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.

WSBK: Brett McCormick Stable After Neck Fracture at Assen

04/22/2012 @ 9:59 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

WSBK: Brett McCormick Stable After Neck Fracture at Assen Brett McCormick Imola Effenbert Liberty Racing WSBK 635x423

Injury-wise, it has been a treacherous season in the World Superbike paddock so far this year. While everyone patiently waits for good news about Joan Lascorz, this weekend another ride has suffered a neck injury: Canada’s Brett McCormick. Crashing in Race 2 at Assen, the Effenbert Liberty Racing rider was immediately attended to by the circuit’s medical center, where it was deemed he had suffered trauma to his cervical spine (the same area Lascorz injured), but thankfully did not appear to have any damage to his nervous system.

While ruling out everyone’s worst fear, McCormick did suffer a tremendous crash, and has facial trauma, which includes a hematomas to his eye sockets. The Canadian has also sustained a fracture to his right thumb, and was sent to the hospital in Assen for further evaluation for all these injuries.

Doctors at the hospital confirmed that McCormick had fractured his fifth and sixth vertebrae, and has since be transferred to the Groningen hospital where doctors will stabilize his condition. We will post further updates about McCormick as we get them, and hope for his speedy recovery from this incident. Fans can tweet get-well-wishes to the likable Canadian rider via this link.

Source: WSBK


  1. Gritboy says:

    Hope Brett recovers quickly and completely.

  2. dc4go says:

    Get well soon Brett!!!

  3. Jake says:

    Ugh. It feels like in the not so distant past, serious injuries were an infrequent occurrence in the premier series (WSBK and MotoGP). Recently, it’s gotten so bad that you wonder, “who will we be praying for this week?”

  4. Barry Stewart says:

    Don’t these recent cervical spine injuries suggest it’s high time that neck braces (e.g. Leatt type) were made compulsory in road racing? It beggars belief that pretty much every part of a riders body is now protected to some degree, with the exception of one of the most vulnerable – the neck!
    The Technology exists to mitigate the potentially devasating consequences of hyperflexion and hyperextension injuries to the neck (it has a high take-up in off road two-wheeled disciplines), yet it is pretty much ignored in closed circuit racing.

  5. I think it’s a question of time before a motorcycle version of the HANS systems used in car racing shows up in SBK and MotoGP. Sure motorcycle racers need more mobility than car drivers, but I think they’ll trade some mobility and weight for safety. Compare a current rider’s gear to the suits, boots, gloves, and helmets worn by Agostini or Hailwood, and you’ll see that such a trade is well underway…

  6. mxs says:

    The device already exists to you and me. Professional racers could have had it for some longer time. The problem is not a mobility, it’s a loss of straight line speed. Simply, it’s hard to manufacture a device sitting on top of the leathers, without effecting the airflow significantly and thus speed of the bike and a rider.

    I doubt many racers will except the trade-off … unless the racing body regulator will make it mandatory like a helmet.

  7. I’ve tested the Leatt prototype for streetbike riders, and it is profoundly cumbersome to the movements of fast riding. The last thing I want to happen when I’m craning my neck to look through a turn is to have my helmet get caught up on some collar that’s bobbling around on my shoulders while I ride. Hopefully someone will have a think about this problem, and come up with a better system.

  8. Michael Brown says:

    I’ve been following Brett’s career for a few years now since I saw him race here in Canada and I’ve met his family. I remember that his grandfather was at the track but couldn’t watch him race as he was too afraid that something bad would happen.
    I was so sad to see him go down. The crash looked unusual and nastier than most the way he did a faceplant. And he was doing well against some of the best riders in the world who’ve raced on that track umerous times before.
    Saddening. I hope he’s back soon and does really well.

    Go Brett!!!

  9. mxs says:

    I’ve tested the Leatt prototype for streetbike riders, and it is profoundly cumbersome to the movements of fast riding. The last thing I want to happen when I’m craning my neck to look through a turn is to have my helmet get caught up on some collar that’s bobbling around on my shoulders while I ride. Hopefully someone will have a think about this problem, and come up with a better system.

    I didn’t use one myself, so I cannot tell. But I know a local racer who has and he said he had no issues. So whether all of them would feel like you or not is hard to tell.

  10. Schyler says:

    Get well soon brett! Also doesn’t the spidi airbag setup provide emergency neck support? Seems better to have that instead of a brace catching your helmet.

  11. *SIGH*

    Another man down. Heal well, Brett!

  12. Barry Stewart says:

    There is a South African rider using a Leatt brace in BSB here in the UK. I understand that there are now versions of these and other similar devices (eg Alpinestars) more suited to track use. Airbag technology such as Dainese D-Air (increasingly seen in Moto GP and WSB) is promising, but is not “primary” in the sense of being “permanently deployed” like all the other protective gear (helmet, armour etc) is. Just as a car airbag works with the seatbelts , airbags in leathers could srely be designed to work with a helmet and neck brace combination.

  13. Singletrack says:

    It was heartbreaking to see and learn more of Brett’s injury. I was keeping my fingers crossed for better news.
    At least it’s nothing permanent.

    And virtually the same situation happened to Smrz, although he was much luckier with the result.
    I hope Effenbert will wait for Brett’s promising talent to return.

    As a Canuck, he gave me new reasons to watch theWorld Supers again.

  14. SBPilot says:

    Face planting is very dangerous as thats the exact type of fall that will snap your head back and cause spinal damage. I face planted last year while crashing and even at moderate speed and on grass my neck was sore after for quite sometime.

    Sooner or later a neck braces will be widely used. Question is will they deploy from the suit to block the helmet from moving back or a Leatt type brace. Lascorz and now McCormicks accident is really making me think about the Leatt brace for this season…

  15. Singletrack says:

    I think a fair question to ask Brett (when he recovers further and gets back to training) is…

    …will you wear a Leatt or similar neck brace upon return?

    Or perhaps in the meantime, ask the experts – would a neck brace have prevented (or lessened) Brett’s spine injuries?