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.

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?

Casey Stoner to Test Honda’s MotoGP Bikes at Motegi

07/22/2013 @ 9:21 am, by David Emmett23 COMMENTS

Casey Stoner to Test Hondas MotoGP Bikes at Motegi Casey Stoner MotoGP Qatar Scott Jones 635x422

Motorcycle News is reporting that Casey Stoner is to test Honda’s 2014 RC213V at Motegi in August. The former two-time World Champion will ride both next year’s factory machine, as well as the production racer version, which Honda is preparing to sell to private teams, and which Scott Redding has been linked with riding at Gresini next season.

HRC have flatly denied that the test is a prelude to a MotoGP return for the Australian, according to MCN. Stoner will not race as a wildcard in either Phillip Island or Motegi, as early rumors have suggested. According to MCN‘s Matthew Birt on Twitter, Casey Stoner is “still 100% happy with his decision to retire.”

Rumors that Stoner was considering a return to racing have been circulating almost since he hung up his leathers at Valencia last year. Those rumors have been fueled by Stoner’s statements in the press, where has expressed frustration at some aspects of racing in the Dunlop V8 Supercars feeder series.

His announcement that he will not be competing in the Bathurst 1000 was interpreted as a sign he could exit the series at the end of the season, speculation fueled by the fact that he is yet to confirm his plans for 2014.

Stoner’s first year back at home has got off to a bumpy start, as the Australian has been forced to spend a good deal of the year out of his native country. He had retired to spend more time at home with his family, but Australia’s tax year – which runs from July to July – meant that he was still on an ex-pat tax regime, having lived in Switzerland while he finished his final year in MotoGP.

To avoid tax complications, Stoner has been forced to travel to the US and elsewhere in the first half of this year, but now that the new tax year has started, he is able to return to Australia and live and work under the normal tax regime for Australian residents. Being able to spend much more of his time at home should make it easier for him to make a decision about his plans for next year.

Source: MCN, Twitter, & Herald SunPhoto: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. David says:

    Cool.

    Pedrosa out….

    Stoner in…..

  2. L2C says:

    @David

    All ye of little faith.

    ****

    Anyway, I bet Stoner will really enjoy being back on the bike. I don’t blame him for jumping on the opportunity, because surely it must have been incredibly difficult giving up something that he excelled at. He was a virtuoso and his skills and technique hadn’t yet begun to depreciate.

    He’s probably bursting at the seems to jump on a plane to Motegi. August 6 can’t come around fast enough.

  3. John D'Orazio says:

    Casey who???

  4. Rider says:

    The one Mark is starting to be compared to.

  5. “Pedrosa out….

    Stoner in…..”

    This sprung to my mind, too, though it’s not something that I’d wish on Dani. I don’t expect it, mind you. I suspect that Stoner being fed up with MotoGP wouldn’t be diminished enough to succumb to the prospect of racing against MM.

  6. jet says:

    Having him back would’ Spice Up” the whole grid w/ talk and anticipation,It would be very cool to see the showdowns…..

  7. Goop says:

    A come back? He picked up his toys and stomped home to the farm to shovel cow shit and go fishin’. Besides, the first hard battle he would get into with Marquez would end with Stoner complaining.

  8. JW says:

    I bet Stoner would love to stick it to Dorna’s Spanish sacred poster boy.

  9. Motopythons says:

    It’s a shame that we are not able to see what MM vs CS would have been. IMO it could have been a spectacle to behold as MM seem to be very good at catch up and CS at ditching the field.

    A fan can only dream.

  10. kev71 says:

    Shocking! Stoner is has “expressed frustration…” Did anyone expect Stoner not to complain about it? He should have known the technicalities concerning the tax laws (if he didn’t then he needs to fire someone’s ass).

