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?

Fiat Officially Says Ciao to Yamaha

01/03/2011 @ 11:15 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Fiat Officially Says Ciao to Yamaha Fiat Yamaha goodbye 635x448

This weekend, Fiat and Yamaha unsurprisingly and officially ended their four-year relationship. The first non-tobacco title sponsor in the four-stroke MotoGP category, Fiat joined up with Yamaha in 2007, when MotoGP switched to the 800cc format. Originally justifying the sponsorship as a way to reach a car-buying audience that was younger than Formula 1 fans, Fiat has always had its eye on the Italian rider. That relationship has manifested itself in Rossi testing with Ferrari on numerous occasions, and prompted the nine-time World Champion to consider kart racing after his motorcycling career is over.

This announcement isn’t a surprise to anyone in the MotoGP camp, as with Rossi vacating Yamaha for the 2011 season, Fiat was expected to pull the plug on its support for the company’s MotoGP efforts. Announcing on its webpage and twitter account that it would be leaving the current Rider, Team, and Manufacturer Championship team (for the third year in a row we might add), Fiat seems equally unimpressed with current Champion Jorge Lorenzo staying on with the squad, and Rookie of the Year Ben Spies joining him for the first time on a factory bike.

While Yamaha Racing is reportedly still in talks with sponsors like Telefonica and AirAsia, it’s looking increasingly likely that the team will run corporate colors at the season opener in Qatar. The debate that will carry on to the beginning of the season will be whether this is a sign of the economic climate in MotoGP, or the a testament to the star power of Valentino Rossi. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Source: Fiat-Yamaha


  1. tarde says:

    “The debate that will carry on to the beginning of the season will be whether this is a sign of the economic climate in MotoGP, or the a testament to the star power of Valentino Rossi.”

    It seems like a combination of the loyalty, belief (in the team they are endorsing), and principal. Hats off to any firm that stands by their commitment and views.

  2. GeddyT says:

    Isn’t Repsol non-tobacco? Or do you just mean for Yamaha?

  3. Jaybond says:

    Why Fiat did not follow Rossi to Ducati in the first place, leaving AMG snapped up Ducati MotoGP’s title sponsor? Is it because Ducati themselves prefer, something more upmarket & luxury brand like AMG?

  4. jebon says:

    any latest news about Rossi and Ducati Team?
    are Marlboro still the main sponsor for the team?as i know, Rossi doesn’t want tobacco company to sponsor his team before.
    what about Fiat?
    any spy photo of Rossi’s bike that will use in the race??i just can’t wait…

  5. Marlboro is still the title sponsor, AMG is the official car sponsor. No photos yet of the bike livery, but it will be unveiled in about a week’s time at the Wrooom event that Ducati holds with Ferrari in the Dolomite mountains each year.

  6. deejay51 says:

    Just reaffirming the fact that FIAT own a high percentage of FERRARI, all of this is a bit confusing. What is NOT confusing is the lack of entries in the 2011 MotoGP Championship, I’m reading 15~16 (ish). A very sad state of affairs, further that Dorna wanna sell the whole package, apparently…

  7. Pete says:

    Yamaha will roll up in Qatar with a Title Sponsor. FIAT, in 2007 came to the party @ the 11th hour when all of us thought the Bike would also roll in Blue & White Corporate Yamaha. Is Moto GP Sponsorship really worth it ? Thing is, when more than 3/4′S of the season’s races are done and dusted by lap 5, it becomes boring TV. Sponsors aren’t getting value for their buck. Rossi initially had an issue with Tobacco money but has since had a rethink. The Camel Partnership ended @ Camel’s request and not Rossi. Its Marlboro Ducati with AMG as team Sponsor. The red livery with the barcode is according to them, all the exposure they need. The bulk of the Tab will still be picked up by the Tobacco Boys.

  8. SBPilot says:

    Pete is right. Rossi doesn’t really care much anymore about whether it’s a Tobacco company sponsoring his team, that’s the thing of the past. Especially considering it’s Marlboro money paying largely his pay cheque and not Ducati.

    I am a bit surprised Ducati lets AMG, a German company be their Car Sponsorship, and not procure FIAT to talk deals first. In the end, I thought they wanted the dream “Italian” team..unless some Corporate figures in AMG are in fact..Italian. Regardless, it’s still a German company.

    2011 is exciting because of the team switching. But 2012 will be exciting for the actual racing. I assure that many teams will be having many meetings about whether spend resources on 2011 or most of them on developing the 2012 bike to be competitive. 2011 is a filler year. 2012 is a clean sheet, riders just in their 2nd year with their new teams riding new bikes + (here’s to hoping) a few more private teams to fill the grid.