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 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.

Photo: The Aprilia Moto2 Racer that Never Was

01/11/2012 @ 11:09 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Photo: The Aprilia Moto2 Racer that Never Was Aprilia Moto2 race bike 635x476

Aprilia’s bid to race in the Moto2 Championship was apparently very short-lived, as Italian moto site Infomoto2 has uncovered a photo of the project, that is of course before Piaggio executives killed the racing effort. Hoping to continue the brand’s domination in the middle-class of GP racing, Aprilia’s Moto2 effort surely suffered from the fact that a Honda CBR motor would reside inside the Italian company’s prototype machine. The conflict of interest is surely understandable, although admittedly Aprilia had no 600cc motor of its own to use for the Moto2 class. Still, a piece of “what could have been” racing history, if you squint hard enough you can see some of Aprilia’s other GP racing efforts in the bike’s design.

Back in 2010, the two-stroke based 250GP class was replaced by its four-stroke successor: Moto2. Dorna originally envisioned Moto2 to be more like the now-created Moto3 class, in which a small number of motor suppliers and custom chassis builders created bikes that GP teams would then race on relatively modest budgest. However, still an unproven formula at the time, the only OEM Dorna could get beg blackmail persuade to make the 600cc prototype class motors was Honda. The result is what we know today: a very evenly matched racing class that enjoys a grid of some 40+ bikes (cue appaluase).

Moto2, Moto3, and the new CRT rules for MotoGP are a response to the growing cost of GP racing. For 250GP, the a large portion of the reason for creating Moto2 stems from the absolute domination by Aprilia in the class, and the insurmountable amounts of money the company was asking from teams who wished to be competitive in 250cc prototype racing. With a grid fielded almost exclusively by Aprilia (it was a widely held belief that the Derbi bikes were just re-badged Aprilias as well), a team wishing to have a motorcycle that was actually capable of winning a race could expect to fork over a rumored €1 million per year to lease the equipment — that’s nearly half the cost of a satellite MotoGP bike.

Dorna had had enough of this arrangement, and Moto2 was born. Unable to get more OEMs involved with the change though, the Moto2 Championship suffers from being a rolling advertisement for Honda, which supplies the slightly modified CBR600RR spec motors for each Moto2 team. The result of the single-motor supplier situation compounded the problem with getting OEMs involved in the new racing class, as either none of the other factories wanted to race four-stroke 600cc prototype machines; or more importantly, none of the other OEMs wanted a Honda motor to be housed in their race bike.

Such was the case of the Aprilia Moto2 effort. Kiboshed by Piaggio executives, the Italian sport bike company did at least get far enough in its development process to build a machine that could race in Moto2. An amalgamation of Aprilia’s GP racing experience, the fairings look like they came straight off the ill-fated Aprilia RS3 Cube project, while the chassis is very similar to the Aprilia RSA 250 in its design. The Moto2 contender that never was, Aprilia left GP racing altogether, and reportedly dumped that budget into its World Superbike program.

We all know the story of WSBK and Aprilia in 2010, and how Max Biaggi won the World Championship for the Italian brand on the Aprilia RSV4. Now, the Aprilia RSV4 motor is becoming a class favorite with the CRT contingency in MotoGP. With the RSV4 motor widely regarded as being a repurposed MotoGP engine design from the 990cc era, it comes as no surprise then that the V4 lump would now find a home in MotoGP racing. With the news that Aprilia could also be building a prototype chassis around the RSV4 motor, it seems the cycle has come full-circle.

Source: Infomoto2


  1. MikeD says:

    I don’t blame them at all.
    Where’s the pride of running a motorcycle with your name on it but with the heart and soul of another company bating inside ? EXACTLY…PRETTY POINTLESS…unless ur HELL BENT on making a point(what point?)…go figure.
    And then there’s the money problems, world wide recession…it all starts to make a little sense.

    I laugh at “THE HONDA CUP[Moto2]“…is like watching NASCAR….all look and pretty much run the same guts. PIUUUUCCK !!! Being different just went down the Toilet.

  2. MikeD says:

    P.S: I totally disagree with this whole rumor thats been going around forever now of how the RSV4 Engine is a recycled MotoGP Engine…it’s nothing more than a high strung STREET MILL, there’s NOTHING EXOTIC about it…The thing is not even making the most HP or torque for crying out loud.

    That is truly a beasty motor…and they(Aprilia) should have never abandoned their RS3 Cube like a Prom Night Dumpster Baby.

