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.

Stocking Stuffer: KTM Radial Roadlok

12/09/2011 @ 3:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler34 COMMENTS

Stocking Stuffer: KTM Radial Roadlok KTM Radial Roadlok 635x598

We came across this interesting item in the KTM PowerParts bin: the KTM Radial Roadlok. A fairly simple piece of machined aluminum, the Radial Roadlok is a more well-thought out brake disc lock for your KTM. Attaching directly to the caliper mounting bolts, the KTM Radial Roadlok, like its predecessors, then uses a locking pin that goes through the holes on the brake disc. Using a permanent static position, KTM says the Radial Roadlok lines up with the holes on the disc, and doesn’t allow the wheel to move at all.

Because of this arrangement, the unit eliminates the embarrassing moments when someone goes to leave a parking spot with the lock still in place, which usually results in a broken front fender at the very least (it’s like this author knows from experience exactly what occurs, right?).

A neat item and a solid stocking-stuffer, we’re still not sure what stops a thief from unbolting the unit from the fork legs, though that’s only part of the equation in dismantling the Radial Roadlok we imagine. It is still a clever idea for the street, but then there’s always the issue of unsprung mass…humpf.

Source: KTM


  1. Bruce Monighan says:

    The thought that a malfunction in the permantely mounted lock would either instantly stop my front wheel or shear off the brake rotor woudl be enough fo rme to want to avoid this accessory. I want my disk lock a long way away from my rotor when I am moving

  2. RJ says:

    That is a brilliant piece of industrial design. I doubt the device is spring loaded so the chance of it engaging while in motion is a non-issue. What is cool is that even if you remove the caliper bolts it is still attached to the disk. If it comes in a more discreet black color even better, but then that might defy the point of it getting a thief’s attention right?

    Still, very cool..

  3. Salihin says:

    Perhaps it IS spring loaded, but in the ‘ALWAYS UNLOCK’ position. Locking it would require u to press it in with the keys, but still as RJ says, the chance of it engaging while in motion is a non-issue.
    And even if a thief from unbolt the unit from the fork legs, he wouldn’t be able to ride the bike away as the unit will still be locked on the disc.

  4. Jake Fox says:

    Why would you make any modifications that would semi-permanently add more unsprung weight to your bike? I’ll pass.

  5. Luke says:

    It looks cool, but it also seems that all a thieve would need to remove the lock is an ellen wrench…
    That would not be very cool.

  6. Rob says:

    Good idea… but in practice it would not be as user friendly as your typical disc lock.
    Somehow you would have to move the bike to line up the hole.
    And why place it on the right side???

  7. Nick says:

    @ Luke.
    If a thieve would only remove the allen bolts it would still be attached to the rotor. So that won’t do the strick ;-)

  8. RJ says:

    Unsprung weight?!? Jeez, it’s like everybody is a technical guru these days. Like removing that little piece of alluminum is gonna make any sort of difference to what you feel on a motorcycle.Why not remove your turn signals for some unsprung weight? Or your handlebar weights?

    Better yet, next time you plan on going for a ride take a nice huge shit first. That should remove some unsprung AND sprung weight. Jerremy Burgess would be proud…. :)

  9. JS says:

    RJ, the fact you say remove indicators or handle bar weights shows that while everybody else is a technical guru you certainly aren’t. Have a read up on what unsprung weight means.

  10. fazer6 says:

    While RJ certainly needs to brush up on the jargon, I DO doubt that most complainers would be able to tell the difference if it was installed or not, even on the track, although you could easily remove it for track days, along with other sprung-weght items like turn signals.

  11. Corey says:

    I feel the need to chat about this guy because when I was introduced to it a while ago I thought it was and is a fantastic idea for people who are in the position of needing a lock.

    Bruce, the pin is spring loaded and is removable. You push it in, roll the bike forward a few inches and it locks in place. When you’re ready to leave, you use your key to unlock and remove the pin and stow it till next use. That way there is no chance of it going off while you’re riding.

    Rob, I think it’s quite a bit easier than a typical disk lock and a HUGE advantage is it’s virtually impossible to move the bike thus keeping those of us who aren’t as smart from riding about a foot then coming to a complete and damaging halt. Plus, since the removable locking pin is spring loaded, you just push it in and move the bike a few inches and you’re locked.

