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.

Honda CX-01 Concept Revealed in India

02/07/2014 @ 3:29 pm, by Aakash Desai100 COMMENTS

Honda CX 01 Concept Revealed in India Honda CX 01 Concept 635x423

They say that in the future, most of the human race will be brown-skinned as racial-mixing will have run its course. That is, assuming climate change doesn’t induce a worldwide weather catastrophe or Russia doesn’t decide to sell some of its nuclear weapons cache to Christian extremists.

Similarly so, as time moves on, motorcycle manufacturers are picking their new conceptual product ideas out of the metaphorical melting pot. Dual-sports and crossovers like the Honda NC700X point to a design paradigm that favors a jack-of-all trades mentality towards practicality over specialization.

The Honda CX-01, a conceptual prototype revealed at 2014 Indian Auto Expo, represents Honda’s vision for a youth-targeted crossover motorcycle.

Seemingly designed to manage everything from the Armageddon-like traffic of Mumbai, to the lovely country backgrounds just outside the major cities, the CX-01 definitely looks the part. Honda has not disclosed any specifics however.

Nonetheless, a few details point to a more premium build: upside-down forks, dual exhaust mufflers (is it a parallel twin?), a rear mono shock, and LCD gauge display.

Sources also suggest that this bike will be manufactured in India. We will keep you all updated as further details emerge, but until then check out the bevy of photos taken the folks at Indian Autos Blog.

Photo: Indian Autos Blog

Comment:

  1. rvjr says:

    That front sprocket cover and single exhaust header is straight off the cbr250r. Even the frame looks the same

  2. DevonSowell says:

    “That is, assuming climate change doesn’t induce a worldwide weather catastrophe or Russia doesn’t decide to sell some of its nuclear weapons cache to Christian extremists.”

    Stick to the motorcycle please. I don’t want to read junk like this

  3. Aakash Desai says:

    DevonSowell,

    To read or not to read, the choice is yours.

  4. Stanford Crane says:

    Wow, Aakash, that is an incredibly insensitive statement! “To read or not to read…” Okay, I won’t anymore.

  5. Richard Gozinya says:

    It makes a lot of sense to see more versatile motorcycles coming out, even in the Western world. Most of us don’t have the money to have a stable full of motorcycles, so we have only one. That one bike needs to be able to do more than track days or be trucked out for a weekend at Glamis. So we see more dual sports, standards, and touring bikes. Also seeing smaller engines on these bikes, because let’s face it, most of us have no sane or even marginally rational reason to be on a bike with over 100 hp. Not to say that’s not a ton of fun, because it is, it’s just that most of us don’t have the skills to make full use of Supersports, let alone Panigales, V-Maxes and Busas. So yeah, middleweight (And smaller) All rounders are going to become more and more prevalent.

    Perhaps they’ll start focusing on making the bikes lighter and lighter, instead of more and more powerful for awhile.

  6. proudAmerican says:

    Ducati should be flattered.

    The mufflers say “Multistrada”, the front signals on the mirrors say “Hypermotard”, and the taillights scream “Panigale.”

    Nice-looking little scoot!

  7. Ken says:

    “that’s if Russia doesn’t decide to sell some of its nuclear weapons cache to Christian extremists”
    That would be Muslim extremists, you politically correct idiots.
    You’ve lost me, morons.

  8. Aakash says:

    @Ken,

    Google “christian extremism” and bask in your newfound knowledge.

    Christian terrorists have more at stake, ideologically, in “the end of times” than Muslim extremists. Hence the reference in the opening paragraph to this article.

    Claro?

  9. Ken says:

    You start injecting your cockeyed politics into a motorcycling website and you’re going to start losing readership.
    You’ve already lost one.
    Potential endtimes Christian extremism trumps documented Islamic terror attacks.
    You’re a fool.

  10. Ken says:

    If you’re so freaking stupid as to propose that a future, imagined, hypothetical, Christian end-of-times extremism represents a greater threat than 22,415 documented deadly Islamic terror attacks since September 11, 2001, what does it say about your ability to assess motorcycles, let alone being so stupid as to alienate your client base by casting specious, unsupportable, aspersions at a significant demographic.
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

    I’m guessing that you were cheering from the sidelines as the passenger jets hit the twin towers…

  11. Richard Gozinya says:

    One of the best pieces of advice my grandfather ever gave me: Unless you’re looking for an argument, don’t bring up religion or politics. And while that’s sage advice, it was, to me, less impressive than hearing about how he got to ride the Wall of Death back in the 50′s.

  12. DevonSowell says:

    ” Aakash Desai says:
    February 7, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    DevonSowell,

    To read or not to read, the choice is yours.”

