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?

April Fools: Buell/Bombardier Team Up to Launch Bomber Motorcycles – 1190cc Motorcyle in the Works [UPDATED]

04/01/2010 @ 11:30 am, by Jensen Beeler32 COMMENTS

April Fools: Buell/Bombardier Team Up to Launch Bomber Motorcycles   1190cc Motorcyle in the Works [UPDATED] bomber motorcycles large 635x156

UPDATE 3: April Fools.

UPDATE 2: Avril Foujour of BRP has made a statement to Asphalt & Rubber confirming the press leak.

UPDATE: It looks Bomber Motorcycles has twitter and Facebook accounts both suggesting news to be released on Friday. Logo addded to the story.

A day ahead of its scheduled release, it would appear that someone inside Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) has leaked an announcement that Erik Buell Racing and BRP will form a new motorcycle company called Bomber Motorcycles. The press release, which was posted on the Buell enthusiasts forum Bad Weather Bikers has now been taken down, perhaps by request of Erik Buell Racing or Bombardier. But it appears to have come from someone at Bombarider, and was thankfully forwarded to us by a quick spotting member. This would seem to confirm earlier chatter we heard last week in the Buell camps about a Bombardier connection that we dismissed as fallout from the Alan Cathcart article in DealerNews.

The surprise announcement couldn’t come on a worse day, although it looks like it was actually scheduled to occur tomorrow to avoid April Fools confusion. Never-the-less the press release outlines the creation of a joint-venture between the two companies, with a 1190cc sportbike slated for arrival late in 2010. Dubbed the Stratofortress, the bike features what sounds like a new Rotax powerplant that has 1190cc’s on board, and uses a 60 v-twin configuration. According to the release, the Bomber Stratofortress certainly sounds the part, making 160hp and weighing an alleged 365lbs dry. More after the jump.

Explaining the basis for the joint-venture and Canadian production facility, Bombardier Recreational Prodcuts PR Correspondent Avril Foujour explained to Asphalt & Rubber that, “after BRP’s offer to buy Buell Motorcycles was rejected by Harley-Davidson, BRP began exploring creative alternative possibilities with Erik Buell himself. While Harley-Davidson refused to sell the Buell brand and infrastructure, we realized the core essence of the Buell legacy was the man behind the machine, Erik Buell himself.”

Unfortunately for BRP, part of Erik Buell’s severance from Harley-Davidson included a non-compete clause that barred Buell from making motorcycles. “Erik’s hands are tied by Harley-Davidson and their lawyers, as such Buell cannot create street-oriented motorcycles by law,” Foujour explains. “However the contract provision is unenforceable under Canadian law, and in particular here in the French-Canadian provence of Quebec. Both jurisdictions have much more favorable provisions regarding non-compete clauses, which have allowed us to achieve the announcement we were planning on releasing tomorrow.”

Foujour continued telling us that “by having Erik Buell Racing move across the northern border of the United States and into Quebec, both companies effectively sidestep this road block put in place by Harley-Davidson. Additionally since this is joint-venture by BRP and Erik Buell Racing, Buell himself is not necessarily making any motorcycles, as BRP will be undertaking a large portion of the engineering and production for Bomber Motorcycles, an important technicality based on the wording set out in Buell’s contract with Harley-Davidson”

BRP would not confirm the rumor, but there is some belief that Harley-Davidson specifically added the non-compete clause to Buell’s severance contract in order to block him from colluding with BRP. Despite their alleged efforts, to us this sounds like some crafty lawyering by both Erik Buell and BRP. Erik Buell’s non-compete clause is rumored to expire in just under 18 months, which could see the newly formed Bomber Motorcycles land back on American soil, once again reviving the dream for an American sport bike. In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait for the spy shots of the Stratofortress to come zooming down from the heavens. More as we get it.

