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?

Moto2: Ant West Caught Doping – Issued 30-Day Ban

10/31/2012 @ 3:55 pm, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

Moto2: Ant West Caught Doping   Issued 30 Day Ban Ant West QMMF Racing Moto2 Scott Jones

The Phillip Island was a high for Moto2′s Ant West, as the Australian rider put his QMMF Racing bike on the second podium spot after the well-fought race. With three Australians on the podium for each of the three GP classes, the Australian GP was highlighted with Casey Stoner’s last ride at Phillip Island, making the event a bittersweet moment for the local crowd.

For Ant West though, it will be his last memory for the 2012 Moto2 season, as the 31-year-old rider from Maryborough has been handed a 30-day ban from the sport, after failing a drug test at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. Found to have Methylhexaneamine (DMMA), a mild stimulant that is found in dietary supplements, in his system at the French round, West will miss Valencia, the last round of the Moto2 season.

There is a bit of conjecture as to how the Methylhexaneamine made its way into West’s system, though the obvious indication was that there were trace amounts in whatever dietary supplement West may have been using, which may or may not have even listed the presence of DMAA on its ingredients list.

As such it might be a cruel fate for West, who may have been unaware of the Methylhexaneamine’s presence in his supplements, however as with all doping cases of this nature, the burden is clearly on the athlete to be careful about which drugs and supplements they use while under anti-doping controls, making this perhaps a hard lesson learned

A mild stimulant, DMAA would conceivably allow a rider a greater amount of focus during a race, which is likely why it ended up on the CDI’s control list — though the drug has been linked to health risks, and suspected in the heart attacks of two US soliders. The substance is banned outright in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, with restrictions in place in Sweden and in The Netherlands, while the United States of America has challenged Methylhexaneamine producers to prove the drug’s safety.

Losing his seventh-place finish at the French GP, the results of this drug test will not affect West’s results at Phillip Island, nor any other races besides the one at Le Mans, though it will prematurely end a hot finish to his season. Handing down a relatively minor punishment, the CDI’s decision would seem to confirm that West’s failed doping test is being chalked up to inadvertent use of DMAA.

West has five days to appeal the FIM’s ban with the International Tribunal of Appeal. So far, his twitter account has been quiet on the subject of his failed doping test. For further reading, checkout Ben Spies’ interview about doping in MotoGP and the anti-doping procedures in Grand Prix racing.

Source: FIM; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Emptybee says:

    “It was just something I picked up at Lance Armstrong’s garage sale. How was I to know it was a banned substance?”

  2. JW says:

    Another blow to the sport, can’t wait to put this season behind us. For the sake of Moto GP next year must get back to what it once was. I am afraid if next year is repeat crap, Dorna will no longer be able to sustain its path.

  3. 76 says:

    FYI Methylhexaneamine can be found in a lot cold & sinus over the counter medication. If you took Advil Cold And Sinus Daytime you would fail the test. Of course a racer has to know what he needs to be responsible for but its a rather mild stimulant regarded closer to a cup of coffee.

  4. "@Asphalt_Rubber: Moto2: Ant West Caught Doping – Issued 30-Day Ban – #motorcycle"

  5. Rick65 says:

    I find the headline to be poor, sensationalist and cheap.
    For me doping is a conscious decision to use illegal substances (a la Lance or Ben J) rather than an inadvertant use as West seems to have done. The text and punishment are much milder that the headline implies.

  6. pooch says:

    Totally agree, this isn’t a case of doping at all. And it throws a lot of very undeserved dirt at Ant West, a guy who has struggled on crap bikes for years, and now he’s got a couple podiums in a row and the world is starting to be a happy place, then this complete garbage charge.

    As 76 says this kind of positive result can be found from taking any number of over the counter cold and flu medications. This is far from ‘a blow to the sport’ I mean FFS. To get a 30 day ban for this is total rubbish, and the FIM should bow their heads in shame.


  7. jeram says:

    poor guy.

    could have happened to anyone.

    I think the better outcome would have been just to strip his lemans result with no 30 day ban.

    but Im sure the procedures in place state that there is a minimum of 30 day ban, so this is what theyve handed down to him. the bare minimum.

  8. Julian Bond says:

    Nori Haga redux. It seems likely that it was unintentional, but that is only guess work.

  9. Max says:

    Cases like this have been fairly pressent in New Zeland if I am not mistaken. DMAA (or as some people call it 1-3) was/is used in many bodybuilding supplements that were/are legal to purchase.

    I have used DMAA very often in the past, and while it is a decent stimulant you can build a tolerance rather easy.

    I think it is laughable to count it as “doping” or put in the same category as the doping cyclist do (flood transfusion and that type of thing).

  10. TRL says:


    What it once was? Maybe you aren’t old enough to remember the motorcycle industry of the 70′s, 80′s and early 90′s! Not so many saints…many sinners…

    Good times….

  11. Clive says:

    Jensen, as some of the other guys have stated, very poor choice of headline and a cheapshot. Not a good way to start your next 10 years of asphalt & rubber huh?

