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 Quietly Shows the GT1000 SportClassic the Door

10/07/2010 @ 6:18 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Ducati Quietly Shows the GT1000 SportClassic the Door 2010 Ducati GT1000 SportClassic 635x476

Noticeably absent from Ducati’s 2011 line-up is the Ducati GT1000, the last remaining SportClassic in the Ducati line. The move isn’t surprising to Ducatisti, who have seen the writing on the wall for the retro-classic for some time now. Using an obsolete air-cooled 992cc lump, the SportClassic line stuck out like a sore thumb in the Ducati supply chain, as the brand has continued to center itself around a small core of power plants for its different motorcycles. With no other current models sharing the older DesmoDue engine, and sales likely continuing to decline, Ducati has taken the the GT1000 out the barnyard door and put the beast out of its misery.

Is that too much hyperbole for you? Chin up Ducati fans, because where there’s a will there is a way. Ducati is saving most of its big product annonucements for the EICMA show in Milan in one month’s time. The resgination of the GT1000 could signal that Ducati has finally sold its run of 992cc motors, which could signal the bike’s revival with an 1100cc motor, shared with the Hypermotard EVO and Monster 1100.

Other possibilities include the SportClassic line making a larger come-back, and sharing the full air-cooled motor range (696, 796, & 1100 motors). All of this is speculation of course, but a classic looking motorcycle could easily balance out the more modern-growing Monster line.

The last option is none of this occurs, and 2010 was the last year the SportClassic will be made. Time will tell on this one, but we like the idea of Ducati having a model that links back to the company’s rich history.

Source: Ducati & Ducati News Today


  1. Andrey says:

    If Ducati were smart they would release a SuperSportClassic with an aluminum tank, new graphics, Ohlins front and rear, quality alloy wheels and a few other nice bits and pieces (for example nice rear sets etc) and an 1100 engine. Everyone that had a SportClassic would instantly want to upgrade! These bikes are a joy to ride and have a look and style all their own. Ride one and you will know.
    If the new bikes are an example of the thinking in Bolgna (such as the Diavel) then I don’t hold much hope…. they seem to be more interested in the marketing side of the business as distinct from being focused solely on giving their customers a fantastic riding experience…..
    I am sure many will chime in on how Ducati has to “move with the times” blah blah blah, but the bottom line is rider enjoyment is most important, not which niche the marketing geeks think they can get the biggest return for the bean counters in. Remember, accountants often end up steering a company away from its focus on customer satisfaction… I mean have you ever eaten a bowl of soup made by an accountant???

  2. Sean says:

    I hope the Diavel is the next to be taken out and shot.

  3. DeezToolz says:

    I’m with Andrey and Sean. The Classic line-up is what brought me to Ducati in the first place. A body with some character. As an MH900e owner, I was one of the first to hop on the Sport-Classic band wagon, and I certainly hope that they continue to chunk out a few more of these.

    Andrey’s idea of a performance-oriented SuperSport-Classic would be awesome. I’d romp that around a track in a heartbeat. The MH900e, maybe not so much. The suspension was crap, electronics were worse, and yeah, that engine was weak for what it was. But JEEBUS, it is sexy.

    It’s like most supermodels; Really fun to look at, but they drink a lot, and are a b!tch to ride.

  4. Ducati Quietly Shows the GT1000 SportClassic the Door – http://bit.ly/9MZtVr #motorcycle

  5. skadamo says:

    I actually liked that bike. My local dealer had one on the floor used, looked sharp.

    This is good news for anyone who owns them an likes them. They will always have a unique bike.

  6. gnmac says:

    What Sean said…shoot that damn porker!

  7. JH says:

    I agree with Andrey; why didn’t Ducati shop at it’s own inventory and made a bike with the looks of the Sport 1000 S, the suspension, brakes and specs of the current Monster 1100S (95hp/370lbs dry), some nice aluminium rims and the single sides swingarm of the S4R for the price of a Monster 1100S ($11,995)? Do “retro”bikes really need retro looking suspension and brakes…if you see the positive reactions people have towards the new Kawa W800 it seems Ducati was too early with its Sport Classics series and for sure some updates would have made the bikes popular again.

  8. eskimotor says:

    whats the different between this and ducati paul smart edition?

  9. Ray says:

    I test rode one of these and the main thing preventing me from buying was the budget parts they used while charging the same price as the big Monster. Other than that, I loved it. Still think about that test ride and know one day I’ll own one. And the best part for me was they were perfect stock. The exhaust had a nice mellow tone, the engine had enough grunt, the seat was good, mirrors good, riding position good–I just didn’t like paying extra for the good looks.