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?

Brough Superior Debuts Familiar Moto2 Race Bike

09/06/2013 @ 7:15 am, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

Brough Superior Debuts Familiar Moto2 Race Bike image1

When you hear the name “Brough Superior” mentioned, the image that condures in your mind surely is not one of a Moto2 race bike, but that might change. Debuting at the Petersen Museum its intentions to race in the Moto2 Championship, Brough Superior unveiled a new race bike that might look familiar to avid Asphalt & Rubber readers.

Rebranding the Taylormade Carbon 2 Moto2 bike that we explored back in July, which answered David’s call for chassis innovation to return to GP racing, it would seem that Brough Superior’s own return to proper racing is being accomplished with the pocketbook.

Talking more about the celebrities and personalities in attendance at the unveiling (four paragraphs in total), Brough Superior is light on the details of its actual racing plans, but thankfuly we already know a bit about the Taylormade Carbon2.

Developed by Paul Taylor and designer John Keogh, the Carbon2 has some interesting design elements at its core. For starters, the radiator is in the tail section, and draws air from the front of the motorcycle (much like the 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc).

Below the seat, and at the Cg of the machine, Taylormade has positioned the fuel cell vertically, so as to minimize handling changes during fuel consumption. The swingarm is made to be super-stiff, and of course is made from carbon fiber as well. Up front is a fork tube and wishbone configuration, which BMW owners might find to be familiar design element, as the dampening duties are handled by the conventional fork tubes.

Brough Superior Debuts Familiar Moto2 Race Bike Taylormade Carbon2 moto2 race bike 07 635x357

Brough Superior Debuts Familiar Moto2 Race Bike Taylormade Carbon2 moto2 race bike 02 635x846

Brough Superior Debuts Familiar Moto2 Race Bike Taylormade Carbon2 moto2 race bike 03 635x423

Brough Superior Debuts Familiar Moto2 Race Bike Taylormade Carbon2 moto2 race bike 04 635x422

Brough Superior Debuts Familiar Moto2 Race Bike Taylormade Carbon2 moto2 race bike 05 635x386

Brough Superior Debuts Familiar Moto2 Race Bike Taylormade Carbon2 moto2 race bike 06 635x420

Source: Brough Superior; Photos: Taylormade


  1. Norm G. says:

    I suppose if you can snap a cameo of jay on your bike, that’s kind of a big deal.

  2. Andrew says:


  3. smiler says:

    In what PR disaster is the name of a company started by George Brough in Nottingham, GB to be transferred to a US made moto2 bike. Brough never built any circuit race bikes either. Hillclimbs and straight line only.

    Utterly tragic.

  4. SBPilot says:

    Since I don’t know anything about the company, all I can say is it’s a sin to create a race bike that fugly.

  5. tony says:

    it aint asposed ta be purdy…does seem to be a stretch calling it a brough…interesting though!

  6. David N says:

    +1 on the Britten comment. The main difference between the two, I feel, is that the Britten is something you could look at immediately after eating

    Trivia fact: the bloke who runs a bike shop near my work in Amsterdam rode the Britten to victory at Daytona in ’99

  7. tony says:

    oooh +1…i like that…i’m gonna borrow that from now on! thanks dn!

  8. Damo says:


  9. Doctor Jelly says:

    I don’t care about a company’s history as long as they try to progress themselves and their product. The looks are a non-point for me as well because I find innovation that makes something better to be the mark of true beauty in a machine. That said, there are some fair sized hills to overcome with some of these designs and I don’t have a lot of faith in the overall competetiveness of this current design. Nor do I think Brough has enough cash to race and encourage the developement at a rate that it needs to be to be competetive within a few years…

    Good luck to them, and I hope to see that bike on the grid soon!

  10. Richard Gozinya says:

    Why would looks matter at all when it comes to a bike built for racing? If it makes things faster, it’s better. If you want pretty, a modern sportbike really isn’t going to be your best bet. Probably why sportbike sales suck so much these days.

