Lap the Circuit of the Americas on a Ducati 1199 Panigale R

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Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

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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?

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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

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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.

Lap the Circuit of the Americas on a Ducati 1199 Panigale R

03/22/2013 @ 3:50 pm, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Lap the Circuit of the Americas on a Ducati 1199 Panigale R Ducati 1199 Panigale R wheelie Circuit of the Americas 635x423

I just arrived back in California, after spending the last few days in Austin, Texas — taking part in the Ducati 1199 Panigale R international press launch at the new Circuit of the Americas race course.

As I put the finishing touches on my reports about Ducati’s new homologation-special, as well as the newest MotoGP circuit in the United States, I thought I would share a view not too many track day enthusiasts will get a lap to see: a lap around the Circuit of the Americas.

Unless you are one of the few lucky riders who will attend the very limited number of events COTA has to honor this year, riding on this purpose-built GP circuit is going to be an expensive proposition.

That is a real shame because the Circuit of the Americas is a first-rate facility, and once you get the hang of this very-unstraight-forward track, COTA is a very rewarding course to ride on two wheels.

Learning the track is a whole different story though (I should have paid closer attention to what Colin Edwards said). We only got four 15-minute sessions to learn the 20 turns of COTA during the press launch, and let’s just say the first session was a complete shit-show for everyone involved.

I would have loved to spend a few more sessions on the course, which really played to the strengths of the Panigale R, and figure out a couple of the corners/sections that were still giving me troubles — but, such is life.

If you have the opportunity to snag one of the few remaining track days still available, I highly recommend it (how often do you get to ride a GP circuit??!).

Be forewarned though, it is 175+ mph down the back straight (bring your Brembos), your T1 brake marker is halfway up the hill (bring an extra pair of underpants), and the course is 3.427 miles long (bring some Ibuprorfen). Detailed reports coming soon.

Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. ZootCadillac says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Jensen. It appears I’m only press when they need a photographer for free ;)

    Still got the bike on order ( even though I’ve not been given a final price ) and look forward to adding it to the stable.

    Won’t drag it around COTA but got some track time coming up at Donnington for the 999r & Desmo so you never know.

    Lovely bike. Visually and to ride.

    Let the haters begin.

  2. Tim says:

    Jensen,

    Lucky Man!!!!! Silly question for you. for a non-sanctioned race/Motorcycle Trackday do you know if they are going to have a decibel restrictions like they do at Laguna Seca Trackdays.

  3. I think you’ll like it Zoot.

    Tim, I can’t see why they’d put a noise restriction…there’s nothing around the track. Laguna Seca is an oddity because of where it’s located, and the fact it’s a part of the park service.

    The downer though is apart from the few track days that had their contracts honored, there aren’t going to be any opportunities for mortals to ride the course. There’s a real opportunity for them to partner with a bike OEM and do ride-hires, etc.

  4. mchale2020 says:

    Jesus, that thing sounds mighty as it climbs to the rev limiter.

  5. bemer2six says:

    It does sound and look awesome from the few pictures I’ve seen. do you know if during the Gp week end they COTA will let the fans do a LAP like LS does?…

  6. AJ says:

    Don’t care much for something that’s not open to the community to ride and enjoy as well. (or so ridiculously expensive that its not possible to ride)
    It will be like another Indy. no track days, no club races…just GP.

  7. “Jesus, that thing sounds mighty as it climbs to the rev limiter.”

    Yeah, that really grabbed my attention, too. It’s a total beast at full song. <3

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “Unless you are one of the few lucky riders who will attend the very limited number of events COTA has to honor this year, riding on this purpose-built GP circuit is going to be an expensive proposition”

    breaking news: we’re more than a dozen years into the 21st century, EVERYTHING in motocycling is an expensive proposition. and so it goes for all things luxury.

  9. pooch says:

    Don’t say ‘breaking news’ before you make a point. It makes you sound like a complete twit.

    Lovely bike and interesting track :)

  10. Jensen,

    Lovin’ the A&R logo on the knee sliders. Subtle and very clever.

  11. Thanks Trane, it was a real bitch to get done (CAD time, CNC machine time, paint-filling), and I owe a lot of beers to the people that helped make it happen.

    If we can figure out a better way of doing it, maybe it’ll be something readers can get their hands on too.

  12. Adonai says:

    Hi Jensen Beeler, I’ve noticed the comment I posted yesterday with the video of Ismael Bonilla from the same event that you attended has been deleted. I don’t really know why but if it has offended you in any way, please accept my apologies, it was by no means meant to be anything against you or the web, just a comparison of the same bike, the same track, the same event and different riders witch I thought would be enjoyed by the other readers.

    Greeting from sunny Spain.

  13. Squidar Von Squidsen says:

    @zoot

    If your posts here are to be believed you have a 999r, two Desmosedicis, an RC45 AND you have a 1199R on order?

    I am calling bollocks, or Sir Richard Branson is your generous uncle.

  14. Norm G. says:

    from that video, the track seems awesome. not sure what some of the pros are complaining about…? now i see why marquez was so fast. it’s a track, outside of safety hazards, it’s SUPPOSED to offer a challenge… not be a cakewalk.

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “If your posts here are to be believed you have a 999r, two Desmosedicis, an RC45 AND you have a 1199R on order?”

    believe it. there are a few motorcyclists left who have WAAAY more than that. i know it may seem like a crazy concept, but even in 2013, there are people who actually VALUE motorcycling in the same way another say…? values automobiles, fishing, gun collecting, etc.

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “Don’t say ‘breaking news’ before you make a point. It makes you sound like a complete twit.”

    or a complete twit of those unable to see what should be obvious.

  17. Damo says:

    @Norm G.

    I think Squidar was getting at the point that Zoot claims to have over $400k USD worth of motorcycles.

    I have 4 bikes in garage right now, but none of them are worth more than $7k.

  18. Norm G. says:

    re: “think Squidar was getting at the point that Zoot claims to have over $400k USD worth of motorcycles.”

    again, that’s not a lot for some. think about it, what’s $400k when your bank balance ends in 7 zeros…? or even 8 zeros…? i’ll admit, if you don’t know anyone like this or have never met someone like this, sure it would seem far fetched. but trust me when i tell you, these people exist (especially ducatisti) and are more common than you think. note, it doesn’t mean they bought their kit new either. that’s just the value being placed upon it. poseurs with money by this stuff all the time at full pop, get bored, or crash it and end up selling it for a song. that’s when the “enthusiasts” come knocking.

  19. Squidar Von Squidsen says:

    @Norm

    I imagine people with 8 figure bank accounts have better things to do than boast on an obscure motorcycle blog.

    Hence the “bollocks”

  20. Did you just call Asphalt & Rubber obscure? Shame on you sir.

  21. Damo says:

    @Jensen

    I mean homeboy is a self described squid.

  22. Norm G. says:

    again, whether 8 zeros, 7 zeros, or just 6 zeros is really neither here no there. just know enthusiasts exist REGARDLESS of whether we include ourselves in the category. i’ve seen the screen name of somebody on here and on other sites who i specifically KNOW has a stable and a mint. last person i would think would ever bother being on the net…? but yet, there he was. not entirely unreasonable… in his current life he’s an enthusiast, but in his former life he was a commercial airline pilot. airbuses iirc, A319′s and A320′s.

  23. j.davis says:

    Track rental fee is 50k USD per day. No more than 24 participants.

    http://circuitoftheamericas.com/visit/track-rental

  24. Robert G. jqd says:

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