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.

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?

Ducati ST1200 Concept by Luca Bar Design – Teasing ST Owners Never Looked So Good

11/19/2010 @ 5:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Ducati ST1200 Concept by Luca Bar Design   Teasing ST Owners Never Looked So Good Ducati ST1200 concept Luca Bar Design 1 635x454

Ducati ST owners were less than thrilled to learn that their sport-tourer would not return for the 2008 model year, after Ducati sold just barely over 1,000 units of the bike in 2007. Adding insult to injury was the news that Ducati wasn’t looking to revive the ST brand in the coming years, leaving the Italian company without a proper sport-tourer in its model line-up.

With the introduction of the Ducati Multistrada 1200, the Italian brand offered what some ST owners thought was a poor successor for their cult status motorcycle. With the MTS 1200 being more oriented for adventure duty than a pure street/sport tourer, there remains a gap in Ducati’s line-up that some believe should be filled.

One of those persons is designer Luca Bar, who took some time to make a Ducati ST1200 concept, which draws inspiration from the Multistrada 1200, and shows that Ducati could make a convincing sport-tourer that could share heavily from the common parts bin, thus making it a cost-effective model.

Source: Luca Bar (Personal Blog)

Comment:

  1. Zoil says:

    Sorry, it doesn’t do anything for me…

  2. Richard Gozinya says:

    That’s just a photoshop of a MST.

  3. bryson says:

    Make it Duc red, get rid of them bags, lower them front bars and I would think about getting one!

  4. Other Sean says:

    I agree with Richard, this wasn’t worth posting.

  5. Rexr says:

    YUK……bloody awful………and don’t give up ur day job..

  6. Johndo says:

    Looks ok. If I loved the brand and was looking for an ST, I might consider it. Those luggage would need to be bigger though, that angle at the back of them limits the space inside, like it does on the Multistrada. Of course it’s not as sexy as an 848 but, it’s an ST.

  7. RKL says:

    I’ve had better looking bowel movements. Admittedly, mine tend to be rather beautiful, but still.

  8. tiresmoke says:

    It still has the “throttle by wire”,, which means a piece of silicon holds your right wrist hostage.

    Put cables on it and watch it sell.

    Just a thought.

  9. Tommy says:

    While the bike in some form is needed, deriving it off of the multistrada is definitely NOT the way to do it. The STs are supposed to be beautiful italian designs that are somehow practical. Like a Maserati Quatroporte. I rather see a photo chop of a 998 made into a sport tourer….

  10. Alex Crookes says:

    Some lovely concept shots of a Ducati ST1200 – http://bit.ly/bDfIz4 – Maybe next year, but i still want the 'strada more

  11. Ron says:

    There is much about the Multi 1200 that would be worth saving, but the body is not one of them. Giving Captain Beaky a nose job is like the proverbial lipstick on a pig – it still goes ‘oink’. Ducati has a deep repertoire of pleasing designs that could easily be mated to the engine and frame of the 1198, with Monster 1100 ergonomics and a nice pair of forks. Bingo, you have the ST we have been wanting.

  12. John says:

    Good start, but the main elements to me are wind blast protection and comfortable seating, both single and two up. It doesn’t look compatible for two up, looks like a sport bike configuration. I agree the design should employ more “Italian” characteristics (we know what that is but can’t describe it, you know it when you see it). The luggage is too sharp and perhaps the concept as well.

    I know the reason why Ducati dropped the ST line, poor sales. But the real reason in my opinion was poor design and lacking sport/tour features. Now that a few years have passed, the technology is available, the need for a sport tour bike is obvious and Ducati has a wonderful opportunity to bring the bike back as the leader in this segment. Lastly, another reason and likely a main sticking point in sales success is the fact an owner is required to bring his bike in every 6K miles for an expensive and not cost effective service. This was changed to 7.5K miles, but thats hardly an improvement. But, with better engine design and tuning the Testastretta motor in some of the newly released models are required service intervals of an amazing 15K miles! This is no small improvement, this is hugh, especially in a bike category that promotes touring. This alone will attract buyers.

    I’ve been a sport bike rider most of my life and feel I’m past due converting to a more comfortable sport tour bike (more touring than sport). I would have bought an older ST but the service intervals defeated that idea. So it looks like I will be “divorcing” the brand loyalty when I decide to make the change because Ducati is ignoring a large and getting older riding crowd.

  13. -Lazarus- says:

    I like the idea but, let’s have a pipe on either side and a bit larger fuel tank to take a decent 21Ltrs or more, none of this 15Ltr rubbish like nowadays! Oh yes and RED it just has to be RED!

  14. BikePilot says:

    For a quick and dirty ‘chop, that’s really pretty good. Ducati could probably pull this off with a high degree of parts commonality and relatively little additional R&D. Probably a good idea for them. Personally I’ll take the long suspension and upright seating of the multi.

  15. Lazarus, FYI the MTS 1200 has a 20L fuel tank.

  16. BikePilot says:

    Oooo, here’s an idea! Add a blower to it and dethrone the C-14 or whatever is today’s most-powerful sport-tourer ;) If the Australians can do a limited production 999 making 200hp, surely Ducati could get a reliable 200hp out of a lightly blown 1198 mill.