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?

Anthony Colard’s C12-R Ducati Superbike Concept

06/11/2010 @ 4:58 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Anthony Colards C12 R Ducati Superbike Concept Anthony Colard C12 R 9c 560x362

A couple weeks ago we showed you the Ducati Car concept by Anthony Colard, which was of course a four-wheeled vehicle, and not a motorcycle. But for the past 6 months we’ve been quietly following the work of French transportation designer, and his Ducati Superbike project. Based off the Ducati 1098/1198 chassis, Colard has taken his own perception of the Italian motorcycle’s style, and improved upon some of its deficiencies. Now finished with the design phase of his project, we can finally share with you some of what this talented designer has been focusing on all this time.

Colard used to work at the Ducati Design Center, and had the opportunity to ruminate with Gianni Fabbro, the senior designer of the 1098, about some of the unresolved problems with the 1098′s design. Wanting a bike with his own touch, Colard set out to build off Fabbro’s work, and resolve these design problems. As things often do, one thing lead to another, and before he knew it Colard had inked his own unique 1098, and has now set about to bring the bike into limited production.

The design of the C12-R has taken several iterations, and actually started life out as the C11-R. The Colard C11-R’s most noticeable difference to its successor is the GP-style exhaust the exits both in the lower fairing, and under the tail section. Colard has replaced this setup in the C12-R with a more traditional Ducati-esque underseat arrangement with dual-cans.

Accenting both designs are more complex and vented body panels. Underneath it all you can see inspiration from the 1098, but Colard’s thoughts seem to be more complex, than the simple Ducati lines. The affect on us is that this looks like an almost more mature style than the original, and thankfully doesn’t take the classic Ducati lines too far, and into the realm of clutter.

Hopping soon to render a clay model of the C12-R, Collard’s final aim is to create a limited run of his creations. While he doesn’t want to quote exact performance specs yet, a 200hp motor isn’t out of the equation. The French designer is sure of one thing, it will be faster and lighter than the current 1198.

The project’s target price is €25,000 for a completed bike, which isn’t that much more expensive than a base Ducati 1198 (in Europe at least), but Colard wants to have a €4,000 kit (fairings and exhaust only) available for current 1098/1198 owners to purchase and transform their machine.

With the design of the bike finalized, Colard is now looking for financial backing to create the necessary clay models and to partner with an exhaust maker, to properly make the go fast parts…go fast. Colard is already in-touch with component manufacturers to supply the suspension, brakes, wheels, etc.

So what do you guys think, could you see one of Colard’s C12-R’s in your garage?


  1. Sean Mitchell says:

    Design is subjective, so I wouldn’t say, so matter-of-fact, that the 1098 has design “deficiencies”. Especially since it’s been so widely accepted and admired.

    While I’d say I like this design, I think its more complex and undulating shape doesn’t lend itself to Ducati’s image. Words like “simple” and “elegant” are generally associated with Ducati lines.

    Nice machine, but I can see why Ducati didn’t put it into production.

  2. RLiddell says:

    I agree with Sean, this a gorgeous design, I might say too well thought out to be a Ducati. Honda, in my opinion has the best design team in the industry right now. That sexy side panel to me, is very Honda. My issue with Ducati design is the conflict of interest. Especially in a bike like the street fighter. Every piece is designed really intricately, but that just makes for a cobbled together total design that only looks good at a close angle. But what I disagree with Sean on is that it could never be a Ducati. Design languages change, and in this instance I think it would be a change for the better. Good work Anthony.

  3. Anthony says:

    Thank you RLiddell for the vote of confidence. As you said the design cues and language are different from Ducati’s which is well known for its simplicity and elegant style.
    @ Sean : You say that the complex and undulating design doesn’t lend to Ducati, and that was exactly my goal. I don’t want to do another Ducati, i want to use a very good technical base, and make my own bike, with its own language and style, different from the original. Doing a bike looking similar to a Ducati, based on a Ducati, wouldn’t sell I think. Doing different creates interest and curiosity in people’s minds.
    About “Ducati didn’t put it into prodution”, I want to specify that this is a personal project that I plan to bring to small production, and Ducati has nothing to do with it and I never planned to present it to them as a Ducati either. About the design “deficiencies”, they are small design things that could have been done better with a little more time, as for example, the bike could be thinner at the bottom as exhaust leaves space to do it, but molds were already made. Things like that happen on every project everywhere.

  4. Sean Mitchell says:

    Understood Anthony. When it mentioned you had worked at Ducati, I guess I read too much into that. I agree with RLiddell that the side panel reminds me of Honda, while the tail reminds me of some Bimota lines. The front cowl is very unique, can’t say that reminds me of anything, but a very futuristic 1098.

  5. just got some more drawings from Anthony Colard on his Colard C12-R design. they've been added to the post. –

  6. Anthony says:

    Thank you for the support, and yes there are some inspirations here and there. Bikes are so small, many shapes rapidly remind of other makes to people who know well the history of motorcycles :)
    The bike should reach the final modelling stage for Christmas, and production is scheduled for early 2011.

  7. Sexy, sexy things. #motorcycles #design #illustration