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.

Don’t Call It a Recall: 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Goes on Technical Hold – Engine Problems Suspected

12/13/2010 @ 6:47 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Don’t Call It a Recall: 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10R Goes on Technical Hold   Engine Problems Suspected 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10R 635x683

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. issued a statement this weekend saying that the company was placing a technical hold on all 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R sportbikes because of an undisclosed problem found to exist with the current design. While Kawasaki has been tight-lipped on what exactly is the issue with the new ZX-10R early indications seem to suggest a problem with the engine, which is an equally nebulous reason. As a part of the technical hold, Kawasaki dealers will be returning all unsold ZX-10R sportbikes to Kawasaki’s warehouses, and all sold units to customers will be bought back with a full refund.

While it doesn’t appear that Kawasaki is issuing an official recall with the NHTSA, this announcement effectively recalls the entire 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R line. Kawasaki says it will not redistribute the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R to dealers until it is 100% satisfied the bike meets company standards, but we imagine the owners being asked to have their bikes bought back by Kawasaki are less than enthralled by this news. Current ZX-10R owners who do sell their bikes back to Kawasaki will be among the first to have the option of receiving a new unit once the technical hold has been lifted.

The 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R has been at the center of sportbike news in 2010 because of its early leak and eventual unveiling at Intermot this year. With a touted 197hp at the crank, American riders were disappointed to find out the ZX-10R would be making considerably less power because of EPA noise restrictions. To meet federal standards, Kawasaki had to de-tune the 2011 Ninja ZX-10R by 750 RPM’s, which results in roughly 20hp being lost off the international version of the machine.

With this weekend’s latest news, information is leaking that the ZX-10R’s engine is to blame for the technical hold. While some dealers seem expect the technical hold will only last for a couple weeks, the technical hold could be related to issues related to the ZX-10R’s piston wear, which has plagued a small number of owners, but that’s just speculation at this point. Kawasaki isn’t disclosing much about the situation, but more information as we get it.

Source: Kawasaki USA


  1. BikePilot says:

    Bummer, but good on Kawasaki for making it right before it became a big problem developed.

  2. Steve Guanche says:

    Well BMW had a similar snag with break in RPM and limited the RPM untill the milage was acheived.
    Curious to know what the root cause of this Technical Hold condition is ?

  3. MikeD says:

    Kawasaki is getting it’s BALLS off the Jar from one of the kitchen’s cabinets and putting it right where it belongs…back in the ZX-10R. S1000RR Riders beware…lol.

    Seriously tho, is great they have stood for their product and did good by the customer “before” it got out of the bag. Reminds me of Aprilia with the first year RSV4…another great sample of “NOT screwing the Pooch(Customer).

  4. Bob Dogjuice says:

    If it is an engine problem, that’s really bad. I mean what is the ZX-10R but the engine?

    Been following perhaps the similar plight of Rolls Royce with their Trent 900 aircraft engines after the Qantas near disaster over Singapore last month.

    All the CAD in the world won’t save you from careless engineers, crap quality control or faulty manufacturing.

  5. Dan Bynum says:

    “Don’t call it a recall”? Give me a break. With a recall the bikes are fixed. Kawasaki is buying these back. There is someone who is dead or disabled and they want to limit the lawsuits. This is much worse than a recall.

  6. Matt K says:

    Maybe Ducati needs to take a page out of Kawasaki’s book and fix swelling tanks already. How longs it been, 3 years?! WTF!

  7. Joey Wilson says:

    WHATEVER the reason, hats off to Kawi for doing this. But I’m wondering: If you financed this thing through some lender or even from Kawasaki’s financial arm, what about the loan contract, which with the total of payments adds up to a LOT more than sticker? Are they buying out your financing too, or are you now making payments until you get your new serial# replacement?

  8. Steve says:

    Kudos to Kawasaki!

  9. kawasaki ninja is alwaz been a good brand in bikes but such probs must be rare

  10. Fischer says:

    Dan: How do you know? That would be terrible.

  11. Dan 2002 ZX12R says:

    To Joey, it is uncommon / rare that you will owe future interest on a bike loan if you pay it off early.

    My ZX12R’s over 9 years old and the only problem is a slight gasket leak. My previous Honda VFR had the infamous regulator failure and Honda never said anything about it. I’m still happy w/ Kawasaki, though they uglified the ZX12R when they made it a 14.

  12. Joey Wilson says:

    Yes, Dan, I get that, but if they would rebate the price of the bike only, would you still be left holding the bag between the agreed selling price and the total of the contract/payments from the lender?

  13. john Dan says:

    I would never buy a Kawasaki, especially the ZX10′s as well as Zx6′s. When doing oil change low oil pressure warning light stays on for 2 to 3 minutes. No telling how much damage caused by motor not getting adequate pressure but still, major design flaw not to mention gap in front wheel of many 08 and 09 ZX10′s causes forks to bind. Again poor design and crap quality from kawasaki. Consumer services are also pretty callous