    Arrogant too, huh?

    Take a real Journalism class.

  13. Norm G. says:

    re: “Stick to the motorcycle please. I don’t want to read junk like this”

    aakash face it, you’ve erred mightily. there’s nothing unreasonably about the above request considering this IS a motorcycle site.

    logic dictates, if someone of authority calls together a group to discuss a subject…? but then the AUDIENCE has to tell the speaker to stay on topic…? well there’s something wrong.

  14. snortface says:

    Wow Aakash you’ve got some serious rednecks on this site…I must have missed all the Harley posts!

    Keep it up, nobody wants to read a dry paraphrase of a press release.

  15. L2C says:

    See what labeling gets you? I think most have missed the satire.

  16. Sean in Oz says:

    I’d rather have a bike that does at least on thing well, rather than is compromised in everything it does. The limits to where most bikes are taken are the limits of the rider not the bike.

    Crossover bikes are about creating a market that suits factory economics (lots of units of a small number of models) not making more appropriate bikes for riders

  17. demographics says:

    If large parts of the population lives in Asia… and many of them are “brown-skinned,” along with Africa, South and Central America, Oceania… and that constitutes most of the world’s population… what makes you think this is “in the future.” Strike 2 from unsub and Aakash has earned both of them. Tentatively maintaining favorite… for now.

  18. L2C says:

    “They say…”.

  19. MikeD says:

    I like it. The only part i find odd is the Multi Strada 1200 Muffler. The rest i can live with it.
    So what’s the size of this thing ? 250cc ?

    @Jensen: Is your blog, your rules, YOUR WRITING.
    Whoever doesn’t feel comfy around here should head for the nearest EXIT DOOR.
    If it’s too f-ing hot in the kitchen then get the f-out . . . or so i have been told before. (^_^)
    Personally, i don’t give a five flying f%^&* about any one’s political and/or religious inclinations.

  20. demographics says:

    l2c I missed that little caveat he put in there. Now that I see that I realize the author’s hands are washed of any responsibility. “They say” a lot of stupid things, and that seems a little more like an out for making up whatever you feel like. Do you think over 50 percent of the world’s pop is “brown-skinned” or less? Logic and facts hard. Me Tarzan.

  21. demographics says:

    Legit just look at the pic of the bike and then tell me how you get apocalyptic prophecies and anything about race out of it.

  22. V2win says:

    LISTEN UP PROBIES– Jensen does an OUTSTANDING job of bringing us the newest and latest motorcycle news each and every day, and often several times a day, and he is pretty open and impartial to all technology and riding styles. It’s his passion and his life. He is certainly entitled to his own editorial slant and witticism as MikeD so eloquently stated. Please honor Jensen with the appreciation that he is so deserving of. If you’re offended, please UNSUBSCRIBE — do not air your junior high school bullyism in this forum. As I have commented in previous articles, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” In other words: “Courtesy is the outward expression of a gentleman.”

    @Jensen– May I make a suggestion for your consideration that you add a code of ethics for the site that repliers must ascribe to or be banned. Most other civil groups have one. Also consider response keys that readers can click on to report their feeling such as “Like”,” Dislike”, “Report for removal”, etc. I get real sick of the worthless, negative crap written by what must be BMX riders and motorcycle wannabes. You have my strong support — keep up the great work!

  23. froryde says:

    I like it. It actually reminds me a bit of the MV Rivale (which I think they failed with that miserable Spy vs. Spy beak.) Wouldn’t have thought this would come from Honda.

    Re: politics – that’s sure a heck a lot of meanings and stories people interpreted from 3 lines of text…

  24. BBQdog says:

    As long as it isn’t as heavy as the CBR 250R with 155 kg dry ….

  25. BBQdog says:

    @rvjr: agree. Seems the base is the CBR 250R. I owned one for a year and much it very familiar.

  26. Tom says:

    Re the bike – in my opinion, yet more soulless drivel from Honda. Does absolutely nothing for me, although I do understand its place in that market. Understand it, but do not appreciate it.

    Re the opening paragraph and the reaction to it – yes, the author is entitled to write their own take on wit in their article. And if A&R choose to publish it, like others has said “It’s their blog, they can write what they like”. Well yes, indeed they can, but it is utterly illogical to suggest that readers who found it offensive or insensitive should not have a say on the content. Journalists should also expect and encourage critique and discussion on their work.

    The paragraph itself didn’t offend me, but it did raise my eyebrows as I found it unusual, out of place and most importantly unnecessary. What really downright pissed me off though, was Aakash’s response of “To read or not the choice is yours”. How utterly arrogant. People have already read it, you can’t undo having read it and once read, expect feedback. To essentially state “if you don’t like it, stick it up you arse” is totally unbecoming of a journalist and comes across as petty, juvenile and unprofessional.

