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 1190RX to Debut at AIMExpo

09/20/2013 @ 11:48 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Erik Buell Racing 1190RX to Debut at AIMExpo erik buell racing 1190rx teaser 635x423

Heavily teased, we now know that Erik Buell Racing will debut its EBR 1190RX sport bike in mid-October, at the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida. Tipped to be a more affordable version of the Erik Buell Racing 1190RS, the 1190RX has been spotted with a seat for a pillion, has an uber-aggressive headlight, and will likely come without its premium suspension, wheels, and braking components.

“This is the culmination of decades of dedication, innovation and teamwork,” said EBR Founder Erik Buell. “We have been working to create a pure rider’s machine and a true world brand. From the heartland and the heart of America, these are extraordinary motorcycles that discerning riders everywhere will be passionate to own.”

The 1190RX is the first model to come out since Hero MotoCorp became a 49.2% shareholder in the American motorcycle marque, so it will be interesting to see if the Indian motorcycle company’s capital and manufacturing ability can help Erik Buell Racing lower the 1190RX’s price tag into an affordable realm for die hard motorcyclists. We’re expecting something in the $20,000 range.

EBR’s debut at the AIMExpo is an interesting move, as the trade show is hoping to become the American equivalent to Italy’s EICMA show.

Having manufacturers, like Erik Buell Racing, debut motorcycles at the show is one sure-fire way of making the AIMExpo a success. It will however be a tough pitch to get European OEMs onboard, which likely will be the ultimate determinant on the show’s continuation. Interesting stuff.

Source: Erik Buell Racing

Comment:

  1. Tyler M. says:

    I really think a 20,000 MSRP would be a big mistake. If he can hit anywhere under 18,000 I think he will hit the target.. or better even. Aprilia is at $14K with the base model RSV4 and Ducati is at $18K with the 1199.. which I feel is the most direct competition..

  2. John M says:

    I agree with Tyler. You get close to BMW HP4 territory anywhere over $20,000. The Aprilia APRC and the S1000RR also get you a pretty incredible electronic package. If this bike is missing multiple levels of traction control, race ABS, etc., then it would be more like a KTM RC8. And the RC8 is an overpriced, underpowered bike that has no electronics package or ABS. It is also a twin, so that is the most direct competitor. And it also under $20K.

  3. paulus says:

    The whole ‘made in America’ point must have a couple of thousand dollars of worth… but after that, it needs to be cost/performance based.

  4. Gonzo says:

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN…

  5. MikeD says:

    $20k . . .OK . . . Nah buddy, no way, go back and try again . . .

    $20k can be “burnt” in a way better way like the others pointed out before.

    Why would they go for a sector that’s pretty dead and dry unless your name is S1000RR HP4 or 1199 Panigale S ?
    For 20k this thing better come with an Italian Umbrella Girl and all kind-o-gizmos like the Panigale 1199S and the HP4.

    What about making bikes that most of us can buy ?

    And they wonder why they FAIL in becoming a stable and full size company . . .

  6. MeatyBeard says:

    Pay more for made in America for a product that’s not as good as made in Italy or Germany? No thank you. I’d rather have made in Italy/Germany if the products were equal anyways, and let’s be realistic, this EBR won’t be on the same level.

  7. smiler says:

    The only man in the US who knows how to make a motorcycle, or at least one that does not perform like one from the 1930′s. Good luck to him.

  8. proudAmerican says:

    Although I applaud Eric for no longer being under the constraining control of H.D., and I believe he will now be allowed to build the performance bikes of which he’s always dreamed (with a new-found fit & finish), I’m with Tyler M on this one. If I’m going to spend anywhere near $20,000 on a sportbike, it’s going to be from a manufacturer that I’m guaranteed will still be around ten years from now.

    In that price range, an Aprilia would be at the top of my list…not an EBR.

  9. Mike Marshall says:

    I’d LOVE to see an American built superbike capable of actually competing, not some 1300cc bike getting waxed by Ducati 748′s in its “own” series. (Anyone else here remember the “Buell Cup”?) Hundreds of millions of H-D’s money gone with little to show for it and now backing by Indian… Say what you want about H-D, they had loads of cash. Indian is treading water. Hardly a positive step. I’m with Proud American. For that kind of cash I want something with a track record… of success.

  10. Variable says:

    Mike…. are you being serious right now or just trolling? Indian (as in the motorcycle company) is not involved with EBR. Hero is funding him….they are Indians…..as in they are from the country of India…..like actual Indians. Wow.

  11. MikeD says:

    @Variable:

    LMAO, +1. I think Marshall got his info all “shuffled”.

  12. augustiron says:

    Much like Tesla was bashed for years for starting their production with an impractical and expensive $100k 2 seater roadster to prove their R&D to a limited market of early adopters with deep pockets, so will Buell sell very few very expensive bikes to those with deep pockets who want something unique and bought to support a local craftsman. Then as their reputation builds, tooling costs will come down, technology will be proven and developed further and like Tesla, he can follow a roadmap to produce MORE bikes at a LOWER price point later (if that IS their roadmap at all)
    Tesla will likely never compete with Honda or Toyota for the mass market econo sedan (and why would they want to) nor will Buell compete with the big 4 for mass market appeal.
    I thank those deep pocketed collectors in Hollywood and elsewhere who will pay Eric to keep the dream alive and take the next step.

  13. john steele says:

    I get the made in America thing ,but why does it have to be a v twin why not a v four? this will never fly