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.

LEAKED: KTM 2012-2014 Product Road Map

08/01/2011 @ 11:33 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

LEAKED: KTM 2012 2014 Product Road Map KTM product road map 2012 2013 2014 635x477

The guys at HFL have gotten their hands on what looks like a cameraphone photo of KTM North America’s product road map for the next three model years (actually, it now looks like they just lifted the photo from BARF without giving them credit as having the story first). Showing the bikes that will hit American shores in 2012, 2013, and 2014, we get a glimpse of what new models will grace the showrooms of KTM dealers, as well as which models will be receiving facelifts and revisions. The presentation slide really speaks for itself, but perhaps the most interesting item on the list is what sounds like a 350cc version of the company’s Moto3 race bike (shown above?).

Other notables include the KTM 350 Duke, which has been heavily rumored since the KTM 125 Duke came out in Europe earlier this year (though thought to be an India only model). A new 1290cc platform also appears to be in the works, as it will find usage in an Adventure model (also shown above?), as well as the Super Duke R (schwing!). KTM’s electric off-roader also seems to be headed stateside for 2013, with an on-road model complimenting the off-road version that we’ve beens seeing, though the “Freeride 350″ has us puzzled.

We imagine there’s some angry phone calls going out right now to whichever dealer conference member snapped this photo (not to mention the likelihood of the wrong side of a lawsuit headed their way). That’s why most dealer meetings now require all phones to be checked at the door. Welcome to the information age KTM.

Model Year 2012:

  • Linkage MX 2 stroke
  • New design EXC 2 stroke
  • New design & EFI EXC 4 stroke
  • Design facelift Enduro R 690

Model Year 2013:

  • New design SX 85 / SX 105
  • Design facelift MX full size
  • Freeride E SX
  • Freeride 350
  • Freeride E EXC
  • Adventure R 1090
  • Duke 350
  • Super Duke R 1290

Model Year 2014:

  • Adventure 1290
  • Moto3 350
  • Enduro 350

Source: BARF via Hell for Leather


  1. BikePilot says:

    Interesting. I wonder how legit this is though – some street bikes are conspicuously absent. 1290 seems 100cc too big – maybe they stroked the RC8 motor? Maybe they just fibbed a bit on the name? The Freeride 350 is also a head-scratcher. Maybe the 350 refers to battery capacity or something.

    In any event, I’d really like an RC8R powered SMT. Ya listening KTM?

  2. BikePilot says:

    Oh, I could also do with some spffy DI two strokes off road bikes!

  3. 76 says:

    Hmmm, I see something else missing, a new RC8r for 2012-13. It was a fairly credible rumor I heard about 8 months to a year ago. This was from the same source that had already mentioned the 2013 superduke. The Superduke was originally for 2012 but was pushed because of RC8r development… hmmm, the picture will be alittle clearer 3 months from now

  4. Rob749 says:

    I’m looking into purchasing an RC8R. I do hope they continue its development, its such a beautiful bike!

  5. GeddyT says:

    To me the biggest news on this chart is the EXC 2-stroke. At first I thought, “Oh, this must have been a European or Australian dealer expo,” but, nope, there it says “North America” at the top.

    I believe in Europe and Australia they label bikes as EXC that are labeled as XC here in the states. What about Canada? Does Canada have similar naming conventions to the U.S.?

    Or is KTM actually going to give us a street legal 2-stroke!? And will they get around the EPA with DFI!?

  6. BBQdog says:

    I am just wondering what this350cc Moto3 bike would be. Will it be a Moto3 chassis with a more standard 350cc engine in it as a cheap training bike for cup riders ? A 350cc wouldn’t have to work as hard and deliver the same amout of BHP . Or will it be, as MCN suggests, a bike like the Aprilia RS 250 and Suzuki RGV 250 ?? I hope for the last.

  7. fazer6 says:

    I’d lay bills on the “Moto3 350″ being nothing more than the Duke 350 with some clothes on–Further supported by the naming of an “Enduro 350″–Platform sharing at it’s most profitable, and a direct competitor to the little ‘prillia

  8. BARF_Monkey says:

    They didn’t actually “lift” the photo from BARF. They asked to use it and were given permission.
    Crediting BARF with the story didn’t seem necessary at the time, as the photo has been openly visible on Facebook for over a month.

  9. “the future is orange” … really!? that’s the best launch statement that KTM’s marketing group can come up with?

    i guess more folks @ KTM north america other than jon eric are total minchiones.

  10. Joe Bielski III says:

    First off let me say that I do love KTM’s. With that out of the way, I would have bought a 690 Duke if it had a color scheme like the orange and white RC8, now that’s beautiful. What I didn’t like was that there was waaaay too much black. No offense but, if “the future is orange”, why are the bikes predominately black? Fire the color coordinator.