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.

Harley-Davidson Turns Down $25 Million Tax Credit

11/15/2010 @ 8:56 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Harley Davidson Turns Down $25 Million Tax Credit one dollar art by campbell

Two months ago when Harley-Davidson stuck an ultimatum to its union workers, the company asked for work force concessions while it threatend to move production out of its Tomahawk and Menomonee Falls. Hoping to help sway the vote and keep Harley put, the State of Wisconsin extended Harley-Davidson a $25 million tax incentive to help lure the company into keeping production at its Wisconsin facilities. While the unions eventually caved to Harley-Davidson’s will, the Bar & Shield company announced today that it will not be taking Wisconsin up on its offer for tax breaks.

With Wisconsin’s tax credits tied to Harley-Davidson’s employment levels, capital investments, and purchases from over 100 Wisconsin-based suppliers, Harley-Davidson would only receive the full tax credit if it met all of Wisconsin’s requirements. While the company does not plan to move its production outside of Wisconsin, Harley-Davidson is clearly still hedging its bets on its employment levels inside the state, and its overall long-term strategy with its workers.

The deal that Harley-Davidson brokered with its union workers left an out for the Milwaukee company to still move production outside of Wisconsin, only committing to the fact that if union workers did not agree to the labor concessions, the company would look elsewhere for its production and assembly. During that negotiation, Harley-Davidson made no guarantees that it would keep its Tomahawk and Menomonee Falls facilities open once the deal was done, which effectively meant the unions gained only time, and not security for its workers.

All of this comes just a week after Harley-Davidson announced that it would relocate its final assembly for motorcycles sold in the Indian market, a move which would allow Harley-Davidson to sidestep the country’s burdensome tariffs. Harley-Davidson is clearly now realizing that it cannot support its entire production needs inside of Wisconsin, and if the company is to continue moving forward, it will have remain operationally flexible in the future, something Wisconsin’s tax breaks would not have allowed.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Comment:

  1. Scooter2 says:

    Who cares? I am not interested in Harley Davidson’s outdated & overpriced motorcycles so they can build the dam things where ever they want. Besides, I would not look good in the standard Harley pirate outfit anyway. I am too young and I don’t have any tattoos, beer belly or pony tail.

  2. Hayabrusa says:

    I agree -who cares! Having H-D move production to India, China, etc., only cheaapens the brand, so if they are willing to tarnish their own image, more power to them! I’ll stick with my BMW.

  3. Willie says:

    Whatz a pig apologist gonna do now ?

    To an earlier Ed. post on HD’s future: again, there is no plan other than to play out the Hell’s Angels schtick in whatever market will fall for it.

    The stock is still dead money, below levels of 10 years ago.

    What’s the point of even following this story ? It can’t even generate a rant from posters anymore.

    Got any Triumph news ?

  4. Odie says:

    Oh, imagine what the Harley True Believers are gonna say to $20,000 1950′s tech POS bike made in INDIA. Maybe they should change the name to “Hardly Davidson”.
    What a joke.
    Regardless if EBR actually makes it as a company, Erik will be able to say “Well, at least people respect me”

  5. Odie says:

    Wait, doesn’t HD stand for Hard Drive? Who is this “Harley Davidson”? Isn’t that a clothing company?

  6. R1 owner says:

    Just like Scooter markets and sport-bike markets, the cruiser market will be around forever. The trouble is that the Japanese actually make a “better” bike. Harley has it’s followers and will only be around forever if they run there business right,, which is to say, scale down. They need to break away from the union because American Unions create an unnecessary high cost of doing business. They add an additional 10% operating cost compared to a union-less employee business. Unions helped bankrupt our American car companies. Ocean port unions have exclusively caused out of control shipping charges. Unions are Harley Davidsons biggest problem.

  7. irksome says:

    Yeah, blame the unions for HD’s (and GM, Chrysler, Ford) for being top-heavy companies that are glacier slow at responding to market changes. Blame the HD unions for paying tens of millions for MV and then selling it back (to the same guy they bought it from!) for a dollar. Blame the HD unions for having a product line heavy on models/initials but light on technology development. HD’s unions aren’t blameless but the problem lies in the board of directors, not the shop floor. Maybe they should hire the MV guy (instead of the blue jean guy). HE knows how to make a buck! … Oh and Willie (above); Triumph is STILL turning a profit and still getting MY business.

