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.

Vaporware: MV Agusta F3 USA Delivery Pushed Back…Again

06/07/2012 @ 12:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

Vaporware: MV Agusta F3 USA Delivery Pushed Back...Again mv agusta f3 official photos 6 635x952

I will be honest about my ego, I like being right…but that doesn’t mean that sometimes I wish I was wrong, and such is the case with the delivery date of the beautiful MV Agusta F3 Serie Oro. It is hard to believe that we first saw the MV Agusta F3 break cover back in October 2010, with the Italian company’s three-cylindered supersport being spied and rumored well before even that date, as far back as 2009. Then breaking the hearts of many Italian motorcycle fans, MV Agusta announced that the F3 would not be a 2011 model year bike.

Having issues getting its parts suppliers to deal with a company with a horrible credit record, pricing of the MV Agusta F3 quickly rose from $9,000, to $10,000, and then finally to $13,495 MSRP (Note: All US bikes will comes with a quick-shifter, pushing the MSRP now to $13,995). This of course would not be the price for the limited edition MV Agusta F3 Serie Oro, which was set to sell ahead of the base model. At $27,900 MSRP, the “gold series” F3 has been operating on a similar sliding scale as the price tag of the base model, as the delivery date of the bike was first pushed back from March, to May, and now is set for early July. But wait, there’s more.

This news makes it anyone’s guess as to when the base model MV Agusta F3 will hit American shores, though early ride reports suggest that the more time the F3 marinates in Varese, the better. Said to have appalling fueling and throttle control by the venerable Kevin Ash, the Brit bike reviewer said “the Italian bike still needs a lot of work doing, quite simply it shouldn’t have gone on sale yet. Beautiful, with huge potential but for now, fatally flawed.”

For those Americans with money down on the F3, the bike is said to be coming with the company’s latest ECU firmware upgrade, though whether that update fully resolves the initial problems remains to still be witnessed by someone that hasn’t drunk the brand’s kool-aid. As for those hoping for the naked version of the F3: the MV Agusta Brutale 675, that model has similarly been pushed back with the delays encountered by the MV Agusta F3 production. Surely what was expected to be a 2012 model year bike, will likely not be in dealerships until 2013.

As if all those missed promises didn’t happen, MV Agusta has some gumption as it has begun teasing out its next 675cc three-cylinder model, which is expected to be cut from hypermotard cloth. Called either the MV Agusta Rivale or MV Agusta SM3, the bike will feature longer-travel suspension, and the same problematic supersport motor. Expected to debut this fall, we would say that this bike will be a 2013 model, but let’s all be honest for a minute about things, and realize the vaporware status MV Agusta is cultivating for itself.

While MV Agusta is touting its hopes of producing 12,000 units a year in the coming annum, the fact remains that the company is continuously missing its own deadlines, and then releasing unfinished products to consumers. That sort of nonsense only goes so far with even the most loyal of customers, and firmly puts the company’s future into doubt with the massive blow it has done to the company’s brand, which has long been the only thing of value to come out of the Varese factory.

Adding only more suspicion to the precarious nature of MV Agusta, is the sense of urgency surrounding the release of so many new models, especially when they are not fully-developed. We have seen this same maneuver from a number of motorcycle companies recently, and it has always been from a motorcycle manufacturer who desperately need to start selling product in larger volumes. Said to have a break-even point of around 10,000 units, I suspect that number is in fact higher for MV Agusta, but what is clear is that the Italian firm is on the wrong side of an income statement right now.

Unable to support itself through current operations, and finding its name scrolled in the little black books of major financial institutions, MV Agusta needs to rapidly grow its customer base in order to stay afloat. This surely has been the driving force behind the premature birth of the F3, and hopefully this is the only model to garner such an oversight. As the Italian company delivers it bikes, or doesn’t deliver them as the case may be, the future of the brand will become more clear, though right now it is still a bit too cloudy.

Source: Moto.it & Moto-Station


  1. Ken C. says:

    I lost interest in the F3 when they raised the price above $10,000.

    It’s a beautiful bike, no doubt, but why would I buy it at $13,995 when I could get a better equipped Triumph Daytona 675R at the same price or cheaper? The Triumph isn’t exactly ugly either.

  2. Balz R. says:

    Please check your facts before you publish reports based from unqualified third party sources. It serves no one to use journalistic sensetionalism and publish overly negative news in an industry that still is very depressed from the economic challenges of the past years.