    You have an international readership and are likely well compensated by advertisers for this. Respect your reader’s feedback Aakash. That was incredibly arrogant of you.

  27. Brian says:

    I KNEW some hyper-sensitive brainwashed Christian type (ken) would freak out about that first paragraph.

  28. Brian says:

    @tom, with all due respect what makes this “soulless drivel”? Not to be argumentative, I’ve just heard about Hondas as being boring or soulless as you put it and I don’t understand why. Other then the cbr250r headlight, this looks just like something Yamaha, mv, or even Ducati would put out there.

    And don’t try to sell me on the overrated ducatis. Hondas are (or at least use to be) bulletproof. Is it their lack of quirks (a la Ducati: “don’t drop it! The engine will blow up”) that give them no soul?

  29. Tom says:

    @Brian, I suppose truly whether or not a bike stirs the soul is almost entirely subjective, so it’s difficult to answer your question but I shall try. To begin with, let me say that I ride a Honda – I have an ’07 Hornet, so i’m not simply brand bashing.

    Let’s take the Hornet for example – it’s primarily a commuter, i’d say. I don’t use it for commuting, but I don’t think it’s unfair to say that a bit part of the design brief was to make a nice looking, commuter friendly bike to suit a very large cross section of society. But to me, the bike looks and feels inspired. Yes, it was fairly cheap, yes, mass produced, but the lines, the flow of the tank into the tail, the layout of the 4-into-1 pipes. To me it feels characterful and designed to a price point but with looks and soul being two incredibly important parts of the brief.

    This though, and a LOT of what Honda have brought out recently, just screams to me “biking by numbers”. It’s unattractive, would probably be very bland to ride and looks as though it was designed by very boring car designers who have been asked to turn their heads to biking. It will work, it will be reliable, it will be what the Indian market needs, I understand that. But it looks soulless.

    For an example of how I personally feel it *should* be done; look to KTM and the Duke series. Cheap, built to a phenomenally low price, but that don’t look bland or boring. It looks like it was built by engineers who were told “You have X amount per bike – go forth and make the best, most exciting, fun yet practical bike you can, to that price point”. Whereas this looks like the boss said “You have X amount per bike – make it work. Quickly, please.”

    I feel like this philosophy has trickled down through Honda’s entire line, too. The new Fireblade has got to be the most boring looking super bike they’ve ever made. The new CBR600rr hasn’t moved on properly in years. I know that the market right now is dictating the production and design of bikes more heavily than before, but when other manufacturers are makings bikes like the 2013 ZX6R, RC390, etc etc, Honda don’t have an excuse. The last fun, soulful looking bike they made, in my opinion, was the little Grom. Now THAT thing is fun!

  30. BBQdog says:

    @Tom: agree, the problem with Honda is they make really good bikes but they all look a bit joyless.
    And one of the nicest design on the CBR250R isn’t used, the cockpit with large revcounter.
    At the moment I got a KTM Duke 390 but I still miss the CBR 250R rev counter.
    Those bar-type rev counters are hard to read and ugly.

    CX-01 instrument panel:

    http://www.motorbeam.com/wp-content/uploads/Honda-CX-01-Instrument-Cluster.jpg

    CBR 250 R panel:

    http://0.tqn.com/d/motorcycles/1/0/U/N/0/-/11-Honda-CBR250R-gauges.jpg

  31. Norm G. says:

    re: “it is utterly illogical to suggest that readers who found it offensive or insensitive should not have a say on the content.”

    and more specifically… WOULD not…?

    Stevie Wonder could see this coming.

  32. rt says:

    As the guy above said, there’s no need for unnecessary junk. You can showcase your writing skills in your books which, after reading the first paragraph, I am pretty sure will rival Rowlings’ in sales. But us readers are happy with usual motorcycle news. David and Jensen are doing a great job. But this is plain awful.

  33. Vinod says:

    Akash, I visit A&R daily and I am from India and a Christian. You like to act smart, huh?. Don’t be a show off and don’t act cool. Stick to writing articles on bikes alone. People like me are visiting this site for reading good articles about bikes and motorbike sports and not for the piece of crap lines you are writing.

    There are many things you could have wrote in the article which could have been interesting and funny. If you don’t know how then you should learn from Jeremy Clarkson.

    FYI, Christians are the most persecuted religious people in the world right now and still they haven’t gone to the extremism side. They maintain their calmness and pray to God because of the persecutions. There are many extremism things going on now. We should care about those things now, not about someone’s fantasies which will never happen.

    “Google “christian persecution” and bask in your newfound knowledge.” I don’t care if you post this comment. I just want to let you know how I feel.

