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.

Ducati 798 Desmosport R Concept by Oberdan Bezzi

03/22/2012 @ 5:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Ducati 798 Desmosport R Concept by Oberdan Bezzi Ducati 798 Desmosport R Concept Oberdan Bezzi 01 635x364

Much has been speculated about the alleged Ducati 799 Superbike that surely is being planned in Borgo Panigale this very minute. Connecting the dots with the Italian company’s product roadmap, Ducati surely has a smaller-displacement version of its 1199 Panigale in the works, though what it will be called and what displacement it will use is still the subject of much conjecture. Today Oberdan Bezzi takes us back down that thought process with his Ducati 798 Desmosport R concept.

A supersport-market model, Bezzi’s focus is not with the water-cooled 1,200cc Superquadro motor, but the tried and true DesmoDue air-cooled lump currently found in the Hypermotard and Monster lines. Looking for a €9,000 price point, 100hp power figure, and 365 lbs dry weight, Oberdan Bezzi is striking the same vein that Radical Ducati and NCR have been touching on for the past few years, albeit at different ends of the price spectrum.

Clearly taking some design and technical cues from the Panigale, the Ducati 798 Desmosport R concept still features a traditional Ducati trellis-style frame (sorry frameless chassis lovers). It seems unreasonable at the price and performance spec mentioned that the Desmosport R concept actually be a 800cc-ish machine, given that the 1,100cc version of the air-cooled twin puts out a paltry 100hp in its EVO form. Still, a lightweight air-cooled Italian sport bike? That is something Ducatisti have been clamoring about for ages — thankfully Pierobon built one.

Ducati 798 Desmosport R Concept by Oberdan Bezzi Ducati 798 Desmosport R Concept Oberdan Bezzi 02 635x453

Source: Oberdan Bezzi

Comment:

  1. Halfie 30 says:

    Tell you what. I’ve always been a full fairing sport bike guy, but Dropped all the fairings off my ’05 SS and the difference is night a day. Some where between a Monster and SS now she is much light and more agile. This concept is genius. I thought they should take the Testtastrada engine and dub it the new “Supersport” though. More performance with modern liquid cooling at a more adored able price would rip! I lovey air cooled, but for a “Supersport” bike it just out dated.

  2. loki says:

    Precisely my thoughts: very nice, but you can’t put an air-cooled in a supersport anymore. It was awesome in the 70′s, great in the 80′s and cool in the 90′s, but come on, it’s 40 years old now.

    It’s still great in a city Monster and for short rides outside, but take it for a longer ride that implies stretches of highway and it’ll struggle.

  3. sailwa66 says:

    Very well done, and should make for a very entertaining, and long-overdue, sportbike. The family ties to the flagship are not overdone (like the Porsche 911/Boxster) and it clearly has its own style. As far as the ‘outdated’ motor is concerned, go test ride a Hyper Evo, or even better, beg/borrow/steal some laps on a Millona… either one is max grinnage; nothing beats simple and light with midrange stomp. And for the record, I’ve put over 60k on a 2004 Multistrada, and it’s never ‘struggled’ on the highway… or anywhere else for that matter.

  4. Willie says:

    A better handling Monster with fairings? I dont see the market?
    Just put the Superquadro Engine in a new Streetfighter so I can upgrade/trade in my 2011 796 Monster.

  5. JJ says:

    Oberdan Bezzi is a demi god!

    How many times does Bezzi need to pen killer designs before a person reaches climax?

  6. CJ says:

    I agree, nix that air cooled and go for liquid. Bump the hp to around 120 so it at least feels like it would give any 4 cyclinder 600 race bike a run and I would be in.

  7. I’ve owned Monster and now ride a 1999 900 SSie and to have the upgrade in forks, wheel’s,Brakes and on and on but still have the Air cooled Motor I’ll take mine in Red Please! This is long over due riders have talk about this for years ,it just makes sense to go at that market!! duh

    And next InternatiolBike Show Novi Michigan I hope to see Ducati show up at this Show!!!

  8. Kevin Gettmann says:

    One small problem….take a close look at the shock next to the head. In real life that would never work. There is no room for it there. The frame would stick out and would be in the way of your leg.
    So much for that CAD desgin.
    Also, even though I own a two-valve Monster, that motor is not the right one for this bike. To hit a price point at 9000 Euro’s, ok, but it would sit on Dealers floors like a fresh turd. Sorry…..

  9. Westward says:

    Well I hope Ducati comes out with something, because the F3 from MVAugusta is currently the bike of choice in the lower CC class in my opinion….

  10. Westward says:

    BTW, they can also do better than the current mirrors on the 1199

  11. MikeD says:

    Too much fairing around an AIR cooled engine, that thing on the first stop light will turn itself into a puddle of aluminium underneath the bike.
    Going for a TL-S half fairing would make more sense here…just this guy’s opinion.

    Kevin saw a very obvious problem with the shock’s placement…first thing i saw too but said f*%$ it, this thing will never see daylight anyways.

    For those of u thinking W/Cooling…forget about it being affordable anymore, IF there’s still something like that in Bike World.

  12. finance says:

    I will show this to my cousin we were just talking about this last month!

  13. Hodgmo says:

    I, like a lot of other guys, are laying awake at night thinking about a super sport class vision of the Panigale -seems like sport bike nirvana.
    My design two cents worth:
    1 ) I agree with the other comments that an air cooled engine would not make sense here.
    2) Trellis frame: it’s such a Ducati signature feature and looks so right. That’s a hard one to give up but if the new design actually works better, I’ll concede to progress.
    3) Panigale style shock mount /swingarm: looking good.
    4) Exhaust: I believe the Panigale should do it similar to what’s shown here. A belly-pan enclosed design -ala KTM- is super clean but the Panigale’s looks weird- like they were trying too hard.