    Their site has a quite a bit of useful info although some of the marketing work in their videos is a little silly. I think KTMs got a good idea partnering with these guys. Do wish it was black though.

  12. 76 says:

    Unsprung front wheel weight concerns? I would be more concerned on why your worrying about something like that on the street jonny turbo.

    As for the “Malfunction” experts, your caliper will be running a much tighter clearance to your rotor so as for something a problem it will be your actual caliper not the locking mount. As stated previously, the pin is removed so there is no chance of it unlocking and instantly locking your front wheel.

    Cheers to KTM for bringing accessories that are actually worthy of my money

  13. jackie says:

    Very pretty, and a smart idea.

    I’d pay 100+ buck for it, maybe 200 if I was feeling flush, but 300+ dollars? Ouch!

  14. Bruce Monighan says:

    Cory, thanks that would resolve my concerns i.e. having that pin in my pocket. Certainly a lot ligher and more compact to carry around than a lock

  15. Nick says:

    As someone who has been a very satisfied owner of this product for the past year I feel as though I should point out that virtually every concern being brought up in these comments are in fact not issues at all.

    As a couple people have pointed out, you carry the locking pin while you’re riding so there is no way for the lock to engage and send you flying over your handle bars. Also the amount you have to move the bike to engage the lock when parking is often less than an inch… After doing that a couple times it just became habit and I dont even notice anymore. Hardly much effort for knowing my bike isn’t going to move another inch while I’m gone.

    Anyone who thinks the lock could be defeated by removing the bolts obviously hasn’t stopped to consider that if a non-thief sitting at a computer could figure it out then how would they even be in business? Geico offers an insurance discount for using this thing… I’m pretty sure if you could beat it with a wrench they probably wouldn’t have that policy

    Oh also they do offer it in black… Mine is black. It’s right on their website

    All in all an awesome product

  16. Doug says:

    thanks Nick.
    what about an optional model that would have the caliper mounts as a pin and lock setup too which would allow quick install/removal? The unsprung weight gripe would be addressed as long as you have a place to put it in/on the bike or backpack

  17. BikePilot says:

    Just what I always wanted, more unsprung weight!

  18. MikeD says:

    Better yet, next time you plan on going for a ride take a nice huge shit first. That should remove some unsprung AND sprung weight. Jerremy Burgess would be proud…. :)

    @ RJ:

    ROTFL…priceless Dude…priceless.

  19. MikeD says:

    @Nick and Corey:

    Thanks for clearing things up.

  20. rsv says:

    for all these worries about un sprung weight, i hope no one on here ever carries anything in one pocket and doesnt compensate for it in the other. the thing weighs less than a pound!! none of you have a clue what your talking about. have it. love it. smartest $ ive spent and lord knows ive spent alot more on ALOT MORE useless junk

  21. RJ says:

    @JS and fazer6 : I was poking fun at the previous poster ( Mr. Fox ) not knowing what unsprung weight was. I guess my sarcasm didn’t come through strongly enough. Seeing as the only bit of “unsprung weight” on the bike are the wheels, tires, and brake discs, both of which are not gaining any weight from a disk lock bolted to the fork legs, I therefore made the commentary… It’s all in good fun though people.

    But in the interest of informing those that don’t know:

    Unsprung Weight simply means any component (in this case, on a motorcycle) whose weight isn’t being directly supported by the suspension system. In the case of the motorcycle it will be the wheels, brake discs, and tires.

    Sprung Weight is all the components whose weight IS supported by the suspension system. So, um, everything else then… Including you, the rider!

  22. Brian says:

    @RJ: Actually, you’re not quite right. The bottom of the fork leg, brake caliper and anything you bolt to it (which would include the front fender and this new disc lock) are also unsprung weight because it is below the action of the suspension. Anything mounted to the outer fork tubes would be sprung weight because it is above the action of the suspension.

    Whether you’d actually feel this bolt-on disc lock is hard to say but it would be added unsprung weight.

  23. RJ says:

    But couldn’t one argue that as they are acted upon the suspension in the rebound stroke (opposite direction) they are also sprung in a sense? That’s what I’ve always thought anyways, cause it was the way it was explained to me by an ex-WSBK race mechanic…

    I’m always interested in learning more though.

