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.

2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez

03/22/2012 @ 1:32 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 635x523

Light on sponsors, but heavy on style, the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 broke cover today at the Jerez. The 1,000cc inline four-cylinder machine will catapult factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, as well as satellite riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad, as they attempt to overturn the Honda supremacy of last season.

With more than 240hp at the crank, there can be little doubt that the new M1 will be blisteringly quick, and 220+ mph speed trap times are already being pondered for fast tracks like Mugello. Called the best bike in the paddock by Repsol Honda boss Shuhei Nakamoto, the tuning-fork brand seems set to give Casey Stoner and HRC a run for their money in their Championship defences. Photos and technical specifications after the jump.

“It’s very exciting to be here so close to the first race. I love the new livery and Yamaha’s hard work has given us a very competitive bike to fight with this season,” said former MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo. “It’s good to be here at a different track to test against our competitors before we start next month. It was a pleasure to see so many of our MotoGP media friends here to take part in the launch, nice to see so many take their picture with my bike!”

“I’m loving the new bike, man it’s great to be back on a 1000cc machine!” added American Ben Spies. “The riding style is much closer to my natural way of riding which makes it a lot more fun. The colors look great so I’m ready to get out there tomorrow for our final shakedown before Qatar.”

Technical Specifications of the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1:

Engine: 1000cc liquid-cooled, inline four-cylinder, four stroke
Power: more than 240 horsepower (176Kw)
Transmission: 6-speed extractable with various choices reports
Chassis: Aluminium twin tube, with various geometrical possibilities of steering angle, distance, height. Aluminum swingarm
Suspension: Ohlins inverted fork and rear shock, all adjustable for preload, compression damping and rebound damping adjustable high and low speeds. Various rear suspension available
Looking for: MFR, diameter 16.5 inches front and rear
Tires: Bridgestone, 16.5 inches diameter
Brakes: Brembo,. two 320mm carbon fiber and double clamp with 4 opposed pistons. Single stainless steel rear disc brake caliper 2-piston calipers
Weight: 157 kg according to FIM regulations

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 01 635x423

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 05 635x423

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 13 635x954

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 12 635x952

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 15 635x422

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 16 635x954

2012 Yamaha YZR-M1:

2012 Yamaha Racing Livery:

2012 Yamaha Factory Team Livery for Jorge Lorenzo:

2012 Yamaha Factory Team Livery for Ben Spies:

Source: Yamaha Racing

Comment:

  1. AC says:

    I’m digging the livery.

  2. Westward says:

    Not sure I’m digging Spies’ new number plate. May take a while for me to warm up to it, otherwise, it’s a right clean looking bike…

  3. FeelgoodInc says:

    IMHO the best looking M1 since the glorious Gauloises livery in 04 and 05. Specifically 04. For me though, its a shame not to see a 46 on the front.

  4. Dang, that’s lookin’ sweet. :)

  5. MikeD says:

    These pictures are SHARP…and the bikes are looking SHARPER.
    That Ohlins Fork and Brembos Calipers + Carbon Rotors are ManCave CenterPiece Material !
    Are those Marchesini wheels ? Magnesium or just forged Aluminium ?
    Side comment: Why do they even bother on slapping something remotely similar to a muffler when these things run str8 pipes ? That Akra can’t possibly muffler something…the darn thing looks more like a friggin resonator if anything !

  6. MikeD says:

    P.S: Somehow Yamaha squeezed more HP out of the HP-UNfriendly CrossPlane Crank(going from 800 to 1000cc didn’t hurt’em either,lol)…Why can’t they do a bit like that for their Street Cow(R1) ?

  7. Anti says:

    I want that exhaust.

  8. david says:

    i’m trying so hard to really imagine what it would feel like to be running somewhere around 240hp and i can’t wrap my mind around it.

  9. @david: Imagine, if you will, being in 6th gear running at 160 kph. You crank the throttle and the front wheel claws skyward. That’ll give you some idea.

    Meanwhile, according to Kenny Roberts, don’t wheelie one for more than two seconds; otherwise, the motor self destructs due to oil scavenging issues. *giggle*

  10. Roy says:

    Love it! i’m worried though about the lack of sponsorship on the fairings..

  11. Adam says:

    @Mike D: I would think they put the muffler on there for marketing. it is a straight pipe yes but would it make sense to an exhaust manufacturer to only have a pipe with their sticker on it? to me no. If I were Akraopovic I would want something that resembles my product. that’s my thoughts anyway.

  12. Patron says:

    Well done. These are the guys I’m pulling for this season. Always been a Spies fan and really started liking JL after the last couple seasons. I’m hoping one of these two can unseat Stoner this year.

  13. MikeD says:

    @Adam:

    Marketing point of view ? Totally makes sense.

  14. Steve Lang says:

    Love the Coke can muffler. Can’t wait to start the season.