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.

Pierre Terblanche Leaves Piaggio for Norton

01/13/2011 @ 9:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Pierre Terblanche Leaves Piaggio for Norton ducati mh900e pierre terblanche 635x476

While Norton Motorcycles finds itself currently in the middle of a relaunch period, having recently resurrected the brand at its Donington Park headquarters, being widely rumored to contend in MotoGP for the 2012 season, and just a month ago announcing that it would return to the North American motorcycle market, more changes seem in store for the historic British company. Announced today was the surprise move that sees famed South African motorcycle designer Pierre Terblanche moving from Piaggio, where he was working on revamping the Moto Guzzi line, to Norton Motorcycles.

“Pierre’s experience of bringing innovative new products to the marketplace will be a vital factor in developing the Norton range, whilst paying due respect to its traditions,” says Stuart Garner, CEO of Norton Motorcycles. “Combining his flair for original concepts with Norton’s sporting traditions, will allow us to create a range of motorcycles bearing the historic Norton badge that will be unlike anything else in the marketplace.”

Pierre Terblanche Leaves Piaggio for Norton terblanch garner 03Terblanche is noted for his work at Ducati, which brought about popular bikes like the Supermono, Hypermotard, Sport Classic, and MH900e. Terblanche is also infamous for his work on the Ducati 999 Superbike and the original Multistrada, which have had a more of a “love it or hate it” reception with consumers. Working with Moto Guzzi, Terblanche’s latest work however has been met with very positive criticism, as the Piaggio sub-brand launched three pieces of his work at the 2009 EICMA show.

We imagine Norton will not only benefit from the South African’s unique and trend-setting designs, but will also see Terblanche’s strong personality and vision enter into the company culture and brand. A part of Norton’s future strategy surely involves setting itself apart from its competition and creating new engaging motorcycles for consumers, for that role we think Terblanche should fit in quite nicely.

Source: Norton Motorcycles

Comment:

  1. Dr. Gellar says:

    I think this is a brilliant move by Norton to acquire Terblanche’s services. Gutsy, but brilliant.

  2. Andrey says:

    Yet another stupid decision by Piaggio to create a situation where he would leave, and another kick in the guts for Guzzi enthusiasts everywhere. What is it about these fools that they keep neglecting Guzzi? Simply unbelievable.
    Anyway good luck to Norton. Stuart Garners’ single brain is obviously smarter than the combined brain power of a whole bunch of Italian corporate execs. This is a classic case of how corporate decision making is a disadvantage to a company and why small businesses can still succeed. Love the new Nortons and I can’t wait to see PTs’ new designs.

  3. 76 says:

    Look forward to the results, cheers pierre

  4. Isaac says:

    @Andrey: LAMO!

  5. norton may be able to be the best :)

  6. y2ktlr says:

    I feel Andrey’s pain. Moto Guzzis are one of my favorite brands for a number of reasons. I drooled over the superbike they tempted us with about 7 or 8 years ago, but it turned out to be just another one of those devices that you can see at one of the shows, but never buy in the real world. However, Mr. Terblanche is an artist, and as such he is also a free thinker. I doubt seriously if the Guzzi board of directors could have done anything to hold onto him (in terms of money anyway). It’s likely he saw another opportunity to broaden his horizons while practicing his craft and went for it. I dig the new Nortons and hope that they can weather the storm in this crap economy and truly flourish. Ride safe everyone…

  7. jar says:

    Brave.
    Interesting.
    Likely expensive.

    Let’s hope the brand (and PT) focus on the first two, and less of the third.

    Go Norton go!

  8. Andrey says:

    What on earth does LAMO mean???

  9. Other Sean says:

    It’s like LAME, but worse. It’s LAMO!

    I am a reformed Terblanche hater. I used to spit copious vetriol at the Multistrada, Hypertard, and 999. Still not big on the first two, but the 999 has come into it’s own…now that it’s not the flagship of Ducati it works.

    And I can’t believe some people don’t like the MH900e, that thing is great. Supermono too.

    Hope he does good things for Norton.

  10. Rexr says:

    Well there go’s the last of the classy looking Norton’s all down hill from now on……

  11. RD350 says:

    I can only hope Terblanche will put his SuperMono experience to good use and build a modern version of the Manx Norton!

  12. ds says:

    Andrey – good points, but the departure could be from various reasons…corporate culture? 2 high profile chief designers working together?

    LAMO vs. LMAO . strange either way

  13. Mike L. says:

    Has he ever designed a hit motorcycle? Not being a smartass, I just wonder. Guzzi enthusiast love their funny bikes- and I am a 999 fan- but has anyone ever made a profit at the sales volumes his designs have generated?

  14. RSVDan says:

    For all of you bemoaning Moto Guzzi’s loss, don’t forget that those beautiful concepts we saw last year were a joint effort between Terblanche and Galuzzi. Galuzzi is still head designer for Aprilia and Guzzi, and I wouldn’t count out seeing some really interesting designs coming out of Guzzi in the very near future. You guys must remember that Piaggio has only been at the helm for a relatively short period of time, and Guzzi, for obvious reasons, was not the priority. Now that parts supply and dealer services have been sorted, a new superbike has been designed and SBK championship won, they may be able to put a little more attention towards new designs for Guzzi. They have already improved the quality control, and fit & finish of Guzzi’s ten fold since their acquisition.

  15. Randy Singer says:

    It’s scary how serious and fast moving the new Norton company is.

    It hasn’t attracted much attention in the press, but Norton has purchased a company that has developed a very advanced vertical twin engine.

    NORTON AQUIRES THE RIGHTS TO THE TECHNOLOGY OF MAXSYM
    http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/s….php?p=2158017
    http://www.maxsym.com/
    http://steveprenticedesign.com/maxsym.html

    Maxsym has: “A patented integrated balance system, which completely cancels both primary and secondary inertial vibration forces. This novel yet simple system allows conventional engines to operate at higher speeds and produce more power.”

    Maxsym developed a vertical twin that is light, and which produces a surprising amount of power. Perfect for a completely modern Norton!

  16. Randy Singer says:

    Sorry, the link in my previous message should have been:

    http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2158017

  17. Jaybond says:

    One thing for sure, both Moto Guzzi & Norton deserved to have a Superbike model of their own!! For Norton looks like they have made the necessary steps to launch a serious Superbike project (at least in road form) with the acquisition of Maxsym and, the hiring of Pierre Terblanche. As for Moto Guzzi, just transform those faboulous concept into production form please, albeit with a proper liquid cooled V-twin engine!

  18. Kunal says:

    I think some fantastic results are going to come out of this venture. Pierre Tereblanche has a very unique vision of form and function.