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.

MotoCzysz Racing Announces Four Riders for 2013

04/29/2013 @ 4:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

MotoCzysz Racing Announces Four Riders for 2013 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc 05 635x425

Not that we needed any confirmation, but the MotoCzysz crew has announced its return to the 2013 Isle of Man TT, and as we expected the Oregon-based team will defend its record-setting win from last year’s TT Zero with again a two-rider team of Michael Rutter and Mark Miller.

Also announcing its intention to race in the new 2013 eRoadRacing World Cup, MotoCzysz has enlisted the help of Shane Turpin and Steve Rapp for riding duties at Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Miller Motorsports Park.

For those who haven’t been following along, Shane Turpin holds the distinction of being the only racer (besides Michael Czysz of course) to have ridden both the gas-powered MotoCzysz C1 and the electric-powered MotoCzysz E1pc, the latter Turpin campaigned at Miller two years ago.

Also of note, Steve Rapp is the only rider to have beaten a MotoCzysz E1pc during a closed-circuit race, and the MotoCzysz crew hopes that with Rapp’s help, it can put the E1pc within six seconds of the slowest MotoGP machines at Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca race weekend.

On the TT front, Rutter and Miller are more than acquainted with racing the MotoCzysz machinery at the iconic island event, however the duo has a lofty goal in front of them for 2013: a 110 mph lap on the Mountain Course. Over 5 mph quicker than the high-water mark Rutter drew last year, a 110 mph lap is a big reach for the electric squad, and would put them squarely in internal-combustion territory at the TT.

With there being no easy day, MotoCzysz will be given a run for its money will again by the Mugen squad, which has already showed off its revised electric superbike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. At the helm of the Japanese entry will be 19-time-TT-race-winner John McGuinness. No biggie.

Source: MotoCzysz; Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & RubberCreative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Tom Z says:

    When are these “supercapacitors” going to make their motorcycle debut? That will really start to make things interesting…

  2. Dr. Gellar says:

    Nice!! Glad to hear MotoCzysz will have a two-rider team for the North American eRoadRacing rounds, and a strong one at that. So we’ll have MotoCzysz and Brammo out there (with GP-level machinery).. Wonder if Lightning will be throwing their hat in with a two-rider team as well?! Certainly would spice things up this season.. :-)

  3. GC says:

    Yawn….. I want a real motorcycle, call me a dinasaur. I want a C1. I want to hear a C1, possibly the trickiest bike ever. I want a C1. End of line.

  4. onespeedpaul says:

    @GC HEAR HEAR!! I second that, and add the sound of the C1 is the highest form of music!!

  5. Short circuit says:

    “with Rapp’s help, it can put the E1pc within six seconds of the slowest MotoGP machines at Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca race weekend.”

    Sounds impresive(?)…umm..not really. Last year’s slowest CRT went 1:26.8 & the e-bike record is currently (get it?..currently) 1:31 set by Mission, both coincidently, ridden by the same Steve Rapp. So the E1pc’s stated lofty aspiration is to be almost 2 seconds slower than the existing record..with the same rider…shocking!

    As far as reaching 110mph at the IOM being in IC territory..yeah..10 year old 125cc 40hp bike that probably cost <$10,000 & did 2 more laps without refueling.

    If e-bikes are going to compare themselves to IC bikes, they better set realist goals that don't make them look foolish when they can't even attain them. Unless there is some giant technological breakthrough (unlikely after 100+ years & $billions spent) they will never win over the current (oops) generation of sport riders and remain limited to nerdy commuters.

  6. Gutterslob says:

    ^ While I do agree with you about range and speed, I don’t think the e-companies have current or old generation riders in mind. They’re targeting new “Gen Y” (or whatever they’re called) types.

    Even looking outside the e-companies, take a peek at the KTM Freeride E that was recently announced. No clutch, no gears, rear brake lever on the left. Any cyclist can hop on one and have a go. If their promo video is to be believed, it might even be legal to ride in MTB trails and street parks. Heck, considering the crazy prices some of the high-end pushbikes are listed at, the Freeride E might even seem good value to people in that specific target market.

  7. ttxgpfan says:

    Gutterslob, I don’t think they are really targeting any particular age group, but types of riders. And most buyers seem to be middle aged, not the younger crowd who don’t have any money. But, while I whole heartedly agree with Short circuit on what he said about MotoCzysz’s stated goal for Laguna, I would also like to point out that MotoCzysz doesn’t make bikes. They may sometime in the future, but for now they are marketing to companies to whom they want to sell packaged drivetrains and battery systems. Barking up the wrong tree. On the subject of the right tree to bark at, Brammo is racing in the AFM this weekend taking gas bikes head on. But club races are usually a lap shorter than the electric races, so no range anxiety there.

  8. Bob says:

    Mission needs to defend their record at Laguna Seca!!

  9. protomech says:

    Slinging a 500 pound electric around the IOM mountain course at the same pace as a 40whp 150 pound gas bike is not a bad goal for 2013.

    And that “10 year old” 125cc bike is going to cost a bit more than $10k for a record-class effort. It costs serious money to play, even at the 125cc level.

    “The difference between a GP bike and a conventional race bike is difficult to overstate and this begins right at the core of the motorcycle. The Honda RS125R was sold as a serious, over the counter race bike and wasn’t cheap at $13,000. However, the sales ticket really only bought the would-be GP racer the right to spend a lot more money in getting the bike competitive. To get an RS125 to race winning standard, a further $18-20,000 is needed. Now the price tag is a hefty $30,000 plus – which is a long way from entry-level racing.”
    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/289/14118/Motorcycle-Article/Memorable-Motorcycle–Honda-RS125R.aspx

    ***

    “Also of note, Steve Rapp is the only rider to have beaten a MotoCzysz E1pc during a closed-circuit race, and the MotoCzysz crew hopes that with Rapp’s help, it can put the E1pc within six seconds of the slowest MotoGP machines at Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca race weekend.”

    Somewhat ambiguous prediction. QP or race pace? CRT or full prototype MotoGP bike?

    The slowest qualifying CRT had a fast QP lap of 1:24.715. Steve Rapp did not qualify w/ 1:26.887.
    http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics/2012/USA/MotoGP/RAC

    The slowest CRT had a fast race lap of 1:25.033.
    http://resources.motogp.com/files/results/2012/USA/MotoGP/RAC/FastLapRider.pdf

    Steve Rapp / Mission Motors holds the TTXGP record of 1:31.376 QP and 1:33.194 race pace.
    http://brammoforum.com/index.php?topic=1482.msg10937#msg10937

    6.5s off qualifying and 8s off race pace currently. Will see what race weekend brings!

  10. jack says:

    Still I will be very excited to see the ebikes for the first time at Indy this year.