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.

The 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure is Finally Here

10/07/2013 @ 1:31 am, by Jensen Beeler30 COMMENTS

The 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure is Finally Here 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure studio 17 635x476

Earlier today, I was thinking of writing a story that would be titled “The Four Obvious Bikes that BMW is about to Debut” or something like that.

While that list would include the spied water-cooled BMW R1200RT, BMW S1000R, and BMW NineT machines, at the top of that list would be the BMW R1200GS Adventure, which is predictable extension of the new GS, which debuted last year. BMW, it would seem, has beaten me to the punch.

Officially official, the 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure has broken cover now, and is ready for you to ADV on until your heart is content. Not only does the new R1200GSA do away with the oddities in BMW’s 2013 lineup, where the old “air-cooled” GSA sat next to the new “precision-cooled” GS, we really wish this bike had been available for A&R‘s recent Broventure.

C’est la vie, as the French would say. We’ve got all the changes, photos, and so forth for you after the jump.

From the horse’s mouth, the changes to the 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure are as follows:

  • Increased flywheel mass in the engine and additional vibration damper for even smoother running and superior rideability.
  • Spring travel 20 millimetres longer at front and rear compared to R1200GS.
  • 10 millimetres more ground clearance than predecessor.
  • Modified geometry of trailing arm for even sharper handling.
  • Completely restyled bodywork in distinctly robust and masculine GS Adventure design.
  • 30-litre (7.9 gallon) fuel tank with similar range to predecessor.
  • ABS, ASC, and two riding modes as standard.
  • Three further riding modes available as an ex-works option.
  • Semi-active suspension Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) available as an ex-works option.
  • More comfortable, tilt-adjustable bench seat.
  • Large, adjustable windshield and air flaps.
  • Wide enduro footrests.
  • Adjustable, reinforced foot-operated levers.
  • Robust engine and tank protection bar.
  • Wide range of special accessories and optional extras available ex-works.

The 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure is Finally Here 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure studio 16 635x476

The 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure is Finally Here 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure studio 02 635x476

The 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure is Finally Here 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure studio 06 635x476

The 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure is Finally Here 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure studio 07 635x476

The 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure is Finally Here 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure studio 10 635x476

Source: BMW

Comment:

  1. JHB1984 says:

    love it … 1 white for me please :o)

  2. Robin says:

    Great to see these nice feature upgrades. Is it me, or do the design cues seem to pay homage to the Mola Mola – the gas tank appears ginormous.

  3. JHB1984 says:

    the fuel has to go somewhere ;o)

  4. paulus says:

    It’s a GS… with knobs on! :)

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “BMW, it would seem, has beaten me to the punch.”

    they’re good like that.

    meet the new boss… DIFFERENT than the old boss.

  6. Stridercal says:

    Damn, what a big ‘ole pig!

  7. Coreyvwv says:

    So… They made an already too tall bike even taller?

    New for 2014: even more inaccessible to average sized people and now with an even higher center of gravity! You want this, trust us!

  8. Shawn says:

    I’m conflicted. I love the IDEA of the GS series – the ABILITY to go anywhere (even if you never actually DO go anywhere), the all-around good nature of the bike, the versatility of the platform – but it seems to me that BMW is going so far into the technological realm (i.e. ESA, ABS, ASC, BFD) that it’s become impossible to actually service the thing unless you JUST HAPPEN to break down within 500 feet of a BMW dealer (any further and you wouldn’t have the stamina to push it there).

    What happened to the notion of a well-designed, strong, reliable motorcycle that didn’t take an electrical engineering degree to service, was as reliable as a hammer, and was priced within the reach of average people who just want to ride?

    What would interest me? A new GS that had no electronically controlled anything on it, save for fuel injection. Think Honda CB1100, only in GS format.

  9. Contango says:

    Summary of the above comments: Too Bulky; too Heavy; too Complicated; too Hard to work on; too Expensive; too Ugly.

    I get it. Just say “No” to invasive species….

  10. Paulo says:

    AH-HAHAHA……………I love to hear all the Engineers, lawyers, Doctors, and Spec Sheet Dakar Racers. You’re the ones that never ride your bikes off road yet wax your bikes and add the most amount of crap and gizmos to show off at the BMW MOA rallies…..the ones that probably have all your “Air GS” on craigslist and cycle trader to sell expecting to upgrade to the next thing you’ll wax, gizmo out, and not take off road to what…….”Complain the bikes got too much electronics, Too Heavy, Too much blah, blah, blah……….

