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?

HRC Boss Reveals Details of Honda’s Production Racer: Conventional Valves, Standard Gearbox, & 1 Million Euros

02/07/2013 @ 11:44 am, by David Emmett23 COMMENTS

HRC Boss Reveals Details of Hondas Production Racer: Conventional Valves, Standard Gearbox, & 1 Million Euros 2012 HRC Spanish GP Jerez Friday Scott Jones 11

The production racer version of Honda’s RC213V is another step closer to reality. At Sepang, HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto spoke to reporters and the website about the new bike, and the progress being made on the machine, which will take the place of the CRT machines from 2014 onwards. The bike is delayed, Nakamoto said, but it will be ready in time for the tests at Valencia, after the final race of the season in November.

Nakamoto gave a brief rundown of the specifications of the production RC213V – a bike which, given the amount of publicity it is going to be generating over the next few months, badly needs a new name – though the list contained few surprises.

The bike will have conventional valve springs, as opposed to pneumatic valves on the factory machine. It will not have the seamless gearbox used by the prototypes – again, not a surprise, as maintenance on the gearbox is still an HRC-only affair. This was not a matter of cost, Nakamoto said, claiming the seamless gearbox now costs almost the same as a standard unit.

The bike will use the spec Magneti Marelli electronics, and the spec Dorna software, which will mean the bike will be allowed to run 24 liters of fuel, rather than the 20 liters factory prototypes will have at their disposal from 2014.

To this end, HRC engineers have spent time in Italy, at the Magneti Marelli plant, learning about the ECU. The engine was already being tested on Honda’s dynos, though with an HRC ECU, as the Marelli unit was still having the bugs ironed out, as the CRT machines demonstrated at Sepang.

While progress on the engine-side was promising, what was rather surprising was the area which was causing HRC the most problems. The bike will cost a million euros, as requested by Dorna, and producing the bike to this price was difficult. The hardest part, he Nakamoto, was producing the chassis at low cost, without compromising performance.

“It is not easy building a Grand Prix bike for a price of one million euros,” Nakamoto said. Anyone wishing to get their hands on one will be sorely disappointed. Only ten will be built – sufficient to supply five riders – and they will only be available in the MotoGP paddock.

The problems HRC were having building the bike down to a price were one of the factors causing the delay. Honda had originally planned to have the bikes ready to hand to the teams for testing at Brno in August, but that was now off the cards.

Instead, the bikes will be ready at Valencia, for the test directly after the last race of the year in November, and not before then. Which teams would get the bike has still not been settled, Nakamoto said. The bike would be sold directly by HRC, but so far, they had not started negotiations with any of the teams.

Source: & GPone; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

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


  1. CTK says:

    So just to clarify, this is basically a bargain basement MotoGP bike… only for MotoGP teams? I see Honda’s cancer of disappointment is spreading to their motorcycle division.

  2. Yes. Not to be confused with the V4 sport bike Honda is working on as well.

  3. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    Thanks for clarifying Jensen, I’m very eager to find out more about the V4 Sport bike we’ve been hearing about for almost 18 months now. Any idea when they’ll spill more of the beans on that?

  4. Nope. Honda is the worst at spilling the beans on stuff like that.

  5. Beinggodisgreat says:

    Thats a joke right?

  6. Joe says:

    Should be faster then the Ducati’s.

  7. SuryaD says:

    Err so why do we have the CRTs in the first place again?

  8. MotoBell says:

    I DON’T GET IT – if wsbk machines are very close to factory prototype motogp bikes, why create artificially something that is more expensive and will be slower. wsbk is faster than every CRT out there my miles (yes some CRTs are thinly weiled wsbks). So the five riders getting this bike already know they will not have any shout of challenging factory bikes and may be even satellite but could be faster than CRTs they ride – that is very sad. they fucked motogp when they went 800, had they stayed with 990/1000 there would have been stability to attract more teams.. may be prototype racing doesn’t make sense anymore (from a machinery perspective)

  9. smiler says:

    With Honda supplying engines & bikes to Moto2, MotoGP front & back of grid & WSBK presence as well. Why don’t they just purchase Dorna? And be done with it. Welcome to the Honda Cup.
    I love Honda but this is getting stupid. Surprised Denso are not supplying the ECU.