    I visited the MV Agusta factory exactly one week ago and US spec F3 were sitting there ready to ship while more were getting completed on the final assembly line. US models will ship from the factory next week and with transit, customs clearance and local distribution, they will hit US show rooms right around the middle of July.

    I was also offered a one hour test ride of the F3 with the updated fuel mapping all US bikes will receive. The engine pulls absolutely cleanlythrough the entire range. Throttle response is smooth and there is no lunging on steady throttle. The new map simply works and is as good as anything out there. Up top, the F3 screams and will give open class bikes a run for their money.

    The F3 is light and very nimble without a hint of nervousness or twitchines. It has a very composed chassis with exceptional feedback and a neutral feel.

    The F3 is not only absolutely beautiful but it handles incredibly well and the engine absolutely rips – underlined with a sound that will give anyone the chills.

  3. I’m sorry, from now on I’ll forgo my journalistic integrity of calling a spade a spade, and only post the glowing type of reports that have served the industry sooo well in time’s past.

    Since the only thing you seem to take issue with as being factual inaccurate is how the MV Agusta F3′s rides in real life, forgive me if instead of taking the gushing review of an MV dealer, I go by the word of one of the most regarded bike testers in the industry, who also happens to have a record for not giving reviews from a rose-colored perspective. And just so we’re totally clear, the fueling issue has been well-documented by F3 owners abroad.

    So I can get ahead of the obvious differences in your report and Kevin’s regarding US-spec vs. initial-spec reports, I think the following statement covers any possible differences between the two machines, no?

    “For those Americans with money down on the F3, the bike is said to be coming with the company’s latest ECU firmware upgrade, though whether that update fully resolves the initial problems remains to still be witnessed by someone that hasn’t drunk the brand’s kool-aid.”

    Again, sorry if I hampered any bamboozling you’ve been doing in this tough economy.

  4. Will says:

    I wouldn’t touch another MV w/ a ten foot pole, and I’ve got 2 of em. Cancel your deposit if you’ve got one. My 2 cents. If the bikes are this hard to get, what about parts? And the dealer network sucks outright.

  5. MkeD says:

    Oh MV, will u ever get your “shit” right from the get-go ? You are so crazy…and loosing any cred left by the minute.
    A darn shame i say, their products are so hot but not so hot as to turn a blind eye to their “f-ups”.

  6. Richard Gozinya says:

    Looks like Harley was smart to ditch them. They’re certainly the most poorly run of the Italian companies, and that’s saying a lot.

  7. Tim says:

    “…the venerable Kevin Ash”
    You think the British guy with a hardon for Triumph bikes is going to give a big thumbs up to the Daytona/Street triple 675′s biggest rival?

    The bike will run like every other sport bike on the street, terrible until you replace the emission control nonsence. What’s the first thing everyone fiddles with on a bike to make it “better?” The carbs/ECU/PC, air filter, exhaust, …

    As for “journalistic integrity,” that idea died off sometime ago and is now gone. I bet if MV Agusta had 6 adds on this page, there’d be a story about how the company was doing the “right thing” by sorting out any problems before delivering the bikes the USA and a small factory is trying to take on the rest of motorcycle market in the worst economic time periods and on and on.

    “release of so many new models” So, Ducati is doing that and it has worked out very well for them. Then MV Agusta plans to do the same but it’s bad, right? Since when is entering an emerging market with few competitors a bad thing? You must have skipped your basic business classes while studying to learn your “journalistic integrity.”

    The bike is overpriced but it looks good and all the specs and technical jargon sounds promising; time will tell in the morning. If the major problems can be fixed with new silicon or some lines of code, that ain’t half bad for an Italian product. Ferrai and Lambo have cars that burst into flames and people are still buying those.

  8. Ben says:

    Sounds exactly like Ducati’s problems of the early ’90s. Poor availability of bikes. New bikes often different depending of parts availability at the factory. Poor availability of parts at Dealers. Dealers struggling because they didn’t have a product to sell.

    It all seemed to turn around very quickly with an equal injection of funds and business discipline…courtesy of a private equity fund (TPG was it?). Best thing that ever happened to them.

    I just wish I hadn’t been turned off Italian bikes due to those sorts of problems (also had a Laverda!). Now I’m content with my R1 that starts when I press the button and doesn’t stop until I turn it off!