  34. Marc says:

    I am wondering what part of ascribing blow up all the brown people with a nuclear weapon-level racism to christians is not junior high school level bullying. I generally love this blog, but as others have said, that level of idiocy makes me wonder about everything you write.

  35. Ride1 says:

    Many of you need a medical grade cannabis ….Just saying

  36. Mitch says:

    I usually find the styling of utilitarian bikes you see in parts of the world like Indonesia and India to be aesthetically boring or awkward, but this concept has enough motard influence to keep my interest to commute on here in southern california.

    Also, this is the best post in a long time, sometimes it’s great to poke the hornet’s nest. If I had my way I’d put all the world’s religions in a trash bag and shoot it into the sun. Nice to see the crazies pop up and make their hate known.

  37. MikeD says:

    ” If I had my way I’d put all the world’s religions in a trash bag and shoot it into the sun. ”

    @Mitch:

    YOU SR. HAVE WON THE INTERNET TODAY.

  38. Mustafa Ibrahim says:

    Aakesh, you stepped on your dhoti. Why piss people off, eh? Because of your attitude, I will now NOT VISIT THIS SITE FOR30 DAYS. Perhaps you will have different employment by then. I request that everyone else boycott this site until Aakesh gets his walking papers.

  39. Mitch says:

    Well, Buddhism and Jainism seem alright, I’d let them stick around

    until they got preachy

  40. Mitch says:

    ” Mustafa Ibrahim says: Why piss people off, eh? ”

    Because reading impotent, butthurt replies like yours is entertaining

  41. Aakash Desai says:

    At the end of the day, I’m at least happy no one questioned my reference to climate change. We can squabble about religion all we want, but thank (god/allah/buddha/bhagwan/theuniverse/science/rationality) that we are seemingly all on the same page about climate change.

    Cheers!

  42. MikeD says:

    @Aakash:

    LMAO.

  43. froryde says:

    @ Askash – AMEN! ;) XDDD

    @ Mitch / MikeD + 1

  44. Starmag says:

    So much self-righteousness, so little time isn’t there Aakash? I can’t decide what proves a ring in one’s nose more, religion or global warming.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/13/no-significant-warming-for-17-years-4-months/

  45. Bill says:

    Too bad your viewpoint took away from the article. I read most every post and so few were about the bike. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and let’s also recognize that different pars of the world deal with different extremist groups from many faiths and viewpoints. BTW I do think Global warming is a complete farce as far as what we humans believe we can do about it. It does not help that climate info is being faked on both sides.

    That said the bike looks really nice. I am a huge fan of a motorcycle that does everything well. When I ride on the street I prefer being able to look at every road as a possibility rather than being limited by road surface or weather.

  46. Westward says:

    Bill is a Republican or a Tory… (not that it’s necessarily a bad thing)

    However, your post is fickle as it is hypocritical…

    The CX-01 seems like a new direction of focus that I like. I imagine it will be a 500 cc bike or less in western countries. Maybe more like 300, 250, or 125 mostly for Eastern ones…

    Bike looks good

  47. BrianZ says:

    look, it is a full sized Grom !!!

  48. Jordan J. says:

    The bike looks appealing, I just wish Yamaha would of taken on a more serious stance of promoting the WR250X and maybe a larger bore model to complement the range and maybe a more affordable model, similar to the CRF250L range. And maybe, import their XT660 to the states.

    Contributing to the unfortunate debacle going on, the phrase in question made me roll my eyes in its forced application and is indicative of Hellforleather.com’s fall from the good graces of decent writing here recently. If this sentence is what to expect from future articles on A&R, I suppose my last outlet for motorcycle reading will be refreshing bikerglory.com, hoping for a new article every other month and reading old issues of Bike magazine. Some of us like bikes because it doesn’t remind us of the things that upset us the most (war, religion, government, all ultimately summing up to a mindless arrogance) and if these are to be forced back upon us, the point of biking is lost entirely. It’s not that I myself am upset, it’s just you’ve cast an unsightly shadow on something meant to be enjoyed all in the sake of beating your own chest. Please reconsider your perspective while I wash the muck off what you’ve left behind.

  49. Tom says:

    @Jordan J. – you hit it right on the nose with “You’ve cast an unsightly shadow on something meant to be enjoyed all in the sake of beating your own chest”

    Even Aakash’s subsequent replies to the criticism of his aritcle scream of arrogance, chest-beating and smug self satisfaction. I quite literally could not believe his latest reply. In the face of all the criticism and frayed nerves, I would at least expect an attempt at placation and an acceptance that whatever the validity of his views, this was NOT the place to air them. This is patently not the place for antagonistic opinions and rude, smug replies to criticism (which, whilst some has been a touch impassioned and preachy, most by far has been balanced and reasonable). This is a motorcycling website, not Time Magazine or New Statesman.

