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.

Up-Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V

07/29/2013 @ 11:18 pm, by Jensen Beeler34 COMMENTS

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 3 635x421

The Honda RC213V and its predecessors have always been formidable machines in MotoGP, but for 2013 HRC has truly managed to make a peerless motorcycles for its four riders: Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, Stefan Bradl, and Alvaro Bautista.

In the past, the Honda was all about its motor and its ability to rocket out of the corners, whereas the Yamaha YZR-M1 was more about its chassis and the ability to have supreme edge-grip through the turns.

This dichotmy created two bikes that required two very different riding styles to be fully utilized; and also it meant sometimes the Honda was the weapon of choice, and sometimes the Yamaha was the better tool for the job — depending on the track, of course.

But all that changed this past season and a half. Finding a solution to the RC213V’s chatter problem (a problem that was courtesy of the raised minimum weight requirement for 2012), in the latter part of last season, HRC watch Dani Pedrosa storm after Jorge Lorenzo in the Championship points.

Helping the Repsol Honda rider was of course HRC’s seamless shifting gearbox, which at some tracks on the calendar is good for a tenth or two per lap, but what really spurred on Pedrosa was engineers at Honda overcoming the one weakness in the RC213V’s design.

No longer was the race between a bike with power and the other with handling — now the Honda had both; and better yet, Yamaha had no reply for this development.

While Yamaha Racing is still hoping to debut its own seamless gearbox during the 2013 season, it will likely do little to change the course of events in the Championship standings. The 2013 Honda RC213V is a matchless machine right now, and it is the hands of two very formidable riders.

Don’t count Jorge Lorenzo and his Yamaha YZR-M1 out of course, but the reigning World Champion has more than hisfill when it comes to fending off the two Repsol Honda riders.

Making it a point to capture this fine machine in detail at the Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca, I dodged bikes in the very busy MotoGP pit lane to bring you a bevy of high-resolution photos of the 2013 Honda RC213V MotoGP race bike, which are waiting for you after the jump (be sure to check-out my similar photo sets of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 and Yamaha YZR-M1 from Austin, TX as well).

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 2 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 5 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 9 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 10 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 11 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 13 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 14 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 15 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 17 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Honda RC213V MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 21 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Dani Pedrosa MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 2 635x431

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Dani Pedrosa MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 4 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Dani Pedrosa MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 5 635x440

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Marc Marquez MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 1 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Marc Marquez MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 3 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Marc Marquez MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 5 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Honda RC213V Marc Marquez MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 6 635x421

Photos: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0 (Online Use Only)

Comment:

  1. TexusTim says:

    wow great photos…thanks jensen !

  2. taikebo says:

    millions dollar bike

  3. Xlerator says:

    Probably the greatest bike ever known to man.

    Hope that the RCV street bike will give some of that to us mortals…

  4. proudAmerican says:

    Dear Honda Dudes,

    Please build us a new V4 1000cc sportbike with Ohlins suspension, race ABS, and traction control for around $20,000 and I’ll put one in my garage.

  5. TexusTim says:

    mr proud…please not twenty grand !!…maybe you have all the disposable cash in the worls but many of us dont…howabout showa’s new suspension…. and all new litre bikes come with traction controll but the honda..so no extra money for that now “standard feature”..lets say 12 to 14 grand…if its going to replace the honda cbr 1000 rr (love that bike) it has to have a tolarable price tag…you can upgrade the suspension when ohlins offers a unit for the bike unless there going to use there unilink swingarm they have on the 1k right now then you could use there ttx…maybe ohlins has developed something already that can be used on the new v4 superbike have been hearing things about some new track/streebike suspension…so take 14 grand and add ttx and cartdidges and it still would only be 16.500..so standaed bike 12 to 14 upgraded bike 16 to 18…that’s what im going to demand im sending a email to american honde right now !!…o waite you cant send email to there cs department…bawawawawahahahya…by the way the new “balance free” showa rear shock works very well..I just put one on my 08 cbr 1000

  6. Gutterslob says:

    One thing I’ve always noticed about the HRC bikes is the level of fit and finish. Other manufacturers’ prototype bikes look like prototype bikes. HRC prototypes look like they’re made for a production line (albeit an ultra expensive one). The welds, the carbon weave, the switchgear, the way everything seems to fit together so well.

    I remember reading a magazine where that had a feature VR’s old five cylinder RC211V (just before he left to Yamaha) some years ago. There was one picture where we got a clear view of the right side without any bodywork on. Utterly gobsmacking how they got so much into such a small space. Even the insides of a modern-day cellphone look loose in comparison.

