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?

MotoGP: Dovi Meets the Desmo

11/12/2012 @ 11:01 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Dovi Meets the Desmo Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Corse Desmosedici GP13 01 635x422

Tomorrow is like Christmas for motorcycle lovers, as Tuesday is the first official day of the EICMA show in Milan, and it is also the first day of the post-season MotoGP testing at Valencia. With more than a few riders swapping seats for next year, one of the most anticipated transitions is Andrea Dovizioso to the Ducati Corse factory team.

The third wheel at the Repsol Honda team in 2011, Dovi made the jump to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 garage for 2012, with the hopes of auditioning for a seat on the factory Yamaha YZR-M1 next season. A certainly Valentino Rossi ruined that plan, so Dovi did the next best thing…he took Rossi’s seat at Ducati.

With the Ducati Desmosedici labelled as a career-ending machine, the GP11/GP12 nearly did The Doctor in, making the move by Dovizioso a brave one. Apparently trusting the words of Ducati’s new owner Audi, we will get our first glimpse of Dovi on the Ducati tomorrow, but for now we get our first photos of the pair’s preliminary introduction.

MotoGP: Dovi Meets the Desmo Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Corse Desmosedici GP13 02 635x458

MotoGP: Dovi Meets the Desmo Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Corse Desmosedici GP13 03 635x514

MotoGP: Dovi Meets the Desmo Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Corse Desmosedici GP13 04 635x952

MotoGP: Dovi Meets the Desmo Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Corse Desmosedici GP13 05 635x423

MotoGP: Dovi Meets the Desmo Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Corse Desmosedici GP13 06 635x954

Source: Ducati Corse


  1. Ryan says:

    Should be a “certain” valentino rossi. Cant wait to see dovi and Spies both get revenge on Rossi next season

  2. loki says:

    @Ryan – hope to see that too, though it’s a bit far-fetched.

  3. Giova says:

    Nothing will happen, it will be another frustrating season for Ducati.

  4. Dc4go says:

    As long as they quit trying to make the DESMO a Yamaha Ducati should start doing better right away.. Get rid of the sh*t exhaust, aluminum frame, and get with the program.. Ducati should get their $$ back from Rossi cause all he did was complain and in the end nothing else..

  5. L2C says:

    I hope Dovi, Spies and Rossi do well next season. Would be great for Ducati and Yamaha, and for the sport. Not looking or hoping that any of the riders will have a disastrous season, because the promotion flourishes will them all doing well.

  6. bemer2six says:

    Rossi took that seat from Dovi Yamaha made a big mistake by taking Rossi back we shall see what happens!!!

  7. Jaybond says:

    To be competitive again, Ducati should try convince Audi to try to use again the trellis style frame. That’s where the Ducati’s traditional strength lies. But the V4 engine could be narrower to assist mass centralization for better handling.

  8. Minibull says:

    I’m pretty certain the trellis does not hold strengths for Ducati in GP competition. Stoner pushed for the development of the carbon airbox frame. The steel trellis has a lot of welds, which Stoner himself said make each frame completly different. As in the setup with one bike would not work with the second bike.

    Add to that with the current (and future) engine rules, using the engine as part of the frame is not a good idea. Look at the problems Rossi had, just trying to get more adjustment out of the bike. Whole new cases had to be made to accomodate the changes they wanted to test, which then used up another one of their engine allocations.
    And now, with the engine development freeze they are looking at, all 5 of the engines will be sealed and set ready to go by the start of the season. That means if it is being used as part of the frame, they are then stuck with what the have at the start of the year.
    Seems like a hell of a way to cripple your ability to test and if needed, make changes to that frame layout.

    I love how people always label what the Burgess/Rossi team tried to do as “make a Yamaha out of the Ducati”
    Look at the whole of the MotoGP field. What frame “style” is most common? How can Bridgestone make a tyre suitable for 2 completly different styles of bike? What they were trying to acheive, in my mind, is to get something that is at least somewhat inline with the style of bike the rules (and tyres) dictate.

    The fans would be pissed if Rossi just kept riding round with the same bike, with no hint of change. They would ask, why are there no new developments from the brilliant Burgess and Rossi, they must not be that great at figuring out solutions after all.
    Similarly, the fans are pissed because all the changes they made didn’t do much to improve results. The same sort of thing gets said. All these new parts and the Doctor still cant ride it, they must not be that great at figuring out solutions after all.

    Make what you will of the following stuff. In my view, the spec tyre could be partly to “blame”.

    2004: Using Michelins. Capirossi 9th, Bayliss 14th.
    2005: Ducati, Suzuki and Kawasaki on Bridgestones. Ducati starting to get better results compared to the previous years
    2006: As above. Capirossi finishes the championship 3rd, very close to Hayden and Rossi.
    2007: As above again. Stoner wins the championship.
    2008:Ducati, Kawasaki and Suzuki on Bridgestones, plus a switch by Rossi and Pedrosa to Bridgestone part way through. Stoner 2nd in the championship.
    2009: Spec tyre comes in. Results starting to drop for Ducati. And on top of that, Stoner misses 3 races with his lactose intolerance.
    2010: A lot more crashes throughout the season. Having to push too hard, who knows.
    2011: Rossi and Hayden 7th and 8th in the standings

    Heres to the rejigged Ducati Team, I hope they come up with the goods eventually with Hayden and Dovi leading the way.

  9. jet057 says:

    This is like x-mas J.B. Finally Ducati has a real man at the helm who can and will tame the real beast.It won’t matter what frame is under him he has no fear,he ride’s on the edge somewhat like the man himself retired beast tamer Casey Stoner.We here kinda felt Rossi was all talk and no show,blaming the factory for his short comings.Audi has also started to flex their muscles,they want to win! Nikki and Dovi will be great teamate’s,no rossi pre-moddonna’s,the cat rode scared and at 3/4 throttle glad to see him go.Poor,poor yahmaha here you kicked Dovi out to bring in a washed out has been snifling cry baby,very sad.