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 Bol d’Or 24-hour Race Results

04/22/2013 @ 10:33 am, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

2013 Bol d’Or 24 hour Race Results src kawasaki bol d or 24 hours 2013

While we were busy getting sunburned in Austin, on the other side of the globe in Magny-Cours, men and women road motorcycles around a french track for 24-hours straight, in a little something called the Bol d’Or.

With SRC Kawasaki making a return to the pole-position, the French squad made it two years in a row at the winner’s circle, giving them a fantastic start to the World Endurance Championship. At the helm of their Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R were Gregory Leblanc, Loris Baz, and Jérémy Guarnoni, who battled through rain and the cold night to put the Kawasaki on the top step.

Finishing with a comfortable nine-lap lead over the Monster Energy Yamaha YART squad from Austria, SRC’s position at the front was closely contested early-on by the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) and Yamaha France GMT94. They team had a solid ride from Igor Jerman, Broc Parkes, and Sheridan Morais (who replaced Josh Waters), and looks to be in good shape for the rest of the EWC season.

The same consistency cannot be said for SERT, which four hours into the race already had two crashes to its name. The first crash was with Anthony Delhalle, who was followed shortly after into the gravel by Vincent Philippe, who while being stretchered off the course, jumped out of the medics’ stretcher and refused to get in the ambulance. Ten hours later, SERT would be back in the podium hunt, and later would finish with a third-place result.

BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent also crashed twice, but couldn’t recover from the setbacks, leaving Sébastien Gimbert, Sylvain Barrier, and Karl Muggeridge had to throw in the towel at dusk.

Another impressive performance was put in by Yamaha France GMT94, who looked to be in the hunt for a podium as well. However, an electrical issue towards the end of the race saw the team slip back and fall out of contention — an unjust result for riders David Checa, Kenny Foray, and Matthieu Lagrive.

The Honda TT Legends squad also retired with a mechanical issue, 18-hours into the race. Sitting in fourth place throughout most of the Bol d’Or, Dunlop came into the pits with a bad heat exchanger. Fixing the machine, McGuinness then went out, but the damage had been done to the motor, and the bike had to retire.

Interestingly enough, Michael Rutter’s last-minute team change to the National Motos squad put The Blade on the top-placing Honda entry at the finish. Rutter was replaced in the Honda TT Legends squad by Michael Dunlop, after Dunlop set the fastest lap for the team in qualifying and worries in the team about Rutter’s injured leg making the race-distance abounded.

In the Superstock class, local man Jason Pridmore rode the Franks Autowelt BMW S1000RR, along with co-riders Pedro Vallcaneras and Steve Mercer, to a second place finish. Only 20 laps back from SRC Kawasaki at the end of the 24 hours, and 6th place overall, Pridmore and crew finished on the same lap as the first-place Superstock team, Junior Team Suzuki LMS, making it a tight race in the SST class.

Race Results for the 2013 Bol d’Or 24 Hours at Magny-Cours, France:

