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.

2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R Race Spec Priced at $19,999

02/15/2011 @ 10:37 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R Race Spec Priced at $19,999 2011 KTM RC8 R Race Spec 635x399

While the KTM RC8 R will be taking over the price point of the now defunct RC8 for 2011, the track-only 2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R Race Spec will in-turn take over the RC8 R’s role as the top-spec “ready to race” machine in the Austrian company’s line-up. Debuting at Intermot, details were scarce about the RC8 R Race Spec (called the RC8 R Track at the time), but we knew it would come sans headlights, turn signals, license plate holders, and anything remotely resembling sanity in a street bike.

Officially announcing the KTM RC8 R Race Spec for the American market, we see that this track weapon comes with a bevy of extra items to help justify its nearly $20,000 price tag. Assembled at KTM Factory Racing Department, the RC8 R Race Spec comes with a Akrapovic Evo 4 titanium exhaust, slipper clutch, quick shifter, and upgraded suspension among other track-oriented goodies.

Along with a thinner headgasket, race air filter, and reprogrammed ECU, the 2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R Race Spec is good for 180hp and 97.4 lbs•ft of torque, which should be more than enough grunt to haul the 405 lbs (without fuel) bike down your favorite track, and embarrass the inline-four rider of your choosing. KTM has tapped its in-house suspension team at White Power to equip the RC8 R Race Spec with its WP 4618 race shock, while setting up the front forks for track use out of the box. Wheels are forged Marchesini aluminum hoops, with rubber being provided by Dunlop.

You can have the 2011 KTM RC8 R Race Spec in any color you want, as long as its white with orange accents. Availability will begin in March 2011.

Source/Photos: KTM

Comment:

  1. BikePilot says:

    Less is more (expensive?). Maybe the price increase is justified if the suspension bits and motor internals are sufficiently special, though that seems unlikely. Surely KTM could pass on the savings from not including a headlight, switch gear, turn signals, catalytic converter etc to the customer. I’d think that all the street gear should more or less balance out the cost of the gorgeous akra exhaust, that (gold plated?) head gasket and higher-end suspension bits.

    Perhaps another option might be a base-model track bike. Take the RC8R and strip all street equipment from the factory and sell it otherwise as-standard (perhaps with the thin head gasket as that shouldn’t alter cost at all). KTM should be able to offer it for about $14k (guessing here) and maintain the same profit margin as the RC8R road-bike.

  2. 76 says:

    Bikepilot, the exhaust on this bike alone retail is almost 4G you will find that this is actually a pretty fcking sweet deal for a raceready trackbike that is spanking new. I’m getting one period

  3. GeddyT says:

    Title of this article if it were written by me? “What I would buy if I were given $20K on the condition that I spent it on something I don’t absolutely need.”

    If I had the spare cash to buy a motorcycle right now, this would be it.

  4. But you absolutely need this bike for the track GeddyT!

  5. BikePilot says:

    That’s retail price of the exhaust. I doubt that retail price of the exhaust, headlight etc on the RC8R are much less. I’m not saying its not worth the cost, but I do suspect that there’s a much larger profit margin here than on the RC8R. I could be wrong though. Porsche has certainly showed that money can be made by stripping a vehicle down and selling it for more money :)

  6. alexontwowheels says:

    For a fully prepared racebike that is ready to go, this bike is a screaming deal! My only question would be, what about traction control? I’m also curious about the fairings, material and cost of relacement.

  7. BP: Can you purchase a slipper clutch and Akrapovic exhaust for less than retail price?

    alexontwowheels: Where we’re going, we won’t need traction control.

  8. PhilB says:

    Are there any race series you can actually race that in, or is it just a refugee from the Island of Misfit Toys?

  9. buellracerx says:

    such a beautiful machine, exquisite engineering, & yet they wrap those great marchesinis w/ Dunslops…ugh

    PhilB: CCS Unlimited GP, GTO, & Supertwins, other classes state “(vehicles) sold…for street use”

    Is it homologated for AMA SBK? seems like it would fall well within that class

  10. Spytech says:

    People are forgetting that this bike comes with closed Cart kits, upgraded wp 4618 shock – this combo alone, no matter how good of a deal your getting would cost more than $1600. Forged alu. wheels, would be at least another $1k if your sell your wheels. akrapovic exhaust $2500 – remember this is the Evo 4 (akra makes a cheaper ti version). quickshifter at the cheapest $400. slipper clutch $750 – the 2011 RC8R does not come with a slipper, it just detects which gear your in and rpm and opens up the exhaust valve or something of that nature.

    to be honest this has about the same power as the 1098R for half the price. i say about because with the full system the 1098R has 187hp and stock is 99ft/lbs of torque.

    i do not see a race ready bike touching this in price/performance. your getting a lot for the money. put on a brembo billet 19×18 Race master cylinder with a double brake line, do some suspension tuning and your good to go.

  11. Spytech says:

    BTW, tires are subjective. but give me dunlop NTEC’s anytime, grip better and last longer than the michy or perris all day. turn in is slower and tires are a bit heavier but they make up for it in the confidence and amazing grip.

    you can always change your tires. most people do.

  12. BikePilot says:

    JB, Its not a matter of what I can purchase retail, its a matter of relative production costs. I’d guess that if you assembled a bone-stock RC8 from all retail-priced parts you’d have yourself a $100k bike, that doesn’t mean that $100k is a reasonable price for the thing. Similarly, even if it costs, at retail, >$4k to strip the street goodies and fit the track goodies to transform an RC8R into an RC8Track, that has very little bearing, if any, on relative production costs and profit margins.

    Besides, doesn’t everything else have a slipper clutch as standard anyway?

    Now the market may well bear the (most likely) increased profit margin on the track bike – at least if the fanboys here backup up their posts with their $$ and if it will, more power to KTM!

  13. 76 says:

    Awesome, I just want to know when they hit showroom floors

  14. Spytech says:

    bike pilot… its the same for 1198 and 1198s or sp. if they make tiers one is going to be more money. you can not make a product with better components for a cheaper price, even if it is stripped of the street worthiness.

    almost every bikes comes with a slipper but i do not think the ktm does and i am sure the 1198 does not, only the 1198sp.

    it is the law of the land, the bike will sell if the market can bare the price. if not the price will fall just like the price came down from previous years RC8′s. is the price unreasonable??? i think not. do i wish it was cheaper? i sure do – $18,500 would hit the spot. how many race ready bikes can you buy at this price, please name a few.

  15. claudia says:

    When this bike will come to Indonesia, and whether in Indonesia, this bike will go up again the price ?