  8. Tom says:

    People who blame the unions are simply ignorant about the reality of doing business against the Western World. Japan has unions that are more powerful than any in the US as does Germany and Italy. yet, motorcycle (and car) manufacturers from these countries can make cars at a profit despite having powerful unions and higher taxes. How can this be? A major reason is health care costs. Yes conservatives, if you really want to help American business, you’d support universal healthcare. But, conservatives value their political ideology over what actually just works to help you win. They’d rather engage in an argument in order to feel righteous than do what works to outcompete foreign competitors.

  9. Willie says:

    Guess I was premature on the “can’t even generate a rant” thing.

    And Irksome, I LIKE Triumphs too. Even owned a few. Will probably try the Tiger 800.

    I’m an old guy (just got my 1st social security deposit) but I’ve long accepted that “tradition” can’t compete with
    new and improved in motomarketing. The seminal change in motorcycling may well have been initiated by the British bikes of half a century ago.

    The lesson to take from HD is age old: adapt or die. RIP HD. It was fun. At least back then.

  10. 76 says:

    Blame? if you want to place it look to the bloated bureaucracy that the United States business model has become. Once they were a success, then they where a bankable because of namesake, then the namesake alone would not do as others passed. Then they made things cheaper, then nobody wanted their POS. What is incredible is most of these companies have the best talent money can buy. Then the take that talent and say, your wrong, it does not match the previous business plan, or the last focus group they conducted, or simply the fact the VP’s kid dosent like red so in turn all of gen Y dosent like red. We spend more time figuring out how to make the work place equal & fair than we do focusing on the product…

    You know how many training classes I have had on ethics, culture, harassment, saftey in 2 years….
    5
    You know how many classes I have had focused on making what I do actually better?
    0

    You figure it out, unions are just an easy scapegoat, sure, not blameless but nothing close to the Lawyers and never ending wisdom guiding these companies with leaders made of straw and egos that can sink a ship.

  11. Jim says:

    It’s difficult see a business scenario in which HD remains an independent company short of the company becoming a rich man’s bauble in the manner of professional sports teams. The demographics of the HD buyer, the lack of investment in new product to broaden the base, the reality of the demographic challenges facing the entire MC industry in an economic environment that isn’t going to be robust soon, are all against it.

    Five years from HD will be a subsidiary of some corporate roll-up focusing on life-style brands, think of it as a modern AMF if you will. It will creak on making a small profit but the swagger will definitely be gone.

  12. Scooter says:

    Harley markets there crap to the 50′s and 60′s bikers who like to buy into the “lifestyle”. These people do not care about technology or they would not be riding an outdated motorcycle. They care more for the leather chaps, do-rags, and other Harley “stuff”. They like to “feel bad ass” by riding around making a lot of noise and looking tough in there Harley Village People outfits. If there was a nation wide helmet law and a nation wide noise ordinance then Harley would be out of business. Most of the Harley riders only buy the bike because they think it sounds cool with out a muffler. Maybe Harley can get the people in India to like pirate outfits too!!!!!!

  13. Rg says:

    R1 cracks me up with the sameole conservarant, so predictable.
    its always the guys that work the tools earning $30 an hour dragging a company down, never the upper management types paying themselves $5,000 an hour.
    whats your real name R1, Keith Wandell?
    lol

  14. Willie says:

    Who did the Money Skull graphic ?

  15. Westward says:

    Harley Davidson, ride American – made in India… LoL

    Blaming the unions for fighting for the the value of an american worker is down right evil in my opinion. Sure they can go to India and take advantage of their people. but then too they have some sort of universal healthcare.

    Maybe if we weren’t the only industrialised nation without it, the unions wouldn’t always have to fight for it with employers. Then the only battles would be working conditions, vacations, and termination disputes…

    BTW – Im not nor have ever been in a Union, its just my impressions as an outsider. Plus I don’t ride a Harley anyways, so like the others on here, I really don’t care…