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?

Living Electric: A Series on Living with Electric Motorcycles

02/22/2012 @ 12:52 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

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I wanted to give our readers a heads-up that we have been working on a new article series that will feature electric motorcycles. A space has been maturing at a rapid pace, we have already seen several manufacturers come out with electric motorcycles available for consumers, with several more companies coming closer to market as well.

While early-adopters have been touting the benefits of electrics for some time now, the infancy of this market has many riders remaining on the fence about the gas vs. electric debate. While we here at Asphalt & Rubber believe the future of motorcycling is through electric motorcycles, we wanted to take an in-depth look at this budding sector, and ground some of the debate that has been going on in the industry with some actual experience.

A practical hands-on approach to living with electric motorcycles in a gasoline world, we will be making regular entries to this series over the coming weeks and months as we swing our legs over the various electric motorcycles available for the street and track.

Already the first publication to ride the BRD RedShift SM prototype, A&R has been spending time lately with a 2012 Zero S ZF9 (it really brings the room together). Stay tuned for a review on Zero Motorcycles’ latest street bike, as well as more of our musings about electric motorcycles and the future of internal combustion.

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Photos: © 2011 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Keith says:

    this could be interesting.

  2. How did you get it to your place? Alternate route, or did you stop for a charge on the way?

  3. MikeD says:

    It looks pretty Modern and Contemporary…and im not talking about the bike…but she looks good too.

  4. Marc F says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa… is that really your apartment?

  5. It’s a corner of it Marc. You should come out to the hood sometime.

  6. Eric says:

    Wow, great pad! I’m REALLY looking forward to this series – keep up the good work. We really need a balanced, real-world assessment of what it’s like to live with an electric motorcycle on a day-to-day basis. I’ve been following the developments at BRD, Zero, Brammo, etc., and look forward to getting more information before taking the plunge.

  7. David Emmett says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Living Electric: A Series on Living with Electric Motorcycles

  8. webby says:

    Sigh! The e-crap again.

    Call when, if ever, these contraptions are more than decorations.

  9. wreckah says:

    there’s oil stains from your ducati, jensen :D

    other that that, you did a nice job cleaning the place :)

  10. Tony says:


    When your life looks like an Ikea showroom it’s time to change.
    Please stick to real bikes, riding and racing. Not the pursuit of “fashion” motorcycles and trendy lifestyles.
    Besides, when you stare at your bike it should be from the pits or through the window at the pub, not in the bedroom. ’nuff said.

  11. Damo says:

    @Jensen Beeler

    More importantly: Is that a copy of Settlers of Catan I spy on your book shelf?

    Oh you closet dork! (P.S. I love Catan)

  12. Richard Gozinya says:

    While the e-bike thing is certainly very cool, I just hope the looks improve someday, pretty much all the ones that are actually sold to consumers look like dirt bikes, even when they’re not. Will be nice when some of the custom builders who’ve expressed an interest in them, like Richard Pollack and Roland Sands, get their hands on them. Just seems to me that right now they’re built by people who are more focused on the technology, than with motorcycle design.

  13. Spiffster says:

    Different people have different tastes, wants, and needs. Who would have thought!? Dont like something, move on… no need to drop a steaming pile of pointless, negative comment in your wake before you leave. Anyway, nice pad, nice bike…

  14. Dr. Gellar says:

    Well said Spiffster. Haters get lost…

  15. Ryan says:

    Jensen, I have a feeling that your enthusiasm and open-mindedness will give you the opportunity to be influential in the developing electric bike market. When this happens, could you please do me a favor and drop some hints to the manufacturers that an electric cafe racer would be amazing? It would be “scene” enough for hipsters in the city and stylish enough for traditional ICE bikers. It would also be a good medium between the dirtbike style and the full on rocket. Thanks!
    PS. your pad is sweet.

  16. Damo, yes that’s Settlers of Catan. Trust me, there is nothing covert about my dorkiness.

  17. Damo says:


    Right on. I just got the 6 player expansion myself.

    Back to task. I am nothing but excited about the electric bike market. I have yet to actually “speak” with anyone who has done and extended test with one, so I am eager to see the results of a long term test are like and how it is to “live” with the bike.

    As and aside, has anyone on here used an E-bike in a colder climate? Being a New England resident I am curious how it would perform.

  18. Dr. Gellar says:

    I’m with Ryan, I’d really love to see someone come out with a cafe racer e-bike. I’m thinking something similar to the Hammarhead Volta, but much more like the Continental GT prototype Royal Enfield showed in India recently. Keep the battery pack nice and clean and have it look like it belongs with the rest of the bike, and I believe you’d have a winner.

  19. DWolvin says:

    So very cool! I’m dying to try one of these for my commute (52 miles, 90% freeway), but suspect I’ll either need to fair it like Vetter, or wait for them to get some decent sftermarket. I can dream, right?

    And; anyone who doesn’t get electric has never ridden one. They are that fun.

  20. Dr. Gellar says:

    Another cool idea I think for an e-cafe racer would be something like RSD’s KTM cafe racer that was coverted from a KTM dirt bike. I like that look too.

  21. Ryan says:

    Same electric motorcycle, in a totally different type of pad, this bike fits into all kinds of lifestyles.

  22. Ken says:


    Looking forward to reading your articles. I’m just curious how you got your hands on one so quickly? And with the windshield? Who do you know at the factory that I can talk to ;-)

  23. Shelina93 says:

    Tony, with all due respect, you are crazy. Bikes should go from my pits to my livingroom so I can see them from my bedroom whenever I want… a bike is one of the hottest things you can stare at from your bedroom.

    As for the looks of electric bikes, they are coming along guys. Brammo seems to get it and CRP has a killer sporty looking eBike. is this a sexy enough electric bike for ya?