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.

Triumph Confirms 250cc Motorcycle is Coming for 2015

11/05/2013 @ 6:01 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Triumph Confirms 250cc Motorcycle is Coming for 2015 triumph 250cc 2015 india 635x448

At Triumph’s EICMA press presentation today, the British brand confirmed that it would have a small-displacement world market bike for the 2015 model year.

Showing a very sporty concept sketch of the machine, Triumph also confirmed that the model would have a single-cylinder engine, be 250cc in displacement, and be manufactured at the company’s new India facility.

The news confirms one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry, and puts Triumph in line with a slew of other brands (Honda, Kawasaki, & KTM to name a few) who are realizing that they need to adapt their model lineup to meet the global demand for motorcycles.

With Triumph recently investing in its manufacturing ability in Brazil and India, the new model will be the first motorcycle built with emerging markets in mind.

No word yet whether the machine will make it into European or American markets, but the idea of a 250cc thumper that looks like a Daytona is certainly appealing to our ears. 2015 can’t come soon enough.

Source: Triumph


  1. Keith says:

    Sweet, kind of a pity they went the ‘no cojones’ Honda route and built a thumper…would have been much better with a triple or twin. But, what do I know.

  2. Westward says:

    How about a triple 300cc…

  3. Norm G. says:

    re: “How about a triple 300c”

    right then, $9,995.

  4. thefundaddy says:

    Moto3, moto3, moto3….

  5. Leo says:

    Harley, ktm, triumph and bmw models made in India … Is the EICMA 2014 in Mumbai instead of Milan????

  6. BBQdog says:

    @Leo: why not, at least something new, totally fed up with all those same models coming out each year presented as ‘new’. Old wine in new bottles and getting heavier every year. Hope some manufacturer dares to bring out a REAL lightweight 250-350cc bike. Aprilia, Ducati, were are you in this light segment ??

  7. BBQdog says:

    Addition: as long as it is not another 155+ kg 250cc bike, we already got enough of that !

  8. TonyC says:

    I am glad Triumph is jumping into the small displacement segment, in place of Yamaha and Suzuki. In case they haven’t noticed, the 250 boat has sailed. How about a 300 or 350?

  9. Tom says:

    I would agree that the 250cc is almost enough power for the US market. A 300/350 would work well at highway speeds (75mph/120kph) with enough extra power to pass OR cruise at elevation and not bog down.

  10. mxs says:

    Your reasoning makes sense if you consider a bike a staple commuter vehicle … like many people in Asia and Europe do.

    In North America, a bike is a pure toy for 90% of owners, some of them happen to commute on it … so your statement would not hold much water in eyes of most NA market owners …. they would explain to you that there’s no such thing as enough power for US market.

  11. mxs says:

    I also think that Triumph is very late to the party … in the end it will be just another 250 single, they will struggle to sell against other bikes already on the market.

    This moves makes no sense to me, especially if it takes them another 2 years????

  12. Tom says:

    Honestly, I’m not sure how well small displacement motorcycle sell in the USA/North America market and if more small displacement motorcycles should be introduced here. I’m guessing the Ninja 250cc/300cc does decent sales numbers. I am in the market for buying a lightweight motorcycle in the 300-450cc single cylinder range, hopefully something will be available soon and be reasonably priced.

  13. a tom says:

    The 390 Duke fits the light-weight thumper category quite well. Sure it’ll sell better than the 200 once it gets to the USA…

    Ducati – all they need to do is dust off their 400 L-twin (Monster 400, 400SS) & tune it to give somewhat more than the ~40-ish bhp it gets (please no thumpers). Perhaps a trellis frame update too, to drop the weight somewhat, rather than having the 400 be a poor cousin to a bike w a bigger engine…

    Anyway, back to Triumph… They just gotta hope it’s not late to the party. Will be interesting to see how this turns out.

  14. paulus says:

    these are firmly aimed at the developing world.
    A starter ‘real bike’to get buyers onto the brand . 250-300 is still considered big in many nations.
    Triumph should do well (depending upon retail price)

  15. Dery says:

    Not gonna sell well in Indonesia, in here the demand are for two cylinder or more, cbr 250 sell sunk in here

  16. Jimbo says:

    Sadly its unlikely they would make a 250/300cc triple. There is an an “ideal size range” for pistons in an engine. Once a cylinder becomes too small its efficiency plummets, so you need it to be a thumper at that size.
    Also I agree with @MXS. I am a Brit so i cant speak with any authority on US motorcycling but from comments it does seem that they are leisure items for a lot of people. Triumph are just chasing sales with this bike so they need to optimise for India/China/Thailand/Indonesia where a 250 single is perfect for that market, cheapish to make and they can sell in vast quantities leveraging the Triumph Brand. Triumph look to be tackling the US with their expanded cruiser line up with the Commander and (call me cynical!) the cunningly named “America”!
    As a side note, being a Street Triple 675 owner (which I use for my daily commute and for countryside blasts) and a MotoGP fan I would love to see Triumph make some in roads to Moto3.