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.

Fuel or Electronics? Where Are Nicky Hayden & Scott Redding Losing Out on the Honda RCV1000R?

The news that Honda would be building a production racer to compete in MotoGP aroused much excitement among fans. There was much speculation over just how quick it would be, and whether it would be possible for a talented rider to beat the satellite bikes on some tracks. In the hands of active MotoGP riders, the gap was around 2 seconds at the Sepang tests. Nicky Hayden – of whom much had been expected, not least by himself – had made significant improvements, especially on corner entry. The difference in performance and the big gap to the front has been cause for much speculation. Where are the Honda production racers losing out to the Factory Option bikes?

MV Agusta Tricruiser Concept – A 675cc Sport-Tourer?

11/14/2011 @ 8:39 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

MV Agusta Tricruiser Concept   A 675cc Sport Tourer? MV Agusta Tricruiser concept 04 635x635

Walking around the halls of the 2011 EICMA show, I saw this concept for an MV Agusta tourer sitting in the Motociclismo booth, and wondered what was the story behind the bike. Luckily the internet has answers for such questions, and it turns out that the MV Agusta Tricruiser is the brainchild of students at Istituto Europeo di Design of Turin (IED).

Using the MV Agusta F3 as a starting point, the graduate students at IED set out to envision the next iteration in MV Agusta’s smaller-displacement platform. With the Italian company under tremendous pressure to become profitable, MV Agusta must increase its volume by a factor greater than 10x if it wants to see blank ink on its balance sheet.

Accordingly, the company from Varese has been making a bevy of variations of its F4-based models, showing three new Brutale street-nakeds at EICMA (Brutale 920, Brutale R 1090, & Brutale RR 1090) at ECIMA, along with two F4 superbikes (F4R & F4RR).

Slotting in a smaller-displacement and cheaper-price point model series that is based off a 675cc three-cylinder motor, MV Agusta also showed its F3 supersport and its corresponding Brutale 675 street-naked at EIMCA this year. While compelling pieces, MV Agusta will surely need more models in its arsenal if it wants to achieve its financial goals, and the next MV Agusta is heavily rumored to be a sport-touring/adventure model.

While an unofficial project with MV Agusta, the students at IED were given an MV Agusta F3 to use as the basis for a sport-touring concept. Studying the MV Agusta brand, its current model line-up, and the company’s needs for the future, the students at IED ultimately landed on this MV Agusta Tricruiser concept, which we have to say is very pleasing to the eye in these photos (love, love, love the three-port exhaust design), and is even more striking in person (shame on me for not taking any photos).

Moving away from the classic Tamburini lines, the MV Agusta Tricruiser concept doesn’t immediately strike you as an MV Agusta machine, which will likely offended hardcore owners. However, given Varese’s decade-long rut when it comes to motorcycle styling (even if it is one of the most iconic designs in two-wheeled transportation) a move away from Maestro Tamburini’s work had to occur at some point. A bit modern in flare, our only other real criticism would be one from a technical point of view.

While MV Agusta is banking its future on its 675cc three-cylinder platform, one has to wonder how well-suited the supersport-derived motor would be in a sport-touring role. Competing in a market saturated with 1,000cc+ machines, MV Agusta might be hoping to forge a smaller-displacement path, which would at least differentiate the company in the popular bike category. However, at the price points we’ve seen here in the US coming out of Varese, MV Agusta’s tourer could very well tout a price tag commensurate with its larger competitors, which will be a tough sell to a very pragmatic market.

MV Agusta Tricruiser Concept   A 675cc Sport Tourer? MV Agusta Tricruiser concept 01 635x635

MV Agusta Tricruiser Concept   A 675cc Sport Tourer? MV Agusta Tricruiser concept 02 635x635

MV Agusta Tricruiser Concept   A 675cc Sport Tourer? MV Agusta Tricruiser concept 03 635x635



  1. R-Dog says:

    Striking design – I’ve always wondered why other manufacturers put so little effort into producing a desirable machine of this type from an aesthetic point of view. It’s as if there is some unwritten rule regarding compulsory ugliness.

