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?

Dorna & Circuit of the Americas Confirm Austin GP

10/03/2012 @ 10:45 am, by David Emmett10 COMMENTS

Dorna & Circuit of the Americas Confirm Austin GP circuit of the americas

The Texas round of MotoGP is to go ahead. The race, due to take place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas has been confirmed for April 21st, 2013, with Dorna and the Circuit of the Americas issuing a joint press release announcing the date. The race in Texas was one of the two races marked as being subject to confirmation, but today’s announcement leaves just the race in Argentina and the Jerez round to be confirmed.

Confirmation of the race comes despite the ongoing legal action between Kevin Schwantz and the Circuit of the Americas. That legal action should have no effect on the race actually taking place, however. The lawsuit filed by Schwantz against COTA will take some time to actually get in front of a judge, and the most probable outcome is that money will change hands to settle the deal, either one way or another.

The signing of the Austin contract leaves just Argentina and Jerez to be sorted out. The Jerez deal is a question of paperwork and, most likely, money; it is inconceivable that Dorna would pull out of the deal to host the first European round of the season in Jerez, where it has been for several years now.

Argentina, on the other hand, is far more complex: there are reports from local Argentine sources that work on the facilities at the circuit is slow, but the bigger problem is political. The expropriation of Repsol’s Argentinian subsidiary Repsol YPF by the Argentine government has deeply upset the Spanish oil giant, and Repsol has threatened not to allow the teams it backs to attend the race, saying that they cannot be certain that their property will be safe, a claim which the local organizers have denied.

The full press release announcing the MotoGP race in Texas is after the jump.

MotoGP™ to race in Texas in 2013 at the Circuit of The Americas™

AUSTIN, Texas (Oct. 3, 2012) – Circuit of The Americas today announced that the world’s premier motorcycle racing World Championship, MotoGP™, will join its roster of racing events next spring with the three-day series set for April 19-21, 2013, at the purpose-built Grand Prix venue. With the addition of the MotoGP series, the new circuit will be the first North American racing venue to host both two-and four-wheeled World Championship events in one year’s time.

MotoGP, the pinnacle of all motorcycle World Championships, consists of 18 races in 13 countries on four continents with pan-global television coverage. Nine nationalities of the world’s most skilled riders, including current U.S. riders Colin Edwards, Ben Spies and 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden, compete with cutting-edge, prototype motorcycle technology produced by Ducati, Yamaha and Honda, as well as the new CRT regulation machines from the likes of FTR, Suter and Aprilia. The series traditionally holds three races, including Moto2 and Moto3 competitions, during each event for various classes of motorcycles based on engine size.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive officer for Dorna Sports, commercial rights holder for the MotoGP series, is extremely happy to add the Austin Circuit to the official MotoGP schedule. “We are excited to be working with Circuit of The Americas to expand our programming in the United States and bring our series to an exceptional new Grand Prix facility in Texas. We see tremendous opportunities to market MotoGP and grow its fan base through this agreement and know Circuit of The Americas is the right promoter to help us achieve that goal.”

Circuit President Steve Sexton added, “The Circuit of The Americas team is delighted to introduce yet another world-renowned racing series to our 2013 event calendar—one we know will be hugely popular with fans coming to experience MotoGP for the first time at our state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex in Austin. MotoGP has a worldwide fan base with more than two million followers watching races in person each year. We’re confident it will be a great addition to our programming and draw tens of thousands of people to Central Texas, creating yet another major event with significant economic impact for our region. We want to extend our thanks to the Austin Sports Commission for its help in securing yet another first-class event for our city and for helping us become the first U.S. racing venue to host two World Championship motorsport events.”

MotoGP’s reach extends to more than 200 countries and territories that receive live or same-day delayed broadcasts of the MotoGP events, with the coverage delivered to more than 337 million households worldwide.

MotoGP 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden, who hails from Kentucky, rides for the Ducati Factory Team and said he’s eager to try out the new Austin circuit. “It’s great for riders and fans to have another MotoGP event in the United States, and Circuit of The Americas will give us a chance to expose more of our homegrown fan base to MotoGP in an up-close-and-personal way,” Hayden noted. “I love competing at new, fresh tracks and am really looking forward to racing at the Austin circuit.”

Texan Colin Edwards races for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team and their CRT project. The former World Superbike Champion said a MotoGP race at a new circuit just two hours from his home in Conroe, Texas (near Houston), means he can actually “drive to work” for a change. “Adding a race to the U.S. schedule makes a statement that MotoGP is working to expand it influence on American soil. The best way to grow our sport is to add races, and with events on the East and West Coasts—and now one in Middle America—it’s the perfect opportunity for more fans to see us in action. Plus, my family is really looking forward to jumping in a pick-up truck and driving up to Austin to see me compete.”

Rider Ben Spies, who calls Longview, Texas, “home,” is also excited about the 2013 schedule. “Who wouldn’t be excited to have a MotoGP race in their home state? I hope all of my CMRA, WERA and AMA racing friends and family storm the track. It will be so easy for me to cruise down to Circuit of The Americas from my house in Dallas.”

Tickets for the MotoGP event at Circuit of The Americas go on sale Oct. 16, 2012, will range in price from $133 to $199 and be available for purchase through Ticketmaster. Patrons with Circuit of The Americas Personal Seat Licenses will receive price discounts on MotoGP tickets.

Source: COTA & Dorna

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    YYYYEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Jason says:

    Tix starting at $133? Ouch! I think Laguna’s like $70 or something if you just show up on race day…

  3. Yeeha! Stephen says:

    Jason… That $133 & up is a reserved seat/3 day pass remember . Same-day general admission will be comparable. Maybe ;-) someone’s gonna have to pay off Schwantz & it may be us!

  4. Micah says:

    3-day GA passes for $89 according to COTA’s website. Not too bad, I’ll be there money be damned.

  5. meatspin says:

    i’ll be there…..

  6. TexusTim says:

    yes! lets do a test who lives the closest to the track .
    me first Im less than twenty minutes away which means on race day Im less than 3 hours away.
    maybe I better go and camp out there all week, meet and marry some umbrella girl and find my self doing a euro track tour with my bike and new babe…then I wake up and….ooooo im still twenty minutes away from the track.
    seriously I hate what happened with kevin and the whole behind the back thing…for a time I was really looking forward to doing track days at cota with his school being based there…so sad too bad about that one…they should find some common ground drop the lawsuite and bring keven in….he’s a texan,a world champion, a great promoter of two wheel racing and it just seems important for the legacy and history to have him on the cota team..not pushed aside by suite and tie type non race guys.

  7. Bruce says:

    Ticket Master?? that is going to suck, service and cost wise.

    Have already made hotel reservations in Austin for that weekend. Will get tickets when they go on sale on the 16th.
    Any one have a guess to what the traffic will be like there on race day, should I get a parking pass or plan on riding the shuttle? Hopefully their traffic management will be better than Laguna Seca’s & Monterey Counties.

  8. meatspin says:

    i’m sure with the lawsuit, KS would be considered persona non grata at COTA facilities.

    i feel bad for KS but he should have seen what was coming.

  9. Westward says:

    At least they will have all three classes of MotoGP, unlike Laguna Seca.

    I guess Schwantz didn’t get the memo, Corporations trump little guy all the time, this is not fantasy or science-fiction like in Avatar, it is the America way…

  10. TexusTim says:

    well I wont be watching from the grand stands on this one…..I’ll be in turn 7 !!! corner working the race !!! yes hopefully this leads to working the motogp race in april.