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?

2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak Race Bike

08/09/2012 @ 7:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak Race Bike 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak race bike 16 635x425

Ducati is in Colorado this weekend, taking part in the 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The second oldest motorsport race in the United States (the first being the Indy 500), 2012 is the first year that the Race to the Clouds will take place on a fully-paved road course, which is sure to bring a new chapter in this historic race.

Asphalt & Rubber made the great trek out to Colorado (braving the far-too-early mornings), and we are here mostly to heckle our boy Carlin Dunne, who won the race last year in his rookie debut (setting a course record no less). Riding with the Ducati Spider Grips Team this year, Dunne will be joining Greg Tracy, as the pair will again ride the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S up to the 14,000+ foot finish line.

Ducati hopes to continue its dominance on the mountain this year, and the Ducati has rolled out another iteration of its Multistrada 1200 S race bike, which we gushed over last year. It is hard to believe that the previous bike feels a bit dated now (though, we still wouldn’t mind a Pikes Peak edition MTS 1200 in our garage), but this year’s machine brings added refinery to the race bike, as well as an understated and classy, yet beautiful paint job.

Despite what you will hear from the privateers, the Ducati team is running fairly stock machines. All the street-legal pieces have been removed of course, with Tracy’s #555 machine getting a bit more attention to its modifications than Dunne’s #5 machine. Both bikes benefit from upgraded brakes, which feature Brembo MotoGP radial master cylinders and brakes pads, as well as the Ducati Superbike 1198′s monoblock brake calipers.

Suspension is stock, but has been massaged by Paul Thede at Race Tech, while Akrapovic has built a special Evolution exhaust for the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak race bikes (six were made for the team, with only 50 units built for consumers worldwide, 20 of which will be coming the US). Glossy aluminum superbike wheels are courtesy of OZ Wheels, while the subframe and bodywork have also been modified by the team.

Both bikes feature a full-band auto-tuning ECU system, which should help the Multistrada’s deal with the massive altitude change over the course of the race (the starting line is at 9,300, while the finish line is at 14,100 feet). Ducati won’t talk openly about modifications to the motor, though it was suggested that not much work has been done to the machines internally. We can imagine that both the #5 and #555 bikes have had their engines blueprinted, and that none of the major components have been altered.

With Carlin Dunne looking to backup his record-setting rookie victory last year, he will have tough competition from his teammate Greg Tracy, not to mention a field comprised of some stout PPIHC veterans. We’ll bring you the qualifying and race results as the 90th Pike Peak International Hill Climb gets underway.

2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak Race Bike 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak race bike 19 635x425

2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak Race Bike 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak race bike 14 635x425

2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak Race Bike 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak race bike 09 635x425

2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak Race Bike 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak race bike 23 635x425

2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak Race Bike 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak race bike 20 635x425

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


  1. kostritzer says:

    Now that it’s fully paved, I wonder how long it will be until there are full blown superbikes racing to the top? John McPint, are you listening?

  2. ktmrider says:

    Dry clutch conversion?

  3. Forgot to mention the dry clutch. Yes, a custom team conversion from the stock wet clutch.

    There are a couple sport bikes taking part in the race this year, but it’s not the big influx that people were expecting. Also, there’s a lot of talk about rules being implemented to keep the superbikes out, e.g. flat bars, no fairings, etc.

  4. kostritzer says:

    That’s ridiculous! It’s ok to run a spaceship (Tajima’s Suzuki) but not a production based motorcycle?

  5. 2ndclass says:

    Those pipes are gorgeous. How loud is it? Must make quite the racket.

  6. Richard Gozinya says:


    Fear. Fear that the cagers would be utterly embarrassed by competition that spent far less money than they did.

  7. kostritzer says:

    That’s just a fact of life, though I doubt that even a superbike could beat Monster’s Suzuki with its excess horsepower, grip, and downforce. Still, I think a top level TT rider could get within 2 minutes of the quickest 4 wheel time, and what a spectacle that would be.

  8. Fibbs says:

    such a shame The peak doesn’t have a dirt stretch anymore. I’d imagine these bikes will be a thing of the past in years to come. As someone mentioned above.

    Not a fan of the Multi as a bike but that thing looks great, love those pipes. squat it down like a road bike and that’s what the Diavel should ‘ave been.

  9. OldBoy says:

    @ 2ndclass the pipes make 116 dB. Not MotoGP loud…but loud.

  10. Ganny says:

    Confused…If i am not wrong..PPIHC is in its 96th year..not 90

  11. Ganny says:

    never it :)

  12. Ken says:

    Why a multi and not a pagniale this time around?

    Still kinda disappointed its all tarmac now. I dig the the pavement to gravel set up. Turns up the pressure as you get closer to the top

  13. Fred Santos says:

    Man, that Akrapovic is sick!.

