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.

Ty Howard Flogs the 2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R

06/01/2011 @ 6:08 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Ty Howard Flogs the 2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R 2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R 635x422

KTM-sponsored rider Ty Howard got some track time with the new 2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R, and the Texan seems to be very positive about the changes the Austrian company has made to its already potent superbike package. Instead of aiming for more power, KTM’s goal was more rideability (though the Ready to Race brand did manage to squeeze a few more ponies out of the 2011 machine).

Thus, it’s fitting that changes include a new fueling system, new crankshaft, heavier flywheel, and dual-spark ignition. The 2010 KTM 1190 RC8 R is probably our favorite track bike, so we have high hopes for the 2011 edition when we finally get a chance to test one. Check out Ty’s impressions of the 2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R after the jump.

Source: KTM


  1. AC says:

    Bike is cool as hell and has a style all its own.

  2. john magnum says:

    pity here in oz they want 5k AUD for an akro system. you US guys can convert that. reduced price for an R yeah, though still dear. RSV4 got more character if you cant wait for 2012. i dont think KTM gunna pull it off like they think….

  3. Hasmizal says:

    nice and cool bike =)

  4. Damo says:

    @john magnum

    The RSV4 is a great bike. I mean the Factory version is arguably the greatest superbike on the road, BUT as I have stated before if you are over 6 feet tall the bike is punishing to sit on. It is about the same size as most middle weights and for me, personally, would not be an option.

    I hope more manufacturers take a queue from KTM and design ergo adjustment into there road fairing race replicas. Kawasaki is kinda doing that with the Ninja 1000.

    I use my race replica as an everyday driver and honestly don’t attend track days, so for me I need something semi comfortable and I have been looking long and hard at KTM. (Currently riding a 2003 RSV Mille)

  5. Other Sean says:

    I just wish the Ready to Race brand could get their act together and put it in WSBK. For cripes sake, they’ve had two strokes in GP for how long, and they can’t get this thing on the race stage?

  6. Damo says:

    @Other Sean

    I could be wrong, but I thought KTM tried to get the RC8 in to WSBK this year and the new CC limit rule stopped them? That is why the Ducati’s are 1098cc motors this year.

  7. The 1200cc limit? Ducati runs an 1198cc machine.

  8. albacete says:

    racing ducati engines are, and always had been since the 1098 series 1200 cc, or 1198 cc to be more accurate, 1098 R its just the NAME of the bike.. KTM might have entered wsbk a long time ago.. i really don’t know what they are expecting to..

  9. Shaitan says:

    Stunning bike… especially in person. I agree with Damo the RSV4 is arguably the better bike if you’re a smaller frame, but the RC8 is for the six-footers amongst us.

  10. JRl says:

    I gave one of Fast Track Rider’s 2011 1190R instructor bikes a few laps around Fontana couple weeks ago and enjoyed it throughly. It was an interesting change over my ZX6R with it’s stock exhaust and great low end torque. It was weird because I didn’t feel like I was going all that fast until I tipped it into a corner! Wore ear plugs during the first session due to habit which made it impossible to hear the engine, especially in the lower revs. It was a very smooth and dynamic bike. I hope to get some more time on it in the future!

  11. Tom says:

    The older I get the less enamored I am with the racing bodies. Some new bike comes along that challenges the status quo and the manufacturers get the racing bodies to change the rules to benefit only them. There is a reason why motorcycle design has been stagnant for decades. If KTM makes a better same-size bike than the big boys then KTM really needs to learn how to market itself like Lamborghini has. The only racing Lambo I can name is the Diablo that ran here in JGTC and it was not dominant IIRC, yet people still lust after Lambos as much as they do Ferraris.

    I say good job KTM. The rest of the big boys aren’t innovating. All they do is dance around the regulations never straying too far away from the safe and boring.

  12. buellracerx says:

    beautiful bike, too bad about the dunslops DOTs mounted on those sweetly-optimized rims. set of the N-TEC slicks would serve it well.