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.

PPIHC: Motorcycles Shatter 10 Minute Barrier at Pikes Peak

08/12/2012 @ 9:41 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

PPIHC: Motorcycles Shatter 10 Minute Barrier at Pikes Peak 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 21 635x425

With the road to the summit of Pikes Peak fully-paved now, riders not only had to contend with learning the 156 corners that comprise the race to the clouds, but they also had to learn the new asphalt sections that were paved after last year’s race. Getting three days of practice and sunshine on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb course, on Saturday the weather hit the reset button, bringing rain down on the mountain, which made the road very green for racing the next day.

The sun returned for Sunday’s set of races though, with the motorcycles leading the charge up Pikes Peak. As with the previous years, the talk of class records falling was again high on the discussion list, which is unsurprising since Pikes Peak has added new pavement sections each year to the course. Though, with the asphalt now going all the way to the summit, the big question this year was by what margin the records would fall, and in the motorcycle category, whether a new class of motorcycle would dominate the mountain.

With most of the field still comprised of supermoto bikes and a handful of flat trackers, the 1205cc class showed the most diversity in entries, with BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, and KTM all represented. The PPIHC crew isn’t keen on full-fledged sport bikes racing on the mountain, relegating those entries that did show up into the exhibition class. Though many thought the sport bikers would dominate this year, it was the adventure-touring bikes in 1205cc class that would lay siege to Pikes Peak, in more than impressive style.

Shattering the 10 minute lap barrier to the summit, Carlin Dunne made a repeat victory and course record with his 9’52.819 run on the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak race bike. With Dunne’s transponder failing to check in a final time at the finish, the entire paddock had to sit and wait for his result before a winner could be declared, since Greg Tracy also put in an astounding sub-10 minute run as well, with a 9’58.262 lap to the top — doing so with a vertebrae that he fractured the previous Sunday, shooting a commercial for Ducati & Audi.

With the motorcycles getting fairly good weather on the mountain, the rest of the classes were not as fortunate. With rain, hail, and snow reported at the summit, the car classes had to contend with the changing conditions, and a bevy of red flags, before they could get all their races completed. One of the longest hill climbs in duration ever at Pikes Peak, the day saw Rhys Millen set an outright course record of 9’46.164 in the Time Attack class on his Hyundai drift car.

Of course, the real feat is Dunne and Tracy’s times, which were the third and fourth fastest overall for the day, respectively — on fairly stock adventure-touring machines, no less.

2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race Results:

Pos. PIC Name Lap Time Speed Hometown Chassis
1205cc Motorcycle Class
3 1 Carlin Dunne 9:52.819 72.872 Santa Barbara CA Ducati
4 2 Greg Tracy 9:58.262 72.209 Long Beach CO Ducati
16 3 Bruno Langlois 11:05.342 64.929 Ajaccio France Ducati
34 4 Eddie Tafoya 11:38.545 61.843 Chino Hills CA Ducati
40 5 Michael Henao 11:41.686 61.566 Boulder CO Harley Davidson
50 6 Jiri Heinik 11:51.967 60.677 Czech Republic KTM
115 7 Norman Meyer 13:38.408 52.785 Conifer CO BMW
135 8 Weston Orloff –.— 0.000 Mukwonago WI Harley Davidson
750cc Motorcycle Class
10 1 Gary Trachy 10:40.753 67.421 Orange CA TM
15 2 Jeff Grace 11:02.472 65.210 Colorado Springs CO KTM
28 3 James McKay 11:31.423 62.480 Dayton NV Husaberg
31 4 Joseph Toner 11:35.449 62.118 Scotland Kawasaki
42 5 Marco Belli 11:43.715 61.388 Varese Italy Ouroboros
44 6 Mattia Riva 11:44.397 61.329 Maslianicocomo Italy Husaberg
48 7 Ryan Oosterman 11:49.827 60.860 New Ipswich NH KTM
59 8 Joseph Connor Toner 12:00.457 59.962 Scotland Aprilia
74 9 Pierpaolo Vivaldi 12:16.133 58.685 Trevenzuolo Italy SMR
78 10 Dan Harmon 12:20.855 58.311 Florissant CO KTM
108 11 Lee Summers 13:14.639 54.364 Midland TX KTM
450cc Motorcycle Class
17 1 Travis Newbold 11:06.618 64.805 Montrose CO Honda
19 2 Greg Chicoine 11:12.312 64.256 Jefferson SD Kawasaki
20 3 Daniel Berendes 11:12.970 Monument CO Honda
21 4 Craig Gleason 11:13.782 64.116 San Marcos TX Yamaha
24 5 Geoff Cesmat 11:20.195 63.511 Boulder CO Yamaha
25 6 Jeff Delio 11:23.479 63.206 Littleton CO Yamaha
26 7 Chase Guthrie 11:28.056 62.786 Mentone IND Kawasaki
29 8 Darryl Lujan 11:33.566 62.287 Brighton CO Honda
33 9 Teague Sawyer 11:38.399 61.856 Thornton CO Honda
37 10 Cal Collins 11:40.749 61.648 Chandler AZ Honda
46 11 Tom McCarthy 11:44.807 61.293 Des Moines IA Honda
47 12 Donnie Bales 11:47.241 61.082 Murrieta CA Honda
49 13 Greg Nichols 11:50.951 60.764 Boulder CO Yamaha
56 14 Mark Niemi 11:59.234 60.064 Denison TX Honda
60 15 Timothy Buhler 12:01.197 59.900 Pine CO Yamaha
62 16 Eric Monus 12:01.823 59.848 Houston TX Yamaha
67 17 Mark Woodward 12:06.625 59.453 Longmont CO Kawasaki
68 18 Jim Cole 12:06.688 59.448 Parker CO Yamaha
71 19 Justin Flater 12:10.889 59.106 Colorado Springs CO Honda
72 20 Thomas Specht 12:13.906 58.863 Woodland Park CO Honda
73 21 Doug Chestnutt 12:14.890 58.784 Littleton CO Yamaha
79 22 Michael Kassebaum 12:22.869 58.153 Lawrence NE Honda
83 23 Brandon Rader 12:29.197 57.662 Lees Summit MO Honda
87 24 Ryan Radar 12:37.969 56.994 Lees Summit MO KTM
90 25 Charles Ford 12:39.450 56.883 Colorado Springs CO Honda
93 26 Donnie Burns 12:42.642 56.645 Colorado Springs CO Honda
104 27 William Kitchens 12:56.462 55.637 Houston TX Aprilia
110 28 Chris Carr 13:15.360 54.315 Atlanta GA KTM

