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.

More Photos of the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848

06/15/2012 @ 8:44 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

More Photos of the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 02 635x440

Last month, we brought you a photo of what we believed to the new Ducati Hypermotard 848. There was a bit of chatter after the photo hit the internets, as some believed the bike to be akin to the Multistrada line. While the telemetry rack on the bike of the machine, and its side-mounted GP-style exhaust followed the design ethos of the Multistrada 1200, the bike’s seat, mud gaurd, and overall aesthetic were reminiscent of the current Hypermotard.

Seemingly confirming our suspicions, these photos of the likely 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 add further credence to our Hypermotard line of reasoning — especially with the front of the motorcycle being seen more clearly. Expected to have a detuned lump from the Ducati Superbike 848 EVO, photos of the liquid-cooled middleweight create more questions about the machine than they do answers.

More Photos of the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 01 635x601

There seems ample evidence to believe that Ducati is set to revamp the entire Hypermotard line, or at least consolidate it down to a single model. Radically changing the design of one bike in the model, especially when it is not the top-range model, lends itself to the belief that a reworking of the bike’s lines is set to be unveiled later this year.

The real coup de grâce though is the inclusion of a water-cooler motor to the previously air-cooled model, which likely would not be able to co-exist with any of the air-cooled Hypermotard models.

With the clock ticking on air-cooled bikes in general, Ducati has slowly be phasing out its DS models — favoring instead to use variations of its water-cooler superbike motor. Expected to be the case here, what will be interesting is to see how Ducati positions the new Hypermotard 848 against its current line.

One possible explanation is that Ducati intends to keep its very popular Multistrada line-up as is, while the decisively less-popular Hypermotard line will consolidate into a single model, and serve as the smaller-displacement option to the MTS1200, with a more street-savvy mantra. This of course runs afoul of the new Ducati Streetfighter 848, which makes the whole concept very interesting in a “I can’t wait to see this train wreck” sense of the word.

Source: Ducati.ms


  1. Cristovao Morgado says:

    Hummm but a 848 with ohlins… I’d bet it’s a 1200cc

  2. joe says:

    Probably a lot of 1198 motors they need to get rid of?

  3. Mmm…looks like Marzocchi front to me, and likely a Sachs rear. Gone are the days when a yellow spring meant Öhlins underneath.

  4. AK says:

    hope they make bigger gas tank at least 5 gal.

  5. Rob says:

    I’d much prefer the 1100 air cooled variants of bikes like the Hypermotard and Monster. Sure the S4RS was cool, but the air cooled stuff has way more patina and ‘cool’ than the watercooled. I feel they’re changing with the times, when it may be better not to, and have that niche.

  6. Bryan Niese says:

    I’m confused about what Ducati is planning for their water cooled middle-weights. They are putting the 848 engine in new models (streetfighter and now this) but at they same time they are looking to replace the original 848evo itself. Ducati is usually trying to consolidate it’s line to fewer engines for easier inventory management in the factory. Assuming that the 848evo’s replacement will have a new engine that just adds another to a line that already has the 848, 1198, and 1199 in various configurations. Why are they using the engine from a model that seems slated for replacement?

  7. David says:

    Next “must have” Ducati accessory -> fanny pack

  8. John says:

    Would a Hypermotard 848 and Streetfighter 848 really be different enough to justify two separate models? I’m not familiar with the Hyper’s chassis; is it significantly different from the Streetfigher?

  9. Russell says:

    I believe the different ergonomics justify having both the new Hypermotard 848 and the Streetfighter 848.
    Very excited to see a new Hypermotard. The current Hyper is just plain unattractive in my opinion… I honestly believe this class of bike is ideal for having fun around town and on the back roads.

  10. Westward says:

    I don’t think its a Hypermotard at all. Ducati has the 796, it makes little sense for an 848 model. I think it’s an 848 Multistrada in disguised.

    The rear spring and shock is at an angle consistent with the Mutistrada design opposed to the vertical positioning of the Hypermotard…

  11. Daniel Croft says:

    If, as people suspect, motorcycle manufacturers are moving away from air cooled motors in order to satisfy emissions requirements then the model that’s really under threat from the SF848 is the monster range. The HM is nothing like the SF.

  12. Damo says:

    A 848 EVO Motor hypermotard with 15,000 mile adjustment intervals? That would be awesome as long as they keep the weight down. If they turn the mid range so it will behave better on crappy roads than the street fighter that would be awesome. It even looks like you could fit someone on the pillion, which is a no-go for the street fighter.

    When I crashed my aprilia a few months ago, I went and looked at the 796 Hyper Motard, a 1050 Speed Triple, a 2012 Fireblade and the KTM RC8R. I liked the RC8R the best, but wasn’t in the mood to drop $16k. Oddly enough I liked that little 796 Motard almost as much. I would have bought it, but a local dealer got in a low mileage mint condition 2005 RC51 Sp2, so I bought that for short money instead.

    If they come out with a 848 Liquid Cooled Motard for a price lower than the streetfighter, this could be my new “do anything” bike of choice, especially if it doesn’t have any poofy traction control.

  13. 1198freak says:

    I had a Hypermotard 1100 and it was a great bike. I’m not so sure about this new bike, because the Hyper is a fun bike for any speed between 25 to 85 mph, but it’s not much fun any faster than that as it can get twitchy and the windblast gets tiring.. The air cooled DS1100 engines were great because of the low end torque they delivered, and they wouldn’t rev past 8K. That was okay, as it was keeping in character with the 25 to 85 mph philosophy. But the 848′s motor wants to rev and rev and go faster and faster, not sure how well that will go over with a bike like the Hypermpotard.

  14. Baptistro says:

    What I want to know is where I can get one of those fanny packs.

  15. Bryan Niese says:

    Yeah he may be wearing a fanny pack but that guy still has my dream job! Ducati test rider, seriously how do you even get that job?

  16. MikeD says:

    Before doing anything “new” they should address the real problem at hand:


    And this right here, http://motowheels.com/i-6922470-over-sized-hypermotard-fuel-tank-kit.html

    is not the solution, UNLESS you are are ROLLING ON MONEY.

    Or even better, concentrate on something different, more of a cash cow…like what u may ask ?
    Hell, i don’t know…but something else. (^_^)

  17. Ian says:

    Looks like a dorsoduro 1200!