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?

J.D. Beach to “Substitute” in Moto2 for the Indianapolis GP

08/16/2011 @ 9:45 am, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

J.D. Beach to Substitute in Moto2 for the Indianapolis GP JD Beach AMA DSB 635x405

AMA Daytona Sportbike / American Superbike racer J.D. Beach has snagged himself a Moto2 ride at the Indianapolis GP, riding with the Aeroport de Castello/Cartellon Mediterraneo Blumaq team. Beach will be on board the FTR M211 Moto2 bike, prepared by the company’s US Distributor GP Tech. Unlike last year where Roger Lee Hayden rode the Moriwaki MD600 Moto2 bike for American Honda’s entry, Beach will not be considered a wild card entry. Instead, the former AMA Pro SuperSport East Champion will be considered a substitute rider, filling-in presumably for Tommaso Lorenzetti.

As such, Beach will not be able to test the the FTR Moto2 machine at the upcoming AMA Pro Racing test at Indy on August 18th & 19th. Instead, Beach will do his testing on a Honda CBR600RR provided by Peak Powersports, since the Moto2 machinery features a Honda CBR600RR motor in its prototype chassis. A strong 600cc rider, it’s hoped that Beach can adapt quickly to the Moto2 format, though if Hayden’s performance last year is any indication, there is a steep learning curve to the MotoGP’s feeder series.

The hope from this endeavor is that it will promote a greater American presence in the Moto2 Championship, and pave the way for American riders to race in that series, as well as MotoGP down the line. Currently the path to MotoGP for American riding talent stems from jumping to World Superbike from AMA Pro Racing, and then from WSBK moving onto MotoGP.

With the very different riding styles involved in all three of those classes, it is a tall order to expect a young rider to be able to adapt and succeed in that process. That being said, one could argue with Toni Elias’s performance this year that Moto2 is proving not to be the stepping stone to MotoGP that Dorna hoped it would be.

Source: RRW; Photo: AMA Pro Racing

Comment:

  1. ???? says:

    WHO…????

  2. One of AMA Pro Racing’s rising stars?

  3. sculptor666 says:

    hayden’s performance included getting his head run over in the first start, no? so maybe that’s not the best example. disalvo, on the other hand, finished 9th with way less testing iirc. using elias as proof of an idea is just dumb. the middle class of gp racing will always be a stepping stone. period. end of story. good night irene. na na na na hey hey hey good bye. that’s all folks. the fat lady is singing.

  4. duxbros says:

    Trying to remember the history of JD…was it he and Cameron Beaubier that were hanging out with Casey Stoner when they were racing Red Bull Rookies Cup? I think Schwantz is his mentor too. And a friend of the Haydens. If so, I guess I can see how he has the juice to get a Moto2 ride. He’s got the talent–hope he does well!

  5. Rexr says:

    The AMA is no big show anymore…………I think Hopper and Zemke are seeing the light of day……it’s not been as big since Spies took on Mladin in the days gone by….

  6. Steve says:

    Too bad about the AMA. They remind me of someone who keeps making the wrong choices with close to fatal results. I wish they would just get it over with. That being said, there is a ton of young talent in the AMA ranks and JDB is one of them. I have to0 be honest, I was pretty skeptical about Moto 2 at first having been a 250 fan for years but what great, exciting racing they provide. Wow! When I figure out who more of them are…all the better. I’d love to see Eslick, West, Westby, Disalvo and some of the 600 DSB boys in there mixing it up.

  7. Rexr says:

    I think they will find the transition to moto2 not as straight forward as everyone thinks the bikes are nowhere near anything they have ridden, they are not like a super sport bike they are a lot lighter and also a lot stiffer and they have a lot more adjustment than a superbike or supersport bike thats why a lot of riders lose their way when riding them, but good luck to the rider I wish him all the best.