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.

Moto Morini Rebello 1200 Giubileo Gets Teased

03/14/2012 @ 11:46 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Moto Morini Rebello 1200 Giubileo Gets Teased moto morini rebello 1200 puzzle 635x453

The story of Moto Morini could be straight out of a Monty Python sketch, as the Italian brand has proven, several times now, that it’s not dead yet. Going into receivership back in late 2009, the brand was finally bought in July 2011 for the tidy sum of €1.96 million by entrepreneurs Sandro Capotosti and Ruggeromassimo Jannuzzelli. With production expected to resume in January of this year, the Italian company is teasing its first new bike: the Moto Morini Rebello 1200 Giubileo.

Likely to help celebrate Moto Morini’s 75th anniversary (“giubileo” means jubilee in Italian), it is anyone’s guess as to what sort of bike the Rebello 1200 will be, though it will almost certainly be powered by Moto Morini’s ubiquitous 1200cc-class v-twin lump.

Set to be teased out over a month-long course starting tomorrow (we would argue it started today), Moto Morini seems to be going for the old jigsaw-reveal trick for its unveiling, which should make for an arduous process by the time the final piece has been removed on April 14th. Expect the bike to leak well ahead of that schedule.

Source: Moto Morini (YouTube) via Visordown


  1. Marcel says:

    I hate these dull-witted tease video campaign piffle. Just another opportunity for motorcycle companies to show how deep they have heads up their arses. Puzzle piece rubbish, bad fonts, animations and a poor sound track all nicely rolled together in one silly little video – you go Moto Morini!! Let’s hope the bike will be better than this video folly.

  2. MikeD says:

    Ok, that was a WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING……as expected. I want those 20 seconds of my life back. LOL.
    Im glad they are alive and kicking and all that………….BUT…if they won’t sell here on the USA as they did on the past…MEH, i don’t really care much for them then.

    Thinking like a mad man just now…if they don’t come out with a smaller version of their 1200 Gorila + smaller-cheaper offers they are going nowhere again…i think….not everyone has the $$$ to sprinkle on a 1200cc class bike. Im no market analyst expert by any measures but…

    I wonder for what segment are they shooting for this time around ? Dual sport touring ?

  3. Jonathan says:

    I can’t make up my mind whether that Morini logo looks like something off a Slayer album (which is no bad thing), or a Nazi stormtrooper’s cap badge (which sucks…) Take your pick.
    I’m hearing a lot of weariness in Jensen’s article – and with justification. These “drip drip” launches get old very quickly. By the time the factory start leaking “spy shots” everybody will have forgotten all about it.
    Still, the more the merrier. As long as it doesn’t have leather tassels on the handlebar ends and a king-queen seat I’m cool with it!

  4. adam s says:

    video as useless “as a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory”

  5. These guys are dead. They have convinced some unsuspecting banks to lend them money in the hopes that they can resurrect a brand that no one knows about or offers anything more than a pleasant memory to a handful of nostalgic people.

    This video is nothing more than something to show their financiers that there is “momentum”, while behind the scenes yet another unfeasible concept model of a motorcycle is being thrown together by model makers using parts from the scrap bin. I predict a flashy, non-functioning body on a late 2010 Corsario chassis in Milan next November that is as close to a production reality as Ducati is to being profitable.

  6. Michael, I’m surprised by you…I wouldn’t even give them until November (hey-oh!).

  7. Assuming that they come out with one, 1200cc lump, I don’t expect much from them. They’d do well to look back into the archives and apply some new tech into a resurrection of the ol’ 3 1/2, which might actually be able to do something in Malaysia, India, etc., thereby generating revenue stream to keep them alive while they figure out what else to do.

  8. Hayabrusa says:

    Will SOMEBODY PLEASE get Moto Morini imported into the US, dammit?!!! I’ve been waiting since before the 09 receivership for a Granpasso . . . still waiting . . . getting older . . .

  9. 72degrees says:

    I do wonder it it isn’t all a money laudering venture I really hope not. Or perhaps they foresee the chance of government grants. It reminds me a little of the last days of Voxan when they pretty much only made bikes to order. I owned a Voxan Roadster (one of the few Voxans to get to the UK). I still would now if the factory hadn’t folded, but I didn’t want a bike I couldn’t get spares for. The same problem, just one 1000 cc engine (though they had just built a 1200 version) for all models and a high price.

    I’d love a Lambertini designed 600 single as there’s no way I’m ever going to see the Gilera Nordwest MK II I sometimes dream about.

  10. corsaro chris says:

    Well, they’ve had thirty bids from a maximum of 60 so far, and will have about 10,000 Euro in the bank – I’ll guess that’s a lot less than they’d hoped for!

    The company is owned by a couple of ex-Bankers, so they’re probably just having fun with their bonuses!

    Good riding