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 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.

Buell Firebolt XB12R Concept by Holographic Hammer

12/30/2013 @ 4:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Buell Firebolt XB12R Concept by Holographic Hammer buell firebolt xr12 holographic hammer

It’s funny that we should come across Holographic Hammer’s concept renderings of a reworked Buell Firebolt XB12R at the end of the year, because the work is perhaps the most intriguing we have seen in 2013.

More of cult classic than big hit, the Buell Firebolt XB12R was never honestly considered an appealing machine in terms of design and function, though the two-wheeler has found a special place in the hearts of Buellisti around the world.

Featuring the typical gimmicks innovations of Erik Buell’s tenure at Harley-Davidson, things like the Firebolt’s in-frame fuel tank and underslung exhaust create some interesting freedoms for designers to work with visually.

While many Buell customs have come across our desk, we think the work done by Holographic Hammer, the work of love by BMW Motorrad designer Sylvain Berneron, is the only one to really embrace the opportunity that Buell’s create.

Part modern sport bike, part retro machine…we’re not sure if that describes your typical Buell motorcycle or the work here, yet it’s intriguing to see how stark of a contrast can come from the statement. Naked or faired, take your pick.

If you’re picking up what he’s putting down, you can follow Holographic Hammer on Facebook. We just did.

Buell Firebolt XB12R Concept by Holographic Hammer buell firebolt xr12 holographic hammer concept


  1. jimmyjohn says:

    I like the naked one better.

  2. Say what you want, Buell’s ideas were ahead (depending on your perspective) of the times. Simplicity coupled with a touch of technology and a plethora of originality breathing new life into old concepts (to me) is what bike building was and still is all about.
    I love the Buells particularly the XB series as they were such a departure from the status quo in terms of offerings. Most people didn’t get it .. but anyone who loves motorbikes certainly did. It’s a timeless frame design and worth every bit of attention and Ducati ever garnered.

  3. smiler says:

    Just so glad that Buell survived his time with the leather joy boys from the chrome and cast iron factory. To be racing in wSBK next year is even better.

    Nice to see some great custom Buell bikes too.

  4. k1200Rider says:

    I think option B is close to feasible. If we can find a place to house the battery and electricals.. Been following Holographic Hammer for a while now.. Some very cool concepts. .

  5. Andrey says:

    Under slung exhaust, fuel in frame and rim mounted front brake disc are not even slightly “gimmicky” and are smart interpretations made by a very clever person. I am not a Buell fan but the strike through should have been a delete.

  6. starmag says:

    Andrey says:
    December 31, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Under slung exhaust, fuel in frame and rim mounted front brake disc are not even slightly “gimmicky” and are smart interpretations made by a very clever person. I am not a Buell fan but the strike through should have been a delete.


  7. ML says:

    I really REALLY like this. I’ll take option A with the subframe/airbox cover from option B.

    As for the “gimmicky” remark, I read it as Jensen taking a stab at those who would consider those features gimmicky.

    Anyway, did I mention that I really REALLY like this? Cause I do!

  8. Jonathan says:

    Incredible. Just incredible. Build it and I will buy it. This I swear.

  9. crshnbrn says:

    Andrey says:

    “Under slung exhaust, fuel in frame and rim mounted front brake disc are not even slightly ‘gimmicky’ and are smart interpretations made by a very clever person.” “the strike through should have been a delete.”


    Not to nitpick, but the statement should have been, “Featuring the innovations typical of Erik Buell’s tenure at Harley-Davidson.”, as there is nothing typical about something that is an innovation.

  10. crshnbrn says:

    k1200Rider says:

    “I think option B is close to feasible. If we can find a place to house the battery and electricals..”

    I also noticed there is no space available for the battery on either design, and design A doesn’t have any space for the electrics. If the tail of design B was a little bigger, it could house the battery, and the electrics could be tucked inside the fairing. Design B has the potential to be a conversion kit.

  11. bobx67 says:

    not gimmicky.

    bikes look good.

  12. Quiet American says:

    I like it way better than the recently shown alliance between the Confederacy and Apartheid.

  13. Looks cool, and given that it has a real suspension, and proper reliable dule front brakes, it may actually be a bit more than a coffee table motorcycle… but I tend to doubt it given what they started with.

    And comparing Buell to a Ducati, is laughable. Ducati’s work, they have the performance envelope that no Buell branded bike could match on its best day. Take a Ducati into a 150 mph sweeper, and you have a 99.97 chance of survival, if you have even basic competency on a motorcycle. Try that with a Buell, assuming it could even reach 150 mph, and your survival chances drop to about 64%, at best. Personally those are not the kind of odds I would ever embrace, nor would any serious sport bike rider.

    As to innovations, I’ll grant you that an under slung exhaust may be slightly more practical and lighter weight, but they certainly don’t sound very good, I’ll take an under the seat dual exhaust 1098 system any day over one of those under slung ankle burning speedbump buster. No thanks. :)

    Now maybe EBR will change all that, it it remains to be seen, but given the history, I certainly wouldn’t be willing to bet my life on it.

  14. crshnbrn says:

    For the sake of discussion, lets pretend the approach to the sweeper you mention is not only downhill but also in line with the prevailing wind direction to improve the Buell XB12′s chances of achieving 150 MPH. The flip (no pun intended) side of a 64% chance of survival of negotiating the sweeper at 150 MPH means there is a 36% chance of failure. Reduced to its lowest common denominator, that is a failure rate of 9 out of 25 attempts. I also would not embrace those odds, but apparently 9 riders did. God rest their souls.
    The Ducati’s 99.97% chance of survival of negotiating the sweeper at 150 MPH equates to a failure rate of approximately 1 out of 3000 attempts. If we can agree that humans are not perfect, we could just chalk up that one instance out of 3000 as a result of the rider becoming complacent after making so many successful attempts and missing the braking point, thereby making the Ducati perfect, at least in this particular scenario.