    Really, I say this as a 40 year old BMW GS rider who LOVE’S his 1200GS but who’s observed a rather unfavorable trend in his 5 years as a BMW owner…………The products are more durable, better looking, easier to ride, more efficient, longer range, more comfortable………basically TANKS that can really take you anywhere you brave……….but other BMW owners tend to make the whole experience unfavorable. I find the biggest problem with BMW is the owners and not the bikes. KTM has the same EGO problems so they’re not the solution either.

    Sorry to rant as I like this blog and generally like the comments here.

    The one beliefs I have…………There are a LOT of great bikes out there but there are unfortunately a LOT more bad rides who make excuse for their skill.

    Looking forward to seeing this bike in person.

  11. Jimmy G. says:

    Buying a Yamaha Super Tenere since BMW refuses to address final drive and driveshaft issues. Been riding beemers for over 36 years time to defect and go to the competition.

  12. kww says:

    More spring travel for fatter asses. With saddle bags this thing will be pushing 600lb. Wish they would bring back the R S series and bring it with light weight.

  13. noname says:

    “even more inaccessible to average sized people”

    Glad to have a bike for us that are not vertically challenged. Hell, just about every manufacturer talks about how low their seats are, bull crap. I’ll take the 35″ seat height.

    “well-designed, strong, reliable motorcycle that didn’t take an electrical engineering degree to service, was as reliable as a hammer, and was priced within the reach of average people who just want to ride?”

    Then buy a V-Strom. Been there done that, I’ll take the beemer.

  14. MikeD says:

    I LOVE THIS TANK (^_^) !

    But i would rather take a Super Tenere if i had to put my money on the line.
    Does everything this one does or I WOULD EVER DO on it for a lot less $$$ and headaches when it comes to service and regular up keep.

    I guess cheap skates like myself need not apply. LMAO.

  15. MikeD says:

    P.S: No standard Cruise Control ? WTF BMW ? !

  16. Paul McM says:

    Every weekend in SoCal I see an increasing number of these porcine posercycles being trundled along for a 20-mile all-pavement highway cruise by Viagraventurers in $1200 worth of brand new all-weather gear that hasn’t seen a rain-drop. Or cautiously motored by mid-life-crisis lawyers from Beverly Hills to a coffee klatch in Santa Monica, with all their mega-sized panniers and top boxes filled with… absolutely nothing. As these wannabee globetrotters sip their mocha frappachinos I love to ask them to demonstrate putting their 600-lb panzers on the centerstand. Their faces go as white as the froth in a Starbucks latte….

  17. J Wilson says:

    I really do understand that these things are an engineering marvel of sorts. Although to me it needs to be painted yellow, sport ‘Caterpillar’ stickers, and feature a prominent winch just below the headlight(s).

    For the life of me, since I don’t have the legs of an NFL lineman, I can not understand why I would take anybody’s 600# dual-sport into the woods, and since these are as PC-boarded up as every other new bike, what on Earth could get me going again when the electronics flash the ‘D-O-A’ message on the screen out in the Great Wide Middle of Nowhere. For this big stack of Benjamins, if you bought the extended warranty, does BMW dispatch a cargo helicopter to fly you out?

    I often think that BMW’s problem is not the bikes or the riders, but a lot of their dealers.

    I often wonder how KLR’s keep selling these days with a one-lung carburetor and motor, a chain drive, ancient ignition, etc. Then I read these GS articles and I know why. A normal human can stand one back up, and you can McGiver the thing to keep running with zip-ties and some chewing gum foil. No, it’s no GS, but then that’s the point.

  18. Paul McM says:

    @J Wilson: “I often wonder how KLR’s keep selling these days with a one-lung carburetor and motor, a chain drive, ancient ignition, etc. Then I read these GS articles and I know why. A normal human can stand one back up, and you can McGiver the thing to keep running with zip-ties and some chewing gum foil.”

