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.

Officially Official: 2014 KTM RC390

11/05/2013 @ 6:37 am, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

Officially Official: 2014 KTM RC390 2014 KTM RC390 15 635x422

Even though the 2014 KTM RC390 leaked ahead of its EICMA debut, the KTM stand at the Fieramilano was packed full of attendees who were eager to get a glimpse of the single-cylinder sport bike from Austria.

The logical progression from the KTM 390 Duke, the RC390 shares many of its brethren’s features and specifications, though has a uniqueness all of its own.

Making 43hp from its 373cc thumper, the KTM RC390 is a tiny but stout machine, especially when you consider its 324 lbs wet weight (sans fuel in its 2.64 gallon tank).

Fitted with ABS brakes, braking is done at the front via a radially mounted caliper and 300mm single-brake disc, while a 230mm disc is fitted to the rear.

One of the points of conversation ahead of the RC390′s debut was its single-piece trellis frame, which KTM says is much stiffer than the one found on the Duke, and features a more aggressive chassis geometry with a steeper steering head, lesser trail, and shorter wheelbase.

Suspension is by WP, and the brakes were made in cooperation with Brembo, and sport the brand’s generic marque Bybre. Not an often talked about point, but the 2014 KTM RC390 also features the racer friendly 110/70ZR17 & 150/60ZR17 tire sizes, which continues KTM’s “ready to race” philosophy.

KTM says that the 2014 KTM RC390 will be available in the summer next year, with pricing set to be under €6,000. No word yet on availability in America, though somehow we doubt that we will see the machine in 2014.

Officially Official: 2014 KTM RC390 2014 KTM RC390 07 635x422

Officially Official: 2014 KTM RC390 2014 KTM RC390 08 635x422

Officially Official: 2014 KTM RC390 2014 KTM RC390 11 635x422

Officially Official: 2014 KTM RC390 2014 KTM RC390 12 635x422

Officially Official: 2014 KTM RC390 2014 KTM RC390 13 635x422

Officially Official: 2014 KTM RC390 2014 KTM RC390 17 635x422

Source: KTM

Comment:

  1. V2 says:

    Closest thing to a Ducati Supermono we ever had…

  2. motoputs says:

    my new tack bike! Now I just need to find some one in Europe to ship me one next summer.

  3. Mike says:

    That is mostly beautiful! The headlights themselves are a little bit of a love it or hate it deal, like a gorgeous girl with a roman nose. I suspect it would rattle the fillings out of my teeth on the way to the canyons, but it should be great fun when it’s there.

  4. Simply wow! Thank you KTM for this gorgeous & delicious piece of motorcycling nirvana.

    I am getting myself a RC 390.

    May have to wait till 2014 Sep though.

  5. Simply wow! Thank you KTM for this gorgeous & delicious piece of motorcycling nirvana.

    I am getting myself a RC 390. Will complement the DUKE 200.

    May have to wait till 2014 Sep though.

  6. BBQdog says:

    Still think they messed up the front. Modification kits are going to sell well.

  7. BBQdog says:

    @Mike: I suspect it would rattle the fillings out of my teeth.

    No, it doesn’t. I own a Duke 390 and in the left handlebar I can’t even feel the engine
    running and in the right some minor vibration. A Suzuki 2011 GSX-R 600 generates
    more vibrations through the handlebars. I have owned many many singles, and this
    is the first single I can ride for hours without ever getting my fingers feeling death.

  8. Mike says:

    @ BBQdog says: No, it doesn’t….

    Really? Well that’s a blessing. The old 690 Duke was terrible, and I just assumed they didn’t add much anti-vibe weight to the crank webs on the 390 to get maximum output.

  9. Scott says:

    This bike is prominently displayed on the KTM USA site. Good sign it will come to the US.

  10. mxs says:

    I believe it when I hear them say it.

    Because it looks like they splash the worldwide flash banner on every country’s site … There’s no chance that NA will see 125 or 200 … which is in the same banner ….

  11. Scott says:

    Drop KTM a line and beg for the 390 here in the states-

    http://www.ktm.com/gb/iframe/contact-form.html

  12. RD350 says:

    Yes Yes Yes

  13. KTM, please release one of your infamous hooligan riding videos featuring this bike. Gratuitous wheelies, please.

    Me want.

  14. L2C says:

    There’s something about that bike that says “Star Wars”. Anyway, I love it!

  15. justin says:

    So glad to see smaller displacement bike with decent suspension.
    I really think this sector will grow.
    Honda, Yamaha, Kawa, Suzuki need to get with it.
    Kawasaki has a good bike in the 300. Just loose a little weight (alloy frame? ) &
    give it proper suspension would be abig step

  16. BBQdog says:

    @Mike: even the new Duke 690 has some vibrations but it is all very civilized.

  17. Sam Adams says:

    It’s soooo pretty. Please make a 690.

  18. 2ndclass says:

    Middle of 2014? Good.

  19. 2ndclass says:

    (…….gives me time to save up)

  20. Krste says:

    It is very pretty! Until you get to the headlights.

  21. Jazz says:

    would like to see RC390 vs other supersport 400cc bikes

  22. Jg says:

    Local USA dealer said we won’t get rc390 til 2015!!!!!!!!!

  23. Dylan says:

    @Jg They just removed the RC390 from the US site so that sounds about right. I have been waiting for this bike for two years now but I will definitely be buying something else now. Pretty lame on KTM’s part.