    Can’t see it making production, though. I imagine it would be viewed by the public at large as having too small an engine to be of practical touring use, whether that’s the case or not. And wouldn’t it “water-down” the name of the brand slightly, making their other machines less desirable? They always pride themselves on their long-forgotten racing heritage – I don’t reckon these bikes would really help the image.

  2. Gary says:

    Not MV too!!! I’m at a loss…

  3. MostChillin says:

    WOW — very nice indeed!

    Hmmm… Not much of a Sport Tourer with no way to mount bags, a trunk or have a pillion along. I love what MV is doing and some of the new models being released but I think this has to be further developed if it’s going to be tagged as a ST. While I agree that the three-port exhaust design is pure sex, it would never fly on a ST.

    Frankly, how is this different than the 675 Brutale? All of that being said, I think the design exercise is impressive!

  4. RJ says:

    Innovative design, and a great starting platform IMHO. Though smaller motors might not seem like a good idea in this segment, when dealing with multi-cylinder watercooled powerplants, they do the job admirably. Tune that 3 cylinder for a torque rich 100hp and keep the weight (and price) down and they are onto a winner.

    People have to remember that this is the fastest growing market segment for larger motorcycles. Ducati didn’t lose any “racing heritage” with the Multistrada did they? No they got they’re best sales year ever instead…

  5. wreckah says:

    i guess they altered the geometry from the brutale as well, anyway, i would hope so for a sports tourer.

    it looks OK, but no way is it practical enough to claim any customers from the touring or sport touring segment…maybe it could be some sort of hypermotard beater? they sell well, don’t they?

    nothing beats the KTM 990SM(T) in the search for a sports tourer right now IMO…it’s quite fast, quite light, simply too much fun, very reliable, looks good, has terrific suspenders and brakes, and can haul shitloads of luggage, and seat a pillion very comfortably.

  6. Pat Walker says:

    MV Agusta Tricruiser

    MV Agusta Tri-Again

  7. deckard says:

    Love it.

  8. MikeD says:

    There’s no Sacred Cows anywhere…anymore.
    They(OEMs) are all vunerable and fall prey to “The Fuglies” at one time or another, or for that matter…multiple times. LOL.

  9. Westward says:

    Not sure what it is or what its for, but I like it…

  10. froryde says:

    I have no problems being a sport tourer (oh wait, I do actually…), but why do they all have to LOOK so bloody heavy? And worse yet, all that visual mass is concentrated at the front. To quote Paul Smart on the first gen SV650S:”It looks like an oversized set of boobs on a otherwise slender woman” or something to that extent. But no one ever complains when its on a woman…

    And that 3 port exhaust? Looks like someone gave it 2 more bung holes than it should have. Heck, I am not an MV owner and even I am insulted!

    Anyone have Tambi’s cell phone? MV needs him back at the sketching table! XD

  11. Jason says:

    This bike is smoking hot!!!

    Where’s the supermoto version?

    Do what Ducati does – use the motor in a host of platforms.

  12. buellracerx says:

    sexy, don’t think a bigger windscreen would kill the aesthetics, though.

    I especially like the italian-companion-sized pillion

  13. PP says:

    How did they manage to turn one of the most beautiful bikes ever to one of the ugliest?

    I don’t like that nowdays every new “sport tourer” looks similar to this. I wish some European manifacturer would do a tourer like CBR600F.

  14. BikePilot says:

    It looks like it’d be a great one-up, real-world supersport. With proper egronomics a huge windshield isn’t needed. It looks useless for two-up, but if its light and quick enough to compete head-on with supersports I could see buying it as an alternative to a supersport. I doubt anyone considering a mainstream sport tourer would find this attractive.