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 Forms a Brazilian Subsidiary

10/22/2012 @ 4:59 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Ducati Forms a Brazilian Subsidiary Ducati Brazil 635x457

Ducati has announced today that is has created a wholly-owned subsidiary for the Brazilian market, following the news that its current importer, the Izzo Group, has shutdown its business due to current economic situation. Part of a larger issue in Brazil with the Izzo Group, which was the country’s largest motorcycle importer, Ducati‘s move ensures the Italian brand’s ability to sell in the growing South American economy.

Headquartered in São Paulo, Ducati Brazil will be the Bologna brand’s base in Brazil, which has extremely high tariffs on foreign goods. Importing complete knock-down (CKD) kits to Ducati Brazil, Ducati will have a minimal manufacturing presence in the South American country, and will be essentially assembling its motorcycles within Brazilian borders in order to side-step loopholes in the Brazil import regulations.

For Ducati owners in Brazil, the move will likely mean a better customer service experience, which was one of the main reasons Harley-Davidson left the Izzo Group, and in-turn was contributing factor to the import company’s demise. It is conceivable too that prices on Ducati motorcycles could come down as well, though don’t hold your breath on that just quite yet. Heading Ducati‘s Brazilian operations will be Ricardo Susini.

“The Brazilian motorcycle market is one of the most interesting and the third biggest in the world,” says Ducati CEO Gabriele Del Torchio. “Ducati has a very strong image in this country and we have the enthusiastic support of many Ducatisti, motorcyclists and fans in general.”

“The opening of this new subsidiary and the fact that our motorcycles will be assembled in the Manaus plant is evidence of our focus on the Brazilian market. We wish to offer our customers here the best possible sale and after-sales service, and confirm the strategic importance assigned to this market by Ducati.”

Source: Ducati


  1. MikeD says:

    Nice move. No more depending on someone else to sell your products is PRICELESS.
    Not to mention having a piece of the Pie everyone wants.
    Gotta make those $$$.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ducati Forms a Brazilian Subsidiary – http://t.co/2o8PRYZ6 #motorcycle

  3. David says:

    Why is this news? Ducati probably sells something like 4 motorcycles a year there…….lol

    I spent a month driving around South America and the vehicle of choice is either a donkey cart or some old cheap mini car junker. I never saw any vehicle/motorcycle worth a second look. Unless you count the vehicles overloaded with people and animals hanging all over it.

    I guess out of the 10 wealthy people in South America, 4 of them might buy Ducati.

    It’s a strange and wild continent.

  4. errr…. speaking as a Brazillian…

    Ducati here costs to much. The simplest Duc Monster have the price of a Hornet. Panigale is the most expensive “race” bike. Ducs only can have maintenance on the Duc vendors, and here, most people has a “trusted mechanic”, who don’t know 90% of time how to fix a Ducati.

    Brazil is growing up, but here, 75% a 90% of the people are poor. The first use of motorcycle here are daily commuting, and the small bikes (< 400cc) are the best-sellers. For information, this year BMW didn't sell a single unit of S100RR and R1200, for example. (real data from ABRACICLO, a Brazillian syndicate of motorcycle factories). Honda selled 215.760 CG Fan 150 Flex Fuel.

    I have myself on the "mid class", and have a Yamaha 250cc "Fazer", knowed in Europe as YBR250. It's a 12k BRL (Brazillian Reals). Converting to USDollars, the price is around 6k. For a 250cc, without any technology. My main use are daily commuting (me and wife work, university, church…) and sometimes a mid range travel (400 KM for the granpas family)

    In resume…i don't think Duc will make a lot o success here. They can sell a little, but i'dont think here will be a "key market". The other factor is the Ducs will be CKDed on Dafra facility, a knowed brand of failed motorcycles. Purists (the richer people here) will prefer import from EU or USA.

  5. David, calm down with your prejudgement…

    you stayed in Brazil? In a mid, or a larger city or capitals?

    Sorry man, but your comment sucks. Our first impression of the americans (if you are one of them) is they are dumb, fat and don’t know nothing about the rest of the world. In your way of thinking, we’re right, right?

    Don’t compare El Salvador, Colombia or Ecuador with Brazil. We don’t compare USA with Mexico.

  6. Brett says:

    Good for Brazil, hopefully it works out and good things come from it, with more to follow.

  7. jackie says:

    So my next Ducati will come pre-waxed? Dead sexy.

    In all seriousness, good on them.

