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 Qatar GP

04/07/2013 @ 2:54 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Race Results from the Qatar GP valentino rossi motogp qatar gp yamaha racing 635x423

MotoGP Race Results from Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar:

Pos. Rider Team Bike KM/H Diff.
1 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 166.4 42’39.802
2 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 166.0 +5.990
3 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Honda 166.0 +6.201
4 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team Honda 165.8 +9.473
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 165.2 +18.764
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 165.0 +22.148
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team Ducati 164.8 +24.355
8 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team Ducati 164.8 +24.920
9 Andrea IANNONE Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 164.0 +37.124
10 Ben SPIES Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 163.5 +44.908
11 Aleix ESPARGARO Power Electronics Aspar ART 163.2 +49.809
12 Randy DE PUNIET Power Electronics Aspar ART 162.8 +56.495
13 Hector BARBERA Avintia Blusens FTR 162.0 +1’09.599
14 Yonny HERNANDEZ Paul Bird Motorsport ART 161.9 +1’10.742
15 Hiroshi AOYAMA Avintia Blusens FTR 161.8 +1’13.600
16 Claudio CORTI NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 160.8 +1’29.444
17 Michael LAVERTY Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 160.5 +1’34.341
18 Lukas PESEK Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 160.5 +1’34.683
Not Classified
Colin EDWARDS NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 161.9 7 Laps
Danilo PETRUCCI Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 160.5 10 Laps
Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 164.8 14 Laps
Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 162.4 18 Laps
Bryan STARING GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 149.2 21 Laps
Karel ABRAHAM Cardion AB Motoracing ART 0 Lap

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Yamaha Racing


  1. Halfie30 says:

    Such a spread. Lap times all over the place. At least we know Rossi can still surf with the Aliens.

  2. Tyler says:

    What a GREAT race! Things are going to be quite entertaining this year I think..

  3. L2C says:

    Phenomenal race! That guy…that Rossi guy made me look good today. He did exactly what I knew he was still capable of. I admit, I had to back that knowledge up with a bit of faith, but clearly Rossi is still a master of this game. And a great one at that. Also, I hope he doesn’t mind me stealing a tiny bit of his spotlight/sunshine/moonlight for myself. :-)

    However, my man Pedrosa had a hard time of it all weekend. Pure concentrated struggle. Though, it was no more of a struggle for him than it was for anybody else, so there are no excuses. Pedrosa has to get his killer instinct back. I don’t know where he found it last year, but he needs to rediscover it in no less than two-weeks time, because Lorenzo, Vale and Márquez are only going to intensify their efforts as the season progresses. And Crutchlow is going to be better equipped by the time Le Mans rolls around.

    So I have this nagging question. Why did Pedrosa fade away from the three-way battle for second so easily? He was still in the mix and could have remained in the hunt! I can only guess that he suffered some sort of mental/emotional trauma after being passed by both Márquez and Rossi. We saw (and boy did we see it) what Rossi did when he saw his podium chances slipping away. We saw how Márquez didn’t let go of second without a fight. So why didn’t Pedro stick to his guns? It’s inexplicable to me, because with his speed and pace capability, he could have really amped it up in the final laps to get on the podium. At least that’s what I think.

    Losail gave all of the riders a headache this weekend, but Pedrosa seemed to be the only top rider not to have Losail under his thumb for the race. Again, there seemed to be some sort of mental/emotional disconnect going on with the man, because when someone lights a fire up under your ass, you are supposed to sizzle, and not flame out like a bucket of water has been thrown over you.

    Fourth is not a terrible finish, but you’d think Pedrosa came in last by the way he finished the race. And his body language said all the depressing shit that needed saying. He’s stronger than that, and he knows it. But he has to believe it like the other guys believe in themselves, otherwise the season and his championship hopes are over already.

    Anyway, great race. Looking forward to more!

  4. Jw says:

    Been a long long time since I got excited watching a motogp race. Dani must be hating life right now, Crutchlow you have my respect, Rosi is back and has made his point, Marquez has nothing to loose, Lorenzo looked a little worried just before the trophy presentation…

  5. irksome says:

    Psychoanalyze him all you want, Pedrosa struggled with corner entry speed all weekend.

    That old man on the Yamaha, he could really have a future in MotoGP, huh.

  6. Jonathan says:

    It’s good to have the circus back in town! These previous comments have pretty much said it all for me, so I’ll just note that if the rest of the season provides as many demonstrations of skill, racecraft and balls then I’m set.

    The guy who delivers Dani’s pep talks has his work cut out though.

  7. FernandoARG says:

    Welcome back doctor. What a pleasure and what an exciting race, grazie Vale.

  8. Skip says:

    Clearly Rossi is over the hill. What kind of old fart comes back from 7th like that ?

    O yes the Doctor !

  9. Marc F says:

    5 real contenders… it’s almost like the good old days. Imagine if Stoner were still in the mix. Seeing this must make him want to come back.

  10. Jvp says:

    I said it Before and I will say it again: the Return of the King!! He is back and the entire MotoGP world knows that the championship will be decided by three men–Lorenzo, Rossi and Marquez. Pedrosa will not win it if ever.

  11. Neil says:

    My money is on Marquez this year, great poise in his first MotoGp race, the way he came back on Rossi was good to see…….I’m still pulling for Hayden though…

  12. jasinner says:

    I wonder at the end if Rossi’s power management kicked in to try to stop him from running out of gas (based upon how Marquez almost passed him again at the end). Pedrosa did look completely dejected in the paddock but based upon what I saw, it seemed he was having traction issues with his bike. I don’t know if Lorenzo was worried during the trophy or kinda annoyed that he can win the race but the crowd will still chant Rossi’s name. This is the power of Rossi, charisma. Can’t wait for next race.