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?

Erik Buell Leaves Harley-Davidson for New Venture

11/20/2009 @ 5:56 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Erik Buell Leaves Harley Davidson for New Venture erik buell hard hat

Harley-Davidson, Inc. has just announced that Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of the soon to be closed Buell Motorcycle Company, will leave the company to establish Erik Buell Racing, an independent motorcycle race shop that will specialize in making 1125R-based racing motorcycles and parts.

UPDATE: Erik has made a video that explains his move to Erik Buell Racing further, and rehashes the information already available in Harley-Davidson’s press release.

Erik Buell Racing will specialize in supplying race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts, and will also offerrace preparation services for engines and motorcycles (presumably for Buell engines and motorcycles). Erik’s new venture will consist of the making and selling of Buell 1125R-based race-use-only motorcycles, which will are under license from Harley-Davidson. The company will also continue to provide technical support to Buell racers.

“I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying,” said Erik Buell. “We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond.”

Echoing Buell’s enthusiasm, Buell President and COO Jon Flickinger also commented, “I’m pleased that Harley-Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much passion for over the years. Harley-Davidson and the Buell Motorcycle Company will always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in this new endeavor to support Buell racers.”

Erik Buell Racing will be based in East Troy, Wisconsin and will be staffed by Erik Buell and a veteran team of personnel.


  1. Joe Rosa says:

    Hopefully the next announcement willbe that Buell motorcycle company is being sold to Erik Buell and will continue on seperate from Harley Davidson.

  2. Keith Booe says:

    Hope he moves beyond just racing again. RT @Asphalt_Rubber Breaking: Erik Buell Leaves Harley-Davidson for New Venture

  3. PTO says:

    Like many American motorcycle enthusiasts, I’m glad to hear that we haven’t heard the end of Erik Buell, and that the author’s assertion in “Buell Builds Last Motorcycle Before Closing” that his name would never appear on another motorcycle was completely wrong. My next hope is that the future company will end the charade of racing 1125ccs against 600ccs and recover some of the respect they lost while doing so. I hope for great things in an American sportbike in my lifetime.

  4. i wonder if they’ll get the same treatment from AMA ;)

  5. Chris says:

    Way to go Erik, I knew he wouldn’t give up!

  6. Dave says:

    Will 1125 CR’s be supported as well in CCS Suntrust Moto, or other sanctioned events that currently includes XBRR’s and XB12R’s?
    How about the “Barracuda” concept bikes I have seen pictures of lately? I have put money down on a remaining BUELL….until now…..

    Lastly, Will racing only parts/ bike be purchased through current Buell dealers or will a new network or system be developed?

  7. mog says:

    As a CCS licensed racer, the only folks capable of getting parts for racing would be………… LICENSED racers.

    There is an object here that is a machine, built and INSURED as a RACE ONLY unit.

    Maybe later on, certain parts may be offered for general public. For now though, the liability issues of this being a street bike/parts would monetarily crush the fledgeling race company.

    Crawl, walk, run. I am turning blue, holding my breath that Buell Racing succeeds at this entry point.

  8. Marko Kuipers says:

    Good luck to you, Erik and your great new initiative! That the 2010 results for Buell racers may be spectacular!

  9. tim says:

    I was wondering to myself if Erik and the racing department might be a basis for a tilt at a Moto2 ride in the future? I dunno, it seems like it could be a good fit, and with two rounds of the MotoGP series in the US presently there is good exposure there…. pure speculation of course.

  10. D.Willan says:

    I’m glad Harleyis droping Buell. I hope Harley dose the right thing and sells eric his company back. If they do id gladly buy one, right now I would never buy one. In my mind Harley gives buell a bad name.

  11. Ari de Beer says:

    Been riding Harleys since 1968, they are without doubt the best motorcycles on this planet.
    The very best Harleys have had Buell written on them; it is very depressing (to me at least) that Buell has been ditched, because the future needs this marriage between Harley and Buell.
    I don’t care much for racing, but the way that Erik grabs new technology and makes it his own is an exceptional gift, one that can only enrich the parent-company.
    I am a 500%-loyal Harley man after 5 decades of riding only Harleys…except for the ’98 S1 and ’02 X1 that I believe to be absolutely amazing bikes in the ‘real world’…safe, reliable, sexy, non-clone styling…I hope that Buell may get another life building H-D powered bikes. But then, that is only me…

  12. I have owned Buells since 1999, and have championed the brand thru my tenure working for a Harley Davidson dealer before starting my own venture. I have an 1125R in front of me and love it! One of the most playful bikes you will ever ride. Congratulations to Erik and we look forward to what is coming!

    Jason Cooley
    Gongshow Riderz

  13. Charles Haussman says:

    As a Harley owner I have come to the conclusion that the future of the Company must be based on more innovation. Eric Buell was the key factor. Harley sales will continue to slide unless they (Harley-Davidson) comes to the realization that selling expensive images with outdated engineering to a bunch of sheep (HOG) is not a long term strategy. Eric Buell was the future of Harley-Davidson. Wake up Harley, the world has changed big time!!!! I am disappointed with the leadership of Harley-Davidson. I know that I am not alone.

  14. Was greatly saddened to learn that HD was dropping Buell. Have been racing my 1997 S-3 Thunderbolt for the last 9 years (AHDRA & local vinues) looks like I’ll be retiring it after the 2010 season since it is a collectors item now. It has won me a few purses so it’s earned the right to be put on the back burner. Don’t know what I’ll be racing next year money’s tight and no one seems to want to step up … but things may change for the better. Good luck to Eric and thanks for helping me go fast by designing great bikes.

  15. josh haus says:

    Gotta say im glad to see it going in a racing direction and not closing the doors for good, that would be a sad day. im betting once this takes off we will see and brand new model of buell hit the streets again brought on by popular demand

  16. Bugsplatt says:

    Buell was Harley’s ticket to selling a motorcycle to someone less than 50 years old. They thoroughly bungled the whole thing by offering too many models and options for a fledgling motorcycle. They way over invested and expected far too much way too soon. Now they have nothing to offer other than 800 pound Hogs and a Sportster just for laughs. Look for Harley to be asking the Govt. for a handout to keep afloat in the future because their customer base has shrunk to nothing.

  17. Don says:

    I like Harley and i like Buell . What is Harley Davidson doing ?…. They say there broke !…., so they cancel Buell . Then they come out with Five new bikes ….. What is wrong with this picture ?….. I met a Buell owner thats more confused then Hank Hill at an Elton John concert and i do not blame him. Talk about stabbing a customer in the back . He said the Harley dealer said they have the XR1200 now : / . He said what dose that have to do with my Buell xb12ss , i feel for the guy . I hear a lot of rich guys are jumping ship and buying other brands. I hope the stock holders storm the board room with pitch forks and torches . Whats next ?….. when i walk in a (HD) dealer ship will they try to sell me the Harley Davidson BBQ grill ; / . Who would buy a motorcycle with no rear seat ?… Who are some of these bikes being made for ?….. Confused ,dazed , but i still can see straight .