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.

Kurt Caselli Has Died While Competing in the Baja 1000

11/16/2013 @ 8:28 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Kurt Caselli Has Died While Competing in the Baja 1000 kurt caselli ktm 635x423

We bring you unfortunate news from the Baja California Peninsula, as we have gotten word that American Kurt Caselli has died while competing in the 2013 Baja 1000 off-road race.

Leading the race on his factory-supported KTM, early reports indicated that Caselli crashed after hitting a booby trap (an all too common feature of the Baja 1000) around the 796-mile mark, and later succumbed to injuries to his head.

However, a post to Instagram by FMF’s Donny Emler Jr. says that is not the case, and that Kurt’s crash was merely a racing incident, and did not occur near any spectators. Press statements from both KTM and the Baja 1000 organizers can be read here, and suggest that Caselli’s motorcycle came in contact with an animal, which likely caused his crash.

Though he was part of KTM’s second-place finishing team in last year’s Baja 1000, the thirty-year old Caselli was a new edition to the KTM Factory Rally team, a position he earned after impressing the Austrian manufacturer during his stint at this year’s Dakar Rally as Marc Coma’s replacement.

Announced as a permanent member of KTM’s rally efforts, after Cyril Despres moved to Yamaha Racing, Caselli’s already impressive enduro career was set to gain even more momentum in rally racing.

Caselli was a multiple-time winner of the AMA National Hare and Hound Champion, a WORCS Champion, as well as s ISDE gold medalist before moving into rally racing. In the 2013 Dakar Rally he stunned the field with two impressive stage wins in his rookie debut, and just last month he finished 7th in the season-opener at the Morroco Rally.

Well-regarded for his riding ability and also for his warm personality, his absence will be felt deeply in the racing community. Asphalt & Rubber‘s deepest condolences go to his friends and family.

Source: Cycle News; Photo: © 2013 Maragni M / KTM Images — All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Quiet American says:

    Prayers for you and your loved ones, Kurt. This race needs to rest in peace. Booby traps by citizens are intolerable in civilized sporting venues.

  2. Uh OH says:

    Who says Mexico is civilized? I saw we pull out of Baja and spend the money in the US.

  3. Spmtasticus says:

    A 1000 mile offroad race like the 1000 can not happen anywhere in the US. Blaming an entire country for the actions of a few criminals is not only prejudicial but quite ignorant. It would be like blaming the entire US for the actions of a psychotic american who shoots up a children’s school. This is a horrific even and Kurt was a great guy and excellent racer but we must not make matters worse by extending our reactions beyond reality. What they need to do is have a helicopter fly ahead of the competitors looking for these traps in order to dissmantle them or mark them.

  4. L2C says:

    A booby trap? That is fucked up! What a shame. :-(

  5. dagoof says:

    Why do they booby trap a race course? What motive is there for such a stupid, hateful action?

  6. Rorider says:

    This is insane. From what I’ve read this is considered normal in the Baja 1000. If i’m not mistaken, for a similar reason they moved the Paris Dakar race from Africa to South America.

  7. Spectators “booby trap” the course usually to create jumps or obstacles, which provide more entertainment.

    The Paris-Dakar was moved because of political instability in the Dakar region.

  8. Quiet American says:

    This has been a tradition in Mexico for decades. I have read driver’s accounts over the years of booby traps, meant to wreck cars, being a problem in the famous Pan Am/Carreras road races in the 1950′s. That series went away fairly quickly. I’ve also read of it and seen it covered as a problem in the truck races and the enduros. This is not just a few criminals and recent.

  9. A post to Instagram by FMF’s Donny Emler Jr. says that a booby trap was not involved, and that Kurt’s crash was merely a racing incident, and did not occur near any spectators. I’ve updated the post to reflect this information. More as we get it.

  10. Paul says:

    Kurt may God be with you.To all your Family,it is Gods way,he loves us all and within time God will lead you all back to happiness in your lives.God Blees you for being an exceptional Dirt Rider. Rest in Peace Gods Child!!It is time to ride on.

  11. derestricted says:

    The team, who have now recovered Kurt’s bike discovered traces on the machine that indicate he had collided with some animal, which apparently caused the crash. – See more at: http://derestricted.com/#sthash.6jJfvXRo.dpuf

  12. birchtree says:

    this is just insane…

  13. Peter D says:

    What a loss. I became a fan watching him win a couple of stages of the Dakar last year as a substitute rider. Was really looking forward to cheering him on in this year’s Dakar.

    Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.