  7. pooch says:

    still the best looking bike out there – by a mile. Nothing stands out and says fast like the Repsol Honda livery. great photos Mr Beeler.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “mr proud…please not twenty grand !!”

    right then, $40 grand.

    re: “maybe you have all the disposable cash in the worls but many of us don’t”

    no worries, it’s a new era. Honda’s got kit made offshore just for you. there’s a CBR250 in your future. :)

    seriously, I don’t think we’re going to see this V4 street bike. the production racer is about it. I think Honda (thanks in no small part to Kawasaki) is realizing all they have to do is pass the HRC magic wand over the CBR/Blade and VOILA it’s competitiveness in WSBK and wins on the Island and Suzuka are not signals of “needing replacement”… they are just signals of “needing assistance”.

  9. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Why is Honda through the years so consistently great? Is it their engineers? their ideas? their ingenuity? their process to solve complex problems? what do they do that the others don’t do?

    Why not a Honda V4 street bike again?

  10. Paul McM says:

    Jensen,
    Great images! What’s your camera set-up! Did you saturate and increase contrast for the web versions?

    Love the shots of the riders leaving the pits. And as for hardware, that titanium exhaust is to die for….

  11. motogp fan says:

    Nice to see the pictures but the article is more fantasy then reality. Its sad to see so many people letting out their literary talents without much thought for facts and actual events.

    This season, more then any other season in recent years, the dichotomy as major.
    Every dry race so far, we seen either a Yamaha or Honda domination. Surprisingly, Yamaha dominating on more tracks:

    Qatar – Yamaha domination
    COTA – Honda domination
    Jerez – Honda
    LeMans – wet
    Mugello – Yamaha domination
    Catalunya – a little closer but Honda fading off suddenly by midrace
    Assen – Yamaha domination
    Sachsenring and Laguna we’ll never know since the two top riders were riding injured.

  12. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    @motogp fan,

    you wouldn’t consider Marc Marquez one of the top riders? …unless what you meant to write was ‘the top two riders after MM were riding injured.’ Then ok, I’d agree with you.

    After what I saw at Laguna Seca I think you might be guilty of not much thought for facts and actual events.

    Marc Marquez is for real.

  13. motogp fan says:

    @Chaz. Yes, Marquez will be one of the top riders, but he is a rookie and a rookie for the first time on Laguna. I have all reasons to assume he didn’t show off the real potential of his RC213V there, fighting off Bradl for victory. I can assume, for good reason, Laguna would’ve been another Honda dominated track, but i preferred to leave it out for objectivity’s sake.

  14. motogp fan says:

    For reasons concerning different design philosophies or tyres, Yamaha dominated all fast tracks and suffered on slow technical tracks, moreso when the track temperature got higher.

    But this season the dichotomy is more evident then it has been in many years. And it is pathetic not to recognize on how many tracks Yamaha actually dominated. And to try to suggest Honda is some sort of swiss knife (far from reality).

  15. irksome says:

    Those pipe welds are surely art.

  16. proudAmerican says:

    @ TexasTim,

    If you’re thinking a new literbike (2014 or 2015) will be in the $12-14,000 price range, then you’re not in touch with today’s literbike market. They’re already $14,000.

  17. I stopped taking you seriously when you said that the guy leading the MotoGP Championship, in your opinion, isn’t a top rider.

  18. motogp fan says:

    Ok, we have 24 top riders in MotoGP right now. This should make everyone happy.
    Some people are way to sensitive. All i said was since the 2 fastest riders were riding with injuries i preferred not to count those two races in.
    Marquez battling two of the satellite riders in these two races, is a clear sign of what was missing.

    This has absolutely no weight in the fact that this season we had one of the two top manufacturers taking turns in dominating at every track. Honda losing ground on all fast tracks, something that didn’t really happen until 2013.

    Must be my mistake though, taking you seriously after saying the Honda is a matchless bike this year. Since Lorenzo was dominating on most tracks. But this hype was already in the air before the season started, its sad to see people promoting it without any care for whats really happening on track.

  19. Kursed says:

    Phenomenal pics Mr Beeler.

  20. paulus says:

    it’s a beautiful piece of kit… thanks for the images.

  21. “Must be my mistake though, taking you seriously after saying the Honda is a matchless bike this year. Since Lorenzo was dominating on most tracks.”

    Oh good, you’re making my point for me. So you understand that race results come from both the rider and the machine, and that Lorenzo winning races doesn’t mean the Yamaha is the best bike on the grid, and vice versa?

    Look, it’s really not a topic that’s up for debate. The Yamaha riders on numerous occasions have voiced how much better the RC213V is, so has Lin Jarvis. So it’s not my opinion that you’re taking issue with, it’s theirs.

    I’m just the guy at the races, who is doing the press scrums, taking notes, and working the paddock for info. Occasionally I take photos too…and not from behind a chain-link fence.

  22. TheSwede says:

    There’s something in the colors.. The Honda that just grabs me in a way the Yamaha and Ducati don’t. I wish I knew something about color theory, i think that may be part of it..

    Beautiful pictures J.B.

