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?

European Junior Cup Will Use the Honda CBR500 for 2013

10/08/2012 @ 2:22 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

European Junior Cup Will Use the Honda CBR500 for 2013 european junior cup logo 635x476

If you wanted further proof that Honda is getting ready to debut a 500cc CBR, look no further than the fact that the 2013 European Junior Cup has been tipped to switch from the KTM 690 Duke to the Honda CBR500 when the middleweight sport bike debuts next month at EICMA.

A cheap way to get young racers honing their skills on the track, the European Junior Cup is an ideal venue for the Honda CBR500, which is expected to differentiate itself from the CBR600RR by being a less-sporty entry-level machine for newer riders.

Until now, the Honda CBR500 has also been rumored since its leak in Southeast Asia last month. While we wait for full details on the machine, it is expected that the 2013 Honda CBR500 will be a bike with 500cc parallel twin motor, essentially a Honda CBR250R engine with an extra cylinder. It also makes logical sense that the Honda CBR500 would be the next progression in machine for a rider currently on a CBR250R.

It is not clear whether the Honda CBR500 will come to North America for 2013, though if Honda’s succession plan holds true, it could be a future model at some point. One thing is clear though, the bike will come to Europe for 2013, as it is now known that it powers the EJC.

Source: Honda Europe

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Smells like a MONEY AND EGO infected change of heart. (^_^)

    What happened ? Who threw the first stone ?

  2. JoeD says:

    Why is it that Honda, maker of the most bland and un-inspiring vehicles, gets top billing in every arena they poke into? Superior product? No. Peceived superiority, probably. Moneygrease to smooth things out? Hey, sounds like that other 800lb gorilla HD.

  3. Damo says:

    @MikeD

    I love high powered singles and think the new 690 Duke is rad, but it is a bit pricey for what you get and is a bit more maintenance intensive than anything in Honda’s line up.

    You know the Honda is going to be cheap and borderline bullet proof.

    It is odd to me that the only really interesting bikes Honda has been cranking out since the death of the Super Hawk/Firestorm, RC51/RVT1000 and the Blackbird/CB1100x are their economy sport bikes. Maybe they are starting from scratch with their sport line and building it back up.

  4. Damo says:

    @JoeD

    It depends what you mean by superior product. The 690 is/will be a much faster machine than the CBR500 (bet the Duke is lighter too).

    No doubt Honda makes the some of the most reliable bikes on the market, but I agree their line up has been extremely boring lately to say the least. (Same for their cars, for that matter.)

  5. tat2gaz says:

    I’d much rather they lob two cylinders off the CBR 1000 than double up on the CBR 250. THAT might be a small displacement bike worth riding!

  6. Gritboy says:

    People love to hate, but Honda has a great reputation for making reliable bikes and is very involved (most years) with their factory and satellite teams. I’m not a huge Honda fan (I agree they can be so refined as to be boring), but if I were a racer I think I’d love ‘em. Either way, I’m eager to seen true middleweights duke it out (no pun intended… well maybe just a bit). ;)

  7. Damo says:

    @tat2gaz

    You know the CBR250R engine is essentially a cylinder taken right out of the CBR1000RR, right?

  8. MikeD says:

    Damo said:
    Maybe they are starting from scratch with their sport line and building it back up.

    Yup, as certain as the Sun running out of fuel tomorrow and not rising. Bummer.

  9. RD350 says:

    I really wish Honda (or one of the Japanese) would put a middleweight twin in a light-weight, motard-ish style motorcycle with decent suspension and brakes. Like a Ducati Hyper-Motard for the working class ..

    So far, none of the Japanese have gone there ..

  10. singletrack says:

    Well Duhh….
    Again, Honda, what took you so long to build a sporty middle weight bike??