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?

2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 Caught Blurring the Lines Between the Multistrada? [UPDATED]

07/11/2012 @ 12:04 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 Caught Blurring the Lines Between the Multistrada? [UPDATED] 2013 Ducati Hypermotad 848 spy photo 635x475

UPDATE: The water-cooled 2013 Ducati Hypermotard has now been released by Ducati.

We have a sneaking suspicion that the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 that has been spotted tramping about is going to be a very interesting motorcycle indeed; as from out perspective, Ducati seems set to consolidate the Hypermotard line into a single water-cooled model, while simultaneously offering a smaller-displacement multi-tasker that will slot in under the Ducati Multistrada 1200.

Our best view yet of the bike’s exhaust side comes from the folks at Moto Revue, as we see what looks to be a finalized exhaust can and a clear view of the HM848′s water-cooled Testastretta 11° motor. There has been tremendous confusion/controversy as to whether the spied machine is a new Hypermotard or Multistrada model, and the confusion is rightfully so, as the bike takes cues from both machines.

The seat is obviously dirt bike inspired, and is very similar to the current Hypermotard setup. Similarly, the nose/fender of the bike is a direct evolution of the Terblanche aesthetic, with the tank shape and side fairings furthering this likeness as they protrude forward.

Using the water-cooled 849cc Testastretta 11° motor though (we enjoyed this lump immensely while riding the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848), the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 is treading into a space that was previously occupied solely by the Multistrada 1200, i.e. a water-cooled all-rounder with some off-road chops. This leads us to the conclusion that Ducati is opening a new role for the Hypermotard, which struggles for sales in just about every market except Italy.

A weaker component to the otherwise robust Ducati model line-up, the Bologna Brand is surely eyeing a new way to get sales going again for the Hypermotard. Getting pressure not only to consolidate its engine line-up to fewer models, the march away from air-cooled engines continues, as emission standards continue to increase. Seeing the strong sales of the Multistrada 1200, especially the cheaper base model, everyone expects Ducati to release an 848 version of the Multi.

Since a water-cooled Hypermotard would crossover too greatly with a smaller-displacement Multistrada, it makes perfect sense then that Ducati would combine those two models into a single unit (Multitard anyone?). Distinct enough from the Multistrada 1200, both in terms of displacement and form-factor, the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848 could be positioned to take advantage of the best aspects from both these machines, which is exactly what Ducati appears to be doing aesthetically from what we’ve seen of the bike thus far.

Expected to debut in November at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, time will tell what Ducati has up its sleeve, but there is considerable buzz regarding this bike, both in & out of Ducati HQ.

Source: Moto Revue


  1. s2upid says:

    man that thing looks hot

  2. AK says:

    I am so ready for new Multi… hope its a smaller Multi.

  3. MikeD says:

    Really hope is a baby ‘Strada and not some Dorsoduro rival… (fingers crossed)…personally i have no use for such a kind-o-bike (Hypermotard) or a Duc for that matter, lol.
    But the subframe /tail section sure a shell don’t look like it has any provissions to carry luggage nor looks that beefy…just saying. Then again this is a Mule and pic is pretty grainy and shitty (im 110% sure this came str8 from Duc to drop-feed us and create some noise about it before it unveiling)…so…
    So ! What is it going to be ? !
    Belts for street oriented bikes and Gears for race replicas coming from Ducati in the years to come OR dumping the NEEDY/FINICKY Belt Drive all-together and going Expensive but Anvil reliable all gears in the future ?

    Their latest fad with the shock to the side anchored directly to the frame and swing arm sure is making life easy when it comes down to routing that rear header and maybe even tilting a bit the engine towards the back a la 1199, isn’t it ? LOL.

  4. Darren says:

    Looks like my kind of bike. I’m looking for something new and a Ducati could fit the bill nicely. As long as it isn’t called “Multitard” :)

  5. johnc says:

    the hypermotard is a weaker component to the otherwise robust Ducati model line-up? really? on what planet? not here on the third rock from the sun, that’s for certain.

  6. froryde says:

    Whatever it is, just make it light.

  7. wreckah says:

    it looks heavier/uglier than a hypermotard (shame) and less useable than a multistrada (shame).

    the 848 engine is a much less nice road engine than the aircooled 1100 too…for me anyways.

    i’ll pass! i’ll have a duke 690 instead.

    the hypermotard may be a weaker model in businessplan-terms but on the road, it is the best ducati by far out there at the moment. :)

  8. RJ says:

    How come “spy photographers” always have the shittiest cameras?

  9. Damo says:


    He wasn’t say it was a “weak bike” he was just referring to weak sales. The Hypermotard is a great machine otherwise.

    I am keeping my eye on this machine as once my obsession with my RC51 comes to a close I am going back to a middle-weight naked bike. I am currently looking at the 675 Street Triple, The 848 Streetfighter and possibly this.

    I will have to put some “Hyper-Damotard” livery on it!

  10. MikeD says:


    Haaaa…….i wonder too on this day and time when even a smart phone have an 8mega pixel shooter WITH FLASH ! and can record at 720p HD…it must be some mysterious powerful spell they had cast on the bike that curses it’s un-authorized photos making it blurry and grainy…yes, that is.

    That must be it…….LMAO. Hey, on a positive……at least their ways are not as FUDGED UP as Triumph’s when they were drip-feeding us those silly over-rated Tiger 800s.

  11. Westward says:

    The bike is clearly a smaller displacement version of the Multistrada…

  12. Hypermotard Nico says:

    “Multitard anyone?”……..Um that sounds multitarded. Clearly this thing will or at least should be called the Hyperstrada!!! Having once owned a 796 and ridden a 1100 hypermotard I a sure hope in their choosing to consolidate the hypermotard lineup that they ONLY part ways with the 796. I hope that they chose to keep the 1100 hypermotard a give it a face lift. For us bigger guys it’s much more pleasant having a liter between your legs on the chugging along freeways in and or around Los Angeles. I would be truly disappointed if the only future option to step up in displacement on a 848 hypermotard is to buy a 1200 multistrada. Things I liked about the new bike from the pictures: I really like the choice of placement of the exhaust, aftermarket cans are sure to look/sound great with the new arrangement, undertail is so damn hot, thank god they have fixed this decade long engineering disaster. It’s hard to see in this photograph but in some of the other “spy” shots, I also like that they have evolved the “beak” on the hypermotard, god that thing is fugly. I loved seeing the arrangement for the ohlins on the panigale when it was released earlier this year and to see that arrangement making its transition into other models is awesome! (Let’s just hope it doesn’t get recalled) I do not find the choice to ditch the trellis subframe appealing however. Or the loss of a dry clutch. It’s sacrilegious!!! The one thing I fear above all else is the continued production of the stock handguard/turn signal/fold out mirror assembly. I saw them installed on one of the first spy photos, they need to go, or else this thing may well indeed be dubbed multitarded.