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.

Motus KMV4 Motor Will Be Available as a Crate Motor

08/10/2011 @ 12:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Motus KMV4 Motor Will Be Available as a Crate Motor Motus Katech KMV4 motor exploded 635x507

Talking to Lee Conn when Motus was on its US tour here in California, the Motus founder revealed that part of Motus’s business plan incorporates selling the Katech-designed KMV4 motor as a crate motor for enthusiasts and tuners. Though the Motus MST motorcycles will be using a 1,645cc 160+ hp version of the gasoline direct injection (GDI) motor, Katech and Motus have left plenty of beef to the KMV4′s cyclinder housings, allowing the V4 lump to be bored out to a 2L displacement.

Motus owners are of course being encouraged by Motus’s compact pushrod design to hotrod their bikes as they see fit (Motus is hoping that the KMV4′s roots to the muscle car movement will encourage a market of tuners and enthusiasts around the MST & MST-R). This flexibility and upgradability also makes the KMV4 adaptable to a variety of applications, and accordingly Motus will sell the V4 motor separately as a crate motor option, allowing hobbyists and shops to build virtually anything they want with powerplant (we’ve heard rumors of a KMV4 dune buggy already terrorizing off-road courses).

Experiencing the KMV4 first-hand in the Mountains above Redwood City, Katech’s work has that visceral sound you’d expect to hear from something that is over a liter and a half in displacement. The jusxtposition of the “antiquated” pushrod design with new technologies like GDI takes some time to wrap your head around, but in regards to horsepower & physical footprint, the KMV4 is about one of the most potent packages one can find. Time will tell if the crate motor side of the business gains traction, but the one thing that is for certain is that if you don’t like the MST as a motorcycle, you have all the tools you need to make your own 1,645cc-2,000cc V4 motorcycle.

Source: Motus


  1. Matt A says:

    How about a 250hp supercharged 2L in a sandrail? :)

  2. Bob says:

    That could be fun. As a dirt biker, we know that deep sand can seriously bog down an underpowered engine and stall you out.

    What would really be bad ass is if you could bolt 2 of these end to end like you can a lot of big diesel engines.

  3. Shawn says:

    If the price is right I can certainly see myself putting on in a Lotus 7 replica, and a B mod autocross racer.

  4. BikePilot says:


    I am a bit miffed though that their motorcycle is carrying around wasted weight in the form of overly thick cylinder liners. Why not make it a 2L to start with or shave some poundage? maybe they left the walls nice and thick for the soon-to-be-unvailed forced induction version ;) GDI and boost are a match made in dino-burning heaven.

  5. csimon says:

    If Harley was smart – this is exactly what they needed! They wouldn’t need to spend on R&D for a new motor, as they could stuff this technology into a new line of HD sport tourers and they will be on their way. No doubt.

  6. spytech says:

    this would be nice in a 3 wheeled morgan. atm they are using the s and s x-wedge 2Litre motor, but this bored out to 2L should be sweet in that little car.

  7. Hello Jensen – do you know if the crate motor plans include the chain final-drive gearbox? It looks like it is unit-construction but since many have talked about putting this motor in another type of vehicle the crate might not come with the gearbox. Hopefully the option will exist to purchase the gearbox too.


  8. No clue Racetrack. I’ll see if Lee can chime in with an answer.

  9. EM says:

    I like the idea of the sport touring bike, and I like the hot rod ability. However, I just do not get this bike. I just do not see that remarkable spark. Right now it seems like they did it to do it. I think to be remarkable in motorcycles these days you either have to racing, making a racer or developing some new fandangled electric/hybrid eco bike. Once that has been established a sport touring bike seem like the next logical progression.

    Coming out with your sport touring bike just seems backwards as a business progression. All the big name or successful cars and motorcycle companies got their brand established from either racing, or for being really cheap. Two things this company is missing.

    I would however, love to see these guys succeed.

  10. Word from Lee on the crate motor options: “The engines will be available with or without the gearbox. They are 2 separate units.”

    So there yah go, a little something for everyone.

  11. pdub says:

    I could see this as an awesome plant for a Forumula SAE open wheel car or go full retard and shoe it in a monocoque single seat mini supercar and give the Arial Atom drivers some nervous moments.

  12. Mike J says:

    As someone who loves the motor concept, but feels mildly disappointed by the motorcycle that has emerged at the end of this process, I’m encouraged to hear that the engine will be available separately. Now I’ve just got to find the funds to get one shipped over to the UK and get Spondon to knock up a suitably sexy chassis for it.

  13. Tom says:

    BikePilot – One reason for the extra mass is what the Japanese do on all of their entry bikes, make them a tad bit heavier than necessary and then shave off the extra weight each year and then declare an improvement over the previous model to get sucke…….er, new buyers. Why have real R&D development of a totally breakthrough motorcycle when you can have the appearance of inexpensive improvement?