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?

MIC Leaks Harley-Davidson’s Q1 Sales Figures

04/24/2012 @ 5:29 pm, by Jensen Beeler26 COMMENTS

MIC Leaks Harley Davidsons Q1 Sales Figures harley davidson ad

For a while now I have been trying to figure out what exactly the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) does, because while the MIC “exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations…” the industry group does a pretty poor job of doing much of anything along the lines of its mission statement, if it does anything really at all. Showing signs of life though, the MIC is making headlines today after it disclosed Harley-Davidson’s Q1 2012 earnings, ahead of the publicly-traded company’s shareholder meeting. Nice.

The move caused a bit of a shuffle over in Milwaukee, as the Bar & Shield brand had to make an emergency filing with the SEC that it had in fact found a 25.5% sales gain in the first three months of the year (bravo to Harley, by the way). For those that aren’t as a familiar with the MIC, the nonprofit group is essentially comprised of representatives from the various motorcycle OEMs, aftermarket, and other industry businesses, and is the corporatation-focused counterpart to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), which supposedly has the best interests of motorcyclist at its heart.

“The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.”

You should note the interesting progression in that statement, where the MIC claims that since its has the best interests of motorcycling’s corporate entities at heart, it therefore serves motorcyclists as well — I don’t even have the strength to address the colossal conflict of interest between those two parties, nor do we need to get into how the MIC fails to serve motorcyclists…not that the AMA really does either. Moving along, while the MIC was preserving and protecting whatever interests it actually does serve in its day-to-day tasks, Harley-Davidson dropped the following note off with the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC):

“On April 20, 2012, the Motorcycle Industry Council released to its members certain information regarding the motorcycle industry in the United States, including Harley-Davidson, Inc. (the “Company”), subject to terms of applicable restricted use agreements. The Company learned that one of the members of the Motorcycle Industry Council, in apparent violation of those terms, disclosed information in a research update, presumably based on the contents of the Motorcycle Industry Council report. While the Company will not confirm the contents of the research report, the Company is confirming that U.S. retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles by independent dealers were up 25.5% for the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011. The Company must rely on information that its dealers supply concerning retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and this information is subject to revision.”

With the US motorcycle market up 6.7% in the Q1 of this year, Harley’s 25.5% increase is looking exceptionally strong — especially since it accounts for the lion’s share of that growth. In other news, be sure to check out the MIC’s latest campaign, where dealerships can download animated e-cards to help promote…oh hell, who am I kidding?

Source: Harley-Davidson


  1. anonymous says:

    The MIC is a “not-for-profit” trade organization not a non-profit as in a charity. The MIC is the MSF, same leadership, same offices, and such. The MSF is also a not-for-profit trade organization. Both of these have as there number 1 priority “motorcycle sales” not motorcyclists or safety.

  2. Richard Gozinya says:

    Sounds like the MIC pulled a serious dick move on Harley. As for their function, from what I’ve been able to find, they’re more interested in keeping OHV areas accessible, as well as some talk about starting their own race series, to compete with the AMA’s.

    Oh, and as for that ad, I was in Yuma visiting family this weekend, unknowingly stumbling into the Yuma Prison Run, something I didn’t even know existed until this weekend, and I’ve been visiting family in that town my whole life (Over 35 years now). Anyways, not one of those guys looked anything like the biker in the ad. They all looked like accountants, dentists and telemarketers. Oh well, at least the Snowbirds weren’t there.

  3. Richard Gozinya says:

    @ anonymous

    So basically the same thing as the AMA.

  4. Since we’re talking semantics, “not-for-profit” refers to an act, while “nonprofit” refers to a group, though the two terms are virtually interchangeable. There is no legal distinction made between trade organizations and charities, as far as earnings-related terminology is concerned.

  5. 76 says:

    MIC is a bunch of mooch nothings that feed scared executives and managers numbers to make them feel better about themselves and the decisions they make. Basically telling companies what’s selling and what’s not from their competitor’s lineup, that’s it. In all it gives OEM’s a false crutch to pretend they have their finger on the pulse and continue to follow the lowest common denominator.

  6. Tom says:

    So the Harley ad is directed toward pedophiles. Great marketing idea – Pedo Pirates Unite!

  7. lawrence1 says:

    Tom is right, thats weird.

  8. David Emmett says:

    Harley up, Ducati up, Triumph up. Some brands booming. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: MIC Leaks Harley-Davidson's Q1 Sales Report

  9. JJ says:

    What a great line!!!

    Why not –
    I’d never let my wife ride on the back.
    At least not till she hits puberty.

    Is Harley hiring a marketing person? I can write crazy shit!!!

  10. Patron says:

    That ad pictured is what Harley feels is the sophistication level of their customers.

  11. 76 says:

    Gary Glitter would ride a Harley, why wouldnt you?

  12. s2upid says:

    harley riders are a bunch of pedofiles lmfao.

  13. Singletrack says:

    Re: the ad above.
    Don’t bother explaining it to me. I wouldn’t understand.

