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 MotoGP.com 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.

Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos

10/14/2011 @ 9:09 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos Ducati Superquadro motor 11 635x396

I’ll admit, I’m pandering to the crowd on this one. When we brought you the first images and details of the Ducati Superquadro motor, a recurring theme in the comments was how the motor bordered on art. While I’ll agree that a finely-built motorcycle has an aesthetic worthy of the MoMA (I fully expect the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale to be jaw-dropping beautiful), a motorcycle engine might be a tall order.

Content to let that one go and move on, Ducati ruined the whole thing by posting a bunch of artsy fartsy images of the 90°, overly-square, 195hp v-twin motor. Now, even I’m not bull-headed enough to avoid putting two and two together, so here you go you Ducatisti Asphalt & Rubber readers, more images of the Ducati Superquadro engine for you to drool over. Enjoy.

Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos Ducati Superquadro motor 8 635x396

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Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos Ducati Superquadro motor 31 635x396

Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos Ducati Superquadro motor 10 635x396

Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos Ducati Superquadro motor 41 635x396

Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos Ducati Superquadro motor 5 635x396

Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos Ducati Superquadro motor 6 635x396

Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos Ducati Superquadro motor 7 635x396

Ducati Superquadro Motor in Photos Ducati Superquadro motor 9 635x396

Source: Ducati

Comment:

  1. BikerMagz says:

    I like this bike, I hope i can tes ride this bike In Indonesia
    Because Ducati has opened their showroom in my city :D

  2. R.Jinks says:

    Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, Vincent, Norton, old radial aircraft engines… it seems to be a bit of a lost art now that everything is CAD based, but the simple elegance and beauty of those old lumps is art enough for me.

  3. frod says:

    now the question is, will it be reliable? intervals of valve jobs?

  4. AK says:

    it will be as reliable as other new duc’s, 15k Miles are new service interval.

  5. gebeme says:

    At the risk of revealing how little I know about Ducatis/Engines/Anything; in the 5th picture, what is that crazy 4 lobes inside of 5 lobes gear thingy?

  6. Shaitan says:

    That’s why I love naked bikes… the engine’s pretty on many bikes in all categories.

  7. sculptor666 says:

    gebeme,

    that’s the flux capacitor

  8. 9fingers says:

    @gebeme, that’s the oil pump + the new vacum pump

  9. Stephano says:

    What??? Mikuni parts???? I can’t believe they are now using Japanese parts in the main engine.. What’s up with that?

  10. buellracerx says:

    beautiful engineering. elegant in its complexity

  11. Shereef says:

    Call me a hater if you must; however, other than the frame, I fail to see the innovative side of this bike. I had ride-by-wire and a slipper clutch on my 2007 R6 (Yamaha introduced this to the street in 2006). The RSV4 already had the fancy engine bits in 2009 and 2010 on a V4 engine. Ducati is too stubborn in my opinion. Single-sided-swingarm, v-twin, and lower rpms compared to other brands do not really scream cutting edge to me. This is just my opinion.

  12. MikeD says:

    I’ll be adding these to my “ULTIMATE BIKE PORN PRIVATE COLLECTION” on my Hard Drive. Thank you.

  13. Minibull says:

    @Shereef: Lower rpms? Compared to what, an RC8R? Or do you mean a 1000cc IL4? Getting two 600cc pistons to rev as high as they do is pretty damn awesome imo…
    If it turns out with LED headlights, thats pretty innovative, so is the startup decompressor, saving a huge amount of weight there. The constant crankcase vacuum sounds interesting too. As well as making an extremley powerful V-twin…

  14. JB says:

    @Shereef,

    Did your R6 (or even an R1) make 195hp? Does the RSV4? You don’t exactly need to be cutting edge, so long as everything works together beautifully. When it comes to the Superbike, you cannot deny Ducati’s lineage and success. The proof is in World SBK. A 4 year old bike (1098R) just spanked everyone….with a 40 year old Carlos Checa at the controls….

  15. Rolf says:

    Pure art. Thanks guys.

  16. Cpt.Slow says:

    Shereef

    You are not a hater, you just reviled how much of a noob-sauce you are to the two wheeled world.

    Frod

    Its valve CHECKS, the adjustment only happens if deemed necessary.

  17. chris says:

    auto decompression has been around for a long time… so have “frameless” motorcycles… and the rest of the tid-bits. ducati may have done a good job seamlessly integrating existing tech into a fanastic package, but innovate? compared to themselves, maybe. too soon to tell.

  18. Walker says:

    the same as ferrari, they are selling the idea that this is the best thing in the world and uncomparable to anything ever made, whith all fancy and diferent technology that is just ”better”, but theres always a pagani or a porsche beating them anytime and whith the mouth shut, i hardly belieave thta this bike is gonna be the half as good as they pretend to make us think… it will be as fast as any yamaha or kawa, but not more, they just dedicate to show off, thats their marketing

    (Sorry english is my second language)