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.

KTM SMX-E Imagined by Piers SP

01/23/2012 @ 12:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

KTM SMX E Imagined by Piers SP KTM SMX E concept Piers Spencer Phillips 635x391

As we already know, the KTM Freeride E will be out in 2012 in limited numbers, as the Austrian brand tests the waters on the electric dirt bike market. Building an electric not because they believe in the technology’s immediate relevancy, but because they believe in its future and want to continue being a market leader, KTM is the first big motorcycle OEM to bring an electric motorcycle to market. Giving Zero Motorcycles (and soon Brammo & BRD) a run for its money, the KTM Freeride E is a modest design with its 30hp (peak) PERM motor and 2.1 kWh battery pack.

As a dyed-in-the-wool street biker, I was a bit disappointed that KTM was only bringing the Freeride E out as a dirt bike, with no supermoto variation available. Thankfully I was not alone in that sentiment, as Kiska Senior Pixel Pusher Piers SP also longed for an electric Austrian backing-it-in machine. The difference of course is that as a blogger, I have no concept of creating something of my own (that’s moto-journo humor right there folks), while Piers SP is a zen voodoo digital samurai (truth). Needless to say, photoshopping ensued.

Before any phone calls get made, we should be clear that this concept sketch is Piers SP’s work alone, and was not commissioned by KTM nor assigned by Kiska, or as Piers would say, “it is just a bike I would like. A day dream.” We’ve featured some of his other day dreams here before on A&R, and his concept of an electric KTM SMX-E is what the professionals would succinctly call “awesome”. KTM has a bit farther to go with the Freeride E before we can start hoping for a street-ready motard version (that is assuming of course that one of the dirt bikes doesn’t get converted by an intrepid owner).

Still, if an actual KTM SMX-E is half as fun as the BRD RedShift SM was when we tested the prototype version at Infineon Raceway last year, KTM would easily find homes for its electric line-up. Hopefully the Austrians stay serious about electrics, and for the love of god put some more battery power in their future offerings.

Source: derestricted


  1. Dr. Gellar says:

    Minus the Red Bull and other racing stickers, it is easy to imagine a future KTM response to the BRD Redshift looking a lot like this.

  2. Mike says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if KTM actually could produce something like this. I love their products, but as a company they seem to have no idea what direction they are going.

  3. KTM SMX-E Imagined by Piers Spencer-Phillips – #motorcycle

  4. oOOo says:

    @Mike, In some ways this bike is already in production, it is the SX-F, SMC-R, freeride (E) and an SMR all mixed together and slightly modified. KTM have a very clear idea of where they are going, and in the offroad world that is to the top step of the podium where they are winning everything, from the Dakar to enduro, to motorcross and finally now for the first time with their new SX-F which is a big part of the bike above, in the AMA Supercross.

  5. loki says:

    Looks nice, but before adding the stickers, don’t forget the “onboard loud mono- sound generator”. Otherwise it just won’t be a KTM…

  6. mxs says:

    I am not sure that KTM needs to respond to any of the smaller “electric” companies out there, like Zero or BRD. Once the battery technology is out there available at price point and density the big manufacturers can justify selling in big series, the game will be over for the smaller guys … it’s just a matter of time. In a way I feel sorry for them, but you simply cannot just erase the long term experience in making motorcycles in a couple of years. Right now they seem to be getting sales thanks to the first adopters and well off enthusiasts …. but that well will dry up real quick.

    The real KTM Freeride E is the best electric attempt out there by far. The amount of R&D has put into it cannot be matched by any of the smaller companies. The real bike looks much lighter than the rendering here where the author basically has used rolling chassis of their gas bike and slapped in an electric motor and batter. It’s nice, but way too heavier than it needs to be …

    I am not knocking the smaller guys, but the clock is ticking ….. look at the cars. Anybody else but Tesla left?

