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?

California Considering EPA-Style Exhaust Regulation

06/30/2010 @ 2:56 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

California Considering EPA Style Exhaust Regulation Aprilia RSV4 exhaust cutaway 560x460

A California State Assembly committee has endorsed legislation that would to require motorcyclists in the Golden State to have an EPA-compliant exhaust system on their 2011 or newer motorcycles. Two days ago the Committee on Transportation approved Senate Bill 435 with an 8-4 vote, which would make it illegal to operate a 2011 or newer motorcycle with an exhaust system that doesn’t have an EPA label that certifies it as meeting noise limit standards. According to the bill, riders would incur a “fix it” ticket if caught without their EPA exhaust sticker if the bill came into law.

The American Motorcyclist Association opposes the bill on the grounds that it improperly address a legitimate issue. “Many EPA labels are very difficult to locate on motorcycles,” said AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris. “This proposed law could lead to a flurry of tickets for motorcyclists who have legal exhaust systems on their machines with EPA labels that can’t be easily seen. It’s unreasonable to expect a law enforcement officer to easily locate an EPA label, and it’s simply unfair to expect a motorcycle owner to partially dismantle an exhaust system alongside the road to prove the label exists.

The AMA has been running an active anti-excessive loud exhaust campaign recently, in an effort to better community ties between riders and non-riders. With better means of regulation available to the State of California, the AMA hopes that together with the Californian legislature they can achieve the same goal, without unfairly burdening riders who are compliant with the law.

“Requiring that a motorcycle display a readily visible EPA label isn’t the correct way to address concerns about excessive motorcycle sound,” continued Haris. “The only objective way to determine whether a motorcycle complies with sound laws is for properly trained personnel to conduct sound level tests using calibrated meters and an agreed-upon testing procedure.”

The AMA has drafted model legislation that adequately deals with and defines excessive motorcycle exhaust noise, using SAE standards, and encourages California and other states to consider it. In the mean time, the AMA is asking its members in California to encourage their representatives to vote against SB 435 when it comes to vote.

Source: AMA


  1. Monk says:

    Thank God that with the complete clusterf*** that is governance here in CA that these pin-heads have time to deal with issues of such monumental importance.

    One more reason for the Bullies with Badges to hassle riders. Yea…

  2. Doctor Jelly says:

    Well, if it does pass at least it’s not retroactive and you don’t get a real ticket immediately. Keep your stock can and throw it on every time you get a ticket. Ticket is written off when you take it in. Put aftermarket can back on. Repeat as necessary.

  3. Michael says:

    Not true Dr. Jelly. First time is a fixit, second time for same offense is fixit and a fine. The fine goes up every time you get caught. I learned this the hard way with an illegal plate holder. After the $110.00 fine for the second offense I put it back to stock.

  4. Monk says:

    They can take the Termi’s off my ’09 Monster when they pry them from my cold, dead… Uhhh… Headers?

  5. Sean Mitchell says:

    Sorry for those of you in the Peoples Republic of California. F@$&ing pinhead liberals think they’re going to save the world, one law at a time!

  6. Rob says:

    my friends exhaust is so loud, it killed a man once….thank god someone is putting this law into effect.

    Wow, the embarrassment that is California governance. Id say once the robbery, theft, murder and gang related incidents are down to ZERO, then they should look to make everything nice and quiet. Going about it this way only means you’ll be able to hear your neighbor get shot over the Gixxer 1k’s doing flybye’s on the interstate.

  7. California Considering EPA-Style Exhaust Regulation – #motorcycle

  8. gnmac says:

    No ******* way! The EPA is doing it only for the same ****** up “global warming” fraud agenda that Obama and company want to oppose cap and trade, kill coal, and the rest of the “environmental” bull**** that evidence already shows is all just a big socialist lie! No way am I going to bow to the ******* EPA!!!

  9. gnmac says:

    No ******* way! The EPA is doing it only for the same ****** up “global warming” fraud agenda that Obama and company want to oppose cap and trade, kill coal, and the rest of the “environmental” bull**** that evidence already shows is all just a big socialist lie! No way am I going to bow to the ******* EPA!!!

  10. Dave says:

    What if an illegal alien is caught in California riding without the EPA sticker?
    California will likely say it would be too harsh to ticket the illegal alien so only citizens will have to abide by this rule.

  11. Isaac says:

    WTF does ‘noise’ have to do with the ENVIRONMENT? Does it frighten the trees or something?

  12. Jim says:

    Frankly motorcyclists have only themselves to blame for restrictions such as these (I write as an overly loud Harley passes by the house). There is no reason for street driven motorcycles to regularly be cracking 100db at 50′. Sorry.

  13. marshall says:

    The argument the AMA is making here sounds legitimate. Quit moaning. Everyone likes the sound of their own engine. But if you ride around with an obnoxiously loud exhaust all the time, it’s a PITA for everybody except you, and it makes people hate bikers more.

    If you put a loud pipe on your bike to make yourself feel like an outlaw, now it’s more punishable, so you can feel like a real bad ass.

  14. mxs says:

    Seriously, 90% of people who will get in the trouble are the straight pipe cruiser/chopper population. I consider them obnoxiously loud myself when I am in the parking lot with them at the same time. So, I say bring it on, it’s been about time.

  15. Isaac says:

    My slip on Akrapovic didn’t make my bike any louder? It made it sound better. Marshall your missing the point of that law. It has nothing to do with noise. They want California riders to become ATM machines. California is so anti-motorcycle they make the SS gaurd look like Wal-Mart greeters. Ever been followed home by a black and white for no reason, pulled over just to get patted down? Waht about pulled over one by one in a group so they can ‘check insurance cards’? All the cars that passes us didn’t get that. A couple of them were LOUD ass Ferrari’s too. I have so keep riding your scooter around and try and keep calling yourself a rider.

  16. Deez Toolz says:

    I see a market opportunity: Production/sales of fake EPA stickers.

    Kinda like those DOT stickers for brain buckets… Yeah!

  17. bulls says:

    Another way for California to balance the budget: Issue more laws so they can issue more tickets.

  18. 1198freak says:

    The state is broke, the governator ahhnuld needs money, so this is the result, and more crap like this. Riders need to take a stand and vote against it when it comes time.

  19. marshall says:

    Based on the lane splitting and bikes allowed in carpool lane laws (or lack thereof), and my experience riding there, I think your claim that CA is unfriendly to bikers is BS. If bikes get more attention in the laws, it’s because there are MORE bikes there than most other states, and thus MORE 1%-ers to piss people off.