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.

Czysz: Just Say No to Dustbin Fairings

03/09/2010 @ 2:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Czysz: Just Say No to Dustbin Fairings bike+fast+salt+flats 560x364

The last time we met up with Michael Czysz, he gave us the lowdown on why allowing dustbin fairings for use in road racing events was a poor decision for sanctioning bodies to make. Thankfully, Czysz has put his words to paper (computer screen?), and explained his thoughts on the subject more deeply in a blog post.

Making comparison to the salt flats of Bonneville, where streamlining is the name of the game, and close-circuit road course races like the Isle of Man, Czysz drives home the point that this is not a technology that transcends racing venues, saying “if Bonneville was 24’ wide and lined with stone walls streamlining would be banned- and so it should be at the IOM.” You can read his full post here for more of his analysis, and click past the jump to see what all the fuss is about.

For those who aren’t that familiar with the debate surrounding dustbin or streamliner fairings, there’s been some talk in the electric motorcycle crowd about bringing this sort of technology back in favor for road racing use. Electric motorcycle’s can greatly benefit from the added efficiency streamlining brings to motorcycle design, and is considered part of the “rethink how we do things” mentality electric racers have included in their raison d’être. However as Czysz points out, these benefits come with various risks that Czysz believes are too great to chance on a road based circuit, and the move to an electric platform does not warrant such a back-step from the industry-wide notion that true streamlining has no place in road racing.

With TTXGP holding its rules open in a wiki format, the push for streamliner fairings has come back into public scrutiny, and is currently allowed in the series’ rule book. Part of this push comes from the added participation of Craig Vetter in forming the TTXGP rules in regards to streamlining. Vetter has been a long-time proponent of dustbin fairings, and has been the central rallying point for the pro-streamlining camp. In response to this, Czysz calls for support from his fellow manufacturers, it’ll be interesting to see who joins the anti-dustbin bandwagon, and even more interesting to see if anyone shows up with a dustbin fairing at any of the scheduled electric motorcycle racing events this year.

Source: MotoCzysz Club


  1. gnmac says:

    I say yes to streamlining…look at the Ecosse Spirit and the V8 Guzzi – it can work!

  2. Sean Mitchell says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but how would you have the room inside a dustbin to physcially move the bike from left to right? I’m with Czysz on this one.

  3. Doug Panting says:

    Leave the option for streamlining open. Let’s give the advocates of streamlining the opportunity to perfect their work.

    There are ways to overcome the problems Michael Czysz describes. He may soon see them on the track.

    The rest of the motorcycle world is full of anti-streamlining rules. Let’s be allowed to experiment in this one small area, as Electric motorcycle’s could greatly benefit from the added efficiency streamlining brings to motorcycle design.

    Rather than advocate rule changes before the races have even begun, lets give streamlining an opportunity to prove itself on the track.

    If Michael Czysz doesn’t want to race against stream liners there are ample opportunities in racing throughout the rest of the motorcycle world. He does not have to spoil the opportunity for innovation for those in the electric field.

    I have to wonder if this is a preemptive attack on streamlining is because of the rumors that the Agni bike will be streamlined?

    Agni won last time.

  4. Doug Panting says:

    “Sean Mitchell says:
    03/09/2010 at 7:04 PM

    Forgive my ignorance, but how would you have the room inside a dustbin to physcially move the bike from left to right?”

    It depends on the design. Take a look at this picture:

  5. John Merlin Williams says:

    Here’s an interesting simulation studying the Lift/Drag ratio of a rider and motorcycle that suggests the fairing of a conventionally-faired race bike acts as a lifting body at high lean angles. With today’s lean angles exceeding 55 – 60 degrees from vertical could it be that, in addition to Michael Czysz’ concern about cross winds, that an enclosed dustbin, at that flat angle could act as a highly effective lifting body (i.e., reduce grip and traction)? Tests would tell. Nobody leans at Bonneville.

