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?

2011 Ducati Diavel Breaks Cover at EICMA

11/01/2010 @ 7:16 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

2011 Ducati Diavel Breaks Cover at EICMA 2011 Ducati Diavel official 1 635x475

The 2011 Ducati Diavel has leaked ahead of its debut in a few hours at EICMA, showing us the final lines of Ducati’s performance cruiser. Performance is the key word here with the Ducati Diavel boasting features like: 162hp Testastretta 11º engine, 94 lbs•ft of torque, 456lbs (carbon) / 463lbs (base), radial brakes, ABS, traction control, ride-by-wire, and three riding modes. Other features include keyless ignition (as found on the Multistrada 1200), a split dash (as we revealed earlier), fold-up passenger pegs, and a carbon version of the Diavel (aptly named the Diavel Carbon) which sheds 7lbs of weight over the base model by adding carbon fiber body panels and forged Marchesini rims.

Looking at the Diavel, the bike’s 240mm wide rear tire is immediately apparent, and will likely draw the ire of many loyal Ducatisti. Ducati however says that they have been able to make the 240mm tire work on the bike, providing the expected handling characteristics of a Ducati, while incorporating the style and design of a drag-ready performance cruiser.

Merging the worlds of power and style has never been achieved with such convincing precision. A specially engineered 240 section rear tyre combined with famous Ducati chassis technology serves up mind-blowing handling and lean angles which defy the laws of physics, whether carving through curves on your favourite road or just riding out for a night on the town.

The Ducati Diavel Carbon comes in either “red carbon” or “black carbon”, referring to the color of the paint on the trellis frame. Both versions of the Diavel Carbon will have black forged Marchesini wheels, which shed 5.5lbs off the Ducati Diavel’s base mass. The Carbon will also get Marzocchi forks, whose low-friction diamond-like-coating adds even more blackout to the hotness.

Both bikes will get the full Ducati electronics package, which includes Ducati Traction Control (DTC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), rider-by-wire throttle control, keyless ignition, and rider-selectable riding modes. New for Ducati is the split instrument panel, which sees an instrument panel mounted on the handlebars, and another mounted on the fuel tank. The handlebar mounted instrument cluster presents your standard information like speed, revs, warning lights, temperature, and time.

2011 Ducati Diavel Breaks Cover at EICMA Ducati Diavel white 635x475

The tank-mounted TFT display shows bike information such as the current riding mode, gear selection, DTC settings, etc. The TFT display senses the ambient light and choses whether or not to invert the display coloring to aid in daytime/nighttime reading. When stationary the secondary display also handles tuning the traction control and ride-by-wirse settings.

Also new for Ducati are the laterally mounted radiators. Helping keep the front profile of the Ducati Diavel clean, the Bologna company used two highly efficient lateral radiators on both sides of the bike. Located beneath the fuel tank, the lateral radiators use aerodynamical ducts to draw air through the radiator fins, and have high-flow electric fans when more cooling is required.

Expect pricing to start at $16,995 for the Ducati Diavel, and $19,995 for the Ducati Diavel Carbon.

Source: Autopia (Press Photos) & Italia Bike Center (Phone Photos)


  1. rrse says:

    and I thought Harleys were ugly, thats Italian ugly

  2. Keith says:

    heh and worse yet it looks like a Vrod and a V Max spent a drunken weekend in Tiajuanna and this was the love child. Not ugly as such…but only bit nicer looking than the parents. Oh well, never was one for cruisers and I only care how the dash looks as the road approaches it, 3 seconds ahead.

  3. Rick Higgins says:

    I certainly like the bikes looks, it’s just like my VMax and maybe as quick.

  4. wayne says:

    Oh, the horror…

  5. gnmac says:

    Thank God Ducati got Rossi, that’s about the only thing that will forgive for this lack of judgement and taste.

  6. Sean says:

    At least MV made a cool bike this year…

    If Ducati wins it’s annual most beautiful bike of EIMCA or whatever, I cry fowl! Kinda like how dictators win elections.

  7. irksome says:

    If I met one at a party, I’d have to say “Y’know, for a fat chick you don’t sweat much”.

  8. CBR600RR 09 says:

    That is one awesome sexy cruiser. I am a supersport man but I would ride that!

  9. Ades says:

    You know what they say……Fat Girls go harder……..

    Personally I like the look (except the awful headlight) but I can see the V-Rod/ V-Max influence in the lines. Maybe they called have called it the V-FAT????

  10. Todd Gilmore says:

    I like it okay, but wife says boat has to go or trade? RT @Asphalt_Rubber: 2011 Ducati Diavel Breaks Cover at EICMA

  11. Joao says:

    I own a 2009 Vmax so I understand tha look. Probably I would expect something more from Ducati design studio, but nevertheless, it shall be a hell of a machine.

  12. Jim says:

    If people like or dislike the Diavel is a question of taste. But it certainly stands out. Time will tell, if it was a smart move for Ducati to enter new segments (Diavel cruiser & Multistrada tourer).

    Ducati has understood that in order to grow in the future it will need to target mature riders with a strong bank balance. Although young riders dream of Ducati sports bikes, these are not the consumers who can afford them. Older riders (bar some exceptions) are not going to be won over by uncomfortable and impractical sports bikes.

    The AMG Mercedes partnership is a stepping stone in exactly that direction. The image transfer will benefit both brands. Ducati will attract existing AMG buyers with the Diavel and Multistrada, whereas Ducati riders will be tempted by entry level AMG models. Time will tell…

  13. Laurence Benderhoff says:


    Yes, I’m sure it goes well etc but I want Ducati to know that I think it looks bloody awful. If this is the future then shoot me now.

    Rode a Monster 696 and hated it, was suspecting Ducati were losing their way, now I’m certain of it.

    What ever happened to that wonderful Italian blend of form AND function?

    Normally I wouldn’t comment negatively on a blog post, preferring to say nothing at all but Ducati have left me no choice.