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.

250cc Yamaha Sport Bike in the Works

10/30/2012 @ 4:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler32 COMMENTS

250cc Yamaha Sport Bike in the Works yamaha yzf r250 concept 635x443

News coming out of India and Southeast Asia (which Cycle World is bizarrely taking credit for starting, despite being months late to the party), is that Yamaha is set to debut a 250cc sport bike for the world market. Said to be visually similar to the Yamaha YZF-R6 (concept sketch above), the quarter-liter four-stroke machine is certainly a response to the recent offerings from Honda and Kawasaki.

Expected to be a 2013 or 2014 model, we will almost certainly get our first glimpse of the bike, or its concept, at the upcoming 2012 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. With details about the “Yamaha YZF-R250″ being scarce, we would wager a 2014 launch date, but as always, time will tell. Expect pricing to be sub-$5,000 though, with optional ABS.

With advent of the Kawasaki Ninja 300 this year, and the Honda CBR250R last year, as well as the news of the KTM 390 Duke for next year, the small-displacement sport bike segment in North America is starting to gain traction with the OEMs. With bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 250R topping the single-model sales charts in the United States, it is not as if quarter-liter bikes, and their progeny, have struggled in North America, but the small-displacement learners have been handicapped from being marketed as such: small-displacement bikes suitable only for new riders.

With motorcycle OEMs bringing a new level of sophistication to the small-displacement realm, a sort of quarter-liter renaissance may well be upon us, and it could very well become “cool” to ride a motorcycle with less than 600cc in the sport-biking community. This sentiment certainly seems to be the case with the KTM 125 Duke, which debuted in 2010, and has been winning hearts ever since.

Even Suzuki seems to be getting in on the action, with news that the Suzuki GW250 will be coming to Canada next year (and the United States as well?). Reading more like a stop-gap measure until the Japanese brand can offer a more compelling 250cc offering to go against the Honda, Kawasaki, and now Yamaha, Suzuki doesn’t quite seem to understand what all the fuss is about, but is at least getting with the program.

Will we see the same from the other European brands? Or will the misconceptions regarding “brand dilution” prevent the marketing hacks from seeing the potential in this space? Time will tell on this one as well.

Source: Indian Cars Bikes & Visordown

Comment:

  1. YoooMama says:

    If it looked like that I would most certainly put one in the stable.

  2. Sixty7 says:

    Thats boring…..can’t any of these Japanese manufactures produce something with a little bit of character or soul….just looks like a r6 ffs

  3. Sean in Oz says:

    Lets hope its got more power than the pathetic CBR250R.
    I rode it and a Vespa GT300 scooter on the same tight little track and the Vespa was MUCH more fun … and sporting!

  4. Minibull says:

    “With motorcycle OEMs bringing a new level of sophistication to the small-displacement realm”

    Really? I know in the USA you didn’t get any of the late 80′s/early 90′s 250 bikes…a 250cc 4 cylinder CBR with gear driven cams that could spit out 45hp in 1989 is sophistication in my books…plus a twin disc setup and proper sport bike ergos, etc.

  5. Westward says:

    I am a little bias towards Yamaha when it comes to Japanese bikes, and as much as I like the Ninja 250r and the CBR250r, an entry by Yamaha or Ducati is what I was waiting for. I would love to have one with MotoGP liveries for track days or just toiling around town…

  6. Jim Race says:

    There have been concept drawings of the Yamaha 250 going all the way back to when Kawasaki re-vamped the 250R in 2008. Translation? I’ll believe it when I see it. If they make it a single, they’re (to put it politely) fooked.

    -jim

  7. Mitch says:

    Dangit, can they start making naked or UJM versions of these bikes instead of poser style race reps? I have a 600 track bike, I don’t want to putt around on the street on something that looks fast but isn’t.

