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.

2014 BMW S1000R – 160hp, ABS, & Optional DTC & DDC

11/05/2013 @ 2:53 am, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS

2014 BMW S1000R   160hp, ABS, & Optional DTC & DDC 2014 BMW S1000R studio 03 635x476

As expected, BMW Motorrad took the wraps off a completely new motorcycle today at the EICMA show, the BMW S1000R. A streetfighter version of the venerable BMW S1000RR superbike, the S1000R drops an “R” from its name along with roughly 30hp, with the naked bike sporting a 160hp peak figure — primarily due to a redline that is 2,000 rpm less than the S1000RR.

Build the 999cc inline-four motor for low-end and mid-range torque, rather the maximum peak horsepower, BMW says that the S1000R makes 7 lbs•ft more torque than the S1000RR, all the way up to 7,500 rpm.

With a peak torque figure of 83 lbs•ft at 9,250 rpm, the BMW S1000R  is now slouch, though with it tipping the scales at 456 lbs (207kg) — the 2014 BMW S1000R is few pounds heavier than its predecessor.

BMW Motorrad has made sure that the S1000R comes full loaded, with the new model featuring a race ABS, automatic stability control (ASC), and dual-riding modes (Road & Rain), with dynamic traction control (DTC) as an add-on feature.

This latter point might be a detriment to BMW Motorrad, considering that traction control is rapidly becoming a standard feature in the two-wheeled world, and a must-have in the sport-naked segment.

Also available as an option is BMW dynamic damping control (DDC), which is fancy wording for a semi-active suspension system. Debuting for BMW Motorrad on the BMW HP4, the BMW S1000R is the first motorcycle in its segment to offer the new suspension technology.

The 2014 BMW S1000R is available in non-metallic Racing Red, metallic Frozen Dark Blue, and non-metallic Light White liveries, and will be available in March/April 2014. No word on pricing just yet.

2014 BMW S1000R   160hp, ABS, & Optional DTC & DDC 2014 BMW S1000R studio 01 635x476

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Source: BMW Motorrad

Comment:

  1. Jake F. says:

    Cut 30hp and add more weight. Sounds like a recipe for success!

  2. Rods says:

    Ugly. Just that.

  3. smiler says:

    Now that BMW has pulled the plug on WSBK. The streetfighteeerrrr seems to be a S1000RR with less plastic and a few less horses.
    Going to be less and less cutting edge.

  4. Frito says:

    Kudos to BMW using “sceince” to make the perfect bike in regards to aero dynamics and other motorcyle sceince things. The regular guy/girl doesnt care that the hideous head on this bike spreads wind evenly when riding or that the grills bend the light spectrum and teleport you forward. Sacrifice some sceince for style man. Looks, power, reliable is what the average Joe/Jane takes into consideration when choosing his/her next bike.

  5. Seth says:

    First street fighter I’ve ever seen with cruise control.
    I love that bmw puts all the bells and whistles on all their bikes.

  6. FranktheTank says:

    Aaahhhhhhhhhhh sky net is real. The terminaters are coming for us!!!!!!!!

  7. Matthew says:

    If you put a red light bulb in that projector beam, it would look like the cyborg from Terminator.

  8. Matthew says:

    Jesus H Christ, Frank.

    We must be thinking along the same lines.

  9. Starmag says:

    Silly me, I thought on a “naked” the idea was to actually be able to see the engine. You know, MOTORcycle. As to the headlight stylists on this and other new bikes, yes they are distinctive, you can put the c pipe down now.

  10. Damo says:

    Why is it heavier?

    It looks better than the test mule, but still not my taste. I am sure on the road it is amazing, though.

  11. AC says:

    BMW Motorrad: Incredibly good bikes made unnecessary ugly.

  12. Damo says:

    @AC

    Exactly! You know this bike will be amazing, but damn. It should look much better.

  13. Ron says:

    BMW ,you need some Italian design help …really now…

  14. Mariani says:

    @Starmag

    I don’t like the use of plastic on this either.

