Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

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.

2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R Coming Soon

09/28/2012 @ 6:36 am, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R Coming Soon Ducati 1199 Panigale S Superstock 04 635x423

In about six weeks, Ducati will be unveiling its 2013 model line-up. The star of the show will be the new liquid-cooled Hypermotard, but the Italian brand has several other new models it plans on debuting as well. We have already seen the updated 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200, with its implementation of the Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS), as semi-active suspension package developed by Sachs.

The updated Ducati Multistrada 1200 also features the second-generation Testastretta 11° DS engine, which uses a dual-spark configuration to boost mid-range power, as well as clean up some of the v-twin motor’s emissions. At Milan, we will also more than likely see a middleweight displacement Ducati Multistrada, and our Bothan spies confirm to us that a Ducati 1199 Panigale R will also be making its debut at Milan.

Visually similar to the Ducati 1199 Panigale S Superstock bike that debuted last year at Milan as a sort of promo piece for the Ducati Performance catalog, and not to be confused for the race team only Ducati 1199 Panigale RS, the obvious differences to the Panigale R and Panigale S will be the bare aluminum gas tank. Other cosmetic changes include a bevy of carbon pieces, race graphics, and of course the obligatory “R” designation emblazoned on the side of the Panigale’s fairing.

Go-fast changes include a full-exhaust system (naturally), but what track day connoisseurs will really enjoy is the Ducati 1199 Panigale R’s freshly massaged motor. Fitted with titanium rods, Borgo Panigale has gifted its namesake another 500 in rpm’s with the Superquadro’s lighter internals, which are surprisingly only giving out a slight boost to the Panigale’s 195hp base. Instead, Ducati’s aim has been to increase the power band of the Panigale R, broadening the peaky motor.

The 2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R also features some minor chassis geometry changes. For the discerning few who want to own one, expect to shill out roughly $30,000 USD.

Photos of the Ducati 1199 Panigale S Superstock:

Photos of the Ducati 1199 Panigale S Superstock at EICMA:

Source: Bothan Spies; Photos: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Gutterslob says:

    It’ll definitely be fast as f*ck, but it’ll probably be a b*tch to start and maintain, and will likely cost a gazzillion dollars, hence we’ll mostly hear of rich tw*ts buying em up and sealing em in those bubble-things, never to be taken out on the road/track.

    For those few that do take em out (and can afford it), I reckon it’ll be great fun. Just hope that “skyhook” suspension is well tested and doesn’t send riders skyward.

    Still waiting for the first Dieseldromic DucAudi with Twattro all-wheel-drive.

  2. Skuzzy says:

    And maybe a smaller engine sized Panigale?

  3. JD says:

    @Skuzzy…hell yea a little 888 R6 killer something you could f*cking wring its neck out

  4. Tyler says:

    I’d like to know more about the chassis/geometry changes.. or what is adjustable. Maybe they will do things proper with adjustable steering head and a nicely done rear ride height adjuster… one can hope.

  5. Andrey says:

    NOT impressed with the finish on the tank… that is a crappy job. First thing I would want to do is fix the brush marks. Painted silver would have looked better. Sorry Ducati, bad job here. Rest of the bike looks spectacular so full marks there.

  6. Peter del Rio says:

    I own a 1098R and every time I ride it is privilege. All the best components and a race inspired engine. I bought my 1098R after first wanting the Panigale. What got me to buy my R was the engine performance.

    What is disappointing about the Panigale is the powerband, it is only powerful beyond 8000 rpm. Unfortunately, the Ducati execs felt is was best to go after horsepower and chase BMW’s S1000RR rather than maintain a flat and high torque curve.

    If in fact, these are the 1199R specs, the price and power reflect Ducati’s inability to find additional performance from the 1199 engine. And what we are left with is a tricked out 1199 selling at the same price as the Tricolore. For those who are unfamiliar, 1098R/1198R list at $40K+ and have a significant boost in performance over their 1098/1198 brethren.

    We can only hope in the future the engineers are given the green light to produce a truly powerful engine to put in a supremely beautiful motorcycle and while they are at it, solve the ridiculously hot exhausts.

  7. Westward says:

    Yeah, what PDR said, and JD….

  8. Dc4go says:

    Beautiful bike can’t wait to see what she can do….. Exhaust looks awesome glad the undertail exhaust is gone cause the heat from it was brutal… That being said carbon exhaust canister doesn’t seem to be an option on this bike probably to HOT might melt.. Bike looks sick!!