    Yes, precisely. Well said. 18 months now into my ownership of a 2011 DR650se, which I purchased in as-new condition for $3900.00, it remains simple, sturdy, trouble-free, economical, reasonably light, and as versatile as a Leatherman. It remains box-stock, but for a $9 eBay tailpack and a $12 oversize left mirror (the better to see crazy cagers cutting me off). Simple carb, manual choke. Maintenance has consisted of oiling the chain and one easy-to-do oil change — that’s it. My DR ain’t fancy, but she is fun and easy to ride. My VFR800 languishes because the DR is heaps better as a city bike AND as a fire road mount. And funnily enough, people seem to like my plain Jane DR. In fact, to my great astonishment a pretty girl half my age today walked past me, smiled and said “nice bike”. Tell me why, then, I need a $18,500 GS that is over-sized, over-weight, and over-priced?? DR650se: http://www.cycleworld.com/model/ez/2011_DR650SE.jpg

  19. Norm G. says:

    re: “What would interest me? A new GS that had no electronically controlled anything on it”

    for BMW and their network of business people who’ve shelled out/invested MILLIONS for a franchise…? that is patently UNINTERESTING.

  20. para says:

    Thanks, I’ll keep my 660 Tenere. Good luck with picking one of those up, when you are…you know…out “on the trail” and all.
    Hilarious.

  21. D Smith says:

    Not sure about the styling but I guess it’ll grow on me like the current model…… I wish people would stop going on about the bikes off-road ability because in my opinion it isn’t really intended for such purposes – it’s marketed as such for Ewan wannabes . I’ve done my fair share of competitive trials riding over the years and therefore have no desire or find any excitement in riding my GSA along a rutted forestry road or through a flooded brook. I can’t cope with the cleaning afterwards either…..! If you want to ride off-road properly then you’d be far better off buying a Beta Evo 250. However, if you want to ride 800+miles a day two-up abroad on any type of road surface then there is no better bike than the GSA…..Fact! You get off the ferry with all the other bikers and then you smugly wave goodbye to them when they pull in for fuel and you keep going for 300 mile (if you’re ass can cope). There is no other bike that will cover vast distances as fast as the GSA due to the enormous tank range. I’m sure the new model will be a superb machine and will raise the bar even higher. My only concern is that they haven’t compromised on the tank range with the 30 litre tank ‘fingers crossed’……!

  22. Stefano says:

    It is fantastic! I will buy for sure

  23. Brent Jacobsen says:

    I agree with and join the writers here who applaud BMW for building a motorcycle for those of us who are not scrawny, short and afraid of a 500-600 lbs. ride. I understand that if you are small statured, you would be threatened by a bike this size. Fine. Don’t buy it. But to go off like a yipping little dog about the size of the GSA is annoying and ridiculous. Okay, it isn’t your size. Move on.

    When you go clothes shopping, do you similarly bark at the merchant for carrying XL and XXL sizes?

    Do you want to know how much we larger-than-average people have to squeeze ourselves into puny little seats on planes, in theaters, in cars, at work, etc.? Do you want to hear about how tough it is to find current, stylish clothes that fit?

    No, of course you don’t want to hear about it. And we don’t want to hear about your complaints of a motorcycle that happens to be too big for you. Get over it.

  24. MikeD says:

    @Brent:

    WELL SAID. LOL.

  25. poo says:

    in iran : only photo of this bike in access.

  26. Jean says:

    Ooooo my god how ugly is this bike once again. Why BMW has so bad taste!? It’s not good, not not light, it’s not reliable, it’s not beautiful, it has once again most hideous design only BMW have been able to produce year in year out. With old GS it almost, almost promised that something will turn around in this only fake promises and empty talk company but no – it was just a random mistake not a chosen right road. Only new KTM Adventure design failure can save this bike sales one more time. I hope KTM will collect their forces and replace their Adventure shortly for 2015 with some real properly designed Adventure motorcycle.

  27. JHB1984 says:

    and how should this bike look then, Jean ?

  28. Krby says:

    Cant what an amazing machine. I am selling my Harely for this!!

  29. Timon says:

    Great bike not to tall. Not to heavy. Big tank. Reliable engine. I’m 6’2″ 220 pounds and people just call me BIG JOHN lol. Look I keep reading that the bikes to big and heavy. 600 pounds is nothing. Your not dangling it over your head your just tilting it back up right if you do manage to lay it down.

  30. Lyle Mundell says:

    Great looking bike can’t wait to test, I love my 1200gs adventures, on my second one unfortunately my first one did not like the water much only complaint I’ve ever had with the BM