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.

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?

Electric Scooter Maker Vectrix to go Bankrupt

07/17/2009 @ 6:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Electric Scooter Maker Vectrix to go Bankrupt vectrix vx 1 635x531

Electric scooter manufacturer Vectrix is set to file for bankruptcy in 30 days, after failing to find the cash infusion they need back in April. The move to Chapter 11 doesn’t surprise too many people close the company, citing both poor business practices and customer dissatisfaction as being reasons for the manufacturer’s demise.

For instance, the $10,495 Vectrix VX-1 electric scooter allegedly didn’t get the range that had been advertised, and also suffered from poor build quality. Dealers also complained about the order quantity size they would be forced to purchase, likely from Vectrix trying to push as much product out the door of its manufacturing line.

Vectrix motorcycles were available in more than 90 dealerships in the US, and nearly 160 dealerships worldwide. Mike Boyle, CEO and President of Vectrix, stated back in February that models and dealers were the two things holding the company back from being a big success. This statement makes us wonder though what things were driving the company forward, the logo?

A source close to the company had a different take on the reason Vectrix was floundering. ”It’s just such a shame, because it was a really good idea and a decent product but lacked the appropriate price point and follow-up development. It was frustrating for those of us from the motorcycle industry who were involved, and we tried to convince them to change how they were doing things.”

Vectrix Corp. is headquartered in Middletown, R.I., an assembly facility in Wroclaw, Poland, and an R&D center in New Bedford, Mass. Employees in the U.S. were told of the likely closing of the doors when they arrived at work on July 131th.

Source: DealerNews via HFL

Comment:

  1. Electris Scooter Maker Vectrix to go Bankrupt – http://bit.ly/2Pcbq7 #motorcycle

  2. Bert says:

    This was obvious many years back, they rolled in with a fancy van and a demo bike. They were bragging how they already have burned through 70 million in R&D.

    They did allow a test ride but were asking to keep it short. I took the bike from 84th Street on York avenue down to 72nd street and back and the fuel gauge dropped to half. (less than 2 miles but I was pushing it as hard as I could) The electric bike I have built in my dad’s shop when I was 8 years old had better performance than that!

    Also, the front panel popped off and went flying into traffic but they assured me that that “should not happen” on the production bike.

    We never signed up as dealers, fearing this would be the outcome and many of our customers would be left with a 10k piece of junk.

    It kinda never fails, too many MBA brains in the kitchen but none listening to the guys in the trenches is a recipe for failure. See: Tidalforce, Ego, EV Global (eBike), EV Warrior… and many more.

    Its a shame that the customer always gets stuck with a worthless, overpriced product.

  3. Ralph says:

    Came upon your article after having read about Vectrix’ demise in a Dutch motorcycle magazine. These are pivotal times in the whole ‘personal transportation’ industry. A lot of eco-entrepreneurs come up with alternatives that don’t make sense business-wise or from a consumer standpoint. You really need to favor electric propulsion ‘an sich’ if you want to drive a Tesla or Vectrix scooter.

    I am presently working on the so-called Space-Efficient Vehicle project. Narrow track vehicles have many advantages: superior fuel economy, lower emissions, new design perspectives, and lean production potential. Plus superior range if equipped with an electric motor and batteries. The SEV is more comfortable (long wheelbase), more energy-efficient (shape), more practical (3 seats) as well as safer (layout) and better handling than a Smart ForTwo. And that car is already out there!

  4. Mike says:

    While Vectrix had a good product, it was not much more robust than the R Martin EVD made by Efun. The EVD is less than $3500 and gets as much or more range. It is a much better value. You should not over sell and over price electrics. Look at the EVD here: http://www.electricbikedistributor.com/evd-electric-motorcycle.html. It is a much better deal.