  9. 76 says:

    Oh that would be awesome, a 888 or whatever capacity a twin needs to be to lineup with the middleweights. Spec it out like a true R with all that engine goodness. I would be kicking myself at the end of the year after going broke maintaining it and its inevitable backup engine.

    x1 RCV213 (Production Clone)
    x1 1199 R

    That would be a nice upgrade for the old garage.

  10. Mormont says:

    Is the 1199R going to have the carbon fiber ‘airbox’ (the stressed member between the engine and headstock) or remain aluminum like the current models?
    With all the problems Ducati had with the carbon fiber ‘framed’ GP bike curious if they will go this route on the 1199R.

  11. Sporty4Life says:

    What an ugly bike! Still using an old-fashioned chain, and what’s that pointed thing up in the air–a way to streamline the riders a$$? What about all the drag underneath and around the open rear wheel? Agree with all the above — they should start with a clean sheet of paper!!!

  12. Gidgster says:

    @ SPORTY4LIFE: Did you wander into the wrong blog? Pretty much every “proper” modern sportbike uses a chain (less power loss) and yes, the tailsection is intended to limit the drag coming from the rider’s “a$$”. We live, eat and breath modern sportbikes around here… and the Panigale certainly looks just like that… a modern sportbike!

  13. 76 says:

    Sporty4life needs to find another sport to talk about, move along troll

  14. Minibull says:

    @PDR: Yes, it doesn’t have the torque that the 1198 has. The torque that in pretty much all the road tests I read of the 1198, the testers said was almost too brutal on the road, and made it actually harder to go fast coming out of a corner on track.
    Yet when the 1199 was tested hard on the track, the testers said it was a lot easier to lay the power down from early in the corner and then once you are finishing the corner, you get a nice wallop of power going down the straight.

    @Mormont: The problems with the GP bike are so far removed from the 1199. It didn’t matter when they made the airbox out of aluminium or CF, same problems. Problems with a GP bike, on the most amazingly expensive and finicky suspension, with super difficult Bridgestone tyres, riding at the very limits above what any of us can do.
    I read Stoner never liked the trellis frame, as having all the welds made each chassis handle much differently. He was quite keen on the airbox frame idea. When spec tyres came in, the Ducati went downhill.

  15. Andrew says:

    Meanwhile Moto GP has come and gone.

  16. mark says:

    If Ducati can rotate the engine cylinders farther to the rear of the bike then they could find a conjunction point for the exhaust tubes in front of the silencers instead of behind…therefore eliminating the need for an ‘exhaust loop’ at the rear engine cylinder. This might reduce the engine heat problems…

  17. mark says:

    …and the problem with the Ducati GP bike never was the ‘frameless’ design, as Rossi and Burgess’s redesign missteps have proven! If a heavier, more physical rider (such as Spies) has success and improved lap times from this seasons attempts, then Ducati should retry the ‘frameless’ concept.

  18. PdR says:

    @Minibull With all due respect, some of us ride the motorcycles we blog about rather than repeat what someone has said or written.

    The 1199 was created to allow everyone who wants a Ducati superbike to be able to own and ride one. If you want a “wallop” going down the straight hopefully the 1199R utilizes the much rumored KERS.

    The 1198 and 1098R/1198Rs with the 1198 racing engines are not for everyone. When riding fast, it is all about minimal movements, easing into the throttle and easing into the brakes, grab either one and you’ve got problems. It is all about usable power and as engines become more powerful electronics play a bigger role in keeping the rider in control.

    The Rs are meant for the rare owner who can afford to have the best and ride the best. It is all about performance and if you can’t control it don’t buy it unless you are poser.

  19. Yoosh says:

    The photo’s aren’t of the Actual “r” just an FYI.

  20. JCB says:

    Jensen is giving some highlight’s of what he believes will be on the R. If they spec it and build it like they should I will be purchasing. Add some Ti connecting rods, full race exhaust, tuned up to R standards, carbon bits, and dare I ask rear sets? Win.

    And it won’t sit. It will see the track like my 1198SP did yesterday.

    The photo’s above are not the exact R they will be releasing and based on the electronic suspension ability, I’d bet it has the eleectronics to dial in each corner of the track based on the GPS, DDA+, ECU, Skyhook, etc.

  21. Nick Hayman says:

    Message in reply to Andrey’s ill-informed comment:
    Andrey says:
    September 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM
    NOT impressed with the finish on the tank… that is a crappy job. First thing I would want to do is fix the brush marks.
    …those aren’t brush marks, bro, they are wire wheel (possibly sand paper) finishing marks in the aluminum!

  22. Craig says:

    w@BenChallenger1 this might help http://t.co/vIdmEpQI

  23. Craig says:

    @@BenChallenger1 this might help http://t.co/vIdmEpQI