  14. Steve Lang says:

    What a piece of crap Advertisement. Lets buy a Harley and play dress up with our black assless chaps and pretend we’re ‘Billy Bad Ass”. Give me a brake. These must be the guys that got their ass’s kicked a lot back in high school. I know…you be Dennis Hopper and I’ll be Marlon Brando. What a bunch of clowns.

  15. JW says:

    Harley Davidson Cigaretts
    Harley Davidson tools (made in china)
    Harley Davidson beer
    Harley Davidson sound sued over by
    Harley Davidson molesters
    Harley Davidson clocks made in china sold at Sears
    Harley Davidson Insurance that is brokered thru other real companies
    Harley Davidson helmets that are not safe
    Harley Davidson cloths that are made by slave labor
    Harley Davidson bicycles
    Harley Davidson Toys
    Harley Davidson dog clothing
    Harley Davidson not 100% made in the USA (big fat no no …. dumbfounded dip sh_ts)
    Harley Davidson has focus so much on the brand that they forgot about the product (what product)
    Harley Davidson Augusta debackle O and Buell
    Harley Davidson can only be clever so long, most riders laugh at this once respected company
    Harley Davidson pompous service departments hosing customers
    Harley Davidson tats people are sick of looking at
    Harley Davidson window decals on f150 harley editions trucks that look at home at a nascar race
    Harley Davidson who cannot compete in dirt track the way they once did
    Harley Davidson forcing dealers to only sell HD bikes in stand alone stores only – or else….
    my head hurts now

  16. JW says:

    my head hurts now and I cannot find my Harley Davidson asprin

  17. RGR says:

    Please tell me this isn’t true and that HD isn’t selling more bikes. That just means longer leather trains parking it in the twisties and then the gaywads getting all butt-hurt when real bikes have to pass 30 of them at a time. Say it ain’t so!

  18. Ry_Trapp0 says:

    love this site. so when H-D sales are down, we’ll all talk about how their product is shit, how they aren’t diversified, how they’ll never connect to the younger generation, and how death is eminent.
    but when H-D sales are up, we’ll just talk about the picture posed at the top of the page.

    @jensen – what do you think of H-Ds new ad campaign(s)? i think the ‘no cages’ campaign is pretty good, but the ‘anti-stereotype’ ads are where it’s at. great campaign and great move by H-D(or their marketing agency rather) to downplay their own image and try to get people into showrooms.

  19. Damo says:


    All Harley would have to do to regain my respect is come out with ONE just ONE model that is slightly outside their comfort zone.

    Hey the cafe’ scene is hot right now, why not shove an 883cc lump in a small steel frame with a decreased rake, throw a tall tank on it, price it around $7,800 and call it a “Cafe Sport”.

    The Sportster line used to be about “wheels and an engine” type of motorcycling. Now it is a fashion accessory.

    Triumph have done what most other companies can’t, tap into the young market. I know every time I wander downtown all I see are Bonnevilles lining the streets. That is kinda awesome though…

  20. Pat Walker says:

    That ad is even funnier than the one that had 3 harleys parked in front of a bar. The CEO needs to fire a few employees.

  21. Chris says:

    I’m pretty sure that’s an old ad I remember seeing it like over 10 yrs ago. Definetly weird but it did make me laugh.

  22. Richard Gozinya says:

    @ Steve Lang
    Actually, Brando’s character rode a Triumph Thunderbird in The Wild One.

  23. anders eliasson says:

    @Steve Lang:

    Aren’t all chaps assless :^D …


  24. Tom says:

    Trappo, HD products are shit but some people love shit. This isn’t the problem. The problem is that people like you claim that HD is real American exemplifying the best of American values because this is the best we can do. No, it is something that we can do and its not good or bad in and of itself because taste cannot be argued. But, when you make claims that pro-wrasslin is The Godfather then sir, you will have an argument on your hands because objective standards do exist independent of taste.

    Finally, you should also do better to differentiate between wanting HD to fail versus pointing out how objectively inferior they are. Beware the loveless critical and the uncritical lover.

  25. Ry_Trapp0 says:

    @Damo – believe me man, i agree with every single word you said! in the mean time though, i don’t think H-D cares about regaining your respect in light of this 25% sales increase.

    @tom – oh, hi tom! “people like you…” yea, i’ve never once claimed that H-D is “real american exemplifying the best of american values blah blah blah”.
    i know their products aren’t as good as the competition.
    i have no interest in owning an H-D anything, unless it happens to say “buell” on it.

    i should differentiate between wanting H-D to fail vs point out how objectively inferior they are? sorry, your full of shit. this article has NOTHING to do with their percieved quality, nor their actual quality vs the competition, and it has everything to do with their significant Q1 sales gain. yet not one single comment down here even mentions anything about said sales gain. no, all of the comments are instead talking about the above picture that really has nothing to do with the article. so, what the hell am i supposed to differentiate again?

  26. Tom says:

    The picture is talked about because it is pertinent to sales. Marketing to pedophiles to gain sales got talked about because who buys H-D products is important to their future….or lack thereof. Nuanced thinking….look into it.