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: Motus MST Stretches Its Legs on the Dyno

02/11/2011 @ 4:56 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Video: Motus MST Stretches Its Legs on the Dyno Motus MST 01 motor head

There might be snow on the ground for most of the United States, but things in the south are starting to heat up now that Motus has gotten its MST sport-tourer on the dyno, and for a quick ride in its latest video on YouTube. Letting the 1645cc gasoline direct-injection KMV4 motor “unleash the beast” as it were, the project seems to be coming together nicely as we’re given a rapid succession of quick-cuts on the MST’s build job.

We expect to see the built-in-America bike on city streets once the ice thaws (or Motus realizes it was 70°F in sunny San Francisco today, and makes a stop by the Golden State), and the video’s ending suggests we’ll get another installment while we wait for winter to subside.

We’re still going through the video to see if there’s any nuggets of info hidden inside. Call them out in the comments if you see something.

Source: Motus Motorcycles


  1. RSVDan says:

    Oh, sweet baby Jesus.

  2. Andrey says:

    Aaaah the sound of push rods!
    Incredible that in this day and age someone would make a motor that had them!
    If anyone ever needed proof the U.S. had trouble moving forward, this surely must be it.
    Perhaps they don’t intend to sell it anywhere else.
    I just hope it is really heavy, if nothing else.
    (flame suit on)

  3. Andrey says:

    And why isn’t the engine a stressed member???
    I could go on….

  4. Tom says:

    I like what I see and more importantly hear. But, I still cannot get over one nagging issue – the name. It sucks. Motus, despite what its trying to invoke, simply doesn’t move me.

  5. Wedge says:


    In the aircraft industry, engine manufacturers(like Rotax) use pushrods all the time. The teardown and rebuilt of an aircraft engine is therefore quite simple(I have an A&P license and have teardown and rebuilt both jet engines(with AB) and reciprocating engines). I fully understand why some of these design decisions were made and I like them. Most importantly(to me), the performance mods will be awesome, though I do wonder how much extra power the frame and tranny can take. This engine could easily make 200bhp with some modifications. Nothing like a 200hp sport-tourer, hahaha

  6. JR says:

    Oh that sounds good! Pushrods can work just fine, roller rockers and such. This engine will be very easily upgradeable.

  7. JohninVT says:

    It was purposely built with old-tech. Guzzi still makes V Twin’s with pushrods. The Griso, Stelvio and Norge GT all lay down mid 90′s hp at the rear wheel from air-cooled, pushrod V twins of 1200cc. The Motus is going to be a beast and the pushrod, V-4 is going to make regular maintenance incredibly easy and quick. It takes 15 minutes to set the valves in a Guzzi. Do you have any idea what a scheduled maintenance on a ST1300 costs? Or a C14 Concours?

    There is something to be said for a V4 that puts out stupendous hp but you can wander into a NAPA equivalent anywhere in the world and get everything you need for a tuneup.

  8. BikePilot says:

    It makes perfect sense to me – in a sport tourer that doesn’t compete in displacement-restricted classes a wise builder will chose the engine that gives them the most power with the sort of power curve they want for a given weight and physical size. Push rod motors have the advantage of being extremely compact and light for a given displcement so you can have a lot more cc without a lot more weight. They of course don’t rev like a dohc (in general), but if you are after a low-revving sport-tourer that might not be a problem. The ZR1 corvette is doing just dandy with pushrods and easily keeping pace with euro sports cars that are twice the price.

  9. gnmac says:

    I get the pushrod infatuation / heritage of the American motor industry, but for cripe’s sake when will someone make a dohc liquid-colled v4 800-1000cc superbike worthy of carrying Old Glory into the MotoGP/SBK fight??? I would love to see a legitimate superbike draped in the red, white, and blue that would be as good as say, a Honda RC212V, Ducati GP10/11, or Aprilia RSV4 – is tha so hard to ask for?? Do any bike builders in the US care about making something other than pushrod V4 touring bikes and Harley lead sleds??? Come on, in the auto side of things, we at least used to have Shelbys, Ford GT40′s, Corvettes competing successfully in the int’l auto racing scene…Ford campaigned the GT40 all the way to the point of whipping the ass of the mighty Ferrari works effort! And even the Corvette program has in the last decade had considerable class success in Le Mans racing… So the American motorcycle industry should be able to match that effort, right?? I love my Aprilias, Ducatis, and MVs, but I would sure love to have a comparable bike made here in the good ol’ US of A!!

  10. Allan Engel says:

    140+hp, 120+ lbs/ft and right around 500 pounds – what’s not to love?

  11. MikeD says:

    Can’t wait to see what the final product looks,sounds and rides like and the ASTRONOMICAL Price Tag hanging off of it !

  12. MikeD says:

    Oh, and i wouldn’t worry about the valve train on this one, after all…whats the projected redline ? 8K ? (as per dyno footage).
    How many times is it going to be near there and for how long ? Almost never. This ain’t no anorexic Racy 600 thats needs to rev to the Moon and back to make some HP and Torque, it’s a full blown 1650cc DIRECT INJECTION sport-touring rig.

    p.s: Just looking at the lenght of the intake runners is almost like a dead give away what this beast has been built and tuned for…LOW-MID Power and Torque ?

  13. Tom says:

    gnmac, the Ford GT40 was a completely British enterprise. It was not American.

  14. gnmac says:

    I know there was a healthy dose of UK in the GT40, as there was in the AC/Shelby Cobra, but it was the Detroit mill that allowed it to smash the rosso corsa from Modena…

  15. gildas says:

    Just the engine block and the cup holders.

    Kidding :)

  16. JR says:

    I think the fact that this is direct injection is going overlooked for the most part. Who has direct injection right now?… only cars for the most part. High dollar R&D goes into developing direct injection. I think Aprilia has a DI 2-stroke scooter that uses Orbital air-assisted injectors.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but no major motorcycle manufacturer is offering DI on a production bike right now? I didn’t take the time to research here though (read, I could be very wrong).

    Also, a lot of manufacturers are JUST NOW starting to offer PFI!? It’s hard to believe bikes like the Ninja 250 are still carbureted…. 1975 called….

  17. Very good point JR. I’m not sold on the idea that a “hot rod” motor will lead to a robust aftermarket/modding culture for Motus, but the GDI motor is definitely something people should be excited about.

  18. MikeD says:


    The USA is getting the middle finger from KHI with the Ninja 250, as the bike is sold EFI overseas, Europe comes to mind. Suposedly EFI would make it more xpensive and break the projected price target for the USA…(TOTAL B.S Line) , greedy bastards, they get away with it because the carbs are still able to meet the current emissions regulations…but regulations wont stay the same but become harder and it will force KHI to slap EFI on it for good, maybe even a catalytic converter and O2 Sensors.

    And yes, DFI is great…people not in the know….do a search and start getting the facts about it.

    I hope the rest of the big OEMs start using said technology and bring it to the masses at affordable prices (togheter with VVT on both cams) not like the lame half a gizmo the C14 employs currently wich “apparently” makes no significant difference to justify its existence and the bulk it brings.

  19. Chrome says:

    In picture 6, it looks like th alternator is going to be belt drive.

    Also, does it seem like this engine will roast your legs in the summer? The engine is totally exosed to the legs, and it looks like the only body work will be up forward of the motor.

    I love the concept. This looks like a bike you can mod to be whatever you want. I’d like to see modular bodywork so that it can be anything from a cafe racer (visually) to a well protected two-up.

    very excited to see the final bike, and then stand by and watch someone else pay $40k :(

  20. merkenpride says:

    See MotoCzysz (read: aint gonna happen)