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.

Listen to Attack Kawasaki’s Crossplane CRT Bike

02/01/2013 @ 10:52 am, by Jensen Beeler36 COMMENTS

Listen to Attack Kawasakis Crossplane CRT Bike crossplane crankshaft 635x385

The 2013 MotoGP Championship season is rapidly approaching us, and while many of the teams are now making their way to Sepang, Malaysia for their first test since the winter ban period, Attack Kawasaki and rider Blake Young were out in the California desert, putting laps in on Rich Stanboli’s new crossplane-enginged Kawasaki CRT bike at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.

Only time will tell on how Attack’s racing package performs at its three MotoGP wildcard events (Austin, Laguna Seca, and Indianapolis), but so far the project is music to our ears. The only Kawasaki with a crossplane crankshaft that we can think of, enjoy the video posted by RM Racing after the jump. And remember, it’s Friday, so no one at work would judge you if you bumped up the speakers.

Source: RM Racing (Facebook)


  1. Ken C. says:

    That’s pretty cool. It should be interesting to see what Blake Young can do on this thing.

  2. ivanlo says:

    fantastic. can’t wait to see Blake in action in Austin!

  3. BBQdog says:

    Went to the Assen TT this year and I love the sound of the Yamaha.
    At low rev’s it is very nice and deep. The sound of the RC213V was really
    dirty and hurts the ears. The Ducati also sounded nice but a bit sluggish.

  4. Afletra says:

    “Listen” to Attack Kawasaki’s Crossplane CRT Bike…
    Pardon me, is crossplane crankshaft most notable by it’s (unique) sound?

  5. Afletra, a crossplane cranked four-cylinder does make a unique sound, when compared to standard bike. The real benefit though is smoother power delivery and decreased fuel-economy.

  6. Laurençio says:

    I’m rooting for these guys. More wildcards please!

  7. DeezToolz says:

    I got judged…. :-(

    Silly coworkers don’t know what they’re missing out on!

  8. Edward K says:

    Sounds great… But I thought CRT bikes were to use production based engines in prototype chassis?… What production Kawasaki has a crossplane crank?


  9. mikelew65 says:

    @Edward K “Production based” is the catch-all used to allow bikes with various and cheaper production parts, i.e. cases, but still allow heavy mods such as a crossplane cranks. This was to address the Harris-WCM problem from a few years ago when what was essentially a prototype bike (and a quick one at that) was DQ’d because it had production cases and other minor bits. So CRT, unlike say WSBK, can make pretty heavy mods legally. At least that’s my understanding.

  10. Jon says:


    “smoother power delivery and decreased fuel-economy…..”

    Isn’t decreased fuel economy a bad thing ;)

  11. So Jon, I guess you see what I did there… ;)

  12. Mr. X says:

    Yes, Jensen, it is Friday. I know this to be true because every Friday I crank up that wonderful Friday song from Youtube to torture my employees.

  13. You’re a bad man Mr. X.

  14. Edward, ZX-10R motor with a modified crank. All perfectly legal according to the rules.

  15. jet057 says:

    Oh,,what was that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,An earthquake or my wALLS JUST SHUTTERING FROM THAT BAD-ASS KAWI………..LOL,,,,Its friday beotches,,,,,,,,,,,feeling good cause were riding tomorrow,,,,,,,,oh yeah..

  16. Matty says:

    You have the wrong crank in that picture…….. Seriously.

  17. CTK says:

    I don’t think this is a crossplane. Call me crazy, but it sounds like a parallel twin. Given the ZX-RR Big Bang of 2005, and the link back to Kawi’s parallel twin bikes, it makes a lot of sense. Pulling off, it sounded a LOT like the hollow ATV like gurgle of my Ninja 650R, and really nothing like the V8 burble of a V4 or the crossplane R1. Interesting choice Kawi, VERY interesting. Still hoping for the return of the ZX-RR

  18. Matty, that’s the correct photo, and it’s from Yamaha.

  19. Dc4go says:

    Crossplain have un even firing order causing pulses in engine power thus increasing traction and a smoother power delivery. A virtual V engine in an inline format. Attack made the crank cause Kawi doesn’t currently make one.

  20. Dr. Gellar says:

    I really hope these guys do well this year. If Blake Young can ride that machine anything like he rode the Yoshimura Suzuki at Road Atlanta this last season, he may surprise a few people.

  21. Vince says:

    Didn’t Kawasaki have a big bang inline four in 2009 that Marco Melandri rode ( to one podium) in MotoGP?Kawasaki actually pulled out of MotoGP and stopped develpoment but Hayate ran the the one bike team. It sounded like the Yamaha M1.

  22. Paulo says:

    Sounds ALMOST as sweet as an R1………just almost :)

  23. BBQdog says:

    @Matty: I don’t think this is a crossplane

    That’s what I thought too ….

  24. BBQdog says:


    “Crossplane cranks can be combined with big-bang firing order for improved power delivery.”

    So a crossplane crank hasn’t to be bigbang ….

  25. Slow Rider says:

    Cool! Good luck for them!

  26. Jim Race says:

    “The real benefit though is smoother power delivery and decreased fuel-economy.”

    Jensen? ;)

  27. Faust says:

    I think Jim is trying to say that “decreased fuel-economy” is not a benefit.

  28. And I’m trying to say it’s this crazy thing called humor, tongue-in-cheek style.

  29. Craig says:

    Interesting that someone builds their own Cross plain these days when 5 years ago it was not a conceived idea for production and barely race bikes…

    Should be interesting for sure… :)

  30. ScreaminBigBang says:

    hummm…. so it’s better to build a ZX10 with a custom crossplane crank than it is to modify an existing +09 R1 engine to be competitive as a CRT engine?

    Without it being race proved the idea in itself is awesome and hopefully inspiring to the other CRT teams to think outside the box a little bit. :)

    If it works decent I’m sure Colin Edwards II will be the first in line to buy one for his Kawi-FTR. :)

  31. moto4 says:

    BBQ- a cross plane crank will, by definition be a big bang engine…surely??