  9. G.Irish says:

    This article was a little bit thick with haterade. For one, delays are not uncommon in the motorcycle business, especially for the smaller motorcycle manufacturers. Even Ducati, which has been experiencing record sales, had delays delivering the Panigale to customers. BMW had some rod bolt failure issues with the ’12 S1000RR (not to mention the 5 engines that grenaded at the original press launch). Truth is that all of the European manufacturers have issues with supersport bike launches from time to time.

    Kevin Ash’s opinion was that the fueling was terrible, others said that the fueling in sport mode was terrible, normal mode was fine. When owners and testers get their hands on mass produced F3′s we’ll get the truth.

    MV certainly is a manufacturer that has some significant hurdles to scale right now, and hasn’t been run well in the past. Their dealer network is weak in the US due to their lack of support and their finances are definitely shaky. Anyone buying a F3 right now is probably going to have to go into it with some patience. It’s not gonna be like buying a Honda or Yamaha.

    But every turnaround has a first step. They’ve got the right product coming at a price that they can move some volume. If they can get some momentum going they’ll have an opportunity to build on the F3 and move forward.

  10. Tom says:

    What has MV ever offered to justify their price? They seem like H-D is marketing off past glory without any “there” there. Of course, here in Japan, I see some used F4/Brutale bikes for sale online all the time for $5000-$7000 depending on year. For reasonable money, I don’t see why not, but for all their exclusivity, there are not race championships, racing R&D, or numbers to prove any MV Agusta is the fastest or best handling bike in the world today. Used? Seems like a decent bike to consider. New off the showroom floor? Only for those intellectually and testicullary challenged.

  11. G.Irish says:

    Well, look around, even a CBR600RR is $11500. MV is a much smaller factory than any of the Japanese factories so it stands to reason that they’re not going to have the economies of scale to offer the absolute lowest prices in that market segment. $2500 more doesn’t seem like a ridiculous price premium to me *shrugs*. But to each his own. For some $14k is too dear, for others it won’t be.

  12. Faust says:

    @ G.Irish
    I wouldn’t say that 14k is too dear, what I would instead say is that much more capable bikes can be had for that price. If people want to pay more for a slower bike just so they can say “I have one, and you don’t” then I can’t help but think it’s foolishness. Either way, choosing which bike to buy is a personal decision, and one that only the buyer has to deal with. If people choose to buy a bike like this over a cheaper Ducati 848 EVO because Ducs are no longer “exclusive” enough, then so be it. I still think it’s stupid, but it’s a free country. As you said “to each his own” but that doesn’t mean it has to make sense to the rest of us, or that we need to pretend like this bike is a good deal.

  13. G.Irish says:

    Well we don’t know if the other 600′s and the Daytona 675 are faster or slower than the F3 yet, so we can’t say for sure whether there are more capable bikes for cheaper. We could say there are bikes that are comparable in performance for cheaper. The thing about the whole “this bike is faster than that bike” thing is that there can only be one “fastest” bike in its class at any given time. If people should only buy based on that factor then every year only one model would have any sales numbers. Obviously it’s important to most people but that’s not the only factor in buying a bike.

    Actually the 848 Evo isn’t cheaper, they’re both $13995. Maybe some people only want a F3 because it’s “exclusive” but I don’t think that would make up the majority of F3 buyers. The F3 is a very sexy bike with a strong 3 cylinder engine with a couple of features that nothing else in the 600 class has (TC, quickshifter). Sure, the fact that the F3 will be somewhat rare would probably be a factor but clearly that’s not the only reason to buy one.

  14. Max says:

    When you buy an MV, you pay a premium for less performance and lower quality. That’s a fact, and by any rational or objective measure an MV is a foolish purchase… But what all of you are forgetting is that we’re not talking about picking the best midsize sedan to drive to work, we’re talking about buying a TOY. A complete luxury. And when you look at it from that perspective, it’s all about the fun that toy can deliver – and the hard specs alone hardly tell the whole story. So the MV is 3% slower, costs a few grand more and has a few easily rectified ‘quirks’. To me those are all secondary factors… I am much more interested in the intangibles – how the bike feels, sounds and looks – and this ‘secret sauce’ is what the Italians and MV in particular have always delivered. So quit staring at spec sheets and go test ride one (when they finally get here), you just might change your mind.

  15. mxs says:

    Go test ride one, eh? They will have a very few on the floor probably already prepaid, I am sure they will be very keen to let you test ride it …. unless they will have a demo bikes floating around which I doubt.