  8. bemer2six says:

    Why in God’s name would anybody make a 250 sport bike? you could get your self killed on some thing like that

  9. lovard says:

    I have to agree with minibull, having ridden many of the early to mid 90s 250cc sportsbikes, with 4 cylinder DOHC 16valve engines operating at 18000 RPM, fully adjustable suspension, twin disc brakes etc. These new brred of “sporty” 250s are beyond tame, I’m pretty sure suzuki even had a variable valve timing version in the 250cc bandit. CBR250RR, YZFR2, ZXR250R, even commuter bikes like the suzuki across GSX250F, had similar specs.

    Then there were the off-the-wall 400cc sports bikes of the same era, all great small capacity bikes, the trouble is finding a decent one given they were generally thrashed and are now getting up to 20 years old.

    Meeting the emissions regulations might the the sticking point I suspect. But the fun factor is huge. I ridden lots of bikes on the track and the most fun I ever had was on a CBR250RR, at 6’2″ it wasn’t the most comfortable I’ve been and maybe I’m just not good enough to really enjoy all the power 1000cc provides?

  10. やまと says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: 250cc Yamaha Sport Bike in the Works http://t.co/DqrHs7mN とうとう来たのか!!? 

  11. TexusTim says:

    well now the mini 250 sprint and endurance racing teams will have another to choose from…nice

  12. 守島裕輝 says:

    ヤマハ、R6似の250ccスポーツバイクを早ければ来年にもリリース予定。詳しいスペックは分からんがシングルかな RT @Asphalt_Rubber: 250cc Yamaha Sport Bike in the Works – http://t.co/JYEK0i1F

  13. JD says:

    You know what I see?
    Is somebody stuffing a R6 engine in that bitch

  14. Damo says:

    @lovard

    “I have to agree with minibull, having ridden many of the early to mid 90s 250cc sportsbikes, with 4 cylinder DOHC 16valve engines operating at 18000 RPM, fully adjustable suspension, twin disc brakes etc. ”

    While I totally agree that would be awesome, a 250cc bike like that would have to retail for about $7,000USD with all that kit. At that point I could just buy a Street Triple.

    I got a 2011 CBR250 for the wife this year and I often steal it for commuting duty. (My everyday ride is an RC51 SP2)

    I love the CBR250, the ergos are spot on and if the weather is a bad (which it often is in New England) I don’t worry about 140 rear wheel horsepower spitting me into a ditch.

    As far as NEW bikes go, the CBR250 is about the best thing $4000 can get. If you are in the used market for a good all around bike, just get a second generation SV650.

  15. Minibull says:

    “While I totally agree that would be awesome, a 250cc bike like that would have to retail for about $7,000USD with all that kit. At that point I could just buy a Street Triple.”

    I don’t see it costing that much. Sadly, the reason it was done is that there was a huge market in Japan for small, but sporty and powerful bikes. Something to do with their big bike regulation and restrictions.

    Thing is, these engines we’re designed and made 20 years ago…with modern materials and engineering, I’m sure they could easily match the output, and keep costs fairly low. Thing is, would they sell…who knows. I’d be in though, you have no idea how much fun they are XD
    I managed to ride my FZR250 back to back with a new Ninja 250… about the only cool thing on the new 250 was a fuel gauge…

  16. Damo says:

    @minibull

    I wish we would have got the old CBR250RR in the States when I was learning to ride. It would have been a better idea for me than going out and buying a 900cc+ sportbike to learn on (which I did and crashed twice)

    I agree the new 250cc bikes aren’t terribly exciting, but for city/commuting duty or as a learners bike they are fantastic.

    My wife’s first bike was 1995 Triumph Speed Triple, which may be the most top heavy bike ever produced and she had no end of annoyance with it. So sold it and got the CBR250, now she is riding with confidence and ready to upgrade in the spring.

  17. JoeD says:

    I rode a 70′s vintage Aermacchi 250 last year and it had much better power delivery and handling competence than the so called modern bikes of the same size. Such is progress.

  18. Mitch says:

    If you made a 250cc bike with all the go fast bits today’s 600s have, and with an engine with the same complexity, you’re going to get the same price. Engine size is not an aspect that affects MSRP, engine output/technical spec is.

