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 French GP

05/19/2013 @ 8:12 am, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Race Results from the French GP dani pedrosa hrc le mans motogp

MotoGP Race Results from the French GP in Le Mans, France:

Pos. Rider Team Bike KM/H Diff.
1 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team Honda 142.6 49’17.707
2 Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 142.3 +4.863
3 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Honda 142.2 +6.949
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team Ducati 142.1 +10.087
5 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team Ducati 141.7 +18.471
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 141.4 +23.561
7 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 141.2 +27.961
8 Michele PIRRO Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 140.6 +40.775
9 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 140.6 +41.407
10 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 139.7 +1’00.995
11 Andrea IANNONE Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 139.5 +1’05.110
12 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 139.0 +1’16.368
13 Aleix ESPARGARO Power Electronics Aspar ART 138.6 +1’24.200
14 Danilo PETRUCCI Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 138.6 +1’25.726
15 Karel ABRAHAM Cardion AB Motoracing ART 138.3 +1’32.111
16 Colin EDWARDS NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 137.9 +1’40.602
17 Michael LAVERTY Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 136.9 1 Lap
18 Hector BARBERA Avintia Blusens FTR 136.0 1 Lap
19 Hiroshi AOYAMA Avintia Blusens FTR 136.0 1 Lap
Not Classified
Yonny HERNANDEZ Paul Bird Motorsport ART 136.5 8 Laps
Randy DE PUNIET Power Electronics Aspar ART 137.7 13 Laps
Lukas PESEK Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 133.2 13 Laps
Claudio CORTI NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 132.4 21 Laps
Bryan STARING GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 121.4 27 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: HRC


  1. L2C says:

    Dani, Dani, Dani! Yes indeedy. He crossed it up in the wet and still got on with his business. He rode very much like the premiere-class champion he could become this year. Not much else to say, except he was in total control the whole way through.

    Great race from Dovi, and it would have been great to see him on the podium, but you have to give it up to his teammate from last year. Crutchlow came through on a day that is unquestionably a great one for British motorcycle racing fans. Scott Redding in Moto2 ended a 30-year dry spell for GP fans by taking his first Moto2 race win. It reminded me of when the Boston Red Sox lifted their 86-year old curse back in 2004. A great day all around for all three riders – too bad they all didn’t make the podium.

    Factory Yamaha went backwards and backwards some more today. First Lorenzo. Then a little later, Rossi made a determined effort to catch up to him and pass him to finish in 12th position. It was a ridiculously poor showing for both riders. Lorenzo seemed to lose confidence in the corners. I don’t know whether it was front/rear tire grip issues, or what, but he pulled a gap from the front-runners in the wrong direction to securely lock in third place in the championship. And Rossi simply lost the bike. He didn’t appear to do anything wrong, but the bike went out from under him anyway. At least he got back on the bike and finished in the points -it’s a good thing that both riders managed to finish, really- but I wonder if his usual positive outlook has clouded somewhat.

    Nicky Hayden bagged his best result of the season, finishing behind Dovi. Hayden may have been the reason that Rossi fell. A forced error, perhaps? Hard to say, but Nicky was right on Vale’s tail went it happened. No foul play, but it could have been that little bit of added pressure that was responsible for forcing Rossi to slide off into the gravel pit. “Oh no, not another Ducati!” Who knows?

    And I haven’t forgotten about Márquez, who started the race in pole position. He, unlike the factory Yamahas, managed to make going backwards look good! And he did it several times. He made up positions, and then he lost them. Made them up again, and then lost them again. And then again. He did this until finally ended up on the podium in third place behind Crutchlow and Dani. Marc Márquez was as brilliant as ever.

    It was a great race. But Le Mans is Le Mans, isn’t it?

