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?

Norton NRV700 in the Works – 210HP Rotary by 2011

03/25/2010 @ 12:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Norton NRV700 in the Works   210HP Rotary by 2011 norton logo 635x317

We were disappointed last summer when the Norton NRV588 didn’t take a lap at speed around the Isle of Man circuit during the TT, but that didn’t stop the British racing team from clocking 178mph on the salt flats. It looks like Norton Racing has taken the data they’ve learned from the NRV588 and plan to refine the machine into a 700cc race-spec motorcycle that’s an evolution of the current 588cc pocket rocket. Altough Norton plays it coy on their website, rumor has it that they’re reportedly eying the British Superbike series and maybe even a World Superbike comeback within the next three years.

We’re not sure how the Wankel motor will pass the regulations for either series, but that’s not really our problem. With both BSB and WSBK being production-based racing leagues, the big takeaway from this announcement will be the virtual guarantee of some sort of high-powered Norton rotary available to the general public. With 210HP being the magic number Norton hopes to go racing with, there can be little doubt that a street version would be a potent stead. For those that don’t remember, the NRV588 weighs only a paltry 286lbs dry.

We’re expecting to see the latest Norton rotary within a year’s time, but don’t expect the bike to hit racing circuits any time soon. Early indications put that roadmap milestone at a few years away.

Source: Norton Racing & MCN


  1. Guy Procter says:

    What a sterling credit to MCN Jensen.

  2. I can’t remember the last time MCN credited ANYONE except itself Guy, although you guys don’t seem to be shy about your “exclusives” that come from press releases, or watermarking photos that aren’t even yours. We’ll cite you as a source, but don’t expect any links from A&R ever again.

  3. Doctor Jelly says:

    The wankel was such a beautiful design, I’m sad no one really ever put as much effort into overcoming its shortfalls as reciprocating piston engines… Meh, doesn’t matter anyway, electric is the future and it’s getting the proper attention/money thrown at it to quickly make it a viable alternative.

    Besides Guy, this info has been on Norton’s site for awhile. I read it on there at least a month or two back…

  4. Norton Plans 210HP Rotary by 2011 – #motorcycle

  5. Guy Procter says:

    Sorry, I was drunk and feeling arsey

  6. CarbonBigfoot says:

    That’s going to be a rocketship.


  7. Rumple Stiltskin says:

    Can’t wait!

    BTW MCN is a waste of money.

  8. ziptech says:

    I can’t tell what’s what in this design…

    I thought Wankels all had their intake and exhaust ports opposite the rotor housing from the plugs… can see them at the bottom, but are the ports on top with the red fasteners intakes? They seem to be in the right place, with exhausts seemingly where Mazda rotaries’ would be… but then what are the ones on the bottom of the housings?

    Not that I *don’t* want a rotary engine in WSB… if this clip of a 787B’s R26B ripping up a standing start is any indication… all the best to Norton. ;)

  9. Doctor Jelly says:

    My guess is the intake is on the bottom and the exhaust is on top because the blue around the plugs and up the back of the housing looks to be water cooling (rotor is traveling counter-clockwise in this picture if that’s the case). Doesn’t seem intuitive though unless it’s upside down in the image…

    Anyway, the ports can be just about anywhere you want them (including the sides of the chamber instead of the edges). Just so long as you still get the full 4 cycles (suck, squeeze, bang, blow).

  10. akatsuki says:

    I can’t wait for the street version – but I hope they are actually ambitious and make it something somewhat affordable (like S1000RR/RSV4 pricing). They will sell a million of them even if power is lower with that kind of weight.

  11. JasonM says:

    @ziptech & @ Dr jelly

    to me it looks like the light grey sticking out bits might be engine mounts, if thats what your talking about for the intake and exhaust ports. you cant have the ports that far apart and have the motor still work.
    if you look close one of the ports you can see is on the top to the left of the grey bits that actually go through the housing, so therefore the other ports are to the right of the grey bits

  12. E. BRUNO R. says:

    Muy Sr. mío:
    Si me enviáis un e.máil, yo os enviará mi información sobre mi trabajo en el motor rotativo Wankel.
    Soy un inventor particular y no tengo recursos materiales, busco un centro de investigación o un patrocinador para poner en la práctica mi trabajo en un motor rotatorio ya construido – NORTON , COMOTOR , MAZDA etc. – . Mi trabajo, lo he puesto en practica en un motor rotativo SACHS con el que conseguí unos resultados extraordinarios que a continuación te envío.
    Despues de comprobar los extraordinarios resultados que se consiguen con mi trabajo — fundamentalmenta con el NEUVO DISEÑO y la lumbrera lateral superior – LLS –, se desarrollaría un nuevo motor rotativo que puede ser el mejor motor de combustión interna inventado por el hombre y además un motor “ECOLOGICO”.
    La idea mas importante de mi proyecto — denominada NUEVO DISEÑO — asegura la estanqueidad permanente entre las cámaras de trabajo del motor , esta idea, está patentada.
    Esta es una traducción de Internet.

    Very Mr. me: if I send an e.máil, I send you my information on my work in the Wankel rotary engine.
    I am a particular inventor and I do not have material resources, I am looking for a research centre or a sponsor to put into practice my work in a rotary engine already built – NORTON, COMOTOR, MAZDA etc. My work, I put in practice in a rotary engine SACHS that got extraordinary results which are then sent you.
    After of verifying the outstanding results achieved with my work – fundamentalmenta with new design and the superior side light – LLS – would develop a new rotary engine which may be the best internal combustion engine invented by man and also a “ECOLOGICO” engine.
    The idea most important my project – named new design – ensures the permanent seal between the engine work cameras this idea is patented.
    Greetings: Important: I not HABLO English, thank you.
    This is a translation of the Internet.

  13. Jaybond says:

    An interesting World Superbike prospect!! The most important thing now is to get the production bike ready, and then apply for WSBK entry. As long as it’s still a gasoline , N.A engined bike, surely Flammini would not resist another marque to join and adds to up the WSBK fray, would’nt they? Just make sure the regulation fair and square for everybody.

  14. Jaybond says:

    Just found out that Norton recently, has a controlling interest in Maxsym Engine Technology Ltd, with access to its cutting-edge parallel twin racing engine design. This should allow Norton to explore the 1200cc parallel twin engine design (happens to be Norton’s traditional engine configuration), which should be easier to comply with the WSBK rules. Another option for Norton, which does sound interesting..

  15. Moi aussi j’ai beaucoup d’espoir sur cette NORTON NRV 700 , cela me fait énormément plaisir de voir que Norton Racing soutient ce projet .
    J’aimerai également rentrer en contact avec ce fameux inventeur E. BRUNO R. uniquement pour la curiosité de son invention .
    Cela confirme le potentiel de ce moteur rotatif qui mérite d’etre développé .