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?

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 – For Europe…& America Too?

09/04/2012 @ 7:16 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300   For Europe...& America Too? 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 635x476

Confirming what we already knew, the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 broke cover today, and is Team Green’s newest small-displacement sport bike in its motorcycle lineup. 296cc’s of twin-cylinder fury, Kawasaki the Ninja 300 boasts 40hp, twin-butterfly valves, fuel injection, a slipper clutch, a 140mm rear tire, and has optional ABS. A part of a larger movement within Kawasaki, the Ninja 300 exemplifies the “no replacement for displacement” school of thought, and will sell along-side the recently updated (and virtually visually identical) Kawasaki Ninja 250R in more than a few markets.

While we know that the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 is set to debut for our European readers, the big question mark will be whether the small sport bike will come to the North American markets. A spreadsheet from the EPA seems to suggest that will be the case, though it points to a carbureted Kawasaki Ninja 205R and fuel-injected Kawasaki Ninja 400R coming to the US as well, making for one impacted learner-bike market. Meanwhile, reports from Canada confirm that their 250R will also be of the carbureted variety.

The news confirms out suspicion that the Ninja 250R will remain the under-powered, and standard-styled, carbureted learner-bike it has always been in North America, while the Ninja 300 becomes the peppy small-displacement sport bike that we haven’t realized that we will lust over later this fall. Presumably then, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 will go head-to-head with the CBR250R and upcoming KTM Moto3-inspired street bike, among other models.

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300   For Europe...& America Too? 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 16 635x476

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300   For Europe...& America Too? 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 17 635x476

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300   For Europe...& America Too? 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 40 635x476

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300   For Europe...& America Too? 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 29 635x476

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300   For Europe...& America Too? 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 58 635x476

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300   For Europe...& America Too? 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 24 635x476



  1. JoeD says:

    Any one remember box stock racing? How about club level racing? The old RD series. There used to be a much wider selection of class sizes for street bikes which slowly faded. These smaller bikes have a lot to like. Lower insurance, great to learn on and a sporty daily commuter. More is better.

  2. 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 – For Europe…& America Too? – #motorcycle

  3. condition_ONE says:

    Watch the US get stuck with the 250R, and the 400 be a smaller displacement version of the current Ninja 650 (which I can’t stand). Anyone want to bet?

  4. james says:

    @condition_ONE – What’s wrong with the Ninja 650r? My girlfriend wants to buy that to replace her Ninja 250r. I think it’s a good motorcycle for its intend purpose and audience.

  5. Jason says:

    @james: I’m going to say why I wouldn’t want that. The bike would be bigger, bulkier, and HEAVIER than it ever needed to be when they could just hot rod the 250! I think a sportier 300-400 version would be awesome, and a MUCH better direction for Kawi. I would sell my little old nissan truck and buy that bike tomorrow if it became available.

  6. JoeD says:

    @james and jason- I like the concept of the 650R. Real world street manners is what my Norton & Guzzi bikes have due in part to the twin pot low rpm torque. The SV series had good streetability as well. Very confidence inspiring for the novice rider. High strung 600′s can be intimidating and I hear that from a lot of my riding school students. I suspect a sizable cc jump would also taste better to some as well. Round here, the sportster is called a girls’ bike by the HD crowd.

  7. MikeD says:

    At this point in time i think im going to wait until September 13th and see what’s what……and even then still have my doubts.

    I think 300cc is a good choice. What else do the other’s have to offer that looks this good and apparently “will perform” good.
    Personally im against that lard tank also known in Canada as the Ninja 400.

  8. condition_ONE says:

    @ james- I don’t particularly like it because it’s too expensive for what it is, it’s too heavy, it’s frame flexes too much and the brakes are underwhelming.

    Please note that I currently ride a 2009 GSXR 1000, but the bike I rode before that (and was perfectly happy with) was a 2009 Ninja 250R. Please also note that these were not my first or second bikes. Each one is a great bike in its own right, but the Ninja 650 is just underwhelming in all respects. If they injected the motor, put it in an aluminum frame and rid the bike of all bodywork, plus some bigger brakes and some better/larger rubber (120/70 and 180/55), I think it would be great.

  9. @MikeD: Canadian Kawasaki Motors has this bike listed on their site in the 2013 lineup and it replaces the Porker 400. The little 300 comes in at 39 ponies and is a whopping 31 kg lighter than the 400, so it actually has a better power-to-weight ratio than the bigger bike. Assuming the running gear is up to snuff, the new 300 could end up being a better ride than the 400. Sweet.

  10. MikeD says:


    September 13th can’t get here fast enough. Not holding my breath, gotta learn to lower my xpectations these days. LMAO.

  11. @Mike: I gotta say that the 300′s instrument cluster really works for me. I love the bike in white, but (of course) that isn’t an option in Canada. Bummer.

  12. MikeD says:


    I just wish they had stayed with the smaller rear tire. Now it looks like it had Bottox done and still swollen.
    That and the “Ace Hardare Special” swing arm…wich screams built to a budget.
    But is ok, this is not a SS or SBK. (^-^)

  13. @Mike:

    I don’t have a problem with the swingarm. Even the FZ6R has such a beast and you can certainly drag the pegs with that one. I’m more curious about the shocks and forks on the 300. While the 400 might have been portly, it at least had the 650′s running gear, which made it a decent handler. It would be a shame for the 300 to be peppier than the 400, but poorer in the handling department.


    “Meanwhile, reports from Canada confirm that their 250R will also be of the carbureted variety.”

    Actually, the CMGOnline site merely confirmed that they weren’t getting a fuel-injected 250. What we know now is that Canada doesn’t get a 250 at all and is getting the 300 instead.

  14. Jeremy says:

    I think it is funny how they have to put “CLOCK” right above the time so you know what it is. LOL