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?

Marco Simoncelli 1987 – 2011

10/23/2011 @ 2:48 am, by Jensen Beeler45 COMMENTS

Marco Simoncelli 1987   2011 Marco Simoncelli MotoGP Scott Jones

Marco Simoncelli has tragically died today, after crashing in a horrific accident during the second lap of the Malaysian GP. Trading corners with Rizla Suzuki rider Álvaro Bautista and battling for fourth place, Simoncelli began the race in Sepang with his usual full-of-heart riding style. Certainly a podium contender for the day, the Italian lost control of his motorcycle in Turn 11 after losing the front. Propping the bike on his knee in order to save the slide, Simoncelli heroically but unfortunately stayed upright, cut back across the track, and collided with fellow racers Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.

While Rossi rode away unhurt, and Edwards injured only his shoulder, Simoncelli suffered the brunt of the impact, and lay helmetless on the track after the incident. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff at Sepang, Simoncelli could not be resuscitated and succumb to his injuries at 4:56pm local time. Accordingly the Malaysian GP has been cancelled. Asphalt & Rubber joins the MotoGP paddock in mourning the loss of one the most beloved riders in series, and send our thoughts and prayers to Marco’s family, friends, team, and loved ones.

Ciao Marco, SuperSic forever.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. Kickstand says:

    Lost for words…
    Such a terrible loss to the sport
    RIP Marco
    You will be missed

  2. luke says:

    RIP supersic. you were truly an up and coming extra exciting rider, yet to realize your full potential. You will be sorely missed. MotoGP is that much poorer for having lost you.

  3. GeddyT says:


  4. Jason says:

    Still feeling sick about it. Can’t get the crash out of my head. He was definitely a rising star put out before his time. MotoGP won’t be the same without your bravery, Marco… RIP

  5. Johnny says:

    I was there when they announced Marco was transported by helicopter, you would all know the feeling, it was terrible…

  6. orgzp says:

    ….loss of words. rip marco

  7. Neel46 says:

    its really painful n hard to believe..
    You will be missed Marco “the super sic”…

  8. Doug says:

    Godspeed Sic- Motogp is less without you. Truly saddening

  9. Beary says:

    Just a terrible tragedy.

    Thank you Marco for injecting flair and colour into the MotoGP world with your talent and charisma. You will be hugely missed in the paddock.

    Heartfelt sympathy to Marco’s family and friends on this terribly sad day.

  10. ML says:

    Farewell, Marco… Thank you for the memories. =(

  11. Afletra says:

    I still can’t believe it…
    I just hoping this is not true, R.I.P Sic…
    You’re such a great man!

  12. RT Moto says:

    Sad day. I feel terrible about the loss and send my condolences to the family and friends of Marco. You will be missed. RIP #58 Marco Simoncelli

  13. John D'Orazio says:

    Marco was already becoming a force in GP. Watching him compete was a thrill. His loss changes the face of the sport. Godspeed Marco, R.I.P.

  14. Aurell says:

    i love you Marco… you are the best… =(
    sooner or later, all would be die… au revoir…

  15. Robin Day says:

    RIP Marco – but why did your helmet come off ?? That must be investigated !!

  16. Shaitan says:

    Ciao Marco. You’ll be greatly missed… great talent to die so young.

  17. AC says:

    R.IP. Marco.

    Not only a fantastic and brave rider, but seemed like a genuinely nice guy. Met him at the Laguna paddock once and despite his rising star status and all that he had achieved, he managed to stay friendly with his fans and carried a niceness that some of the others guys don’t have.

  18. phil says:

    Tears I shed for the loss of this fine young man and dedicated rider will not wash away the sadness of your demise.
    This unimagined fate undeserved; your personality, competitiveness and highly regarded congeniality, truth of deed and spirit will be remembered and sadly missed.

    I am sorry for you, sad for your family and friends.

    My solidarity and heartfelt support for Vali, for Colin, and the entire fraternity.
    Vale Super Sic, Thankyou Marco for the time shared with us.

  19. Dr. Gellar says:

    Horrible…absolutely horrible. This sickens me… RIP Marco…and godspeed. Your passing will be felt in MotoGP for years to come…

  20. MikeD says:

    24 years old(still a fricking KID). Decent rider. He was getting better & better lately.

    BAM! In the blink of an eye we have lost him…just like the late Shoya Tomizawa.

    It saddens me greatly seeing these young guns drop lke flies.

    Motorcycles & it’s Racing are one Rude-Crude-Cold Hearted-Reality Checking Mistress. Gonna TRY to keep that in mind all the time.

    R.I.P Lad…(-_- )

    May u come back in another life to continue doing your thing…

  21. Westward says:

    Godspeed Marco, Always a Champion…

  22. Cfour says:

    My hero is no more. We will never forget him. Simoncelli for ever in my memories. My condolances too the family and friends. :(

  23. Theresa (NZ) says:

    R.I.P Marco. Such a terrible thing to see, my prayers go out to your family and friends.

  24. ... says:

    Just back from a 6hr ride back home from Sepang. The longest ride home yet as i was really shaken by what happened…

    Sat at the 1st corner grandstand, just saw it happen on the wide-screen. We really don’t know whats happening as there is no PA broadcast from the organisers regarding the situation. Finally got the news from 3g internet.

