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.

Details Drop on the 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R

09/07/2012 @ 12:32 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Details Drop on the 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R Motorrad test 01 635x423

The very German folks at Motorrad have gotten a chance to swing a leg over the pre-production version of the upcoming 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R. Avoiding a conversation about how motorcycle publications are starting to look more like the outsourced marketing departments of motorcycle OEMs, what is perhaps the second most interesting thing from the article are the details about the Austrian company’s newest offering to the adventure-touring crowd.

According to the completely unbiased Germanophone Michael Pfeiffer, the new KTM 1190 Adventure R borrows its lump from the current KTM 1190 RC8 R superbike, and is marked improvement over its predecessor: the KTM 990 Adventure R. Pfeiffer says power is roughly 150hp, while the 1190 Adventure R tips the scales at 230kg (507 lbs) when at the curb with a full 24 liters of fuel (that’s 6.3 gallons for us ‘Mericans). Fitted with a 21″ front wheel, the KTM 1190 Adventure R also features switchable ABS, traction control, and dual engine map settings for on-road and off-road use.

Presumably replacing the venerable KTM 990 Adventure R for the 2013 model year, the KTM 1190 Adventure R appears to be the KTM 1090 Adventure R that was named by the leaked KTM product road map at the North American dealers’ meeting that was held this time last year. That same document curiously also showed a “1290″ Adventure  machine would break cover for the 2014 model year, which raises more than a few questions about what KTM’s strategy is in this segment.

With BMW set to debut its water-cooled boxer-twin next month, KTM seems set to challenge the class-leader for the top spot in the ADV world. According to Motorrad, KTM’s focus with the 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R has been on making it a very capable off-roader, with its on-road duties being a secondary item. This is in contrast to bikes like the Ducati Multistrada 1200, which skews the other way, but the move maintains KTM’s off-road and Dakar heritage, and certainly plays to that pedigree.

Perhaps it is in this regard that KTM hopes to distinguish the 1190 model from the 1290 model, which will presumably share a powerplant with the soon-to-be-updated 2014 KTM SuperDuke R 1290 street-naked. As we have seen in this segment before, companies have hedged their bets on what side of the asphalt vs. dirt debate they want their adventure-tourers to be on, usually offering a street-oriented variant alongside a dirt-oriented one. Could KTM be doing the same thing here? Only time will tell.

Details Drop on the 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R Motorrad test 02 635x423

Details Drop on the 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R Motorrad test 03 635x423

Details Drop on the 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R Motorrad test 04 635x423

Source: Motorrad; Photos: KTM

Comment:

  1. Brian ZS says:

    I like the implementation of the LED daytime running lights.

  2. MikeD says:

    Ooooh My……. Bitchy McBithcin MikeD approves…LOL.

    Non-the-less…………….I want to see next to this a KTM Adventure “STRADA” with a 17″ front hoop and that STONKING 75* 1200cc V-Twin as on the RC8R.
    2 flavors of the same fruit can’t be a bad thing.

    No full side shot ? Beggers can’t be choosers.

    Just out of curiosity:
    How come these “Off-Road Biased” bikes come and pretend with a 21″ front but the same silly, less Dirt Friendly 17″ on the back ? That’s just plain silly.
    Wouldn’t a 19″ back there be way more useful ? U know…like a real dirt bike, say… (KX450F, CRF450R, RM-Z450, YZ450F ?)
    Is it because of lack of real state under the seat on “street bikes” ? (bigger diameter rim-tire combo, more space required for the same given suspension travel ? Longer swing arm ? Weigth ? Naahh.

  3. MikeD says:

    Upon a closer look to the instruments:

    Traction Control: Switchable
    ABS: Switchable
    e-Suspension adjustment: ? I see a rear preload adjusting knob…but no e-harness coming off the Forks or Shock.

    I hope they drop the SSSA on the 2013 SuperDuke and stick to this regular yet good looking version.

  4. jimboecv says:

    17″ Rear hoop, I would assume, is to put more rubber between the rim and the ground to avoids flats. Motocross bikes use 19″ but off road bikes use 18″.
    I just don’t get this segment anyway… Heavy, complicated, expensive. I would think an XR/L would be an excellent choice. But then, Sierra Club’ers have REI, don’t thay?

  5. IMO, the “adventure tourer” segment is all about a mix of paved and gravel roads. It’s not so much about 2-track or trails. That makes a 17″ rear quite viable, as it puts a bigger contact patch on the ground and thereby enables better longevity out of the tire. Most of these bikes do 90:10 pavement versus gravel, although the hardcore guys may need to go with tires along the lines of the Conti TKC 80 to deal with mud or water on 2-track.

    I’ve always been a street bike guy, but after reading about the creation of the Trans-Canada Adventure Trail (TCAT) on the ADVrider site, I’m thinking that my next bike may very well be a dual-sport with panniers and a top box. The wanderlust for remote gravel has taken hold in a big way.

  6. Spektre76 says:

    Either that bike is huge or the rider is under 5ft tall.

  7. MikeD says:

    @Trane:

    My next Rig will be Sport-Tourer or DualSport-Tourer… starting to feel the need for a decent {electric?} windshield, big bags, heated grips, EVEN C-Control…but don’t want to give up easy POWER…im willing to put up with the pounds.
    I think im reaching that time in life … ROTFLMAO

    Are u talking about the road to Alaska ? Im gonna look into it…maybe something i may want to do in my lifetime.

    @Spektre:

    The Adventure is a big bike.

  8. @Mike: The TCAT is an east-to-west route that stretches from Newfoundland to BC, spanning roughly 15,000 km of mostly gravel roads. It features some 2-track and the occasional “technical option” trail and attempts to keep the pavement to a bare minimum. It is right at the very top of my bucket list and is adding to the urgency of me wanting to move back to Canada after 20+ years in Japan.

