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.

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?

XXX: Valentino Rossi’s 2006 Yamaha YZR-M1

08/20/2012 @ 8:15 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 10 635x476

For many MotoGP fans, Valentino Rossi’s move back to Yamaha is a welcomed escape from the career-ruining Ducati Desmosedici. The perception, of course, is that the 1,000cc Yamaha is not terribly different from the 800cc-era machine, and therefore Rossi’s return to the tuning-fork brand should mean an instant return to his success and his alien status alike.

When we have these thoughts, we forget that in 2009 Rossi struggled to keep teammate Jorge Lorenzo at bay on the same machine, and that in 2010, right before his leg injury, Rossi was behind Lorenzo in the Championship points (despite a wall being erected in the Yamaha garage). Add in two long years at Ducati Corse, the death of Marco Simoncelli, and a new-generation of GP racers who are just now discovering their full potential, and there is ample reason to believe why Rossi’s return to Yamaha in 2013 will not look like his first venture with the Japanese company, nine years ago.

I suspect the move to Yamaha will be a culture shock for the legion of Rossi’s fans, who during Rossi’s switch to Ducati thought The Doctor’s skills on two-wheels, both on and off the track, could shape the Italian machine into a more tolerable form. The reality of course is that motorcycles are not developed overnight, and for Rossi to be competitive in 2004, changes in Yamaha had to occur far earlier than the signing of the pen to Rossi’s contract.

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 01 635x846

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 02 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 03 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 04 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 05 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 06 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 07 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 08 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 09 635x421

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 11 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 12 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 13 635x846

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 14 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 15 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 16 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 17 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 18 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 19 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 20 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 21 635x476

XXX: Valentino Rossis 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 Valentino Rossi 2006 Yamaha YZR M1 hi res 22 635x476

Big thanks to Jim Race from MotoPOD for tipping us off to these photos!

Comment:

  1. Brandon says:

    Mother of God…

  2. TimM says:

    Positively bonerific!!! Those Ohlins probably cost as much as a BMW M3. I am assuming this is Jensen’s coffee table? Needs some cup holders though. I certainly hope the Rossi magic is still alive and that he and Burgess get up to speed quickly so we won’t have to endure any more snooze fests like the race at Indy. Man, that was like a bicycle time trial where everyone takes off with a time gap interval. Without Spies and Stoner and Dovi on the bronco buster Duc, MotoGP is going to be in trouble.

  3. PD says:

    Mmm, pretty…

  4. anti says:

    Is that a Camel sponsor color way? Exact same font…

    Nice bike.

  5. CB says:

    Don’t forget that Rossi will be riding in 2013 on Yamaha factory GP bike #1B….aka Spies’ sloppy seconds.

  6. JW says:

    LOL it can be know as the “Spies Spec”

  7. phs says:

    Spies, Hayden, Edwards, Dovi and Crutchlow should all go to WSBK. Just imagine how much fun that would be! Moto GP is getting more boring by the race.

  8. MikeD says:

    OH MY so much billet and carbon…Those welds on that exhaust are just “delicious”…living room coffee table center piece stuff.
    Is that a HOSE CLAMP on the oil filter resting against the cases so it won’t twist itself loose ? BRILLIANT. lol.
    So much billet stuff…(^_^)
    They even left some clutch dust on the cases…LEGIT…lol. Does anyone knows what they use for the clutch fibers ? Carbon or ?

    On an unrelated/related note: Well, after some MASSIVE OOGLING…Suzuki’s next “GP Bike” is coming crossplaned too, it has the same header arrangement/configuration as this machine.
    Is this going to be the next big thing to come to the I-4′s ?
    How about an I-4 90* crank ? One outer and one inner crank throw arranged at 90* ?
    Like having (2)two Super Tenere engines side by side.

  9. Julian Bond says:

    Oh, my days. First, this should have been the basis for the design of the 08 R1. And second, how different is the 2012 M1 in basic design and layout?

  10. smiler says:

    Bike porn in it true form.
    Happen to agree with the article as well. Still think he should have stayed at Ducati. I really do not think he will win another chanpionship. 3rd perhaps.

  11. Halfie30 says:

    Ironic that you would post pics of the Yamaha Rossi lost the championship on. That had all sorts of issues that caused more DNFs than any season up to that point on a 4 stroke. That ’06 bike was when we really started to shed the chincks in Rossi’s armor. Far before the Mugello injury and the Ducati there was this bike that “caused” him to relinquish his championship title. He had spent far too long playing games with the likes of Gibernau and Biaggi who were the “old guard” of his youth. It caught up to hi
    on this bike, and for two years running he wouldn’t be champion.

    Hayden rode around problems that year too. Stoner the same the year after. Yet they still beat “the goat”. Rossi’s Achllies Heel has always been his willingness to get petty and childish in the MotoGP paddock with stupid mind games instead of just being the better rider every time he got out on the track (which he was at the time any way). He realizes he lost the “mental edge” now, and has to go out and prove to himself he’s as good as every one thinks. Sad really…

  12. irksome says:

    Paint it red and let him borrow it for the rest of the season.