Source: PPIHC; Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. wreckah says:

    can anyone tell me why sportsbikes are not liked on the mountain? also, if it is 100% tarmac, how come sportsbikes are not faster? is it too tight?

    i mean, it is pretty fun racing these sit-up motards (i do trackdays on my 990SM too), but you can hardly say they’re perfect for road racing : weight, seating position, ground clearance, aero’s, power,..

  2. Gutterslob says:

    @wreckah
    Yeah, I asked the same thing in the previous Pikes Peak article a couple of days ago.
    Wasn’t quite sure as I’ve never been to the place, but looking at the amount of aero and what little ground clearance the cars have, I’m think a full-on litrebike or something like an Aprillia Tuono 1000 would decimate the outright lap-times set by the cages.

    Not sure how much they’d gain in the higher sections where the turns are tighter and the air thinner, but they’d make a helluva lot of seconds in the flowing bits at the beginning, me thinks. Maybe they should let John McGuinness have a go next year.

  3. dwolvin says:

    I would bet that it’s because of the brutal acceleration that a race bike has means that they would be carrying so much corner speed in that the race officials fear becoming the new IoM TT, and they don’t want the fatalities.

    Not saying it’s true, but that’s my gut feelign.

  4. MikeD says:

    U know……….a couple of pictures of the other riders/competitors/machines besides these GLORIFIED Ugly Ducs wouldn’t hurt.

    Sure, congrats to Ducati but they ain’t the only ones risking it going up the mountain.
    It makes it look to me like a DUCATI PAID and ENDORSED Article…not the case ?
    Sure smells like it.

    P.S: I know u like Ducs…but c’mon.

  5. Steve says:

    @ Gutterslob

    Me don’t think so!

    Rough figures:
    Superbike: 220hp for 260 kg (with 80 kg rider) = 0.85 hp/kg
    2011 Suzuki Monster Sport SX4: 910hp for 1170 kg (with 80 kg drider) = 0.78 hp/kg

    Car specs: http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/default.aspx?carID=19958&i=2

    The car has a lot more traction for accelerating, braking and cornering, especially if you count the aero devices!

    Fastest electric in at 10:15! (Watch out for the next years!)

  6. MikeD says:

    @Steve:

    Besides the woes and havoc that temp changes bring to batts…the beauty of it AND electric motors is that they don’t give a five flying frack about DEMINISHING AIR DENSITY.

  7. Woody says:

    On almost anything requiring traction, the fastest car will beat the fastest motorcycle. The tiny contact patch on bike tires can’t give the corner speed that four car tires can.

  8. MikeD says:

    @Woody:

    +1. Proven Fact.

  9. MikeD, if I did that, then you’d be complaining that this story didn’t have a photo of the bike/rider that blew away the course record and gave the four-wheelers a serious run for their money on the King of the Mountain title.

