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?

Up-Close with the Ducati 1199 Panigale in Superstock Trim

11/12/2011 @ 4:50 pm, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

Up Close with the Ducati 1199 Panigale in Superstock Trim Ducati 1199 Panigale Supersport trim 635x476

The Ducati 1199 Panigale is surely going to be the bike of 2012. Not because the flagship Ducati packs a 195hp Superquadro motor into a wet 414 lbs bulk (thought that certainly helps in the sport bike genre), but because the Panigale brings so many revolutionary technical and design aspects to the business of production motorcycles. Electronically adjustable suspension, LED headlights, GPS assisted DDA+ data acquisition, traction control, ABS, engine braking control…the Ducati 1199 Panigle’s feature-set is like reading the wish list of any superbike enthusiast. However what makes the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale truly special is its revolutionary monocoque frame.

The gamble has bit the Italian company in the ass in MotoGP, but on the production-side of the equation, the Ducati 1199 Panigale could very well prove the gamble was worth taking. We here at Asphalt & Rubber have been reserving our judgment on Ducati’s new frame design until we can get the Panigale in our hands and on a track, but when that day finally comes, we really hope what we get to swing a leg over is a Ducati 1199 Panigale in Superstock trim with Ducati Performance pieces.

If you’re a track day enthusiast with some Italian leanings, you may not want to click past this point — at the very least, take precautions by hiding your wallet. With all the two-wheeld porno after the jump, get ready to be uncomfortable while sitting down. And just remember, “baseball, baseball, baseball.”

Up Close with the Ducati 1199 Panigale in Superstock Trim Ducati 1199 Panigale Supersport trim 04 635x476

Up Close with the Ducati 1199 Panigale in Superstock Trim Ducati 1199 Panigale Supersport trim 10 635x907

Up Close with the Ducati 1199 Panigale in Superstock Trim Ducati 1199 Panigale Supersport trim 14 635x476

Up Close with the Ducati 1199 Panigale in Superstock Trim Ducati 1199 Panigale Supersport trim 16 635x476

Up Close with the Ducati 1199 Panigale in Superstock Trim Ducati 1199 Panigale Supersport trim 22 635x476

Photos: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0


  1. WOOF!

    That’s the future right there!

  2. Halfie 30 says:

    Now all the haters can take back all the dumb statements about the styling.

  3. C. d'Auteuil says:

    Looks like a bike worthy of getting rid of the 999s for! The 1098/1198 certainly wasn’t.

  4. bemer2six says:

    I’ll reserve my judgment till I see it on the dealer floor, get my hands on it, may be even get a get test ride… now excuse me while i go change my t-shirt wet from all the drool….

  5. Ray says:

    I didn’t like it at first, but wow…that is awesome!

  6. ChrisD says:

    idkkkk guys I dont know if Im feelin it yet.. Theres just so much going on with the bike.. Maybe since its such a radical change.. Ill have to see it in person..

  7. Jake Fox says:

    Like a fungus, it’s growing on me.

  8. fazer6 says:

    Even uglier. Cool, awesome in its rawness, but awkward, unthoughtout Angeles ugly.

  9. TonyS says:

    No electronic suspension on the Superstock version? Note the lack of the wiring tubes on the fork tops.

  10. dc4go says:

    Now that’s worth getting rid of my 999R for… Daddy needs a new track bike or should I convert the RSV4 into the track bike??? :/ really glad to see Ducati pushing boundries cause the 10976 was just to plain for me nice bike but no game changer….

  11. Halfie 30 says:

    @ Fazer6. Unthoughtout? Really!? You know you’re saying this about a Ducati correct? All the Italians do is “thinkout”… LOL

  12. dc4go says:

    Sorry… 10976 should have been 1098…..

  13. smiffy says:

    Thank you ducati for being relevant. Thank you for not being Honda.

    I guess this is what the new face of world domination looks like?

  14. digfoto says:

    AWESOME (and I don’t use that word often)

  15. Kevin says:

    Is this version going to be offered for sale or is this how the Superbike\Supersport teams will get it?

  16. Other Sean says:

    No doubt it is technically awesome for a superbike, but none of this tech is so revolutionary EXCEPT the frame. Electronic suspension, traction control, data aquisition have all been around for a while. All on a production superbike at the same time? No. So if that’s why you’re so excited Jensen, that’s justifiable.

    She’s still not a beauty.

  17. Indeed part of my excitement is the total package element here with the different technology pieces, but the larger piece of my praise is the chassis design. Give it 10 years, this will replace twin-spar frame designs throughout the industry.

  18. 76 says:

    Jensen Beeler says:
    November 14, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    Indeed part of my excitement is the total package element here with the different technology pieces, but the larger piece of my praise is the chassis design. Give it 10 years, this will replace twin-spar frame designs throughout the industry.

    just a guess, but less than 10 years

  19. mxs says:

    How can you be so sure that twin spar will be gone??? People have said that about front forks for decades, yet still nothing works better than UDS.

    The only time it will replace something is if it’s found to work better. So far it has not on the racing level. Perhaps if it makes the bike significantly less expensive I can see how on the street it would not matter, but then this bike is supoosed to end up in WSBK, right?

  20. MikeD says:

    Maybe on the sport twins…but…on the I-4, yeah, i would grab popcorn, sit and let them amaze me with some “unseen wild shit tech” arrangement.

    I too would love to see what they have up their sleeves when it comes to the I-4 and dumping the Twin Spars Frame.

  21. Grant Madden says:

    You,d think at that price they could have painted the tank?Looks a bit unfinished like my old TT500 with the alloy tank

  22. Minibull says:

    @mxs: They have found better alternatives. Hub center works brilliantly, but when it comes to racing, the riders are all used to the feedback and feeling from USD forks. Most racers start very young, all through their learning years they are riding on bikes using the “traditional” technologys which then seems to set them in their ways of feeling with they bike.
    You would have to get someone riding hub centered bikes from the start of their career to have an equal comparison between the two. Till then forks will stay, as noone will invest that much into smaller league racing…

    In terms of the frames, just look back 50 years or so, see how the layouts of bikes have changed. It’ll happen someday again…

  23. buellracerx says:

    way to show off that sick termignoni exhaust, ducati. unfortunately, no belly pan = no fluid catch = illegal to most every racing sanctioning body there is.

    otherwise, omfg