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.

KTM Considering 500cc & 800cc Motorcycles in India?

02/05/2014 @ 6:18 pm, by Aakash Desai11 COMMENTS

KTM Considering 500cc & 800cc Motorcycles in India? ktm lc8 v twin engine 635x635

Capital goes where capital flows, and it seems that India is turning out to be both a huge market expansion and production opportunity for many manufacturers.

As such Stefan Pierer, KTM’s President and CEO, says the Austrian company is considering manufacturing a 500cc and 800c parallel twin motorcycle on the subcontinent sometime in the next three years.

With the company’s 390cc offerings, the KTM 390 Duke & KTM RC390, already being manufactured there, it seems that KTM is considering upping the ante with larger displacement bikes that can both expand the market for such bikes in India and also be exported to established markets where such larger, heavier bikes are the norm.

While some of us have enjoyed the lightweight and torquey 690 Duke, its small tank capacity and annoying vibrations at highway speeds made it strictly a back road brawler. A smooth running parallel twin would be a welcome addition to the KTM lineup as long as the company can keep the power up and the weight down.

It is interesting how new production capacities open up new opportunities for products that would have otherwise been papered-over by historical market norms. So while American brand Harley-Davidson moves into India, Indian brand Hero moves out to the rest of the world.

This cultural cross-pollination is going to produce some interesting products and maybe even some perceptual changes in the riding populations across the world.

Source: OverDrive.in


  1. eg says:

    never seen a company get watered down so fast

  2. This is terrific news. I have been eagerly awaiting the launch of DUKE 690 in India.

    But I will go for the RC 390 next year.

    A [Made in India] 800cc parallel twin would be a good upgrade.

  3. BBQdog says:

    As long as those 500cc’s don’t get as heavy as a Honda CBR 500 it’s OK by me ….

  4. SteveR says:

    I just spoke to KTM North America on the phone yesterday…. inquired about if or when the 390 Duke &/or RC390 would get here to the US…..
    That’s been our problem here for years…. while I can go down the road about 15 miles to a KTM dealer & buy a dirt bike, I cannot go anywhere to see a 690 duke, etc… & the 390′s are not even being imported…

    A KTM dealer said that KTM posts all this info on the web… but it just ain’t real… at least for the 390Duke/RC390 …

    I think they are missing/missed a golden sales opportunity with the 390′s here in the US….. once Honda, Yamaha, Triumph, etc…. produce smaller displacement, sub $8000 bikes ( & they already are – Yamaha triple, CBR300R), then in my opinion, the 390′s might not look so attractive….

    Oh well….

  5. Grey Matter says:

    Pretty sure HERO is already going to beat them at that game. They just released a 620cc parallel twin street fighter style bike there and it’s a deffinate strike against the KTM and Bajaj partnership.

  6. rt says:

    @Grey Matter HER0 hasnt released it. They just showcased it as a prototype. HERo isnt the company that will experiment with their production models. BTW I noticed that the author is new. From India I suppose.

  7. Grey Matter says:

    RT, You’re right but, the Hastur would hit KTM right where it counts if there were to release this bike but, it needs much more work to get it there.

  8. @rt,

    My parents and genes are from India. Don’t conflate being “from” a place with having ancestral ties to it.

  9. paulus says:

    @ eg
    It is not dilution, it is diversification. The emerging/expanding markets need locally produced, more affordable models.

    So it makes sense to make an Asian 500 and 800 model, to compete for the local Asian market.
    No reason to think weight/quality will be an issue. It will be whatever the brand decides is appropriate.
    CBR 500 is heavy and slow, because that is how it was designed. Honda’s latest 650 is a great step forward.
    BMW 800 is being produced in Thailand now, Ducati 7XX Monster, Diavel… all to great success. Good quality and international standards of performance.

    @ SteveR
    If KTM North America are not getting models, it is probably because of their own choices as to which models to market and when to import… You can get KTM 690/390′s just fine in other countries that want them.
    There are now probably companies making grey imports direct from India ;)

  10. Sean says:

    Hopefully they will do a clever design like BMW’s 800 – traditional counterbalancers don’t work any better on a parallel twin than they do on a single. They don’t control vibes well at high revs, and they add rattle. It’s ok if you keep the revs low, which is exactly what the Honda and Triumph parallel twins do. Even the BMW 800 has a low redline, compared to KTM and Ducati V-twins. For high revs, use a V twin, or follow Triump and MV to triples – counterbalancers work really well on triples.

  11. MikeD says:

    Honestly, KTM being KTM the first thought that lit on my head as reading the article’s title was:

    BABY LC8 !

    Then i read parallel twin and i’m like . . . MEH, oh well, it could be way worse. LOL.

    P.S: Today i heard for the first time a BMW I-2 800 at full swing passing a couple of cars . . . it sounded AWESOME.
    Still not CrossPlane, Aprilia V4 or Testa Stretta 1200 awesome but still pretty sweet for such an OBTUSE engine.