    I keep waiting those bikes to be more like a CB1100.

  15. Andrei M says:

    Hmm, I thought it would take some doing to design something uglier than a new Z1000… “Not so” said BMW Motorrad…

  16. Craig says:

    WOW… not to positive are we here? These high horsepower bikes with all of their electronics require large radiators and other ugly stuff to please the posing masses. If they build an air-cooled S1000 with low HP and no electronics, they could easily do away with some of the plastic (air flow) and other things. but a little plastic flows the air, hides the electronics / wiring and everything else required to purrrrr.

    But I for one feel it copies the Aprilia Tuono in a big way from the side and that isn’t bad. I don’t mind the styling and I think 160 HP is plenty… heck my 675R is plenty 98% of the time….

    Not the best stylist for sure at BMW… but I think they do know how to be UNIQUE. :)

  17. Timon says:

    Oh man… they should really stop Karl Dall from designing their bikes!
    On the other hand, it’s not easy creating headlights as ugly as that, so I guess I should give some credit to BMW.

    Picture of Karl Dall, in case you’re not German:
    http://starsandmore.info/cms/images/stories/kuenstler/kleinkunst/karl_dall.jpg

  18. Gutterslob says:

    @Timon
    Put him and the bike together and you wouldn’t be able to tell em apart.
    Quite the narcissist, this Dall chap.

  19. Tom says:

    This BMW asymmetry look bores me. I wish they would either us a single headlight or make the dual headlights the exact same. I wonder why they don’t design their cars like this? oh yeah, because it’s silly….sigh

  20. Sentinel says:

    Has BMW addressed the issue that some owners have had with these Engines/Transmissions “hand-grenading” yet?

  21. Mariani says:

    @Craig

    Wouldn’t it be great if Beemer did an air cooled naked with honest, elegant styling and an emphasis on heritage/riding pleasure rather than numbers?

    http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/bikes/bmw-r-ninet/

    Nailed it.
    The Ninet is just so much more bike.

  22. jet says:

    Yuck,They forgot to finish the front end.The look’s take’s them back right when they were doing good imo…

  23. el Russ says:

    Aprilia called – they want their Tuono back.

  24. paulus says:

    Why does this look like the sport bikes slightly drooling, fatter, slower 1/2 brother?

    Assymetrical design…my arse, both bikes just look like they had strokes (not the engine kind).

  25. lucas says:

    Looks cool in red in My opinion , much better than new z1000 .

  26. John B says:

    I keep reminding myself that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the asymmetrical headlight has all the style of a war wound. That said, a rider rarely sees his bike from the front while riding and I imagine the s1000r provides an exhilarating yet composed ride. I would say, however, that motorcycles like women lose appeal when they become too refined. It seems a little edginess adds to the excitement. Overall, I’m a little disappointed in the s1000r, but a short test ride would likely relieve that ailment.

  27. MikeD says:

    GASP ! It looks 10 times better than that Queen of FUGLY INSECT HEAD Tuono (even if she has better electronics and/or more standard options than BMW).

    And that right there makes it an instant winner with me. It never crossed my mind that the BMW would look better. (O_O)’

    Perhaps even better looking than the more symetrical Z1000 ? (DOUBLE GASP !).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Jake F. says: “””Cut 30hp and add more weight. Sounds like a recipe for success!”””

    +1. What were they thinking, not so much about the power chop but the additional poundage is just WRONG.
    Is a frigging naked for crying out loud.
    It should be lighter by default !

  28. MikeD says:

    P.S: I see they were mocking KTM with the picture in front of the Hangar’s doors.

    Too bad BMW . . . The JOKE IS ON YOU and your short-changed motorcycle.

    There shall only be one Beast and that’s the 1290 SD.

  29. Matt says:

    I’m going to have to be the devils advocate here, because I love it. Yeah it’s got some extra plastic, but so does the Tuono, and that’s one badass bike. I think people will change their minds once the bike comes out.