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.

Vyrus 986 M2 Gets Three-Tiered Pricing & DIY Kit – Race: €55,000 – Street: €25,000 – Kit: €16,900

01/25/2011 @ 6:55 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Vyrus 986 M2 Gets Three Tiered Pricing & DIY Kit   Race: €55,000   Street: €25,000   Kit: €16,900 vyrus 986 m2 verona unveiling 6 635x423

Our friends at MotoBlog.it continue to have the inside track on the recently debuted Vyrus 986 M2 that was unveiled at the Verona Bike Show this past weekend. The Italian boutique manufacturer confirmed that it wanted to offer the Vyrus 986 M2 to teams competing in the Moto2 World Championship, and hinted that a production version could come father down the line, later revealing that we could expect to see a street bike as early as Sepetember of this year.

Now getting a chance to talk to Ascanio Rodorigo, MotoBlog.it has revealed that Vyrus 986 M2 will come in different variations, a Moto2-ready race bike (Factory), a street bike (SL Replica), and a do-it-yourself self kit (Replica Kit), which sees a rider buying just the rolling chassis and having to source their own motor. There’s a price point for everyone in this launch, as the Factory will cost €55,000, the SL Replica €25,000, and the Replica Kit rounding out things at €16,900.

While €55,000 is a lot of money, the Vyrus 986 M2 is easily the cheapest Moto2 package being offered for 2011. The wildly popular and affordable Suter machines hit the pocketbook for €70,000, making Vyrus over 33% cheaper cost-wise. Of course for Moto2 teams the concern for any bike centers around competitiveness, as the 2010 season has already shown that choosing the wrong racing platform, can relegate talented riders to the middle of the pack.

Teams will also be judging their purchases on factory technical support and development for the 2011 season. Vyrus has been pretty mum on these items, and without a strong racing background it’s going to be a tough sale to any race team. Horsepower is expected to be 136hp, with the bike tipping the scales at 135kg (that’s 297 lbs!).

At €25,000 though, the Vryus 986 M2 SL Replica becomes a very attractive street bike, and this is where we suspect the Italian firm is really expecting to make its money. We’ll sidestep the obvious issues of selling a production replica of a prototype bike, what that does for Moto2 entry, and whether or not this is all seems like an elaborate plan to get some buzz for a new product…at €25,000 Vyrus is making a serious bid for the Ducati-buyer who is looking for something unique in his or her garage.

We’ve been drooling over this bike since Saturday, you’ve been drooling over this bike since Saturday, and at just shy of $40,000 that’s probably just as close as we all will get to owning a Vyrus 986 M2 SL Replica.

That’s ok though, because Vryus has a 986 M2 on a budget, or “the blogger version” as we like to think of it. Costing €16,900 without VAT, the Vyrus 986 M2 Replica Kit is basically a bike without a motor. Buyers would recieve the rolling chassis, and then have to source their own power plant, making the tuning possibilities endless, and likely saving you a more than a few thousand dollars in the process. You won’t have to limit yourself to just a Honda CBR600RR motor either, as Vryus has plans to make a version that will accept a Yamaha R6 lump in the future.

Source: MotoBlog.it


  1. Doctor Jelly says:

    If they can pull through and offer a road legal chassis that can accept the Honda or Yama motor at that price, this will go straight to the top of my ‘somewhat within the realm of reason’ wish list!

  2. Ducman1198 says:

    Nice bike but it really amazes me how they think that the road riding public can afford € 25 000.00 = $33,990.00 U.S. dollars for a 600cc sportbike! With a global recession still going strong, unemployment at an all time high and major factories like Yamaha and Kawasaki loosing money and scaling back what makes this bike recession proof or so good that Joe public will spend that kind of money for it?

    Its like € 25 000.00 is a and great deal and is comparable to a $8500.00 R6 or $13,700.00 for a 2011 ZX10R.

    Even Ducati and MV Agusta have adapted to the lack of expendable funds from the public. The relatively inexpensive monster is Ducati’s answer at $11,900.00 or less and MV’s new inexpensive F3, not to mention Kawasaki’s top selling bike is the Ninja 250 at $3900.00.

    Personally i thinks is going to be a flop unless the racing community embraces it and they sell a lot of units and parts (seriously doubt it!). But if i had $33,990.00 to spend on a bike or bikes, i wouldn’t drop that kind of cash on a 600 no matter how innovative or cool it looks unless i was wealthy!

    I could buy a 2011 Ducati 1198S and a 2011 Yamaha R6 and still have a bit of cash left over for upgrades!

    € 25 000.00 for a 600cc sportbike is absolutely ridiculous!!!!

  3. froryde says:

    @ Ducman1198 – I don’t think they are aiming for Joe public nor someone who doesn’t have $33,990 to spend on bikes…

  4. damo says:


    I mean you can go out right now and own an RSV4 Factory for $20k USD and still have a unique and fast bike.

    Not to mention due to the recession, the used market is very attractive right now. I just scored a 2003 Aprilia RSV Mille for $3,500.

    Right now you can get a unique AND fast bike for pennies if you know where to look.

    @froryde – I think ducman was saying that he doubts even the most foolhardy spenders would waste cash on this machine. I would agree, this is very, very niche.

  5. IllN says:

    I agree with @froyde. This is a very limited production niche bike. There is no economic justification for it, nor should there be. Bench racing against the 1198R, RSV4, S1000RR, et al is pointless. As a street bike, it’s an interesting and unique toy for the few people who will be able to afford it. And I think most buyers will already have one or more of its “competitors” in their heated, multi-car garages.

    Personally, I think it’s the sexiest thing on two wheels, ultimate performance be damned.

  6. 76 says:

    How much was the first flatscreen TV? I think they were coming in around $12,000
    (The one you didnt buy)

    How much are they now? Umm the same one but better around $1000
    (The one I can almost guarantee you have in your house now)

    Thats in what 7 or 8 years (no I dont want to hear it about how its different)

    This is the first of a big change, yes it will be expensive, if its successful and competitive you bet your ass others will follow. Now 6 to 8 years from now and Honda, Yam, Kawa all making 600′s based off this how much will they be?

  7. ML says:

    I’m depressed because I checked my wallet and didn’t have that kind of money for a bike. =(

  8. Sean in Oz says:

    76: These are never going to get cheaper, they are specifically aimed at those with overflowing wallets and a need for attention.

    BTW Nobody believes this bike will ever race in Moto2 so clearly it is NOT the cheapest Moto2 option, there are plenty of much cheaper chassis that also are never going race Moto2.