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.

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra

07/13/2012 @ 2:13 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Strada Outdoor 08 635x422

Just judging from the popularity of our posts on the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Husqvarna TR 650 Terra, it seems you all are about as enthralled as we are with the latest models to come out of BMW’s little dirt bike brand — that is to say, not enthralled at all. Maybe it is because the Strada & Terra feel like a rebadged BMW GS, maybe it is the angular styling that Husqvarna has been applying to its on-road machines, or maybe it is because the Husqvarna brand seems to lack any real focus whatsoever.

Whatever the reason may be, hopefully it is due in-part to the fact that we didn’t really get a good look at the Husqvarna Strada & Husqvarna Terra motorcycles when they came out a couple days ago, as at that time the German-owned, Italian-based, Scandinavian brand only released a few basic studio shots for your retinal enjoyment. Fixing that problem now, 42 high-resolution photos await you in the gallery after the jump. Enjoy.

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Strada 06 635x422

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Strada Outdoor 05 635x422

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Strada Outdoor 06 635x422

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Terra 05 635x954

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Terra Outdoor 06 635x422

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Terra Outdoor 08 635x422

2012 Husqvarna TR 650 Strada Photos:

2012 Husqvarna TR 650 Terra Photos:

Source: BMW Group

Comment:

  1. Jonathan says:

    While I know that the Varese factory has (judging by sales over the last couple of years) been working well under capacity, I’m not sure that launching a range of bargain basement hacks in the middle of a pan – European financial crisis is the greatest idea ever. There’s never much money to be made in a race to the bottom, unless Beemer are letting the Italians have those Rotax engines for serious cheap…

    But what else can Husky do? It’s worth noting that here in Europe the 450 thumper competition dirtbike is getting irrelevant – may prefer the smaller thumpers or strokers and the residual value of a 450 is pretty much zero. Likewise the supermoto scene is contracting and buying a SMR449 or 511 for road use is pretty impractical as major engine components are life rated in a few dozen hours. Perhaps the American and Australian markets are big enough to justify the 449 / 511 model range, but are the bikes making any money?

    So, the roadbikes. Who is designing the aesthetics on these things? The Strada (and the Nuda for that matter) are an incoherent mess of random curves, angles and textures. Anonymous piles of parts, with no motif or signature. The Terra has a little of the 449 / 511 about it, but that’s not necessarily a good thing either. 400-odd lbs kerb weight is just too heavy for a single cylinder plodder too and screams of corner cutting in design. Why no 630 style chassis? Or something that apes the drop-dead gorgeous 250 / 310 dirtbikes?

    I guess that there are some people who will buy a bike solely on price, regardless of how fugly it is, but does that generate brand loyalty, or even much cash?

  2. frod04 says:

    if there was an award for Fugliest motorcycle of the year, then the 2012 Husqvarna TR 650 Terra would have no competition for first place. this bike a truly ugly

    Sincerely,

    A rider who is desperate to see a new bike that looks good from HusqHideous.

    from North Haven, CT

  3. Mitch says:

    Depending on the price and the seat height, I could be interested in the Strada. It looks like it could possibly fill the sort of niche the Aprilia Pegaso left, though with admittedly a . . . different style.

    Some people will buy a bike based solely on a price, regardless of its looks, and if the bike shows character and fun beyond the visual, that can generate some loyalty. This one appears to me midway between the dirt bikes and the Nuda’s aggressive, Transformer-like lines, and compromises rarely look striking.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Mitch: “…and compromises rarely look striking.”

    Everything is a compromise – that’s why you hire talented designers! Getting the basic proportions right, tidying the details and giving the whole an identity needn’t cost the earth and makes all the difference. As it stands I’m seeing parts bin specials thrown together by accountants and covered with fit-where-they-touch cosmetic parts that don’t complement each other at all.

    The Nuda is IMO nearly there and just needs a few cosmetic detail tweaks: maybe a bronze frame and some attention to the mess of pipes and plastic around the motor – which itself is no thing of beauty and would look better in simple gloss black. A bit of tweaking to the comedy front mudguard and exhaust wouldn’t go amiss either. Did any of the designers of the individual parts actually talk to each other, or even do a mockup before they slung it all together? It doesn’t look like it.

    The 650s are a bit more of a task admittedly – the engine and apallingly naff perimeter frame are not a great starting point. But the designers have somehow managed to give the front end a “wheel on a stick” look, which appears cheap, awkward and unbalanced. No two lines on the body complement each other and close-ups of the engine / footrest area scream “utility”. The tank and lower rad cover don’t even appear to fit together. FFS! It costs nothing to get this stuff right! I’ve seen generators with more design aesthetic.

    And put the Husky crown on the fuel tank!

  5. fazer6 says:

    The “Rotax” 650 has been made in China since the X bikes, which is why BMW is trying to push it into so many bikes–Much more profitable now–But I like that Husky was able to coax another 10hp.

  6. jackie says:

    What an unappealing piece of industrial-design plastic afterbirth that abomination is.

    I do like the red valve covers though…they should keep that.

  7. Terrafly says:

    It’s the right bike for Husky and I’ll buy a Terra. It’s not a dirt bike but it will do 95% what I would do with a dirt bike plus it’s got luggage carrying capacity, ho hack-job welding, gusset nonsense and reinforcements needed. The engines built proof and simple, very efficient, has 200+ mile legs and way more comfort, people need to look at this differently then a dirt bike……because it’s not. It’s much higher quality then a KLR, and it’s low maintenance, not an oil changing problem like most dirt bikes…….perfect if you ask me.

  8. Teddy Pescadero says:

    It is a dashing motorcycle and definitely has an impressive design. I think I can splurge on this if I ever get a bonus.