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?

First Shots: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199

07/02/2011 @ 2:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler26 COMMENTS

First Shots: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Motociclismo photo leak 2

In this new age of motorcycle marketing, it’s clear that Italian magazine Motociclismo has been given Bologna’s blessing as its favored child of motorcycle media. Accordingly, the publication has been at the forefront of information and photos of the new 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199, and just recently teased this photo of the Ducati Superbike 1199′s headlight, which we know to be the first LED headlight to come on a production motorcycle.

Obviously having some time with the new Superbike 1199 (or at least having one very gracious friend in the Ducati factory), Motociclismo has a bevy of detail shots of the 1199 (we refuse to buy into the Xtreme naming rumors and hype). In the photos, we not only get a better glimpse at the LED headlights, but also the enlarged gilled air intake that surrounds the headlight unit. Also readily seen is the horizontally mounted rear shock, and near it is what Motociclismo is saying is the plastic-guarded collector pipe for the underslung exhaust, however our sources tell us it connects to a second exhaust which exits out the rear of the tail section, as seen on the Ducati Desmosedici GP12.

Surprisingly the photos give away very little technically about the new Ducati Superbike 1199, which perhaps lends to even more credence that this is a controlled leak by Ducati (more on this in future article). Noticeably absent from the photos is a view of the tail section, stressed-airbox frame structure, and the swingarm and wheels. It’s expected that the 1199 will come with Ducati’s traction control (DTC), data acquisition (DDA), and anti-lock brakes (ABS). We wouldn’t be surprised if the electronics package was also a more advanced version of what’s currently on the 1198, and rivaled what we’ve seen on other superbikes like the Aprilia RSV4 and Kawasaki ZX-10R.

With this “leak” now sprung, it’ll be interesting to see how Ducati continues its hype of the 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199, though the company did a pretty good job of keeping the buzz going on the Multistrada 1200 and Diavel, though multiple photos gave away those bikes’ forms well ahead of their EICMA leak. If you see something we’ve missed, shout it out in the comments section.

First Shots: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Motociclismo photo leak 1

First Shots: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Motociclismo photo leak 3

First Shots: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 Motociclismo photo leak 4



  1. RSVDan says:

    Oh. My.

  2. 9fingers says:

    The (red) Mantis

  3. Rob says:

    I have a feeling Im about to be missing 20k +/- from my savings account here shortly.

  4. Rob says:

    Aside from the obvious horizontally mounted shock, I can see in the photos the 1199 has a wet clutch like the Diavel/Multi. Also noted is the size of the steering stock. It appears to have more space at the rear than the front, suggesting an adjustable offset steering stem a’la 999. The bike’s camshafts are obviously chain driven versus belt as in every previous ducati superbike.

  5. Rob says:

    I also found it really odd that the keychain containing two keys has one in the ignition and one more that seems to be ‘inserted’ into steering stem. It may very well just be sitting/resting in there, but it sure seems to be sitting completely vertical. Hmmm…perhaps an electrical override type of setup where the key is needed? Complete speculation at this point of course. Can’t wait to see this bike….it’s going to be a game changer.

  6. What’s the tip-off on the wet clutch? I don’t think the key resting in the steering stem is anything to make a fuss about. If they’re messing with the ECU a bit, they might need the spare key handy, as you would do if you brought your Duc into the shop for a scheduled maintenance.

  7. Mormont says:

    Jensen, the oil fill cap is right above the clutch.

  8. Matt A. says:

    @Jensen – the clutch is fully enclosed and has a filler to the rear – pretty good indication. I see what you’re talking about with the key in the steering stem but I’m reasonably sure someone stuck it there just for convenience during picture taking.

  9. Ducati dry clutches come fully-enclosed as well (Mg cases even), but I’ve never noticed the oil fill cap difference — good eye. As for the key, that’s what I meant. It’s a good spot to leave it so a tech kind find it easily (speaking as a Ducati owner whose spent half a day looking for the damn second key while working on the bike).

  10. Sean in Oz says:

    Whats the purpose of the two different air intakes?

  11. Jc. says:

    this is so real. they are dumping these pretend leaks on us but they are real. leaks. what are leaks…?

    ultimately they are the product of sources that are unknown but that have the ultimate information. leaks! get used to it!

  12. Gavin says:

    So hard to tell, looks like it could go either way. First reaction was good so I hope the rest of the bike has stuck to the old heritage with a futuristic twist. One that only DUCATI can pull off. Cnt wait to see more in high res. The pipes out the rear seat sounds awesome.

  13. BurnOut says:

    That thing has been ran over by the ugly truck several times. UGLY!!!!!

  14. MikeD says:

    HURRAY FOR A&R and FOR COMING THRU ! I saw a couple yesterday on some of the Duc Forums but i see i was missing a couple u got here. Thanks!

    Oh…Motociclismo, if u happen to see this…LMAO, so much for “we have this and that xclusive”…all u got was some studio shots of an UNFINISHED Moto showing parts not a WHOLE One.

    Thanks anyways…lol.

  15. Loki says:

    @BurnOut – if everybody would’ve liked it, it would’ve lost its exclusivity. Thus, *almost* everybody likes it.

