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.

Lane Splitting Bill Proposed in Arizona

03/22/2010 @ 11:44 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Lane Splitting Bill Proposed in Arizona Bay Bridge Lane split motorcycle 635x423

Arizona is considering a bill that would allow Arizonian motorcyclists to lane-split when traffic is stopped. The proposed bill should make motorcyclists happy and help relieve some traffic congestion; however all is not well in the Grand Canyon State. After the proposal of bill HB 2475, the local ABC affiliate went to the streets to ask citizens what they thought of the proposal, and the reaction they got was not a positive one.

Motorcyclists here in California have been enjoying the privilege of lane-splitting for some time now, a fact that seems to be escaping many anti-lane splitting advocates who view lane splitting as an unfeasible and unsafe hypothesis. As such, Arizona seems to be just another state that is meeting the concept with strong resistance and pre-conceived notions.

It’s unclear how popular HB 2475 is in the Arizonian legislature, but if the proposal should go through, it would see a one year test of the law occur in Maricopa County (Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, etc) during the 2011 calendar year. Presumably if the test was successful (we’re not sure what would define success in this matter), it would then be expanded to encompass the entire state in 2012.

Source: Motorcycles.About.com; Photo: omniNate/ Creative Commons – Attribution 2.0 Generic

Comment:

  1. I only hope this passes. For the sanity of Arizona motorcyclists. I have ridden on California roads most of my life, where lane sharing is not illegal. Most of that time owning only a motorcycle and no car at all. Non-riders are quick to claim how unsafe it is to do it, but they are also the ones who say motorcycling at all is unsafe (while texting). It is very safe, more efficient for traffic congestion, and better for the environment & roads.

  2. Keith says:

    The argument by those opposed to Lane-Sharing is pretty ridiculous and includes things like “What if some stops quickly in front of them?” (you mean while the car is switching lanes?!?), or “What if someone opens there door?” (who the hell opens their door while driving down the road?)

    for the most part it’s just people who are easily frightened by passing vehicles or simply don’t like being passed while stuck in traffic.

  3. Deez Toolz says:

    Having spent a good deal of time in Phoenix, and having to pass through the hot city to get to the new Inde Motor Speedway (which just had it’s first trackday) I’ve noticed that Phoenix freeways have two important characteristics;
    1) Speed limits around 55mph, that people adhere to.
    2) No helmet laws.
    The first point bodes in favor of less-risky conditions for lane-splitters. The second, maybe not so much.
    Either way, with summer heat being what it is, let them split. I’d be anxious to get to the wonderful A/C of the closest CycleGear as well!

  4. Bzzr says:

    I’m not opposed to lane splitting, but I’m not sure what a speed limit adds to or takes away from the risk…the article states that “Arizona is considering a bill that would allow Arizonian motorcyclists to lane-split when traffic is stopped.”

  5. Kelly Rogers says:

    RT @skadamo RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Lane-Splitting Bill Proposed in Arizona – http://bit.ly/99MMhG #motorcycle

  6. MTGR says:

    Cage drivers are never happy with lane splitting because they feel cheated when they are stuck and you are not. If they were smart enough to look at the bigger picture they would realize that if you don’t lane split then you add to the traffic delays just like as another car does, so by splitting lanes you are saving yourself time, but you are saving them some time as well.

    Bikers put up with a lot of crap cagers don’t – weather, invisibility syndrome, limited passenger and goods capacity, increased risks, increased police scrutiny, outrageous insurance premiums. The least we can do is benefit in traffic, espeically when it actually reduces delays for other drivers too.

    Having lived in CA and split lanes for several years I found it was a huge plus and, if done correctly, not any more dangerous than being stuck in traffic and not splitting lanes is. I was reluctant to try it at first, but found it less stressful and actually had less ‘close calls’ splitting lanes than than I did sitting stuck in traffic on an unprotected bike between angry and impatient enclosed vehicles many times my size and weight.

  7. CBR600RR 09 says:

    Coming from Australia where Lane Splitting is Illegal full stop I would support that Bill!

