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.

Video: The Motus KMV4 GDI Engine

07/02/2010 @ 10:52 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Video: The Motus KMV4 GDI Engine Motus MST 01 motor exploded 635x354

Motorcycle upstart Motus Motorcycles continues to press forward with its MST-01 sport-tourer, and has released a video that talks more about the development of their 1645cc gasoline direct-injection V4 motor: the KVM4. Balking at the advice of others not to build their own powerplant, Motus has teamed up with Katech to design an in-house motor for the Motus MST-01.

Based off American muscle car push rod engine design, Motus hopes to tap into the strong hobbiest car culture here in the United States, and offer a motorcycle that gear heads can dive into and wrench on with familiarity.

Also, the expectation is that with the push rod design, there will be a bevy of tuners and aftermarket parts manufacturers who will have the expertise to create and customize the MST-o1 once it’s completed, and in the hands of customers.

For bonus fun, listen to the MST-01 drive by in this audio clip.

Source: Motus Motorcycles


  1. Gildas says:

    The sound is, er, pant soiling good.

  2. Rob says:

    so much for America looking to be a forward thinking country

  3. Video: The Motus KMV4 GDI Engine – http://aspha.lt/152 #motorcycle

  4. Steve says:

    Well if they are making a sport touring bike they better get rid of the chain drive. I doubt many people will buy a touring bike with a chain drive. Better spend more time and money on developing the touring amenities like a radio, cruise control, heated seats and grips etc. and less time on a engine with lots of power. Who needs a big engine on a touring bike? Everything seems to be getting bigger. Look what happened to the Lead Wing and Harley Ultra – 1,000 lbs.

  5. lalaland says:

    The crankshaft is pointed the wrong direction. I know they can engineer a solution, but it’s a lot of extra work. Don’t really get the concept either. It’s supposed to be tuned, but then it has direct injection which ads stratified charging and infinite extra degrees of complexity.

    Sounds great though. That could be enough to win the day.

  6. Video: The Motus KMV4 GDI Engine: Video: The Motus KMV4 GDI Engine. Fri 07/02/2010 @ 10:52 am, by Jenny Gun. Share… http://bit.ly/bT9EH3

  7. Video: The Motus KMV4 GDI Engine http://bit.ly/bT9EH3

  8. love the sound, definitely can hear a bit of that muscle car grunt in it.

    i’m not sure about the touring aspect of this bike either… it seems a bit confused as to it’s real identity, i still think it’s an awesome bike though, love anything new being built in the US.

    i think i might have gone for more of a big sportsbike concept instead of the tourer, but i could be wrong, this is only going to be for people that have too much money and not enough toys anyhow.

  9. BikePilot says:

    I like it! I think the anti-chain gang is mostly old codgers who grew up before they made decent chains. Nowdays a good quality X-ring chain lasts 40k and almost never needs adjustments or even much oiling. heck that’s better than the final drive units on certain shaft drive bikes:)

    I quite like the machine, direct injection is the way forward – greater fuel efficency and power gains can be had because you can run much more compression without preignition. Many cages have it and its about time motorcycles got in on the fun.

    the push-rod design makes some sense for getting power at lower rpms. If you aren’t displacement limited, but are rather limited in terms of weight and total engine volume its not a bad way to go. Look at the LS7 for example in the cage world. power per cc isn’t good, but power per lbs or unit volume is quite good and that power comes in at relatively low rpms with a wide power curve.

  10. eze1976 says:

    the engine deff gives you goosebumps, I think the overall package as a bike needs just as much thought that has not happened as of yet. Some type of “pure” sport bike needs to come of this, just not in the common sense.

  11. Oscar says:

    This article didn’t mention it, but Motus is partnering with Katech in the design and construction of the engine.

    Katech, for those who don’t know, builds engines for Corvette endurance racers, so if the Motus engine sounds like a small block, that’s no accident. Considering how well Corvettes have fared in the endurance racing circuit, the partnership is very promising.

  12. CBR600RR 09 says:

    “Balking at the advice of others not to build their own powerplant, Motus has teamed up with Katech to design an in-house motor for the Motus MST-01.”
    Yes they did mention it….

  13. bruce armstrong says:

    ………………..and the Radical/small sports race car community likely has orders in for dozens of engines already

  14. hoyt says:

    check out Motus’ other walk around video. The chassis & engine footage is cool. Love the chassis and that motor so far.