    We do not come here for controversial political/religious debate, but most importantly we don’t visit the site for some self-assured, smug writer to purposefully troll readers in his replies.

    Bad form A&R. Do something about this.

  50. Jorge says:

    Looks like a tight fit for a family of five.

  51. L2C says:

    Why should Aakash have to placate anybody in this thread for poor reading comprehension and/or knee-jerk reactions?

    The first paragraph of his article was a joke made at the expense of loopy futurists, corporate expansionism, climate change deniers, the fallout of a somewhat unstable political regime, and violent right-wing Christian extremists that have been around for as long as Christianity itself.

    Christians and violent right-wing Christian extremists do not represent the same group of people. The only thing in common that is shared is the label “Christian,” and that itself is fairly arbitrary given the vast differences of objectives and divergent histories that these groups have. So it is a mystery why some mainstream Christians would take offense at the joke.

    The other fine point that was missed was that it was a political joke, not a religious one. Christian extremists and Muslim extremists are political groups first — and, if at all, religious groups second. The Christian and Islamic labels only serve to identify the religious roots of whatever organization the extremists claim to represent. Either that or — and this is IMPORTANT — the religious labels are used to appeal to the sentiments of legitimate religious groups for the purposes of gaining monetary support and political power.

    Whenever someone begins with “They say…” you know you’re being set up for a punchline. David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock… you name the comedian, they all do “They say…” jokes. This is not to say that all “They say…” jokes are funny, but at least as a listener you know that an attempt at being funny is being made.

    Not everyone thought Aakash was funny. Some missed the point altogether. However, if one draws conclusions based solely on some of the responses, it is clear that some of those offended Christians didn’t do anything at all to encourage peace or peaceful discussions given the language used.

    See Ken’s replies for evidence of this. Ken is either a pissed offed Christian extremist or a confused mainstream Christian who lumps religious groups and violent religious political groups together, failing to recognize that the two types of groups are distinct and separate.

    All wars are fought using language. This is the primary weapon used by all sides in any war. Whether it be political or religious, language is the primary go-to weapon of mass destruction of any organized and mobilized force. The target? Your minds. Pay attention so you won’t get hurt.

    “They say…” jokes are meant to disarm, not arm. No harm, no foul when defusing propaganda with humor. Except if the joke is bad. Then the worst that could happen is no one laughs.

  52. majortom says:

    What the f!@#! I come here to escape this screwed up world and now it’s screwy here! One more ‘christian extremest’ type comment and I’m out of here. What ever were you thinking?!

  53. TheSwede says:

    Came here to read on Hayden’s lack of speed, but saw the first line of this article and KNEW the comment section would be worthwhile. The drivel about Christians being the “most persecuted religious group in the world” was especially funny.

    L2C, you said everything I was thinking, and better than I could have done. +1 to you sir.

  54. Jw says:

    I believe this represents the longest thread on A and R I have ever seen.. I too came on to suck up anything moto GP, then this cluster..

    The off season really tests us.

  55. Jw says:

    Aakash

    Race
    Religion
    War
    Climate change

    I just now realized the genius in you

  56. majortom says:

    Hey Swede, whats so funny about peaceful Christians being persecuted? Open your eyes much?’ And for this Aaskash guy I also take offense to your global warming comment. Not only is it not ‘man made’ if it’s happening at all, this comment does not belong in a MOTORCYCLE blog. Please go somewhere else! Go join the Sierra Club and hug a tree for me why don’t you? You’ll feel better too.
    Do you know what the word ‘apologizing’ means Aaskash? You must feel superior to us lowlifes.
    OK I’m vented now.

  57. TheSwede says:

    @majortom

    I never said persecution of Christians was funny, I said the claim that Christians are currently persecuted, and that they are the most persecuted religious group is funny. I’m assuming we both live in the States, so how are Christians being persecuted here? I can’t think of any recent legislation or judicial decisions that have restricted your right to believe what you want to believe, and to live your life in accordance with those values.

  58. SBPilot says:

    I was thinking of writing something long, but L2C did a very fine job of expressing everything I was going to say. So all I’ll say is.

    religion…ha!

    The bike actually looks pretty good, and if it’s a sub 6k bike, could make a great do-it-all commuter.

