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.

MV Agusta Brutale 800 – Too Much of a Good Thing?

11/02/2012 @ 2:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

MV Agusta Brutale 800   Too Much of a Good Thing? MV Agusta Brutale 800 02 635x469

It made a lot of sense when MV Agusta debuted the four-cylinder side of its Brutale line, as the oddly positioned MV Agusta Brutale 920 was absent from the now exclusively 1,078cc range. Priced close to the MV Agusta Brutale 675, the Brutale 920 likely would have cannibalized sales from its three-cylinder successor.

For a moment there, it seemed MV Agusta was about to shy away from its previous strategy of over-saturating market segments with multiple varieties of similar bikes, but luckily today, balance has been restored in Italian motorcycle land, as the Varese brand has announced the MV Agusta Brutale 800.

Using the same 798cc three-cylinder motor that will power the MV Agusta Rivale, the MV Agusta 800 is a stroked-out version of the Brutale 675, with the stroke length going from 45.9mm to 54.3mm, while the bore remains 79mm. Power comes in at 123hp, with 59.7 lbs•ft of torque at 8,600 rpm, which means the Brutale won’t be nearly as peaky with its horsepower as the Brutale 675.

MV Agusta is claiming a 368 lbs dry weight for the Brutale 800, which is 9 lbs heavier than the Brutale 675. Like the MV Agusta Brutale 675, the MV Agustal Brutale 800 has an optional electronically assisted shift (EAS) system, which comes standard on the white / blue pearl “Italy” edition.

On notable distinction that the Brutale 800 has over the Brutale 675 is that its suspension is fully-adjustable, both front and back, while the brakes have also been upgraded to higher-spec Brembo monoblocs. We lamented about when the 675′s suspension when it first broke cover, so it is good to see that MV Agusta is getting things together on the 800.

Also fitted with the company’s robust MVICS electronics package, which features an eight-level adjustable traction control system, MV Agusta Brutale 800 owners are getting a fair amount of bike for their €9,990 (€400 more for the EAS option, and the “Italy” version costs €10,990, but the EAS comes as standard).

However, with the Brutale 675 priced just €1,000 less, it is hard to see how the two bikes won’t compete against each other head-to-head in the already tough street-naked segment.

The MV Agusta Brutale 800 will get its official launch at EICMA in just two weeks’ time. No word yet on international pricing, but expect US pricing to be in the $10,000 range.

MV Agusta Brutale 800   Too Much of a Good Thing? MV Agusta Brutale 800 03 635x444

MV Agusta Brutale 800   Too Much of a Good Thing? MV Agusta Brutale 800 04 635x423

MV Agusta Brutale 800   Too Much of a Good Thing? MV Agusta Brutale 800 01 635x952

Source: MV Agusta

Comment:

  1. 2ndclass says:

    That Italy-model is just all kinds of lovely.

  2. God. Somebody hand me a tissue. I have found a modern, naked bike that truly moves me.

  3. MikeD says:

    @Trane:

    ROTFLMAO. Is ok Budd, here (tissue), you’ll be alright.

    Can u get spares for these in The Land of Hello Kitty and Bukkake ? How’s the MSRP over there ? Butt-raping outrageous ?

    I think they are building too much of the same…again…DIVERSIFY OR U’LL DIE…yet again.

    What’s so different between this and the Rivale ? Longer suspension ? A couple new plastics ?

    But as usual………..nice machines, MV Agusta. U guys sure know how to get attention. Attention whores…..LOL. (^_^)

    P.S: This new modular Triple it’s starting to look pretty handy and versatile…from 675 to 800 only stroking it ? NOT BAD…(o_O)
    Now when/where’s that rumored 1200 Gorila Triple coming ? and hanging from what ?

  4. Spektre76 says:

    I need new shorts now.

  5. Mike,

    These things will be hideously expensive here in the land of the rising yen. That said, there is an MV distributor here and the bikes will probably sell nicely with the well-heeled crew. I’ll be the guy drooling outside the window.

    Damn, that white/blue job is just the business!

  6. Superlight says:

    I can understand why MV dropped the 920 Brutale in favor of this 800, but where does that leave the Brutale 675? I guess as a price-fighter model.

  7. Sixty7 says:

    WWoooo………….800 triple about time someone came out with one….well done MV

  8. Trevor Weimer says:

    Is it me or does it have aprilia Shiver stylings? I swear I was looking at a Shiver at first glance.

  9. MikeD says:

    Trane Francks says:

    Mike, These things will be hideously expensive here in the land of the rising yen.

    LMAO. Good one.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Superlight says:

    I can understand why MV dropped the 920 Brutale in favor of this 800, but where does that leave the Brutale 675? I guess as a price-fighter model.

    That makes it the anorexic flexible sister.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    @Trevor:

    Yes, it smells a bit of Shiver…not a bad thing i say. There’s only so much “new details/identity marks” u can incorporate into your “new” motorcycle and still look different from the other players on the segment.

  10. Trevor Weimer says:

    Superlight

    I agree. I own a Shiver, bought it for $5000 and simply love it. First road bike with ride by wire if I’m not mistaken. 3 different ride modes too, rain, tour and sport.

  11. phs says:

    $10k ain’t seemin’ too bad for this scoot.

  12. Mikeg81 says:

    $10k US?

    So $15.9 up here in Canada(with our dollar at par) sounds about right.

    * rolls eyes*

  13. MikeD says:

    $10K…Yeah, and i have a Condo in the Moon’s must lavish crater.

    that’s Euros, not Dollars………..shiiiiiit……..we wish.

    This thing will be like someone already mentioned in Japanese Supersport $$$ territory…$13k+.

  14. MikeD says:

    most*…man, i gotta read proof myself 2 times before hitting Submit Comment.

  15. phs says:

    The MV Agusta Brutale 800 will get its official launch at EICMA in just two weeks’ time. No word yet on international pricing, but expect US pricing to be in the $10,000 range

  16. MikeD says:

    @PHS:

    Not set on stone. Just like my sugestion…wich i’ll stand by until proven wrong…just one more week, maybe a bit longer if we get it at all.
    I tried searching online for availability/price State side for this one and the 675 but found nothing official.

    If im wrong, HURRAY for it anyways………future buyers will pay less, can’t go wrong with that.

  17. John says:

    Let’s see, a Kawasaki Z1 lists for about $10,600.00, a Yamaha FZ8 is $8,900.00 and this Italian 800 triple will sell for $10,000.00? Sorry, I just don’t believe it. However if true, I would be very interested.

  18. Westward says:

    Why must they do this to me, I cannot afford both a Ducati and an MV Agusta, I don’t even have the space for it…

  19. Gary says:

    Simply stunning. Ducati (and Triumph, to some extent) needs to be taking notes.

  20. sburns2421 says:

    An 800 version of the F3 is so obvious I guess it means it will never happen.

  21. Kevin says:

    If this comes in at 10 large it will sell very, very well. Now how ’bout working on that dealer network.

  22. Mike Lew says:

    And think of the money saved when, for once, you won’t change the stock exhaust.

  23. david says:

    my god i’m hot for this, but i seriously doubt it will come in at anything under $15,000. bummer, because as someone above stated, first naked i am genuinely smitten with.