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.

Tuesday at Valencia with Scott Jones

11/12/2013 @ 3:43 pm, by Scott Jones18 COMMENTS

Comment:

  1. Apex says:

    For anyone wondering what the grates in the exhaust pipes are for… in case of a crash into the gravel they prevent that stones come through the exhaust pipes and get stuck or damage the engine.

  2. TwoWheelLoo says:

    Ehhh, the factory honda’s new intake vents look preeeetty fugly… Albeit more go than show. Hayden back on Honda is going to be interesting, hope he can make the most of it.

  3. motobell says:

    @apex i have wondered that.. good to know now.. it would seem to make sense to have that on sport bikes as stock.

    anyway, the RCV1000R did start very disappointingly today – i expected hayden to be at least .5 seconds closer to the satellite hondas.. i take a bet that he will not get that close all next year – would be nice to eat my words…. also seems to be no faster than the aprilia -

  4. SBPilot says:

    @TwowheelLoo – Look up Honda’s 2001 NSR500 GP racer, essentially identical intake. I quite like this new intake, like a throw back to their NSR500. Now if they had the same type of livery to boot that would be awesome.

    I don’t know about most people, but I am extremely excited for next season because even just from the first tests it looks like there will be a lot of bikes duking it out. Ok, maybe not at the front, it will still be JL,MM,DP probably, but the mid pack looks like it’ll be one hell of a time. It’s very early days, but the open class bikes have the most potential to improve, where as the factory bikes can improve a little bit. As I predicted, Pol is very fast off the bat. Hopefully those FTR-Yamahas can also get up there and if Ducati can find another few tenths or so it looks so promising next year for some great racing.

    This is what it should be though, more riders on better bikes. Too often machinery is restricting the riders/drivers at the top level. Everyone seems so pumped, especially the ones who have had a big change from the past. Cal, Aoyama, Pol, Colin and especially Hayden.

  5. TexusTim says:

    so if you hadnt noticed Honda is up to there old tricks again.
    please look back at the announcment of the production bike..they said “we have 4 ready to go just need teams to lease them too”..so the first two days of practice and hayden and ayoma are sharing a bike cuz they only got one from honda so far..what the heck kind of test is that ? great way to start a new team..they cant be worried that a production bike/rider might shine against the factory team could they?

  6. Dc4go says:

    Well the RCV1000 certainly is off to a slower start than most people expected. Making the ART bike look just fine especially considering the Honda was suppose to be .5 of a second of the factory Honda’s. That is with Casey riding the bike I suppose he could be .5 off the pace on a Suzuki too.

  7. smiler says:

    Honda are not stupid. The Honda factory bikes fastest, the saelite bikes next and the production bike will be specifically designed not to be faster then the satelite bikes. Why would they do otherwise. It is also essentially a WSBK spec bike. See what replaces the Fireblade and what they will race in WSBK.

  8. lampir says:

    what the different between rc213v and rcv1000r? i cant see much different acept the front cowling

  9. Dc4go says:

    @Smiller saying the RCV1000 is a WSBK bike is ridiculously consider it cost 1.2million to lease and motor/frame is based off a prototype minus the pneumatic valves. @ Lampir body work is different but the biggest difference RCV has conventional valve springs, non seamless transmission, 24 liters of fuel and Dorna spec ECU.

  10. Conrice says:

    For everyone being disappointed at the slow start for the Proddie,

    1) Aoyama and Hayden are sharing a bike for the test
    2) It’s a brand new bike, there’s no data on it.
    3) It’s a new bike to Hayden
    4) It’s a new bike to Aspar
    5) It’s new software

    I’d look at the fact that Hayden was faster than the NGM boys and Redding/Aoyama Tuesday as a pretty good indicator that Hayden is going to do well.

    And as for the people saying that they’ll be designed to be slow – that’s not going to help anyone when they’re competing against a Yamaha that is essentially the same thing (production racer). They’ve made it have a little less revs , no seamless tranny, and it has to run a standard ECU. But other than that it’s the same. If you think pneumatic valves and a seamless transmission are worth 2 seconds – you’re crazy.

