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?

Arete Americana’s Ducati 999 CF

07/03/2013 @ 12:24 pm, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 31 635x424

It might not have been the sales disaster that many make it out to have been, but Pierre Terblanche’s Ducati 999  remains one of the most controversial machines ever to come out of Borgo Panigale. However, the more we look at the 999′s staked-headlight and double-sided swingarm design, two of the biggest design elements that Ducatisti took umbrage with at the bike’s launch, the more we think that the Ducati 999 Superbike will become a collector’s classic, and stand as a unique time in the Italian brand’s history.

So, it warms out hearts to see that there are people out there still building off of Terblanche’s work, and one of them is Bryan Petersen at Arete Americana and his Ducati 999 CF. Sporting a tail and tank from Radical Ducati (Arete Americana is the North American distributor for the Spanish firm), along with a singe-sided swingarm conversion from an 848, the Ducati 999 CF is our kind of custom: subtle, yet to the point, and Arete Americana has ensured that all the right go-fast bits were included in the build.

Helping give the bike its name, the Arete Americana Ducati 999 CF has carbon fiber fairings from Ducati Performance, while the RAD solo-seat is self-supporting and is too made from carbon fiber. Titanium bits abound, including a titanium steering stem nut. Petersen also built a custom one-off exhaust for their Ducati 999 CF build, which sneaks out underneath the lower fairing, and features individual tubes for each cylinder.

Arete Americana Ducati 999 CF Technical Specifications:

  • Ducati Superbike 999R frame
  • Brembo RCS masters
  • HP race rotors
  • 32/36 billet machined monoblock radical calipers
  • 34mm billet machined endurance rear caliper w/custom mount
  • TOBY steering damper
  • Ohlins FGRT210 30mm Front end
  • Ohlins 1098s rear shock w/DP adjuster
  • Forged Aluminum Marchesini wheels
  • One-off 57mm stainless exhaust w/SLR style outlet
  • 848 Swingarm
  • Yoyodyne slipper clutch
  • Rizoma clutch and sprocket cover color matched to the machined case covers
  • One-off Carbon fairings
  • Custom Radical Ducati carbon tank
  • Self-supporting Carbon solo tail (weighing 2lbs)
  • Custom carbon seat pan with leather and suede double-stitched seat held down by 8 custom made, color-matched grommets
  • Ti everything

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 02 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 18 635x948

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 20 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 21 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 22 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 29 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 38 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 42 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 44 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 45 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 46 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 48 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 49 635x424

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 50 635x424

Source: Arete Americana (Facebook) via il Ducatista


  1. Shawn says:

    I always thought that the 999 was an unfortunately maligned bike. Pictures really didn’t do it justice – it was one of those bikes that truly looked better up close and in person. I think you’re prediction may become true; that the 999 will eventually become a collectible.

    As for this custom, I’m not sure what I think. From certain angles, the rear end looks too truncated for me. But I appreciate that someone had the grapes to take one of the red-headed step-children of the Ducati lineup and try to do something special with it. Personally, I think ALL Ducati flagship superbikes should be built with single-sided swingarms. It really should be some sort of Italian law.

  2. Aj says:

    If the bike had shipped like that, it would have changed everything. It’s beautiful.

  3. jet057 says:

    A true mind blower,just awesome.I want one.

  4. Norm G. says:

    the mkI bikes (like the yellow in the background) were the uglies. the mkII bikes had a lot of the stying deficiencies sorted. the front fender, the slits in the upper, the kit swingarm, blackedout subframe, red mainframe etc. there was really nothing wrong with the tank/tail combo. ducatisti know what i’m talkin’ bout.

  5. Nice to see that Pepo got so much mileage from that fuel tank. Still the nicest one I did.

  6. hipsabad says:

    Single-sided swingarms increase unsprung weight in the rear merely for visual fashion; not the kind of suspension engineering i want to pay for.

  7. shabazz says:

    Uhlarik, tell us all about the other fantastic things you’ve done! You’re the Kanye West of motorcycling.

  8. JoeD says:

    @hipsabad-Thank You Sir! Anchor that wheel/drive assembly properly with the double arm. Even better if steel and braced ala Benelli.(I’m partial with a Café Racer in the flock). What is in use for MotoGP? I have admired the 999 since Day 1 and they are gorgeous in person. Black is especially sinister and appealing.

  9. Adam says:

    My first and only bike is a black 06 749. Loved the bike the first time I saw it. Only problem was the muffler but that can be changed with a spark exhaust. The only one that resembles and is as clean as the termi race kit. As with most bikes people either love them or hate them, personally I think the current R1 is the most hideous thing out there at the moment. Stacked headlights… I guess we forget a few model years of gsxr’s also had stacked headlights. Interesting take on this model, looks good but the tail is a bit small to me, makes the bike look front heavy.

