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?

MotoGP: Japanese GP Promo Poster is so Anime it Hurts

08/01/2012 @ 1:53 pm, by Jensen Beeler55 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Japanese GP Promo Poster is so Anime it Hurts AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan MotoGP poster anime 635x850

Maybe it is because Laguna Seca is our home round, but we were really digging the Red Bull US GP posters that the track had up in various moto haunts in San Francisco. Minimalist, with just enough color to pop on the white backgrounds, the promo posters were obviously something right up our own taste for aesthetics.

That being said, the 2012 AirAsia Japanese Grand Prix posters might be the best we have ever seen. Let us know who your favorite anime MotoGP character is in the comments. Our notes after the jump.

Casey Stoner: We can honestly say we never thought of Casey as a Ken from Streetfighter type of guy.

Jorge Lorenzo: KANEDA!!!!

Nicky Hayden: Don’t worry, this guy is legit.

Dani Pedrosa: Too much, or not enough, teenager angst. We can’t decide.

Andrea Dovizioso: We are seriously concerned that he is about to kidnap Casey.

Cal Crutchlow: Spot on.

Valentino Rossi: We are just glad he made it onto the poster. *Cough* Ben Spies *Cough*


  1. Harry says:

    If anyone knows how to buy one of these PLEASE tell me. I will pay handsomely!

  2. Logan says:

    Thirded! Please!

  3. meatspin says:

    Jensen, you’re such a nerd. I gotta admit, I love the poster, and the Akira reference is apt. The movie left quite a mark on me as well even though it had at times a weird narrative.

  4. Ryan says:

    Awesome. just awesome

  5. You’re just now figuring out I’m a huge nerd? Maybe my social skills have improved. Hmm…

  6. Exodus says:

    Do want. Very yes.

    Also maybe its me but this could SO EASILY be turned into an anime series. It’s all there.

  7. ZeitgeistXiii says:

    Nah not really, maybe they have not met you in person. pfft..

  8. Ed Gray says:

    OK I’ll answer the question.

    My favorite is Crutchlow.

  9. Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  10. Fred Santos says:

    Jensen, please, get some hi-res plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  11. Fred Santos says:

    MAAAAAAANNNNNN, now i’ve figured out….

    Where’s Valentino?!?!!?!??!?!?!?!!

    Now the fans goes crazy!

  12. Laurençio says:

    Yes, Indeed. Gotta love the Crutchlow

  13. Corey says:

    so where does one see a picture of the US GP poster you referenced?

  14. Andrew Hsu says:

    I also found the image on website:

    Would love to have a poster as well.

  15. Mp says:

    Crutchlow wins and Fred, valentino is the one highest up with the fro

  16. Gritboy says:

    LOL! That’s awesome. I’m guessing they just wanted to bring some youthful fun to the event given last year’s somber tone.

  17. Westward says:

    I think I found Spies on the poster…

    Oh wait, thats just Crutchlow’s hand…

    So who has the connections with someone in japan..? Have them scan a quality copy and post it on the web with a link on this comment thread…

  18. meatspin says:

    the funniest part of the poster is the “Make a new road!” caption below Japan.

  19. Fred Santos says:


    I´ve thinked the high one was Simoncelli LMFAO

  20. Peter G says:

    Sugoi desu ne !!

  21. John says:

    Crutchlow should be his own poster. I’d drop a benjamin on it without blinking.

  22. m baker says:

    pedrosa was so awesome,can see the revenge in the eyes.

  23. jr2 says:

    I have all the Laguna Seca posters back to the USGP days… All the posters from 2005 on have a similar style… maybe you should do an article on all the 2012 posters!

    Wait I’ll have to check MotoGP site to see if they have them all…

  24. Terrafly says:

    Love the poster………….somebody pick some up and get us some!!

  25. Hugh says:

    I would definitely buy this. Mainly so I can think of Akira every time I see Lorenzo…

  26. Dave says:

    Crutchlow looks like a cross between a wild-eyed speed racer villain and the drummer from the muppets

  27. pooch says:

    easily the best thing I’ve seen on the internet lately!

