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.

Pierobon’s Trellis Frame for the Ducati 1199 Panigale – Ducatisti Purists, Your Prayers Have Been Answered

10/17/2013 @ 2:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler27 COMMENTS

Pierobons Trellis Frame for the Ducati 1199 Panigale   Ducatisti Purists, Your Prayers Have Been Answered pierobon trellis frame ducati 1199 panigale

We have featured the work of Peirobon on Asphalt & Rubber before, as the boutique firm from Bologna makes some intriguing air-cooled Ducati-powered sport bikes for discerning buyers, among other things.

Pierobon is also one of the companies we are looking forward to seeing at this year’s EICMA show, as the firm has something special this year for its booth display: a trellis frame kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale.

We all know that the chassis for the Ducati 1199 Panigale is based on Ducati Corse’s Desmosedici race bike in the MotoGP Championship. The “frameless” monocoque design bolts the headstock/airbox and rear subframe directly to the cylinder heads of the Superquadro engine, which helps allow the superbike — and now its “supermid” sibling — to drop massive amounts of weight when compared to the 1198/848 line.

However, not everyone is sold on Ducati’s new chassis design. Naysayers will rightfully question a technology that is linked to Ducati’s dismal results in MotoGP, where riders have persistently complained about a lack of front-end feel. Of course to be fair, Ducati Corse has since switch to a twin-spar aluminum frame configuration, and the team continues to struggle with its Desmosedici GP bike.

Other hardcore Ducatisti have lamented the loss of the trellis frame’s beauty, and its position as a hallmark and integral element of what makes a Ducati motorcycle. Well folks, Pierobon has an answer for you with its trellis frame kit. Debuting their work soon at EICMA, we have only a lo-res photo of the bolt-on piece, though it looks pretty intriguing.

We can’t comment on how the trellis frame changes the chassis characteristics of the Panigale, we didn’t think there was much need for improvement on the street bike though. However, visually the piece brings something to the 1199 that has been missing. Whether that is good or bad that, we will leave to you.

We’ll get some more details and photos of the trellis frame at EICMA, as A&R will make the great trek to Milan, Italian once again. It’s a tough job.

Source: Insella.it


  1. Jimbo says:

    Well this is stupid!

  2. Silas says:

    Come with free dry clutch conversion.

  3. Coreyvwc says:

    No dry clutch conversion while they were at it…? Haha

  4. Twoversion says:

    Hopefully they will have a real part at eicma and not just this photoshop. Not that it matters because most useless mod ever.

    Plus a true Ducati purist believes in racing to street so the frameless bike should be the ultimate purity not 1950s space frames

  5. Gutterslob says:

    Re: “Other hardcore Ducatisti have lamented the loss of the trellis frame’s beauty,…”

    Personally, I never saw any beauty in trellis frames on motorcycles. At best (late first-gen Monster), they looked utilitarian, and at worst (KTM’s newest Super Duke) they look like third-world scaffolding. I’m not denying their benefits – mainly transmitting feedback to the rider and providing decent amounts of rigidity – but beauty has never been one of them for me.

    Ironically, the best looking “trellis” type frame I’ve seen has been on a car – the Ariel Atom. That one actually looks substantial and strong, like it was properly sculpted.

  6. Aj says:

    I’m curious.

    The Panigale isn’t exactly setting the world on fire at the track and I doubt the fault lies with the riders. it definitely isn’t an immediate hit like it’s counterparts were. I wouldn’t be surprised if the aluminum box isn’t any better than the carbon box.

    I’m wondering, if tested back to back, will the albeit heavier trellis frame outperform the factory version.

  7. NEiL says:

    Looks like a CG image to me.
    Interested to hear how it handles/.

  8. jimmy smith jr says:

    Maybe they could sell it to the Ducati WSBK team?? Couldn’t hurt their results as of late.

  9. JD says:

    in this case it looks better without…looks like compression moulding-esque sorta piece
    and not the “glam-bam i’m the man!” sheet we all favor..thats the looks..

    Now performance wise.. contradictory at best and looks like it may weigh a few 1/10th’s

    Pocketwise.. mucho bueno nada! save for beer money

  10. Joe says:

    Hi, do you guys always use articles from other websites, such as “motoblog.it” ??

  11. Tanker Man says:

    For mere mortals such as myself we’re not going to notice the problems they were having with the frameless MotoGP bike. And the problem in WSBK is not the frame, it’s the restrictor plates. I think the Panigale S I have is one of the most beautiful sport bikes ever made. The trellis frame will appeal to morons.

