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?

MotoGP: Weather Changes Leaves Riders Out to Dry in Le Mans

05/17/2009 @ 1:41 pm, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Weather Changes Leaves Riders Out to Dry in Le Mans jorge lorenzo fiat yamaha le mans 560x401

As we mentioned yesterday, Le Mans is known for its rapidly changing weather patterns, and a mixture of both rain and sunshine is not uncommon for the French track. The weather gods being unappeased, they decided to bring both the rain and the sun for MotoGP fans in France today. From the very beginning of the French GP things were interesting: with the GP run on a dry track, but riders leaving the grid on rain tires. With teams having to make the call on whether to stay out on rains, or sacrifice time and pit in, there were some interesting results from the choices being made. Continue reading for the spoilers.

The story of the first place winner is perhaps the least interesting story of today’s GP. Jorge Lorenzo grabbed the lead on the first lap, and left the rest of the field behind. Lorenzo easily won the day, with over 17 seconds between him and second place winner Marco Melandri, and he was never in trouble of being caught.

Exstatic about his win, and also his new lead in the overall standings, Lorezno commented on swapping bikes mid-race for the first time in his career:

“It was very difficult because I am not used to changing bikes in the middle of the race and this was the first time in my life that I have done it. I am grateful for the victory because I was fast with the wet tyres and also with the dry ones. I knew it would be so hard because you have to change bikes at the right moment, if you do it one lap too late you could lose. We changed at the perfect point and we are back on top.”

The day was a big day for the Hayate Team as well, scoring their first podium of the season. The success seemed to rest on the fact that Marco Melandri stayed out on the rain tires for a long time, whereas riders who entered into the pits earlier, payed dearly for their decision.

Riders who pitted early for slicks soon regretted their choice. The pitting process takes a long time, it took the riders a while before their slick tires could do times to match the fading wets. Valentino Rossi took the brunt of today’s punishment for his early pitting strategy. The Fiat Yamaha rider went into pit lane on four separate occasions today at Le Mans, three times to change bikes and once for a ride through penalty.

Rossi was first into the pits, and crashed almost immediately after changing to slick tires. He got back on his crashed Yamaha M1, making it back into the pits for another bike. Because his swapped bike didn’t have a pit-limiter, the Italian had to perform a pit ride through penalty for speeding in pit-lane. Rossi would then re-return to the pits later and take another bike. SOL, Rossi ended the day two laps behind Lorenzo, with his focus looking two weekends from now at Mugello.

“I had difficulties from the start and I really could not ride my bike to its best. By the fourth lap I felt that I was quite slow and that I couldn’t ride as I wanted. I decided to change bikes early because usually this strategy pays off. I knew that I had to warm the tyres up a little bit but I crashed anyway in that corner because at that point the track was still wet and I just didn’t ride into it in a calm enough manner.”

Dani Pedrosa caught team mate Andrea Dovizioso on the last lap, then passed to snatch up 3rd place.

Race Results from the MotoGP’s stop at Le Mans for the French GP: 

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 47’52.678  
2 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 48’10.388 17.710
3 3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 48’12.571 19.893
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 48’13.133 20.455
5 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 48’23.217 30.539
6 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 48’30.140 37.462
7 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 48’32.869 40.191
8 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 48’38.099 45.421
9 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 48’42.985 50.307
10 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 48’45.896 53.218
11 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 48’46.228 53.550
12 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 48’49.325 56.647
13 72 Yuki TAKAHASHI HONDA 48’49.366 56.688
14 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 49’03.977 1’11.299
15 88 Niccolo CANEPA DUCATI 49’08.063 1’15.385
16 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 49’28.685 2 laps
Not Classified
  36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 20’47.302 17 laps


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  3. Mark John O'Reardon says:

    MotoGP: Weather Changes Leaves Riders Out to Dry in Le Mans …