  2. Faust says:

    What a ride by Marquez. You really don’t see people in the premier class come from that far back and podium (managing to pass the defending champ along the way). I can only imagine how Lorenzo must have felt seeing him ride past. Marquez adapted to the wet faster than anyone predicted. The guy is just determined to win, no matter what. Absolutely amazing. Hats off to Cal though. With all the attention this week devoted to his possible replacement, he goes out there and puts down a performance like that?! Good for him.

  3. Red Devil says:

    Great race, helped by the weather of course. Unbelievable how Marquez scythed through the field.

    Did anyone else watch this on Speed TV? One of the worst broadcasts I’ve ever watched. Almost every time they cut to commercial a major move was missed. I realize you need to keep sponsors happy but has no one there heard of picture in picture or split boxes? Soccer has been doing it for the past decade.

  4. SquidleyMcSquidson says:

    Yeah, i watched it on speed. It was basically one long progressive commercial with some racing occasionally. They cut to commercial with 19 laps to go, came back with 15 and cut again at 13… What the hell is that? And then the coverage would come back, the whole order is changed and instead of hearing about how it happened, you get the bogus intro from speed… Garbage.

  5. Red Devil says:

    It’s a shame that there’s no one out there to compete with Speed for the broadcast rights. Right now they have no incentive to treat viewers better because they’re the only game in town. Basically by going to commercial 5 times, 2 minutes per, they cut out a quarter of the race!

  6. Rain races rule!

    Marquez is the baddest man on the track, and a totally fearless lunatic, and that’s just what Moto GP needed. I think he has begun to intimidate the other riders, just like he did in Moto 2. And I’d say that Crutchlow is a damn close second, put him on a top-tier bike and he’s in the running for the championship, no doubt.

    The Ducati’s had a chance here in the rain, but couldn’t pull it out, the riders are not the problem, the bike and the engine is the problem. Same goes for the Yamaha’s, put an engine in them with smoother power delivery and they actually give the Hondas a run for their money… in the dry.

    Oh and Speed sucks, is it too much to ask to make it a 90 minute broadcast, so we can actually see all the racing, and they can run their crappy commercials to their hearts content.

  7. Johnson says:

    They should broadcast the Motogp races on BeIN sport along with WSK. Their race coverage is great.

  8. Chaz michael michaels says:

    That race was great fun.

    A lot of great story lines.

    Dani Pedrosa…are we watching the handiwork of a soon to be champion?

    Dovi fought hard. I thought he might force Dani into a costly mistake.

    Crutchlow did a great race with a busted up body. You thought the guy was unbearable before? I hope they can find a hemet to fit his head before Mugello.

    Nicky chased Rossi clean off the track. It looks like curtains for Vale.

    …and then there’s Jorge. Oh boy. Now me got worry.

    And Marquez…wow!

  9. “Scott Redding in Moto2 ended a 30-year dry spell for GP fans by taking his first Moto2 race win.”

    True, unless you choose to count Jeremy McWilliams’ 2001 Assen win as chalking up one for the British Isles. Redding rode brilliantly all weekend. His win was well deserved.

    All three classes really delivered this weekend. The MotoGP race was epic. I was sad to see Dovi get knocked off the podium, but that kid running #93 has indomitable spirit. It’s unreal to watch MM recover from one or more errors and then scythe through the field.

    I bet there are a lot of guys on factory bikes regretting the repeal of the rookie rule this year.

  10. Talking about the repeal of the rookie rule this year………lorenzo joint the premier class in 2008 and went straight to a factory team ……..can anyone explain to me why they did not apply the rookie rule on Lorenzo?

  11. Jonathan says:

    Great post from L2C :)

    As a Brit I’ve never been subjected to Speed’s coverage, but I’ve never heard anything but bad about it. Lots of bad. Perhaps it needs Stateside bike fans to start a campaign of some sort. If Dorna and the companies that feature in the ad breaks get eough emails of the “Speed stinks, so I’m not watching it, or your ads again” variety then maybe some strings will be pulled. Maybe. Let’s face it, we don’t got no money, so this is the only power we have…

    Anyway, great racing, chuffed for Cal, Ducati, and Bautista (I wish he was piloting a Suzook…)

    Wet used to be the great leveller, so it’s interesting to see the supposedly brutal Hondas out front and the “smoother” Yams nowhere. Not so surprised to see the CRTs doing the mobile chicane thing, as usual.

