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.

Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Street Bike Announcement Hype Machine Gets Under Way

09/08/2010 @ 7:40 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Street Bike Announcement Hype Machine Gets Under Way EBR Buell 1190RS 635x462

Erik Buell Racing has quietly been “tipping” sites off to the fact that Buell’s record label, Rat Pak Records, is selling t-shirts for a Erik Buell Racing 1190RS motorcycle. What is the 1190RS you ask? “The 1190RS will be the new street bike from Erik Buell Racing! The design is currently in the pre-production / testing stage and is not yet available for public sale,” says the website (Asphalt & Rubber brought you the first teaser of the 1190RS way back in July). However, a video of the pre-pre-production 1190RS will be up on September 14th, officially making this a teasing of a teaser video (are you still with us?).

Before you Buell fans start getting all in a tizzy, we have to break the news that the hype being generated about the EBR 1190RS is more about raising money for Erik Buell Racing, than announcing an upcoming motorcycle. Erik Buell & Co. have been making the rounds to investors looking for capital to build-out its production line, reportedly with little success. With a company built around a “never say die” attitude, Erik Buell hasn’t given up looking for cash (buy more t-shirts people!), and the 1190RS announcement is a way for EBR to show that there is a market demand for its motorcycles. Once the market is proven to exist, EBR is hoping investors will then open up their wallets.

This isn’t exactly a new trick for struggling motorcycle companies, and there is at least one other motorcycle manufacturer pulling-off this stratagem as we speak (or is it as I type?). However there’s a thin line being walked here as well, since Erik Buell has a non-compete with Harley-Davidson that prohibits him from making street bikes (February 2011 is the expect expiration date on that contract). While having someone tip-off websites, and promoting the new bike on a record label’s website sounds like a great way to get around the non-compete agreement, the legal reality is that it would take short work to link it all back to Buell, and run the company into legal trouble.

All the boring business and legal stuff aside, the Erik Buell Racing 1190RS, if it ever makes it to production, will be a welcomed alternative to the inline-four hegemony currently found in the motorcycle industry. Expect the 1190RS to be based off the 1190RR race bike, except with lights, horns, and shiny reflective devices. We’ll post the video on the 14th…or sooner if our Bothan Spies complete their mission with success.

Comment:

  1. joe says:

    If it has a chain drive, and isn’t too, pricey I’ll take one. Dual brembo monoblocks upfront too, please.

  2. Mark says:

    As much as I’m wishing Erik & Co. all the success in the world, I don’t see this as a viable plan for the long term. If he is successful at bringing the 1190RS to production, there are a ton of roadblocks to overcome.
    Firstly, how are they going to get access to a new supply of engines, frames, etc. from Rotax and all the other suppliers when HD owns the rights to everything? I’m sure Erik has a fairly good inventory of left over parts, but what do they do once that stock is depleted?
    If he’s only planning on building as many as his current stock will provide, that won’t be too many and will guaranty that the bike will be very expensive and limited. Who is going to invest money into a company with a plan based around building a few handfuls of bikes, before having to start all over again from scratch?

    The only way I see this working is if HD decides to sell Erik the full rights to produce the bike, which will cost a ton of money, if HD even decides to sell it at all. My hunch is that this may be exactly what Erik’s plan is, and I hope he is successful in doing so.

  3. Jaime says:

    At the Buell Homecoming this past summer, Erik announced that he was released from the non-compete agreement EARLY. There is no legal reason he can’t produce street bikes now… only financial ones.

    As if ANYTHING from the mind of Erik Buell even REMOTELY competes with the over-priced, underpowered museum exhibits from Harley Davidson…

  4. hoyt says:

    How much of a change to the Helicon engine would constitute a new engine, and therefore separate the new engine from the engine built under HD ownership? If a new engine doesn’t require a significant change, then it would seem EBR/Bombardier could move forward. (e.g. radiator placement).
    Same goes for the frame.

  5. JB says:

    where is the stick beating the (dead) horse on their logo…..it’s over…let it go…move on….

  6. lemonchili says:

    “…since Erik Buell has a non-compete with Harley-Davidson that prohibits him from making street bikes (February 2011 is the expect expiration date on that contract)”
    Really? He said at the Buell Homecoming in June that he was no longer under any non-compete clause.

  7. lemonchili says:

    Oops… didn’t notice Jaime had already posted that.

  8. Greg says:

    Whatever Erik ends up doing with his 1190RS bikes, I hope he’s successful. What I would really like to see is for him to team up with U.S. Highland. I’d love to see him continue to apply his outside-the-box ideas to another American branded motorcycle.
    http://www.ushighland.com/index.php

  9. MikeD says:

    Best of luck… i would be happy if his success “pressured the others” (besides Ducati) to build something along the same lines (1200cc V-Twin 180hp Sport Twins).

    A man can dream, lmao.

  10. Sid says:

    JB – that is one of the biggest coward comments in the blog world

  11. Jim says:

    If, and a big if the 1190RS becomes a reality, my guess is that the price will be $25K or higher. It would be nice to see it happen, but given the economic environment, the prospects of the motorcycle industry in general and the reticence of investors, I won’t hold my breath.

  12. buellracerx says:

    Sid – you beat me to it.

    JB – you suck.

    lol

    Jim – the market is driven by buyer confidence. get some confidence! it can/will get better.

    I’d love to see what Erik and the others can produce w/o big bro H-D looking over their shoulder. If they get this 1190RS out, I’ll be one of the first to throw down.

  13. Tom says:

    Gotta join in against JB. Wuss move man. At least Erik isn’t a quitter like Harley and keeps trying. A lot of people lost their jobs so how in the hell is that a good thing? There are those who pray for the demise of Harley and I ask the same thing, with thousands out of work how in the hell is that a good thing?