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?

MotoGP: Race Results from the Catalan GP

06/16/2013 @ 6:15 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Race Results from the Catalan GP jorge lorenzo motogp yamaha racing catalunya 635x423

MotoGP Race Results from the Catalan GP in Barcelona, Spain:

Pos. Rider Team Bike KM/H Diff.
1 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 164.4 43’06.479
2 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team Honda 164.3 +1.763
3 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Honda 164.3 +1.826
4 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 164.1 +5.874
5 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 162.7 +26.756
6 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 162.4 +32.228
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team Ducati 162.4 +32.692
8 Aleix ESPARGARO Power Electronics Aspar ART 160.8 +58.615
9 Colin EDWARDS NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 160.5 +1’03.142
10 Michele PIRRO Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 160.1 +1’09.774
11 Danilo PETRUCCI Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 159.2 +1’24.377
12 Claudio CORTI NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 158.7 +1’33.679
13 Yonny HERNANDEZ Paul Bird Motorsport ART 158.0 +1’45.355
14 Bryan STARING GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 157.7 +1’50.745
15 Javier DEL AMOR Avintia Blusens FTR 151.8 1 Lap
16 Lukas PESEK Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 151.6 1 Lap
Not Classified
Hector BARBERA Avintia Blusens FTR 160.5 10 Laps
Karel ABRAHAM Cardion AB Motoracing ART 158.1 15 Laps
Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 164.1 20 Laps
Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team Ducati 162.8 20 Laps
Andrea IANNONE Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 162.0 21 Laps
Randy DE PUNIET Power Electronics Aspar ART 153.0 24 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
Alvaro BAUTISTA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 0 Lap
Michael LAVERTY Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 0 Lap

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Yamaha Racing


  1. L2C says:

    Ride of the day goes to Colin Edwards. Big improvement this year from the Texas Tornado. He might even start giving Espargaro and Smith a run for the money before the season’s out. We’ll see, but it is very good to see him out of the basement. Kudos!

    Otherwise, it was a very standard affair. Crutchlow crashed out. No surprise there – you had to know that he was due a DNF sooner rather than later, based on his constant tumbling in practice/qualifying sessions so far this season. Lorenzo jumped Pedrosa for the lead at Turn 1 – again. You had to expect that because Lorenzo probably knew that Márquez would be up his backside early in the first lap. Better it be Pedrosa than him. Dani settles for second – again, in spite of fending off his wobbly and slightly crazy teammate, who finished in 3rd position – giggling to himself. Rossi cruises to a 4th place finish. Alone. With no one to play with because the man from the Isle of Man, as mentioned earlier, has a thing for tumbling boo-boos and kitty litter. And Bautista went belly up on the first lap – JUST LIKE HE ALWAYS DOES. He’s a danger to himself and society, that rider. Just have him start from pit lane from now on. It would be safer for everybody.

    Sorry to see Hayden out so early. That was a heartbreaker. Really, it was.

    And I don’t know what to make of Lorenzo’s post-race win celebrations/antics. The word fragmented comes to mind. Though, that’s a discussion for another time. Congrats. But I still think Pedrosa is the better and more consistent of the two this season. It’s going to be tough for Jorge to claw back those seven points from the championship leader. Those seven points could stretch out over the entire rest of the season. And it is highly likely that by the time the fly-aways roll round, Dani’s lead could be much more substantial.

    Turn the page.

  2. JW says:

    My mind drawn to the performance of Rossi. Last year into the same amount of races on Ducati, wasn’t he about in the same points as he is same time this year on the Yamaha? I tried to look up the stats, no luck. All that bitching about the bike, the bike, the bike. Makes me wonder if he would have been better off to run a few more years on the Duc and then hang his hat..

  3. JW says:

    Lorenzo’s post race antics:
    Not sure either, Perhaps he is getting direction somewhere to help with his image problems.

  4. Paulo says:

    JW……Point wise yes he might be close but place wise, not even. He had one finish in third place, the fierce wet weather battle otherwise he was stuck in 7th, 8th, or 9th all year. The Duc’s are crap!! The Yamaha Tech III are rumored to be last years bikes with little or no improvement…….still besting the newest thing Ducati can put together. Honda and Yamaha man, bet on the blue or other red bikes because the Duc’s are for pomp and circumstance!!

  5. Jordan says:

    It was a bloody miracle that Rossi didn’t get taken out today. The Doctor is going to have to improve his qualifying discipline so he can get away from the satellite Hondas as soon as the green flag drops. Being a few spots back on the grid makes getting around the satellite Hondas equivalent to rolling road blocks for VR and ruins his remaining race pace when he can get away from them safely. Bradl was a problem for VR at Qatar and Austin and then with what’s happened with Bautista the past two races makes it clear that if Rossi can’t get a better starting position than the best he can settle for is chasing 4th place as the other three guys storm off. I’m glad the season still is far from over; I hope VR can pull the same miracle he did at Qatar a few times before Valencia.

    Granted, this comment ignores the wildcard that is Cal Crutchlow, the opportunities for the M1 at Qatar, the possible brake issues VR had at Austin and so forth and so on, but like I said Rossi has got to start qualifying better if he wants to improve his confidence for each race.







  7. Jonathan says:

    L2C: “Ride of the day goes to Colin Edwards”

    As I’m a sentimental fool I’ll give him equal first with Bradley Smith, who is rewarding the faith that Tech3 placed in him.

    Given the high trsck temperature the tyres were nine parts done by 1/3 race distance, but for a procession it was a very enjoyable race for me. Great save by Marquez near the end when he lost the front under braking.

    Gutted for Nicky and not entirely surprised when Bautista parked it in the gravel again. I guess that Cal was due a dnf too as he’s been pushing so hard all season to stake a claim on a bike that isn’t last year’s reheated leftovers.

  8. mike says:

    Ped looked a bit frazzled after. Can’t blame him having Marc up bis butt the whole race.
    Do wonder what Pedrosa said later when watching the replay of his team mate almost ride up it with 2 laps to go!

  9. Damo says:

    ” It’s going to be tough for Jorge to claw back those seven points from the championship leader. Those seven points could stretch out over the entire rest of the season.”

    You know, or one race where Lorenzo finishes 1st and Marquez takes 2nd.

  10. JW says:

    The most interesting news is the bleak engine allotment for Yamaha. How are they going make what’s left last the whole season?

  11. mxs says:

    So much hype created before this weekend and Monday Test, how this will the game changer … yet the bore fest continued and nobody tested anything interesting, except for Suzuki showing up.

    Thanks god for daring Marquez who really is marching ahead as far as learning and experience building.