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.

LEAKED: Sketch Explains Ducati Mega Monster

07/16/2010 @ 8:37 am, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

LEAKED: Sketch Explains Ducati Mega Monster Ducati Project 0803 560x305

This sketch really explains itself. Porportedly coming from an unnamed Ducati dealer, we see that the yet-to-be unveild Mega Monster will feature the 1198cc Testastretta 11° v-twin motor. Also mentioned in the sketch is a ride-by-wire throttle and traction control system. If this is truly Ducati Project 0803, can we please move on to Project 0804…this one makes baby Jesus cry.

Source: Ducati.ms via Ducati News Today


  1. What do you mean move on to the next project?, its like totally badass down at Starbucks man :)

    I’m blogging on this on Monday. Not happy.

  2. I keep hoping that when I’m at EICMA, they pull the cover off the Mega Monster, and it’s a totally different motorcycle with “Gotcha!” written across the side of it.

  3. Sean Mitchell says:

    I just threw up in my mouth…and sharted a little.

  4. Silver says:

    I don’t see why everyone is crying about Ducati building this bike. Is Ducati only supposed to build bikes that will either get you killed or cause you to lose your license. I had a 1098 and Hypermotard (now I have a Streetfighter) and these bikes are worthless for street riding because Johnny Law says you can push 180mph and do wheelies down city streets.

    If this opens up another segment of potential business and revenue then go for it. Maybe then they will have enough money to build a better GP bike for next year and start winning some races again (hopefully with Rossi!).

  5. Bill Smith says:

    I have urged the US Marketing Director to push for an American/Italian curser for five years. If this is the “Muscle Cruiser” response from the Italians I might just purchase my first Ducati (yipee)!

    I love watching the Italians shake up the US/Japanese designer/manufacturers and offer more truly unique works of art!!!

    Fingers crossed for a 2011 intro into the US market!!!

  6. S says:

    Suggestion – Contact Pierre Terblanche and ask about some time spent with the Oakley boys at U.S. bike drag races. You might find that there is more to the birth of the concept inside Ducati than you know…..

  7. Gunsoku says:

    *shuffles next to baby Jesus and shares a tissue*

  8. @ Silver

    I think that Ducati can absolutely build a performance cruiser, and have it work with their brand and culture…but this is not that bike. Ducati Italy needs to listen to Ducati N.A. about what customers want, and I don’t see that going on here at all. The Mega Monster looks like the result of Gabriele del Torchio losing a bet with Keith Wandell.

  9. Deez Toolz says:

    This move for Ducati would be analagous to Porche’s Cayenne, and currently the Panamera. Purists turn up their nose, and economists revel.

    Personally, I don’t understand what an 11degree engine has to do with the Ducati line-up, but Harley owners didn’t understand the euro-designed V-rod engine. It’s an attempt to enter new segments, so good-on-ya Ducati.

    As with Porche and Harley, the existing customers will likely ostracize the newcomers. And I’ll be one of them. Haha.

  10. MTGR says:

    Re: Silver
    “If this opens up another segment of potential business and revenue then go for it. Maybe then they will have enough money to build a better GP bike for next year and start winning some races again (hopefully with Rossi!).”

    First, creating this kind of crap is using up good money and good engineering needed to make the MotoGp faster, Duck is still a relatively small company compared to HRC or Yam after all. Second, your comments should read “(hopefully with Burgess)” as J Burgess is responsible for making the bikes better, not Rossi. This small company is already spending outrageous cash to get Rossi (which will further deplete their limited budgets) and they are wasting cash on this crap bike (which is in a dying market segment anyway – just ask the Japs or HD) and if they don’t get Burgess then there will likely not even be any improvement in their MotoGp design anyway.

    So, to answer your question ” Is Ducati only supposed to build bikes that will either get you killed or cause you to lose your license.”
    Yes. Resoundingly. Going elsewhere just wastes their money and diminishes their image. If you want a cruiser go see Harley.