    You must be confusing me with another blog that’s on an Italian manufacturer’s payroll.

  10. MikeD says:

    @Jensen:

    That’s why i said ” besides “… The winner will be the winner(he/she will always be given the utmost attention) … but he wasn’t the only competitor.
    I don’t xpect a picture of EVERYONE that was there…but someone else besides the Ducs wouldn’t kill you.

    That’s all im saying.

    P.S: I always have something to critizice, one of my greatest shortcomings…sometimes taken with a grain of salt…..sometimes it has got me BANNED from other places… (^_^) hehehe.

  11. Richard Gozinya says:

    @MikeD

    If you’re all that interested in the other riders, you can always try Google. The guy on the Harley who placed 5th for example was interesting, a rookie rider, first time at Pikes Peak, on a bike he had 3 days with come race day. Not a bad showing for a rookie on an XR1200, up against MTS’s, Streetfighters and an HP2.

  12. Gutterslob says:

    @Steve
    I was basing my assumption based on the fact that an almost stock multistrada covered the entire course just 10 seconds slower than a highly tuned car. Not improbable that a supersport-spec 1000cc would make that up, considering the lenghth of the course.

    Obviously, the cars will get faster next year, having acquired data from this even and whatnot, but I still see them beating all the production-based cages. A highly tuned electric in a Radical SR3 “Le-Mans style” chassis might be a different kettle of fist, though.

    Speaking of Radicals, maybe we should see proper bike-engined Radicals or Westfields there in future. Those kits tend to rule the tight hillclimb events in England.

  13. I’ve got about 100 photos to touch up on the flight home, that should help diversify the coverage.

  14. RGR says:

    Gutterslob, I hear what you’re saying but I’ll bet you’ve never taken an MTS1200 out in the twisties. The bike might not have the hp of the top liter bikes but the handling is unreal. I doubt many could outrun me on my Multi; rider talent being somewhat similar. And my other two bikes are liter supersports btw. My only beef with the bike is the damn rider’s seat. I’m sure most other owners would disagree with me, but that is the most uncomfortable saddle I’ve ever sat in. Once I fix that, I’ll be very happy.

    The only thing I wonder about is how they fixed the clearance issue. I’m guessing they’re running custom rearsets on the racebikes although I haven’t searched out any pictures to verify. The stock MTS runs out of room pretty quickly in spirited riding and you hit the pegs (and your feet) pretty easily.

  15. AK says:

    Well they have Busa in a Sidecar class

  16. adam says:

    what happened with audi rs5 sport. it was told to compete with multistrada..

  17. Gutterslob says:

    @RGR
    No, I haven’t run a MTS1200 on a course like Pikes Peak, or anything resempling Pikes Peak, for that matter. I’ll take your word for it, as I only have one bike (Speed Triple) which probably came with an equally uncomfortable stock seat (the angle/incline, not the padding, in my case) btw.

    As for the pegs; well, they allow aftermarket rearsets even in the most amateur level club-race events I’ve taken part in, so I’m pretty sure it’d be legal to change em for something like Pikes Peak. Pretty sure they’d allow some sort of custom mounting even if the stock mounts didn’t suffice, since ground-clearance relates to safety to a large extent.

  18. MikeD says:

    @Jensen:

    Thank you Sir. Ur sure listen to your “audience”. LOL.

    @Richard G:

    (^_^) U saw that ? Sometimes even the Bitchy ones get attention…..ROTFLMAO.

  19. RGR says:

    Hey Gutterslob, we have similar taste. I was the proud owner of an ’07 Speed Triple at one time. I had the optional gel seat on mine and it was SO much better than the stock saddle. I’d say the Multistrada handles better than the Speed Triple believe it or not (a bit more stable and you get even more leverage from the bar). Of course, I have the S version with the Ohlins suspension, etc. so it’s not exactly apples to apples. It also has more power. The Speed Triple is an awesome bike though, so I’m certainly not dogging it for anything. I had a blast on mine and really liked it a lot.

    One nice thing about Colorado is that roads like Pikes Peak are all over the place lol! Riding here is phenomenal.

  20. BSA bike says:

    There aren’t any superbikes because the rules won’t allow it. While cars have an unlimited class that is only limited by safety gear, the fastest bike class is limited to three cylinders and must have come from the factory with a tube handlebar, not clipons. No Panigale, ZX-10r, S1000RR, etc. No superchargers or nos. No slick tires, must have street tires. These are pretty severe restrictions for a paved course that tops out at over 14,000feet.
    The only reason bikes got close to the cars this year is because snow closed the top of the course before the fastest cars got a chance to race. They ran a short course that was only 4-5 minutes long.
    Of course the fastest motorcycles were ridden by the spectators and parked on the shoulder while dirtbikes went up the closed paved course on treaded street tires.