    Its horrible to see a young upcoming star pass away in front of your own eyes…

    Godspeed Marco. We will sorely miss you…

  25. PD says:

    Went to my Firefox bookmark for the MotoGP site this morning to find out the race results. With slow DSL, the tab heading shows the page title before the page loads. The tab heading had “ Simonc…,” so I was thinking, “Huh, the kid finally won his first race (in MotoGP).” Then the page loaded and I couldn’t really believe it. Another racer, with SO MUCH LIFE (like Tomizawa). This is hard.

    My deepest condolences to Sic’s family, friends, loved ones. I am very sad – as I was when Shoya lost his life – to see so much life, such verve, ended so prematurely.

    I didn’t know you personally, Marco, and obviously you didn’t know me, but I will miss you. You are a major loss.

  26. Damo says:

    This is just beyond terrible news. RIP

  27. Alex says:

    It’s so sad to see Super Sic die so early in his Moto GP career, he was a very contorversial rider, with a lot of crashes to his name this year, one of which put Pedrosa out of the championship running, he’s been called untalented and dangerous…

    And that’s exactly why I loved to see him race, he was fearless and fast, undoubtedly he had a very bright future in front of him, last weekend in Australia, he had an amazing race that saw him get his best result in his career, that’s when I saw him for the brilliant driver he was, he was getting near his own perfection in terms of riding and I’m sad to see him go when I was sure next year he would have had a Casey Stoner-matching year…

  28. fazer6 says:

    Rest in peace

  29. Jake Fox says:

    @Robin Day I’ve watched the crash in slow motion countless times now trying to wrap my head around what happened and I can tell you that there’s no way his helmet could have stayed on. There was no equipment failure here, no one to blame, just a terrible freak accident. That Rossi was involved in it just makes it all that more devastating.

  30. Philip says:

    I don’t have words that express the way I feel right now. Rest in Peace my brother, my hero, my champion, my Super Sic.

  31. duxbros says:

    Geez. Steve Jobs, Dan Wheldon, now Marco. The brightest and the best! Enough already!!! Godspeed SuperSic, you’ll be sorely missed in a sport that’s becoming increasingly robotic like F1. My sympathies for Colin and Vali–I’m sure they’re feeling pretty awful.

  32. Halfie 30 says:

    Simoncelli was a warrior. Trying to save the bike to his last breath. R.I.P. Deepest condolences to those close to him and especially his family and team. As a rider if you have to go on a track, Simoncelli was the type to go out trying his damnedest to fight it off.

  33. john walker says:

    Marco was one of the few reasons left to watch this over tech – over sterel sport, he brought attitude and risk to

    a GP season that really needed him more than marco needed it. He was the main reason I watched, the duels

    he would engauge in made the sport, I love the sporting (racing)part, I know Rossi and him are pals, this was

    the last guy on the track that Rossi wanted to hit. Why – How did his helmet come off?

  34. MikeD says:

    @Jake Fox:

    Yup, same here. Saw it on on slow motion like 5 times @720p and… I think the force of the impact by the Duc’s front end totally dislodged his helmet fair and square. No malfunction there…if anything, had his helmet not come off maybe his helmeted head would be the one rolling by Edwards on the infield’s grass.

  35. DUKE says:

    I aint got the words. This dude was the future. Rest in Peace.

  36. Bjorn says:

    We are lessened by his passing.
    He had the potential to do great things in the 1000cc era.

  37. 76 says:

    A heart of a lion, rest in peace. My thoughts are with Marco, his family and everyone he has, and will, continue to inspire.

  38. dc4go says:

    Two years ago I met Super Sic at Laguna along with my family and he was an amazing person with tons of talent!! He hugged everyone and kiss my Mom as he greeted her which just showed how much he cared and loved his fans!! He was exactly the same age as my younger brother so it really hit home and I’m truely desvistated!! God bless the family and Super Sic we will always remember and love u!! Godspeed #58!!! Motogp will never be the same…..

  39. Bert says:

    Thanks for putting everything out on the track, every race, Marco. MotoGP will miss you. I will miss you. May God give your family and friends the comfort they need in this ordeal. I think motorcycle racing has lost a star.

  40. 1198freak says:

    RIP Marco, there are really no words for tragedies like these. Why did the helmet come off?

  41. Madmed says:

    My thoughts are with Marco’s familly and close ones. I am still in a shock and can’t believe he perished. I loved his character and his attitude. He died doing something he loved, battling for a position. MotoGP will never be as exciting and I will never forget him but more importantly a very very sad loss of a young life. RIP Marco

  42. jamesy says:

    This is so sad I can hardly believe it. Such an amazing talent, he rode on the razors edge of what was possible from his machine. Just as it seemed that he was overcoming his tendency to sometimes pose a danger to himself and other riders, this tragedy occurs.
    As someone wise once said: Live by the sword…… ! Thank you for all that you were to us.
    May God hold you in his caring hands brave warrior!

  43. M.griff says:

    I hear people commenting that Marcos riding style was a controversial one, I myself think the complete opposite, Marko was a true RACER….and the reason I follow motogp so religiously!
    A super talented racer who was just beginning to find his feet in gp, setting his way to become a great champion and character in the sport, love and deepest sympathy to his family and friends especially his parents, Ride In Peace super-sic#58

  44. vetrick says:

    I’m very sad about what happened to simon

  45. bob says:

    Tears will not wash away the sorrow in our hearts ,nor stop the anguish we all feel at the passing of such a beautifull spirit. Despite never meeting him he had a way of reaching out to people he never met in a way that inspired everyone who watched him race. I fear we have lost a true gentleman and ambasador to the sport we all love. Marco wherever you are I hope the weather is fair the tarmac dry and the bends epic RIP and godspeed