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?

Crimes Against Motorcycling: MV Agusta F3 – Japan Edition

03/26/2013 @ 1:24 pm, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS

Crimes Against Motorcycling: MV Agusta F3   Japan Edition MV Agusta F3 675 Japan 02

Remember when the Ducati 1199 Panigale hit the shores of Japan, and the Bologna Bullet got an ugly mid-pipe and exhaust can welded into place, whiled the underslung exhaust cans welded shut? It was such an affront to the senses of some of our loyal Ducatisti readers, our comments section was flooded with the word “hoax” and the cry to burn it with fire.

Unlike Santa Claus, the Japanese-spec Ducati 1199 Panigale is very real Virginia, and it features other changes beyond its monstrous exhaust to help quiet the beast that resides within its fairings.

Ducati is not alone in the list of brands that have seen the gorgeous lines of their machines ruined by the strict noise and emission standards of Nippon. Committing yet another crime against motorcycling, we have for your viewing terror official photos of the Japanese edition of the MV Agusta F3 675 — yes, the exhaust can of doom makes a return appearance.

There is no mention of other changes to the MV Agusta F3 on the company’s Japanese website, so presumably the addition of the longer exhaust and substantial exhaust pipe was sufficient enough to get the supersport machine deemed road-legal in Japan. Thanks for the tip Trane!

Crimes Against Motorcycling: MV Agusta F3   Japan Edition MV Agusta F3 675 Japan 01

Source: MV Agusta Japan


  1. Ryan says:

    Now it looks like a stock gixxer, awesome.

  2. Afletra says:

    Sorry…maybe my thoughts is a kind of insular, but…is Japanese try to “block” their motorcycle rivals (especially from Italy) with this -stupid- way???
    Why not making some changes inside the fairing/undercowl? such as a catalytic converter maybe? why they have to make the entire appearance of the bike turn from awesome into awful? is there no other way? forgive for my stupidity, but please…ask them if you can. thanks.

    I always love the Japanese; their bikes, culture, anime, manga, games, etc…
    But this one thing really affect me.

  3. Westward says:

    Let me get this straight, they can make a car turn into a robot, or a motorcycle into a helicopter, but they can’t make cooler looking exhausts to handle the noise ?

  4. I think the issue is in Italy, not Japan, boys…

  5. Richard Dort says:

    I predict eCRP’s Energica will be the sexiest Italian bike sold in Japan in 2014 (if it ever makes it there).

  6. Ian W says:

    As far as I’m aware the changes are for noise, not emissions, so changes inside the fairing aren’t the issue.

    In Europe/US the noise tests are performed by a flat out drive-by, in simple terms blatting past a bloke with a microphone. In Japan the test is different- a microphone positioned a distance of x from the end of the tail pipe.

    With the new underslung pipes this means that the microphone is much closer to the engine than previous models and the microphone picks up noise from the engine as well as the exhaust note which pushes up the dBs.

    Solution? (a) make the engine quieter or (b) get that microphone away from the bike by making the pipe longer.

    I would be surprised if your F3/ Panigale doesn’t come with a ‘normal’ exhaust in the crate for you to fit “for race use only”

  7. “Thanks for the tip Trane!”

    Thanks for the kudos, Jensen. :)

    What a shame about the F3. When I saw the booth, I bee-lined over to have a look at the F3. Seeing that can on the arse end of the bike was a huge disappointment.

  8. Jet says:

    Japan and Ducati do not go well,I will never ever buy a Ducati that japan had some kind of influence w/.My beast got be pure blooded as like the one that lives in my garage,my opinion only.

  9. smiler says:

    Now it yawn looks like yawn a giver yawn 1000 yawn.
    It is there to prevent competition in Japan’s home market. At one point ski makers had to test their skis before they could be sold with a Japanese skiing champ….of which there were none.

    Given that this is the country that brought us Jap cars with end cans the same diameter as a commercial jet airline and as noisy, this does seem like protectionism.