  59. SkidLid says:

    That Christian extremist comment gave me a chuckle. I thought it was pretty clever. Personally I hope the uptight jerks are driven away by it. I also get a chuckle when we Christian forget:

    The subjugation of the europe, africa , and the middle east by the Holy Roman Empire
    The Crusades
    The Spanish Inquisition
    The Napoleonic Empire
    The British Empire
    The Enslavement of Africa by Europe
    The desolation of the American Indians
    The desolation of the South American tribes
    The desolation of the Caribbean
    The subjugation of India/Pakistan by the English
    The subjugation of the Australian Aborigines
    The invasion of New Zealand
    The invasion of Vietnam by the French
    The invasion of polynesia
    The invasion of Hawaii
    The dozens of French wars
    The American Empire
    ad nauseum

    Make no mistake, I am a Christian, but I’m also not a blind moron. Christians currently hold most of the power in the World, including the vast majority of nuclear weapons. We are the least persecuted religion in the world. What silliness we’ve bred in the US that people actually believe otherwise. I also understand that the OP was making a light hearted joke. There are people here who have to calm down.

    Good work Aakash. I enjoyed the post immensely!

  60. mutanic says:

    WTF am I reading here, is this a extremist forum or what?! People looking for bike & motorsport info here not your blind accusation. I am a Muslim so what? Religion did not teach you to be an extremist but it is you who create yourself in such way… Stop arguing & back to reality!

  61. Vinod says:

    @L2C, the fact is Aakash didn’t say this as a joke, rather he claims it to be a fact based on google results. That is why all the arguments are about. If it is a joke then no problem. We all know that many are making fun of Christianity and it always happens and Christians get offended. Bill Maher is one fine example who often uses profanity to describe Christianity. But have you heard any news of terrorist attacks because of those events. No you haven’t. Because Christians don’t retaliate violently. Why?, because the Bible says beating a fellow human being is tantamount to murder and murder is sinning against God. Violent right-wing Christian extremists?! Can you give some examples? How many have they assaulted or killed?

    Why do the nations with the Christian backgrounds are the ones which prospered well and where people all over the world like to live in? Why do all people desire to live in America? Because America is a land of freedom and you have the right to exercise your beliefs even if it offends people of other beliefs. Were not the foundations of the constitution based on Christian principles? I am asking honestly, why don’t these people say these kinds of things about Islam? Can they do it without any fear of retaliation?

    @SkidLid, @TheSwede, at first Romans were not Christians. They believed in Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Titans, Diana, Aphrodite, etc. Christianity was established there only in 4th century BC under Constantinople. All other invasions mentioned by SkidLid except crusades were not Christian invasions, rather they are invasions of nations by other nations. There is a big difference between a nation and Christianity. Because invasions by nations happened all the time in the history and will always happen. Zengis Khan ruled all of Asia and most of Europe, Roman Empire spanned all of Europe, Northern Africa, Middle East. Persian Empire spanned Middle East and South Asia including Indian subcontinent. There were many kingdoms that came and gone. The question is whether all these invasions mentioned by SkidLid including the crusade are based on the Biblical principles. If you research it then you will end up with a big NO.

    Christians are the least persecuted, huh? Do some research SkidLid. Let me list out the regions in the world where Christians are persecuted or it is hard to exercise their faith right now, China, North Korea, Nigeria, many countries in North Africa, Middle East (especially Egypt & Syria), Pakistan, Afghanistan, Communist countries of Latin America, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Nepal. You could have heard atleast one death of a Christian person due to his or her Christian belief. In the past, these are the kingdoms that persecuted Christians, Roman Empire (From Emperor Nero), England after 10th century (heard about Bloody Mary?), Russia (under Stalin), etc. In the future, there is a good possibility of America and other European countries joining this list.

    If this comment doesn’t gets published, well and good the people at A&R atleast will get to know the truth. If this gets published, it is doubly well and good, all the people will get to know the truth.

    God bless you all.

  62. paulus says:

    I like the design…. does it come in coffee colour too?

  63. Wow says:

    Wow, this is my first and last time to this website. I came looking for motorcycle news, not extremist hate speech. My advice, fire this racist arrogant idiot and focus on motorcycles or your website will inherit his reputation.

  64. JoeD says:

    Climate change WILL happen. Been going on for about 4 billion years. Argue with a Fool and it’s two Fools arguing. Now, back to bikes, please.

  65. Ed says:

    @Vinod

    It’s take way too much time to repudiate all your misconceptions so I’ll just take the first you mentioned, the Holy Roman Empire has nothing to do with the Roman Republic. They’re separated by over half a millenium. It’s clear someone should do their research. Your fallacies continue from there.

  66. mutanic says:

    Damn it! These guy don’t know how & when to stop, go open your own Facebook wall & post this issue, you’ll get more attention compare to A&R… What happen to A&R today???