    Give some time for Hayden to get dialed into the Honda, give the Aspar boys some time to figure out the electronics and bike – and that bike’s time is going to fall considerably.

  11. MTS Rider says:

    Not to mention that Hayden does not want to be the first guy to Bin a new Honda when things are just getting sorted out on the first bike for the team. I couldn’t agree more with Cornice. Honda wants to beat Yamaha on every level so there is now way the bike is designed to be slower. The electronics are a biggest difference and may keep them form competing with the Factory bikes, but the seamless gear box and pneumatic valves are about shaving off tenths not full seconds. The added fuel and additional engines could bring them into competition with the Satellite guys at a few of the longer circuits assuming they can sort out the standard ECU.

    BTW – look for Edwards to be strong early on, he has the most experience testing the standard ECU.

  12. Conrice says:

    Wow, MTS – good point about having to ride cautiously. It’s even more so because if they bin a bike – they won’t have another one to test with!

  13. sideswipeasaurus says:

    @SBpilot. That’s exactly what I thought too when seeing the mug on the new RC213V! Paint it yellow with a black 46 and from head on it’s the Nastro Azzuro NSR500.

  14. SBPilot says:

    @sideseipeasaurs: we can dream!

    I’m amazed people don’t know how to put anything into context when commenting about the proddie lap times. It’s the bloody first test. No one is pushing the bike. Conrice and MTS Rider stated it perfectly. Not only does Hayden not want to crash it because he doesn’t want to damage the bike and slow progress, but also no one wants to hurt themselves before 2014 begins.

    Every rider that’s done a big jump has to take things step by step. I find it absolutely hysterical people are already seriously comparing the lap times riders did on the proddies vs the factory riders who have been comfortably riding their machines for at least a year, most for years.

    The fact Aleix on his M1 proddie is only 1.3 seconds off Marquez’s ridiculously fast time is quite an achievement. Remember Marquez is the champion, in his first year, he out rode everyone. His times he can do are a very very high standard. Aleix on the other hand just swung his leg over this bike and he’s with a new team and he’s just barely a second slower than Lorenzo, the master of the M1, riding a factory bike built around him.

    If we are to modestly give Aleix 3 tenths for being new on the bike, and the bike only 2 tenths for lack of bike development/team understanding of the bike etc. That only puts him about half a second off Lorenzo. If Bridgestone’s soft tire can still work with the proddies, I’m sure that’s good for at least another tenth or two…and you see where we’re going. The times are close. Now if Lorenzo and Yamaha can pull another half a second at Sepang (which he will have to to put up a fight) than the gap may increase again, but that doesn’t mean the proddie’s or the riders like Aleix won’t equally develop and go faster.

  15. manny varela says:

    is that what the exhaust tip of the honda is called ?
    i always wondered why the repsol honda motogp bike
    had that welding cover on at the exhaust end.
    i used to think that was for noise management.
    those modified exhaust tips on the bikes are called (grates?)
    and why are they not available for regular sportbikes ?
    these so called “grates” should be standard on all
    sportbikes……how come nobody in the aftermarket sell
    or make exhausts with that option ?

  16. Apex says:

    Ducati had them first, don´t know anymore when exactly they were invented. This picture i found is from June 2010 http://photos.motogp.com/2010/06/20/stoner_52_slideshow.jpg
    They had the idea after once Stoner slid into the gravel and could not rejoin the race because a stone got stuck in the exhaust system and blocked it, causing the engine to stall. Not to forget with the limitation they have to look gently after the engines. However, thats what i was told. My source is quite reliable and it sounds plausible to me. Maybe we are going to see it on “our bikes” as well – as always, trends come from professional racing

  17. Manuel varela says:

    @Apex,Thanks for the knowledge bro
    That’s something i always wondered
    And you finally cleared that up for me.
    Your analogy makes the most sense
    I was totally wrong. Thanks
    I owe u a drink!

  18. TwoWheelLoo says:

    @SBpilot agreed, the NSR throwback isn’t half bad, the Nastro Azzuro livery would be badass on the newer RCV. All the ride changes are going to be interesting!!!