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.

The Mega Recall Continues: Ducati 1199 Panigale

08/22/2012 @ 2:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

The Mega Recall Continues: Ducati 1199 Panigale ducati 1199 panigale crop black 635x444

Five recalls in one week, six recalls since its US debut earlier this year…it’s good to know what they say about first-generation Italian motorcycles is still applicable. That’s right folks, the sport bike of 2012 just got two more recall notices today with the NHTSA, just days after three recalls were filed in rapid succession for Ducati 1199 Panigale owners. Again affecting 2,411 units, Ducati’s latest two recalls concern the Panigale’s front-brake master cylinder reservoir hose and swingarm shaft pivot points.

Per S.O.P., Ducati will contact affected owners, and authorized Ducati dealers will remedy the problems free of charge. There is no timeline for the recalls at this point in time, though concerned Panigale owners can contact Ducati at 1-800-231-6696 (reference Ducati recall #RCL-12-006). As always the NHTSA is available at 1-888-327-4236 and safercar.gov. The two additional recalls are listed after the jump, along with the appropriate NHTSA-issued recall number for your referencing.

Recall #1 : Front-brake master cylinder reservoir hose (12V402000):

“The front brake master cylinder reservoir hose might interfere with the threading end of the reservoir of the retaining screw causing damage to the hose, which could lead to a front brake system failure, increasing the risk of a crash.”

Recall #2 : Steering head threads (12V401000):

“The swingarm shaft pivots can loosen from the swingarm which can lead to loss of control of the motorcycle, increasing the risk of personal injury.”

Source: NHTSA (#1 & #2)


  1. MikeD says:

    I feel bad for the proud/loaded owners that drop’d all that coin for a serving of Pheasant and now are getting Crow… (^_^)

    Hating aside…this is nothing…if they say failing conecting rod or it’s bearing i would be throwing a fit…lol.

  2. Spamtasticus says:

    “The swingarm shaft pivots can loosen from the swingarm which can lead to loss of control of the motorcycle, increasing the risk of personal injury.”

    What delicious doublespeak. Let me translate to plain english:

    The large bolt that holds your swingarm on can come off wich would split the bike in two making it more likely that you be screwed and in much pain.

  3. Rob says:

    Technically these last 5 items were all filed under one recall notice. Not that it makes
    It better understandably, but they’re all minor items.

    The swingarm bolt issue was also much less severe than originally thought, however the risk if
    One were to break certainly wasn’t worth it. Having seen some of
    The affected bolts personally, it’s nothing more
    Than some bending. The bolts were not
    In a position where they could even break or come out.

  4. Bob says:

    So real world people do some stoppies and the swingarm bolt bends. This kept happening to my nephew’s R6, he was always asking me to fix his rear wheel bearing, he was on the heavy side. I told him to focus on riding more…

  5. TimM says:

    Geez Ducati! Reminds me of software. The first consumers to buy a new version get to do the last stages of de-bugging.

  6. MikeD says:


    Isn’t it THAT way now a days with ALMOST everything ! ? LOL

  7. Bryan Niese says:

    I really like Ducati as a company and have considered them for my next bike, but no amount of creative marketing or customer relations can make it worth owning a bike that you can’t count on to work. With all of their recent influx of money they shouldn’t continue to have these issues.

  8. mxs says:

    Holy crap, I thought I would never see anything like that. What’s next a piston change required notice?

  9. chris says:

    it has two short pivot shafts now, not one long bolt.

  10. ML says:

    Where’s the link to the picture that says, “Ducati: making mechanics out of riders since 1945.”

  11. SBPilot says:

    I recall (pun not intended) someone commenting here about something about the S1000RR having one or two recalls and hence it being bad bike and out of the question for purchasing. So what does that make the 1199…..

  12. Marshall says:

    Nothing new in the motorcycling world here. Some of the commenters here would have gone bonkers if they’d bought one of the first Aprilia V4s which had conn rod problems.

  13. SinoSoul says:

    8 recalls in 1st year. Ducs, they suck. RT @Asphalt_Rubber Mega Recall Continues: Ducati 1199 Panigale – http://t.co/rTEOsmsI

  14. Westward says:

    And that is why I never buy the first release of any new technology…

    Though I might have to brake that rule on an upcoming camera…

  15. Damo says:

    I personally never buy the first model of anything, with the possible exception of it be a derivative of an existing model (Streetfighter 848, Honda CB10000R, etc)

    I am surprised something critical like a swing-arm bolt and brake master cylinder got missed though. So far everything seems like relatively quick fixes.

    When your gas tank starts expanding and engine internals start failing that is a bit trickier. The first generation aprilia RSV4 was a nightmare. I am sure the Panigale is going to have similar growing pains.

  16. smiler says:

    Lets translate this into English……..

    personal injury – lawyer looking to make money for clients trying to make a fast buck with no attention paid as to whether the person actually suffered at all and 100 % focus on transferring blame for ineptitude to someone else. The Jack Daniels case springs to mind, Henry Wolf, the list is long.

    The large bolt that holds your swingarm on can come off wich would split the bike in two making it more likely that you be screwed and in much pain.

    If you ride the bike like a moron, with sports shoes furry helmet, t shirt and shorts as seen on 1000′s of youtube vids. When you sit on the tank going down the highway and do a stoppy then as all the weight is on the front and you slam the back down repeatedly as well as doing mile long wheelies. It may possibly in a rare event cause an issue, which some scumbag lawyer will get a case for and try to win an unjustified award for the moron client.