  11. SBPilot says:

    I happen to find the Suter and Kalex quite nice on the eyes. The Bimoto Moto2 is also stunning to look at. And race machinery historically are considered works of art. Engineers and designers take pride in not only functionality but also aesthetic look. Otherwise race cars/race bikes would all look fugly. A Ferrari would not be a Ferrari, and a Ducati would not be a Ducati. That’s my point. OK, if you’re not so design inclined then that’s ok too.

    @Richard, I don’t know what modern sport bike you’re talking about but I find the RSV4, Panigale, 1000RR, MV F3/F4 all very easy on the eyes. I’d even go a stretch further and say a KTM RC8R Track and Yamaha R1 look nice as well. And if ugly looks really did dictate why there are poor sport bike sales, then you just clearly stated precisely why it is important to design a good looking sport bike.

  12. Craig says:

    Just give me innovation and someone give it a try. It’s hard to innovate in a lot of ways outside of local race series, but I hope they can make it as that is where machine is truly tested and crashed.

    I too hope the design changes a little bit, but give them a shake and see what happens… you just never know. In moto 2… they should be just as fast in a straight line… right? :)


  13. paulus - Thailand says:

    ‘Tank badges do not a brand make’
    At best Brough is a main sponsor… they can not claim this to be a Brough product.
    Honda engined, pre-developed chassis.

    It is as authentic as a Norton TT racer ;)

  14. coreyvwc says:

    Oh, so this is like the Norton IOMTT bike (April RSV4 with Norton stickers) that has gotten absolutely stomped at the TT for the last 2 years? The IOM is a great race, but the competition is not nearly as tough as Moto2 racing! This project is dead on arrival unless “New Brough” is being backed by a carefree billionaire…

    Brough had it’s years in the sun, just let the name die in peace!

  15. Gary says:

    Yawn. Nothing less imaginative than the brand r@pe of an old motorcycle company. Who remembers the exploitation of Excelsior Henderson in the late 1990′s or Vincent in the early 2000′s?

  16. Mike the Bike says:

    While the bike might or might not be competitive in the future, their branding and marketing effort is pathetic and poorly chosen. Having Jay Leno park his fat arse on any Moto2 machine for a publicity pic is quite embarassing and wrong on a few levels.

  17. Not so Brittenish

    Radiator in the tail: yes
    Handmade v-twin motor: no
    Hossack front suspension: no
    Chassisless design: no Taylor made has carbon monocoque.

  18. tom says:

    I like that someone is trying something outside the box, but they should give that bike to an Italian designer an see what comes back. John Keogh has never been a favorite of mine and with this bike he has proven once again he shouldn’t be designing motorcycles.( Google his designs ) To add the Brough Superior logo to this monstrosity is sacrilegious at the very least. To my eye those were some of the most beautiful motorcycles ever made. Nonetheless I hope the design is competitive since no one is pushing the envelope in Moto2 at all and alternative front suspension seems to remain a novelty.

  19. a 1 mike says:


  20. Norm G. says:

    well shitfire… A1 mike’s gotta point. that AND a damn good steak sauce.

  21. twoversion says:

    Personally I don’t find Taylor’s carbon parts to be very high quality which makes me question the quality of an entire race bike built by them.

    The proof will be in the pudding of how it performs, but the idea of a super stiff rear swing arm negates literally all of the capabilities of engineered flex for smoothing the bike out especially in rough corners.

    I’d hate to be the livery guy charged with making the design palatable for sponsors.

  22. Tom says:


    Excelsior-Henderson engineered a whole new bike from the ground up and it remains an underappreciated good bike today. Hardly a brand r@pe like simply rebadging a different builder’s bike.

  23. JoeD says:

    The recent Benelli Tornado has/had the tail radiator and after spending a couple of hundred miles on one, I like the idea. Very narrow at the front and the air flow is better than you think. At speed, the low pressure area behind makes a BIG difference. No engine heat at stops either.