Leaked Press Release from Bombardier Recreational Products:

Bombardier Recreational Products and Erik Buell Racing Announce Bomber Motorcycles Joint-Venture

Valcourt, Quebec, Friday, April 2, 2010 – Bombarider Recreational Products Inc. (BRP) is pleased to announce, in conjunction with Erik Buell Racing, LLC, the formation of Bomber Motorcycles Ltd., a joint-venture between Erik Buell Racing and BRP. Bomber Motorcycles® will produce performance orientated street motorcycles out of Quebec, Canada that will be tailored to meet the needs of North American sport bike enthusiasts. These motorcycles will showcase unparalleled performance characteristics, and benefit from cutting edge technology seen nowhere else in the motorcycle industry. Featuring BRP made Rotax® engines, Bomber Motorcycles will revolutionize motorcycling with its unique chassis designs and styling.

Bomber Motorcycles expects its first motorcycle to be available in the fourth quarter for 2010 with the the 2010 Bomber Stratofortress® being the first motorcycle to come from the new company, and will feature the very best elements of both companies involved in the joint-venture. The Stratofortress® will utilize the new Rotax 1199, a 1199cc liquid cooled 60°v-twin power plant that produces 160 peak horsepower. The street version of the Stratofortress® is expected to weigh 365lbs without fluids, making it a class leader not only in North America, but also abroad.

Along with the announcement of the 2010 Bomber Stratofortress®, BRP and Erik Buell Racing are also pleased to announce Bomber Motorcycles’ plans to enter several AMA Pro Racing events during the 2010 season with the Stratofortress® platform (pending AMA Pro Racing homologation requirements), and will rely heavily upon the knowledge brought by the Erik Buell Racing team to Bomber Motorcycles.

As a part of the joint-venture agreement, Erik Buell Racing will be moving its headquarters to Quebec, Canada, but will not become a owned subsidiary of BRP. This will allow Erik Buell Racing to be closer to the production facility for Bomber Motorcycles, and to more easily integrate its business processes with BRP as the two firms establish Bomber Motorcycles.

BRP, a privately-held company, is a world leader in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of motorised recreational vehicles. Its portfolio of brands and products includes: Ski-Doo® and Lynx™ snowmobiles, Sea-Doo® watercraft and sport boats, Johnson® and Evinrude® outboard engines, direct injection technologies such as Evinrude E-TEC™, Bombardier* ATV all-terrain vehicles, Rotax® engines and karts.

Erik Buell Racing, based out of East Troy, Wisconsin is a race and performance parts manufacturer for the Buell line of motorcycles. Its services include not only tuning and producing performance parts, but also providing a limited number of race prepared motorcycles for various racing classes around the world. It currently offers the track-only 1125R, 1125RR, and 1190RR motorcycles to cup racers and track day enthusiasts.

Source: Bad Weather Bikers


  1. Doctor Jelly says:

    60°? The 1125 is a 72° isn’t it? Hmm…

  2. fearnow says:

    The date, y’all. the date.

    As much as I’d love for EB to get back into streetbikes and Polaris/Bomabardier stop building choppahs, look at the date.

  3. Requiredname says:

    Doctor: You’re right. The Helicon, is @ 72 degrees.

    Fearnow: What about the date? The article does say: Leaked Press Release.. And, they’re planning on releasing a statement tomorrow. Hello, McFly!

  4. cycleguy says:

    All of BRP’s current large V-Twin engines are based on the Rotax/Aprilia, 60deg V-Twin. The max displacement is 990cc. I can’t find the 1199c version the article is referring too.

  5. Jenny Gun says:

    The press release mentions that this is a new motor, why would you assume it’s based off 72 degree Helicon?

  6. Bjorn says:

    Avril Foujour is pretty busy this time of year, I’m suprised they had time to issue that release.

  7. Requiredname says:

    There’s no assumptions on my part. A question was posed about the 1125.. I answered it. Clearly, there are more details to come out about this new engine; One in particular.. will this be an 1190 or 1199?

  8. chris says:

    does’t ” Avril Fou jour” mean “crazy april day” in french?

  9. Froggy says:

    “The press release, which was posted on the Buell enthusiasts forum Bad Weather Bikers has now been taken down, perhaps by request of Erik Buell Racing or Bombardier”

    Bogus, the article was taken down by us because it is non factual and we will not be involved in an elaborate hoax.

