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.

Watch the Kawasaki J Concept Transform Itself

12/17/2013 @ 12:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Watch the Kawasaki J Concept Transform Itself Kawasaki J Concept 04

The Kawasaki J Concept isn’t the first example of a leaning mutli-wheel vehicles that you ride upon, as I’m sure you have all seen the similarly themed Yamaha Tesseract by now. Neither a motorcycle, nor a quad…we would even be reluctant to call the Kawasaki J Concept a trike, as the riding experience is complete different from other three-wheelers (technically it has four wheels, though the two rear tires act as one).

As such the J Concept and Tesseract exist in a class all to themselves, and that is probably the point of these concept machines: to explore new forms of vehicle recreation and transportation.

The design as it looks now, doesn’t seem too practical, but the idea of a completely adjustable riding position sounds like a concept with some merit – a sport machine for when you want to go fast, an upright sitting position for when you want to cruise. Hmm…

Showing us how the Kawasaki J Concept would transform on the fly while being ridden, Kawasaki explores this idea further in its video. If you feel like fighting for the users after watching it though, we understand.

Source: Kawasaki (YouTube)


  1. Wut says:

    ” If you feel like fight for the users after watching it though, we understand.”


  2. Richard Gozinya says:

    No sir, I don’t like it.

    Unnecessary complexity without any viable benefits. Seems more like being different for the sake of being different, to make people believe they’re innovating something. I don’t know why they’d start now, it’s not like motorcycle makers are the least bit innovative. They just adapt technologies a few decades after they’re introduced on cars.

  3. Zander says:

    From a purely design exercise standpoint, this is phenomenal thinking. Actively variable geometry may include handling aspects as well as riding position. Both attributes are valuable concepts in their own right and may very well find their way into “classic” motorcycle designs of the near future. The “J” concept is clearly not ready for mainstream acceptance let alone production but to see that kind of creativity alive in the minds of engineers/designers at Kawasaki is positively reassuring.

  4. Andrew says:

    It could be the design has a lot of merit but I just can’t get past the fact that in the upright position holding these separate bars the rider looks exactly as if pushing a lawn mower… or a pram.

  5. smiler says:

    At last some sensible innovation in motorcycling. Unlike most of the rest of it. Good idea to be larger and more upright in traffic so as to be seen or when riding slowly and down and forward when riding on the open road. The tyres look a bit sensible bicycle though.

  6. paulus says:

    Not interested… but slice it along it’s length and make it 2 wheels….then it is an intersting concept for me.
    A long, low racing machine and then a more practical upright ride.
    Performance width tyres, single sided front and rear, hub driven hydraulic motors.
    As said above ‘ride on lawn mower’ is the feeling from this current concept :)

  7. Andrew says:

    @paulus: that’s been done too, I remember there was a design like that floating around a couple of years ago… actually I tried to find it but apparently my google-fu is weak today.

  8. Andrew says:

    … I found it. it was called R-bike, designed by Erik Brinkman. I doubt I could post any links in the comment but search for these terms if you want. Nothing much came of it, BTW: ccording to kneeslider, they were hoping to start production by 2008 but obviously the project never progressed past computer renderings.

  9. Kevin White says:

    I like this a lot, but I have as much shot at being able to buy this in the next twenty years as I do at being able to buy a flying VTOL car.

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “to explore new forms of vehicle recreation and transportation.”

    more to the point, to get you chatting and coming off the dime for brand Kawasaki this holiday season. do it.

  11. MrDefo says:

    I got the Tron reference. It amused me.

    I think it looks pretty neat. Kind of reminds me of this anime, Rideback. Of course that was a motorcycle turning into a robot but…this is close.

    I would consider buying something like this if it’s well executed. I think it would be nice to be able to change configurations while in motion. As someone stated before, riding in traffic would benefit from the added height of the tall form. And since most of America won’t let you lane split anyway, might as well go with it. So I could see someone riding in bike mode, come up to traffic and switch to upright mode to deal with that, then back to bike mode when it clears, all in fluid motion. That would be something awesome.

  12. Joe Sixpack says:

    I’d love to see a panic stop in upright mode.

  13. jackie says:

    Bugs up my crotch.
    Tire spray up my nose.
    I cant wait!

  14. Singletrack says:

    Very cool concept. Couldn’t you just imagine being the first to show up at a rally on one of these?
    I think leaning 3/4 wheelers will open a whole new market up. In my opinion, that’s the main failing of the BRP Spyder – leaning, the wrong way. Kids raised on Xbox/PS and those that might feel more secure with 4 wheels will still spend money.
    Purists bemoaned cruisers/touring bikes from Ducati and SUVs from Porsche. But in the real world, more profit from large volumes provides the cash for high performance vehicles.