  24. RJ says:

    Now thinking about it, then so are the wheels, discs and tires right? Guess I just didn’t fully understand what the guy was telling me…

  25. Brian says:

    @RJ, easiest way to look at it is this; Will the motion of the part in question follow the surface of the road or will its motion be altered by the suspension? If it follows the road then it is unsprung, if its motion is affected by the suspension then it is sprung.
    The rotating assembly (wheel, tire, rotor), brake calipers and front fender move up and down with bumps and dips in the road so they are unsprung.
    The handlebars, engine and rider however do not follow the road surface perfectly because their motion is affected by the suspension so they are sprung mass.

    Also, some people get confused between rotating mass and unsprung mass but they’re not synonyms.

  26. RJ says:

    What about the tires independent motion in relation to carcass movement under load? The air pressure acts like a damper between components, right? Seems that all definitions are based on the components working under a strict parameter. Does a half a hardtail cruiser’s frame act as unsprung weight because it’s got no rear suspension? Again, seems the parameters dictate what is actually sprung or unsprung, no?

  27. bikepilot says:

    Wow, we need a basic remedial physics lesson here if folks think stuff in your pockets and GI tract is unsprung, oh dear. Some things should be obvious enough not to need explanation.

  28. Brian says:

    Teachers hated you in school didn’t they RJ?

    The reason we even have the distinction between sprung and unsprung weight is the because of the difference each type of mass has on your bikes suspension. The reason we want as little unsprung weight as possible is because it is far more detrimental to the motorcycles handling characteristics than sprung weight is.
    Don’t ask cause I’m not going to explain the differences between them.
    Generally speaking, guys that ride hard-tail motorcycles have very little concern for handling (for obvious reasons) and the distinction is irrelevant.

    If you want to know more about suspension and motorcycle physics, read a book.

  29. Nick says:

    With regard to unsprung weight – Aprilia test riders didn’t seem to notice.


    Looks like KTM and Aprilia both tested this part on the track…

  30. RJ says:

    No teachers didn’t hate me Brian, in fact quite the opposite. I’m asking because you seem to think yourself an expert on the subject, so then your large brain shouldn’t mind answering a few questions, right? I think it’s funny how a sarcastic comment made in good fun always ruffles all the internet geniuses feather’s…

    I know that hard-tail cruiser riders don’t bother much which comfort, but that’s not the question I asked you, is it?

    It was all just in good discussion though so don’t even worry about it, cause no one is forcing you to answer anything. If I wanted to learn more about the subject I sure as hell wouldn’t rely on a faceless poster on an internet forum. Though may I suggest that if you want to learn how not to be a douche, there are books on that too that you could read up on….

  31. Brian says:

    Sorry if you thought I was being rude RJ, I guess I should have winked “;-)” after I joked about teachers hating you?
    Whenever I find someone that knows about a subject I’m interested in, I ask them questions too. I am not, nor was I ever mad at you for asking questions.
    I suggest reading a book on the subject as I believe this forum is more designed for people to discuss specific topics, i.e. this trick little disc lock from KTM.

    As for your question about a hardtail, again, it is irrelevant because there is no suspension for the sprung/unsprung mass to react upon which is the only reason we would distinguish between the two. Since there is no rear suspension in a hardtail it would just be mass rather than sprung or unsprung mass. Hope that makes sense.

    I’ve no intention of getting into a name calling match with you here so this will be my last post on the subject. Good luck.

  32. dave says:

    I’m confused. If I take a poop and empty my pockets before going for a ride, then this disk lock won’t get caught in the wheel? Did I read this right?


  33. Mike Bradley says:

    Two comments:

    One, there’s a company that makes this kind of lock for most any bike. They’re expensive–two or three hundred bucks.

    Two, locking the front wheel isn’t sensible, anyway. Locking the back is far more effective. Front-locked, two or three guys can pick up the front of the bike and wheel it away on the back tire. Back-locked, it would take more guys and they would have to wheel it with the front wheel cocked, which would be terrifically hard to do.

  34. James says:

    Mike either way someone can throw any locked wheel onto a dolly or some other rolling device if they want to roll the bike away, but that’s not really the point. Its a successful deterrent to your typical thief, and eliminates the possibility of hurting yourself or your bike if you forget it, and the little pin seems a lot easier to carry around than a big chain or even a regular disc lock. Also just a note it looks like the roadlok website has these for 25% off til the end of the year…