    You can read up on it from the ADVrider site at: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=594395

    It’s an epic read at 159 pages. I got hooked on it and read it all. I’m now seriously jonesing for an F800GS loaded up with all the goodies.

    There’s a sister route, the True North East (TNE) that shares some of the TCAT stretch in Quebec. It features some of the most remote gravel in Canada (if not the world). I consider both the TNE and TCAT to be must-rides, as they collectively represent the humbling remoteness that Canada offers to those who still enjoy the pioneer spirit. I grew up mostly in Muskoka, but lived as far north as Timmins (South Porcupine, to be exact). I miss the wilds. There isn’t a lot of “wilderness” to be found in Tokyo.

  9. Tim Stevens says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Details Drop on the 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R – http://t.co/H4uGyU4P #motorcycle [cc @ThePeterHa]

  10. paulus says:

    Nice alternative to others in the sector. Good pedigree for genuine dirt.
    18″ rear hoop would be cool.
    The low slung exhaust is the real barrier to off-road. Right in the crush zone…. or you need a ‘plough’ of a bash guard

  11. Terry says:

    Looks well.
    So let me get this straight, they are releasing an 1190 and 1290 ‘adventure tourer’ with the one above, the 1190, being the more off road oriented version and the 1290 being the one to compete with the multistrada?
    Am I correct there?

  12. MikeD says:

    @Terry:

    Nope. No 1290 yet…isn’t that like a 2014 product ? I think the 2013 Duke will be the first one to sport that Mill.
    What they mentioned was a ” softcore version of the Adventure R”, a more touring friendly version (comfy-er?)…both Adventure R and Touring version to sport the RC8R Mill (1190).
    I hope the Adventure Tourer looks more like a MultiStrada.

    In a related/unrelated note…..anyone heard or knows what happened to that contraption that Aprilia created last year and slapped the Caponord name on it and called it a day ?
    Is that thing coming down the pipe or what ? God, SHE WAS ONE FUGLY Beetch…they have to stop triying to slap that RSV4 “FACE” on everything they build…can u say LAZY and FUGLY ?

  13. Terry says:

    @Mike – Thanks for that, clears things up :)
    So an offroad (above) version and a more road oriented version of the 1190 on the way, and a 1290 in a years time.
    Theyre busy at ktm!

  14. MikeD says:

    @Terry:

    You are welcome. According to my understanding…but, always remenber to take anything and everything from the Internet with lots of Salt…LOL.

  15. What is happening ? says:

    Looks like catastrophic product design failure again as most of the new KTM products have become.
    Looks like you can’t lead the company design dep with child’s and half or non motorcyclist.
    I’m afraid it’s technically as weak as many new KTM products have become.
    What is going on in KTM board and in KTM Austria is the question what remains?
    Do you really think you can beat G with this product ?!

    It all looks very much like with 2013 Husaberg, buy as fast as you can 2012 FE570 or 2012 LC8 if
    you like this bikes as probably they ain’t going to get any better or prettier by this
    team they have in KTM Austria today.
    Sry guys – I hope final LC8 version has also some design and style included . . .

  16. Singletrack says:

    I bought a 950 Adventure after a good test ride through Muskoka (Ontario, Canada). It was pure magic on gnarly, twisty, frost-heaved back roads. Best. Bike. Ever…. or so I thought.

    I never, ever thought it needed more power. 140Kph on gravel roads was a breeze. Wheelies galore.

    Fuel economy was already a huge problem. 250 Km range is not enough for an ‘adventure bike’. Maybe the fuel-injected bikes are better, but I can’t see how 150hp will help fuel efficiency.

    Also, the bike is so good off-road that you get easily suckered into bad situations. I rode it like my enduro bike, but 500+ pounds gets you into serious trouble quickly.

    And it was overly complex – two stage oil system creates complicated oil changes. Is it still the same?

  17. Haris says:

    The wheel combos are : 21/18 R model , 19/17 standard….

  18. Johnbo says:

    Other than the already delivered explanation that a 17″ rear wheel is to increase sidewall height and therefore minimize flats (vs lower height sidewall 19″ tires…..though I never underst0od why they can`t make a 19″ rear tire with the same sidewall as an 18 or 17, unless it`s because seat height would be just too high for a given suspension travel), I always assumed it was to keep seat height accessible for a larger portion of the market.

    That said – as Haris just divulged, the R version will indeed come with an 18″ rear! Awesome. Dirt tires or some very aggressive dual sport tires will be great off-road. And no heavier fully fueld than the old 990 but with 147-117=30 more hp and more bottom/mid range. Also heard smoother and better fuel efficiency, and no doubt it`s an improvement wrt looks, at least the black/white/orange R version I saw. I don`t care for the other two in terms of looks but they`re surely more comfy etc.

  19. Johnbo says:

    …..also, I would think that a 17″ rear hoop means that if you want to change the 21″ dirt oriented hoop out for a 19″ for some street riding, you only have to change the front from 21 to 19 and leave the 17. That said, if you had a relatively knobby rear 17 on for DS riding you`d have to change wheels anyway so not much is gained. I therefore prefer the 21 front 18 rear that KTM apparently felt was wise as well.

    Someone above mentioned a greater contact patch with a 17 rear over an 18 or 19. However I don`t understand this since if they`re all the same width, wouldn`t a larger 18 or 19 have more contact in the longitudinal direction than a 17? Take it to the extreme to understand what I mean…..say a 50″ wheel vs a 2″ wheel. The 50″ would be closer to parallel to the ground than the 2″ on either side of its contact point. I think that`s why 19″ rear tires are used in MX, for greater traction/acceleration due to greater contact.

  20. MikeD says:

    @Johnbo:

    +1. On both.