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?

Report: KTM 390 Duke Coming to the USA in 2014

02/11/2013 @ 12:50 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Report: KTM 390 Duke Coming to the USA in 2014 KTM 390 Duke 635x423

Speaking to India’s Business Standard, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has confirmed that the KTM 390 Duke will be coming to the US market in 2014 — a full year later than the company’s leaked road map slide projected.

A noticeable absence from this year’s USA model lineup, the KTM 390 Duke is the biggest sibling in KTM’s new entry-level street bike offerings, with the company already seeing the KTM 125 Duke and KTM 200 Duke as successes in the marketplace.

Helping push KTM beyond BMW Motorrad’s yearly sales totals for 2012, the Austrian company is reaping significant benefits from its partnership with Bajaj, which owns a minority stake in KTM. Producing the smaller Duke machines in Bajaj’s Chakan plant, KTM has been able to create a capable, affordable, and enticing motorcycle for new and current motorcyclists alike.

The perfect displacement for the North American market, KTM has long been expected to bring the 373cc machine across the pond, and it came as a surprise when the KTM 390 Duke was not announced at the company’s USA model unveil in Long Beach earlier this year.

Absent too was the KTM 1190 Adventure, which has debuted in Europe, and is expected to have a late-2013 arrival in the US, making one wonder what exactly is going on with KTM’s on-road lineup (instead for 2013, North Americans will get the KTM 990 Adventure Baja as a new model).

Though the saying goes that it is “better late than never,” similar delays are attributed to the sales flop of the KTM RC8, which also suffered from a off-road focused dealer network.

It seems with the KTM 390 Duke, the Austrian brand is looking to try again with its move from the dirt to the street. Hopefully, they will have more success this second time around.

Source: Business Standard


  1. Prasenjit Debroy says:

    Ah! KTM ought to go ballistic in US to garner more market share in the Streetbike Category.
    Also, here in India, it seem’s that KTM-BAJAJ will Launch the DUKE 390 only in June 2013.
    I have been eagerly following every single bit of information available.
    The DUKE 390 is Indeed a Most Potent Mix of Power, Looks & High Quality Cycle Parts.
    **Keeping my finger’s crossed :) **

  2. Mitch says:

    Yesss. Very happy, anxious to see some reviews about the powerplant – would love to commute on this but it needs to do ~70mph reliably without throwing up.

  3. JoeD says:

    It would be nice to have a couple of them at every one of my training sites. The Japs figured out the deal-newbies tend to buy what they learned on. KTM, are you listening?

  4. paulus - Thailand says:

    There can only be so many produced at a time… if you can only fulfil so many, where to sell them first?
    Where you make the most money the fastest?

    In general, the US market prices are lower than Europe or Asia…

    If the 350EXC engine will fit into the frame… I wonder if the 500EXC would :)

  5. jeram says:

    make it a KTM300 duke and I might be interested ;)

  6. Mr. X says:

    Bajaj can make 5000 units a week, so production volumes won’t be a problem!

  7. BBQdog says:

    Last week I had a little test ride on the Duke 200. It is very light and nimble and feels very good. Just asking myself if I gonna buy the 200 or the 10 kg heaviers 390. Only ride very small backroads. The KTM 200 is ages apart from my CBR 250 R, total other class.

  8. Gritboy says:

    Woooooooohooooo! This looks like an ideal urban “fun” bike.

  9. 76 says:

    very interested in this one, I really want a test ride

  10. a tom says:

    A Honda Super Four, a SV 400 and a Monster 400 all pull ~60mph (100kmph) fairly easily, with top speeds at the >115 mph range; The M400 gets to and holds easily at 60mph @ 5,500rpm’s in 6th, the Super Four giving roughly the same.

    Given where this bike slots in, @ 45hp as against the others’ 45-53-ish hp, I would expect 70mph and the power not to be an issue. On the other hand, still to see more than just the manu’s figures on this engine, so we shall see.

  11. Paul McM says:

    Like the 390. Love the 690 … now that would get the adrenalin flowing. Sat on a 690 Duke at the Long Beach shot. I’m 6’1″ and it felt great. Better ergos than the new Monster… which ain’t bad. If I won the lottery there would definitely be a 690 Duke in my stable. See:

  12. Mitch says:

    a tom: It’s not the hp that concerns me, it’s that its a single cylinder. Anyone that’s own an Aprilia single can testify to issues from holding revs.

  13. Damo says:

    If the bike is priced right and KTM convinces all their off-road dealers to carry them, this could be a successful little bike.

    KTM needs to do more marketing in the USA than just dumping shiny new models off at the dealer though.

  14. Faust says:

    I wish there was anywhere near me where I could even go look at a KTM street bike. Until that changes, I simply can’t buy one.