  11. TwinMe says:

    ” Small Fry TestaStretta 11* ” Engine, pipes & mufflers have to go, looks too Cruiser-ish… already street running Mule looking BETTER.

    Ducati………………Poll potential customers and ask questions….Please. LOL.

  12. Silver says:

    MTGR, no shit Ducati is a small company and they don’t have the money like HRC. Honda’s product line is diverse for the simple reason of trying to capture as many riders as they can. As for as Ducati wasting a ton of money on developing a “crap” bike, they aren’t spending as much as you would think considering they are using already developed parts off the shelf to build their bikes. It is more of a reconfiguration of an existing model then a new bike. I have a Streetfighter and it probably was the cheapest bike to develop for Ducati since it is a 95% 1098 with different bodywork.

    As far as Burgess, he built a bike one person can ride, and that guy is leaving. So don’t say it isn’t about the rider. Look at Ben Spies and what he did with an all-new R1, on tracks he hasn’t seen, against veteran bikes and riders.

    As far as them wasting money on this bike, I disagree. This bike’s intent is to appeal to a different crowd and won’t affect their superbike line. I personally think the Multistrada line is crap and has been crap for years (including the new Multi) with their ugly design but they appeal to a certain type of rider. A good company “should” be doing market research before creating a new bike and this bike isn’t a “cruiser” in the same sense of what a Harley is.

    Ducati is a company that probably makes more money selling $50 t-shirts and $300 DP slaves then what they actually make on their bikes. If they want to make more money then maybe they should stop grossly overcharging for “Ducati Performance” parts and they may boost their overall revenue. Instead, I buy aftermarket parts because they are just as good (if not better) and less expense with equals lost revenue for Ducati.

  13. BikePilot says:

    Deez, the 11deg is just the cam overlap, its the same basic 1198 motor that’s in the superbike, mts and all that. The superbike runs a bit more overlap, while the MTS 1200 runs only 11 deg of overlap for a bit better economy and low rpm/part throttle manners.

    The whole 11 degree buzz is just marketing hype, and poorly considerd at that as almost no one understands what it means and several I’m sure are guessing its the cylinder angle or has to do with firing order (it doesn’t of course).

  14. LEAKED: Sketch Explains Ducati Mega Monster – http://aspha.lt/169 #motorcycle

  15. GeddyT says:

    What BikePilot says. This is the EXACT same engine from the MTS1200. So what’s this huge investment from Ducati that’s going to bankrupt their company making this? The motor is off the shelf. So are probably half the other parts. All this is is a stretched Monster with an MTS engine and a wide rear tire. I’m guessing they’ll sell it for about $16K, and I’m guessing there’ll be a waiting list as long as the seat is low enough, the pegs forward enough, the exhaust loud enough, and the accessories catalog thick enough. Some purists will say it tarnishes the brand, but this happened big time with the original Multistrada, and Ducati is still doing just fine selling superbikes. For every ten of these things they sell, they’ll lose one superbike customer (if that), which = cash positive. And don’t “cruiser” buyers load up with clothing and accessories more than any other bike buyer? I think Ducati will be fine.

    My dad got back into riding shortly after I started. Since then he’s ridden a string of cruisers, the latest a Harley Dyna FLXGSERRSGCF or whatever. And it’s terrible. Even worse than the metric cruisers he rode before. From day one I have been trying to convince him that there are other options between crotch rocket and rolling sofa/vibrator. There’s a whole middle ground of standards and retros and sensible bikes that are every bit as comfortable (of not more so) than any cruiser he’s owned, yet weigh less than an average European car and actually do important things like go, stop, and turn. You know, for those rare occasions he might grow a pair and need to… He still doesn’t buy it. He thinks that if it isn’t covered in a hundred pounds of chrome, he’s going to have to dress like a Power Ranger to ride it and feel like a douche.