  10. Highsider says:

    This is what happens since all motorcycle manufacturers are pulling tricks to pass noise emission tests, like they are doing now. Exhaust en inlet flaps, less power or poor running at certain RPM’s, it’s all done just to pass the simple tests most country’s use. But because customers want more sound they make them sound louder at all (not tested) other RPM’s. And for Italian bikes it’s a very, very (did I say VERY?) big mystery how their bikes ever passed any kind of homolgation. But hey, who cares, we all love that sound! But, as a negative consequence more and more streetbikes have problems at trackdays, since they make an incredible (NICE!) sound at higher revs, which gets you booted out, even with 100% stock bikes. Panigale’s (for example) are blackflagged at all tracks where sound levels are a problem, which in Europe is almost everywhere.
    It looks like the Japs now use a more “real” way of testing. Unfortunately.

  11. Jesze says:

    This bike just lost its soul, much for than the Panigale :’(

  12. Rich says:

    There’s too much precedence being placed in the appearance of this bike. Shove a questionable on any other stock 600-class machine and a more typical response to it would be something like “So? Who cares as long as it kick’s ass?”. Do it with this one and people overwhelmingly seem to thing it becomes unsaleable, as if there were no other valid reasons for owning one. This really speaks volumes about what this bike is about and how it compares in performance terms to it’s competitors. In any case, people can (and do) replace cans cheaply and on a whim, so why the fuss?

  13. Jesze says:

    Rich I think you are not aware of the recent history of MV Agusta and their ‘organ pipe’ exhausts, in comparison I would say its like taking away one of Moto Guzzi’s cylinders. A portion of the bike that makes it recognisable as what it is and a part of the essence of the bike. That being said it takes nothing of MV’s racing pedigree and I guess the company values the Japanese market enough to let this happen, though I’m sure the Panigsle softened the blow.

  14. talkriver says:

    Japanese Agusta dealers can provide owners with original silencer and flash ECU to get full-power.
    So, dealers get money for original price, plus money for full-power modification. That’s irrational!

  15. Gritboy says:

    What Westward said!

  16. Norm G. says:

    not sure what’s bad…? the exhaust…? or retaining the 3 pipe heat gaurd REMINDING you that there was another exhaust…?

  17. MP says:

    The triple exhaust heat shield is still there = Wack

  18. Fox says:

    Could it be these bikes are also shipped with the regular 3 outlet shorty pipes? Once homologation is done and bikes are back @ the dealers, off comes the “Nippon spec” pipe and on goes the original pipe?

  19. motoguru. says:

    Minus the heat shield, I think it looks better. SO THERE!

  20. “Could it be these bikes are also shipped with the regular 3 outlet shorty pipes? Once homologation is done and bikes are back @ the dealers, off comes the “Nippon spec” pipe and on goes the original pipe?”

    Nope, not gonna happen. What will happen for a number of bikes is that once the owner takes possession, the “aftermarket” will be more than happy to supply the OEM exhaust that makes the bike so iconic in appearance in the first place. See, the dichotomy of Japan is that although manufacturers jump through hoops to get a vehicle approved for sale here, it’s up to Japan’s Keystone Kops to ensure noise regs are enforced by drives/riders. And that pretty much just doesn’t happen.

    That said, I haven’t seen a Panigale with stock, non-Japan pipes or Termis yet. It could be the after-sale vehicle inspection laws have changed in a way to make these moves less likely. Time will tell.

  21. Sixty7 says:

    Think it looks better than that stock triple thing they had on there……although they could done a better job of blending it in….lol

  22. Gonzo says:

    Supposedly big pipe=big dick in Japan, which was another consideration.

  23. meatspin says:

    dont cali riders have to deal with this too and do the old pipe swap when they get it passed?

  24. JoeD says:

    All governments are the problem. Anarchy IS the solution.

  25. BBQdog says:

    Think this is just to get them through customs etc. The owners will get the original parts with it ‘ for closed circuit use only’.

  26. Martin says:

    The exhaust was apparently design by MV Agusta. Much like the Panigale’s third can is a Termi.

  27. Superlight says:

    No way was that exhaust designed by MV. This bike, which looks nothing like any Suzuki excepting its use of a single headlight, is about integrated product design, a concept apparently foreign to all the Japanese makers.

  28. smoke says:

    EBR 1190RS got the same treatment due to Japanese regs.