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?

Bonneville: Lightning Motorcycles Becomes the First Electric Motorcycle to Break 200 MPH

08/13/2011 @ 4:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Bonneville: Lightning Motorcycles Becomes the First Electric Motorcycle to Break 200 MPH Lightning Motorcycles SCTA Bonneville 200 MPH 635x474

We just got a phone call from Richard Hatfield of Lightning Motorcycles saying that the “Flying Banana Mk. II” just put down a 205.238 mph pass at the Southern California Timing Associations’ Speed Week at Bonneville. This pass makes Lightning the first electric motorcycle manufacturer/competitor ever to break the 200 mph mark, whether it be on the tarmac or at the salt flats. If verified during tomorrow’s second pass, the speed would shatter the outright land speed record of 176.434mph, which was set by Riches Nelson and his fully-streamlined Airtech Lightning Bolt electric motorcycle.

Lightning currently holds the AMA and FIM land speed records for the APS-Ω LSR class (A=special chassis, PS=partially streamlined, Ω=electric) for electric motorcycles weighing between 150kg and 300kg, after Paul Thede (of Race-Tech fame) took the Flying Banana Mk. I to 173.321 mph at Bonneville last year. This year according to SCTA protocols, Lightning’s bike has been impounded for the night, and the team will have another run tomorrow to solidify its record. The average of those two speeds will then stand as Lightning’s official speed, and if everything goes according to plan, Lightning will have raised the LSR mark for electric motorcycles into the 200 mph bracket.

Talking to an ecstatic Richard Hatfield, the team is confident that it will not only replicate the result, but also predicts a faster speed for tomorrow (salt flats providing). Using only 3% of its battery charge and being ridden at quarter-throttle, Hatfield and his team believe that 210 mph is achievable. Encountering a slight aerodynamical issue from the sit-on style rider position and partial streamlining bodywork, Paul Thede had counteract the bike’s desire to pull to the right of the course, which at 200 mph is probably a lot more terrifying than it sounds.

That issue was compounded by the fact that Thede, a multiple LSR world record holder, was going the fastest he’s ever gone on two wheels of any kind at Bonneville, on the salt flats, or anywhere else. With lightning storms (fitting, ehh?) predicted for tomorrow afternoon, Lightning will have to get its return pass into the books early in the day if the team wants to set a verified speed with the SCTA and a new LSR. More news from Speed Week as we get it.

Source: Lightning Motorcycles

Comment:

  1. elmotomadman says:

    Well done. Congratulations to the Lightning Team and Paul Thede. What motor and batteries are used on the bike?

  2. Keith says:

    SWEET!

  3. Bob says:

    Hats off for this achievement. However, I’m more impressed by road race victories than outright, straight line speed. I.E., build a bike that can beat Mission Motors at laguna seca and I’ll be even more impressed.

  4. elmotomadman says:

    Lightning will be tough to beat on the track once they get some development time. I heard at Laguna Seca they had zero track time before the race and had a seized Brembo brake caliber. Development time is all that is needed. No practice, 4 or 5 laps in qualifying and 8 lap race is not much development time.

  5. Skadamo says:

    Congrats to lightning!

    Will Yates be in a different class do you know?

    Any other electrics going to speed week?

  6. I believe Lightning uses a Remy motor and Ener1 batteries.

    Yates is at the BUB Speed Trials in two weeks’ time. You can set AMA and FIM LSRs at that event.

    I’ve heard rumblings of other electrics at the salts. I’d probably wake up with a horse head in my bed if I said who though. :)

  7. Skadamo says:

    @elmotomadman Remy motor, Ener1 batts.

  8. KyleG says:

    Great stuff!!

    @elmotomadman – They use a Remy motor with a custom housing and cooling system. They also have Ener1 batteries on board.

  9. Skadamo says:

    A horse head, must be CRP. :D

  10. KyleG says:

    Haha i guess we are all very knowledgeable posters and very timely :)

  11. So does that mean everyone owes me a Coke?

  12. Ben Faster says:

    Mark my words now boys – Electric bikes will change it all. It will start at Pikes Peak where they have an inherent advantage of no loss of power due to altitude. Electric cars will follow there soon; same reason.
    I grew up riding dirt bikes..etc. Now own a Ducati with Termis – so I love the sound like everyone else. But its coming!!
    Great job guys.

  13. Dr. Gellar says:

    Congratulations! Pretty awesome stuff…

  14. Bonneville: Lightning Motorcycles Becomes the First Electric Motorcycle to Break 200 MPH – http://aspha.lt/ri #motorcycle

  15. Bob says:

    @elmotomadman

    They had dev time; they went to IOM.

  16. skadamo says:

    Bonneville: Lightning Motorcycles Becomes the First Electric Motorcycle to Break 200 MPH – http://aspha.lt/ri #motorcycle

  17. Tom says:

    I don’t mean to poo-poo this, but high speed is not an issue with electric motors whether car or bike. 200 miles between charges that last less than 10 minutes and battery life for more than 5 years is the holy grail that truly revolutionize the industry. SSC makes the world’s fastest production car, even faster than the Bugatti Veyron, and just how exactly has this car changed the world?

  18. MikeD says:

    Great. Let them come…get developed, reach the stars and w/e else they aspire to…just don’t try to push them down my throat…i still feel very much at home with my ancient ICE 1.0L 90* Twin.
    I’ll run it on moonshine if i have too…lmao.

  19. elmotomadman says:

    I don’t think anyone is forcing the electric bikes down anyone’s throat…did the early IC motorcycle companies force their bikes down the throats of horse owners? If it wasn’t for the early IC bike development and years of innovation with this passion we wouldn’t have the great machines we have today. Same with electric…we need pioneers who want to push a new technology. It is about going as fast as you can and still have a choice on how you want to do it. I know this is not original but…the stone age did not end because of a lack of stones…and the oil age won’t end because of a lack of oil. We might not see it but future generations will.

  20. MikeD says:

    “the stone age did not end because of a lack of stones…and the oil age won’t end because of a lack of oil”.

    Yeah…i hope so…in these days and times when u wake up and there’s a new regulation for anything prohibiting everything…yeah…let’s watch and take notes.

    The goverment started by imposing those stupidly high fuel standards (that no one has been able to figure out yet how to meet it w/o making cars unsafe or super xpensive) for the future on the car manufacturers and it sure looks to favor more and more the electric vehicles than anything else (diesel who ?)…who says they won’t push their dirty ways in Motorcycles too ?

    But w/e… i don’t think fosil fuels will run out before i run out of breath…or bikes. lol.

  21. skadamo says:

    Congrats to Richard and team! C U in 2 weeks tho! Lightning Becomes the First Electric Motorcycle to Break 200 MPH http://t.co/wl7pA0R

  22. Desert Hawk says:

    Bonneville: Lightning Motorcycles Becomes the First Electric Motorcycle to Break 200 MPH – http://aspha.lt/ri #motorcycle

  23. Alexander says:

    And what about sunday result?

  24. elmotomadman says:

    I saw the official number going into the record books is 206.049

  25. Our record is 206.079. Our measured best speed through the lights was 208.328. We are working hard now making changes to bump the record.
    Richard