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.

Yas Marina Circuit + Troy Bayliss + Ducati 1199 Panigale S

02/13/2012 @ 3:11 pm, by Jensen Beeler27 COMMENTS

Yas Marina Circuit + Troy Bayliss + Ducati 1199 Panigale S 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Yas Marina Circuit 021 635x444

The International press launch of the Ducati 1199 Panigale is underway in Abu Dhabi this week, with initial reports on Ducati’s flagship superbike being very positive. A track usually reserved for cars, not bikes, the Yas Marina Circuit is really something to behold. Situated on a man-made island off the Abu Dhabi coast, the Middle-Eastern track cost a cool $1.32 billion to construct back in 2009, and holds the distinction for being one of Formula One’s night races.

Such a setting is of course appropriate for Ducati to introduce its latest creation, and the Italian company will be showcasing the first production motorcycle with an LED headlight, the first sport bike with electronically-adjustable suspension, and of course putting journalists on the company’s much-talked-about “frameless” monocoque chassis design. Expected on dealer floors in April, the base model Ducati 1199 Panigale will cost $17,995, while the “S” will cost $22,995, and “S Tricolore” will hit the wallet for $27,995 MSRP.

While we wait for the Panigale to come across the Atlantic Ocean, Ducati has put together this video of Troy Bayliss taking a lap around the 21 turns of the Yas Marina Circuit. It’s an oddly edited video, but should bring grins to the Ducatisti in your life. Be sure to turn your speakers up to hear the Superquadro v-twin motor in all its glory.

Yas Marina Circuit + Troy Bayliss + Ducati 1199 Panigale S 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Yas Marina Circuit 01 635x444

Yas Marina Circuit + Troy Bayliss + Ducati 1199 Panigale S 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Yas Marina Circuit 03 635x444

Yas Marina Circuit + Troy Bayliss + Ducati 1199 Panigale S 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Yas Marina Circuit 04 635x444

Source: Ducati (YouTube)

Comment:

  1. Peter L says:

    FYI the first night race was in Singapore, not Abu Dhabi.

  2. jamesy says:

    Absolute soul consuming eye candy

  3. It’s the most achingly beautiful motorcycle I’ve ever seen. I wish I could have it in a 400. I just see no point for 195HP on the street. For me, people. For me. You guys can buy whatever you like. :)

  4. Ken C. says:

    Sounds like a chainsaw.

  5. Scott says:

    It very pretty and I’m sure it’s a fantastic bike to ride. Way too much power for the street and why for the love of is it only available in red. If I’m spending that much on a bike have some color choices. Nice to see some new tech make it to the street though.

  6. MikeD says:

    Sounds like a mix of CrossPlane, RSV4 and “some Duc” still left in it. I like it.

    @Trane:
    It won’t be a 400 but they will make a MiniMe version of it, it’s almost a given. Time frame ? Go figure…

    @Scott:
    Good point, so much money and yet only ROSSO ? Screw them…what ever happened to that screaming YELLOW that the 1098 once sported in the USA Market ? Or WHITE ? ALL Black is A MUST(rims,swinger,all).

    SWEET RIDE, that’s for sure…wish i had the $$$ to back up my day dreaming. LOL. SIGH.

  7. Shawn says:

    Observing Ducati’s historical sales strategy, don’t buy one now. As there will be a better one next year with better parts and cheaper than the previous model.

  8. Dc4go says:

    Sweet bike needs a set of Termi’s and she’ll beready to rock out at the track!! Can’t wait for mine to get in tracking it next to the RSV4!!

  9. MikeD, the problem ends up being that anything beyond about 80 HP on the street (or, more correctly, 6 lbs/hp) is way overkill for me. I doubt there’d be anything as small as a 696 and even if there were, it’d be breathed on a lot to differentiate it from the M696′s performance.

    Shawn, the “better later” thing is true of pretty much everything everywhere. True, there’s often good reason to avoid 1.0 tech and wait for a revision or two to smooth out the bumps, but I suspect the Panigale will be magical to ride.

  10. MikeD says:

    @Trane:
    I feel u, i miss riding some aircooled OBESE(550LBS) clunker i had up to the other day…GS1100G, the thing had just enough power (80-90HP in a good day) to scare the “living shit” out of me and no herky-jerky throttle response TO BOOT! I miss CV Carbs and AirCooled flat crank I4s. (-_- )’

  11. AC says:

    @Scott

    It’s just the first year. It’ll come in different colors next year or even mid-year.

