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?

NCR M4 ONE SHOT – Ducati Monster Lovers, Your Christmas Has Been Ruined

10/09/2011 @ 2:12 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

NCR M4 ONE SHOT   Ducati Monster Lovers, Your Christmas Has Been Ruined NCR M4 ONE SHOT 635x423

NCR has just unwrapped its latest creations: the NCR M4 and the higher-spec NCR M4 ONE SHOT. Based off the Ducati Monster 1100 EVO motor, the NCR M4 carries over the general aestheic of the popular Italian street bike, but at sub-300 lbs weights, the NCR M4 and the NCR M4 ONE SHOT, with their titanium parts and copious amounts of carbon fiber, are not your average Italian two-wheelers. A quick glance of the M4, and you’ll see the treatment is typical of NCR, with a titanium frame & sub-frame being the crowning jewel of performance added to the package.

Also true to NCR form, you better start saving now if you like what you see here because the NCR M4 isn’t going to be cheap. The 107hp, 84 lbs•ft of torque, 286 lbs, NCR M4 comes complete with carbon fiber parts like its tank, wheels, instrument cluster, airbox, oil cooler housing, and fenders. Also a part of the basic package are NCR’s in-house billet triple clamps, fork bottoms, & rearsets. Brembo monoblocks and Öhlins suspension come as standard as well, and help the NCR M4 to have an MSRP of $49,900, with delivery in Spring 2012 (US market only, other markets TBA).

Of course, if you want a truly pinnacle air-cooled v-twin machine, you’ll want the higher-spec NCR M4 ONE SHOT. Fitted with an NCR 1200 modified Ducati EVO 1100 engine, the higher displacement M4 makes 132 hp (105 lbs•ft of torque), courtesy of its stroker crank, titanium connecting rods, NCR slipper clutch, and other titanium bits. Dropping another 6 lbs off the base M4, the 278 lbs motorcycle is truly featherweight. And for that kind of performance, you better brace yourself, as the NCR M4 ONE SHOT comes with a hefty $69,900 price tag.

NCR M4 ONE SHOT   Ducati Monster Lovers, Your Christmas Has Been Ruined NCR M4 Carbon Left Side tank Close up 635x423

NCR says its designed the M4 to have a modular design, meaning that by removing only five bolts the stock titanium rear sub-frame can be swapped for self-supporting carbon fiber race or street tail. Similarly, the front headlight & instrument cluster can be changed to a mini, half, or full-fairing setup by undoing only two bolts. In conjunction with military grade quick connectors on its electrical components, NCR boasts that you can take the M4 from street to race trim in just five minutes.

If you read Asphalt & Rubber regularly, you’ve probably read my laments of the Monster design. Perfectly fine motorcycles in their own right, I’ve just never been able to get behind the Monster’s look and feel. I admittedly just hate the big round headlight look, which is why I like the new Triumph Speed/Street Triple redesign so much more than the old one (blasphemy, I know). I’m going to hold firm to my complaint here as well, though I imagine if you pony up the $50,000 or $70,000 that NCR is asking for, they’ll put whatever damn headlight on the machine you want.

NCR M4 ONE SHOT   Ducati Monster Lovers, Your Christmas Has Been Ruined NCR M4 Carbon Right Rear 1 635x423

Besides that hefty price tag, my other criticism is NCR’s pervasive use of Ducati’s air-cooled twins. On their way out of the Italian company’s line-up at some point, the two-valve air-cooled 90° v-twin motor is not exactly the most potent lump available. However with the Monster 1100 EVO motor being infinitely more tidy than its water-cooled Testastretta counterpart, the choice is likely largely one of cosmetic preference, though NRC has seemingly seen my complaint coming.

Responding to the idea of a motorcycle with only 132hp, NCR M4 designer and NCR COO Joe Ippoliti says in the company’s press release, “It is difficult to describe what a 278 lbs, 1200cc street bike feels like because it is not like anything you have tried before. After riding a NCR M4, it is difficult to enjoy riding a motorcycle weighing 100 to 150 lbs more, regardless of the amount of horsepower it may have.” We’ll have to take his word for it until we’re lucky enough to try the NCR M4 ourselves. Drool-worthy photos below.

NCR M4 ONE SHOT   Ducati Monster Lovers, Your Christmas Has Been Ruined NCR M4 Carbon Front 635x952

NCR M4 ONE SHOT   Ducati Monster Lovers, Your Christmas Has Been Ruined NCR M4 Carbon Right Side 635x423

Source: NCR


  1. BobD says:

    AMazing specs and build, but i think they should have taken a lil bit more stylin cues from RADICAL for the tank/tail. Those Spaniards know how to make a sexy bike!

  2. MikeD says:

    Impressive…if u have the flow then get yourself some Motorcycle Bling !

  3. duxbros says:

    NCR’s design and engineering capabilities are simply astonishing–and so are their prices! I can’t imagine needing a whole lot more power–it’s almost 1:2 power/weight in the One Shot. Plus the tw0-valve motor is lighter, simpler, and better-looking than a Testastretta. But ya know JB, if you gotta have 170 bhp in a bike that weighs under 300 pounds just toss NCR $100k and they’ll make it happen for you!

    +1 for BobD: NCR’s weakness is their unusual sense of aesthetics. This works pretty well but there’s weird stuff like the turn signals on the carbon tail, and that exhaust…whatever their intentions, it simply doesn’t work visually. This is from the same country that makes Conti, Termignoni and Verlicchi? Absolutely love the rest of the bike. I’ll take one without their pipe and throw on a ti Zard 2-2!

  4. NCR M4 ONE SHOT – Ducati Monster Lovers, Your Christmas Has Been Ruined – #motorcycle

  5. Michael says:

    It is beautiful proportioned and artfully styled. Some of the details are unusual, but I think this is good. Design should challenge conventional ideas of aesthetics, especially at this price point. Love the use of the desmodue.

  6. Vishal says:

    That is absolutely stunning. Just the kind of bike I want next. Too bad the price is way out there, albeit justified with all those goodies.

  7. Jake says:

    Wow. That weighs less than my Husky supermoto and has 3 times the power. Now if only I had 70 grand laying around….

  8. Tim says:

    It sure is gonna be tough to see at night with the headlight pointed at your front fender!

  9. Gary says:

    Such criticism of Ducati’s air-cooled motor shows a real lack of depth. I’ve never known a motorcycle enthusiast who hasn’t fallen in love with this engine’s method of delivery.

  10. SiafaAlvin says:

    I dunno about ruining *my* Christmas, but my family is gonna wonder why they just got computer-printed cards this year…

  11. Mike says:

    I have had both air cooled and water cooled Monsters and they all have amazing power delivery and are light weight enough! The M4 looks like something anyone would want but for that price I’ll stick to my S4r thanks!!