  12. Neil says:

    I have to agree, this is a crap article….West should appeal this in a heartbeat.

  13. spectre says:

    Also agree – sensationalist tasteless headline, not in-line with the facts. Doping? Doesn’t that refer to blood transfusion?

    The fact he could’ve downed 2 red bulls and achieved 10 x the medical stimulation levels means this is another Haga-like case of misfortune, and from my point of view a real shame that he may not get to show his talent on a bike that’s just starting to work for him. Not impressed with A& on this one at all…

  14. Spamtasticus says:

    I’m sure this was just a lapse in judgement and not an attempt at getting links to this story to generate more clickthroughs to this site. That said, this article would serve as a perfect teaching tool in journalism school when they get to the course on sensationalist headlines.You have a great blog here and your association to a fine journalist like Krop gives it much weight. Lets not dilute that.

  15. JW says:

    @ TRL

    I am 56 and raced from the same home town as Kenny Roberts AMA district 36, Modesto California.

    The sport is in trouble on many fronts and not from this silly article alone. Much has changed this sport from the good old days, those who follow GP will agree…

  16. Good to see there are a lot of Ant West fans here on the site. I like the Aussie too, though I’m afraid he’s going to end his career in Moto2 (fingers crossed for a CRT ride though).

    As for the headline:

    My dictionary defines the verb doping as: “to administer drugs (to a racehorse, greyhound, or athlete) in order to inhibit or enhance sporting performance.”

    Wikipedia says, “The use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in human “sport” is commonly referred to as Doping,[1] particularly by those organizations that regulate competitions.”

    So what do we have here? West was found to have a banned substance, Methylhexaneamine, in his system. By definition, he was doping. Sorry if your connotation doesn’t mean the word’s definition.

    You can argue intent (which is just conjecture at this point), but as we have seen with the FIM’s ruling, the situation is a strict-liability infraction, and unfortunately West will sit out 30 days because of all this.

    You absolutely can dope in the sport of motorcycle racing, as concentration and focus are center pieces to the skill set required to race at the GP level. Stimulants have been medically proven to improve one’s ability to focus and concentrate, and drugs like Methylhexaneamine have had a dubious safety history. Hence, it has been banned.

    Whether or not other drugs and stimulants should be on the list, or whether Methylhexaneamine performs in a similar capacity to say caffeine or another “legal” substances, is irrelevant. The drug is on the banned list. You take it, you’re violating the rules. End of story.

    As with all professional athletes, it was West’s burden to avoid taking a banned substance, and though he may have inadvertently or unintentionally taken something with Methylhexaneamine in it, the fact remains that he had it in his system come race day, and he had a competitive advantage over the other racers who didn’t have it in their system, however slight that advantage may have been.

    The article and its headline are factually accurate, and will remain the way they are.

    Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the matter, but if this story rubs you the wrong way because of the fact that when you think of “doping” you picture bodybuilders, cyclists, and track & field athletes, then you need to change they way you think. Doping involves something beyond just steroids, blood transfusions, and muscle mass.

  17. Rick65 says:

    No problems with the article, just the headline.
    Even Crash which normally loves attention generating headlines had something like
    “West fails anti-doping test” ie one test which is a much more accurate description on the facts available.

  18. TexusTim says:

    MAN HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO OFF THE TRACK WERE THAT PICTUER WAS TAKEN ?…lets see first I hit the tire barrier then hit the wire fence if im not shredded by the fence then flip over it into the arms of the unsuspecting crowd of onlookers ?..WTF THAT ISNT A RACE TRACK ITS A CHICKEN COOP WITH AN ASPHALT FRONT PORCH…lol

  19. Calisdad says:

    It almost looks as tho DMMA is the sponsor on the side of his bike. Red Bull must be pissed.

    What a joke. Let him appeal, ride the last race of the season and give him his suspension in December.

  20. spectre says:

    Jensen: quoting the dictionary definition is a bit patronising – the general consensus was that the construction of the sentence was such that suggests West’s intent to gain advantage – IE ‘caught’. If a child throws an extra pack of candy in your shopping trolley and you leave the store and get stopped – it would be unfair to say the person had been ‘caught stealing’.

    Doping, while I’m aware of it’s dictionary status, is more commonly used in my experience with blood doping in endurance cycle racing – when an article can be more specific I’m more used to seeing ‘fails urine test’ or ‘illegal substance detected’ etc.

    I still feel the headline is loaded and sets an unfair slander on the rider before the more benign content has been read.

  21. CJAY says:

    He tested positive for a mild stimulant that is not even listed as an ingredient in the products that it may be used in. In some lists of banned drugs this drug is not included. I feel for Ant – but rules are rules and it looks like he has copped it on the chin. Well done.

  22. Brett says:

    If they are using the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List (available online) it’s very extensive and not totally clear, especially when it comes to DMAA. There are at least 7 different names for it (acc. to Wikipedia) and the WADA lists 2, neither of which is on the back of my container of Jack3d – which I have to quit using now if I want to pass drug tests for a particular powerlifting federation I may decide to join. 1,3 Dimethylamylamine HCl is what Jack3d calls it…