  12. “can anyone explain to me why they did not apply the rookie rule on Lorenzo?”

    The rule wasn’t implemented until 2010. When Lorenzo joined the class, there were no restrictions on which teams rookies could join.

  13. Norm G. says:

    hmmn, red exploit kit redirect 3. this site and this site only.

  14. Norm G. says:

    re: “Did anyone else watch this on Speed TV? One of the worst broadcasts I’ve ever watched.”

    you’ve lost the plot. you forget you were 5 seconds from not being able to see anything. that, or someone’s just revealed they haven’t been paying attention.

    re: “Soccer has been doing it for the past decade.”

    apples V. oranges. footballers rake in multi-millions. this is niche business.

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “What the hell is that? And then the coverage would come back, the whole order is changed and instead of hearing about how it happened, you get the bogus intro from speed… Garbage.”

    perhaps you’d like to move to the UK where fans have been stripped of the ability to readily view it ALL come 2014…? don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good ffs. stop whining.

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “they can run their crappy commercials to their hearts content.”

    those crappy commercials are what’ve allowed you to feast on “free lunch” for the past decade. smarten up.

  17. Norm G. says:

    re: “They should broadcast the Motogp races on BeIN sport along with WSK. Their race coverage is great.”

    not that great. those who keep saying this are exaggerating. i’ve seen the BeIn coverage and i can tell you from a seasoned viewers perspective, it adds basically nothing. in fact, in some ways it’s WORSE the past 2 seasons, speed was shipping WSBK in HD. my BeIn feed isn’t HD. but see i’m not complaining. i’ve been watching grainy feeds of WSBK for more than a decade, so i should be used to it. i’m just thankful i can continue watching ANYTHING. mal-contents taking the sport for granted is what lost us the speed feed. so, thanks for screwing me and countless others out of our crystal clear broadcast… good job.

  18. spamtasticus says:

    Speed = Garbage. Go to and buy the season package, skip the two middlemen, speed and the crap ass cable co.

  19. “Go to and buy the season package”

    Yeah, it’s worth the pesos. Especially, when you have access to every race in every class from 1998 onward on-demand.

    2001 Phillip Island 500 race: EPIC!

  20. SquidleyMcSquidson says:

    @Norm G.

    Greg Creamer? Is that you? The Speed coverage is trash, and cable is not “free” last I checked. Now that they have no AMA coverage and no SBK coverage, I think I’ll just go buy the GP season pass and be done with them all together. You can defend their treatment of the sport if you want to, but it’s indefensible.

  21. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Norm, they speak the truth about the coverage.

    It’s not thaaaat expensive considering what you get: excellent race day coverage and tons of videos along the way the whole race weekend…not to mention you get entire seasons from years past.

    Dude, sell your blood, collect empty beer cans, or (if you’re like the enterprising crackheads on my street) steal a car stereo or two. Whatever, just buy the video package and be done with it.

    Also, I love the broadcasters from the guys at–they take an already exciting event and make it even more exciting and entertaining.

  22. “Also, I love the broadcasters from the guys at–they take an already exciting event and make it even more exciting and entertaining.”

    Agreed. And then there’s the benefit of enjoying Cal, Westie and others giving the guys some good-natured stick. Some of Westie’s grid interviews with Ian Wheeler in Moto2 were hilarious. Even Moto3′s Jack Miller will happily lob one their way from time to time. I love it.

  23. SPEED just announced extended in-depth coverage of the next Moto GP race in the schedule. Looks like the complaining is working, keep it up guys :-)