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.

Honda Working on a Scooter/Motorcycle Hybrid for the US

09/21/2012 @ 6:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Honda Working on a Scooter/Motorcycle Hybrid for the US Honda Mid Concept 635x476

While the fact that Honda is set to bring a MotoGP-inspired sport bike to market stole the show during Honda CEO Takanobu Ito’s end-of-the-fiscal-year speech, the Honda CEO also let drop the fact that Big Red is working to bring to market a larger and more “torqueful” version of its Mid Series (note the caps) maxi-scooter concept, which will debut first in the American market.

You may remember the Honda Mid Concept, a 700cc maxi-scooter design that debuted at EICMA in 2010. Featuring a smooth and fuel-efficient 700cc twin-cylinder motor, the Mid-Concept gave rise to pragmatic bikes like the Honda NC700S & Honda NC700X, which used the maxi-scooter’s 700cc Integra motor in their design.

With news that Honda is working on an ever larger and more powerful “Mid Series” motorcycle, there has been a great deal of speculation regarding what Ito-san could actually be hinting at with his words — though the idea that the bike will be bigger than the Mid, suitable for commuting and touring, built in Honda’s flagship Kumamoto plant, and debut in the North American market, to us, gives a very clear idea about what is going on within the walls of the brand.

Knowing the context of the situation, it is pretty well defined that the Japanese brand is building a sizable scooter/motorcycle hybrid. There have already been photos circulating of a bike resembling the Honda Mid Concept maxi-scooter testing here in the United States, and Honda has been experimenting a great deal lately with crossover models lately for the American market. Still, this hasn’t stopped some publications from taking some interesting guesses at the bike’s final form & function.

Ranging across the spectrum, there is at least some evidence that Ito-san could be referencing a larger-displacement version of the Honda NC700S or Honda NC700X, both of which use the Mid Concept’s 700cc Integra motor.

However, we tend to stick to the theory that we will see something closer to the original maxi-scooter concept, than something like the NC700 series since he clearly reference the Mid Series concept, and not the two road bike. There is also the small issue of how larger versions of the NC bikes would even fit in Honda’s current line-up.

Our favorite conjecture is the misguided idea that Ito-san is referring to the recently leaked Honda CB500 or Honda CBR500, whose sole-link to this news is its middleweight displacement size. Unlikely to be produced in Honda’s Kumamoto plant (the same plant that builds the Honda VFR1200F), and also unlikely to break cover first in the North American market, we chalk this one up to poor reading comprehension.

Read Takanobu Ito’s statement below, and let us know your interpretation in the comments. We should have our answer in only a few weeks’ time.

“In the area of large-sized motorcycles, following the New Mid Series, Honda will introduce a series of large-sized models with a new concept, which enable customers to more easily enjoy daily commuting and weekend touring. This stylish new series will be equipped with a “torqueful” engine, low seat height which increases the ease of handling, and a comfortable ride with high stability in maneuvering. The production of the first model in this new series will begin in February 2013 at Kumamoto Factory, Honda’s global motorcycle production operation, and sales will begin from North America.”

Source: Honda


  1. L.. J says:

    Can’t wait to see it. Sounds great

  2. george tackles says:

    Any variator/belt-drive design will not be fuel efficient at Interstate speeds..whoever figures out a bike-oriented fluid coupling/auto trans drive same as most autos will be the champ..all these Maxi scoots with variators overheat and waste fuel over 70 mph..

  3. paulus says:

    “To each their own”…. but this is a bit of a mutt.
    B@stard love child of a VFR and maxi-taxi. Nasty

  4. Mormont says:

    george: The NC700 series is already available with a 6 speed, fully automatic DCT transmission.

  5. The AN650 Suzuki Burger DeLuxe has been available for quite a while now. How’s that working out in the USA?

    In some ways the NC700 is hugely disappointing. Do we actually want a gutless engine that won’t rev at all?

  6. Ben says:

    I think: the less 4-wheeled vehicles on the road the better. If stuff like this achieves that, so be it !

  7. Halfie 30 says:

    They already tried this with the DN-01….

  8. JoeD says:

    Honda has a track record of building without selling. Perhaps THAT is their Brand Identity rather than any one specific engine/bike configuration.

  9. MikeD says:

    Yawn. W/E. I’ll be here. lol.

    How about materializing this, Honda:


  10. Floyd says:

    it’s a fancy underbone

  11. alex says:

    gregory louganis

  12. Jimmy Smith JR says:

    What is this some sort of twisted version of Jensen Beeler’s Day Off……Beeeler…..Beeeler?

  13. Maksor says:

    @ george tackles why should a belt driven vehicle not be fuel effecient?¿/¿?¿ iᷰve got a mp3 500 and its very fuel avg 54 miles a gallon and a topspeed of 107 m/h iᷰm now in the states but i live in Europe where i do drive the topspeed a lot its more fuel effecient then a HD