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.

2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR Production Race Bike

07/09/2012 @ 11:30 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR Production Race Bike 2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR Production Racer 1 635x401

Taking advantage of a quasi-home round for the MotoGP Championship at the German GP, Austrian company KTM debuted it latest “ready to race” machine, the 2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR production race bike. A for-sale-version of its Moto3 Championship contender, the KTM Moto3 250 GPR borrows heavily from its GP-class predecessor, though comes in a slightly lower state of tune.

Featuring forged aluminum OZ wheels instead of magnesium ones, the production racer also comes sans Brembo brakes and WP suspension (items race teams would likely get from suppliers separately anyways). There is however one big technical difference, as KTM has reduced the bike’s maximum engine speed to 13,500 rpm, down from the 14,000 found on the factory bikes. This leaves the 2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR production racer with just under 50hp on tap.

A beautiful machine in its own right, KTM’s launch of the 2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR production race bike was boosted by Sandro Cortese’s Moto3 race win at Sachsenring this weekend, and the young German rider is also leading the Moto3 Championship by 18 points. That sort of pedigree is sure to help justify the €45,000 price tag for the Moto3 production race bike. KTM is taking orders until October 2012, with deliveries set for February 2013.

Surely to be the basis of a 350cc sport bike destined for the American market in the 2014 model year, if KTM can keep the lines of that street-legal variant close to these (with the carbon fiber too, pretty please?), then the Austrians may have another hit on their hands.

2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR Production Race Bike Technical Specs:

Engine: Single cylinder, liquid cooled / 4-stroke / DOHC
Displacement / Bore x Stroke: 249.5 ccm / 81 x 48.5 mm
Performance: min. 37 kW at 13.000 rpm
Engine speed: max. 13,500 rpm
Front Suspension: WP / DM 45 mm, RCMA3548
Rear Suspension: WP / adjust. length, hydraulic preload
Brakes front/rear: Brembo Radial caliper, 290 / 190 mm single disc
Rims front/rear: OZ Forged Aluminum 2.5 x 17 / 3.5 x 17
Tires front/rear: Dunlop 95/70-17 / 115/70-17
Silencer: Akrapovic Full Titanium System (max. 108 dB)
Frame: Tubular steel with adjust. headstock and swing arm pivot
Dry weight/tank capacity: approx. 83 kg / approx. 11 liters

2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR Production Race Bike 2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR Production Racer 8 635x423

2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR Production Race Bike 2013 KTM Moto3 250 GPR Production Racer 2 635x423

Source: KTM

Comment:

  1. Tyler says:

    I would certainly love a more “normal” version of this for the track and all-around awesome times… The sooner, the better. It’s just so satisfying passing/beating people on a “slower” bike.

  2. BBQdog says:

    Want one, want one, want one.
    And waiting for the 2014 roadgoing 350cc version !

  3. jackie says:

    That’s certainly my ideal type race bike, in the vein of the Supermono. I cant imagine it being anything but rare in numbers and availability though, as its lower displacement wont translate into lower cost. Still, I hope they tempt us with something light and nimble, that we cant afford not to own.

  4. Keith says:

    keep the cylinder…make it a 45deg vtwin. I’ll take two…heck I can tag almsot anything where I live. ;^)

  5. John says:

    Under 200lbs dry? With 50 HP? *drool*

    If they bring a 40 HP, 225lb sub $15k version to the states, then I’ll take two please!

  6. mxs says:

    At 15K, they would not sell (needs to be closer to 10K). Not in North America …. It needs to be cheaper or a bigger displacement, as those are the rules of North American motorcycling game.

  7. Joey says:

    While this is interesting for those with deep pockets or sponsor backed racers, I believe the real value lies in this is as a platform for the 350cc sports bike which will be coming to American (and other) shores! We can only hope that it will be priced to compete with the existing 250cc Ninja and Honda’s.

    My wallet is already pried open in preparation for the pre-orders to be announced.

  8. pat walker says:

    rebuiding its top end 3 times will cost you as much as buying the old 125 motorcycle.

  9. SPEKTRE76 says:

    I’d love to have one of these. I’ve been dying for a light weight 250 since the days of the Aprilia RS250! This being a 4-stroke, I’d beg for a 350cc road going version 2 225lbs like John said. It would look sick next to my ’10 Corvette Grand Sport

  10. Westward says:

    Joey has a point… $10-15K, you have to be kidding. A road version would have to be half that, and a race version would need to be less than $10K in the US for americans to see a value…