    Great looking and I am sure sounding bike. I love it. But reliability and parts availability would drive me bonkers every single day. I use my bikes daily, not once a week or only on a sunny day …

  16. Will says:

    Go test ride, eh x 2? My friend has a deposit on one with MotoCorsa in portland, he said they’re only getting 5 this year with no demos. ….motocorsa sells a lot of bikes. #1 Duc dealer in the country 4 out of the last 5 years if I’m not mistaken. They rarely even have a new F4 on the floor, well from what I’ve seen, the few times I head down there from seattle

  17. Max says:

    Yea… you guys have a point there. MV dealers are really going to have to step it up to give this bike a chance. Having a demo bike on hand at every dealer is the absolute minimum requirement for this. A reliable parts distribution network would be a close second.

    As far as reliability I would not be too concerned. Obviously they are not going to be as reliable as a mainstream Japanese bike, but if the previous gen models are anything to go by the gap in quality is not nearly as wide as you’d think. I don’t know why anybody would ride a race rep like an F3 evey day… but if that’s your thing, you weird masochist, I wouldn’t worry. My Brutale is still rock solid with 22K on the clock and I would think the F3 would improve on that.

    All I’m saying is don’t hate the F3 cause its beautiful!

  18. Marc says:

    a couple comments:

    1. i test rode one of the first base F3s in EU in sport mode…fueling was poor under 4k, throttle response was harsh (feels like on/off or rear cush material too hard). However, it was one of the best riding bikes even with these problems.
    2. I have been told by people who have since driven the same bike with the new mapping and rear cush that it drives as smoothly as the Triumph 675R while retaining its sound and overall fun to ride
    3. build quality is poor in some areas…wiring messy, mesh on fairings

    I am not, nor ever have been an MV rider. I think the F4 has always been nice looking but overweight and non-competitive…I never liked any other type of bike other than sports bikes (I own 2 RS250s, 1 ZX-10R and an 848…previous owner or R1s, GSXR 600/750s and a few others). That said – as soon as I can, I am getting the F3 – the ride is that much fun and the fixes in place will make it even better.

    My advise – unless the competition come out with some amazing changes to the supersport range, keep waiting on the F3. After a bit of playing with your new bike (admit it, who doesn’t enjoy that) you will love it.

  19. Superlight says:

    I am one of those crazy folks with a deposit on an F3, or am I so crazy? I know what this bike is, I know the company is positioned where Ducati was in the early ’80s (I bought a 1982 Pantah 600 new when Ducati were barely alive as a company), but I’m OK with all that. What I’m most concerned with are things I can’t easily change, like the appearance and handling, not something I can readily fix, like the fueling.
    After owning many sport bikes over the years, a 3-year stint at AMA roadracing and multiple trackdays, I know what I want and the F3 will deliver. But each of us has their own set of purchase criteria and we will come to different decisions based on those unique criteria.
    I originally was going to buy a 675R, but when I had the opportunity to compare both bikes under one roof at the IMS show this Winter, the decision was easy, as the F3 is simply on another planet from a design integration standpoint compared to the Triumph.

  20. Jes says:

    I’ll get to ride the F3 in Canada this Monday on the track, so we’ll see first hand if there are any fuel issues. The distributor network is improving, just give it time, but MV will never be Suzuki or Kawi or even Ducati. If you want all out performance, go buy a ZX6R, but if you want something that’s a little more unique that is clearly different and identifiable, well then MV may be for you.

  21. MikeD says:


    Please DO report back to us, there’s no such thing as too much info on a motorcycle, specially Italian ones.

  22. Jes says:

    There are some definite issues with power delivery that would make getting around at low speed a problem, but rest assured that it will be corrected prior to delivery. After 6,000 rpm though, this F3 is a beauty!

  23. Damo says:

    I am with Faust on this one. When you buy an F3 you are agreeing to part with your cash for exclusivity and looks (I agree the F3 and F4 are two of the most tasty looking bike on the market). At the end of the day that is about all you get.

    I had to deal with aprilia headaches getting parts, etc. and they have about three times the dealer network than MV.

    At this stage in the game all middle weights hover around the same level of performance so I guess it comes down to personal taste (and personal lunacy).

    It it was all about raw performance numbers out of light middle weight bikes, EVERYONE would ride a 2012 GSXR 750 and still have $2k left over.