  12. Westward says:

    For collectors, it’s going to be the bike to have in any collection. For riders, I would wait next year too. I personally am looking for the 799cc or less version…

    But lets be real, this bike is not meant to be a daily commuter. That’s what the Monsters are for…

  13. david says:

    195 horsepower would be ridiculously fun on the street. c’mon, guys, people have been making these arguments for decades, now, but we’ve ALWAYS loved more horsepower. i mean, let’s be real. a 1986 gixxer 750 is WAY TOO FAST FOR THE ROAD. but if we compare it to the sportbikes we have now, it would feel like a pig. i have a 1098. it’s meant for the track, but it’s a blast down the 9. this 1199 will be even MORE fun through the twisties. power in every combination possible. i can’t wait for this thing.

  14. @david:
    Hey, nobody said it wouldn’t be fun. :) I’d just rather give hell to a small motor than run out of speed limit before I even hit redline in 1st on a big one. YMMV and all that.

    Disclaimer: Most giggles per mile for me to date was on a ’79 RD400 Daytona Special.

  15. BBQdog says:

    Nice sound, but not for a twin. And as I look at the wheely photo I am still not
    convinced of the looks. Seems like another bad 916 variation but without
    the exhausts in the seat.

  16. Keith says:

    track must suck, rarely breaks 200kmh. Motor sounds like he’s lugging it all the way around the track…meh.

  17. BBQdog says:

    >>, but we’ve ALWAYS loved more horsepower

    No, I don’t, I would pay for less weight.
    A 125 kg weighting nice mono with 50 bhp would enough for me.

  18. YzrM1 says:

    Its FAKE!!
    See the video again, from 45 sec and you see troy braking towards chicane. but while braking and tip in the corner you hear the engine reving and up shifting!!!

    SO….WHILE BRAKING YOU ALSO ACCELLERATE AND UP SHIFT????

  19. Halfie 30 says:

    Love all the comments on less horses. My 800 SS puts out around 80 horse power moded, and with the gearing change I made to it, I get that 80 to the rear almost too fast. She hates traffic and slow speeds. However, this bike will be great for the sport. I’m personally still hoping to get an RC8 for the track… Still prefer human go fast ability over computerized assisted ability, but some one like Mr. Bayless exploits both rather well…

  20. Damo says:

    @Dc4go

    Are you insinuating that you have an RSV4 and you are also buying one of these? If so I would find that….odd to say the least.

    I like the look of the bike, but still think the 1198 was better in the looks department. That being said it should be a great bike overall, especially with the improved ergos and 15k mile service intervals. I buy bikes for the road, not the track.

    I am very interested in it, but I will wait until some jackass with too much money buys one, realizes it is too much for him and puts it on craigslist for $7k less than he paid for it lol.

  21. Damo says:

    Also the video ISN’T fake, the audio track is just completely not in sync.

    Give Troy a break though, he wasn’t trying to set a lap record, he was just doing this for a press event.

  22. Westward says:

    @ david

    It’s not the 195 horsepower that makes the bike any less of a pig. It’s the overall engineering of a GSXR 750 bike in 1986 that makes it seem like a pig…

    It’s the technology advancements in chassis design, suspension, aerodynamics, light-weight materials, etc. etc…

    A 750 gixxer of today should feel light-years better than one in 1986, if not, then Suzuki is not the manufacturer everyone makes them out to be…

    Make mine Ducati…

  23. MikeD says:

    BBQdog says:
    February 14, 2012 at 6:01 AM
    And as I look at the wheely photo I am still not
    convinced of the looks. Seems like another bad 916 variation but without
    the exhausts in the seat.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yes, i was wishing too for more “futuristic” DESMOSEDICI (central ram air) than “classic” 916 fugly front end…but hey, beggers can’t be choosers, right ? LOL.

    I think their xcuse was that if they were to venture into a whole new look with out “injecting” any “past’s cues” into it it would scare away/alienate their “core costumer base”…(did i sound a bit H-D PR Puppet there ? , LMAO)

  24. 1198freak says:

    Not as beautiful as the 1198 but more angular and muscular looking, I love it. Cant wait to get mine…

  25. MikeD says:

    According to Visordown.com the tank is now made of aluminium and carries a bit more fuel than before from 4.0 gal to 4.5 gal.
    No more swelling…of the gas tank at least. LOL.
    As a side note, looking at the power/torque graph the 1198 used to be “more of a V-TWIN” than this new version of the 90* V-2 Legend.
    It’s power/torque albeit lower it came up sooner on the rev range=more urgency all over the place.
    Even some testers seem to be saying how this new mill likes to have it neck twisted like an I-4 somehow confirming the curve’s shapes on the graph.

  26. Backmarker1 says:

    I hate to correct you, but BMW pioneered Electronically Adjustable Suspension on the K 1200 S back in 2005. Ducati’s a little late to the party there.

  27. BBQdog says:

    Got some comments on this Duc but that doesn’t mean I would be unhappy to own one :-)