    The fact that they have changed the spec for MotoGp from 500 oilers , to 990, 800, 1000 & now CRT’s, since 2003. No wonder most motorcycles companies are having trouble. I really fail to see who this was supposed to keep costs down & competition up…..

  10. TexusTim says:

    no way is that bike worth 1.6 million us..cmon no matter the materials no matter what that is way overpriced…they build ten for 5 riders and that is 16 million no extras no rider no tires no nothing else…and this is supposed to help drive down gp racing…and he say’s it was”difficult” to keep under 1.6 million us ea….wow that takes big balls…and I dont believe it cost that much.

  11. dc4go says:

    @ SuryaD CRT’s were created by Dorna cause private teams could no longer afford a full prototype bike and the manufacture’s refuse to make them more affordable. So CRT’s were born and now Honda is willing to make a lower spec bike for 1 million Euro’s. Also Yami is now leasing engines so teams can use them in there own chassis .. Game of chicken played by Dorna and the Man. Dorna won cause all of sudden Honda/Yamaha can make a good package for 1 million Euro’s or less. Doubt these bikes will beat any full prototype though…….

  12. Superlight says:

    Yes, the price of this bike will be high, but that’s because they’re only making 10 of them. Mass production is what keeps pricing down and this isn’t that.

  13. Ken C. says:

    I understand that the cost of a MotoGP bike is mostly in research and development, but still, it’s hard to believe that Honda has a hard time building 10 bikes for €1 million each. I would love to see cost of materials and R&D, and see what kind of margins Honda is making on this.

  14. CTK says:

    I mean they are decontenting the bikes heavily, and not really using them as testbeds. The price does seem pretty ridiculous. 1 million euros, Joe Schmoe could probably have a competitive MotoGP bike built from scratch

  15. Mr.X says:

    As stated here, making frames is the most expensive part.

  16. tlzook says:

    Lots of “fragile” economies out there right now. MotoGP and/or WSBK may be a “mute” point if China, Korea or both get into a “scuffle” with Japan. We can probably forget 2-wheeled action if..

  17. Brad West says:

    Honda is shipping mine as soon as the check clears.

  18. tony says:

    i agree w/ texastim, as usual…and here’s something i wouldn’t think to see on a 1.6 million euro bike- zipties!

  19. Mikeg81 says:

    1 million? Could buy 10 NS500V’s or lease an NSR500 for that.

  20. I don’t know why everyone is bitching about the price. A Honda RC213V costs several million euros TO LEASE each year. This is a watered-down RC213V with a million dollar price tag for GP teams to own. Seems like a pretty good deal, considering the marketplace for machines in the MotoGP paddock.

  21. moto4 says:

    As others have noted not sure how it can be difficult to build for $1.6m? Particularly odd that there’s the suggestion that financially dependent to nly build five. After r&d (surely the single biggest cost) there is no way materials and production cost so much. I can only assume what Nakamoto means is that hard to build for £1m AND make a whopping profit (and still not give away and secrets, presumably).

  22. JT says:

    How does the £1m price tag compare to the best guesstimate cost of current CRT bikes?

  23. TexusTim says:

    look it’s this simple…do the math ! add all the components together, give high values to all the items.motor,tranmission chassis,forks,shock,swingarm so on…you cant get it to 500,.000 U.S. let alone 1.5 million U.S….listen guys there talking eros here..I million eu is 1..5 million U.S. so there saying one bike without all the moto gp super parts like seamless trans and computer will cost 1.5 million… I would say there making more than 60% profit or somthing like 800.00 us in profit on every bike !
    and they cant give the 08 honda cbr 1000 rr any sort of meaningfull upgrade in over 6 years and this is supposed to hold down cost ?…I think honda is the one driving up cost to race moto gp so it takes big bucks to defeat them…outspending your compettition is just another way to up cost to compete is one of hondas strategy’s everyone an uncompetitve bike for such big money insuers there domination….THEY ACT LIKE THE SPOILED KID WITH ALL THE BASBALL GEAR ON SUNDAY…IF HE CANT PITCH AND WIN ALL THE TIME HE WILL TAKE HIS BAT AND BALL AND GO HOME…CALL THERE BLUFF HERE AS THERE IS NO WERE ELSE TO GO !