    Anyways, why dump the dry clutch? Just.. why?!? In MotoGP they all have the dry clutch so, performance-wise it’s obvious that’s he way to go… I understand the “user-friendliness” sh*t, but come on: when you buy a Ducati SBK, you expect a full race-spec rocket monster, not a soft-core sport tourer… A shame!

  16. Shereef says:

    @loki – In MotoGP they also all have conventional (double-sided) swingarms. I thought the 999 was a step in the right direction with this; however, for some reason ducati owners are madly in-love with the sssa.

  17. Duckblind says:

    Ha I knew those were LEds, also I’m optimistic about the styling, it looks purposeful Italian and very modern.

  18. MikeD says:


    Yeah, i can see how the SSSA “may” be Prettier on the eyes of the Ducatistas and easier to replace wheels, chain adjustment…but….I would rather have the regular item (999) too.
    That SSSA can’t be lighter, stiffer, stronger than a regular SA…can it ? I’m biased it ain’t.
    Anyone on the know that can share some light in the matter ?

    I too think they were going on the right direction with the 749/999 but i guess tradition is more important that try to break new grounds and try new ideas…(-_- ).

    W/e…im sure this will be a great piece of machine, SSSA or NOT. I can’t wait for EICMA to get here.

  19. Shereef says:

    @Mike – There are only two advantages for the sssa setup. The first is a quick tire change in endurance (Suzuka 8hr for example) races where time saved in a pit stop can make or break your push for a win. The second advantage is the little effort required to balance a tire-wheel assembly. A sssa will allow a mechanic to assemble a wheel to a dead stop and not worry about centering it.

    The dssa will typically be lighter because it can achieve equal or better rigidity with less material (or cross-section). Assuming both types of swingarms are made for the same raw material stock.

    As far as the aesthetics, this is very subjective. Personally, I think the conventional dssa looks better because my eye finds near symmetry more attractive than asymmetry. That’s why I feel the BMW S1000RR looks like an ugly child that has been beat up one too many times, therefore its face is now deformed.

  20. loki says:

    @Shereef – good one with the S1000RR. It made me laugh, though I don’t find it *that* ugly…

    I think for many people the SSSA looks better. At least for me it does, and Ducati hopes it’s the same for everybody. More or less, it’s clear that it’s a style item rather than a practical one. It’s born from the desire Ducati has to be “different”.

    But yeah, clearly, it can’t be as stable, stiff or strong as the DSSA. Then again, until road bikes reach some MotoGP-esques power figures (220-230 hp), the single-sided swing arm should do the job.

  21. Other Sean says:

    The rearsets and the way the tank screws down in the front look very japanese. I’m curious as to why it’s “obvious’ that the cams are chain driven, although I wouldn’t be opposed to that.
    And yes, that’s a wet clutch.

  22. Sid says:

    The top photo (with the lights on) has too much of a bird look going on.

    Primus’ costumes comes to mind when seeing that photo.

    Chain driven cam vs. belt-driven? the only pic that I see that would point one way or the other is the one with the lack of the ugly belt cover on the right side of all modern Ducati engines.

  23. MikeD says:

    I have my doubts that they went full gear on the timing(HOPE THEY DID), i would say more like one chain, one intermediate idler gear and “smaller than usual” cam gears like the SV1000S and S1000RR.

    Also, after watching for some time the exhaust routing on the bigger pics i now believe that the Routing and Plotting will be “very similar” to what Honda uses on the VFR1200.

    I would like that it be given the option of the rear cylinder exhaust be re-routed to under-tail like their GP11 Racer. SCREW MASS CENTRALIZATION and HURRAY for rear cylinder scavenging, less mass (albeit a bit off of the ideal location), less cumbersome plumbing and better looks (i know, Subjective)…

    Just kidding…but it would be the cat’s meow….in both looks and functionality.

    I already see someone on the aftermarket coming up with such Kit…and reeling in those $$$.

    They could always make the shorter rear exhaust path flow the same as the front by using smaller diameter tubing or giving it a smaller outlet at the muffler….Oh well, after all, they passed at the perfect opportunity of a using a central ram air intake like the GP11 for the sake of “style” as is usually the norm nowadays , it wouldn’t surprise me them NOT doing something similar to what i mentioned….i mean, WTH ! if the they went so far as to relocate the shock COMPLETELY out of the way why not go the WHOLE way ?!

    Im sure everyone have noted how the rear sub-frame anchors itself just above what looks like the TCC of the rear cylinder and right above the valve cover on the intake side.

    Ok, im done bitching here…(^_^ ), somebody pass me my bag of tampons, please…lol.

  24. 4Cammer says:

    Pretty and Ducati are no longer words spoken in the same sentence.

  25. buellracerx says:

    might be missing something here, but if the headlight is completely LED-based, why are there conventional headlight reflectors just below the LED strips? I would venture a guess that their purpose is, at the least, accentual, and, at the most, low-beam operation.

    @Jensen, any thoughts?

  26. DucWrench says:

    Just wanted to add about something about the clutch. That is a dry clutch in those pics. If you look at d16 motor, the mag cases are the exact same way. You can clearly see the seam to remove the clutch cover, and the oil fill plug is directly over the clutch in the D16 as well as in the those pics. Dry Clutch 100%, If it were a wet clutch, why is there a clutch cover? And just like the desmo, it will be gear driven cams.

    Just in case you need a visual, here is an excellent pic of the desmo motor… See the similarities?