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: Spanish GP at Jerez Race Results

05/04/2009 @ 3:13 pm, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT

MotoGP: Spanish GP at Jerez Race Results jorge lorenzo crash jerez motogp 560x382

Going into Sunday’s race, it seemed for certain that a Spaniard would once again be on the podium at Jerez. Then The Doctor showed up with a lightning fast warm up time, that just eeked out Jorge Lorenzo’s. With the Italian interjecting himself on this previously Spanish only affair, the Spanish GP was shaping up to be a a blood sport exhibition for the 123,000 Spanish fans filling the grandstand. Continue reading on for a full race report from Jerez.

Surprising everyone with his warm-up lap, it was Valentino Rossi, starting from the second row, who won the Spanish GP and his got his first victory of the season. Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner broke away from the pack at the start, while Rossi got caught up in a little teammate traffic behind Jorge Lorenzo. It took Rossi two laps to get past Lorenzo, and the bulk of the remaining race to catch up to Stoner and Pedrosa. Rossi passed Stoner, and finally passed Pedrosa on the 18th lap of the race, and didn’t look back until the finish line. Pedrosa finished in second place, while Stoner was lucky to hold on to 3rd, as Jorge Lorenzo was gaining on the Australian in the final laps of the race.

Stoner got a break however as Lorenzo crashed his Fiat Yamaha M1 while trying to match the Australian’s times. The crash was a blow to Jorge, who now falls to third in the overall standings. Many fans wondered why he pushed so hard with so much to lose, but as Lorenzo explains that the odds were against him from well before the beginning of the race.

“The start was good for me, as I only lost two places, so that wasn’t the problem with me not having the pace. I knew from the warmup that something was just not quite perfect; the rear and front both didn’t give me any confidence, and when this happens it is hard to ride smoothly. To counteract the problem you ride too aggressively, and that’s when you have to change and brake when you shouldn’t. I lost the gap between myself and the leaders, and whenever I got near Casey he improved his lap times. That was difficult to fight against, and I had to take risks to keep with him. In the end my front tyre called it a day and I fell.”

Randy de Puniet surprised everyone by not crashing and finished a respectable fourth place. Marco Melandri also stirred up some hope in the Hayate camp with a fifth place finished. 

Valentino Rossi is now the MotoGP series leader with 65 points, he is followed by Stoner who has 54 in second place. In a tie for third, both Pedrosa and Lorenzo have 41 points.

Results of the MotoGP Race at Jerez:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 45’18.557  
2 3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 45’21.257 2.700
3 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 45’29.064 10.507
4 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 45’50.450 31.893
5 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 45’51.685 33.128
6 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 45’52.685 34.128
7 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 45’52.978 34.421
8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 45’53.182 34.625
9 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 46’01.246 42.689
10 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 46’03.740 45.183
11 59 Sete GIBERNAU DUCATI 46’06.749 48.192
12 72 Yuki TAKAHASHI HONDA 46’10.432 51.875
13 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 46’12.240 53.683
14 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 46’12.498 53.941
15 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 46’19.794 1’01.237
16 88 Niccolo CANEPA DUCATI 46’29.453 1’10.896
Not Classified
  99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 38’40.226 4 laps
  36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 20’38.937 15 laps


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