  67. Mike says:

    @Vinod

    I’d like to point out that those figures are Greek, not Roman. While the Roman Republic mythology borrows a lot from the Greek tradition, those you mention aren’t Roman.

    And for that matter, just to pick another one. Mary 1 of England was catholic and killed protestants. It’s not Christian persecution when one Christian group kills another. That’s persecution of a sect.

    You should pick up a book. Or use the computer you’re on to check facts, it’s not that hard.

  68. Henry says:

    ahhh…religion, look what it has done.

    People who didn’t like the “religious”comment sure made it a point to dissect it even more. Blown out of proportion. I’m better, smarter and right..
    Thank you A&R and Jensen for not backing down from these bullies.
    even if I don’t like some of the article, I will continue to come back and read.
    I can’t wait till MotoGP season starts, or when the next Ducati is coming out.
    Peace!

  69. yougr says:

    Here’s a video that i found on youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7iz0iwBIhs

  70. Jake F. says:

    Very entertaining comments section, if a little too Yahoo! News for my taste. Best comment award goes to Vinod for:

    “Christianity was established there only in 4th century BC…”

    Those Romans were truly ahead of their time!

    Now, back to bikes…

  71. crshnbrn says:

    JoeD says:

    “Climate change WILL happen. Been going on for about 4 billion years.” +1

    Is climate change occurring? YES

    Is mankind contributing to climate change? YES

    Would climate change occur without mankind’s presence? YES

    Is there anything mankind can do in response to climate change? YES
    Purchase dual-sport or adventure motorcycle in preparation of rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions.

    JoeD says:

    “Argue with a Fool and it’s two Fools arguing. Now, back to bikes, please.” +1

    Please (enter name of GOD of choice) can we return to discussing motorcycles?

  72. Jw says:

    This is too funny, I’m wondering if this will make it to 100 posts. LOL

  73. Vinod says:

    @Ed, @Mike, you two were right about Roman Empire and Roman Republic and the Greek gods. I confused both of them. Also Bloody Mary was a Roman Catholic who killed protestants. It will not amount to exact persecution. Nevertheless since I am a protestant, for me it is a persecution. It was my bad.

    @Jake F., you mentioned about the phrase I wrote. It was a typo error. What I meant to state was that Christianity was recognized as a religion for the first time in the history in the 4th century AD. Thanks for pointing to that.

    As for the fact that why I wrote the previous comments. I frequent A&R daily for the past 3 years. Sometimes 4 to 5 times a day. I liked the articles by Jensen Beeler and the photos by Scott. I really liked the high quality photos of new bike launches, the scoop photos, etc. This site is the number one source for bikes and motorsports for me. I like bikes, I am an ardent fan of Valentino Rossi and also a Yamaha freak. I still have in my mind the memory of the first victory of Valentino Rossi on the M1. How he sat near his M1 after the victory with the blue Gauloises liveried leather and the superb AGV helmet (I think that helmet is the best designed one he ever had). I have a 2 stroke 135cc Yamaha bike for many years which has a superb handling. I love my bike. I am addicted to it.

    The last thing I expect is that, my favourite bike site bashing my beliefs based on an imaginary, futuristic, whether will happen or not situation. Many are not ready to acknowledge the actual fact of Christian persecutions going on in many part of the world. Being in such a part of the world, I can experience and understand it. Christians are treated like third class citizens in these part of the world. Life has become hell on earth for them because of only one reason, they are Christians. I know you cannot understand these things and you will not. I am not expecting also. But it is my duty to defend my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for what they are going through. I stand by all the comments I have made.

    Apart from this I am not going to boycott A&R. Still I will visit daily and look for some interesting reading. I am hurt, but that is ok.

    One thing Jesus has promised Christians is that Christians will face troubles because of His name.

    ” I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)

    May God bless you all with salvation.

    This is my last comment for this article.

  74. Aakash Desai says:

    @Vinod,

    May the Gods and Godesses and Universes bless you too.

    Ride safe my friend.

  75. Vinod says:

    @Jake F., Thank you for the award. It was my first award. :-)

  76. now says:

    Desai’s name will be forever attached to this. Can you hear that fantasy salaried position at a big bike magazine floating away? Never read anything this ridiculous in a long list of professional mags. And then his responses. Wow.

  77. Aakash Desai says:

    Perhaps that’s your fantasy, but not mine.

  78. mr ego desai says:

    Your button was easy to find. I’m sure working at what is essentially a backwater motorcycle blog was your dream. Future employers will be impressed with your tactics for obtaining attention. Hey Jensen, I can make more controversial statements and poke fun at dissenting opinion even better than this guy. Am I hired? No pay, ooookay. I’ll even write about these unpopular bikes, just let me write damn it! Stroke my ego! I want attention!!

