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?

Ducati Diavel: Closer…closer…

10/07/2010 @ 9:27 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Ducati Diavel: Closer...closer... 2011 Ducati Diavel inked

The folks over at have gotten their hands on a new 2011 Ducati Diavel photo, and were kind enough to ink in a red frame and racing stripe on the bike, to give us a better idea of what the production Italian performance cruiser could look like. With the final lines showing more fit and finish, the Diavel has really transformed before our eyes these past months. The swept back headlight design reminds us of something old and something new, but we’re still not in love with this bike yet (but we’re getting there). How about you?



  1. Ken says:

    id rock it

  2. joe says:

    I strongly dislike it. I do not think Ducati should chase this market, it seems to be a step away from performance, and their heritage. The performance cruiser genre is a joke, its like smartest of the idiots. Why bother? Was the Indiana too long ago to be remembered?

  3. wayne says:

    Sorry. Still not feeling it. This kind of reminds me of the time when, all those years ago, the McDonald’s on our base tried test marking “McPizza”. We see, by the large number of pizzas they sell today, how well that worked out.

  4. gnmac says:

    Son of a b*tch that’s UGLY, in fact it just keeps getting UGLIER and UGLIER with every leaked photo…horrid and ungainly, like the alien from the Alien movie.

  5. Ducati Diavel: Closer…closer… – #motorcycle

  6. irksome says:

    Uglier… uglier…

  7. Sport rida says:

    How the devil is this bike ugly? Those vertical led strips on the front are going to look awesome and that thin led strip across the front headlight will look great as well. The exhaust is in a perfect setup for some cool aftermarket slipons. That rear tire is a 240 so from behind that things gonna look great especially with the single swingarm. Look, this bike is a progressive design and in the flesh it is going to look incredible. Probably will be $18,000 with abs which is the only thing that’s going to suck. There’s just enough ducati touches to make it recognizable as a ducati and just enough classic touches to make it resemble a motorcycle. Its bloody beautiful.

  8. Chris says:

    Ugly? Not hardly this is got to be the best looking cruiser out there. Looks more like a beefy standard to me. I am betting it proform much more sporting than your average cruiser.

  9. Bjorn says:

    While cruisers are not my type of bike, I like the idea of a power cruiser more than an underpowered cruiser.
    Ducati are doing what any motorcycle manufacturer that wants to survive and prosper should be doing; that is to diversify into markets that offer a good rate of return on their R&D investment.
    Those who say Ducati shouldn’t produce anything other than sports bikes remind me of the people who used to come into the shop look at the yellow 748SP and say, “Real Ducatis are red!” Just like it could be argued with regards to colour that the the iconic bikes were yellow, silver, green & silver, blue & silver as well as red; it can be said that Ducati has in the past backed up its sports offerings with a range of practical and potent (for their time) every day bikes. Consider the the 1954 “98″, the 1962 mopeds (Cacciatore and Piuma 48s) or the Monza 160. As larger engine sizes became the norm, the late sixties early seventies saw the 250 and 450 single engine in a scrambler frame and 1971 saw the GT 750 début the twin on the road. These bikes tended to offer more in terms of power and handling than their opposition on the market but they were not racebikes.
    A power cruiser is not a bad fit in a company with a history that includes two different scooters, the Muletto (a three wheeled truck), dirt bikes (2 & 4 stroke), a legacy of sport touring bikes as well as a previous attempt at a cruiser.
    The period road tests of the Indiana criticised the ergonomics of it, rather than the rest of the package; pointing to its cramped position, something that Japanese cruisers also suffered from in the past when compared to their American counterparts. Looking at the photos of the Diavel, I suspect “cramped” will not be a problem.
    Putting a modified superbike motor into the cruiser makes sense in the light of history; the scramblers offered the high performance 450 Desmo road engine in a dirt chassis while the Indiana was available with the F1′s 750 Pantah motor (albeit with a reversed rear head) and the ST4 offered the 4 valve motor in a touring bike. As to the styling, I don’t find it objectionable and suspect like a number of offerings from Ducati it will be better in the flesh.

  10. Bromike666 says:

    Sorry Bjorn it’s just plain ugly.

  11. rliddell says:

    sorry everyone, I love this thing more every time I see it. Odd maybe, but then I’m pretty odd myself.

  12. Mike J says:

    I think I,m going to be sick…

  13. SLVSTR says:

    I like it, simply because Ducati is a brand that pushes the envelope. The LED lighting in the front and on the sides are awesome, style wise they have it. I also think they will be the first to integrate nav systems and iphone/smartphone connection capabilities for easy read out social media integration.

    I take it will compete with the Yamaha Vmax, which after experiencing in real totally won me over. And those babies sold very well so there is an niche market for it.

    +1 Ducati

  14. ExtremeUtimateMan says:

    I love it!

  15. Sean says:

    Reminds me of a whale, I couldn’t hate it more. A hex upon you, Ducati, and all who buy this bloated geezer glide!

  16. PeteN95 says:

    It looks like a Streetfighter or Monster for short, fat people? Should be popular in the US!? ;-)

  17. R Rich says:

    Well for us seniors, whose shoulders have gone south, the ergonomics of this bike are appealing!!
    Love my Monster1100 but my sport riding ergonomics days are numbered!!This bike will keep this 72 year old in the Ducati family and reduce my consumption of ALEVE…..Thanks Ducati!!

  18. irksome says:

    I still say it looks like an armadillo dry-humping warthog… and I own an older Speed Triple which has been called an insect on streroids.

    So you see, I know ugly.

  19. MikeD says:

    Getting Uglier by the Spy Shot. Hope they sell trillions so that $$$ can be thrown into more R/D for Superbikes, Monsters and Multistradas…and w/e comes after.

  20. John says:

    Wow. An Italian V-Rod. How awful.
    Garbage for styling, but Ducati’s been heading that direction since the 999 anyway.

  21. Bjorn says:

    Even if it is uglier than a hat full of arse holes, it will be wonderfully, eccentrically ugly. Besides, you don’t look at the mantelpiece when you are stoking the fire.
    For those of you who are slagging the concept of power cruisers, try one. As a sports bike aficionado I used to be down on the idea until as a younger bloke, I tuned a first series V-Max for one of our customers. Taking it out for a test ride I decided to see what all of the fuss was about, so I found a nice bit of road and wrenched open the throttle, HOLY FUCK! When that thing hit 6000 rpm all hell broke loose, the rear dug in and launched the whole ungainly plot forward like it was rocket propelled. It was awesome.
    Would I buy one? No, not while I can throw a leg over my sports bikes and even after that, probably not.
    Are we richer for having them in the great panoply of motorcycling? Yes.
    This attitude of, “It offends my sense of what a motorcycle should be, therefore I hate it,” irritates me beyond belief because it shows a lack of understanding of the breadth of our sport. I respect (not like) any bike that fulfils its function as well as possible.

  22. buellracerx says:

    guess it’s safe to say this is most definitely a “love it or hate it” kind of bike? no worries, other man’s have em too…Triumph, Victory, BMW…

    I for one like it; it’s like the VROD but w/ more power, sportier styling, & i’m sure a better-designed chassis – all for probably about the same price. The real problem is…the Vrod fills a miniscule niche, will they sell enough Diavels to make it worth their while?

  23. chickenchaser says:

    got me one on order, chuffin imense

  24. Reitama says:

    Bestlook bike on the earth, i love it :)

  25. gary p lucci says:

    For all you melon heads that say this bike defines ugly….get back on your meds…..ugly is in your mirror every morning…and next to you in bed every night…Must have been a lack of sunlight over the pond this year !!