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.

Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8

02/03/2010 @ 11:36 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 2010 Yamaha FZ8 1 560x420

The announcement of the 2010 Yamaha FZ8 left many Americans confused as to why the Japanese company would release a 800cc version of it FZ1 naked streetbike. While Yamaha hasn’t confirmed the FZ8 will be coming to the US in 2010 (all the information to-date has come from Yamaha EU), abroad the battle in the 800cc middleweight slot has become increasingly contentious, and more importantly Yamaha’s presence there surprisingly non-existent.

The Associazione Nazionale Ciclo Motociclo Accessori (ANCMA), which is the Italian equivalent to our Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), has posted some interesting numbers on Italian bike sales. Taking a quick look at the Top 10 (in the Big 1o use of the number), we see three 800cc class motorcycles, and a handful of other bikes that you could consider alternatives to a middleweight naked bike. These bikes account for the fat-end of the tail in sales distribution, i.e. where manufacturers make the most money, but until recently this has been a market segment devoid of the tuning fork brand.

Unlike here in the USA, our European brothers have an inclination for the 750/800cc displacement size, and they are apparently selling very well abroad. There is little dispute that the BMW R1200GS has been the best selling motorcycle in the EU and in the world for some time now. The success of the GS in its various forms even prompted Ducati to chase the older and better monied adventure bike market with its 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200. But the GS’s dominance seems to be coming to a close, at least in Italy (although other countries in the EU are likely to show similar numbers), and we can already see the rise of the 750/800cc naked class.

Part of the factor is certainly taste, but also consider that insurance abroad isn’t the same as it is here in the US. We Americans pay a pittance compared to our friends across the pond, and the deviation among motorcycle models and premium payment isn’t great. However find yourself in Europe, and you’ll pay handsomely for that litre bike, and you’ll pay out the nose if it is classified as a “sport bike”.

Considering the cheap cost up-front, and much more down to Earth pricing on naked bikes of a smaller displacement, the 800cc market provides a good mixture of performance and affordability to European riders. For these reasons, it makes the introduction of Yamaha to this market segment a logical choice, and the FZ8 a sure fire hit in the EU, but also these same reasons make the introduction of the FZ8 into the American market unlikely.

Considering the comparatively lower sales of the Ducati Hypermotard 796 and BMW F800R in the US expected for 2010, and the relative affordability of bigger displacement motorcycles, the FZ8 just doesn’t make the same economic sense here in the States. Yamaha is clearly entering into a hot market for the EU, but it remains to be seen if we’ll see the FZ8 domestically. Time will tell on this one.

