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.

Hero Hastur 620 Concept – A Streetfighter with EBR Inside

02/05/2014 @ 12:01 pm, by Aakash Desai16 COMMENTS

Hero Hastur 620 Concept   A Streetfighter with EBR Inside Hero Hastur 620 concept streetfighter 04 635x423

The Hero MotoCorp news keeps coming. Last week we reported on the Hero HXR 250R 250cc lightweight sport bike and the impressively practical Hero RNT diesel scooter.

This time, it’s a 620cc streetfighter concept called the Hero Hastur 620. With a parallel twin putting out around 80hp, and claimed weight of only 352.7 pounds wet, the Hastur definitely has a few of key ingredients needed for success.

As a concept, it looks like something a couple of teenagers put together in shop class after learning to use the MIG welder. Perhaps I just don’t get the uber-aggressive look of streetfighter bikes; why does a bike need to look like it is perpetually scowling and wants to eat pedestrians off the sidewalks? In comparison, the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 looks positively organic.

It is obvious that not only is Hero proud to point out Erik Buell Racing’s involvement in the development of the bike, but they are seemingly equally chuffed about the tubular steel trellis frame. It’s highlighted in a “Hey look at this!” yellow and dominates the overall aesthetic of the bike.

Looks aside, the concept is significant in that it points Hero’s product development into the middleweight sports market. This is a crucial segment for sales in the United States where riders tend to be more recreational, seem to enjoy power over practicality, and where the streetfighter trope is still somewhat salient.

It will be interesting to see what else Hero has in store for the European and American markets, especially as EBR begins importing Hero models to the USA.

Hero Hastur 620 Concept   A Streetfighter with EBR Inside Hero Hastur 620 concept streetfighter 01 635x423

Hero Hastur 620 Concept   A Streetfighter with EBR Inside Hero Hastur 620 concept streetfighter 02 635x423

Hero Hastur 620 Concept   A Streetfighter with EBR Inside Hero Hastur 620 concept streetfighter 03 635x423

Hero Hastur 620 Concept   A Streetfighter with EBR Inside Hero Hastur 620 concept streetfighter 05 635x423

Hero Hastur 620 Concept   A Streetfighter with EBR Inside Hero Hastur 620 concept streetfighter 06 635x423

Hero Hastur 620 Concept   A Streetfighter with EBR Inside Hero Hastur 620 concept streetfighter 07 635x423

Hero Hastur 620 Concept   A Streetfighter with EBR Inside Hero Hastur 620 concept streetfighter 08 635x423

Hero Hastur 620 Concept   A Streetfighter with EBR Inside Hero Hastur 620 concept streetfighter 09 635x423

Source: Hero MotoCorp (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. “why does a bike need to look like it is perpetually scowling and wants to eat pedestrians off the sidewalks?”

    I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. :-P

  2. R1rider says:

    Great response Mr Beeler. I too find the styling of street-fighters part of their charm. I just wish more were like the new Super Duke, Tuono, etc. Having ridden a few lately….I am leaving the world of superbikes very soon. Naked’s are just so much fun to ride!

  3. Angie O'Plasty says:

    i really like the looks of this bike!
    by far the most attractive of Hero’s recent unveilings.

  4. JoeD says:

    Naked Streetfighter. Wasn’t that an event at the early Olympics? Seriously, they rock. My Benelli says so. This on looks good-let’s see how it ages with rain and such. The Enfields are nice looking but chrome and steel bits seem to corrode within minutes.

  5. manofleisure says:

    What is that plastic duct like piece that goes from the side of the tank to …? The lights seem unnecessarily complicated. I also question the ” uber-aggressive look of streetfighter bikes”. The previous gen headlights of the Triumph Speed Triple worked for me, nice and simple.

    Other than the front, the overall look works for me.

  6. vman says:

    It looks like they made a lighter powerplant than Nissan’s Le Mans engine.

  7. vman says:

    Wait is that a real engine ? at first I thought it was fake for a mockup.

  8. Logan says:

    I really like the look if this thing! The engine looks like it’s made out of cardboard, but we can’t all be perfect can we? The trellis frame is a a nice touch as well. The swingarm is a but excessive though. Overall, a nice entry level platform.

  9. paulus says:

    Not yet Japan or Euro levels, but not bad… heading in the right direction,
    The radiator looks a bit ‘scabbed on’ but it is a prototype.

    “but they are seemingly equally chuffed about the tubular steel trellis frame”
    KTM is currently selling like crazy in India (undoubtedly the biggest potential market for Hero)… Hero now have a bright coloured trellis frame to compete with KTM Dukes.

    Be interesting to see what the engine outputs/torque are…

  10. Mormont says:

    Hope it has a 270 degree crankshaft. Never got the chance to pick up a Nuda here in the States before KTM bought Husqvarna and axed it.

  11. Great design study.

    Would be great if it is a 2015 production model.

  12. 2ndclass says:

    I like it, and 80hp/160kg wet sounds like fun to me!

  13. Frito says:

    I love how this has the same exact headlight as the new Z1000 but since it is a “Hero” people like the design all of a sudden.

  14. Grey Matter says:

    Frito, please choose your words with a little more thought involved. The headlight is similar yes, but not exact. Also, if you think it looks KTMish, you’re right, and it’s for a reason. It’s a shot accross the bow of the KTM/Bajaj partnership and keep in mind that the bike is a concept and EBR is due to release a new bike soon, a naked version of the 1190RX. Funny how that works out… It may be hastely put together but a concept bike will be just that, a concept and I bet KTM has a few choice Austrian words for the Hastur seeing how it would hit the target market that KTM was planning to tap.

  15. If you want to see a walk around video of the Hastur –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK3j4YrrGII :)

  16. rockz says:

    It is just show piece model . U cant ride on it