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?

Happy 30th Birthday to the Kawasaki Ninja

02/12/2014 @ 12:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Happy 30th Birthday to the Kawasaki Ninja kawasaki ninja 30 years

The Kawasaki Ninja line began life with the Kawasaki GPZ900R (the Ninja 900 to its friends) in 1984. Now 30 years later, Kawasaki is celebrating three decades of Ninja motorcycles, a model name that has become synonymous with the sport bike segment.

While the Ninja 900 began as Maverick’s daily ride in the movie Top Gun, the model sparked what would later become the superbike wars amongst the Japanese manufacturers.

The Ninja name has grown in time to become the Ninja ZX-10R superbike, refined itself to become the Ninja ZX-14R sport-tourer, and also grown into the small-displacement offerings of the Ninja 250R and Ninja 300, with many models in between.

A Ninja also just recently won the World Superbike Championship – not bad for a Gen-Xer. So we bid Happy Birthday to the Ninja, and hope for another 30 years of awesome green bikes with the Ninja name emblazoned upon them. Got a story about your Ninja? Leave it in the comments.

Source: Kawasaki


  1. Ian John says:

    i have to say, and i was only in a conversation on this not so long ago; the two Ninjas i have had in the past were somewhat epic in a way. The other bikes held great motorcycling moments, but there is a twinkle in my Ninja history that is significant on thrill and reliability.
    Happy Birthday Ninja……..whats our big up and coming surprise????????
    Editors note;
    92 CBR 250
    99 ZX-6
    05 CBR 1000
    08 ZX-10
    12 S1kRR

  2. Jan says:

    Still riding one of those supersport icons; a 2001 Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R!
    Done a lot of Kilometers throug Europe on that green machine. Heavy but stable, bit older but a timeless design!
    And no technical issues – at all!
    Dreamed of this bike when I was a kid. Sometimes I feel like buying a new one but man, I love this iconic bike!

  3. Manny varela says:

    I ride an 06 zx6r.
    And overall its just the perfect bike
    For my needs. Has been very reliable,fast
    Enough for me, and always admired ninjas
    Since i was a kid.
    Maybe in the not so distant future
    I will upgrade to a zx10.
    But for now
    This 636 is siiiick!
    And worthy of the street.

  4. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    as a longtime fan of the bike I bought a green 636 Ninja last year. All Ninja’s should be lime green. Fast little bugger. Thoroughly modern too.

    Happy Birthday Ninja!

  5. keiths04 says:

    09′ zx6r purchased in 2010 (first bike)
    mileage 54000ish

    Lets just say as soon as i was able to get a license and my first bike, zx6r, ive been hooked and somewhat addicted to motorcycling especially the world of sportbikes. As a newb i thought i could handle a 600 class sportbike as my first but if i could do it again i would have maybe started with a smaller bike. But i didnt so yes ive loved every minute with my zx6r. 54,000 mi and around 6 crashes later on the same bike, youll learning a few things about motorcycling. I cant believe it took me so long to get on two wheels but better late than never. while my friends were learning wheelies i would talk about lean angles, body positioning, throttle inputs, etc. things which these bikes are made to do. Thats what i love about this sport/lifestyle, the never ending learning process. Always learning, evolving, perfecting your craft. I just hope i can keep doing it for many more years. Ride safe guys.

  6. scott says:

    I still own my 1985 red/black zx900A2 Ninja – I purchased the new bike in April of 1985 – (Yes I’m old…. thanks! )over 45k in real street miles on the clocks and I have managed to keep it looking new. The bike is a time capsule of the hop ups that were out through the ’80′s – Super trap slip ons with 10 plates / euro spec lower clip ons / Lockhart Lowers for better cooling, Ninja 1000 Carbs, etc…
    It’s not a daily rider any more…. parts are too scarce, but I do get it out for an occasional Sunday sport ride and take it to the bike nights and events – try to log at least 500-1000 miles a year on it…. had it parked up at the Kawasaki tent at Americade last year … it was displayed there at the 10th and 20th anniversaries as well.
    Still a fast competent sport bike, bullet proof build and on real roads it can still easily stay with or run away from newer models…. and yeah, an open straight or a fast track…. the new ones are now so much better everywhere – but a street ride through the mountains 75+ top speeds… still has everything it needs to light up a smile that can’t be slapped from your face! And the looks of surprise on the peoples faces that they were loosing ground to a 29 year old bike….Still my favorite sport bike… out of all the others I have owned over the last 30 years, and those include some great machines….. I plan to be buried on my Ninja!

    Had a 1990 ZX7 as well…. that honestly I wish I had not sold…. kind of fat, but for it’s time it was a blast to ride!! And holy crap Green…… the only color the 7 should have ever been!

    My son now carries on the Ninja tradition owning both a new ZX6 – and a Ninja 650R track bike…… the 900 Ninja being his earliest memories of growing up around motorcycles and the first bike he ever got a ride on.

  7. Don says:

    Ive had my Ninja 2011 250R for 3 yrs now with 26,500 miles on it.. (from work)
    never had a problem. very reliable and I usually get around 65 MPG..
    great bike.
    Happy bday Ninja..!

  8. froryde says:

    Surprised they haven’t announced any anniversary special edition(s) yet. My brother had an AR80 when he was in college and everyone on campus called him/it the Little Ninja ;)

  9. Kaw4Life says:

    Bring back the Z1R !!!!!


  10. H.L. says:

    09 ZX-6R (Black)

    One of my dreams/goals finally came true when I bought my ninja after working so hard and often times two jobs. I was a little youngblood when I first laid eyes on green ninjas owned by the older guys around the neighborhood. I fell in love instantly. I knew in my heart that I could ride a 600 as my first bike. I studied riding techniques, read books, mentally rode to work downshifting and upshifting in my mind as I drove to work (funny), watched MotoGP, AMA etc.. My Ninja has been nimble enough to get me out of several potential accidents and I have been accident free so far (Thank you Jesus). I can honestly say it has helped me with depression from losing my grandmother and my good friend and co-worker just two months apart. God and my Ninja are my weapons against the trials and tribulations that life brings.

  11. Saffron says:

    Happy with a yammie but will one day join the ninja family