Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

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.

John Hopkins to Wild Card at WSBK Silverstone Round

07/21/2011 @ 10:17 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

John Hopkins to Wild Card at WSBK Silverstone Round samsung crescent suzuki gsxr1000 635x448

Announcing its plans back in March to skip Donington Park for Britain’s other track, Samsung Crescent Suzuki has confirmed that the team, along with Anglo-American rider John Hopkins (and teammate Jon Kirkham), will be attending the upcoming World Superbike round at Silverstone as wild card team entry. While Kirkham will be making his WSBK debut, this will be Hopper’s first time on a World Superbike-spec machine since his 2009 campaign with Stiggy Honda.

“We’ve had good success in the past with wild card rides, too, like Tom Sykes’ podium in 2008; we’re not there just to make up the numbers,” said Team Manager Jack Valentine. “And we can bet Hopper will be out to make a statement or two! We’re certainly looking to run competitively. Our only disadvantage is that we normally run under British superbike rules, which allows only one bike per rider, not two. That said, we’ve got one of the most professional teams in the sport, they’re able to turn any job around very quickly and very accurately. We should be okay.”

For a fun factoid: Hopper’s wild card at Silverstone means that he will have competed in the British Superbike, World Superbike, and MotoGP Championships this season, and if the former-AMA rider can find a one-off ride in the American Superbike series (not likely), then he can lay claim to the Grand Slam of Motorcycle Racing (we just made that hono(u)r up).

Source: Crescent Suzuki

Comment:

  1. PD says:

    How does this work? Crescent’s BSB bikes are far lower spec than World SBK bikes, are they not? So, do they borrow WSBK-spec bikes? If so, from whom? Just upgrade parts and electronics? If so, does Crescent outlay so much money for the significant upgrades just for one race weekend (especially when the lowering of spec for the BSB series was to save money)? Just curious.

  2. Motominded says:

    Suzuka and Sugo are ready! Daijiro Kato’s passing was terrible but it does not mean Suzuka is the most dangerous track on earth. It was widely agreed his crash was due to rider error. After 2003, the Japanese championship still held events there and the Suzuka 8 hour is still an important race for the Japanese brands. To add, there have been riders killed at Brands Hatch, Indy, and Misano in the last few years but the WSBK/WSS and MotoGP still return there. I feel it is time Suzuka was reevaluated. Or even Sugo be given another chance at the world stage as Motegi isn’t as exciting as the others.

  3. Motominded says:

    Opps, wrong article. Disregard.

  4. SBPilot says:

    BSB bikes aren’t necessarily far lower spec than WSBK bikes. Especially top teams like Crescent, their team and bike is probably better prepped than most of the privateers in WSBK. The SWAN Yamaha team in BSB is actually using WSBK spec bikes straight from Yamaha, right up to the carbon fairings. Those were Yamaha’s 2010 bike that was suppose to be used for 2011 after more developing but Yamaha decided the other top WSBK teams are developing quicker than expected so they just made new bikes for the 2011 WSBK team and sold the ’10 to SWAN. It’s true that some top WSBK teams like Aprilia/Ducati/Yamaha have some really developed bikes with good personnel and good riders, but Hopper is one hell of a rider, and Crescent is one hell of a team. Privateers WSBK bikes are no better than Crescent’s bikes, if not worse.

  5. SBPilot says:

    Forgot to add, Crescent is probably more factory Suzuki than Alstare considering Paul Denning (MotoGp Suzuki) runs Crescent as well, so those BSB Gixxers are definitely top spec if not the best right you can get.

  6. John Hopkins to Wild Card at WSBK Silverstone Round – http://aspha.lt/pk #motorcycle

  7. PD says:

    Hmm, I thought, in recent years, primarily to lower costs, similar to what the AMA did with its superbikes, limitations were placed with the BSB series to bring the superbikes closer to superstock spec, and away from the increasingly no-limit high spec of WSBK. Especially with regard to electronics, etc. So was this not the case?

  8. SBPilot says:

    Media was speculating that BSB Superbike takes on BSB Evo rules which is a pretty extreme cost cutting measure, stock engine, spec electronics etc. That has not happened yet but they have cut down to one rider per bike which I think is huge already. Currently I’m pretty sure BSB SBK is pretty open on modifications, engines internals, swing arms, open suspension, and electronics. Evo/Superstock rules is where the major cost cutting has been happening. In Superstock your engine can only have a modified head gasket and something else, very minor stuff, and I read those BMW super stock machines don’t’ even bother running a thinner head gasket.

    I hope WSBK cut costs for more bikes and more equal performing bikes on the grid, one bike rule is good, and they should ban Carbon Fibre body work, that would save so much money it’s incredible, just like how it’s now banned in WSS.