  10. trojanhorse says:

    @hipsabad not true. Several advantages including ease of rear-wheel removal, no alignment necessary, ease of chain slack adjustment. All of which are quite nice to have on a streetbike, having had one (and not caring very much about the visuals) I much prefer them.

  11. Westward says:

    Absolutely brilliant, I want one in a 749, and that tail light and turn signals are perfect. I love it, also, I always liked the Pierre Terblanche’s Ducati superbike design.

  12. alexsss says:

    nice, a tail which actually causes drag and makes you so slower so you can look like some kind of design challenged stunter + paint that’s never seen a hard days ride

    It looks nice tho

  13. paulus says:

    It looks great at every angle EXCEPT any that show the stacked lights.
    I don’t have a problem with stacked lights (Busa’s and GSXR’s look fine) but these just always looked like after thoughts…

    Nice special, lots of work put into it. Big respect for that.

  14. TexusTim says:

    single sided swingarm came about as a way to give room to route the exaust, it gives little to no advantage to weight or tracktability, yes I guess it’s easier to remove the rear wheel but thats not why they did it……is that what they say at the dealership ? isnt a swingarm sprung weight ? and it’s def not rotating mass so not a huge help here and in certain areas of force may actully hurt not help the handling..if it twist in the rear even a minor faction it will transfer that to the front end…sound familiar ?

  15. trojanhorse says:

    TexusTim I don’t need to rely on a dealership; I work in the industry, and you’re wrong. Spend 5 minutes googling “Honda Elf endurance” and you’ll learn that the SSSA was developed for ease of rear-wheel removal during endurance race pit stops. Also, that a swingarm is unsprung weight.

    It’s generally a good idea, when telling others they’re wrong in a belittling way, to actually know what you’re talking about.

  16. onespeedpaul says:

    @trojanhorse having owned a few I would disagree on your points for these reasons: The rear wheel is no easier to remove or install when you factor in the special brace that sometimes still doesen’t work to hold the wheel still while trying to apply the required amount of torque to hold that single nut. Chain slack is a bigger difficulty factoring in the special spanner required to turn the eccentric and more importantly that your ride height and suspension adjustments should also change when the eccentric is moved from it’s previously set position.

    Single sided rear arms (the arm as well as the eccentric and wheel all together) will never have a strength to weight ratio as good as a dual sided setup. And if it did, it would still suffer from the issue of having to readjust the ride height/suspension settings any time it is moved.

  17. trojanhorse says:

    @onespeedpaul, you make a good point, the rear nut does require a lot of torque and a very large socket/wrench.

    However I’ve never needed a special brace, but always just activated the rear brake to hold the wheel. And for my bike, the eccentric adjustment tool was included in its toolkit, and could be substituted with a simple drift or even a flathead screwdriver – the eccentric was just a notched ring like the one on a shock that adjusts spring preload.

    Readjusting ride height is inconvenient but infrequent, only necessary when chain slack is adjusted. Much more inconvenient (for me) is aligning the rear wheel every time it’s removed on a double-sider, because swingarm alignment marks are very inaccurate and to get a true alignment you need something better like a jig, which is a pain in the ass to use.

    I agree with you that the strength to weight ratio of double-siders is always better. But like anything in engineering there is a tradeoff. Personally I am willing to accept a slightly heavier swingarm for the advantages (to me) of a single-sider. You obviously have a different point of view, which is fine.

  18. Grimey Benson says:


    Apparently you can just wind tunnel that bike in your mind?

    Seriously though, bike looks amazing and I never understood why the 99 got so much hate. It is one of my personal favorite Ducs.

  19. Mitch says:

    I wonder how well that exhaust works as 1. there is no can at all and 2. the piping is now much shorter which has negative effects.

    Love the look though, even as stated that the tail would create more drag.

    SSSA will always introduce a little compromise that a dual sided arm won’t have to deal with.

  20. Mike Nailwood says:

    Yeah, lets pick apart the single sided swingarm some more, because nobody cares about what a Ducati looks like right?

    Sheesh, we all know that it’s all about functional utility with Italian bikes right? I mean, why did they even bother?

    Maybe it has something to do with the bike looking about 200% better with it, or the fact that the bikes performance probably doesn’t suffer one whit as a result of having it, you think?

  21. Norm G. says:

    re: “But like anything in engineering there is a tradeoff.”

    same as life… no free lunch. natural law this.

    re: “I don’t have a problem with stacked lights (Busa’s and GSXR’s look fine)”

    busa’s and gsxrs aren’t simple stacked projector beams that look like something somebody building a streetfighter in their shed would do with a set of PIAA’s. the design was a cop out.

  22. Doug says:

    Norm…one of the very few times I disagree with your comments.

    The stacked headlights were inspired by old freight trains. To their own, but the stacked headlight is very cool, especially in person.

    A black frame with a black fairing is still one of the finest stock Ducati’s made in the last decade. Aftermarket pipes are necessary as that box is awful.