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 Claims It’s the “Fastest Growing Motorcycle Company” in the United States for 2013

12/09/2013 @ 4:53 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

KTM Claims Its the Fastest Growing Motorcycle Company in the United States for 2013 ktm 1190 advenutre r jump 635x422

After posting a 49% sales gain in November of this year, KTM USA says it is up 29.8% in year-to-date sales, which according to the Austrian brand, makes it the “fastest growing motorcycle company” in the US for 2013.

There is no word of course on how much volume KTM USA has actually moved, which makes the claim a bit specious, but it does show that there is some momentum behind the “ready to race” brand.

“Credit for this amazing performance is due to the excellent new product we have brought to market and to the increased effort for KTM by our dealer network,” said Brad Hagi Vice President of Sales and Marketing for KTM North America.

“For the past 3 years our dealers have risen to every opportunity we have put before them—SXS Mini’s, SX Factory Editions, ISDE Bikes, 990 Adventure Baja Editions, 690 Dukes—and customers have responded well. I can’t wait to see how our dealers perform with the new 1190 Adventure models and the 1290 Super Duke R. To every KTM dealer and their staff – you have my personal thanks for your dedication, energy and effort in making KTM the fastest growing brand in 2013.”

Of course KTM USA will want to break this record sales growth next year as well — and KTM 1190 Adventure and KTM 1290 Super Duke R should help in that regard. Luckily too, we hear that the KTM 390 Duke and KTM RC390 will likely help continue the trend for the 2015 model year. Better late than never, right?

Source: KTM USA


  1. paulus says:

    Any news of improvement is welcome in this global downturn.

    Sales gain is bit dubious though… it would be interesting to know the increase in only ‘motorcycle units’ sold. KTM is a merchandising machine. I wonder how much improved revenue is T-shirts, toasters and dog bowls?

  2. Unit sales typically refer to motorcycles, not parts and accessories.

  3. paulus says:

    thanks… it didn’t read clear. Only ‘ Sales ‘ is mentioned.

  4. kww says:

    specious indeed!

  5. Miles Prower says:

    “Sales growth” of 29.8% for KTM USA probably means they sold somewhere in the magnitude of 1298 motorcycles this year versus 1000 last year. If they could actually get their dealers to stock — and actively sell — street bikes, perhaps their numbers would be more impressive.

  6. Norm G. says:

    i’ll buy this for a dollar. when you’ve got little to no market share, the only place you can go is UP. the competition (read Ducati, BMW, Triumph), in contrast, are years into their market penetration. with a “fixed pie”, the only option is conquest sales.

  7. Marc F says:

    Lots of snark, but KTM sold 100,000 bikes in 2012, and about 20,000 of those were in the US. If you exclude Husqvarna, that’s a hair more than BMW Motorrad, and even with Husky, BMW only sold 12,000 bikes in the US. KTM’s 20,000 is twice the number Ducati sold in the US, and their 100k total is more than twice Ducati’s or Triumph’s, worldwide. You might not see them at Starbucks, but KTM is now outselling all four Japanese brands in off-road competition bikes (250cc – 450cc, non-dual sport).

    But wait, there’s more:
    - 2012 was a record year for both BMW and Ducati (maybe Triumph, too… not sure).
    - 2012 just barely included the start of production of the Duke 200. Not sure if they even made it to dealers in time to book a sale. You can be sure that 2013 with the full range of 125-390 will post much higher unit volume.

  8. TexusTim says:

    In Austin we have one KTM dealer and they dont have a lot of exposure at there shop,it’s older and a very small place that’s in a poor area, parking is terrible ..been there a long time and there used to be a big “4″ dealer across the street but they moved to a better location years ago.
    In Austin you dont see many KTM street bikes…dont know about the motocross spots as I dont get out there..my guess is they sell more dirt bike units than streetbikes.

  9. KSW says:

    Well it will certainly be until 2015 IF the U.S. gets the 390. At the not so great IMS Long Beach show the 390 was missing and when I ask the KTM rep about that he said, “I have gotten quite a few requests for that bike”. That was on Media day so one can only imagine what the attendees where saying to KTM?

  10. Mike says:

    I’ll believe it when I can easily (aka availability) buy a Superduke 1290 for a less than outrageous price.

    Note: Outrageous being defined as anywhere near the price of a Panigale.

  11. ruben says:

    The claim seems believable to me, and with the models coming out now and on the way, I’d say they are pretty well positioned for growth. The 1190 Adventure looks very compelling against the 1200GS…

  12. Judge says:

    Where the heck’s the RC8R replacement???? Do I have to wait until I’m old and gray? KTM, if you’re listening, STREET BIKE, PLEASE!!!

  13. Norm G. says:

    re: “I’d say they are pretty well positioned for growth…”

    …if and when they have a dealer network, and not before.

  14. Tim says:

    specious it is.

    If I sold 2 last year & sold 3 this year I could claim sales up 50%
    KTM’s Claim lacks important data

    That aside I think they are making a nice product & I like their
    direction which seems like putting some sport back into smaller sport bikes + the 1290
    looks to be a monster.

    But here in Thailand I will never know as the prices are so far out of whack it makes
    a KTM an idiots choice. Prices are just silly high

    If KTM does not reign in the greedy dealer here they will never get a foot in the door.

  15. ruben says:

    @ Norm G.

    Of course sales require the right cocktail of good products, brand awareness, and a solid dealer network. That said, getting private investors interested in signing up to become dealers requires the right ingredients in place for them to want to do so. KTM can’t establish the dealer network on their own, they can just make it an appealing prospect to become a dealer.

    The current product lineup looks good. You are also right in suggesting previously that the market is a fixed pie and they’ll need to increase sales through conquest. That doesn’t sound impossible to me. You mention Ducati, BMW and Triumph as the competition; personally, from what I’ve seen, I’d rather have the 1190 Adventure than the Multistrada, 1200GS or Tiger. Even if I had to drive further to get to the dealer.

    At least in the Southern California area, from my quick count, KTM has more dealers than BMW, Ducati, or Triumph, even if you don’t include the offroad only KTM dealers.

  16. Sean says:

    If anyone at KTM is listening – an RC8 model with the TC/ABS package from the SuperDuke would make a nice commuter/sport bike. Did anyone read the recent reviews of the Panigale 899, where the test sessions were in heavy rain, so they were leaning heavily on the TC and ABS? I was impressed.

  17. Adventure Touring is the fastest growing segment of the motorcycle industry right now and there are a lot of riders transitioning from dirt bikes that want lighter more off-road oriented Adventure Bikes. If rumors are true that KTM is going to build smaller versions of the Adventure model, that could really boost sales for them in the next few years as well.