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.

A Better Look at the Ducati Mega Monster

07/21/2010 @ 1:47 pm, by Jensen Beeler37 COMMENTS

A Better Look at the Ducati Mega Monster Ducati Mega Monster power cruiser side shot 560x329

Italian news site MotoSprint has stumbled upon perhaps the best photo yet of the new Ducati power cruiser, which has been dubbed the “Mega Monster”. From the side we can get a better glimpse on the bike’s overall lines and stature, which at leasts makes us more comfortable with how the bike’s final aesthetic will come to be. Love it or hate it? Let us know in the comments.

Source: MotoSprint via Ducati News Today

Comment:

  1. Cru Jones says:

    I just threw up in my mouth.

  2. @Reyzie says:

    It’s probably better than other long wheel-based, heavy motorcycles… Not my cup of tea though.

  3. Odie says:

    Kinda has a Buell look to it.

  4. Sean Mitchell says:

    When will I wake up from this nightmare?

  5. Michael says:

    I think it is great to see them branching out. It seems to mirror some of the lines of the V-rod.

  6. Ed Gray says:

    Power cruser wise it’s not too bad. My biggest gripe is the rads on the side. But what are you going to do?

  7. Joe Show says:

    Looks like a catfish from the bayou!

  8. CBR600RR 09 says:

    I am a Super Sport rider but I absolutely LOVE that! And I predominantly HATE cruisers!

  9. Jumpr says:

    The only way this will be cool is if it has the Desmosedeci engine…

  10. wayne says:

    Aside from the relatively comfy looking ergos I can’t see one redeeming quality in this bike. The entire thing looks at odds with itself; as if it were cobbled together from all the left over bits not used on their other development projects. There is no flow or cohesive, singular theme to the design and no amount of sexy red paint is going to cover that amount of ugly.

  11. bruske says:

    It’s a good thing for the people that want the sport bike ride and the cruiser feel. All the others of it’s type don’t handle for crap and only have limited power. And yes I do know and it has prevented me from owning them. We all know Ducati knows how to make a twin unlike the other guys and will have a six speed unlike the other guys.

  12. A Better Look at the Ducati Mega Monster – http://aspha.lt/16t #motorcycle

  13. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: A Better Look at the Ducati Mega Monster – http://aspha.lt/16t #motorcycle

  14. rossisucks says:

    you guys are sick, that’s one hot ride, cant wait to see the final look :)

  15. Jesper says:

    This is a mistake … The person riding it must be paid really well to be seen in public on such an ugly motorcycle?!? I Don’t like it.

  16. janabetis says:

    I am not into long, heavy, muscle bikes.. but if it corners like a Ducati.. then I’d love to take it for a ride!

  17. JT says:

    hmm u are already mocking a bike which is barely complete…
    im sure there is much more than meets the eye people
    give ducati a break… think that everyone was thinking the same thing when they saw the streetfighter!
    anyway this too has the streetfighter bottom panel look to it… im sure there will be much mroe bling on the mega monster but have to say.. it aint looking half bad.. a mix of a cruiser/streetfighter beast me thinks!

  18. Bill Smith says:

    Urgent message to Ducati: B-King was a total failure and the V-Max is an overpriced project bike form Yamaha – a mistake Yamaha won’t make again in the US market (at least not without another division head replacement).

    There are two major motorcycle categories in the US – Sport Bikes and Cruisers. Design, develop and manufacture one or the other for the US market.

  19. One Who Knows says:

    “There are two major motorcycle categories in the US – Sport Bikes and Cruisers. Design, develop and manufacture one or the other for the US market”

    and yet Ducati’s best selling bike over the last 20 years is the Monster, which is neither.

    This bike isn’t my type, I ride a Multistrada and what I’d like to see next is a 350 lb Hypermotard… but I predict that Ducati will sell a bunch of them.

  20. Sean Mitchell says:

    Monster is a sport bike. It’s naked, air cooled, but sport ergos and handling.

    For those of you thinking this will handle “like a Ducati”, it doesn’t matter what the badge says if the rear tire is over 200 and the wheelbase is 10 feet.

  21. mxs says:

    ****
    This bike isn’t my type, I ride a Multistrada and what I’d like to see next is a 350 lb Hypermotard… but I predict that Ducati will sell a bunch of them.
    ****

    They already have Hyper 796 which is close to it. Getting lighter means it has to be more based on a dirt bike and significantly smaller engine ….

  22. Joe R says:

    I think i like it. I Wanna Ride it.

  23. Bill Smith says:

    And I would place the Monster, FZ1, Z1000 in the “just a bit more comfortable” sport bike category. All of which sell far better in Euro than here in the US. But all great products (I’ve owned two FZ1s)!