    I work at a large place (probably about 500 employees), and a lot of them ride. I am one of THREE that aren’t on huge cruisers. And I’ve tried and tried and tried to suggest that, maybe, at least they just TRY something different to see if they might like it. None of them will have anything to do with it. They don’t care how it handles, how heavy it is. They just care that it fits a certain image. (And–this is just a theory–I’m also guessing that they’re simply afraid. I don’t think it’s any accident that the most over-masculine, totally compensatory bikes on the market are also the ones with the lowest seats and weakest motors and worst ground clearance. These guys don’t have to worry about actually controlling something at speed, because speed is not an option. They don’t have to worry about turning fast, because there’s not enough clearance to do so–they have a valid excuse for putting around turns. And having that seat barely more than a foot off the ground makes any fall that might happen that much less scary to the subconscious mind–the ground is RIGHT THERE… that can’t hurt. All the while they still get to feel like badasses! Win/win!)

    Anyway, for those like my dad or the guys I work with that INSIST on riding a “cruiser” just because it’s a cruiser, I don’t see the problem with this bike. I don’t care that it’s batshit ugly because I think all cruisers are. But surely this will undercut your average H-D by over 100 lb. And Ohlins suspension and monoblock Brembos should help this thing a lot in the agility and safety department. And, I mean, show me a cruiser other than the Goldwing maybe that can lean to 40 degrees!

    In other words, if it’s this or an FLGHXSDQB, I’d take this.

  16. gnmac says:

    It is FUGLY as SHIT!!! NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Madmak says:

    Guy’s we all agree two wheels is better than four right?! And 90% of you agree the Harley douche bag image is getting REALLY OLD. So if this bike takes even one of those guys away from the “Lets go to the bar, get drunk and ride home” crowd then it is a massive success in my eyes.

  18. fazer6 says:

    I have NO problem with Ducati building a ‘cruiser’.

    But this one is a seriously ugly POS.

  19. aptimus prime says:

    I really dislike this bike very much, but it makes sense. Marketing the bike will be everything b/c it’s not going to win any Harley people, imo. It they get some product placement in Hollywood like they did with the hypermotard, they could probably start a new gen of cruiser Ducatisti by attracting younger riders who have cash to burn (do any of those people exist anymore).

    There are two untapped segments for Ducati that are both tailor-made–cruisers (twins) and dirtbikes (singles). Both of those segments are huge in the US and both of them are perfect for Ducati. MX/SX are more lucrative and more open to change. If I were Ducati I would have gone to the dirt first.

  20. Ok, so Ducati is building a V-Rod??? Harley isn’t having that much success with it, why would Ducati?

  21. Bromike666 says:

    Everytime one of these rolls off the assembly line God will kill a puppy.

  22. Travis says:

    To get this back on track… as HD rider I will completely turn over my keys for this bike! That is just a matter of fact. ANYONE with half a mind knows the value of a Duct its made to ride & ride hard. 240 tire of not I bet it runs circles around anything HD has or will make. (See the end of Buell)

    That is why Ducati is making this bike to get people like me mid-late 30′s who ride a cruiser / muscle bike who isn’t die hard brand loyal.

    Yes I own a HD no I didn’t drink the cool-aide I know a damn good bike(for how I ride) when I see it.
    Its not going to be everyone cup of tea but the market Ducati is after is very very clear. HD better have something ready to do battle with this bike if the price point is close the V-rod muscle

  23. Travis says:

    To get this back on track… as HD rider I will completely turn over my keys for this bike! That is just a matter of fact. ANYONE with half a mind knows the value of a Duct its made to ride & ride hard. 240 tire or not, I bet it runs circles around anything HD has or will make. (See the end of Buell)

    That is why Ducati is making this bike to get people like me mid-late 30′s who ride a cruiser / muscle bike who isn’t die hard brand loyal.

    Yes I own a HD no I didn’t drink the cool-aide I know a damn good bike(for how I ride) when I see it.
    Its not going to be everyone cup of tea but the market Ducati is after is very very clear. HD better have something ready to do battle with this bike if the price point is close the V-rod muscle

  24. MikeMcIntyre says:

    Just lost all respect for ducati.