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.

Tardozzi Fired from BMW WSBK Team – Mechanics May Strike at Magny-Cours

09/29/2010 @ 3:53 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Tardozzi Fired from BMW WSBK Team   Mechanics May Strike at Magny Cours davide tardozzi

According to our good friends at MotoMatters, Davide Tardozzi has just been handed his pink slip from the BMW World Superbike Team. The Italian manager has been instrumental in helping BMW get its house in order, but Tardozzi and the rest of BMW’s non-German crew are being purged from the team regardless. Tardozzi had apparently been banned from the BMW garage, as World Superbike heads to Magny-Cours this weekend, but the team’s mechanics are expected to work through the end of the season. Apparently not pleased with the idea of being replaced, the non-German mechanics are rumored to be planning a strike for Magny-Cours.

BMW’s non-German members have reportedly not been offered a contract for next season, leaving them in quite the lurch as the season comes to a close. It’s not clear exactly how a strike would affect BMW’s WSBK operations, and what it would mean for Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus, but you can bet it’s not the positive atmosphere you’d want in your garage.

With BMW complaining that the non-Germans have not been at BMW HQ enough, the factory is withholding their pay checks, which has only added fuel to the fire, and is the root cause for the mechanics’ strike. How this will all play out, we can’t say, but for certain we’ll know Friday as FP1 gets underway.

Source: Speedweek via MotoMatters

Comment:

  1. Aj says:

    Why doesn’t anyone call a spade a spade here. The Germans are being racist. Men from all over the world have brought that bike up to speed, now the Germans want to step in and take back the credit.

    Ya, the S1000RR is a good platform, but without the team they have in WSBK, it would be a back marker. Good luck in 2011 :p

  2. emd says:

    Wow, thats a quick turn around for Tardozzi, something went very wrong in this one I wonder how it went down?

  3. Tardozzi Fired from BMW WSBK Team – Mechanics May Strike at Magny-Cours – http://aspha.lt/1ed #motorcycle

  4. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Tardozzi Fired from BMW WSBK Team – Mechanics May Strike at Magny-Cours – http://aspha.lt/1ed #motorcycle

  5. econo says:

    Tardozzi should just join Suzuki instead

  6. WSBK_Fan says:

    Why don’t we wait until we know more facts ? I’m very sure that it’s not BMW’s target to have a “german only team”, who cares ?!

    In the opposite, it’s important to show for BMW to be an international company, at least they want to sell their stuff all over the world.

    I’m really curious to know, what went on behind the scenes, I expected Tardozzi to move to Yamaha anyway …

    BTW not all germans are racists (however it’s true that you can find racists in every country!).

  7. Jim says:

    The new team motto, Let Chaos Reign. What ever the reasons and where ever the blame should be placed, this does not bode well for the team in 2011. If Tardozzi was the wrong guy, the people who brought him in should also pay a price.

  8. Mark says:

    Credible rumors indicated that Tardozzi was leaving BMW for Yamaha and taking some of his current mechanics with him. Why would any company expose their latest engineering developments to people who are no longer going to be working for them next week, and take that knowledge with them to work for the competition.
    I think what they mean by “non-German” employees are any employees working on the team that are not directly employed by BMW corporate, meaning the team members that are contracted specifically for the WSBK team.
    To insinuate that there is some sort of racist motivation behind this decision is patently ridiculous, and just shows how quickly some people default to their own racist views hidden just below their surface.

  9. Sean says:

    Bah, Tardozzi’s presence was “felt” through improved performance in the first half of the season, but the BMW’s seem to be humming along mid pack again.

    The words “firing all non germans” would inflame suspicion in any educated, post WW2 person, but I think Mark is right on this one.
    I’ve seen how BMW works their race teams. When they ran HP2′s at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, they sent a team over from Germany, 6 or 8 guys, only one or two of them spoke English. They worked out of the BMW dealership I worked at.

    That’s patently different from the way Ducati did it, working out of the same dealership, but with a team of Americans.

  10. Mark says:

    I think we have a similar situation with Jeromy Burgess at Yamaha. This is exactly why he is being very coy about his future. If he announces that he is following Rossi to Ducati, Yamaha will have no choice but to insulate him from their latest developments. Even though Yamaha knows that he is most likely following Rossi, they really can’t do anything until they are absolutely certain, and Burgess is playing this perfectly. In Tardozzi’s case, the cat was let out of the bag too soon.
    As for the performance of the BMW, I’m not very high on that bike. It does have one hell of a powerful engine, but as we all know, power is only part of the equation. Being an in- line 4 with an even firing crank, it suffers from the same issues that other even firing 4′s do, in either WSBK or MotoGP, Yamaha understands this and came out with the cross-plane crank with great success. BMW, Honda and Kawasaki will have to adopt this as well if they are going to stick with their in-line fours.