boring bikes anyways……

  3. MP says:

    Wow. That’s some serious bullshit right there. I wonder if that’s a gov attack on Ducati engineered by a Japanese moto manufacturer

  4. Dave says:

    I had to look those photos over very closely. For a moment, I thought this was a Photoshop hoax.

  5. Aj says:

    What? That isn’t a bad photoshop? OMG

  6. In other news, the Japanese model has got some tasty wheels on it. Daddy likes.

  7. Steve says:

    “a larger plastic clutch cover”

    What’s the reason behind this mod? (Loud clutch?)

  8. Ed Gray says:

    The “old” dry clutch was definitely loud, by moron standards, but this is a wet clutch. I don’t get it. luckily that is real easy fix.

  9. Ganny says:

    I feel like tearing that ugly thing off of the Panigale

  10. Frenchie says:

    It’s also the first time I see pictures of the Panigale with passenger footpegs!
    Has anybody seen passenger footpegs or seats on the European/Amercian version?

  11. Ganny says:

    Could they not have added a 1198 style exhaust at the least

  12. Leo says:

    916 line is still the sexiest moto ever. This is jap model is still way better than 999 but the 916 rules

  13. Leo says:

    @frenchie .. Even better it has passenger foot pegs yet no passenger seat….

  14. Michael L says:

    This is like bad porn.

  15. AC says:

    It’s like Ducati was so disgusted, they didn’t even want to put any effort into making a nicer can. Can’t blame ‘em!

  16. JTB says:

    Well sadly I see this and think it could happen here. People continue to roll around with volume controls in their right hands and make sure everybody looks at them as they ride by. The non-riders will be sure to support anything that makes those “noisy” bikes quiet. Never mind we already have the DOT standard in place but not enforced. Their solution will be a new law with a lower DB and a tamper proof system. So be sure to piss off every non-rider around you with your race pipes you fitted or drag pipes and you can bet we will eventually get punished too.

  17. Dan says:

    @Jensen: Those are the non-s model wheels, so unfortunately for the Japanese they don’t even get fancy wheels to offset all that ugly.

  18. Nick says:

    Dave, I live in Australia and have never seen a 916 with that headlight.

  19. Steve says:

    Nick, that’s because the single headlight 916 didn’t last long here, the huge public uproar saw the twin headlight come back. Every owner who had one did the swap the moment they got it home lol.

  20. Greg says:

    Well I just lost all respect for the Japanese . . . **** :-( !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Japan completely ugly-fies the Ducati 1199 Panigale to lower noise levels: http://t.co/jHjzFHoF

  22. Archer says:

    Why is anyone surprised? Japan-spec bikes, even those from the big four in Japan, have often been neutered. The land of 80 crank HP CBR600RR’s.

    Hey at least it isn’t France.

  23. Spektre76 says:

    This must be Pearl Harbor for Italy.

  24. @Greg: “Well I just lost all respect for the Japanese . . . **** :-( !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Don’t be silly. Japanese riders don’t want it this way; Japanese LAWMAKERS do.

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting seeing a Panigale in the flesh. Now, not quite so much. The way they chopped that exhaust onto the bike is just tragic. I suspect there will be a thriving business for aftermarket exhausts for these bikes here. (I live in Tokyo.)

  25. KevinW says:

    I would imagine it wouldn’t be the most difficult thing to just remove that extension and do a remap. Am I off base here?

    Is the government there often this strict about regulating exhaust/engine noise?

  26. Well, Ducati have capped the existing exhaust ends and, likely, have removed the muffler baffling. If you just removed the extension, you’d wind up blowing your unmuffled exhaust straight into the bodywork. Probably not a great idea.

    The government is growing ever stricter with regard to noise regulations. Clubs of bōsōzoku have done a very good job of reducing public support for motorcycles/scooters in general. Many a night I dreamed of having an EM pulse rifle that I could use to shut those bikes down. God, they were horribly loud. (It’s less of a problem now.)

    There are regulations in the works that could have certain vehicles limited to only 68 dB(A) output in a few years.

  27. Bob says:

    It’s really a heat thing, they can’t take the heat… ; )

  28. superdave says:

    Funny thing about Ducati. They sell in europe- and thus go through type approval. However, you import one, and apply the same same tests to it – it WILL fail on noise. Ducati makes machines which are dubiously type-approved, and violate the rules of the territories in which they’re sold!
    My own Multistrada – sold in the UK – does not pass the noise requirements that are required to pass EU type approval.

    They’ve been doing dodgy things with their noise emissions for quite some time.

  29. James Sharpe says:

    I like it…

  30. Damo says:


    Yeah the first time I heard a 1198 fire up it sounded so burly I had to take a look to see what kind of aftermarket cans were on it….much to my surprise it was the stock exhaust. Ducati always finds a way to sneak it past, for this I commend them.

    Japanese bikes are almost always quiet as hell stock, hell even my recently purchased RC51-SP2 sounds like the Jetson mobile until you hit red line with stock exhaust. This shall be fixed shortly :)

  31. smiler says:

    There was a time when, if you wanted to sell skis in Japan they had to have been tested by a Japanese world ski champion, of which there were precisely zero.

    Its just a restrictive practice. Especially given all the catering bean can sized exhausts on all and every performance Japanese car.

    Or is it the 2013 R6 in mock up?

  32. RobG says:

    A bummer, but how many people will keep the stock exhaust anyway? And the aftermarket will fix the tuning too. It’s just gov’t BS, no matter what country it’s in.

