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.

Ducati: Ads That Make You Go Hmm…

10/12/2011 @ 9:14 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Ducati: Ads That Make You Go Hmm... Ducati Grey Group Ad Morph 635x850

UPDATE: Ducati North America sent me a note explaining that these ads were not a part of corporate-initiated ad campaign. Their best guess is that they are spec-creative, or something done by the company’s Ecuadorian distributor.

Talking in generalities, Ducati is one of the better companies in the motorcycle industry when it comes to handling its market communications, and in an industry that’s generally abysmal at making creative advertisements, you can make of that praise as you will. Of course every now and then Bologna produces a dud campaign, and well…through each others’ failures, we can hopefully make progress. It’s not that the concept being used here is a bad one, it’s just not readily apparent (it’s also averaging below a 2.5/10 rating on Ads of the World right now).

Trying to make a statement about how owning a Ducati motorcycle is as fantastic of an accomplishment as becoming invisible, turning into other objects, walking through walls, and levitating, we’re not sure that the comparison, though clever, is readily apparent when these photos stand on their own on a page. Better pitched in the idea room than executed on the paper, after the third advertisement or so it finally hits you (the walking through walls one was the “ahh-ha!” moment for us). But as for a clearly communicated message, there is a bit left wanting here from Ducati and its ad agency, The Grey Group…that and the teapot thing is just damn silly. More examples after the jump.

Ducati: Ads That Make You Go Hmm... Ducati Grey Group Ad Tresspass 635x850

Ducati: Ads That Make You Go Hmm... Ducati Grey Group Ad Invisible 635x850

Ducati: Ads That Make You Go Hmm... Ducati Grey Group Ad Levitate 635x850

Source: Ads of the World via Bikes in the Fast Lane


  1. John Magnum says:

    Luigi is a cock (Luigi’s head representative of that of a knob on a penis) and he owns a Ducati.

    Adds should make you feel good and inspire you……then a bond and then a desire to want.

    This add campain makes me hate vain italians who think they can do the impossible…..no bond, no conection, i will look the other way.

    Wake up Ducati. Put a model with big tits on your product and let it sell itself!

  2. froryde says:

    “Fabrizio has a Harley Davidson. And he also has a Ducati Diavel.”

  3. Ades says:

    “Filippo can turn into any object……………….. except for a Ducati Desmocedici that can win a race……”

    “Vittorio can walk through walls…………………..but not through a cloud of ‘front end’ issues……..”

  4. Ades says:

    Also, the “Vincenzo” ad probably should have his name substituted for Valentino!!!!!

    ha ha…..poor Ducati.

  5. Bjorn says:

    Filippo can turn into any thing except a corner at race pace.

  6. I like them. Mostly cause I know I'll parody them. “@Asphalt_Rubber: Ducati: Ads That Make You Go Hmm… – http://t.co/4c0ULCGx #motorcycle”

  7. RJ says:

    … But can they turn a dud into a race winner?

  8. buddydog says:

    It’s advertising!… It’s not about if you like it or not…. it’s about if you talk about it. By you all commenting on it now it has already served it’s purpose. Love it or hate it…. you can’t please everyone. It’s better to be talked about… than not at all.

  9. Other Sean says:

    Gianmarco looks more like a BMW kind of guy. Pipe and slippers…

    I agree these are silly and don’t seem to fit, but are they actually being used in the North American Market? I haven’t seen one. I’d say maybe they’re meant for the Italian market, but then why are they in English? Yes, a baffling concept to be sure.

  10. Sloan says:

    “Vinny can fix anything on 2 wheels… Which is good because he owns a Ducati.”

  11. Matt says:

    I like the ads but don’t think it really speaks to the Ducati market. Maybe they are intended to appeal to a new base?

  12. 76 says:

    Sorry but this seems to me the work of a female creative director… I wonder what the bill for this one was? Unless its going after 30 something women, a big fat fail

  13. mxs says:

    They should keep the money to build a better performing bike (since they already have the most expensive rider and it has not helped much so far …).

  14. TonyS says:

    Valentino used to win races. And now he rides a Ducati.

  15. Other Sean says:

    Carlos Checa wins a world championship. And he rides a Ducati.

    Take that, haters!

  16. TonyS says:

    Max Biaggi is a an asshole. And he rides an Aprilia.

  17. Bjorn says:

    @76: Nice long bow there mate. If they were appealing to 30 something women, just off the top of my head of course, they’d show 30 something women in the ads or perhaps the benefits a 30 something woman would derive from owning a Ducati.

    Don’t get me wrong; I love Ducati, but this ad campaign is deserving of ridicule (at least in the Australian and US markets, even if it is not aimed at us).

    Casey can win a second world championship, on a Honda.

  18. Just got a note from Ducati North America about the ads. DNA is saying this definitely isn’t a corporate-initiated campaign, and that their best guess is that it’s the local distributor in Ecuador that commissioned the ads, or it’s a spec ad from the agency.

  19. rebecca says:

    it’s a case where a weak idea went too far. Perhaps their marketing people were uninspired. The ad campaign is a bit of a stretch for its audience. Seems like something alcohol companies would put out. The illustration is really nice well at least.

  20. avto says:

    @Other Sean: “Carlos Checa wins a world championship. And he rides a Ducati.

    Take that, haters!”

    I completely agree. Checa is a legend