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 Yoshimura Suzuki Limited Edition GSX-R’s

04/12/2012 @ 2:33 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

2012 Yoshimura Suzuki Limited Edition GSX Rs 2012 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX R Limited Edition 05 635x454

Yoshimura and Suzuki hold a special relationship, with the aftermarket tuning firm working closely with the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer’s engineers and racing team to develop racing solutions for Suzuki motorcycles. Occasionally that relationship gets extended further, and brings us limited edition production runs of Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R’s.

Basically stock motorcycles with off-the-shelf Yoshimura parts slapped onto them, these limited edition 2012 Suzuki GSX-R600, GSX-R750, & GSX-R1000 motorcycles leave a bit to be desired considering the tuning history of Yoshimura. If you already yawned, it’s best not to click onward past the jump.

Still, we imagine there are enough Suzuki fanboys who fall-over themselves to have one of these exclusive GSX-R’s. Featuring custom graphics, GSX-R’s with an originally black frame will come in red Yoshimura colors, while blue framed GSX-R’s will come with the company’s blue livery. Completely CARB and EPA legal, other add-ons include the following:

  • Fender Eliminator Kit (Not D.O.T approved)
  • Case Savers
  • Chassis Protectors
  • Axle Adjuster Blocks
  • Race Stand Stoppers
  • Steering Stem Nut
  • Bar Ends
  • Engine Plug Kit
  • Oil Filler Plug Kit
  • Individually Numbered Limited Edition Name-Badge

No word on pricing, and the Limited Edition Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R’s are only available through authorized Suzuki dealerships.

2012 Yoshimura Suzuki Limited Edition GSX Rs 2012 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX R Limited Edition 06 635x427

2012 Yoshimura Suzuki Limited Edition GSX Rs 2012 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX R Limited Edition 03 635x454

2012 Yoshimura Suzuki Limited Edition GSX Rs 2012 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX R Limited Edition 09 635x454

2012 Yoshimura Suzuki Limited Edition GSX Rs 2012 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX R Limited Edition 02 635x454

Source: Yoshimura R&D of America


  1. Sorry chaps, but it’s kinda lacking…

    To be frank, out of all the current Japanese litre bikes, it’s the ZX10 that has me interested. Still, at least the GSXRs aren’t as uninspiring as the dated Honda sports collection!

  2. RSVDan says:

    Woopee. Way to push the envelope Suzuki.

  3. Gritboy says:

    I can fart out more interesting “tuning” than that. Lazy Suzuki, lazy.

  4. MikeD says:

    Suzuki, fighting for the lamest motorcycle OEM spot with Honda. This is coming from a current Zook owner.

    I hope they come out with something “fresh and interesting” this year at EICMA. God ! they sure could use it.

  5. phs says:

    It’s a shame that Yosh is coming out with this bike that really only is cosmetically different. Yosh stands for performance and they at least could have massaged/tweaked the motor to keep with the performance aspect. Not really sure it’s worth the extra money they will be asking just for cosmetics. I never really understood why manufacturers release limited edition models that add no extra performance. Fiat R1, Repsol CBR, Foggy Ducati Monster etc etc…Even more so with this Yosh Edition GSXR…

  6. Dr. Gellar says:

    Such a far cry from the awesomeness of the Yoshimura Suzuki Tornados of the late 80′s – early 90′s…

  7. Westward says:

    Suzuki still living off the their reputation during the Schwantz years. I agree, the most interesting japanese bikes of today are the Kawasaki’s, but I still think the Yamaha’s are the best handling.

    @ phs

    What’s the difficulty? they give you little bits and pieces, but the main contribution is the option to have the liveries of your favourite team or pilot. Lets face it, most owners are going to want to make their own mods anyway. At least they have a color scheme outside the normal selection.

  8. Devon Sowell says:

    All show & no go, just a paint job really

  9. phs says:

    Westward…I agree with you about the bits and pieces they put on the bike, livery etc. I just think they should tweak/tune the motor etc to give you something very special for your money. It would make these bikes retain resale value and you would really have something underneath you when twisting the throttle.

  10. Keith says:

    I like the scheme; but yea no tuning bits included :-(

  11. david says:

    eh… looks good, and at least now suzuki has chosen the brembo monoblocs. not my cup of tea, but i don’t hate this bike.

  12. Lone Wolf says:

    At least they could have given the bike a full Yoshi exhaust system! Jeez! no extra bang for extra bucks…Screw You Suzuki!….The 12′ ZX-10 or 12′ R1 would be getting my money!!

  13. The problem with wanting a tweaked engine and a full exhaust is that the bike would no longer be CARB/EPA-friendly. Getting an engine emissions tested is no small investment for a manufacturer and it’s not cost-effective to push through a small run of tweaked motors, not to mention the risk of it not meeting emissions requirements.

  14. 2ndclass says:

    Trane has nailed it. Anyone who was expecting more than this was deluding themselves.

    That red one looks fucking nice though.

  15. Yeah, that red one had me gasp a little. Great livery and I bet it sounds fabulous.

  16. paulus says:

    These ususally come at the end of a product life. Good way for both companies to clear inventory… is there a new model coming within the next 12 months?

  17. s2upid says:

    that gsxr 1k looks sexy. i like it.

  18. Tom says:

    If Yoshimura truly cannot do engine mods that will pass emissions then are are not deserving of the title tuner in any way.

  19. @Tom: Simple truth of internal combustion engines is that when you turn up the power for a given efficiency, you also turn up the emissions. You can’t produce more power without changing what comes out of the exhaust. Modern ICEs already use crap such as catalytic converters to stay within regulations. Many of them already run on the lean side for precisely the reason that it’s extremely difficult to eek out both power and efficiency. At some point, you have to allow for more gunk coming out the back end in the pursuit of ponies.

    You can’t fault Yosh here. Suzuki will have spent millions developing the engine to be what it is. Porting, ECU tweaks, cams/timing and the rest all have an inextricable effect on the emissions curves. That’s the bad news from one who has spent 15 years working in the industry.

  20. Tom says:

    Trane, What you say is true. But, I still stand by my comment that if it is true that Yoshimura cannot do any engine mods and get the bike to pass emissions (even if it cannot pass CA emissions) then they don’t deserve the name of tuner. They should be called something else because expert turner is completely inaccurate.

  21. It’s not that Yoshimura can’t. As I wrote way, way above, it’s the economics of development and testing. By the time your limited run of GSXRs hit the dealer floor with its preinstalled hotrod stuff (preinstalled is the keyword here), you could expect to pay $50,000+ for one. I doubt anybody here is quite that much of a fan to pay that price for a few fairing stickers and a few ponies. It’s way cheaper to just buy the limited run as is being presented and then take the bike to Yoshimura itself to get the bad-boy work done, emissions be damned.

    The only real way to get around it is to make the tuning parts dealer installed and give the bikes full warranty anyway. Even then, you’ll note that makes who offer such animals (e.g., Ducati’s homologation ECU, air filter and muffler sets) don’t go the full monty for street-approved use. Once you get full-system exhausts hitting the bike, you’re selling track-only gear.


    For what it’s worth, a single test cell purchase and commissioning can cost millions of dollars. Running driving cycle emissions tests such as FTP-75 and the like are extremely expensive simply because running a test cell costs hundreds of dollars per hour. Chassis dynos increase the complexity and cost of testing in a big way.