Pos. Team Bike Riders Class Time
1 Team Kawasaki SRC Kawasaki Leblanc/Baz/Guarnoni 808 Laps EWC
2 Monster Energy Yamaha YART Yamaha Jerman/Parkes/Morais -9 Laps EWC
3 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki Philippe/Delhalle/Da Costa -11 Laps EWC
4 Yamaha France GMT94 Michelin Yamaha Checa/Foray/Lagrive -15 Laps EWC
5 Junior Team Suzuki LMS Suzuki Guittet/Masson/Chevaux -20 Laps SST
6 Franks Autowelt BMW Vallcaneras/Pridmore/Mercer -20 Laps SST
7 Team R2CL Suzuki Giabbani/Dietrich/Buisson -23 Laps EWC
8 National Motos Honda Junod/Rutter/Four -24 Laps EWC
9 Team Motors Events Suzuki Fastre/Lucas/Savary -25 Laps SST
10 Starteam Pam Racing Suzuki Prulhiere/Maurin/Longearet -26 Laps SST
11 AM Moto Racing Competition Suzuki Loiseau/Maitre/Hardt -29 Laps SST
12 Metiss JLC Moto Metiss Michel/Huvier/Cheron -32 Laps Open
13 Atomic Motosport Suzuki Tangre/Jond/Camus -33 Laps SST
14 Yamaha Viltais Experience Yamaha Bardet/Besnard/Berthome -39 Laps SST
15 Maco Racing Team Yamaha Bouan/Cummins/Roccoli -39 Laps EWC
16 RAC 41 Yamaha Yamaha Charpin/Praud/Depoorter -41 Laps EWC
17 Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki Saiger/Mita/Wildisen -42 Laps EWC
18 Racing Team Sarazin Kawasaki Guerouah/Kokes/Major -52 Laps SST
19 No Limits Motor Team Suzuki Casas/Boscoscuro/Rosso -56 Laps SST
20 Team Louit Moto 33 Kawasaki Marino/Savadori/Jonchiere -58 Laps SST
21 Team FMA Assurances Honda Black/Kerkhoven/Fissette -60 Laps EWC
22 Team Space Moto 37 Suzuki Nouvellon/Deneque/Roche/ -63 Laps EWC
23 AZ Motos Suzuki Mezard/Boue/Dupuy -65 Laps SST
24 3D Endurance Moto Center Kawasaki Salchaud/Egea/Holub -71 Laps SST
25 SPE Samurai Suzuki Teramoto/Fujishima/Piccolo -74 Laps EWC
26 Team 2CP Racing Suzuki Gelas/Descours/Petitjean -78 Laps SST
27 ACR 74 Suzuki Huguenin/Vial/Grippi -79 Laps SST
28 DL Moto Racing Kawasaki Morin/Thuillier/Saive -80 Laps SST
29 PL Performances Suzuki Lepand/Delanoe/Blanchet -84 Laps SST
30 BMRT Moustic Moto Expert 58 Kawasaki Mange/Elbachir/Burlin -89 Laps SST
31 Acro Racing Team Yamaha Jean/Grimber/Lucas -93 Laps SST
32 Team Racing + Ouifm Kawasaki Dubarle/Tabaries/Vigneau -94 Laps SST
33 Plusrace Suzuki Navarette/Jacoby/Monier -98 Laps SST
34 Dunlop Motors Events Suzuki Cholvin/Richert/Putin -106 Laps SST
35 TMS Racing Honda Farlet/Herniques/Majastre -107 Laps SST
36 JCB YDCG Racing Kawasaki Cahagnet/Deneque/Marle -120 Laps SST
37 Scuderia Deux Roues Ducati Francois/Ancelin/Teissier -164 Laps Open
38 BI-Meca Racing Team Kawasaki Feuillee/Morat/Durant -165 Laps SST
39 Racing Team 87 Yamaha Hamard/Viaud/Taillandier -174 Laps SST
40 Flembbo Leader Team Kawasaki Demarey/Prosenik/Ortiz -188 Laps EWC

Source: FIM


  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a motorcycle endurance race televised here in the US, aside from Daytona, certainly not a 24-hour motorcycle race, like they have in Asia and Europe.

    The bikes are so much more interesting than those in Moto GP or World Superbike, since they are more closely related to street bikes, requiring parts and engines that can survive over extended running periods. I imagine that innovations which are directly applicable to street bikes are more often derived from this kind of racing, than any other.

  2. Mike says:

    I’ve been to 30 24-hour races (and 3 Daytona 200s) and the innovation has almost completely gone out of them, precisely because they are just very long superstock races now. Long gone are the prototypes, TZ750s with lights and car-engined oddities. Only the Metiss soldiers on with a funny front end. The number of non-French teams and riders has gradually dwindled.
    The only innovation now is in the French interpretation of the rules – ask Jason Pridmore.
    That said, a 24-hour race is still a real challenge. The best teams are ultra-skilled and the riders are all heroes in my book.
    To push a bike back to the pits from the far side of the track in the night, in the rain, rebuild it and go out and race for another 12 hours just for the privilege of finishing out of the points. Crazy!