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.

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?

The Most Awesome Thing You Will See Today

07/22/2013 @ 8:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

The Most Awesome Thing You Will See Today luke yoda marc marquez valentino rossi star wars

Regular readers will know that Asphalt & Rubber is littered with Star Wars references — we are a bit dorky like that. Speaking for myself, I am an equal opportunity sci-fi nerd, giving healthy viewing times to the Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Babylon 5 franchises, just to name a few (David for some reason enjoys Farscape…no one is perfect).

If you read enough of our articles, a Boba Fett, Deathstar, or Bothan Spy reference is more than likely to crop up (dear I say, they are even expected??!) — so for the kids who were cool in high school: deal with it.

With that disclaimer being said, we bring to you the most awesome thing you will see this Monday: Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi photoshopped into the iconic movie frame of Yoda mentoring Luke Skywalker in the swampy forests of Dagobah. Thanks for the tip Gigi!

This is where Luke learned to control his emotions, deal with Vader being his father, and transformed from lightsaber apprentice to Jedi master. “Control, control, you must learn control!” Yoda implored to young Skywalker. We imagine MotoGP’s Race Direction has likely said the same to Marquez many times in the past few years, as the Repsol rider showed amazing talent coupled to less-than-amazing judgment on the track.

Monterey, California may very well prove to be Marc Marquez’s Dagobah though, as the young Spaniard is now halfway through the 2013 MotoGP season, and currently leads the Championship by 16 points. Showing an amazing talent and aptitude on a race bike, what is really impressing pundits lately is the rate at which Marquez learns from his mistakes.

This is not the Moto2 rider from a year ago that we saw crashing every other race; but instead a two-wheeled Jedi master, who on any given Sunday (or Saturday, if we are racing in Assen) is able to compete and best the giants of this sport. He is the droid we are looking for.

As Luke did on Endor, Marquez still has to shake his reputation and claim his position, as many were quick to point the finger at the Spaniard’s safety record during his now infamous pass on Valentino Rossi in the Laguna Seca Corkscrew.

As David carefully and accurately analyzed though, Marquez was not at fault for the pass, as Rossi ran the entry wide. If anything, the Honda-man avoided what could have been an unfortunate racing collision. For those still not swayed, look at it this way…at least he didn’t try to score with his sister. Awkward.

Source: Reddit; Photo: PoofBam


  1. proudAmerican says:

    Phucking Awesome!!! The wife and I are on the floor laughing!!!

  2. TheSwede says:

    10/10 – would laugh again

  3. Blue Cord says:

    I cannot get over the fact he looks like Sebastian Vettle with the mop top.

  4. Gutterslob says:


    You should do one with that Dorna boss (forgot his name …. Caramel Espresso or something) looking like Jabba the Hutt

  5. TexusTim says:

    so who is the yoda face ? is that david emmit ?…the jeid looks like vettel not marquez… or the hair is photo shopped too…i was thinking before the jump there would be one of stoner being told by the jedi ” looks like you got out just in time as you cannot match the force of marquez”

  6. Tim, Rossi’s face is on Yoda…obviously.

  7. Dan says:


  8. Sebastian says:

    Absolutely fabulous!

    Cheers from sunny Paris, France!

  9. smiler says:

    It was interesting to see Rossi at the pre race press conference. He looked like a father with his children and his best mate Edwards.

    Brilliant cartoon.

    If Rossi now senses that he cannot win, which might be the case after Laguna. A prime opportunity with Lorenzo and Pedrosa not on top form.

    So Rossi the team owner and manager? A huge opportunity to remain competitive and keep his legendary status.

  10. TexusTim says:

    lets do a poll on which rider would be the best team owner/manager or combination. here is my choices in order of prefrence.
    1- collin edwards
    2- valintino rossi
    3- nicky hayden.
    Collin and Rossi would be great combination rossi as owner and collin as manager, money and color reminds me more of the king in intensity I think he would be great but would probably have to run the whole thing himself…and then there’s assen 2006 collin may still not be over it….bawawawawawawawahaha

  11. Damo says:

    That is amazing Jensen.

  12. sigsegv says:

    I’m dying XD

  13. L2C says:

    LOL! That is perfect.

    But what does that make Lorenzo? Count Dooku? Hahaha…

  14. Norm G. says:

    The Most Creepy Thing You Will See Today.

  15. Zano says:

    Frelling Shiny!!!!

    you forgot Firefly and Farscape rocks!!!!

  16. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    mad artistic skills. It took me a second to find Rossi’s face in Yoda. hahaha Very funny.

  17. irksome says:

    I’ll need to see a picture of Marquez’s sister.

  18. Starmag says:

    Jensen, the title is perfect. It WAS the most awesome thing I’ve seen today. This deserves to go viral. As suggested above, this should also be the start of a series, Espaleta as Dukoo or the emperor, etc. Your great site was already one of my favorites even without this. Kudos to the artist and his/her timing.

  19. sideswipeasaurus says:

    Impressive, most impressive.

    At the beginning of the season during testing and after Qatar it’s this Star Wars image that readily comes to mind with VR46 and MM93.

  20. Zano, Firefly…yeah, obviously. I still can’t watch Farscape though.

  21. Mchael says:

    “That boy is our last hope.”

    “No…there is another.”

  22. DP says:

    Awesome, my new desktop.. Marquez does look like Vettel in the pic, lol

  23. pooch says:

    wait…someone actually watches FArscape ? hahahha,,,, that’s funnier than the picture!