Pos. Manufacturer Model Segment Total
001 BMW R 1200 GS Enduro 202
002 KAWASAKI Z 750 Naked 196
003 KAWASAKI Z1000 Naked 167
004 DUCATI HYPERMOTARD 796 Supermotard 127
005 BMW R 1200 GS ADVENTURE Enduro 123
006 HONDA XL 700 V TRANSALP Enduro 118
007 KAWASAKI VERSYS Enduro 117
008 DUCATI M 696 Naked 112
009 KAWASAKI ER-6N Naked 104
010 YAMAHA XJ6-N Naked 97
011 BMW F 800 R Naked 93
012 HONDA CBR 1000 RR Sportive 88
013 YAMAHA YZF-R125 Sportive 88
014 KTM 250 EXC RACING Enduro 85
015 HONDA ITALIA CB 1000 R Naked 82
018 YAMAHA YZF-R1 Sportive 79
019 KTM 125 EXC Enduro 75
020 BMW S 1000 RR Sportive 74
021 BMW R 1200 R Naked 72
022 HUSQVARNA SM 125 Supermotard 71
023 SUZUKI DL 650 V-STROM Enduro 70
024 KTM 300 EXC Enduro 69
025 KTM EXC 450 Enduro 67
026 BMW F 800 GS Enduro 66
027 BETA EVO 2T 290 Trial 63
028 SUZUKI GSR 600 Naked 58
029 KAWASAKI NINJA ZX-6R Sportive 57
030 YAMAHA YZF-R6 Sportive 54
032 YAMAHA FZ6-S Naked 51
033 APRILIA DORSODURO 750 Supermotard 47
034 SUZUKI GSX-R 750 Sportive 46
035 HONDA CRE F 250R HM Enduro 44
036 KTM 500 EXC Enduro 44
038 HONDA VFR 1200 F Sportive 41
039 TRIUMPH TIGER 1050 Turismo 40
040 YAMAHA XT 660 Z TENERE Enduro 40
041 APRILIA RSV 4 1000 R Sportive 39
042 BMW R 1200 RT Turismo 38
043 SUZUKI GSX-R 1000 Sportive 38
045 HONDA CBR 600 RR Sportive 37
046 KAWASAKI NINJA 250R Sportive 37
047 KAWASAKI VN 900 CLASSIC Custom 37
048 MV AGUSTA BRUTALE 1090 RR Naked 37
049 APRILIA RS 125 Sportive 36
050 SUZUKI GLADIUS 650 Naked 36
052 YAMAHA FAZER 1000 Naked 36
053 DUCATI 1198/1198S Sportive 35
054 KTM EXC 400 Enduro 35
055 DUCATI 848 Sportive 34
056 HARLEY-DAVIDSON XL883N IRON 883 Custom 34
057 KTM 1000 SUPERMOTO Supermotard 34
058 YAMAHA WR 125 X Supermotard 33
059 KAWASAKI NINJA ZX-10R Sportive 32
060 BMW F 650 GS NEW Enduro 29
061 HUSQVARNA SM 510 Supermotard 29
062 HUSQVARNA TE 450 Enduro 28
063 SYM XS125-K M.Y.08 Naked 28
064 TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 1050 Naked 28
065 KAWASAKI ER-6F Naked 27
066 MV AGUSTA BRUTALE 990 R Naked 27
067 DUCATI HYPERMOTARD 1100 EVO Supermotard 26
069 HUSQVARNA TE 250 Enduro 25
070 KTM 990 ADVENTURE Enduro 25
072 YAMAHA WR 450 Enduro 25
073 HUSQVARNA TE 510 Enduro 24
074 APRILIA RSV 4 1000 FACTORY Sportive 23
075 DUCATI MONSTER 1100 Naked 23
077 KAWASAKI KLX 250 S Enduro 23
078 YAMAHA FZ1 Naked 22
079 YAMAHA FZ6-N Naked 22
080 BETA ALP 4.0 Enduro 21
081 BUELL 1125CR Sportive 21
083 KAWASAKI 1400 GTR Turismo 21
084 YAMAHA WR 250 F Enduro 21
085 BMW K 1300 R Naked 20
087 HUSABERG FE 450 Enduro 20
088 KTM 690 LC4 Supermotard 20
089 YAMAHA XJ6-S Naked 20
090 GAS GAS ENDUCROSS 300 Enduro 19
093 HUSQVARNA SM 610 Supermotard 19
094 HUSQVARNA WRE 125 Enduro 19
095 YAMAHA XVS 950 A Custom 19
097 DERBI GPR 125 RACING 4T Sportive 18
099 HONDA CRE F 450R HM Enduro 18
100 HONDA ITALIA CBF 1000 Naked 18

Source: MotoBlog.it


  1. mafiax says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 – http://bit.ly/c4dxCr #motorcycle

  2. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 http://bit.ly/c4dxCr

  3. John says:

    You say “Considering the comparatively lower sales of the Ducati Hypermotard 796 and BMW F800R in the US expected for 2010″, yet the F800R isn’t even offered in the US (neither is the F800S anymore, only the ST), unless you know something we don’t???

  4. Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 – http://bit.ly/c4dxCr #motorcycle

  5. Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8: Considering the comparatively lower sales of the Ducati Hypermotard 7… http://bit.ly/c7aOin

  6. Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 http://bit.ly/90rSaZ

  7. Pat says:

    Another non-offering from BMW is the K1300R:

    “BMW has no information on the future availability of the 2010 BMW K 1300 R in the United States. However, BMW is dreaming of exciting ways to tempt and please its special customers. We are designing and building models destined to propel BMW’s brand of power and style to a new level of riding pleasure. We suggest staying in touch with us through our website…”

    I was told by one sales rep at the NY International Motorcycle Show that this was due to the poor sales of the K1200R here in the states.

  8. Nick says:

    I think one of the more interesting items in the list is the number of S100RRs sold- almost as many as the RSV4 (both) + the 1198(both).