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 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.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

Fuel or Electronics? Where Are Nicky Hayden & Scott Redding Losing Out on the Honda RCV1000R?

The news that Honda would be building a production racer to compete in MotoGP aroused much excitement among fans. There was much speculation over just how quick it would be, and whether it would be possible for a talented rider to beat the satellite bikes on some tracks. In the hands of active MotoGP riders, the gap was around 2 seconds at the Sepang tests. Nicky Hayden – of whom much had been expected, not least by himself – had made significant improvements, especially on corner entry. The difference in performance and the big gap to the front has been cause for much speculation. Where are the Honda production racers losing out to the Factory Option bikes?

Photos: A Future AMA Star in the Making

05/10/2012 @ 9:22 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Photos: A Future AMA Star in the Making EBR 1190RS boy 08 635x425

One of the banes of any photographers existence is when someone walks right into the middle of your shot. There seems to be two schools of thought on how to deal with such an incident, with some preferring to let nature take its course, and wait for the intruder to leave the frame, while others prefer the scream/temper-tantrum school of thought that may or may not include throwing a gear bag in a fit of rage.

Where a photographer falls on that spectrum seems to be a function of how much time he or she spent setting up the shot, how much Red Bull had been consumed that morning, and whether it was another photographer who decided to start working with reckless abandon for his fellow photojournalists. However, there are some incidents where when someone walks into your shot, it is a welcomed addition. Snapping photos of the American flag-clad Erik Buell Racing 1190RS, I had such a moment, which I think touches the inner-child of all of us.

Practically hugging the front of the bike before walking around to its side, this little boy probably spent three minutes checking out every detail of the EBR 1190RS with earnest curiosity. Included in his inspection of the bike were a few good throttle twists, accompanied by subtle engine noises, which were then topped off with a smartphone photo shoot by dad. I think it’s safe to say that a future motorcyclist was made that Sunday afternoon. Cool stuff.

Photos: A Future AMA Star in the Making EBR 1190RS boy 01 635x425

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Photos: A Future AMA Star in the Making EBR 1190RS boy 04 635x425

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Photos: A Future AMA Star in the Making EBR 1190RS boy 07 635x425

Photos: A Future AMA Star in the Making EBR 1190RS boy 08 635x425

Photos: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0


  1. Dr. Phil says:

    Kinda creepy taking pictures of other peoples children then posting them on your website. Just sayin.

  2. F1 says:

    Great picts
    ~ His undivided attention to that bike (like all kids that age don’t suffer from A.D.D.) is priceless, He’s a future biker for sure>> How many people could tell you the first time they were hooked on 2 wheels.. This kids moment if forever documented. I hope that you were able to forwards this to his parents e-mail for future framing.

  3. Yuri says:

    @Dr. Phil – are you retarded or trolling? There’s nothing creepy about this, it’s a hilarious/touching candid shot of a kid genuinely engrossed in a motorcycle. If you find this creepy, maybe there’s something wrong with YOU. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a picture of a child, especially one where it clearly shows him during what might end up being a formative moment.

  4. Dr. Ken says:

    Dr. Phil is an idiot. That is my professional opinion. Great shots, and the prose was on the money.

  5. Bill Robinson says:

    methinks dr. phil protesteth too much.

    as for the photos, i think it captures the essence of what many, if not all of us, find in motorcycling, regardless of what we ride. the tech and the racing and the specs are all interesting, but it’s all driven by a sheer visceral fascination both with the machinery and the sensation of being propelled through space on it.

    keep it up, beeler…the fact that you haven’t forgotten the intangibles about our sport makes A&R worth reading time and again.

  6. MikeD says:

    Flip-flops: Check
    Shorts: Check
    Shirt: Check
    Gixxer-ish looking Sport Bike: Check
    Future SQUID Material on the making 10-15 years from now: Check

    Stereotypes and B.S aside.
    Nice pic. I think ENVY took the best of me. At he’s age all the “fast moving objects of desire” i had available to touch and feel was a Chinese made Bicycle (THAT OVERWEIGHT P.O.S)…this most probably is like the stuff that dreams are made of to him.

    Dr. Phil: RELAX, this is a clean PG-13 MOTORCYCLE oriented website, not some pedophile ciber-shelter…

    Jensen, u did nothing wrong. People have to relax, live is too heptic as it’s already.

  7. MikeD says:

    Ramdon observation aside:

    Are those the same Pirelli tires that the 1199 comes equipped with from factory ?

  8. Michael L says:


    The Pirellis on the Panigale have a continuous tread in the shape of a lightning bolt, where these break the shape into two segments. Cheers! ;)

  9. MotoRandom says:

    Okay, so there is no way in hell I would have done that when I was a kid. My dad made it very clear that we were likely to lose a hand or worse if we touched someone else’s motorcycle. Now this was back in 70s when that sort of violence against youngins was marginally acceptable in civilised society. He ended up being a patch holder in a small, unknown outlaw club through most of my teens which certainly warped me permanently. Who were your role models?

    Here in the 21st century where most parents have their lawyers on speed dial because there is no way in hell THEIR children should ever be held accountable for their own actions, I get really nervous when I see a kid near my bike. The hands, they go exploring. The hot pipes ready to be found. Not to mention that many factory kickstands are a precarious balancing act on less than perfectly smooth and level pavement.
    I hate seeing kids get hurt, even more so when liability sharks will try to make it my fault.

    So yeah, this makes me nervous in a non-creepy Dr Phil kind of way.

  10. MikeD says:


    Ok, i see what you are saying here…very true and realistic scenario.

    Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and say his “parents” were “right behind him watching his every moves.”

  11. Skadamo says:

    I did not think this type of kid existed anymore. He has most likely burnt his hand on another bike already.

    He has many years of daydreaming ahead!

  12. Castrophony says:

    I love those pics; formative biking fantasies going on right there.

    Just imagine if it was an electric bike, his throttle twisting might’ve ended up in an impromptu trip!

  13. cds says:

    This must be the same kid that screws with my mirrors in the parking lot.

  14. Grant Madden says:

    Yep that was me thousands of years ago.Maybe a bit older but none the less fascinated by bikes and their riders.Sounds like dad was watching,it does say that dad took a photo with his phone.Dont mind kids looking or touching my bike but will always tell them to be carefull around the hot exhaust and engine.Great photos,I hope the kid will get a copy someday to remind him of his beginning in the world of motorcycles.A magic time.