  19. Miguel Sousa says:

    Amei RT @RICKI19: @PokerAlho46 perfect for u RT @Asphalt_Rubber 250cc Yamaha Sport Bike in the Works – http://t.co/hmC1r3N3 #motorcycle

  20. sicoy says:

    waaahhhh,,, battle of yamaha vs kawasaki vs honda…

  21. MikeD says:

    POP-CORN ready, LA-Z Boy fully reclined. Let’s see it now.

    Im affraid that it will be more like a “rolling chasis” YZF-R125 with a VERY BASIC (SOHC) 250 in it (perhaps a hot rodded version of what comes on the now “EFI’ed for 2012″ XT250 ?)…but that lump is air cooled ! wouldn’t that be a NO NO for this application ?

    The one on the WR250X ? Naaahh (that would be just too good[$$$] to be true)…can’t wait to be shown otherwise.

  22. “Sadly, the reason it was done is that there was a huge market in Japan for small, but sporty and powerful bikes. Something to do with their big bike regulation and restrictions.”

    Two words: Tiered licensing. Most people toodle around on 250s here in Japan, with 400s still being the top-spec bikes. It can be a challenge for somebody to get a big-bore license here, so the Japanese manufacturers have typically offered top-drawer kit in lower displacements. They cost a lot, but back in the day when you had 250cc GP racing on the calendar, spending a bundle for a racy 250 or 400 didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

    Unlike North America, where unless you’ve got more cubes than pubes, you’re nothin’ at the bar.

  23. Minibull says:

    Not so much tiered licensing, but IIRC it was massive tax on big bikes or something. Kinda kept alot of people off 750+ bikes, so the manufacturers took advantage of that and made some brilliant small bikes which they sold a lot of.

    And don’t worry, I know what you are talking about regarding tiered licenses and all that. I’m from NZ, had 5 years on a 250 ;)

  24. BBQdog says:

    If it is going to be another 155 kg dry weight ‘sports’ bike like the CBR 250 R and the Ninja 250 forget about it and don’t call it a sports bike.

  25. BBQdog says:

    >>Will we see the same from the other European brands ?

    My hope is focussed on an Aprilia RS4 250 …. because I am afraid all those 250′s build in
    India/Taiwan etc. are build to last on bad roads and therefor way too heavy for a 250.

  26. MikeD says:

    RS4 250 ? Hell, we were suposed to have gotten the 125 like 2 years ago i think…but as logic and common sense would have it…..it never did…not that i was holding my breath anyways.

    But….maybe we will see it. With the “- than 500cc” classes starting to come to a boil…it just may happen. Fingers crossed (and NO MORE Thumpers, Please!!!) save those for dirt bikes and go karts…im cool with “sewing machine sound, electric motor power delivery” manners.

    Or maybe they should VERY LIGHTLY de-tune the 450-550 twins, add MUCH NEEDED oil capacity a la KTM LC8, xtending oil change intervals to 6000miles and perhaps if is not asking too much 16k miles valve clearance checks ? slap it on a RS4 125 rolling chasis and call it a new model and a day.

  27. “de-tune the 450-550 twins”

    No, no, no. Make ‘em so that when they come on the cam, up comes the front wheel without clutch-fanning of any kind. Something terribly peaky and temperamental. Something that you can come off a good hard ride and feel like you accomplished something.

    Or buy a used 2-stroke and have at it, I suppose.

  28. MikeD says:

    Trane said:

    No, no, no. Make ‘em so that when they come on the cam, up comes the front wheel without clutch-fanning of any kind. Something terribly peaky and temperamental. Something that you can come off a good hard ride and feel like you accomplished something.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I would be cool with such madness too if i could get my side of the bargain. LOL.

    So many great engines/platforms……..so little time & $$$.

  29. BBQdog says:

    @MikeD: …. slap it on a RS4 125 rolling chasis and call it a new model and a day.

    What about an extra 6th gear and then put it in the rolling chasis of the former RS 250 ??