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 KTM 390 Duke – AYBABTU

11/13/2012 @ 4:48 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

2013 KTM 390 Duke   AYBABTU 2013 KTM 390 Duke 01 635x402

Officially official now, there isn’t much about the 2013 KTM 390 Duke that we don’t already know ahead of the opening of the EICMA show. Built in India by KTM minority shareholder Bajaj, the KTM 390 Duke is a 373cc single-cylinder bike that shares the same chassis as the KTM 125 Duke & KTM 200 Duke.

Suitable for Europe’s A2 licensing system, the largest baby Duke competes well against bikes like the Honda CBR500R and Kawasaki Ninja 300, and thus finishes out the Austrian’s bid to control the small-displacement market.

Underneath the hood, KTM’s new lump features a short stork cylinder dimension (89mm x 60mm), which is good for 43hp and 26 lbs•ft of torque. At 330 lbs at the curb ready-to-ride, the KTM 390 Duke is a fairly light machine, though it still carries about 60 lbs of extra heft when compared to the 125cc variant. Getting Bosch ABS brakes, WP suspension, and Brembo brakes, the KTM 390 Duke has some nice premium parts, which should help differentiate it in this segment.

Having now three bikes in three key small-displacement categories, and all of them are very fetching…especially with the newly included ABS braking system. Expected to come to American soil next year, we still await pricing information on the 2013 KTM 390 Duke, but expect it to be competitive. The Austrians mean business with this machine, and it shows.

2013 KTM 390 Duke   AYBABTU 2013 KTM 390 Duke 02 635x423

2013 KTM 390 Duke   AYBABTU 2013 KTM 390 Duke 03 635x423

Technical Specifications of the 2013 KTM Duke 390

Engine: Four-stroke liquid-cooled, 4-valve
Displacement: 373 cm
Bore x stroke: 89 x 60 mm
Compression ratio: 12.6:1
Power: Bosch injection
Lubrication: Wet sump
Frame: Steel trellis
Front Suspension: WP inverted fork Ø 43 mm, deb. 150 mm
Rear Suspension: WP monoshock, deb. 150 mm
Front Brake: disc Ø 300 mm, 4-piston radial caliper
Rear Brake: 230 mm disc, 1-piston caliper
Tires: front: 110/70 x 17, rear: 150/60 x 17
Angle: 65 °
Trail: 100mm
Wheelbase: 1367mm
Ground clearance: 170mm
Seat Height: 800mm
Weight: 139 kg dry, less than 150 kg at the curb
Tank: 11 liters

Source: KTM

Comment:

  1. wreckah says:

    i wants me a testride oh yeah!

  2. Tedd Riggs says:

    Nice bike, hope it comes to America !

  3. Johan says:

    Very nice. Take a good look at this, Ducati designers that are smoking I don’t know what these days!

  4. lumengrid says:

    I want one, like right now!!!

    I bet it will a cracker!

  5. Ganny says:

    Most definitely my next bike

  6. Kaz says:

    Oh yes… mmmyyy prrrecccciooussss… I can’t wait to test ride this little ass-kicker and then buy one! Please bring to USA!

  7. John says:

    As soon as somebody starts selling track plastics for it, I’ll be buying two of these…

  8. Brett says:

    6″ of suspension travel with a 31.5″ seat height, weighs the same as a DRZ400SM (Suzuki’s Super Moto) and presumably costs the same but outperforms it in every way (except perhaps on the roughest roads)… I had that DRZ and it was big fun.

  9. Mitch says:

    … All your Bajaj are belong to us?

  10. Sham says:

    Loving it, was planning to get Duke 200 in India, now will wait for 390, hope it will come in another 3-4 months to market. And Duke 390 will be cheapest in India as its manufactured here, Duke 200 being priced at $2500 in India, hope this one will be within $4000.

  11. 76 says:

    Would love to see a race class form from this model.

  12. MikeD says:

    Loving the Small Displacement Arms Race…good times to be around.

  13. Peter Ha says:

    So cute: 2013 KTM 390 Duke – AYBABTU – http://t.co/65zqF5M3

  14. Peter Ha says:

    So cute RT @asphalt_rubber 2013 KTM 390 Duke http://t.co/65zqF5M3

  15. 守島裕輝 says:

    うおーぉぉお!390DUKEも発表されとる!http://t.co/8ZVfD3GK 125/200と同じシャシーで390cc44PSで装備重量150kgって凄く楽しいよコレ!グースみたい。

  16. David says:

    Please bring to the US, please.. Pretty please!

  17. うおーぉぉお!390DUKEも発表されとる!http://t.co/8ZVfD3GK 125/200と同じシャシーで390cc44PSで装備重量150kgって凄く楽しいよコレ!グースみたい。