  79. v4guy says:

    Looking through the recent articles, there are quite a few writers in addition to Jensen. They all seem exemplary with the exception of one…

  80. Aakash Desai says:

    Actually, my dream is to become a professional downhill skier and live in Hawaii like Julia Mancuso: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Mancuso

    I just saw a short segment about her life on NBC’s Olympic coverage and now I want to be just like her.

    One small problem, I’ve never been skiing.

  81. v4guy says:

    Less about you and your ego, more about bikes. If people want to know more about a self-absorbed prick I’m sure they can find one in their local vicinity and on their own time. Your time could probably be better spent studying your a&r colleagues works instead of posting smart and challenging comments in response to readers. I hope you get another chance aakash and I would enjoy reading serious (or even light-hearted) moto journalism. Not this garbage bud. Hopefully you learn from this. In my opinion, your “incredible” number of replies isn’t a testament to your skill as a writer, more to your skill as an ________.

  82. paulus says:

    Aakash… sorry I will not read your articles from now on.
    They started with such promise and quite thought provoking (women’s motorcycling etc)… This articles comments were just unnecessary.

    Now I have lost interest…. I enjoy(ed) the site, but this is not quality motorcycle journalism… now it is chat board flame wars.

    Enjoy your skiing.

    @ Jensen
    It’s your site, your direction, your click through.

  83. Westward says:

    Aakash Desai made an off hand comment that has been blown out of proportion, by overly sensitive, mostly non practicing Christians, and then demonized for it. Then, a brain surgeon of the group attempts to organize a boycott of the website, to in a round-about way condemn Jensen Beeler.

    Admittingly I think Aakash lacks the patience, measured reserve, and humility of what is expected of a seasoned journalist, but then again this is really just a blog now isn’t it.

    However, it rather feels like logic and education was fished out of a cereal box for a lot of you… Sound like a lot of self-righteous and indignant behaviour all around. Now that I have post this, I guess it includes me as well.

    In my eyes, its sort of like a group of Saudi’s, and a couple of Pakastani’s crashing planes into an American building, then the Americans retaliating against the country of Afghanistan, and then going after the country of Iraqi…

    The real question is… Does anyone really know what this fuss is really about ?

    Cause it sure isn’t about Motorcycles….

  84. Aakash Desai says:

    @Westward,

    Every now and then the ITCZ does a wobble, manifests a rift and sends a minor storm from the world of real and imagined problems towards our little bubble of heaven we call “motorcycling.”

  85. L2C says:

    Well, I had to look that one up, but great reply!

  86. sweet jargon says:

    Because the deepening recession hasn’t affected the motorcycling world in any way right aakash? And… this “minor storm” was brought by you, not nature.

  87. L2C says:

    On the contrary, human nature had everything to do with it!

  88. Mike says:

    @sweet jargon

    We haven’t been technically in a recession since June 2009, let alone a deeping recession. And the economists say we are in full recovery mode. Learn how to take a joke, and read a paper, don’t just listen to Fox News.

  89. Jw says:

    I for one am looking forward to Aakash doing another write up. I am secure enough in my faith, so I am not offended. Lets unite in our common brotherhood of motorcycling instead. No one needs to be right or wrong here.

  90. paulus says:

    The write up was not offensive (Everybody has the inalienable right to an opinon/be an @rsehole)… the barrage of antagonistic and provoking replies were.
    I come for Motorcycle news… not a lame chat room level flame war.

  91. Shawn says:

    Everyone has the right to their wrong opinion!?! ;-)

  92. Jw says:

    Paulus

    From time to time, this site does flame up, especially when there is motogp drama during a race.

  93. L2C says:

    Ha ha, yeah, those kinds of dramas are sure to tick some people off. ;-)

  94. L2C says:

    Aakash, you are on another level, man. There are some bits about your article that just *popped* out at me first thing this morning, after I woke up. Layers. You should write a book. Fiction, please. :-)

  95. L2C says:

    You’re welcome, Aakash!

  96. mxs says:

    96 comments about Honda CX-01 ????? Something non-motorcycle related must be up, right? Take a look, sure it does … LOL …. “Well” done.

  97. Ewan says:

    What a an awesomely interesting thread, at least it’s not full of all that “why doesn’t it have a round headlight?” or “the guy who designed that muffler shouldnbe fired!” bullcrap.

    I really enjoy people getting offened over nothing.
    Ken was my favorite, what a batpoop crazy nutjob!

  98. Jw says:

    I say this has been the best article in several months with an even more entertaining group of board enthusiasts.

  99. Brian Z says:

    It was just a joke jeez. I like the bike CRF250L in sheep’s clothing. Bring it to the USA I’ll buy one.