Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

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 MotoGP.com 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.

Oklahoma Motorcyclists Will Pay a $3 Safety Fee Starting November 1st

09/15/2010 @ 10:37 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Oklahoma Motorcyclists Will Pay a $3 Safety Fee Starting November 1st Military motorcycle safety class 560x367

Starting this November, Oklahoma riders will have to start paying a $3 fee that helps fund motorcycle safety in the OK State. The tax will be added to existing registration fees, and affects new bikes and their renewals.

While the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for Motorcycle Safety and Education will decided how the funds are used, it’s under the presumption that revenue generated from the tax will be spent on safety advertising and promotion.

Despite the hit to the wallet, the Daily Oklahoman says that riders in Oklahoma aren’t complaining about the increased registration costs.

Talking to the Daily Oklahoman, Tony Maxey, the owner of Maxey’s Cycles in Oklahoma City said, “you get people who have never ridden before, have some extra money and want to spend it on a bike. They want the fastest bike they can get. I always ask them about their level of experience first. But when it comes down to it, as a dealer, I sell it to them.”

Unabashed capitalism aside, would you support your state tacking on extra fees for increased funding to rider safety programs?

Comment:

  1. jeff_williams says:

    Usually I’d say no to extra fees but current registration is so low in MN ($10) that $3 tacked on for safety programs sounds nice. I’d also be for mandatory safety programs (like the MSF course) for new riders.

  2. Steveo says:

    i would if it meant free riders safety courses (the one you need to take to get your license) also they could bump up the penalty for riding without a license. I rode 7 years without an endorsement because the 100.00 safety course was more than the 35.00 ticket. It could also fund better recognition via advertising that bikers are nice people sometimes.

  3. jeff_williams says:

    Great point Steveo. The $3 should go towards free/reduced fee courses.

  4. Steve Casta says:

    The MSF course is free in PA. More states should get on board with that sort of opportunity.

  5. Odie says:

    I would totally pay $3 to subsidize a rider course that all new riders have to attend.

  6. John says:

    Like the posters on this article, I would be more than happy to help out the MSF with 3 bucks. However, I disagree that it should be mandatory. Riding safe is your responsibility and yours alone. This true for whether you decide to take a riders course, wear a helmet, or close the bar down and ride home, these are all your choice, and I feel it should remain that way. I would be really miffed if I had to put off riding (legally) for season just because the riding course was full.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am for educating new riders, I just don’t want it be mandated.

  7. Sean says:

    I’ve heard there’s some really excellent riding in Oklahoma. Lotta canyons to carve.

  8. Tom says:

    As a kid, I went to hunter safety classes. Anything to make riders safer so we don’t have to listen to that lie “loud pipes save lives” anymore because more people will actually know how to ride is all great.

  9. kevin says:

    Sounds good and three bucks isn’t a big bit *but* I really wonder if it will be used for its intended purpose?

  10. Bjorn says:

    I’m stunned. Jeff, you pay $10 registration for your motorcycle? Over here in Victoria, Australia I’m paying $400+. This includes a $50 safety levy for funding “motorcycle safety initiatives” such as giving the money to the police to purchase new BMW police bikes to enforce motorcycle speed compliance. The situation in other Australian states is not much better and in at least one state is much worse.
    When I go to pay my rego they don’t even offer to buy me a drink before they fuck me.

  11. Oklahoma Motorcyclists Will Pay a $3 Safety Fee Starting November 1st – http://bit.ly/b0TTNl #motorcycle

  12. Sean says:

    Bjorn does that $400 include compulsory third party insurance though?
    Here in NSW rego is about $100 but compulsory third party insurance can add as much as $400+ depending on what you ride.

    Rider safety programs are one of the many things we pay tax for. Having to pay extra for the govt to do their job properly is unacceptable. You guys in VIC are being screwed with that safety levy.

  13. Bjorn says:

    Hi Sean,

    Third party is not compulsory in Vic. the $400 is just rego.
    I’ve gone back to school to do a degree. As a student, I’ve got a health care card, but I don’t get the same discount on my rego that I’d get if I drove a car. Darling wife and I are now both students and we pay the same to register my 750 as her Landcruiser. I’m not that fussed about the discount; it helps, but it feels like discrimination against me ‘cos I ride.
    Back in the ’30s my grandfather, like many at that time, rode a bike because it was a good way to save money. Now the Govt. makes it as expensive as possible, despite the lower impact on the roads and environment.

    I’ll stop ranting now.

  14. Minibull says:

    @Bjorn
    Man, thats tough as.
    Its kinda similar here in NZ. 12 months rego here for my FZR250 is $405. If you have a 600cc or over, its $517. Not including any insurance either.
    There was a big price increase in the last year for ACC levys. They blamed bikers for a huge amount of the accident claims, so they raised the levy by a crazy amount. ACC is meant to be blame free here…ridiculous
    We pay that extra amount, and what do we get? Shitty, pot-holed, gravel/grit covered roads, “cheesecutter” road barriers and cops that ping you for speeding if your over the limit by 3kph.
    Some of the roads are nice, but coming across umarked fresh roadworks midcorner is not nice.