  8. Zaiken says:

    Brazil is an honda-Yamaha stronghold, with the prices of fuel in some places, it’s better having a good, loyal and durable 125, 150, 250cc than an exotic model, of course than in europe it’s more common saw panigales, r1, s1000, cbr1000, but markets like brazil, argentina, well south america and mexico have a different bike approach.

    example, a Honda CG125 cargo 2009 in méxico know as the “indestructible” is the most efficient bike, you have spares everywhere and the motor for be of 125 is good. theres chinese copies but that bike is a legend, same for the CG150 Titan, Twister 250 can be considered a luxury bike for some people.

    Am think than that ducati move is alot risky but, hey if there’s no risk then no victory,

  9. David says:

    I didn’t mean for my post to sound judgemental about South America.

    I loved it down there. The best place I have ever driven a vehicle.

    I would love to go back and spend some time on a dirt/enduro bike.

  10. RJ says:

    There’s always a market for luxury goods, as long as there’s people to buy them. While Brazil has a large lower class which dominates the country it’s in an economic boom, which is seeing an emergence of a very strong middle class, and pushing those already there into the upper middle class. Truth is these customers by nice things, and last time I checked Ducati is in the business of selling nice bikes. Bologna knows all to well that they want a piece of this action as it has luxury goods to move. While in America Ducati try to compete within all market segments in motorcycling, in South America they cater to a niche profile of buyers that still see a Ducati as an exclusive luxury product, with a premium price.

    While a 125-250cc motorcycle is still the most chosen form of mc, it’s more because of function. In Brazil, motorcycles are still used for hard labor due to it’s frugalness and ability to cut through traffic.

    If Ducati are aggressive with they’re marketing, and fix the horrible customer support issues from the Izzo Group (douches) then there is no reason why they cant succeed.

    By the way, I have been currently living in Rio De Janeiro for the past 2 years…

  11. BBQdog says:

    @el papa de tu papa: David’s comment may be not 100% politically correct but don’t play the racism violine …..

  12. David, sorry for my violent response. I think i’m very weak for racist comments, and i’ve seen to much on motorcycle forums/blog/sites.

    my apologies.

  13. David says:

    No offense taken everybody.

    My post was not intended to be derogatory towards South America. After reading my original post I can easily see how it can be understood to be derogatory.

    Sorry about that.

    I should explain why/where I went in South America.

    I (as well as everyone involved) was lied to by the organizers of the 1988 Trans Amazon Rallye. My vehicle (an old Toyota Landcruiser)was to used for transportation of reporters with me as the driver. I flew into Barranquilla Colombia, rode a cab to Cartagena, was pulled out of cab by armed military and searched. This turned out to be great as the military and I laughed and shook hands and I went on my way.

    I then drove through Colombia, Ecuador,Peru,Chile and finished in Buenos Aires.

    Keep in mind I was an unemployed American and took a chance on an adventure of a lifetime(for me) and paid for this on my credit cards ( me stupid..lol).

    I never went to Brazil. I just it assumed it was the same as everywhere else I went. My huge mistake for assuming. Sorry for that.

    I loved my experience down there. Everywhere I went I met extremely nice, kind and helpful people.

    I would love to go back.

    I’m sure things have changed since 1988. I was implying in my original post that I did not see a huge market for Ducati in the countries I visited. I did not mean for that to imply the Continent was a bad place.

    I wish only good things and bright future for the wonderful people of South America.

  14. David

    I’ve always wanted to do a Enduro/Rally adventure on Amazonia… There and the Jalapao Desert ( https://www.google.com.br/search?q=deserto+jalapao&sugexp=chrome,mod%3D0&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=pt-BR&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=OgKIUL-LEaf20gHUwIHIBQ&biw=1567&bih=1008&sei=PQKIUIOSO7O10AGOhIFY )

    My next step is buy an adventure sport, like a XT660R or a BMW 650 to do these things before i turn a family dad

  15. rods says:

    Panigale Price in Brazil – 60.000 USD$… Yes… That’s it…

    Monster 696 – 15.000 USD$…..

    Ducati wants the brazilian money…. Because here, we buy anything at the higher price…

    Brazil… Saving Europe since 1500…..

  16. MikeD says:


    ROTFLMAO. That last sentence.

  17. rods says:

    MikeD says:
    October 25, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    ROTFLMAO. That last sentence.


    I didn’t get it….

  18. hdab says:

    @rods – rolling on the floor laughing my @ss out.

    Low profit margins all around except here in Brazil, besides the usual tons of taxes we have to pay. That leads GM to sell its Camaro by USD 35k in US and “only” BRL 200k here.