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 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.

Video: Ben Spies & The 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1

09/26/2011 @ 5:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler30 COMMENTS

Video: Ben Spies & The 2012 Yamaha YZF R1 2012 Yamaha YZF R1 Ben Spies 7 635x423

We’re not sure if Ben Spies drives a shaggin’ wagon when he goes to track days, or if he spaces out during the rider briefing with a lollipop firmly planted in his mouth, but trouncing the other riders with his “advanced” status sounds about par for the course for the GP racer. Helping Yamaha sell the 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 and its “born from MotoGP” traction control system, Spies plays the star in another video from the Japanese manufacturer.

Riding his 50th WGP Anniversary R1 out to some unidentified track for a bit two-wheeled schooling for some other Yamaha riders, we’re not really so sure about the story involved with this video, but as far as motorcycle industry videos go, it is not the worst we’ve seen. The photography, on the other hand, is stunning. Photos and video after the jump.

Video: Ben Spies & The 2012 Yamaha YZF R1 2012 Yamaha YZF R1 Ben Spies 1 635x423

Video: Ben Spies & The 2012 Yamaha YZF R1 2012 Yamaha YZF R1 Ben Spies 3 635x423

Video: Ben Spies & The 2012 Yamaha YZF R1 2012 Yamaha YZF R1 Ben Spies 6 635x423



  1. bemer2six says:

    what a bunch of BS…. Lol

  2. Jake Fox says:

    Great concept, horrible execution. It definitely would have been better without the 70′s porn music and the Q&A session at the end. If there had to be Q&A, one of the riders should ask, “Hey Ben, when are they going to fix those fugly headlights?”

  3. MikeD says:

    @Jake Fox:
    “If there had to be Q&A, one of the riders should ask, “Hey Ben, when are they going to fix those fugly headlights?”

    I lost it there…LMFAO…that has made my night (^_^ )

  4. John Magnum says:

    Fuck, had that any more cheese put on it……….BS!
    i like how he wheeled the bike into the back of the van by himself, good CGI or 4 guys out of frame giving the bike a big push to get its fat guts into the back of the van im guessing.

    Go buy your 2012 badged “2009″ R1 with TC……damn shame cause it sounds so good.

  5. buellracerx says:

    classic…I love it.

    would’ve been cool to have some clips of him actually stretching his legs out, maybe backing it into a few corners

    & I actually like the headlights…does look way better in race skins tho!

  6. MikeD says:

    My bitchin with the headlights is not precesily it lay out but rather what they mimic…GOOGLY EYES ! SILLY GOOGLY EYES !

    Had it happened for it to be recesed or flush with the plastics i think it wouldn’t look so darn SILLY.
    They should just copy the MR-1 Front complete with intake and all and slap some decent self-respect looking lights into it.

  7. Andrew says:

    That track is pretty sweet, anyone know where it is?

  8. Jason says:

    Circuit Parcmotor in Spain.

    Cheesy ending. Should of took more time before getting off the line, like someone suggested. Changed the QA session a bit.

  9. MikeD says:

    @John Magnum:
    i like how he wheeled the bike into the back of the van by himself, good CGI or 4 guys out of frame giving the bike a big push to get its fat guts into the back of the van im guessing.

    Yeah, i said the same…WTF ?! is that thing made out of Balsa Wood ?

  10. GeddyT says:

    You heard it first from Ben Spies: “I wouldn’t trust the 2012 R1 enough to lean it more than halfway over”…

  11. Bob says:

    what a lame ass advert

  12. david says:

    i don’t mind the headlights, it’s actually the back end that doesn’t hand together for me, though the WSB’s look mean and aggressive. that said, i like the r-1; it’s unique with it’s own charms, and sounds bitchin’, i would have one if i could afford it. oh, and where did ben say he wouldn’t trust the r-1 to lean more than half way over? looked more than half way over to me..

  13. Video: Ben Spies & The 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 – #motorcycle

  14. 76 says:

    wow, the little dity at the end was not necessary at all, I bet Ben was like WTF? you want me to say what? Cant Colin say that part?

  15. Beary says:

    Yamaha hasn’t got too many bright ideas in the ad department at the moment.

    I thought the mancation stiff he and colin did was so much better than this run of the mill tripe.

  16. Beary says:


    Lol…. mancation stiff. That could be taken the wrong way. (OUCH)

  17. Richard Gozinya says:

    Ben Spies smoking a bunch of non-pros at a track day on a liter bike just isn’t that interesting. Now, if he’d done it on that WR450 Roland Sands built for him, then it’d be cool.

