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?

First Mavizen Pops Up at Isle of Man’s TT Zero

04/01/2010 @ 6:01 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

First Mavizen Pops Up at Isle of Mans TT Zero 666 road racing electric bike 560x318

Carbon fiber products manufacturer 666 Road Racing has announced its plans to enter into the 2010 Isle of Man TT Zero event, making them the first announced team to enter the TT Zero event with a Mavizen electric sport bike. Mavizen, as many may remember, is owned by Azhar Hussain, founder of the TTXGP, which was recently ousted by the Isle of Man, which then created the TT Zero racing class for the Isle of Man TT. This announcement is a turn of events as it was previously believed Azhar would not let a Mavizen bike compete in rival series created by the FIM and Isle of Man.

Hussain has stated publicly he was unsure as to whether he would condone purchasers of Mavizens to race in other series, leaving the issue open. However back channel speculation in the electric racing circles seemed to suggest such an event would not occur. Considering that 666 manufacturers the carbon tray that holds the Mavizen electrical components to the KTM RC8 chassis, it’s surprising that a company so close to Mavizen and TTXGP would be the first to break rank, and look at other series besides TTXGP.

At the helm for 666 Racing is Keith Amor, who won took two podiums in the 2009 Isle of Man TT. Amor was previously without a ride for the 2010 TT, having recently split with the JMF/Millsport team. He’ll be on-board 666′s Mavizen electric motorcycle, which uses a similar setup to last year’s TTXGP winner Team Agni. The Mavizen bike that Amor will use has a KTM chassis that has been fitted by 666 to accomodate the electrical compenents. The team hopes to break the 100mph barrier on the Mountain Course, but considering last year’s Agni only topped the mid-80′s for average speed, it’s doubtful that 666 has a meaningful shot at achieving this feat.

Source: Isle of Man TT


  1. Brammofan says:

    According to the scuttlebutt on the iom forums, it sounds like the starting grid has about 7 bikes.

  2. Doug says:

    This could be good for Hussain. Just imagine if this bike grabs a podium. The guy is ousted from IOM, but a bike of his comes back to win it!?

    If he’s upset about 666 entering, he needs to just play it cool and hope they perform well.

  3. First Mavizen Pops Up at Isle of Man's TT Zero – #motorcycle

  4. skadamo says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: First Mavizen Pops Up at Isle of Man's TT Zero – #motorcycle

  5. Jim says:

    A devilishly good time to be had.

  6. Mikey says:

    2 weeks after TT Zero entries closed there has been a deafening silence from the organisers. However, before anyone starts cheering for Hussain I read somewhere that although he was claiming ’55 expressiosn of interest’ for his various c/ships, no-one had actually paid the registration fee! He claimed a similar number of interested parties for last year’s TTxGP and 14 bikes turned up…

    Also, I can’t understand why people keep hailing TxGP a success unless they’re just repeating what was in Hussain’s post-TT press release. It was dreadful – a tiny entry with no real racing as even in just one lap the bikes were well spread out and most of them were dog slow.

    Face it – it’s a concept no-one wants right now. It’s like going to your favourite Indian restaurant expecting a nice spicy Vindaloo and then being given a bowl of muesli…

  7. I don’t agree that there’s no interest in the eBike scene. I will admit that there’s little interest from conventional race fans. If there weren’t three competing sanctioning bodies, and everyone was focused on the IoM again in 2010, there’d be a decent — and decently diverse — grid.

    It’s a moot point anyway, because OEMs are showing interest (KTM’s entered the fray with the Freeride, Yamaha’s cited zero-emissions tech in its plans to recapitalize) and where the money goes, interest follows. What is most interesting to current players in the moto industry is precisely that the old fans aren’t interested — IE, this is a way to reach a new audience, and that’s something we desperately need.

  8. mikey says:

    Since I passed that earlier comment I’ve read on the web that the FIM’s first e-Power event has attracted 6 entries. Hussain’s TTxGP has attracted 10 entries so far but that’s spread across 3 championships – I suspect the bulk of those entries will be for the American series. The TT organisers (3 weeks after entries closed) have still to make any formal announcements but so far I’ve ony heard 9 names being mentioned.

    I stand by my point Mark and I disagree about there being a decent TT grid if the organisation wasn’t so fractured. Subject to confirmation, so far there’s only about 25 teams GLOBALLY that have registered to race this year, and if you’re the Mark Gardiner I think you are (ex-TT rider?) you’ll know that a full TT grid is more than 3 times that number.

    I’ve been going to the TT a long time (since 1964) and TTxGP was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. It was desperately dull and that’s something no TT should ever be.