  3. Colin Edwards might disagree with you on that last point.

  4. Dc4go says:

    The v4 in the RSV is not a MotoGp motor because Aprilia raced a triple made by Cosworthin the Cube… That being said the Rsv4 i have has fantastic torque , great hp and awesome usebility.. By far the easiest and funniest bike too ride i have ever owned… Handles like a 600 but pulls like a 1000… HP doesn’t make a great bike if the package sucks…

  5. MikeD says:

    That’s alright…he’s slowing down and had to do away with the “crumbles” [CRT BIKES]… not the WHOLE LOAF [REAL DEAL FACTORY BIKE].
    Yes, he rode the Cube…then again…the Cube scare the SHIT OUT OF HIM AND HAGA…specially Edwards that got a little TOASTY.
    He even went on to say the bike was borned “flawed”…sure dude…brush that dirt off your shoulder and blame the undeveloped monster bike…that already had pneumatic valves when all mighty Honda was still using valve springs and made at one time up to 260HP…(^_^)

  6. MikeD says:

    Dc4go said:

    HP doesn’t make a great bike if the package sucks…

    Indeed, but it sure let the others know what u made off. Shitty-handling Aircraft carrier comes to mind.

  7. Westward says:

    I’m an avid watcher of Moto2, in fact, I thinks its the purest and most entertaining series I have watched the last two years.

    I still don’t know if Biaggi won WSBK or the RSV4. Then when the rules changed on them in 2011, Checa and Ducati put them back in their place (note: Checa would have won a few more races in 2010 had the engine not failed him)…

    Same goes for MGP. The only reason Stoner and Pedrosa didn’t battle to the wire, was because Pedrosa raced injured all season long. Lorenzo benefited from this and came in second in points. Otherwise, Everyone knew a Honda was going to win, and the odds on favourite was Stoner, since he is the second best Alien on the best bike.

    Had Rossi been on a Yamaha or a Honda, the championship would not have seemed like such a cake walk…

    Moto2 had 6 different winners compared to 4 in MGP, and almost every race was a nail-bitting experience, the same cannot be said for the premiere class…

  8. mxs says:

    The problem Mike is having with Moto2 is I guess the fact that it’s hard to pull away, because the package is limiting to a degree. Hence you see very close finish all the time. Different winners, but close finish most of the time.

    I get the Nascar remark … it’s fun to see the back and forth, but after a while I go like … “Is anybody going to run away with it or what???” and than the guy who was 4th at the beginning of the last lap wins …

  9. Edward K says:

    The Aprilia is a mighty fine bike… The only thing I am having problem with is that if Aprilia is constructing the chassis and the motor, wouldn’t that make them a factory team and relegate them to building a pure prototype?

  10. MikeD says:

    My beef with Moto2 is that STINKIN Honda 600cc I4 that everyone is “forced” to run. Why not let the others run their own 600-ish motors on their own bikes ? Let them be proud of their products and represent.

    All for one and one for all…in the most f*&% up way possible.
    That ain’t prototype racing…is more like Prototype FRAMES Racing.
    B.S…take those rules and shove them where the Sun never shines.
    Moto GP will be the same…….give time time.

    Westward: U have a point(s) Sir.

    MXS: U somehow got me… i was bitching more about how everyone runs the same but maybe frames and body decals(see above)…hence the Nascar sample…your reasoning makes a lot of sence too.

    Edward K: Dude, u lost me…(o_O)’
    Are u talking about the bike pictured here or the RSV4 ?

  11. You can always tell when someone doesn’t read the whole article. Moto2 was not supposed to be a spec-engine series. Instead, Honda was the only OEM willing to supply enough motors for 15 teams or more. If it wasn’t for this 15 team requirement in Moto2 and Moto3, we’d be right back to where we are already in MotoGP, and that means grid sizes under 20.

  12. dc4go says:

    My Rsv4 dyno’s at 180 to the wheels with an exhaust and has tons of torque and sounds AMAZING!! Doesn’t have more HP than a BMW but I like alot more so thats all tha matters to me.. My Desmo has more hp but the Aprillia is tons more fun at track events!!

  13. MikeD says:

    I give up…all of u who still love your MotoGP as is/was now….ENJOY IT….cause it won’t be like that for long. It will be nothing but a fleet of many Mutts(CRTs) and no genuine pedegree left if any ( maybe 3-4 factory bikes ?)…like the Honda Cup(Moto 2).

  14. Dc4go says:

    Im with MikeD moto2 is full of bikes and sponsors but not really into the Honda Cup!! Variety in engines, chassis and tires is what i like to see.. Bet Motogp would be alot closer racing if Bridgestone made a larger variety of tires for all the factories to use… Operating window seems way to small for 5 different bikes…

  15. MikeD says:

    Dc4go says:
    Variety in engines, chassis and tires is what i like to see…

    Xactly my reason for bitchin.

    Not so much anymore the OUTDOORS TESTING LAB it used to be 10 years ago….is it ?

    May as well call it supersport…they already have the CC’s and stock engines…LOL.