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.

Michael Jordan Talks Motorcycles on ESPN’s E:60

05/07/2010 @ 6:05 am, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Michael Jordan Talks Motorcycles on ESPNs E:60 Michael Jordan Motorsports AMA team 560x371

This week on E:60, ESPN’s Hannah Storm got a moment to interview Michael Jordan about his involvement in motorcycles and ownership of the Michael Jordan Motorsports team, which found its first victory ever while at this year’s Daytona 200 season opener. In the interview, Jordan talks about how he got into the sport of motorcycling, and the trials and tribulations of owning a motorsports team.

While motorcycle enthusiasts might not appreciate the surface-level treatment Storm and ESPN give motorcycle racing in the segment, it’s also important to realize that someone like Michael Jordan brings a spotlight on our sport and industry that has never before been seen by mainstream media and consumers. Check the segment after the jump, and let us know if you think this is a positive or negative publicity boost for motorcycles.

Source: ESPN; Photo: 23 Race

Comment:

  1. Steveo says:

    Personally I feel MJ racing is a positive for AMA racing:

    1. He has a good team, and they have worked hard and stuck with it. Like Graves said, “I have seen business men come and quickly get frustrated.”
    2. Its 1 mil. that a team didn’t have in the paddock until he showed up.
    3. His publicity brings in new fans (small degree but still some)
    4. His apparel line will definetly draw in the inner city riders, and appeals better to the african american crowd.

    Anyone willing to work hard, play fair, invest personal capital and stick with a race organization is a plus in my book.

  2. Michael Jordan Talks Motorcycles on ESPN’s E:60 – http://aspha.lt/z8 #motorcycle

  3. Steve says:

    Sure it’s a great thing that MJ has his team and invests his own money bringing a level of attention to our sport however, for the sport to thrive and compete in this country, there has to be much more. It’s sad for me to remember larger crowds at an AMA national in the early 70′s than a few months ago at Fontana (It reminded me of a club race). You’ve got to market the sport and the timing today could not be better. To succeed you must have have a direction, a goal and be consistent. (unlike DMG)

    A small case in point…the weekend before the race at Fontana, Josh Hayes and his wife rode their street bikes up to Palomar Mountain where sportbike guys ride and gather. Mr.and Mrs Hayes hung out and met with the locals and invited all of them to the race at a discounted rate if they mentioned his name. Many of those people attended the race the following weekend to check it out. Hayes was thinking out of the box. That was just one person with one idea and it worked.

    Market it correctly…..and they will come

  4. matthew says:

    We need to dispense with the notion that motorcycling is unreasonably dangerous and get away from the fascination with hooliganism and outlaw bikers before this will ever become truly acceptable in the US. Look at car racing; it’s much larger and still seen as a lesser sport (NASCAR) or a trivial pastime for the rich (F1).

    I think the spot was good except for the bit about him riding dangerously. Of course the report zeroed in on that and of course it took up a giant chunk of time they could have used to introduce the riders or talk about what the team is doing differently to ensure wins in the future.

  5. How many times does Storm ask Jordan “how fast” he was going…it’s like that’s the only metric that exists.

    How fast was he going on the street, how fast do they go at Daytona, how fast was he going down the straightaway…

  6. Bill Smith says:

    My speculation – AMA Road racing will not exist as an American sport in five years. Just about every successful rule of marketing and public relations has been ignored, violated, or poorly executed. There is no room for this level of error in today’s economy.

    Combine this with a failing industry and facilities that just do not cater to a mainstream sports audience and you have the perfect recipe for collapse.

    Watch, participate and attend while the sport still exists.

  7. Steve says:

    Well Bill…..Your point is well taken and I believe you may be right. I hope not. My hope is that something much better will rise from the ashes and the Match “Races” will live again. Did you see Monza last Sunday? The races were incredible. And the stands…….overflowing. We’d better do something, and fast.