    Road safety and quality recalls that have nothing to do with safety and safety recalls but a great deal to do with commercial lawyers.

    “This kept happening to my nephew’s R6, he was always asking me to fix his rear wheel bearing, he was on the heavy side”.

    This makes for interesting reading….

    The latest Ducati recall b4 the Panigale was in 2006. With none for the 1098, 1198 and 848. The Panigale is clearly the most complex sportsbike on the market today as well.

    As for Ducati’s being more unreliable than other bikes. I am now on my third (after a CBR 600 and Fireblade). Tracked and thrashed each one and the only issues I have had are a broken starter motor and a flywheel bolt that came loose.
    Most Ducati riders are mechanics because they do not treat their bikes like a commodity but something to cherish.

    What are bridges for, so Harley owners can repair their bikes out of the sun.
    Pot kettle black….!
    Rant over normal service restored.

  17. Damo says:


    You are making several assumptions without having any facts. No where in the recall does Ducati say that these problems can only happen when you ride the like a “squid”. If they were only worried about people doing stoppies and extremely odd riding situation they wouldn’t have issued the recall. The statements you are making are born of emotion and not facts. (Note:Ducati had two recalls just last year for the Diavel just to set the record straight.)

    I am not dogging Ducati, but much like when aprilia brought the RSV4 to market. It was a technical marvel (and still is), but it had some growing pains. These things happen. Also you can’t argue that pre-1098 era Ducatis weren’t “maintenance intensive” to say the least.

    Hell I saw the aftermath of a local squid that snapped his front forks doing a stoppie on a Honda 954, which is arguably the most rock solid liter bike of all time. THAT was due to over-riding not a factory defect, this is something else entirely.

  18. JTB says:

    Gee’z all the talk of them crappy bikes. Go to safercar.gov and look up just about any model from Japan bikes or cars and you will see that no one is mistake free. The biggest difference in recalls is being proactive and doing a voluntary recall rather than waiting for NHTSA to make it mandatory.

  19. John says:

    These all seem like pretty minimal issues compared to the con rod bolt recall on the 2012 S1000RR’s. That bike has been around for a few years now, and the recall repair requires splitting the engine case…

  20. Gary says:

    Alas, still no recall for repulsive appearence…

  21. MikeD says:



  22. Weeble says:

    My 2006 r6 had 2 recalls but I will never buy a first year bike cuzz of it, second or third year for my now

  23. Nikt says:

    I love to read all these “wanna have, but I can’t afford it”…makes me feel even happier when I stop at the traffic light and think these people are green with envy

  24. Luc says:

    In my opinion, I would rather have a company recall and fix the problem vice having them hide the problem and wait for people to get hurt. I owned many bike from V-Stars to Haley’s to Suzuki and now a Ducati 1098, all of which had recalls. Let me tell you that the worst to deal with was Suzuki, and the best was Ducati and Harley. Someone said that if you put $30000 on a bike, you will spend more on servicing. This statement is true as you will treat that bike like a gem. Owning a Ducati is like having a Lamborghini in the garage. I also use my Ducati for track days and the bike performs without a flaw, try this with any production cars.

  25. mk says:

    My 20 year old son was recently killed on his 2012 Ducati Panigale 1199 S ABS. He was traveling in under 35 mph immediately before the accident. I purchased his bike for him in August of this year, after being told how this was the safest bike in the world because of all of the safety technology Incorporated into it. When I wasn’t told however, was at an Ducati’s efforts to reduce weight and hence increase the speed of the bike, that safety was seriously compromised. It is because of these compromises, that my son is no longer here.

    It is tremendously unfortunate, that Ducati chose to bring this bike to the stream of commerce before thoroughly testing it to ascertain what safety problems would manifest in its everyday use. Ducati was fully aware that this bike was going to be driven on US streets and highways, where they take an extra efforts to make it a street legal bike. My son was not going to race this bike, but wanted it because of the sophisticated electronics, traction control, ABS braking and other features that were marketed is making this bike the most technologically safe bike ever produced. This of course, is untrue as manifested by the significant number of safety recalls that of the mandated by the NHTSA. It certainly would seem prudent, for Ducati to addressed all of these compromised issues before putting this bike into the stream of commerce for people to ride.

    Despite the slow speed of operation immediately prior to my son hitting a utility pole, because of bike was built with handlebars that have the strength papier-mâché, my son was unable to ride the bike down to the ground, because the handlebars, snapped off causing his body to propel forward beyond the bike, causing him to have contact with the Pole. Inspection of the bike manifests that the single bolt that held the sophisticated electronic suspension system onto the bike, had broken clean off as if the bolt had been prefabricated to snap at that point.

    The parts of the motorcycle, but we were told were made of carbon fiber, or actually fiberglass or plastic. To place a driver in a position of such compromise to save literally single grams of weight, so that you could obtain higher performance with the same motor, is unconscionable. Were this vehicle was being driven on US roads and highways, and did not have the tent style strength to stand up and impact that would have been easily written out safely had the handlebars not snapped off like pieces of dry spaghetti.

    Is is immensely troubling that this bike is not the engineering marvel that has been proffered to be by Ducati, as clearly demonstrated by the numerous safety recalls. I am confident, there will be several subsequent recalls addressing other issues that Ducati and its dealers will tell its customers are minor issues that need to be addressed. If you own one of these motorcycles, please be sure to have all of the recalls preformed before you use the bike. The so-called minor items that are being recalled, if unaddressed, may very well cost you your life.

    Incidentally, my son was an experience motorcyclist who may have enjoyed a bike that was fast, but would always drive safely, never recklessly.