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.

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: Tough Outing for Americans at San Marino

09/06/2009 @ 7:00 pm, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT

MotoGP: Tough Outing for Americans at San Marino San Marino GP Donkey ears 560x401

MotoGP is at Misano, Italy today for the San Marino GP, where Jorge Lorenzo is looking to close in on his points deficit to leader Valentino Rossi. The week at San Marino has been a busy one, seeing the formal singing of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso to another year with Honda Racing. We also saw the announcement that Ben Spies would remain in WSBK for 2010, and that Colin Edwards will more than likely remain at Tech3 Yamaha. Then of course, there is the race itself.

With Championship points on the line, all eyes were on Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. But, wedged in-between the Fiat-Yamaha pair on the starting grid was Dani Pedrosa, who could showed at the Indianapolis GP that he is more than capable of throwing a wrench in Lorenzo’s bid to claw points away from Rossi.

The start of the race was greeted by another famous Pedrosa rabbit start, and also a lightning run by Toni Elias. Lorenzo followed the pair in third place, but all parties would fall to The Donkey by the first 1/3 of the race.

Like at the start, Lorenzo found Pedrosa between himself and Rossi, who if left unattended has on more than occasion shown himself capable of pulling out a commanding lead. This proved to be the case at San Marino, as Rossi pulled away from the battle for second, and set up a comfortable lead during the 7 laps it took Lorenzo to get past Pedrosa.

Lorenzo couldn’t touch Rossi’s gap, and The Doctor proved himself capable of defending that gap at will. Lorenzo would have to settle for second place on this outing, making another Fiat-Yamaha 1-2. Dani Pedrosa finished third , with a large gap both in front, separating him from Lorenzo, and in back from the rest of the field.

The battle for forth, between Loris Capirossi and Andrea Dovizioso, was the real action of the race, with the recently singed Dovi just eking out the Rizla Suzuki for fourth place at the line.

Americans Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden would be no-shows at the finish line though. Both riders were taken out in a massive crash caused by San Marino local, Alex de Angelis.

Race Results from MotoGP at the San Marino GP at Misano, Italy:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 44’32.882 -
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 44’35.298 2.416
3 3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 44’45.282 12.400
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 44’59.212 26.330
5 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 44’59.421 26.539
6 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 45’01.168 28.286
7 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 45’03.066 30.184
8 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 45’04.639 31.757
9 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 45’04.791 31.909
10 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 45’11.229 38.347
11 44 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 45’19.555 46.673
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 45’24.923 52.041
13 88 Niccolo CANEPA DUCATI 45’36.080 1’03.198
14 41 Gabor TALMACSI HONDA 45’55.229 1’22.347
Not finished first lap
15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA
5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA
69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI

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