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 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.

Q&A: Getting to Know Josh Herrin

01/07/2014 @ 12:53 pm, by Aakash Desai2 COMMENTS

Q&A: Getting to Know Josh Herrin josh herrin caterham racing moto2 635x422

After going pro in 2006 at the age of 16, Josh Herrin impressed many by racking up wins in the AMA Supersport and AMA Daytona Sportbike series – with 2013 seeing Josh win the AMA Pro Superbike  Championship, America’s crown jewel of road racing.

Most recently, he has joined the Caterham Moto2 team, making him the first American athlete to make the jump from AMA to Moto2. I recently got to sit down with Josh Herrin to talk about his life and his racing career. The transcript from our conversation follows.

Tell us about your upbringing. You grew up in California?

I was born in Glendale, and then, went to school in La Crescenta. We lived there until I was 14. My dad raced, and built houses, gazebos, and pool houses in California. I have two younger brothers and a younger sister, so my dad decided it was better to be raised out in Georgia. We were into motorcycles, so we bought some property out there. So instead of having to drive out ouf of the LA area to go riding, we could ride right on our property.

So you moved to the other side of the United States?

Yes. My grandpa lived there. We bought property, and now own a supermoto track. It’s a half-mile paved track, and we now run races and get to train on it. It’s in Dublin, near Macon.

What did you grow up riding?

I grew up road racing a YSR. It’s a bike that Yamaha made in the 80s; it was 50-80cc. I grew up riding those, and then when I was 12, I started riding more modern version of those. I moved up to a 125 in 2004, when I was 14, and then started racing 600′s.

Athletes, like you, who are progressing up to a very high echelon of competition, they usually hate when people say that “oh you are very talented.” It downplays a lot of the very real hard work that you put into your training to make yourself who you are. However, do you feel that from a very early age that riding motorcycle was something you were good at?

Honestly, when I was really young, the first time I got on a bike with a clutch I remember I burnt through around 6 motors just trying to learn how to shift. I was good at riding, but it was a struggle for me at first. There was a point when I turned 10 or 11 that all of a sudden I started winning and became good.

I’ve always appreciated when people say I’m talented, but we do work hard. I never really trained until last year because I was just used to using my talent to be good. When I got on a bigger bike and started training, I noticed that it improved my riding a lot.

What kind of training are we talking about?

I ride supermotos, motocross, and basically any time I can get on a bike I get on it. I also have started cycling. I’m sponsored by Specialized, so I get a mountain bike and a road bike every year.

Talk to me about cycling. How does it help you with training to race motorcycles?

For me, the reason I cycle for training is to teach my body to get my heart rate real high, and then coach myself to not panic when it gets that high. Then to be able to bring it back down in a normal way instead of just being out of breath and panicking. It helps me teach my body to calm down to help my perform better during races.

Do you think cycling is a good for us everyday riders?

So if you are not cycling to race or improve some other physical performance attribute, I think cycling and motorcycling serve as great avenues for stress-relief. When I’m feeling stressed about an upcoming race, I’ll often just jump on my bicycle and go for a 20 mile ride to clear my head.

What do you ride on the street?

I ride a WR250X. I always feel like I don’t need to be riding an R1 on the street. I would and it’s a lot of fun, but I like to stick to something I’m not going to get in trouble on. I think the R1 can be great for riding on the street, but not really in cities.

The WR250X is fun all the time even at low speeds and its perfect for cutting through a city environment. Chuck Graves put an aftermarket exhaust and Power Commander on mine, and it picked it up so much. It went from a relatively calm bike to a really peppy on the bottom-end.

What about your race bikes? Tell us about what you’ve been riding.

This year I raced an R1. It was my second year on an R1. I’ve been Yamaha since 2004-2005. I raced a 600 with them from 2005 to 2011, and then I got on the 1000cc bikes for the last two years. Now, I’m going to Moto2 next year, which is a step down in motorcycle size, but a huge step up in competition.

You are the only American to go from AMA to Moto2. How does that feel?

It’s like going to the Olympics. For me, road racing motorcycles in general isn’t a huge thing in the US, so for me to be given the opportunity to possibly make something of myself, and generate more views of the sport in this country, is huge for me. I want to be part of getting Americans, especially young kids, interested in motorcycle road racing.

One of the cool things is when I’m on Facebook or Twitter and I see people write, “I’ve never watched this sport before, but now I want to watch you race.”

Moto 2 is also way more exciting to race. The technological playing field is more level, so there are literally seconds separating the front of the pack to the rear.

Last question, besides riding motorcycles what other activities are you interested? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Going to school?

I enjoy hanging out with my family, my fiancé, and my friends. I love playing basketball and playing video games like anybody else.

No schooling for now. I’m out of high school, but I would like to do some college in the future to secure that side of my future. I’d like to be an architect, maybe.

I’d like to say, however, that I want to be racing for the next 10-15 years, but it depends on injuries. Hopefully I can keep my injuries to a minimum and have fun racing, because having fun is what keeps me motivated and in the game.

Photo: Caterham Racing


  1. Djam says:

    Good luck Josh! I’ll be watching…..

  2. SJ Steve says:

    all props to Josh but…..

    He moved up to Superbike without ever winning the 600 championship…

    & in my opinion, there were at least 6 other racers that would have smoked him last year if they were on comparable (to his R1) bikes.

    But ok..that’s how racing goes….

    I will watch as well but I think he’ll be back in the US after 1 season…. I hope I am wrong but ….

    His line about training….”I used my talent”… he is still a kid…. immature….