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 Completes Three-Year Strategic Plan

01/11/2011 @ 4:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

Ducati Completes Three Year Strategic Plan Ducati Logo Diavel Carbon 635x423

Amidst all the fanfare over seeing Valentino Rossi wearing Rosso Corsa and sporting his new Dainese leathers, which surprisingly aren’t being sponsored by McDonald’s, one announcement has gotten little attention (and no, we’re not talking about Nicky Hayden). The 2011 Wrooom event signals the end of a three-year strategic plan that’s been going on internally at Ducati, which has seen the Italian company release 12 new models, increase sales across the board, and ship 36,200 motorcycles in 2010 alone.

Adopted in January 2008, Ducati’s three-year plan saw the company expand from being a Superbike oriented company, and move into other street segments. Starting with the Hypermotard, Ducati’s shining achievement this past three years has been the release of the new Multistrada 1200.

Selling 8,887 units worldwide (7,200 registered) with only eight months of availability in 2010, the MTS 1200 accounts for 14.3% of all bikes sold in its market segment last year. Due in part to the success of the Multistrada 1200, Ducati has increased its global market share to 8.6% (15% share in Italy), while increasing worldwide sales in 2010 by 5% (sales in North America and Far-East were up 64%).

Now striking a new three-years strategic plan in 2011, Ducati plans on continuing its growth not only in established markets, but also in emerging markets. While we can expect to see the company open up dealerships and distribution networks in rapidly growing countries (read: Asia & South America), it also remains clear that we’ll see Ducati continue to push the boundaries of suitable motorcycle segments for its brand, a point that can be seen already in the recently released Ducati Diavel power cruiser.

Already seeing the push-back from Ducatisti from the launches of the Hypermotard, Multistrada 1200, and Diavel, Ducati will not only have to balance its core brand identity with these new market segments if it doesn’t want to alienate its core riders, but also preserve its Italian heritage as it pushes itself farther across the map and becomes influenced by the pressures of globalization.

Source: Ducati


  1. Andrey says:

    And after 12 new models there is still nothing that is comfortable for a pillion passenger! And don’t tell me the Multi is …. the seat is so ridiculously high that many riders (my 1.8m, 5’11″ self included) cannot get one foot, let alone two, firmly on the ground. (And it looks weird as well but I guess thats part of the Multi design philosophy). There is nothing in the range like my old ’93 900SS. Look at the passengers legs in the Diavel photos …. can’t see many people do a weekend trip sitting like that! Wish they had the sense to realise that some of their customers have girlfriends and wives!
    Oh.. and while they may have introduced 12 models, they just cut the whole SportClassic line so you can take that number down a couple of models please. (yeah yeah I know, they still introduced them even if they cancelled them)
    Let the barrage of comments begin…….

  2. RD350 says:

    I would like to see Ducati produce a simple, light weight, air-cooled sportbike with premium suspension and brakes.

    The bike would be aimed at track day riders, club racers and Ducati street bike enthusiasts who dont want the weight, complexity, cost or big HP of the 4 valve twins.

    I suppose this would be an update of the 900SS/1000SS line which was sadly discontinued due to the last version’s extreme ugliness.

    This model would be easy for Ducati to produce as they already have the frame and 1000DS motor …

    Maybe they could persuade Tamburini to design the bodywork? If not, perhaps they could hire the boys at Rad (Radical) Ducati for styling guidance

  3. pokheng says:

    i hope with Rossi on their camp, Ducati will use the collaboration with the champion to build more powerful, good looking superbike..just like they do with desmosedici RR stoner version..

    when Rossi with Yamaha, the M1 has a lot change, not only about the engine, handling also the face of M1…so many change has been done..from ugly to very very smart bike…from garbage bike to champion…from zero to be hero…

    unfortunately, Yamaha doesnt know to use Rossi’s fluent to his die hard fans by produce the M1 prototype for road use..many fans only can see Yamaha riders ride M1 on the track, but they can have the same feel to ride the prototype of M1 just like the Yamaha racers…such a waste…they only rides M1 on their dream…huhuhuhu

    Ducati should take advantage of this opportunity.build the desmosedici GP11 and sell them to Rossi’s fan..and of course, make more money..

    Ducati, please produce Rossi’s replica for us….

  4. TeeJay says:

    RD350: “I would like to see Ducati produce a simple, light weight, air-cooled sportbike with premium suspension and brakes. ”

    Sure. Could you please force the EU to cease the emission control on bikes? Other way, I can’t see it possible. Even Harley went to liquid cooling to answer the emission requirements.

  5. BBQdog says:

    Let them build a simple nimble 125 kg SuperMono. If it is up to me a 450cc
    engine would be enough.

  6. RD350 says:

    TeeJay: Harley still sells mostly non-liquid-cooled bikes as does BMW, Moto-Guzzi and others. Ducati currently sells the HyperMotard and the Monster lines which are also not liquid-cooled.

    I dont see the problem?