    The guy is a tremendous talent with the personality of a turd. Next thing we’ll hear is how he is upset because people are asking him if he’s going to return to MotoGP. Simple advice, if you don’t like the spot light, don’t do something to be in it! I respect the guy’s talent on the track, and the fact that he left on HIS TERMS; however, he has to know that doing this is going to start a media feeding frenzy. Maybe he isn’t getting enough attention racing cars… just a thought

  11. TexusTim says:

    he is going to test both bikes…what would be the reason they would want a retired rider testing the bike for 2014 and the “customer version”..maybe to convince teams the customer bike is fast ?…is that accurate ?…I really dont care if he comes back or not but if he does I hope he has learned how to “shut up if ya aint got anything good to say”

  12. stevenk27 says:

    I would love to see MM at the test so that we can have some lap times to compare the 2 riders. I think that is the only time we will get to compare the 2 of them.
    I do believe the retirement is permanent, however much I wish and pray that he will return. HRC would never let him wildcard at Phillip Island because he would be stealing points from the factory riders who are both still in the hunt for the title. Nobody can doubt that if he were to ride he would win!!
    Anyway, just hoping there will be some decent footage of the Motegi test. Also curious to see how close the customer bike is to the factory bike.

  13. Jimbo says:

    You know what would be really good…

    If he decided to come back and went to Ducati. Moto GP is at its best with Factory Teams – I wish we had more competing. Sadly we currently only have two really as Ducati arent competitive. Casey made the Ducati work before, if he could do it again we would have three Factory teams again.

  14. Dave says:

    Marquez bashing fairings with Stoner. Now that really would give Casey something to moan about!

  15. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Stoner to take Pedrosa’s seat? Hmmm.

    The CS MM battles would be epic. But imagine them on the same team. Would Stoner complain, Bitch, moan the whole season thru? Better believe it and it would only add to the excitement.

    Fans of motoGP should pray for his return. The series has everything right now except for a Darth Vader. Enter Casey Stoner in 2014…..(ffffssssshh…Marc…ffffssssshh…I am your father).

  16. “(ffffssssshh…Marc…ffffssssshh…I am your father)”

    ROTFLMAO! Good thing I didn’t have a gob full of coffee!

  17. L2C says:

    Good one, Trane! :-)

  18. L2C says:

    Oh! It was Chaz who said that! HAHA! Nice.

  19. “what would be the reason they would want a retired rider testing the bike for 2014 and the “customer version”..maybe to convince teams the customer bike is fast ?”

    Tim, I think it’s HRC’s Nakamoto-san trying to entice Casey back to the paddock. You know, keep him in the family, so to speak and encourage him to contribute without any pressure. Being able to ride multi-million-Euro bikes isn’t something one gets to do outside of the MotoGP paddock, after all.

    It would be interesting to see Stoner come back. I could easily see him becoming the Kimi Räikkönen of the MotoGP world, marching to his own drummer. That said, it would take some big adjustments on HRC’s and Dorna’s parts to help isolate him a bit and let him focus more on the racing than the rest of it.

    Imagine watching MM and CS duking it out and sliding all crossed up through T3 @ Phillip Island. DEE-LISH!

    “Good one, Trane! :-)”

    If only I were that funny, L2C! lol

  20. Outofyourmind says:

    TexasTim deserves a punch in the mouth. a good hard one to knock all of his teeth out and I’m the man to do it.

  21. proudAmerican says:

    Casey is perfect to test the new bikes.

    First, Nakamoto knows Casey can push the bikes to their absolute limits, providing a wealth of information about what needs to be tweaked on each bike prior to giving them to the riders (MM and DP) or selling the production racers to new customers.

    Being able to tell potential customers, who will be eye-balling the offerings from Honda and Yamaha (engines), that their bikes were racetrack tuned by Casey Stoner is huge.

    Second, both MM and DP are in the running for the championship, and therefore should not be testing unfamiliar machinery, for fear of incurring injury/downtime should they fall. In this aspect, Casey is expendable.

  22. alex says:

    Is it rude to call Stoner “bitch face”? – because I swear to god no matter how much I try to give him credit he still reminds me of this little brat that used to lived next door to me growing up.

    “Mommy my motorcycle setup is too hard!!!!!” – Casey Stoner – bear number 2

  23. pak jabit says:

    if stoner really want to make comeback to motogp, i hope he better go to Suzuki/Ducati team..he proved that he can win with Ducati and Honda, so better go for new challenge..

    without stoner, honda still can win..the RC214V machine is the best among the best..so what else he want?he must prove to all that he can win because of his talent, not because he has powerful bike..

    he better go to Suzuki, who never win for along time..suzuki has a good engine compare to Yamaha / Honda or

    he better go to Ducati, since he left the team, no one can win with the bike, even Rossi.. or last

    better go to Yamaha, if he can win with yamaha, means he make new history for himself at least, winning the championship with 3 factory..

    stoner, we miss u..please comeback to motogp..