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.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Enters the Motorcycle Rental Business

10/30/2013 @ 3:11 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Enterprise Rent A Car Enters the Motorcycle Rental Business enterprise rent a car 635x423

I’m actually surprised it has taken this long for a national player to enter into the motorcycle rental business, but this week Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced that it was launching its own motorcycle rental business, Motorcycle Rental by Enterprise.

For now, the business is limited to one location in Las Vegas, and Motorcycle Rental by Enterprise offers only a small selection of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Presumably if the Las Vegas experiment is a success, Enterprise could expand the concept to other locations.

“We chose to pilot motorcycle rental in Las Vegas because we saw an opportunity to serve a large segment of travelers who are interested in renting motorcycles to visit nearby attractions like the Strip, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Lake Mead,” said Enterprise Rent-A-Car Vice President Steve Short. “We will continue to listen to our customers and announce plans for future growth based on that feedback.”

The only requirement for interested renters is a valid motorcycle license — Motorcycle Rental by Enterprise even provides a helmet during the rental (Nevada requires motorcyclists to wear helmets).

It will be interesting to see what the market response is to this move. Will riders go for the convenience of dealing with a nationally known brand, or continue to rent from local outfits who typically offer tours and other services on top of the motorcycle rental.

Source: Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Comment:

  1. ruben says:

    Not a bad idea, but I would have advised Enterprise to take a different approach on this. Harley Davidson already has a pretty comprehensive rental program via their retail dealers which is available nationwide (not surprisingly including a dealer in LV) and is easy to use via their corporate website (i.e. you don’t need to book directly with the dealer). If you want to rent a Harley, it’s already pretty simple. If Enterprise wanted to avoid direct competition and offer something that doesn’t already exist, they should have gotten together with a different brand.

  2. Peter D says:

    I agree. They should look at renting less expensive mid sector motorcycles. Something like the Honda NX700, CTX700 or better yet, the new Yamaha FZ9. That might get me to put some money down. And for a few more $$, maybe some Triumphs or Ducatis. Or maybe since Vegas is surrounded by desert, some new KLRs. I have a hard time getting excited about paying extra for a big, clunky slow motorcycle.

  3. Dewey says:

    I agree completely with Peter. It would also be an excellent way to test-ride a prospective purchase since most Big-4 brand dealers don’t offer demo rides.

  4. TexusTim says:

    maybe some places could rent something other than harley’s…like an aprilla rxv4 factory (aprc) or an r would be fine… then guys like me would rent them then go race them for the day and bring em back like nothing ever crazy happened at all…yo you may laugh at me but back in the day you could rent a car from hertz and take it to the drag strip and beat most race cars like when the rented shelby gt350′s and people did this under the radar……someway this dream must happen for me soon…….lol

  5. paulus says:

    Harley’s are a smart move by enterprise.

    Consider the international visitors to USA. Nothing more ‘merican experience than hiring a hog for your road trip.

    Why would you want to rent out hooligan tools and off-road equipment. You know they would be thrashed, raced and ridden without care. Damages, repairs, accidents, clean up and general administration mess.

    Smart move as a business, not so much fun for us riders :)

  6. ruben says:

    I know HDs will appeal to a lot of people, but Harley Davidson are themselves already doing a good job of covering that rental market in the US. There might be more available market space to offer something else as an alternative; I think there are some viable motorcycle rental options other than sportbikes and off-road models as well.

  7. jet says:

    Dammit,now there’s going to be more spilled oil on the road’s……..lol

  8. paulus says:

    As a ‘non American’ tourist (and not a fan of HD), I would still probably try the Harley (or Indian) experience in the country that it is most suited. Not sure if I would consider renting if a SV650 or GS is the available ride.

    Thinking about it… which motorcycles would a target Enterprise customer be prepared to rent?
    What is the weapon of choice for an incoming rental customer? Suggetions….

  9. smiler says:

    It is not the first time, well not East of the Hudson river. Budget did it for a while. Avis and a couple of the others have premium rentals as well. So you can rent a Porsche Turbo, Ferrari’, M3′s. Not cheap though.
    To be fair they are renting 2 wheel cars not motorcycles.

  10. Brian Greene says:

    Not exactly an innovation except for the national brand recognition. This company has been offering rentals for years, including at a Las Vegas location: http://www.eaglerider.com/?gclid=CNWts5GNwboCFc-Y4AodhRkAZA

  11. singletrack says:

    FZ-9, Triumphs ?? are you insane. Seriously, would any of you buy a bunch of sporty bikes and make them available for any dunderhead to rent? Every 4th bike would be crashed on a weekly basis.

    Maybe if the manufacturers had containers of unsold bikes sitting around, it might be a good way for insurance to end up buying them after being written off.

  12. smiler says:

    On the other side of the pond, that is exactly what you can do.
    Fancy renting a GSXR 1000
    http://www.raceways.net/show_rental_bikes.php?manufacturer=Suzuki#
    or a Panigale of BMW S1000RR
    http://www.superbikerental.co.uk/?gclid=CK6qofmQw7oCFYF2cAodE3YAMw

    not that cheap but superbike for a few hundred bucks.