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.

Fuel or Electronics? Where Are Nicky Hayden & Scott Redding Losing Out on the Honda RCV1000R?

The news that Honda would be building a production racer to compete in MotoGP aroused much excitement among fans. There was much speculation over just how quick it would be, and whether it would be possible for a talented rider to beat the satellite bikes on some tracks. In the hands of active MotoGP riders, the gap was around 2 seconds at the Sepang tests. Nicky Hayden – of whom much had been expected, not least by himself – had made significant improvements, especially on corner entry. The difference in performance and the big gap to the front has been cause for much speculation. Where are the Honda production racers losing out to the Factory Option bikes?

HRC Shows Off the 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally Race Bike

10/08/2013 @ 7:50 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

HRC Shows Off the 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally Race Bike 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally 11 635x423

HRC already showed us its 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally race bike earlier this year at Mugello, during the Italian GP. Announcing a five rider team, Helder Rodrigues (Portugal, age 34), Sam Sunderland (U.K., 24), Javier Pizzolito (Argentina, 33), Paulo Goncalves (Portugal, 34) and Joan Barreda (Spain, 29) will race for Big Red in the 2014 Dakar Rally and other rally events.

Improving on its 2013 design, which in-turn was based off the Honda CRF450X enduro, HRC says that the 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally has improved engine output, aerodynamic performance, durability, and maintenance requirements. It will be campaign by the Team HRC factory team, and also be made available to other rally teams as a production racer.

The entry into rally race is a new step for Honda, and the Japanese OEM took last year to develop a competitive racing package. The new Honda CRF450 Rally race bike is the product of that learning experience, and Honda hopes to be a stout competitor this moment forth.

HRC will have stiff competition though, as Marc Coma will have a brand new KTM race bike for 2014, and Cyril Despres has defected from his Austrian squad to the Yamaha Racing factory team. As such, 2014 could be an interesting year for The Dakar, with three OEMs having a shot at victory at the rally’s end.

We still have some months before the 2014 Dakar Rally takes off, but we will get our first glimpse of the 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally race bike this month at the Morocco Rally, which starts October 13th.

HRC Shows Off the 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally Race Bike 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally 16 635x423

HRC Shows Off the 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally Race Bike 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally 13 635x423

HRC Shows Off the 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally Race Bike 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally 14 635x423

HRC Shows Off the 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally Race Bike 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally 05 635x423

HRC Shows Off the 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally Race Bike 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally 02

Source: HRC

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    All those high resolution pics of the new GS Adventure are STILL playing tricks on my head.

    First thing that came to mind was BMW GS800 Desert Runner . . . thank you Honda for splattering HRC and Honda stickers all over it. LMAO.

    P.S: SCREW ALL this ANEMIC ANOREXIC 450s, I WANT TO SEE SOME 2 WHEELED TANKS racing out there.

    Make a class of 1.0L + , i want to see prepped GSs, SuperTens, Adventure 1290s, u name it.

  2. Those are out there, just not run by factory teams. The 450cc rule was an effort to reign in KTM’s factory team.

    It didn’t work.

  3. MikeD says:

    Thanks for the heads up Jensen, honestly i thought the motorcycle “sector” was only made of 450′s.

    I’ll try to spot’em TANKS. (^_^)

  4. B.T. says:

    If Honda did a little this & a little that & made this bike a 1200, KTM & BMW would be shaking in their “over – priced” boots. I love this bike.

  5. pooch says:

    Lovely. Tanks never rule the Dakar. Nothing over a 690 has won in the last 10 years and for obvious reasons.. Slug like 1200′s are simply too heavy and not manoeverable enough, let alone the gas mileage issues. There’s nothing anemic or anorexic about these 450 machines. But hey, some bikers out there are still size queens. LMAO

  6. paulus says:

    I am glad A+R continues to ‘flirt with the dirt’… more of this stuff, please :)

    It would make a great dual sport

  7. Damo says:

    I would kill for a street legal version of the Honda 450 in the states.

  8. anders 'ace' eliasson says:

    What, no kick start!? I guess I’ll have to just stick with my old XR650R then :^) …

    ACE

  9. leepl says:

    Dakar rules say the max is 450cc: http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2013/docs/reglement-moto-quad-dakar-2013-VUS.pdf Though interestingly they allow for twin cylinders. I suppose there’s no advantage to be gained in a twin otherwise someone would have done it.

  10. Bhupi says:

    I agree with Damo. I would love for a street legal version of this motorcycle. Or a KTM 450 for that matter :)

  11. TheSeaward says:

    Throw some knobbies on the new SuperDuke. Nothing could go wrong.

  12. tony says:

    think i found my new commuter…

  13. kww says:

    would love for HRC to sell this light/windshield kit – I got a plated CR500AF that it would look better on…

  14. MikeD says:

    @Leepl:

    Thanks for the PDF.

    @Pooch:

    Dear Pooch, that’s precisely why i would like to see the TANKS.

    I find it VERY entertaining the thought of seeing 500lbs + Motorcyles being ridden like a anorexic 450 Enduro.
    The same way i enjoy Big Rigs drag racing or circuit racing or running up Pikes Peak. Just for the heck of it, just because.

  15. Gildas says:

    @MikeD
    A 1200 CC bike would have trouble finishing a Dakar prologue… A bit like watching overweight dudes mud wrestling: fun in concept, fun to watch for a minute, but it would slow to an asthmatic paraplegic uncoordinated crawl on Valium after a few minutes. Horses for courses.

    @Pooch
    Wasn’t the Africa Twin (NXR-750) and the Cagiva Elefant a 900? Both capable of over 200Kph off road?

  16. Gildas says:

    Dakar Porn/fan boy aside, this is the first bike I’ve seen from Honda for a while that I would buy (one I pass my engineering exams and get a job).

  17. MikeD says:

    @Gildas:

    Man . . . that was funny right there. LMAO. But i still think it would be fun to watch and the level of the hardware is up to the fantastic abuse(the bikes, not the fat dudes). Is cool, let’s agree to disagree.