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.

Ducati Monster 848R Concept by Isaac Chavira

03/24/2011 @ 6:54 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Ducati Monster 848R Concept by Isaac Chavira Ducati Monster 848R Corse crop 635x403

Today we have a concept sketch that should appeal to A&R‘s Ducatisti readership, as Isaac Chavira brings us his rendition of a Ducati Monster 848R. The name sort of gives off what’s going on here, as Chavira has incorporated the 848′s superbike motor into a Monster chassis (a Monster 796 chassis to be exact).

While the Monster line has become Ducati’s air-cooled street machine, we like where Chivra’s head is at when explains his choice for using the 848 Superbike’s water-cooled motor: “As you’ll see I have given it a heart transplant stuffing the 848′s motor into the Monsters chassis. After all they gave it a menacing name, why not have the heart of a beast right?”

In addition to adding the heart of the beast, Chivra has added an 1198R’s front-end and rear shock, and also fit the Ducati Monster 848R with some of Ducati’s go-fast Performance parts. A DP slipper clutch has been installed, as well as a full Termignoni titanium exhaust with ECU upgrade finishing out the kit.

Chivra also says that he sees his design having the trellis frame pipe thickness thinned out to 0.5mm, with a cast magnesium sub-frame to boot. All-in-all a package worthy of the “R” designation from the Bologna brand. Don’t expect Ducati to build one anytime soon, but then again, that’s not really the point of this now is it?

Comment:

  1. Eric says:

    As a former Ducati Monster S4R owner I’m all for it. I know Ducati prefers to keep the monster air cooled, but a power infusion would be most welcome. I’ve never been sold on the Street Fighter. Just looks too much like a stripped down Superbike instead of a bike designed from scratch to be naked.

  2. Nate says:

    Not to be picky, because I love the idea, but any “R” or even an “S” would at least have Forged Wheels and not Cast. I know I’m being picky, But I like this and want to do it. To have an “R” motor it needs to be more powerfull than a stock 848 motor… so, I’m thinking 1040 bigbore kit… YEAH BUDDY!!

  3. Jesse says:

    @Eric,

    Funny you post that up as I simply thought newer monsters were water cooled and older ones weren’t. I had no idea that the water-cooled version was just that, a version. . . I was confused while reading this article until I saw your post and then it all made sense.

    Obviously I’m not a Ducati expert. Still can’t (actually, won’t) afford one.

  4. Josh says:

    Jesse, in ducati-land, all (well except for the ST2) 2-valve motors are air cooled and all 4-valve liquid cooled.

    The superbikes of the past decade+ are all 4-valve motors as are monsters with “4″ in the name. All other ducati monsters are air cooled, 2-valve motors.

    Ducs aren’t really all that expensive – often they aren’t even any more than similar Japanese bikes. Just bought a lightly used Monster for my wife for less than I could have snagged a Japanese 650 twin of similar vintage and mileage. Upkeep is a little more (a lot more if you don’t do all your own work) though.

    As far as the photochop – doesn’t look too bad, looks like what I’d expect an S4* version of the new monster to look like. I think we are far more likely to see a 848 streetfighter than an 848 monster though. The radiators never did mesh with the monster’s styling though and still don’t in that ‘chop.

    Now where’s an 848 Hyper when ya need one?

  5. Cory says:

    The cluth on an 848 is wet. The photochop is not. Picky picky, I know, but I own an 848 and that’s the first thing I noticed about the pic.

  6. Isaac Chavira says:

    A side note on the trelis frame. I meant 0.5mm was shaved off to make it thinner =o)

    Now for my next trick, the KTM 690 Supermoto ‘R’.

    Thank You A&R you have made my day!!!

  7. buellracerx says:

    beautiful concept; would love to see it make reality, especially after seeing the power of that 848EVO at Daytona… with an increase in power, tho, I’d really rather keep as much stiffness & strength in the frame as possible, unless there was a switch to chromoly intended (Monsters come stock w/ chromoly trellises?)

  8. AC says:

    Photoshop itself is nice, but I think we’d be more likely to see the 848 motor in a Streetfighter body. Afterall, the Monster lineup is all 2V now while the SF is 4V.