    Wonder why they not make for sell to people. I wonder how beautiful this would equip on a Fireblade, a ZX10 or anothe superbike,.

  14. chris says:

    subframes save a little less than six lbs. i’m they guy who made ‘em. if only you could see more that one inch of it peeking out of the bodywork! someone get a picture with the bodywork off!

  15. RobG says:

    I like the bike, but like others I’m not a fan of the MultiStrada. I also hate it that the course is fully paved now. It’s gone from a very special race to nothing more than a hillclimb, since any vehicle can now do it. Let’s hope they tweak the rules to keep it special.

  16. Spamtasticus says:

    Let me start by saying that Ducati is doing something right. The last 5 stories on this blog alone are about Ducati. On a more pertinent note. Here are the rules for Motorcycles in Pikes Peak. If I’m reading them right, the only class that currently allows sport bike (clip on) bikes is 250cc. Nothing is stopping someone from putting handlebars on a BMW S1000RR though. I wonder if this is how they plan to enter those bikes:

    Motorcycle/Quad/Sidecar/Vintage Division- The number of competitors allowed in each class and/or overall may be limited by the promoter and subject to change at any time prior to the final deadline (see Part II, 2.4). Any motorcycle in the 450, 750, 1205 or vintage divisions must be equipped as an OVM with one piece handlebars attached with triple clamps. No motorcycles manufactured as an OVM with two piece clip- on style handlebars would be allowed to compete in the 450, 750,1205, Or vintage classes
    A. Vintage Class – 650cc-750cc 4-stroke twin cylinder that would qualify for current AHRMA events. In keeping with the historic aspects of this class of motorcycle racing, the minimum age limit for a rider is 50 years of age.
    B. Side Car Class: 450 cc or above. Machines and riders/passengers will be subject to the same basic requirements of safety, workmanship, and appearance as all other competitors. Specific conditions are listed below. Rules will be supplemental.
    C. 250 cc 2-stroke & 4-stroke single or twin cylinder. D. 750cc Class:
    1) 501cc-700cc 4-stroke single cylinder 2) 650cc-750cc 4-stroke twin cylinder
    E. 450cc 4-stroke single/twin
    1) 251cc-500cc 2-stroke single cylinder.
    F. 751cc – 1205cc 4-stroke twin or triple cylinder G. Quad Modified: (Rename of old division)

  17. Spamtasticus says:

    Whoops. I just noticed that the bike must be equipped from the manufacturer with bars

  18. Marc F says:

    If short travel, stiff suspension were an advantage, you’d see streetfighters and tuonos rolling to the line.

  19. kostritzer says:

    @ Marc F

    I think its only a matter of time before they do.

    Without dirt, I’m sure they will definitely have an advantage, although a Tuono V4 may run out of gas before it reaches the top ;).

    TT bikes have suspension set up for bumps and jumps, I don’t see why the Pikes Peak course would be any different.

  20. MikeD says:

    Man……..are we Ducati’s MAIN SQUEEZE OR WHAT ? LMAO They seem to be neck deep on this N/A Event.

    I say, if is all paved………why not let full blown bikes besides the ChickenStradas give it a try too ? Total B.S and feels like “I know yours is better than mines, i don’t want the world to know how much i suck” Deal.

    This could be our very own Isle of Man on the Mountain…let the others strut their stuff, scrap the ancient rules.

    To the Chris Dude who made the Lite sub-frames…good work…(^_^)

    116db is LOUD…is it louder than a TopFuel Car ? I have been very close to those…hehehe.
    I would make sweet love to that xhaust too…the welds and the bends are just too clean.

    What’s wrong with the stock WET Clutch ? if it’s only for the ease of changing burnt clutch plates, then…i understand….otherwise, what gives ? !

  21. MikeD says:


    LMAO…the Tuono comment…..too much…….ROTFLMAO.

  22. Gareth says:

    Presume this is next years updated Multi then with next year pikes peak version paint job

  23. Israel says:


    I like the Pikes Peak race, and right now I have an EU Multistrada 2012, and I would like to know what footrests have you mounted on the race bike, I like them but I can’t found where to buy them or someone like them.

    Also, I would like to know if changing the footrests you needed to change the brake or shift changer levers by another ones or only adjusted their positions.

    PD: Greeting for your victory and great work ;)


  24. jon says:

    From what I read there was a SF848 entered in the event.

    The Akrapovic exhaust is amazing, I saw the bike at Laguna Seca and talked with one of the reps at the Akrapovic display and he took the full system off the display and had me hold it, incredibly light, I think at 3.5lbs. I don’t know what system he SF848 bike was running but I would love to see the same one available for us on the street.