  7. Mike says:

    @oOOo your right when it comes to the dirt side of the company. They are doing great. The street side of things is a different story. No new SuperDuke , no new 690 Duke, no 125 Duke, no 200 Duke, the only street products we have to choose for 2012 is RC8 or what ever is left on dealers stock from past years. I truly love this brand with the quality they serve up but guys get it together and market your street side of things. No one knows about it. The only people that know are familiar with the brand already and that’s only those who have bought into it. So many times I’m out riding my SuperDuke and a lot of motorcycle riders have never seen one or even know what it is. There’s a lot to choose from out in the market, but buyers will never choose your company if they don’t know about it. I just wish they would promote their street divison as much as they do for dirt and adventure.

  8. Westward says:

    With the name recognition and the history behind KTM, all they have to do is undercut the existing electric companies, and they would bury them… Then with Honda jumping into the fray, all the electrics would end up like Solyndra, regardless of how much money they have in their war chest…

    And I was looking forward to having those new players involved…

  9. It doesn’t need too much of a bigger pack for 45 minute session dirt duty, but more power. For super moto, it needs both power and battery capacity. The bike is already a year behind the Zero’s MX bike. And BRD’s bike, ha! I think people assume way too much that the ICE comanies can just flip a switch and start making electric motors and such. It’s not that easy. And people have been making electric motors for 100 years, and own patents and rights, as do controller and battery companies. And these companies aren’t going to roll over, you have to buy their stuff. And if they have a deal with someone else already, then tough noogies. I think the fact KTM did the right thing and sourced things from other companies (mostly German or Austrian) is proof of that.

  10. Dr. Gellar says:

    KTM’s Freeride E can be considered more or less a play bike (as KTM has pretty much come out and said already), while BRD’s Redshift will be closer to an full-blown electric equivalent of a 250cc 4-stroke MX\supermoto bike. Should the Redshift prove successful (both in sales and on the track), KTM would likely want to “respond” with an electric bike of their own with more power and overall performance than what the Freeride E will likely have to offer on the track…if it wants to compete in that niche of the market. Such a bike would more than likely be outwardly similar to what is shown in this article.

  11. mxs says:

    I really don’t understand the need to respond to … who? A few companies who sold hundreds bikes at best, most of them have not delivered any at all. The reason the big guys are not jumping fully in yet, is because they know they cannot make money selling them enough with the battery being the biggest obstacle (it’s not only about whether a pack will last 45 min ride …. it’s about much more than that). What about battery warranties, firmware/controller updates as the batteries and other gizmos develop (nobody wants to talk about it). How will the consumers investment be protected? These are all the questions the big guys have to have a solid answer for. The small guys, not so, as they rely on high price and first adopters to be patient and understanding …..

    Once the obstacles are removed, the companies who know how to make a motorcycle will just resource a partner to provide battery, motor and black box to control it, in the beginning. Later, who knows? But there’s no way the smaller companies will be able to keep up with processes tested for decades. It takes a lot of experience to mass produce a vehicle with a success.

    I want to see the motor/battery/controller manufacturer with reputation who will say no to Honda, because they sell few units to someone else … they’d be crazy and stupid if they ever signed an exclusive contract with one of the small manufacturers.

    I do agree that if the smaller companies will be around long enough and they are successful in sales and performance, the big boys will have to keep their eye on them. But that’s many ifs. For now, I don’t think they have to exactly be loosing sleep over either BRD, ZERO or Brammo bikes.

  12. Dr. Gellar says:

    I very much appreciate all of your insight, but my statement about KTM ever responding to BRD’s Redshift is simple really. Again, the Redshift will likely be, of all the current electric dirt bikes coming out that I’m aware of, the closest to being the electric equivalent of a 250cc 4-stroke MX\supermoto bike (which I believe is BRD’s stated goal) in overall performance. Their product will (likely) be the first in this niche of the market. So if it all works out for BRD and again, if their bike is successful regarding sales and track performance, then the Redshift will set the example for any other potential competitors in the 250cc 4-stroke MX\supermoto electric equivalent niche to follow…to respond to. That includes KTM, Honda, Zero, Brammo…any of them.