  23. motogp fan says:

    Rossi dominated Assen, and he would’ve been in the same shape in Qatar, counting Lorenzo out. Crutchlow really shines this year, on a satellite Yamaha.
    While Honda, so far, constantly struggling on the really fast tracks.

    My issue is with saying the dichotomy we were used with, is a thing of the past, when we actually see one or the other manufacturer dominating each race day. We all witness it this season, and it seems the packages are much more “track sensitive” then in years passed.

  24. TexusTim says:

    um i have a few bikes in my garage, and you can buy a new cbr for around 11 out the door..either you pay sticker or think sticker is what a bike is worth http://austin.craigslist.org/mcy/3957454594.html as you can see an aprila can be had for even less…norm …next you’ll be correcting my spelling…… it allways happens…..I bought a new cbr 1000rr for 5 grand with 06 cbr 600 with 7000 miles trade in.. i figure even with all the mods the 600 was worth at the most 6 grand and with the tax savings on a trade in it was a home run and less than 11 grand out the door…Im going to sell the 2012 cbr and my 08 cbr and get an aprila rsv4 and I aint got alot of money so I work up to these expensive bikes…not everyone has disposable cash, married well or has an inheritance…o the horror

  25. Norm G. says:

    re: “Sachsenring and Laguna…”

    …and indy. you have my permission to go ahead and put ALL 3 of this tracks in the Honda column. no worries.

  26. Norm G. says:

    re: “Im going to sell the 2012 cbr and my 08 cbr and get an aprila rsv4 and I aint got alot of money so I work up to these expensive bikes”

    ok very well, $30 grand (+5K over an HP4), and that’s my final offer.

  27. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Jensen,

    I would go one step further regarding MM–I think we are witnessing the dawning of a spectacular talent on par with the other greats. I bet the reason Stoner is testing on Motegi or wherever he is, is because he can’t stand all this talk and hype (all of it deserved btw) about Marquez.

    The term “aliens” makes me chuckle now. MM seems to be every bit as talented as Pedrosa and Lorenzo, as fierce and charasmatic as Rossi and then displaying race craft and savy (some would call him loose) in a league of his own.

    I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. This guy can’t be for real… but he is.

    He is a shot in the arm for MotoGP and for Honda. Can you imagine a Stoner/Marquez repsol honda team next season? I also can’t wait for several of the other moto2 guys to join the show.

  28. PD says:

    Thanks for the rare close-ups, Jensen. (Nobody does fit-and-finish [and frickin WELDS] like Honda; though, Yamaha tries.) It’d be great if, in the future, when you have the opportunity, you can do the same with an M1.

    Question for anyone: what do the wraps (armbands) do around the brake and clutch reservoirs? Always wondered about that…

  29. Bob says:

    I’m not sure why this topic keeps coming up with some people.

    Tim, just because YOU do not have the disposable income for a 20k bike, that doesn’t mean that other people don’t. So, who’s fault is that? Yours or Hondas? How about the new Vette or Viper? Don’t have one either? What were Chevy and Dodge thinking? Fires those guys that approved those projects for not taking you into consideration.

    Hey I can’t either, but I won’t deny those that do and I’m not one to stifle creativity and progress.

    Fact: 20k bikes do sell.
    Fact: 25k bikes do sell.
    Fact: 30k bikes do sell.

    Anytime I go to Lunsford Honda, each of the Ducatis that are priced at that level are sold.

    So, just because YOU can’t afford it, that doesn’t mean Honda shouldn’t be allowed to produce and sell it. If Ducati can sell a decked out Panigale for $30k, surely Honda can move a $20k RCV out the door too. Even Aprilia sold all their $40k Neros.

    Sometimes you just have to buy what you can afford and be happy with that. So, buy the CBR. It’s a great bike. It’s not like you can use it to it’s full potential anyway so a $20k RCV would surely also be wasted on you.

  30. Bob says:

    PD, the wristbands are for absorbing fluid in case of a boil over.

  31. Bob says:

    As much as I want to see Mr. HRC-Silver-Spoon-in-his-Mouth MM lose, because of his HRC silver spoon upbringing, I make no denial that he is the next phenomenon that will be rememebered for generations to come. Sorry, I just feel this way because I’m disappointed that the USA has no real contender anymore. But I really do like them all.

    Where others are clearly working hard to go fast, MM is simply comfortable at it, he’s that good. His style is is clearly just a bit different than everyone elses and beacuse it works, the others are working to copy his form. Even the more experienced aliens. It’s in their best interest to adapt. No shame to admit it. Only shame in not adapting.

    Af course, having the best bike helps a bit. :)

  32. PD says:

    Thanks, Jensen. Exactly (short of having one sitting in my living room) what I was looking for.

    Thanks, Bob, for the info. Though, it seems to me that there would be better alternatives for soaking up run-off and at the same time providing less insulation against heat-sink effect (though I have no real idea how much the reservoirs might be able to act as heat-sinks…).

  33. twoversion says:

    pixel prOn! fap fap fap