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.

zecOO: An Electric Maxi-Scooter from Japan

04/13/2012 @ 3:28 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

zecOO: An Electric Maxi Scooter from Japan zecOO electric scooter prototype 18 635x476

The maxi-scooter scene in Japan borders on the lunatic fringe, as the two-wheeled segment is over-saturated with trendy young riders, as full-size motorcycles are too prohibitively expensive for 20-somethings in the island nation. This has created a vibrant tuner and modder community for scooters in Japan, which has spurred some of the most audacious builds we have ever seen. It doesn’t surprise us then to see the zecOO from Kota Nezu of Znug Design.

It would be one thing that the Japanese firm made a low-riding maxi-scooter that features a single-sided and hub-center steering front-end, but the kicker is that the zecOO is an electric scooter as well. Packing a modest 28hp and 47 lbs•ft of torque, the zecOO isn’t going to win any speed contests, though it is on par with the production electric motorcycles currently available from Brammo and Zero.

What we think riders will really be drawn to (or disgusted, if you are some of our more inside-the-box readers) is the zecOO’s striking design that Nezu envisioned. The only thing we don’t like? The ubiquitous HUGE rear sprocket, which is becoming all-too common place on electrics that do not have a gear reduction.

zecOO: An Electric Maxi Scooter from Japan zecOO electric scooter prototype 29 635x476

zecOO: An Electric Maxi Scooter from Japan zecOO electric scooter prototype 09 635x476

zecOO: An Electric Maxi Scooter from Japan zecOO electric scooter prototype 03 635x846

zecOO: An Electric Maxi Scooter from Japan zecOO electric scooter prototype 21 635x846

zecOO: An Electric Maxi Scooter from Japan zecOO electric scooter prototype 33 635x476

zecOO: An Electric Maxi Scooter from Japan zecOO electric scooter design 34 635x405

zecOO: An Electric Maxi Scooter from Japan zecOO electric scooter design 29 635x405

zecOO: An Electric Maxi Scooter from Japan zecOO electric scooter design 04 635x436

zecOO CADs & Design Photos:

zecOO Prototype:

Source: zecOO

Comment:

  1. I have never, EVER been a fan of scooters, but this … THIS got my complete and undivided attention. What an interesting set of wheels to zip around on for city consumption.

  2. Westward says:

    Akira inspired design…

    I like some of the elements. Adaptable frame, buell front brake system, belt driven, I love it. What would be even cooler is a more Tron lightcycle inspired design, I’m thinking original, not legacy…

  3. MikeD says:

    Holy Shit Batman….(0.O)….LMAO.
    Let me have a T-MAX 530 instead.

  4. Dr. Gellar says:

    I actually like this a lot. I was thinking the same thing as Westward…about the Akira-inspired design, and that is not at all a bad thing. I believe few people on a conventional motorcycle would probably give the rider of a “scooter” like this dirty looks if it pulled up next to them. To me, this is the look and style of machine the Honda DN-01 sorta tried but failed so miserably to achieve.

  5. Mark L. says:

    A Japanese custom with a Buell ZTL inside brake system.
    Is this sweet irony or what?
    All these years Americans get slammed for building customs from UJM’s and here a Japanese custom uses American bike parts.

    I love it!

    The build and engineering quality seem top notch, and it is cool in a way that Bramo, Zero, and all the others only dream of being.

    WELL DONE in any language.

    Mark L.
    Ozark, MO USA

  6. Webbiker says:

    I have allways hated scooters with a vengeance but this is spectacularly cool! I really really want one.

  7. D-Mac says:

    Thumbs up! Innovative and inspiring. Love the perimeter rotors (puts the mass farther away from the wheel center, but it does improve braking, and it fits visually with the large sprocket on the rear).

  8. jackie says:

    go go Akira. Fun.

  9. oml says:

    a bike that looks like that and doesnt reach at least 150 is a bit … disappointing. i would love it if it had a bit more power (but maybe the frame just looks cool, but drives like crap)

  10. 76 says:

    These kind of “SuperScooters” are all the trend in Japan right now and have been for some time, I guess the akira phantasy lives on strong over there.

    I cant wait until the first Japanese OEM releases one of these for the states and the same people that are saying this is cool ridicule it asking what where they thinking.

  11. More photos in the gallery now.

  12. “These kind of “SuperScooters” are all the trend in Japan right now and have been for some time”

    Really? I’ve lived in Tokyo for the last 21 years and haven’t seen anything that looks even remotely like this. Scooters are all the rage here, but about all you see in terms of tuning are fart cans and straight pipes.

  13. Dr. Gellar says:

    @76

    It’s arguable, but I think this has has already happened (as I mentioned above) with Honda’s DN-01. Granted, the DN-01 was no Akira-looking machine like the zecOO, but it was a feet-forward scooter/motorcycle hybrid or sorts.

  14. Alex says:

    Looks good. Could be improved by seatback with headrest, integrated with aerodynamically tapered backbox for general or helmet storage and including light clusters; ergonomic grips rather than straight bars; a more aerodynamic ‘nose’ to extend range, battery life and top speed; footrests moved forward and protected by faired in ‘boxes’ for safety & aerodynamics (again).

  15. 76 says:

    http://pinktentacle.com/2008/05/japanese-custom-scooters/

    http://www.bornrich.com/entry/top-10-customised-japanese-scooters/

    Take your pick Trane, I dont know where you’ve been in tokyo but they are there there, hamamatsu, kumamoto take your pick

    Dr. Geller your very right about DN-01, these “SuperScooters” are basically are part of the core of its concept but just not as far, DN-01 was kind of 1/3 the way there, I bet. How many DN-01′s were sold? and 16k Sticker? maybe 40?

    I look at these things and say sure fun, the reality is nobody si ready for these types of things here in the states, at least to actually spend Superbike level money on.

  16. @76: I didn’t mean it to sound that there aren’t custom scooters in existence here, but your statement of “all the trend” pushes it, IMO. There will always be a small-to-medium-sized segment of any car/bike market that engages in extreme customization. That said, I stick by my original statement that I’ve never seen anything like the zecOO on the street here and that for the most part all you see are fart cans. Maybe some strips of blacklight LEDs and chrome, but …

    The zecOO stands well and truly apart. IMO, YMMV and all that. Maybe Kumamoto Prefecture is full of design aliens who all rip around on these scooter/bike hybrids. They sure do not in GTMA.