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?

Colin Edwards – “I’m going fishing. Screw this sh*t.”

08/26/2010 @ 11:59 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Colin Edwards   Im going fishing. Screw this sh*t. Colin Edwards Pre Race Press Conference 560x373

No one makes the MotoGP media center come alive with emotion more so than Colin Edwards. A veteran of the sport, and born with no filter between his brain and mouth, the Texan Tornado captured the spotlight during the pre-race press conference at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. A stark contrast to the polished veneers of other riders, Edwards isn’t afraid to tell things the way he sees it, even if it involves some colorful language. To get an idea of what we mean, check out a portion of the press conference transcript after the jump.

MODERATOR: Come to the far end, ladies and gentlemen, of course, Ben’s teammate, Colin Edwards. Colin, 130th Grand Prix appearance. It’s been some run some run, hasn’t it?

COLIN EDWARDS: It has. Can I just say something real quick for future reference? Earlier when you said 10th in the championship, that’s like a dagger in the heart. So let’s just leave that shit out next time, OK? If it weren’t for these assholes being so fast, I might be a little bit higher up in the championship. (Laughter)

No, 130 races. Oh, man, I’m getting old, aren’t I?

HAYDEN: He’s a professional. He should be able to put a better spin on it than that. (Laughter)

EDWARDS: Yeah. No, it definitely, 130 races, yeah, it’s been something special. It’s been some of the best times of my life. It’s been awesome.

MODERATOR: Tough year for you this year.

EDWARDS: Oh, you think? Is that just being honest? (Laughter)

MODERATOR: I’m being honest. You’ve had a tough old time out there.

EDWARDS: Yeah, it’s been very difficult. We obviously finished fifth in the championship last year and came here kind of on a high thinking everything would be cool. This dumb-ass six engines per year rule, I don’t know what they have there, but we’ve suffered. We’ve obviously suffered. We got a little bit something extra at Laguna, not necessarily engine or whatever, but we developed a little bit of a faster bike overnight and it seems to be working. Our two best results were Laguna and Brno and we’re just looking to build on that.

MODERATOR: And the future, do you want to stay in MotoGP?

EDWARDS: I’m going fishing. Screw this shit.

MODERATOR: You’re beginning to sound more like Kenny Roberts every day. (Laughter)

EDWARDS: No, I would love to stay with Herve. I’d love to stay with Yamaha. That’s my No. 1 goal at the moment. We just need to try and make it happen.

MODERATOR: So an important second part of the season for both of you.

EDWARDS: Yeah, I think there are a couple chips that need to fall in the right place and I think it can happen, it’s just a matter of — is it a full moon yet? I don’t know. Anyways, we just need to see what happens.

MODERATOR: I think I speak for everybody, we hope it happens. We don’t want to lose you from the MotoGP.

Finally, I remember a couple years ago when you first came to Indy, you said what a special place to come and actually race here, just so fantastic.

EDWARDS: I have so many memories here. You all probably heard the story, it was ’85 or ’86 when Danny Sullivan did the 360 and still won the race. My dad was drunk on the bed, and I was a little kid. I just remember my dad being drunk, “God damn, did you see that?”  I’m like, “Dad, that’s the 10th time you said that. I saw it already.” (Laughter)

But I have some memories of this place, most of them televised that I was watching. And to be here and to be parked in the same Paddock in the motor homes and just being in this area, it’s something special. They’ve done a great job with it, you know, to build a motorcycle track here, it’s a good job.

MODERATOR: Colin, many thanks. Congratulations on 130. Thank you.

Comment:

  1. Anthony says:

    - True racing personality and great for “the show”
    - Faster than most racers in the world

    but he just doesn’t deserve another season in motogp.

  2. James Michael says:

    You want to tell him he doesn’t deserve to be here? Now that would be a press conference!!!
    HAAHAAAA!!!!! Moto GP fan gets his ass kicked!!!

  3. Colin Edwards – “I’m going fishing. Screw this sh*t.” – http://aspha.lt/1ap #motorcycle

  4. skadamo says:

    Thanks for the glimpse into what the fans rarely get to see. Great stuff.

  5. augsxr750 says:

    Big Edwards fan, always enjoy his brutal honesty, with the right setup he’s damn quick as well. “doesn’t deserve another season in motogp”??? Why? He’s coming off of a season where he finished top 5 in the championship on a satellite bike, well ahead of other factory riders. Sure he’s struggling this year but the 6 engine rule is hurting everyone it seems like (Suzuki anyone?).

  6. Todd B says:

    If he were holding someone up by being on the bike next year, I could see the argument that he shouldn’t be back – but who is he holding up? Cal Crutchlow will get Ben’s old seat, and even he probably isn’t 100% ready yet – there’s plenty of room for Colin, he should be on the bike.

    Besides, there are plenty of riders struggling more than Edwards.

  7. ladyhawke82 says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber Colin Edwards – “I’m going fishing. Screw this sh*t.” – http://aspha.lt/1ap #motorcycle #MotoGP

  8. Kalvin says:

    go fishing colin. i’m sick of seeing you wasting your engines on the middle of the pack. pass the torch to a new kid and be a mentor instead of griping like a bad loser.
    K.