  12. Logicman says:

    I say let them test the frame on the bike and decide whether the monocoque is the problem or the riders are the problem!!

  13. Logicman says:

    Jimbo is a Dumbo!

  14. dc4go says:

    How about they use tires from the 80′s, laquer paint, no carbon, and a push rod Harley engine.. The Panigale is not perfect but it’s definately pushing future design and tech so credit to them.

  15. Seb says:

    Equally stupid: people basing their opinion about the Panigale on results on track. Yes the bike is inferior to others, but we’re talking about one sec a lap. Maybe 2 sec? I haven’t checked lately. That’s one sec slower than others on a 2 min lap. 1 sec on 120 secs. Nothing. Unless your name is Checa there’s no way you would feel a difference.

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “Plus a true Ducati purist believes in racing to street so the frameless bike should be the ultimate purity not 1950s space frames”

    hey, when you’re ready to do your first interview with a “true ducatisti” lemme know… i’ll clear my schedule.

  17. Norm G. says:

    re: “I’m wondering, if tested back to back, will the albeit heavier trellis frame outperform the factory version.”

    you don’t have to wonder. if you’re looking for the definitive A/B comparison, you needn’t look any further than checa’s performance at Imola 2012 on the restricted 1198-R Vs. checa’s performance at Imola 2013 on the fully derestricted Pani-R.

    ps: you don’t have to be a ducatisti or anything to see the difference. it’ll be painfully obvious.

  18. Mitch says:

    ” bolt-on piece”

    Terminology makes me think the transfer loads will still be handled by the frameless headstock, and that the trellis will simply be aesthetic in nature.

  19. Norm G. says:

    re: “Equally stupid: people basing their opinion about the Panigale on results on track.”

    29 championships, 21 years, 17 different riders, 4 different series, 3 displacement groups.

    if there’s a better yardstick by which to measure kit that bears the name of the factory that’s achieved this…? i’m all ears.

  20. smiler says:

    What a bunch of whinging handbag carriers. This is what Perobon do ans they do it well, having seen some of their bikes up close.

    Steel Trellis is very ugly, of course it is:
    Ducati 916,
    MV f750, Brutale, F1000
    (voted time and again 2 of the most beautiful and iconic bikes ever), 1000,
    Ducati DR16,
    Bimota bikes of late,
    Ducati Monsters
    KTM RC8 and Duke
    Triumph Speed Triple, Daytona, 657R, etc, etc

    The list goes on

    All of them so much uglier than their Japanese counterparts.

    As for the 1199 not performing. Well they said they would launch it in Superstock and it has been 2nd both years. At Lagun the exotic finger food rider seemed to be doing very well. They have added a new subframe and tank. So in a worlds where the rules no longer favour or in fact penalise twins it is making good progress. BMW just hopped in by copying a Jap four, adding car electronics and are now as they came dropping it and leaving.

    So with a decent rider in Canepa (clearly Checa cannot be arsed anymore) it will do much better.

    As for those who think steel trellis is ugly. Please provide a better looking bike GSXR dullness perhaps.
    The only trully beautiful bike with an aluminium frame is the RC30.

    So put your handbags away girls.

  21. Will says:

    Doesn’t Ducati have more wins in WSBK than all the other factories combined? Well they did last time I checked.

    I’ll always wonder what Bayliss would’ve done on the 1199 compared to good ol “Careless Chucker.”

  22. Ray says:

    They should offer a carbon headstock/airbox assembly.

  23. Jensen – I believe the Panigale motor has engine mounting points for a “traditional” type frame, correct?

    I thought I read that when the Panigale motor was introduced and detailed for the assembled press.

    If so, then all of the “stupid” claims are, well, ….

  24. MikeD says:


    +1, everything else be damned. (^_^)

  25. BBQdog says:

    Should be:

    We all know that the chassis for the Ducati 1199 Panigale is based on Ducati Corse’s Desmosedici race bike in the MotoGP Championship. And we all know what a succes that was …..

  26. BBQdog says:

    @Smiler: The only trully beautiful bike with an aluminium frame is the RC30.

    You forgot the Aprilia RS 250 ….

  27. Norm G. says:

    re: “I believe the Panigale motor has engine mounting points for a “traditional” type frame, correct? I thought I read that when the Panigale motor was introduced and detailed for the assembled press.”

    negative ghost rider, the pattern is full.