  33. NBeato says:

    Its not April Fool’s day?

  34. JohnMc says:

    @ James Sharpe

    As an owner of a late 90′s gsxr, I see nothing wrong with big round exhaust can. A round exhaust can has been a sportbike design trademark since the dawn of the sportbike in the mid eighties. It has only been in the last 5 years or so that shorty “GP” style exhausts have been in vogue. It reminds me of old Ducati 888′s and 951′s.

    I like it too…

  35. paulus says:

    it all unbolts and can be changed for standard parts…. better than no approval to start with
    Just getting around the legistlation

  36. Gutterslob says:

    It isn’t country-wide, fyi. It’s just in major Japanese cities. They don’t even allow some of their locally manufactured sportbikes in these cities, btw (or at least that was the case when I lived there). Pretty sure the standard, non-neutered 1198 is still legal outside these city limits, though don’t quote me on this just yet.

  37. BBQdog says:

    Now I understand why my CBR 250 R is pig ugly. They don’t have feeling for it.

  38. Tom says:

    Bullshit! When I ever see the cops go after the bosozukus on their clown penis bikes 250cc and smaller, then I’ll take this seriously. But then again, most of you have no idea how insulting the Japanese motorcycle test is. Seriously, the mindless bullshit that is required to robotically finish the course is insulting.

  39. Filip says:

    I’m not surprised. I honestly can’t believe how Ducati managed to get the 1199 approved for the European market. It is the loudest thing I have ever ridden and arguably the loudest production bike ever built. Furthermore, the seat gets awfully hot sometimes, due to (part of) the exhaust running underneath. Sadly, the newly designed system did not (and probably could not) solve this annoying problem.

  40. Damo says:


    I have heard this is a big complaint from folks that were going to buy the Panigale for their everyday sport bike. A couple reviewers said in slower traffic they had to keep lifting off the seat because they though the fairing was on fire.

    I personally have no interest in toasting my wedding vegetables.

    I have ridden other under the seat exhaust style Ducatis and never had this problem, I wonder why a header with a heat shield gets so hot?

  41. Westward says:

    No offense, but as Ducatisti, we wouln’t expect GXSR-ist to recognize the design travesty.

    Personally I just think Ducati missed an opportunity to design something more innovative. They were just simply lazy…

  42. @Tom: “When I ever see the cops go after the bosozukus on their clown penis bikes 250cc and smaller, then I’ll take this seriously.”

    ROTFL! Damn it, man, you almost made me wake up my wife from laughing. I’ve actually seen attempts at catching the bikes. It was ~15 years ago and the mess was shown on TV. It looked more like a modern take on the Keystone Kops than it did a real effort to clean up the streets. In the end, I think it did more harm than good because it proved beyond any doubt that the cops simply couldn’t corral the bikes no matter what they tried.

    @Damo: “I personally have no interest in toasting my wedding vegetables.”

    Best. Sentence. Ever. :-D

  43. Krylov says:

    You would think that the original “under-motor-hidden-in-fairing”
    Panigale exhaust solution should be a clever way of solving many problems
    in exhaust design:
    a) you get the big exhaust volume required to get sufficient performance
    _and_ noise emission reduction,
    b) the noise source is put close to the ground and not at the back of the
    motorcycle like a Jerico trumpet,
    c) the weigth coming with the required volume of such an exhaust is
    put close to the motor/center of weigth of the motorcycle
    d) you can optically hide the optical fugliness that usually comes with
    these designs under a piece of fairing plastic.

    Many intrinsic advantages of this construction approach in theory, but
    if you look at the result – faking “fulfillment” of EU emission laws through
    corrupt/incompetent/hearing impaired test engineers and desecrated
    like this in Japan: Epic Fail!

  44. meatspin says:

    it doesnt look that bad, and owners will obviously convert it back after they get it. The clutch cover though is hideous.

  45. superdave says:


    Absolutely true – its amazingly loud. To the point where a *lot* of trackdays are out-of-bounds due to noise, on a totally stock machine.
    Hell, my Multistrada 1200 fails a lot of trackday orgs noise requirements in the UK also!
    To be honest, I rather want to see Ducati held to account for this kind of legislation-bending.

  46. @superdave: “To the point where a *lot* of trackdays are out-of-bounds due to noise, on a totally stock machine.”

    That’s disturbing to read. I might expect that on a bike with a full-blown racing exhaust, but certainly not from OEM pipes from the factory.

    “To be honest, I rather want to see Ducati held to account for this kind of legislation-bending.”

    Hell, yeah, ‘cuz it’s the owners getting pulled over and ticketed who’ll reap the rewards of such a loud exhaust. A lot of communities have some pretty strict noise bylaws that’ll get you ticketed at the merest whim of law enforcement nowadays.

  47. Gary says:

    How do you ruin something already so aesthetically challenged?
    (851/916/1098 Fan Club)

  48. MikeD says:

    Is it really THAT loud ? ! {o_O} WOW.
    I still have to see one in the flesh…….even more, HEAR the darn thing. I have to crawl from under my rock more often, that or maybe i need to move to a wealthier hood. LOL.

    P.S: It looks HIDEOUS. I think CHOPPING HALF of the can off will do WONDERS for it’s look.
    Sato & Arata and who knows who else are going to make a fortune selling aftermarket solutions to a problem that shouldn’t have been there to begin with.