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 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?

More Photos and Video of the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000

11/02/2013 @ 8:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler28 COMMENTS

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We already showed you the first glimpse of the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 two weeks ago, but with just a few days until the start of the 2013 EICMA show, Kawasaki’s new naked bike is giving us the full monty, courtesy of Japan’s Mr. Bike. Getting a chance to film the new Kawasaki Z1000 with up-close panning shots, we are even treated to the new Z’s exhaust note.

For the new model year, things seem to be mainly an aesthetic overhaul — the great internet debate is now whether the new Z1000 retains its predecessor’s 136hp motor, or whether the machine gets the 140hp lump from the Kawasaki Z1000SX. One would presume the latter, though both engines are of the same ilk and difficult to distinguish from visually.

Whatever the case may be, power output will be roughly similar, with maybe the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 getting 4hp or so extra. From the screen captures though, we can see that ABS has been added to the new Kawasaki Z1000, and a quick look at the dash shows us that Kawasaki’s dual-riding mode system is present, along with its three-level KTRC traction control system.

Full details on the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 will drop Tuesday, November 5th at the EICMA show, and Asphalt & Rubber will be there to bring you all the info.

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Source: Mr. Bike


  1. MeatyBeard says:

    But why is it so ugly?

  2. Kalo says:

    This is one seriously ugly bike! Horrible design! Then again, should know better than to expect anything good from Kawazaki! Absolute p.o.s!

  3. Bern says:

    I don’t think anyone buys a z1000 because it’s a pretty bike. I think my ’08 was one of the ugliest bikes I ever owned. I also think it was the best out-of-the-box hooligan bike I’ve ever owned. That’s why I loved it so much. This new one has me thinking of trading in the old Brutale.

  4. Paul McM says:

    Sigh… Heads need to roll at Kawasaki. If Kawa’s decision makers can’t understand how repellent the styling is on this bike, they need to find another job (on another planet — the one where Predator comes from). What does it say about the styling that I want to see one that’s been crashed so all the swoopy stuff has been removed. On the positive side — I bet the motor will pull tree stumps. As for styling, umm, well the green stripes on the rims don’t look bad (you see I said something nice).

  5. I kinda like the looks…but then again, the front looks a bit a like my Ducati Streetfighter. Haters gonna hate, I guess.

  6. DAMN says:

    but why is it so ugly? because it aint!!!!
    its a stunning agressive looking bike and its beautifull made!! i like the new ktm but this thing i like even more! if i had the money i would buy 1 right away! the total design is just amazing! Go Kawa

  7. JoeD says:

    I would not trade the Benelli for one but for me, the only parts to be design blasphemy are the mufflers. Ugly, fugly, coyote ugly.

  8. Rmagic says:

    Very aggressive futuristic design by Kawasaki. Headlights are growing on me but an owner could easily fab up something different.This bike has a lot of potential as a streetfighter and would be right at home on a site such as customfighters.

  9. johnson says:


  10. Tom says:

    I’ve had your first ZX14, I’ve had your 2011 ZX10R, I have your2013ZX14R. Be Kawasaki! Give us the aggressive look (you did-mostly), but give us the power of it’s sibling ZX10R or 14R! You are currently leading the pack from Japan, keep your reputation for power and aggressive looks!

  11. Mariani says:

    This design isn’t winning me over.

    It looks like they took a perfectly fine naked motorcycle and replaced the light with the head of an action figure up front, and then went on to glue bits of plastic over the sides of the fuel tank and frame.


    But then again I like the GSX-R’s styling, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

  12. CTK says:

    I love it. It’s not for everybody, but it’s for somebody. There are enough boring safe naked bikes. I’m glad to have some afforable variety.

  13. Ducati Monster says:

    Kinda reminds me of teenage mutant NINJA turtles :) Very apropos

  14. Anvil says:

    Oh, dear. Comic book design.

    On a positive note, some of the components look nicely made.

  15. mfnpnch says:

    I gave the spy photo a lot of crap when I first saw it because of the headlight design. In all honesty it doesn’t look quite as bad here as I thought. It looks super aggressive and the overall bike has a gorgeous proportion. Its not sexy, but it is cool looking. Definitely a masculine bike. Interpret that how you will. Personally I still prefer the outgoing model, but this one is growing on me. I doubt I would ever put this bike on my shopping list regardless of price, what with bikes like the Duc Streetfighter and the 1290 Superduke out there, but its one I would really like seeing on the street.

  16. BackSlash_cu says:

    Sorry, but I see it cool!, like the others Z1000, it’s just about taste.

  17. Jean says:

    That thing is fugly.
    Compared to the other naked out there like a Duc SF1098, a MV Brutale, the new KTM 1290, the Tuono, the new 1200 Monster, and the yet to be announced BMW S1000R, this thing really looks bad and cheap.
    That headlight is straight out of a bad aftemarket parts catalog.

    Sorry Kawa, loved my 2003 Z1000, but you lost it since the 2007 gen.

  18. Ian says:

    The Z-1000 has been, and remains, one of my absolute favorite motorcycles on the market. I’ve owned the last three renditions of it (2 of the most recent styling) and I will own this one. Not sure how anyone can hate this bike, but then again, I’m not sure anyone can NOT hate a Harley, and they seem to be selling okay! In reference to Jean’s comment above, I actually think a lot of the styling queues are very similar to that of the Duc 1098, particularly the new headlight.

  19. David says:

    I like it, thank kawi.

  20. paulus says:

    The more I look at it, the more I like it.
    The side profile is really quite stunning… got a bit of a tank hump though.
    As others have said… it is an alternative to the boring designs.

  21. mutanic says:

    What happen to Kawasaki designer??? Headlamp fail! Position too low for me, other than HID bulb it(headlamp) is suck, other part is awesome!

  22. avsatishchandra says:

    I have to admit, this paint scheme makes the bike look better than what it was in the leaked photo. I think I can live with this. This new design Sugomi or whatever it is called seems to deliberately create the ugly, awkward and things like that. So I guess Kawasaki are doing this deliberately. They must have a reason, something that I don’t know. Maybe the inspiration comes from all those Japanese cartoons and the aesthetics that they use.

  23. Keet says:

    KILL IT… KILL IT WITH FIRE! seriously, this thing is god awful looking. If you want to see how to do it right, look at the new Yamaha FZ-09, that thing is 1000 times better looking than this monstrosity.

  24. Dubknot says:

    Being the otaku that I am, I’ve always liked the Z1000. I feel like KW had Mike Tyson come in and give the 2013 Z a right hook across the top and just squished the whole front end. I looks kinda weird from the side, but hot in the front… They put all the electronics I wanted on the 2013 here… I’m gonna have to check this one out in person for final judgement.

  25. john says:

    dont even think about putting spaghetti garbage on this bike It may not be the prettiet but as always it will eat spaghetti for breakfast lunch AND Dinner

  26. Jason says:

    What’s that new-ish movie with the sea creatures from another dimension and attacking our world? Pacific Rim??? I am seeing this as one of those big, ugly, scary monsters terrorizing and smashing sh*t and I think I like it… Seems pretty evil and bad-ass, almost like it’s got a little bit of ugly in there to make it meaner

    Will have to see it in person to make a final judgement but I think I like it

  27. kensclan says:

    looks good to me ive owned 2 a 2007 and a 2010 this brings kawasaki up to date better in looks than anything i have seen

  28. g33k says:

    I really love the design! It’s freaking awesome! Dynamic and aggressive!