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?

Video: The Unholy Two-Wheeled Motorcycle Burnout

11/26/2013 @ 1:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

Video: The Unholy Two Wheeled Motorcycle Burnout two wheeled burnout 635x423

Motorcycling’s two-wheeled culture has seemed resistant to two-wheel drive machines, but maybe this video will be the breakthrough moment. After all, if one-wheeled burnouts are cool, then two-wheeled ones have to be twice as cool, right?

The logical conclusion to one of the more illogical undertakings we have seen, Gregor Halenda set out to convert his KTM Adventure 990 to use a Christini AWD system, and drive the bike’s front wheel for ultimate off-roadability. You know…because.

The process was not easy one, and it involved a bit of engineering prowess on the part of Cosentino Engineering to get the job done; but the result of all that hard work is a truly unique machine, and of course an epic two-wheeled burnout video.

There is a massive build thread on the ADV Rider forum for you gear-heads to spend hours poring over, and for the less technically advanced, there is a 2WD drive for dummies explanation in the video. Enjoy!

Source: Gregor Halenda


  1. Manny varela says:

    Thanks for the post Jensen, nice video.
    Im surely gonna enjoy that post at agv,
    Love the technical sh!
    Your the Man!

  2. paulus says:

    This is a technology who’s time has come.
    Ohlins made a fantastic hydraulic system in the 90′s… much cleaner, no chains.
    Unfortunately, it was ahead of it’s time for many reasons.
    This could work great for certain motorcycles….

  3. LoneStarBR says:

    In this day and age of integrated ; smart everything, this looks a little clunky. I would much rather see a super light weight kers type arrangement that does not have 10 times too much power at the front , but rather instant torque on the front only to aid traction when you pull a finger trigger , or better yet when X % of back wheel spin is detected – this looks kinda fun and all but it would really take some time to get used to it and use it to your advantage in a race; not to mention it robs lots of power.
    All that said, it would be a hoot to do 2 tire burn outs!

  4. Bob says:

    LoneStar, you should do a google search before making assumptions on how it works.

    I have a Christini. A Honda 450X. On the dyno, disengaged, I make 37 RWHP. Engaged, 37 RWHP. There’s probably a 1/2 HP missing that’s undetected and the heatsoak and knobbies might add that error, but, still the RWHP difference is negligible.

    Also, the front is driven at a ratio to the rear wheel and it is not 1:1. When the rear wheel slips a given amount the front only then kicks in. Otherwise, the front freewheels. There are 3 ratios to choose from. I went for the .83:1 ratio which is their highest offering. It allows the front to kick in sooner than the others. I can still spin the rear around a bit in the hairpins in the woods but the front does want to pull you forward while doing it…so donuts are out unless you turn it off. But I chose this ratio because of all the deep soft sand I ride in. I can stay rolling on top of the sand rather than trying to plow it and burying my front wheel. This, in itself uses a whole lot less HP to get through it and less wasted gas and lower engine temps. It’s come in handy for some real difficult climbs when it’s slick and rooted and I’ve gone through long mud washes that others get buried in and stuck.

    The last thing you would want is to have to manually trigger the thing on and off. You’d be doing it every second of your ride, depending on the conditions. Like I said, it freewheels until it slips a certain amount, then it grabs.

    I leave it on full time as it costs me nothing. Engage and forget. It kicks in when needed. So your momentum doesn’t change and you keep pulling straight.

    The only downsides are 15 more pounds on the bike and more mechanicals to maintain.

  5. Greg says:

    @Bob Thank you for sharing your experience! I´ve heard about AWD enduro bikes, hydraulic system, 90s Dakar or something, i even think it was a factory project (yamaha?). I have also seen a AWD Mountain Bike, but with cogwheel system similar to the shown bike in the video (i think t was a bike by JEEP) – way heavier than average mountainbikes and people who rode it say a lot of energy gets lost in the transmission. You already said it does not happen to your bike, so this question is sorted out.
    Maybe with todays technology the best way would be to use an electric engine in the front wheel (like seen on those electric bycicles), so ther are less parts an less weight, maybe more avayable power too (the combustion engine does not have to share the power). Im not an engineer, so please forgive me if it does not make sense ;)

    @Bob … i guess yours is cogwheel driven too? My question is; is there a clutch or something in the drivetrain? Or in other words; does the front wheel/rear wheel block if you apply one seperate brake? / Does it have any effect on the other wheel? Or; are the wheels permanently attached to each other by the drivetrain? I´m curious :)

  6. LoneStarBR says:

    Dear Bob,
    Thank you for your respectful and informative response to my post – now I know! I only want to slightly defend that fact that I did include the idea of automatic engagement when wheel spin is detected ! :) Well stated and I appreciate hands on insight.