    The only time I lane split is when all the vehicles are stationary thus reducing risk severly.

    Only idiots get hurt lane splitting, I mean seriously what are they doing…splitting two cars on a corner? Speeding? not watching for cars changing lanes?

  8. Lane-Splitting Bill Proposed in Arizona – http://bit.ly/99MMhG #motorcycle

  9. Shaun says:

    In my state in Australia it is not illegal. done with consideration – being able to make progress rather than push in front a few cars ahead – it works fine.

    I do it daily and a few people don’t like it but lots make extra room – I try not to fight or scare anyone and some gain is good but not at any risk.

    Remember it is illegal to threaten someone with a vehicle. And it is stupid to take too many risks.

  10. Silvercbr says:

    I have been riding here in Iowa for 16 years and I about took out a lane splitter in San Fran this summer. I understand in congested areas where traffic jams are common but this Ass Clown was lane splitting on a curve and we were all driving 60mph. I went to change lanes and he was about a half second away from eating my bumper.

    It needs to be written in the laws that if you (the rider) hits another car while lane splitting then you (the rider) is at fault. It should be no different then passing a car on an open highway because if you hit the car then you are at fault. All liability should be placed on the rider and not the driver of the car (unless in extreme cases where the driver of the car is an ass).

  11. Keith says:

    @Silvercbr what you’re describing would’ve been the riders fault if the accident happened. it’s called “reckless driving”

    what you’re requesting is a blanket clause saying that cars can say they took out a rider because they were lane-splitting regardless of speed or carelessness of who is actually at fault (this would include low-speed accidents & caging)

    if you note in the above article – it states that it would only be allowed in stopped, which by your description of the incident, if it occurred in Arizona would be deemed the riders fault.

  12. fasterfaster says:

    I spent 3 years commuting by motorcycle 45 miles each way in the San Francisco Bay Area. On days with heavy traffic (at least half), I lane split carefully and considerately. I never even had a close call, let alone an accident. The stats in California support my experience and support legalizing lane splitting throughout the US. It’s good for traffic, the environment and riders.

  13. Dejan says:

    I lived in Cali and now AZ, I lane split in Cali when IT IS SAFE TO DO SO, other then that I stay stationary if I dont have enough room. Here in AZ its 120+ during summer and I have to wait with the cars while everyone is enjoying their AC. So I cant wait for this to pass. People complain that its Dangerous, well what isnt. And I keep on hearing that California drivers are used to it, ok, so in time Arizona drivers will get used to it ,over time. This will save lives because we dont have to worry about motorcycle riders passing out on the freeways and streets because of heat strokes.

  14. DWolvin says:

    To those concerned about the ‘less cautious’ riders making it look unsafe, the law just states that the lane sharing must be done in a reasonable and prudent manner. So, the 60+mph knuckleheads are violating that and a few other laws, on top of making us all look bad. On the other hand, I do 50+ miles roundtrip through San Diego traffic, and can not imagine not sharing lanes one or twice a week… It rocks!

  15. AZRIDER says:

    I think the anti-lane splitting advocates should have their air conditioning taken away when they are stuck in rush hour on a 115 degree day.

  16. Let’s say, we’ll all wear helmets, and in exchange for that concession, we’ll get to lane split.

    Motorcyclists, and the industry as a whole, have done a $#!+ job of explaining this simple fact: while when lane splitting we get where we’re going a lot faster, by staying out of the traffic column and thus by _not_ contributing to the “accordion effect” we actually allow everyone else to get where they’re going a little faster, too.

    Individual motorcyclists need to learn that it’s possible to lane-split safely and without freaking out car drivers, at about 95% of the speed you’d travel when lane-splitting like a brain-dead, selfish ass. We’d all better give up that 5% to keep the 95%, because while AZ may be considering it, I can guarantee you that if California put it to a ballot measure, it would be voted down in a heartbeat. Most car drivers resent it.

  17. u2metoo says:

    Bummer, it looks like Gov. Brewer vetoed the bill.