  24. buellracerx says:

    I agree with JT and rossisucks. except for your name, rossisucks. of course.

    come on guys, why are we discussing aesthetics of what is most likely an ENGINEERING PROTOTYPE meant for TEST PURPOSES? Take this pic w/ a grain of salt…

    then again, sitting around like sheep and agreeing w/ one another (and the author) is fun, too…lol

  25. Jake318 says:

    I dont Know if there is more than One prototype but in other pics ive seen this new Duc looked awful . In this side photo though it looks good .

  26. Ray says:

    Not bad. Will be good to see it fully finished out. I’m sure it’ll have more power than the other power cruisers–and better brakes, better handling, be lighter and with that single-sided swingarm, it’ll be sexier.

  27. irksome says:

    At 52, I think about getting something a little more sedate than my Speed Triple… but this ain’t it. I’m still inclined towards a Thunderbird or a Rocket III Roadster.

    But not for a few years yet… I ain’t DEAD, y’know?

    But I just LOVE the camo spots on the mufflers… will that be standard?

  28. Aptimus Prime says:

    I hate this bike b/c it is so blatantly outside their area of expertise and their brand identity. Ducati aren’t branching out, they are making a greedy lunge at a giant pile of gold in the form of the US cruiser market. Their making themselves look foolish in the process.

    If they had taken the 1100 Desmodue and built a flattrack sport-cruiser with a beautiful SSS, what is Harley’s response to that? The Ducati would have more power from less displacement, and it would weigh about 200lbs less than the XR1200. What could Harley do but cry and hope that their brand identity and their signature sound is enough to make the new Duc fail.

    You don’t attack your opponent’s strength with your weakness. You attack their weakness with your strength.

  29. Wow what next? says:

    Christ it looks like a Harley V-Rod and they are a piece of crap and do not sell. Even the loud pipes save lives Harely fags think the V-rod is girlie bike. Yamaha and Kawasaki already have bikes like this in the V-Max and B-King. They do not sell enough units to make them worth producing so why this ugly thing?

  30. ML says:

    Going by some of the comments posted (on this site and others); do you guys even realize this is a development bike and not the final production bike? In other words, its not finished yet! At least wait for the production version before making your final judgement.

    …and yeah, I know many don’t like the overall concept so it won’t matter if the bike looks ‘good’ once finished.

  31. Marc says:

    For what it is, it looks good. It has an attractive profile and stance, and I’m sure will be more sporting and rideable than the direct competition (V-Rod, B-King, VMax). Can’t blame Ducati for going after a customer that is looking for a portable penis extender… they’ll pay piles of cash to try to pick up tube-topped girls 20 years their junior. As long as the other models continue deliver on the brand promise, I don’t see much risk to their cache.

  32. wayne says:

    @ML and JT: Yes, I understand what we are seeing here. I understand this is not the ‘final’ version. I understand they purposely hit it over and over with the ugly stick (i.e. the sketchy paint on the tank and exhaust) to keep us from forming a proper picture of the bike. Keeping all that in mind, I must still respectfully disagree. Based on the pic’s we’ve been seeing and the design sketches A&R provided earlier I don’t believe it’s going to get much better. Look at the bike’s ‘bones’–the wheelbase, rake, frame components and hard parts that are unaffected by paint and aesthetic tweaks–and maybe you’ll understand why I feel this one is just a big ‘ol plate of ugly served with sides of impending failure and misspent development dollars.

  33. ML says:

    @wayne: I totally understand where you’re coming from, too. However, I still see much room for ‘cleaning up’ the bike for production. I guess we all have no choice but to wait till its done.

    I still have hope! =)

  34. paulus says:

    In a tough time for the motorcycle industry, Ducati and putting money into developing new models and taking risks to stimulate the industry.. not just releasing last years model again and again.

    I am with the “think positive” guys.
    This is the unfinished prototype. There are obvious parts missing (radiators covers etc).
    Let’s wait until the Milan show before it is decided what the concept is.

    reserve your judgements until the bike is launched.

  35. johnson says:

    The Ducati Apollo has be resurrected:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ducati_Apollo

  36. johnson says:

    *been

    damn it.

  37. DucatiRosie says:

    DUC designers have lost thier minds! Now we have DUC DEVILS…..and Tripple 9′s…

    The DUC Engineers forgot to put the DUC DIAVEL emblem or logo on the bike! “666″!!!

    A devil is not supposed to be pretty, and I guess this guy has the look of a MOTO DIAVEL!!!!

    I’ll stick with my ST2…..this bike is ugly as sin, and my personal opinion…..I agree with the pukie guy, Cru Jones. . . but I’m afraid mine went past my mouth! (Hah!)

    CALLING ALL PRIEST??? FAST!!!!!!!! URGENT ~~~ This bike, Engineers, and all of Ducati need to be blessed!~ Have faith, it’ll get better!