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.

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?

2012 BMW S1000RR – Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King

10/21/2011 @ 3:07 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 20 635x475

BMW did an amazing thing two years ago. Not really known for its performance street motorcycles, BMW took the competitive superbike market head-on, bringing out a motorcycle that not only had class-leading performance figures, but was also priced extremely competitively against its Japanese competitors. That lethal combination of price, quality, and performance made the BMW S1000RR the sport bike to have over the past two years, and it shows in the S1000RR’s sales figures, which eclipsed every other liter bike.

Not wanting to rest too heavily on its laurels, BMW has updated the S1000RR for the 2012 model year, and while the bike may look the same, the German company hopes it has done plenty to its halo bike to make would-be buyers give the S1000RR a good looking over next season, despite going into its third year of production. While the same 193hp engine resides at the heart of the S1000RR, and the curb weight remains a paltry 449 lbs (90% fuel), the 2012 BMW S1000RR gets a bevy of suspension, chassis, and electronics for the new model year.

Though more of an evolution of the company’s first stab at a proper sport bike, perhaps the most notable change to the 2012 BMW S1000RR is the revised frame, which sees a revision to the bike’s steering head angle, offset, swingarm pivot position, fork projection, and spring strut length. BMW has also enlarged the air intake, which goes through the steering head, to have a larger cross-section that results in better air flow to the airbox. Other chassis changes include changes to the suspension internals, along with some cosmetic changes to the bikes fairings (including a new color scheme) and re-vamped gauge cluster. BMW lists the full extent of the changes made to the 2012 BMW S1000RR as the following:

  • Optimized torque curve for improved ridability.
  • Expansion from two to three performance curves (one each for Rain and Sport modes and an additional one for Race and Slick modes); Rain mode now 120 kW (163 hp).
  • Reconfigured throttle for enhanced response (particularly gentle and sensitive acceleration in Rain mode, and immediately direct and spontaneous response in Sport, Race, and Slick modes).
  • Reduced twisting force and tighter twist-grip angle.
  • Smaller secondary ratio for boosted thrust.
  • Refined tuning between Race ABS and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).
  • Enlarged cross sectional area of the intake air guide through the steering head for greater air flow efficiency.
  • Better handling, steering accuracy, and feedback.
  • Revised spring elements for an even wider range of damping forces.
  • Suspension geometry modified with new values for the steering head angle, offset, position of the swing arm pivot, fork projection, and spring strut length.
  • New mechanical steering damper adjustable over ten levels.
  • Forged and milled fork bridge in a new design and with a smaller offset.
  • Revised design with a leaner tail section, redesigned side panels, centre airbox cover with side aperture grilles, and winglets.
  • For new colour variants: plain Racing Red with Alpine white, Bluefire, Sapphire black metallic, BMW Motorrad Motorsport colours.
  • Revised RR logo.
  • New heel plates and leaner stabilisers on the passenger footrests.
  • Redesigned LCD engine speed display for better readability and with five dimming levels.
  • Instrument cluster with the new functions “Best lap in progress” and “Speedwarning”; deactivation of “Lamp” fault message when headlamp or number plate carrier removed.
  • Catalytic converters relocated, so no heat shield necessary.
  • Expansion to the optional extras and special equipment ex works.

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 23 635x475

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 25 635x475

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 26 635x475

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 24 635x475

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 31 635x848

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 35 635x475

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 127 635x421

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 130 635x423

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 132 635x421

2012 BMW S1000RR   Tweaks Come to the Liter Bike King 2012 BMW S1000RR 140 635x421

Source: BMW

Comment:

  1. Luke says:

    The blue and black looks mean.

  2. Damo says:

    Are those stock heated hand grips? I am trying to make out what that button is over the mode selection.

    If it is, that is nice to see for us folks that ride as are primary source of transport.

  3. Dayyan says:

    Heat grips will availible on the new bike, not sure if they are optional though.

  4. buellracerx says:

    excellent revisions, & the black looks badass. ‘best lap in progress’ notification may be a mistake though…usually better if you don’t know haha

  5. RJ says:

    Aaahhh no more brown frame and swingarm?!? Good ridance…

  6. john magnum says:

    Well i need a new bike so if suzuki brings nothing to the table its a coin flip for the BMW or the Ape cant decide
    wonder what the midrange torque dif is now.

  7. Damo says:

    @john

    I am a card carrying aprilia (love my current ape) fanboy and I think the RSV4 APRC Factory is quite possibly the best looking bike ever to come out of Italia, BUT after doing loads of research I couldn’t justify trading in my Mille on one.

    The RSV4 requires 6,200 mile valve adjustments and the first gen had 3+ recall issues on it. The Rotax powerplant aprilias are just head and shoulders above the new gen, if not in performance of course.

    I am still trying to find a place to test ride a KTM RC8R, if that doesn’t work out maybe a BMW will be in my future.

  8. Damo, you’re going to love the KTM.

  9. MikeD says:

    @Damo:

    Yes, that’s the heated grips button. Look closer, a grip with the curvy heat lines symbol.
    A given that heated grips are Standard ? Maybe…maybe not…go figure.

  10. MikeD says:

    Who else thinks the previous BMW MotorSports paint scheme looked better than this one ?

  11. Nobody says:

    Not mentioned in the press release: The blue one is actually “scratch and sniff” paint.