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.

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?

Report: Massimo Bordi Out at MV Agusta

06/24/2013 @ 2:08 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Report: Massimo Bordi Out at MV Agusta Massimo Bordi Giovanni Castiglioni MV Agusta 635x423

Cycle World is reporting that Massimo Bordi has  retired from his post as CEO of MV Agusta, as his contract has not been extended by the Italian motorcycle maker. If you recall, Bordi was brought into MV Agusta by the late Claudio Castiglioni, after the Castiglioni family bought MV Agusta from Harley-Davidson.

Making his son Giovanni Castiglioni President of the company, and Bordi the CEO of MV Agusta, many saw Claudio Castiglioni’s choices in management appointments as a way to help ensure that there was a steady hand was on the wheel as the young Giovanni learned the ropes of his father’s business.

So, for many involved with the company in Italy, Bordi’s departure is perhaps less of a surprise than it is a natural and expected evolution at MV Agusta. For many outside of Italy, who are not caught up in the romanticism of the brand, the news could require a bit more than a casual glance though.

In many ways, MV Agusta is operating on the final bullet points of Harley Davidson’s game plan for the Italian brand. With product development cycles taking years to come to fruition, much of what we have seen from MV in the past few years was pitched during the company’s ownership by the goof folk in Milwaukee — most notably the MV Agusta F3 675, MV Agusta Brutale 675, and MV Agusta Rivale 800 owe their existence to Harley-Davidson.

Modernizing its operations, and clearing its debt, Harley-Davison is immensely responsible for the current state of MV Agusta, though the American company is reaping few of those rewards (we would still argue that the Harely’s circling the wagons around its core brand was the correct business move at the time).

With the plans set in motion by Harley-Davidson’s now reaching their realization, the next chapter of MV Agusta will come from its current leaders. Bordi’s influence will certainly be there, and their is a wealth of experience that comes from the former Ducati CEO. However, we think the coming years will surely be marked as Giovanni’s reign at MV Agusta.

Now officially in charge, it will be interesting to see what the 33-year-old CEO does with the iconic motorcycle brand.

Source: Cycle World

Comment:

  1. after having seen that natgeo megafactories episode of mv, i really want to see these guys do well. i also really want a brutale or f3 as a next bike. even though the triumph equivalents are without a shadow of a doubt, “better.”

  2. Matt M says:

    Triumph being without” a shadow of a doubt” better is quite a statement. I think most who owned either or both of these brands would disagree with you. The attention to detail, fit and finish of the MV Agusta are at a level triumph only can dream about. Not to mention the MV Brutale 1090RR would piss all over the Speed Triple. Im not saying the triumph is crap, just not on the same level of MV Agusta.

  3. CTK says:

    Everyone knows MV Agustas are beautiful, but everyone knows they have shitty fueling. Lol @ spending $3-4K more on an MV and then having to spend another $500-1000 to fix the fuelling. Subjectively it’s up to taste but objectively Triumph wins. It’s not like the Triumphs are ugly anywa.

  4. Wil says:

    @CTK:

    I beg to differ on the fueling. My F3 has been flawless, even on a recent 1800 mile road trip covering town, freeways, twisties and high speed sweepers.

    I hear that some of the first batch of F3s had issues, but that’s been fixed with ECU map updates.

    Now the quality of the seat foam… now there’s something that needs a little work. ;)

  5. smiler says:

    Dear Matt M. Anyone who has owned an MV will know their attention to build detail is hopeless (flaking wheel paint, bits falling off, side stand breaking), until recently there were serious issued with their fueling (plain dangerous at @2,500 – 4,000), parts were difficult to get hold of (3months) and they were very over priced (my 312 -30% of list price with one free service and a very nice race fairing). Suspension set up was a nightmare (scaffolding front forks, much too stiff for anything other than track use)
    But when it was good it was great and other than the 916, best looking bike out there.

    As for the Brutale / Speed Triple comparison, the triumph weighs less, makes fewer horses but more torque.
    Triumph sell well over 50K bikes per annum. The Speed Triple out sells the Brutale by a factor of 10:1.

    Having said all of that, the future for MV looks much better than a few years. Ago. The new bikes are achingly gorgeous, there are more of them to choose from as well as some clever step ups like the 800 F3. So I really hope they do well. And if you compare them with offerings from Japan, no contest.

  6. Matt M says:

    The snatchy throttle or fueling issues really have not been an issue in several years. Since 2010 on I believe the Brutale’s to respond much better. I can only speak for the model I actually have right now. And comparing the number of motorcycles built by both companies is ridiculous. Of course triumph can sell more bikes, they are a much larger company. Comparing two similar sized manufacturers would seem to make more sense .

  7. Damo says:

    “MV Agusta are at a level triumph only can dream about”

    Kind of like how Triumph have a dealer support network on MV can dream about.

    I live in the grim reaches of Northeast America and I will never buy an MV as long as their dealer network, service intervals and poor cost/return on their products exist.

    Ducati have come light years away from being finicky machines, hopefully MV can do the same.

  8. Ranger Jay says:

    My Daytona 675 came from the factory as perfect a piece of machinery as I have ever seen. I don’t see anywhere that its “fit and finish” is somehow in need of improvement. It looks fantastic, rides great, and I have my dealer nearby where I can depend on fast and reliable service. This is my second Triumph, and it has presented no problems whatsoever. I rode into work on it this morning, and it is absolutely gleaming in the sun as I look at it sitting in the parking lot next to a rather plain looking Honda CBR1000 (which also rides great, according to the owner).

    Triumph builds great motorcycles. And I don’t have to knock MV Agusta to say that, either.

  9. Kevin says:

    Agree with Damo 100%. Would love an MV but no way to get it serviced. My money will go to either a BMW, Ducati or KTM. All within 50 miles of my house. Which to pick? Tough question!