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.

Indian Produces First Motorcycle Under Polaris Ownership

08/31/2011 @ 3:23 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Indian Produces First Motorcycle Under Polaris Ownership Polaris Indian Chief 1 635x476

Indian Motorcycle has released some photos of the first 2012 Indian Chief to roll out of the company’s Spirit Lake, Iowa plant — the first motorcycle to be produced by the oldest American motorcycle company since its acquisition by Polaris. Nicknamed the “Polaris-Indian Bike #1,” the new Chief is not terribly different from the 2011 Indian Chiefs built under the old regieme, but it does symbolize the next chapter in the iconic company’s history.

With an all-new Indian model is expected to debut next year, tagged as a 2013 model year bike, Indian is said to be leveraging some of the design and technology prowess that Polaris has learned through its Victory brand. Polaris’s next big challenge with Indian will be in how it will sets apart its two cruiser-style brands. According to investor reports, the company seems to have taken our advice and is positioning the Indian brand to go head-to-head with Harley-Davidson, while the Victory line pushes the envelope on what a modern-day cruiser can be for riders.

Source: Indian Motorcycle (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. irksome says:

    As I own a Triumph and lust for the new Norton, I’m all for the restoration of iconic brands but really, does the world need another weighty air-cooled V-Twin?

    Here’s hoping that the next generation of Indians will move into this century. Inline four, anyone? The longitudinal kind!

  2. The weighty v-twin market is the largest market segment in the US.

  3. Ades says:

    I believe they will sell very well now that they have a strong backer and the right target market. When you buy a Harley, you buy an aggressive image (no matter how much HD Marketing tries to change that), and people who are put off by that have been looking to Triumph and the Japanese Cruisers. Being that the Indian Brand is where HD first stole their design format from, buying an Indian is inherently cooler and much more appealing just due to the fact that they are the “True Original”.

    If I had my choice between buying and Indian, Harley or Victory, I would buy the Indian no question. Followed easily by the Victory (Stunning motorcycles and MODERN).

    I suspect there are many other potential buyers out there who will agree, with their cash at the Indian dealer.

  4. MikeD says:

    Great, great…thats all fine and dandy, heritage and W/E…now build something that a YOUNG guy like me could be interested into and doesn’t have to take an equity loan on the house to be able to afford it.

  5. irksome says:

    Only because it’s essentially the only design available in a cruiser. If I was inclined towards riding a Lazy Boy (the day is getting closer; I’m 53), the only bike I’d consider would be the 1700cc T-Bird, a parallel Twin.

  6. MikeD says:

    Yup, that ThunderBird Storm(comes 1700cc standard unlike regular ThunderBird[1600]) looks better and better by the day…Fugly Rad Plastic Shroud and all…lol.

  7. jeram says:

    these guys really need to build a burt munroe replica for promotional purposes…

  8. tom g says:

    If the use of the Indian name helps Polaris sell more american made motorcycles and creates more jobs then i wish them well. I just wish we could make something other than cruisers.Triumph has a well rounded product line and seems to be holding on to their heritage just fine. They also seem to be selling a lot of bikes in America that aren’t all cruisers.

  9. John says:

    As a brand, Indian has a long, long way to go. At this point, the bikes are powered by a Harley Evo derived powerplant that is not counterbalanced and is solid mounted in the frame. Out of date even by cruiser standards and no vibration isolation whatsoever. None of the current model line up is competetive with Harley’s current offerings in fit, finish and overall quality, not to mention driveability. Polaris has its work cut out for it with a total makeover required to meet market standards.

    All that pontificating being out of the way, perhaps a return to Indian’s more sporting roots might be a better idea along with a longitudinal 4 as mentioned above. Be DIFFERENT when resurecting the brand (again) and perhaps sales will follow.

  10. BikePilot says:

    I’m all for a return to the brand’s sporting roots, but umm, I4s are iky.

  11. wayne says:

    Now I’m not one of those highly educated market analysts, but maybe there’s a reason this brand keeps going down? I would like to say something positive here, but I can’t foresee this doing anything but ending in tears for all involved. Motus, on the other hand, is on to something good, I think.

  12. Jeram says:

    I dont think people understand…

    Victory is polaris’s modern cruiser brand with all the latest developments and gadgets that your expect on a refined modern cruiser.

    the Indian is at the other end of the spectrum, it is meant to be about herritage and vintage…

    this way polaris can take on harley davidson from both angles…

  13. Tom says:

    There is an old saying about insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I expect the same here. Ot the critics of the critics, we aren’t saying Indian needs to make a GSX-R1000 competitor, but Indian, to be a genuine and viable company, needs to be more than a parts-bin rip off of a Harley clone. Eller was set to make Indian epic and the judge who gave the IP rights to Gilroy damned the brand to a decade of virtual non-existence.

    Jensen, you mention that the US is the world’s largest V-Twin market and this is true. However, Honda is still a pretty large motorcycle company without any domination of the V-Twin USA market. Indian cannot afford to think so provincially.

  14. MikeD says:

    +1…@Tom.

  15. Tom I don’t think Polaris’s strategy is really the same as Honda. The Honda brand makes a bike in virtually every segment. Polaris seems to want to hold a single brand in each segment, and here is making a distinction between the heritage cruiser (Indian) and new age cruiser (Victory).

    What I think people are overlooking is the fact that Harley-Davidson is currently holding the keys to a very large group of riders. That’s a lucrative opportunity, and as far as brands go, only Indian could rival the Bar & Shield on American motorcycle heritage.

    For those that want to see Indian a performance brand, you’re blowing in the breeze. You’d be better off putting pressure on Polaris to buy Erik Buell Racing.

  16. Tom says:

    Polaris doesn’t just seem to want to, they have to. They have no choice but to be provincial. Honda can lose the US market entirely and though a very serious blow, Honda would survive. Polaris only has the USA market and its not as large or powerful as it once was.

    Erik Buell is a god only to the fan boys. His name carries no cache around the world and he’ll be about as influential in the motorcycle world as SSC is in the super car world – a lot of talk and an overprice prototype but not much else. And, I think that you are way over valuing Harley and its riders as though they are a growing market. No company lusts after Harley’s market, oh Harley’s sales numbers, but not their clientele. Harley is to bikes what Buick is to cars. Sure, they sell a lot but their market is not expanding (except for Buick in China, but that’s a different story…)

    I also think that you think that those calling for Indian to have some performance expect Indian to make nothing but a “rice rocket”. Again, this is not a market blowing up with potential. What those of us saying Indian needs to be more than a one trick Harley knock off clone are saying is that Polaris needs to diversify Indian beyond the old man needing an object to feel validated in order to attract more customers. Cadillac offers the perfect example on what Indian needs to do. Cadillac in the past 10 years has offered something for everyone – two-door coupe, SUV, wagon, sport wagon, sedan, sport sedan, and a little-blue-haired-old-lady land barge. Indian doesn’t need to enter MotoGP, but something like a Suzuki SV650/Ducati Monster would not be a bad start. Even MV Agusta realized that over priced poseurmobiles are not enough to stay afloat. Indian can do the same without in any way damaging the brand. In fact, maintaining the status quo is more damaging to the brand than what Eller had proposed.