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.

Bajaj to Acquire 90% Stake in KTM?

02/11/2010 @ 1:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

Bajaj to Acquire 90% Stake in KTM? KTM RC8 R ground level 635x424

Rumors are indicating that KTM has invited Indian manufacturer Bajaj to increase its stake in the Austrian company from the current 30% to up to 90%. While neither party has confirmed the news, it is reported that Bajaj has accepted KTM’s offer, and will immediately purchase an additional 21% of the company’s stock, making it a 51% majority shareholder. Bajaj will then increase its ownership to 90% at a later undecided time.

The move comes as a surprise to many industry insiders, and is likely a bi-product of the economic recession, which has deeply affected KTM’s cashflows. KTM’s invitation to Bajaj is likely an indication that the Austrian company is in need of an additional cash infusion, as it tries to piece back together its off & on-road motorcycle sales.

Bajaj’s ownership in KTM has seen the Austrian company seriously begin to bring motorcycles to the sub-500cc market segment, and is likely a driving force behind KTM’s pursuit of electric power systems in dirt bike applications.


  1. This just goes to show how strong the transportation market is in India (remember Tata’s acquisition of Jaguar?).

    It makes me wonder what might have been had Buell had a low-cost bike available for sale in India. A variant of the Blast comes immediately to mind.

    Now Bajaj controls KTM and has a partnership with Motoczysz. They’ve become a true international motorcycle power. Harley-Davidson, with its recent push into the Indian market, would do well to look to Bajaj for examples of what works in that market, rather than pinning all their hopes on selling Electra Glides in India.

  2. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Bajaj to Acquire 90% Stake in KTM – #motorcycle

  3. Alex says:

    I agree, though it’s hard to believe that H-D will recognize the viability of low-cost small-displacement (or hey, even electric??) personal transportation in a market such as India’s.

    Too large to have a low-inertia dynamic response to market conditions; too tied up in tradition to want to do anything about it anyways.

  4. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Bajaj to Acquire 90% Stake in KTM – #motorcycle

  5. never could/would have imagined: Bajaj to Acquire 90% Stake in KTM powersports

  6. Mike Werner says:

    Would have been nice to receive a credit for the source, like a link back…..

  7. Bajaj to Acquire 90% Stake in KTM – #motorcycle

  8. skadamo says:

    RT @CW1Miles: RT @Asphalt_Rubber Bajaj to Acquire 90% Stake in KTM – #motorcycle

  9. Dora Fang says:

    Indeed. Holy cow! RT @SoCalBuellRider: Holy moley- RT @Asphalt_Rubber Bajaj to Acquire 90% Stake in KTM – #motorcycle

  10. Brian says:

    India market does not need more small bikes, there is more than enough competition in the economical commuter segment and the 150-220cc single cylinder sport style segment. What is seriously needed is mid-size dual-sport bikes – something like XL350, DRZ, DR650, etc.

  11. Fake James says: BajajがKTMの90%出資らしい。ビューエルにも出資してよ。

  12. Jenny Gun says:

    Mike if you were my source, I would have credited you, but you weren’t, so…

  13. RSVDan says:

    KTM have denied this rumor which was started in the Indian press. Sounds like it was just a bunch of hot air. Baja will not be buying any further interest in KTM.–/

  14. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Nice copy/paste job by @BikerHolic done here: You can find the original here: #plagiarism #thief

  15. Brammofan says:

    Bikerholic = plagiarism RT @Asphalt_Rubber: copy/paste job by @BikerHolic here: original here:

  16. Jeffrey J. Ward says:

    There goes the neighborhood.

  17. RT@ Nice copy/paste job by @BikerHolic done here You can find the original here #plagiarism #thief

  18. Nice copy/paste job by @BikerHolic done here: You can find the original here: #plagiarism #thief

  19. Nigel Tasker says:

    @Asphalt_Rubber RT : Bajaj to Acquire 90% Stake in KTM This was sent to us via email and published in error – apologies

  20. Smith says:

    bajaj and ktm its rumor or not

  21. Motorcycle industry shakeup: India's Bajaj taking controlling stake in KTM