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?

Bimota/BMW Concepts by Oberdan Bezzi

06/19/2012 @ 1:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Bimota/BMW Concepts by Oberdan Bezzi Bimota BB 2 Concept Oberdan Bezzi 635x443

We follow Oberdan Bezzi’s work pretty closely here at Asphalt & Rubber, if for no other reason than we like the Italian designer’s ability to fantasize about the endless possibilities available in the two-wheel world — and after, who here doesn’t like to daydream about exotic motorcycles? Lately it seems Bezzi’s imagination has gone to a world where Bimota uses more than Ducati’s v-twin lumps in its exclusive street bikes, with his most recent sketches envisioning a BMW/Bimota collaboration.

Inking the Bimota BB-2 superbike, and it’s naked sibling the Bimota BB-3 “Paura”, the usual Bezzi lines and style are present in the designs. Oberdan’s thought-process on the Bimota BB-3 seems to be well-timed though, as the Bavarian company has recently been caught testing a naked version of the well-selling BMW S1000RR at its facility. Set to be a true Germans streetfighter, BMW could very well succeed in a motorcycle segment that the Japanese have historically struggled with here in the US.

Bimota/BMW Concepts by Oberdan Bezzi Bimota BB 3 Paura Concept Oberdan Bezzi 635x443

Stopping the perpetuation of the lie that Americans don’t buy streetfighters/nakeds, the idea of a BMW-built S1000RR-dervied street-naked speaks at least to this author’s heart, and I am sure I am not alone in that sentiment. Expect that genuine article to have class-leading performance and to be competitively priced against its Japanese counterparts. Coupled with BMW’s history of making fine motorcycles, as well as the German company’s prestigious brand, it is hard to imagine how such a motorcycle will not be a hit…just like its full-faired sibling. Are the Japanese OEMs taking notes here?

As for Bezzi’s thoughts regarding Bimota, it is hard not to think about the current BMW/Suter bike being campaigned in MotoGP by Colin Edwards and the NGM Forward Racing team. Actually, it is hard not to think about any of the current CRT entries and the famous Italian brand. While Bimota’s Moto2 project seems to be slow in the making (last we heard, Ruben Xaus had been tapped to overlook the project, which may or may not be a good thing), the absence of Bimota in MotoGP would raise some eyebrows, if it weren’t for the almost certain reality that the company is once again on the verge of economic collapse, as seems to be the case every few years or so.

Still, for a company that made its name on taking production motors and building exotic custom frames and motorcycles around them, the very idea that Bimota isn’t in the CRT mix is certainly an interesting one.

Source: Oberdan Bezzi (Blog)


  1. Grant Madden says:

    TASTY and with pillion pegs to scare your girlfriend.Cool
    Lets hope Bimota can survive to get these on the market.Naked bikes are cool as long as they keep that screen.I,ve ridden plenty of bikes without screens and its far too much like hard work.
    I wonder about single disc front brake,is it to improve steering?Would imagine so,cant think of any other reason unless its to keep the price down which would seem a bit counter intuitive on a top line machine.I suppose as long as the brakes still function superbly then I suppose its not an issue.
    If I was buying a bike such as this I would want the best kit on it I could get.My mind tells me I would want a twin disc front end.Dont know till you try.

  2. MikeD says:


    Rest assured…machines such as these will carry a TWIN DISC brake set-up. NO DOUBT.
    Besides, these are just digital concepts and nothing more.
    I know what u are talking about the screen. Unless is a city bike some form of windshield is needed.
    I bougth my SV1000N with a small MRA Screen that at the time it was the first thing i was going to pull out first thing i got home…….3-4 years later, u guessed it, it’s there to stay…so much that next bike will have a proper windshield/fairings…i do lots of highway…wind blast gets OLD QUICKLY.

    Apparently the “designer” has not ridden an under-seat exhaust R1 or Daytona 675…judging by the location of the snake bladder/up pipe/catalytic converter/meat roaster location, design and lack of visual heat shields.
    Then again, im pretty bias as of lately with under-the-engine exhaust systems…i have seen the light…LMAO…but seriously, they look a lot cleaner than a retoric hanging in the wind can and pipe set-up.

  3. MikeD says:


    Full race replica………aaaaaaaaaaaaahhh YEAH (O_O)

    Naked Version……..ehhh…………mehhh (-_-)

    Going by looks anyway…but we all know there’s A LOT MORE to it with motorcycles than shallow opinions based solely on looks…(^_^)…why do girls come to mind after writing all that ? LOL.

  4. donno says:


    It does have a hint of Suzuki Katana in the design. Would not be out of place with a GSX-R1000 or a hayabusa engine…