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.

Rumor: New Honda Africa Twin Coming? To the USA Even?!

08/07/2013 @ 1:30 am, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

Rumor: New Honda Africa Twin Coming? To the USA Even?! honda africa twin xrv650 635x493

Rumors have long been around that Honda was looking to bring back the Africa Twin model to its line-up; and with a quick scrolling through Honda America’s “Adventure” category, one can see that the less-than-inspiring odd-couple that are the Honda NC700X and Honda CB500X, while fine machines they might be (though we’ve heard the word “soulless” used more than once to describe them), proper adventure-bikes they surely are not.

With the tuning-fork brand putting out the stout Yamaha Super Ténéré, and Suzuki teasing the 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, Honda and Kawasaki have been late to the Great American Adventure Bike party  – though at least Team Green fanatics can pretend like the Versys is a viable option for this category.

With Europeans having a variety of adventure motorcycles to chose from in the Honda brand, bikes like the Honda Transalp, Honda Crossrunner, Honda Varadero, and Honda Crosstourer, us Americans have been left out in the cold.

Well, that might be set to change, as our stroll yesterday though the USPTO’s online database (check-out our find on upcoming Ducati Scrambler) has revealed that Honda Motor Co. has registered “Africa Twin” for use in the American market. Could a proper adventure-tourer from Honda be headed our way?

We can’t of course definitively say for sure at this point, but there is at least some evidence to suggest that a new Honda Africa Twin is on the horizon, as Vito Cicchetti, the General Manager of Honda Italy has tipped as much to Italy’s venerable La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine.

Saying the machine would debut at the 2014 INTERMOT show, and be a 2015 model with a two-cylinder engine, Cicchetti was tight-lipped on just about every other detail, though the finding of Honda’s trademark with the USPTO does seem to throw support behind the news.

Considering Honda’s ADV landscape in Europe, it will be interesting to see how Big Red fits an Africa Twin into its line-up, and whether the model will replace anything currently on the table in Europe.

Will the new Africa Twin go back to its roots as a 650cc model? Or, will Honda bump the machine into the 800cc or 1,2000cc categories that are becoming more popular with buyers?

As always, time will tell, but for one reason or another, Honda intends to use the Africa Twin model name on a motorcycle, and it chose to file for that use just over a month ago. More news as we get it.

Source: USPTOLa Gazzetta dello Sport


  1. IZI says:

    Africa Twin was 750 not 650

  2. I wouldn’t say that around any Honda XRV650 owners.

  3. dmckiwi says:

    Yeh I think there are a number of RD03 owners grinding their teeth at that comment, I hope they make a new one as my RD04 was a brilliant bike and if it wasn’t for the 950 Adventure I would probably still have it, everything they made since then has been a weak attempt that got softer and softer.

  4. taikebo says:

    kamen rider’s bike

  5. IZI says:

    True that, but the real comercial succes came from the XRV750

    Now the Transalp is branded as an 700 (really an 660) It would be safe to asume that Honda would want a bike capable to keep up with F800GS and Tiger 800XC… I think it will not be less tha 800

    wanna bet?

  6. anders 'ace' eliasson says:

    Fugly thing if that pix is what it actually ends up looking like … & I’m a Honda fan.


  7. ACE, go to church this Sunday and repent. That picture there is some 1990′s gold.

  8. Ken says:

    Honda is either trend setting or really late to the party on a lot of stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if they stuck a detuned (slightly) RC51 motor in an off-road chassis with some goofy complex bodywork that makes your sense of style wince. Then they’ll tie it to their Dakar program to market it. You can bet it will be heavy, over engineered with too small a fuel tank and very conservative. But it will run forever.

    What they should do with that RC51 motor is basically build a LIGHTWEIGHT 990 Adventure without the goofy fuel tank, an exhaust located so that you can tuck 41L cases in close to the bike, and have it set up to be farkled with mounting bosses, plugs and ports for electrical and protective add-ons.

  9. proudAmerican says:

    BMW has been selling GS’s like ice cream at the equator for years, and now the water-cooled version is continuing that trend.

    The Africa Twin concept is tempting, but I’m still in shock that Honda hasn’t sent the Crosstourer to us yankees yet!! I love the engine in my VFR1200F DCT, but I’ve been drooling over the Crosstourer since it was announced.

  10. Shawn says:

    They also sell the Varadero in Canada. I could see them remodeling that for the American market as an Africa Twin. And I agree with Jensen, that 90s AT is hot. I’d trade my KLR for that in a heatbeat. I’d still love a Tengai version of the KLR.

  11. twoversion says:

    Honda is too PC these days to reuse the name – undoubtedly like 6 people will say that somehow it’s stereotyping something and they will be forced to rename it prelude or clarity or magical puppy kitten MPK for short

  12. jet says:

    Oooo eye candy of my era…..sweet

  13. Skadamo says:

    Please have retro graphics.

  14. TexusTim says:

    I like the bike and would like to ride it…they gotta work on what to call it…african twin wont win over new buyers…I dont care for that name so much..were in america and Im still proud of that.

  15. TexusTim says:

    while were on the subject of honda and what the sell world wide..jensen why can you post and article posing the question.
    lets do somthing to call american honda out on why they discriminate aginst the american market only ?…we are the only country that gets just one year of warranty from honda even in south america they get three. in afirica they get three…the entire world but us guys and gals

  16. anders 'ace' eliasson says:


    LOL … nah …


  17. Bounder says:

    The problem with calling it an America twin is that there are already a couple of companies that would disagree pretty strongly with that name.
    HD and Indian would have a better claim to that name, and outside the US is a much bigger market for ADV bikes like the Original AT

  18. Hi Jensen,
    Off the theme query: can you shed some light on ADV motorbikes coming to India :)

  19. aaron says:

    yawn. another big twin adventure tourer? I’m waiting for suzuki to make another attempt at the dr big.

  20. Skadamo says:

    +2 aaron! Come on S! DL needs an ugly step brother.

  21. Tome says:

    “IZI says:
    August 7, 2013 at 2:08 AM
    Africa Twin was 750 not 650″

    The first Africa Twins were 650 (RD03 I think) then later increased to 750.
    I’d love to see another Africa Twin, 750cc again and kept simple over the bigger V4 ‘adventure’ bikes they have.

  22. Heinz Sorgen says:

    Well’ I’m interrestet to see what kind of news in future we will have.
    I’m a old fan of the twin 650, I’ve buy one of the first, a long time ago. I’ve ride it the old german, polish, russian boarder along,
    I’ve never vergot the faces of the people in that time, they never seen a bike like it.
    bye from burgundy

  23. Chrissie B says:

    A new Africa Twin would be awesome!!! I have a 1999 (RD07) XRV750 and I really love that bike, but she’s just getting a bit too old now and is also a bit slow, I can’t keep up with the newer bikes on tar, although on dirt she’s plenty fast enough for me.

    I just hope they style it similar to the old one, or will it be another GS800 or XC800 lookalike?

    As for this comment “african twin wont win over new buyers”, what nonsense! And it’s not African Twin, it’s Africa Twin! It got the name because it’s so capable over rough terrain and it was a few times Dakar winner, so I reckon the name fits! You Americans must stop thinking you’re the most important people in the world! There are other continents you know!