    To quote from “Aerodynamic Analysis of a Motorcycle and Rider on a high speed corner”
    Giorgio Pagliara and Giuseppe Ganio © CD-adapco 2009

    “The results of the simulation predicted that at a straight line speed of 120 Km/h, the motorcycle is well balanced with neither excessive lift or down force experienced. During a turn, however, the rider and bike are at an angle to the ground, generating large amounts of lift and a rolling moment that acts to straighten the bike.

    Plots of pressure coefficient show that, during cornering, the rider produces aerodynamic downforce while the bike produces lift. The L/D ratio (lift over drag) ratio of the bike and rider is around 0.4 which may be compared to a typical value of between -3.5 to -2.5 of an F1 car, a difference which is largely accounted for by the lack of any lifting surfaces (front and rear wings) and the effect of rider on the overall aerodynamic performance.”

  6. Czysz: Just Say No to Dustbin Fairings – #motorcycle

  7. Jim Race says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber Czysz: Just Say No to Dustbin Fairings – #motorcycle == I agree with him. FF ain't the way fwd..

  8. angel says:

    [moto] Interesting… RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Czysz: Just Say No to Dustbin Fairings – #motorcycle

  9. Ian says:

    Didn’t the Red Bull Yamaha team try something along the lines of streamlining a few years ago when John Hopkins was racing for them? If I recall correctly it made very little difference to the lap times (hence it never being raced).

    I wondered about aerodynamics last year after talking to a few of the teams at the TTXGP launch. A few were talking about using Hayabusas as a base ‘because it’s the most aerodynamic bike’ but these things were barely reaching 80mph. Surely working on reducing weight would reap more benefits than a dustbin fairing at these speeds. Ok things hav emoved on in a year and the bikes will be faster, but theres a world of difference between 200mph+ at Bonneville and a lap of the island.

  10. Tael says:

    Its not so much an increase in speed that the streamliner’s are proposing, although there may be a minor benefit here, but a reduction in the energy/force required to attain it.
    In electric racing circles, where the available power reserve is limited (and was the main factor in the final positions of the race last year) any reduction in used energy reserve is greatly appreciated.

  11. Scatterbrained says:

    I distinctly remember reading about how “dustbin” fairings were banned from prototype (now motoGp) motorcycle racing due to the dangerous handling characteristics that they brought with them. I think the people who are advocating the return of dustbins are ignorant of racing history.

  12. Brammofan says:

    @Scatterbrained – Some students of (and participants in) racing history might tell you that the “dangerous handling characteristics” was the reason given for the banning, but that you should consider all possibilities. Could it have been that the streamlined cycles handled just fine and raced faster, but that the manufacturers behind the racing organizations did not like their use because they looked nothing like what they were selling in the motorcycle shops? An inquiring mind won’t venture calling other people “ignorant” based merely on something he or she “distinctly remember[s]” reading. This is a complex issue and there are strong viewpoints on each side. Frankly, I hope someone (oh… Agni?!) brings an odd-looking bird or two to the races and puts the others to shame. That’s the kind of drama this sport needs.

  13. Scientific advancement requires just that – the application of the scientific method – rather than using 50+ year old rumors – why don’t we open up the rules so that the technology can advance. As to those who say there is very little speed or efficiency advantage to the ‘dustbin’ design – those people are woefully ignorant of the tremendous influence of aerodynamic drag as THE principal power requirement in the motive force of a motorcycle, rolling resistance and vehicle weight are essentially only an afterthought. As to turning ability, I invented something better as a solution, which can be viewed at ,
    With respect, Someone who has ACTUALLY RIDDEN A DUSTBIN.

  14. I vote for the dustbin too–they handle well if the bike has enough weight forward, and there is no question they work aerodynamically, In 1982 I built a motorcycle that got about 192 mpg in naked form…when we put a dustbin fairing on it mileage leaped to 300+