  18. SBPilot says:

    Terrible video ad…..amazing pictures. Ben was probably thinking “why can’t these cheesy lines be left for Jorge to say?”

  19. John says:

    Great graphics on a butt ugly bike. MikeD is right, just emulate the M1 and its a home run. I realize the economy is really tight, but how much can a mod like that cost??

  20. Adeysworld says:

    @Richard Gozinya I believe some of those guys if not all to be pro Yamaha riders. I think I recognized David Checa(Blonde) in the group. Do you really think Yamaha or Ben would risk his livelihood riding on track wheel to wheel with a bunch of track day advanced racer wannabees?

  21. steve says:

    That was horrible, barely made sense….more like nonsense actually. I feel sorry for Ben. Yamaha can do a lot better I would think.
    The R1 sounded great though.

  22. Alexontwowheels says:

    On a positive note, I’m really happy with Yamaha for generating a spot like this. They get that trackday riders are a critical segment of their audience. And they understand that this audience loads all their own crap into a stinky old van to get to the track. That’s how i roll baby! Literally, I have a conversion van almost exactly like that, gutted and everything. I love that they understand this and made it a part of the video/photo’s. And @ John Magnum and @ MikeD, I load my bike exactly the same way, gently feather the clutch in 2nd gear and walk her up. easy as cake.

    Now, Yamaha, take note:

    What is GREAT about this video:
    + The van! And the burnouts in the van, haha! Thank you for understanding your audience.
    + Ben Spies. Better than Lorenzo, he’s our homegrown hero and it’s awesome to imagine (though unrealistic) that he would roll to a TD like we do.
    + The cinematography. Great feel to the video!

    What COMPLETELY missed the mark:
    + The riding. BORING!!! and way too long. I don’t think that was Ben riding that bike in the video, cause he doesn’t even know how to ride that slow, I think he probably would have crashed going that slow. Get him on the bike, and let him flog it good ‘n proper so you have some action shots to use. Not sure if it was the camera equipment and cars you were using, but next time, let ‘em rip!
    + The dismissal of the riders meeting. Not cool. As a trackday regular, we get enough morons that don’t understand the rules, setting the example that it’s OK to blow it off, not cute. And in real life, I guarantee Ben would not treat a riders meeting that way, do you think TD providers run the same flags and lights systems as MotoGP??….. FALSE!! Ben is one of GP’s most vocal safety advocates, so I’m surprised he even agreed to doing this scene.
    + The LAME coaching session. That was the most poorly executed ending to any video I’ve ever seen. You should have just left it at him being worshipped by his fellow riders, then cracking a beer with buddies before heading home for the day. It also was counterproductive to your goal…. basically saying that even a MotoGP star can only go marginally quicker than average trackday riders on this bike.
    + The Jersey Shore fist pump while he’s driving away. Why? Why did you do that? stop it. just stop it!


  24. Alexontwowheels says:

    @ a 1…. do you really feel the video you just saw warrants calling that a “thrashing” track session? I think the tires should look new with how weak they were riding, haha.

  25. Steve Lang says:

    Great music. A cross between background music from an old porn film and the theme song from Starski and Hutch.

  26. Brian says:

    3 points:

    1. ugly bike!
    2.ugly bike!
    3.ugly bike!

    in my opinion, the video was kinda cool. had some good stuff (cinimaphotography), and some bad stuff i can forgive Yamaha for. but i can’t forgive Yamaha for selling such an ugly bike from every angle and even in race trim.

  27. Singletrack says:

    Great camera work on a cool track. But lame dialogue.
    And why did producers make him so aloof and arrogant during the class session? He came across as an asshole that would get kicked out (if he weren’t Ben Spies). Not sure that this does much to sell me on a Yamaha. Makes all those ‘old’ R1′s look like shit piles too.

    Re: the tires. I guess the Yamaha traction control works so well that you won’t wear out tires! But my satisfaction from a track day comes from shagging a set of tires to the edge.

  28. Alexontwowheels says:

    @singletrack, TC is not intended to save tires. Frequently TC can actually accelerate tire wear. If your ‘satisfaction from trackdays’ is rooted in destroying tires…. you’re doing it wrong :-)

  29. Ros says:

    Great video!!
    This track is Castellolí near Barcelona, Spain; great track very funny and great memories came to me so there was when I put me knee on tarmack for the first time!!

  30. Craig Darby says:

    Hasnt anyone of the commentors here ever loaded a bike by themselves? The bike was running when Ben loaded it into the van. He simply slipped the clutch and walked it up the ramp!