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?

MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing

12/11/2009 @ 5:31 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing motoczysz e1pc tail section ttxgp race

It’s been nearly six months since the inaugural TTXGP race at the Isle of Man, but electric motorcycle racing seems to be a growing subject as of late. As discussion surrounds both the FIM and TTXGP, and their respective series, we’re beginning to see teams make their 2010 racing commitments. We reached out to Michael Czysz of MotoCzysz to see why his company has been suspiciously silent on the issue to date.

With the TTXGP’s first stop scheduled at Infineon in only five months’ time, and rumors of a new lighter and more powerful MotoCzysz design already being hinted at, we asked Czysz where his company stands now as it furthers its racing program.

“At the moment our ‘racing program’ is totally up in the air,” Czysz responds. “It is difficult to have a solid race plan when the series(s) themselves are in such flux. The current state of the series(s) and overall professionalism really hinders everyone’s ability to do their best.  The e brand is being damaged, it is hard to speak to sponsors and racers about this ‘great opportunity’ when there is not even a firm schedule in place.”

For all the electric startups, there are challenges in not only the day-to-day business tasks, product development, etc, but also in the electric motorcycle space, there is the added requirement of taking on the challenges competing on the race track. For MotoCzysz, and of course the rest of the field, money is the biggest concern to these budget strapped startups.

“It is very difficult to find sponsors for racing, it is even more difficult to convince investors to spend money racing,” as Czysz knows all to well from putting together teams for both MotoGP and electric motorcycle racing. “However, if the goal of your company is to be at the forefront of what could be the next wave of performance, racing is essential. Today, e racing is at best a novelty; it is not on the radar of large sponsors, manufactures or in the heart of most race fans.  Only under the best circumstances can companies like ours find the resources to race; the current e series(s) are not providing those circumstances.”

After hearing about the announcements from Zero Motorcycles & Mission Motors, all eyes are now on the Portland based company to see when it will announce similar statements. Prodding Czysz for a hint on when we could hear such news, he seemed willing to hedge his bets for now, “apparently Zero and Mission had sufficient information to make their decisions, but we do not. I have traded several emails with the FIM, but none of substance with Azhar or his team.”

When asked directly about which series MotoCzysz would pick, Czysz’s reply was both coy and terse, and simply stated, “I do not know. I am still searching for answers.”

Talking to MCN‘s Guy Procter, Czysz does hint that the conflicts that surround both the FIM and TTXGP are factors in MotoCzysz’s hesitation to join either series. Telling the British magazine in their article, “a successful race series must have a sanctioning body, which protects competitiveness and manufactures interest and a promoter that can market and grow the series. These are separate and exclusive functions, and with the joint TTXGP/FIM venture they could have had that, for the short term at least. Look at American Superbike racing for a lesson.”

We still have a lot of winter left before motorcycle racing starts up again, but it would seem things are already heating up in the electric sector. More as we get it.

Source: MCN


  1. Ducati Desmo says:

    MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing

  2. Brammofan says:

    I hope Czysz picks one pretty soon… I really want to see that sweet bike of his on a track again!
    Come on Azhar – if you can get Motoczysz on board, well… between you and Zero and Czysz , you’ll have something the FIM will never have: Four “Z”s.

  3. Brammofan says:

    MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing #ttxgp

  4. John Adamo says:

    More from Czysz… RT @Asphalt_Rubber: MotoCzysz Talks About Future Plans of Electric Racing – #motorcycle

  5. race news says:

    MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing

  6. MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing

  7. ijbjugga says:

    Well…while his bike was sweet looking…it didn’t run. Personally i was excited when MC first announced themselves…innovative american-ish sportbike that actually looked GOOD! I even saw the protorype C-1 run at laguna in ’05…But he is a snake oil salesman! no real plan…just seems like a rich guy playing IMO.

    I’m no real follower of e-bikes but rather a motorcycle racing enthusiast in general..all types. With his comment of “overall professionalism really hinders everyone’s ability to do their best. ” what is he refering too? Racing is used for two things typically competition and improving/validating a product. In this case he can’t compete and doesn’t have a real product based on recent history….

    Maybe he should help some of these other ebike manufacturers design some that moves the soul. Now thats one thing MC can do.

    IJB aka dissapointed/past Motocysz fan

  8. road_rage says:

    I have nothing but admiration for MotoCzysz as a visionary and a salesman, but he is the motorcycling version of Preston Tucker. @ijbjugga (wow, would love to hear that name paged at O’Hare, Maybe send Mike Hunt to collect him.) is right. One of the best ideas MotoCzysz ever had was to go electric. It allowed MotoCzysz to change the game and play to his strengths. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t finish, that’s motorsport, but he showed took some real risks and if he can pull it off, then he may finally deserve his statue on the hill (I mean, if his shyness doesn’t get in the way)

    MotoCzysz, whilst a danger to himself, is great for the sport where ever he goes. But I don’t know why he would consider the FIM as an honest broker over TTXGP. They have form in screwing him in particular. Doesn’t he remember how 800 become the new 1000 and where that left him?

    (also seriously Michael, the FIM Endurance Championship is the cousin in the celler nobody ever talks about. They even make AMA-Pro look spectacular. That’s better then Infineon or Toronto (thanks Brammofan)? Seriously? You’d rather go to Qatar then Silicon Valley??)

    What is surprising is that MotoCzysz gives the FIM so much play. TTXGP is a startup like him and would I suppose, be very very incentivised to make him successful. The FIM only have a tactical need to kill TTXGP. If they succeed then it’ll be business as usual. In historic terms that means the little guy get f**ked or in another version, MotoCzysz gets a second chance at getting screwed.

    Anyway, IMO, if he does go for the FIM, he deserves everything he gets. I would personally, in a heartbeat, support the FIM if they had any credibility in this space. They crave the credibility that people like MotoCzysz can give. And for the short term they will whore themselves out to do it. They have to. They have made the stakes so high.

    Wow, entertainment aside, can’t believe how dumb the FIM have been in setting about damaging the sport. The traditional OEM’s must be pleased as it gives them an excuse to sit on the sidelines and blame the chaos. In the meantime the victims are the sport, the technology and progress.

    At a time when the world is getting together in Copenhagen to work out how to fix some serious shit, the FIM goes its own way as a the trustees of our sport.

    Great work F**cking Inbred Morons.

  9. Brammofan says:

    @road_rage – damn. If I knew anything about motorcycles, I would have said everything you would have said, it would have been almost as funny, and I wouldn’t have used the like-fingernails-on-chalkboard-marketing-buzzword “incentivise.” Now, having said that, has anyone actually seen Mike Hunt?

  10. road_rage says:

    @Brammofan – “incentivise” WTF?! I try and fight it, but it takes over like Hyde.

    I am cursed to spew bullshit during the day job whilst flogging my widgets.