  10. JoomlaWorks says:

    Woohoo!! RT @Asphalt_Rubber BREAKING: Buell/Bombardier Team Up to Launch Bomber Motorcycles – 1190cc Moto in the Works

  11. Glitch says:

    Y’all had me going for a little while!

  12. Wavex says:

    bastards!!! LOL

  13. fearnow says:

    McFly is listening, McChumps! ;-)

  14. Dave Tweed says:

    Thats worse than getting Rick Roled

  15. Ecosse says:

    chris says:
    04/01/2010 at 2:36 PM

    does’t ” Avril Fou jour” mean “crazy april day” in french?

    my google translator agrees with you: “April Fool day”

  16. BREAKING: Buell/Bombardier Team Up to Launch Bomber Motorcycles – 1190cc Motorcyle in the Works – #motorcycle

  17. BikePilot says:

    Well played Jenny Gun.

  18. Gary says:

    More sad than funny really. The only people who will believe it are those who desperately want it to be true and then, when common sense gets the better of them, it will just be one more kick in the gut.

    There are so many fun, funny possibilities for jokes, I don’t know why you chose this one.

  19. Doctor Jelly says:


    I presumed it would be Helicon based because:
    *I don’t think HD can stop Rotax from using their own motor (and Rotax probably has a good supply of spare parts/tooling that would be a waste of money if not used)
    *It would cost them more money to develop a new motor from the ground up than to reuse the helicon design (which is a perfectly fine motor)
    *And your title says it’s an 1190 motor (though the “press release” says 1199) and there is already an 1190 Helicon putting down a claimed 185 HP. Not a far cry for a street legal version to drop to around the 160 mentioned in the article.

    I don’t know, it just seems silly to develop a whole new motor IF it’s real…

  20. Doctor Jelly says:


    Rotax also builds an 1125cc 72° Helicon engine for the Buell 1125R bikes. It’s the first engine listed under ‘motorcycles’ on Rotax’s site:

  21. Eduardo Chaves says:

    Here in Brazil, we are very pleased – me and my brothers from – with the news! Now, we expect to be able to import such a beauty! Go Erick; go! Eduardo Chaves, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  22. Gary says:

    There’s, frankly, no way it could be real. A clean sheet design with new engine ready for production by the fourth quarter? Ridiculous. This is a ham-fisted ‘joke’ at best.

  23. Gary says:

    Dr. Jelly,

    Unfortunately HD CAN prevent Rotax from using the engine because the design was commisioned by Buell (Harley), and, from what Steve Anderson wrote in his Cycle World article, Harley maintained the rights by buying out their contract when they shut down Buell.

  24. Swordsman says:

    Er, why are we still discussing this? It’s a hoax. The website registrant’s name is poor French for “April Fool’s Day”, the address is the historic founding location of Bombardier with a non-existent street, and one of Badweb’s Anonymous posters (almost always a close Buell affiliate) says it’s bogus. There’s no point in even questioning it from a logistical perspective. =/

  25. Ecosse says:

    Swordsman, expect to have your comments of meaningless common sense ignored. Don’t you know that if it’s found on the interweb it MUST be true?!

    Go sell your logic somewhere else. :-)

  26. JoomlaWorks says:

    Best damn April Fool's joke! You got us all Buell fans! RT@Asphalt_Rubber Buell/Bombardier to launch 1190cc Motorcycle

  27. JoomlaWorks says:

    Avril Foujour was the best part! Who made the Bomber website? RT @Asphalt_Rubber Buell/Bombardier to launch 1190cc bike

  28. Doug says:

    That Alan Cathcart article appeared in AMD (American Motorcycle Dealer), not Dealernews.

  29. (Sigh…) Time to punish the asphalt to relieve my disappointment.

  30. eze1976 says:

    almost evil, but well done never the less…. I am using this as a reason I can take next april fools off.

  31. Jake318 says:

    What made this almost beleivable was the fact Bombadier aggresively tried to buy Buell 4 times . Even Wall street analists berated Harley on the Bull headed refusal to sell to Bombadier . saying that Harleys exsecutives disliked Buell and made personal dislike cloud good business decisions