    The only close thing to Ken from Streetfighter, is the blonde hair….sorry. But the artists definitely got the attitude right, with the low eyebrows, Stoner looks slightly pissed off…

    I’m colour printing this and putting it up in my garage :)

  28. Harry says:

    Pooch, tell me what size you print it and how it looks.
    There’s a ‘cleaner’ version for everyone to look at too!

  29. smiler says:

    just no short skirted japanese school girls…whoops wrong forum…!

  30. Fred Santos says:

    aw man…i want this printed on my wall so bad.

    I’ve searched in japanese google but… find nothing

    (Motogp 2012 japan poster high resolution)

  31. Daniel says:

    “You framed an Asia poster?”

  32. Brian says:

    I am diggin’ how Casey looks and Nicky Hayden. The look is dead on. Where do I go to purchase one?

  33. Brian says:

    Jensen, This poster actually reminded me of Akira as well. If you like that movie, pick up Neo Tokyo and watch the short called the Running Man. This reminds me of every road racer and their passion about winning.

  34. Westward says:

    @Fred Santos

    Try using the words on the poster in your search, like “AirAsia & Grand Prix of Japan”

  35. JohnMc says:

    This picture is from a magazine. On the right side of the frame you can see next page. Does anyone know what magazine ran this?

  36. Chili Pie says:

    Here’s a link to Twin Ring Motegi’s store/shop- by the look of things (or hopefully) you could order it from here. I can’t read/write Japanese, but if someone else can, maybe you can let us know if they’re available?

  37. nori says:

    checked but the poster is not for sale unfortunately…

  38. Damo says:

    I love it. Very Initial-D.

  39. Dovi – The look on his face is good. He’s looking towards Rossi as though he sees Marco’s fro and the rivalry is back!

    Crutchlow is killer.

  40. Cromagnon says:

    Go Here: It’s a freaking comic book…maybe…But it sure looks like it’s for sale

    “Wooo!!”, “Hmmm…”

  41. Cromagnon says:

    Then hit the “Mobility Station” link!

  42. Cromagnon says:

    Somebody got a few thousand yen I can borrow?

  43. Harry says:

    It seems like the things you can buy are DVDs, I think?

  44. MikeD says:

    For my life, i swear i can NOT figure out who the hell is the guy with the short hair next to Stoner.
    Anyone ? Help ?

  45. MikeD says:

    P.S: I love Manga and Anime but this just feels…………………..don’t stone me……….wrong/wierd ?

    While in Rome do as Romans do ?

  46. Cromagnon says:

    MikeD says:
    August 2, 2012 at 4:41 PM
    “For my life, i swear i can NOT figure out who the hell is the guy with the short hair next to Stoner.
    Anyone ? Help ?”

    That would be Jorge.

  47. Fred Santos says:

    That’s Jorge with his woman-made-lookin eyebrows hahahah

    Anyone finds the Poster in a better resolution?

  48. “It’s a freaking comic book…maybe”

    It’s a DVD…definitely. And it’s just the cover art that is manga style. A high-res version of the poster I haven’t found. As for the ad being in a bike magazine, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you could find them at a Japanese import shop. A lot of shops like that have a recent book/magazine section.

  49. Scott says:

    I am in Japan on holiday. I will look in some mags

  50. TexasTim says:

    “MAKE A NEW ROAD” ?……uh .. ok ?….bawawawawahaha

  51. Bruce Monighan says:

    ok so go to the site listed before

    Click on the poster banner at the top and it enlarges,

    Right click ” save as”

    and you get a nice but smallish (8 1/2 x 11) print in very good quality.

    Not a poster for sure, but nice to put on the wall in my office next to my Moto GP autographs

  52. Dale Thomas says:

    There are currently no plans to produce it in poster form. I’ve made an appeal to the artist to produce the poster -put in your 2 cents in the comments section:

  53. I have no problem commissioning a production run, assuming the artist agrees and has the legal rights to the work. Maybe we can make this a fundraiser for Riders for Health?