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?

Photo of the Week: Fast By Any Other Name

03/05/2012 @ 4:04 pm, by Scott Jones21 COMMENTS

Photo of the Week: Fast By Any Other Name Photo of the week randy de puniet crt scott jones

While a handful of MotoGP riders get the lion’s share of media attention, other riders can only wonder what might have been if they had landed in the premier class on more competitive machinery. With five 250cc wins, Randy de Puniet joined the Kawasaki MotoGP team in 2006, and switched to the LCR Honda team after two seasons. In 2011 he managed a season best 6th on the Pramac Ducati, another victim of the bike only Stoner could tame.

Most folks in the MotoGP paddock acknowledge de Puniet’s abilities and raw speed, and he is also as tough as they come, riding around injuries with impressive courage and determination. De Puniet has reunited with the Aspar Team for 2012, and will explore the future of the CRT formula. If the first-year Aprilia-powered Aspar CRT bike is not competitive, it won’t be for de Puniet’s lack of trying.

Scott Jones is a professional photographer who covers MotoGP and WSBK for racing industry clients as well as racing websites and publications in the U.S. and Europe. His online archive is available at Photo.GP, and you can find him on his blogTwitter, & Facebook.

All images posted, shared, or sent for editorial use or review are registered for full copyright protection at the Library of Congress.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. noch says:

    photo doesn’t capture enough of Lauren Vickers’ legs

  2. @noch: Lauren sure is a welcome addition to the paddock!

  3. buellracerx says:

    as if it were possible to capture all of her legs in one shot…

  4. Dr. Gellar says:

    Uuuum…I thought Randy de Puniet was supposed to be in this picture?? OOOOOH…there he is. :-)

  5. Photo of the Week: Fast By Any Other Name – #motorcycle

  6. Beary says:

    Who the hell is Lauren Vickers ?

    (quickly taps out google image search)

    ohhhhhhh……. :)

  7. Phil says:

    I was going to say something about Lauren, but, since so many other people have, I won’t.

  8. Hadrien says:

    This is where the genius is in this photo.
    The depth leads your eyes directly on the very last point, on this one person with an angel face and a look lost into horizon, when everybody else around has their eyes sharp and focused on something.
    Physically, Lauren is in the background, Randy in the foreground, but don’t be fooled by physics; On this picture all is reversed : she is the foreground, and Randy is a “too close” background.
    You can spend hours analysing this photo, like always with Scott’s photos, and this is what I love about him.

  9. M says:

    Green as a frog

  10. Roy says:

    That man deserves a better bike, a “no fear” fighter who’s always on the edge and over.. Joy to watch, entourage included.. :P

  11. Mike says:

    Sorry, Roy. RDP barely deserves this bike. He’s as quick as he is stupid. No one over the past five years in MotoGP has turned more GP bikes into sand-trap yard sales. The upside is that no one is more likely — save Colin Edwards — to qualify CRT bike in the top 10. And given he’s on the Aprilia, he’s likely got a better shot than Colin. So we’ll watch him for a couple of fast laps. He’ll crash. And best of all, the cameras then will linger on a concerned Ms. Vickers (who, it must be said, is RDP’s finest ride to date). Rinse and repeat.

  12. Westward says:

    De Puniet has placed his LCR on the front row on more than a couple of occasion, before being robbed of his seat by Elias and Dorna. If De Puniet were on a factory Yamaha or Honda, he would given Spies, Dovizioso, and Pedrosa a run for their money…

    Though like Melandri, the best part of having De Puniet on the grid are the cut-away shots of their girlfriends (Manuela and Lauren)

    Stoners wife is a cute girl, but those two are Women in every sense of the word…

  13. MikeD says:

    Can’t see the bike or the rider mentioned on the article…all i see is a good looking tall Mujer looking PornStar CALIENTE.

  14. Roy says:

    @Mike, different people – different manner of appreciating riders.. it’s obvious he’s been overriding the bikes to get good results. crashing a lot yeah.. conservatism would be better for points. Though i’d rather see someone fighting and ride on the edge to advance than accepting a minor position. They always say that it’s easier to learn them to stay seated instead of learning them to ride fast. And it’s no secret that he can be tremendously fast. Grit, guts and spirit, that’s what I like to see..

  15. Fred Santos says:

    MikeD…. nice spanish kkkkkk

    nice woman, medium pilot.

  16. Mike says:

    @Roy I agree. But I wasn’t really responding to your appreciation of Randy. He’s fun to watch. I was responding to “That man deserves a better bike…” The fact is, he doesn’t. Since ’07 no MotoGP rider has crashed out more. (The numbers are on the MotoGP website.) Even Garry McCoy’s crash rate wasn’t this bad. (Another rider who was wonderful to watch.) He’s great for a fast lap and a few interesting moments. And my money would be on him if the races ran three laps. But they don’t. He crashes in the rain, in the dry, when it’s hot, when it’s cold, out front, in the chasing pack and even in the warmup (once). His grit — riding through injuries — are a direct result of his bonehead rides. Maybe a French sandpaper company will want to sponsor his grit. But factory & satellite teams (and their sponsors) like a rider who can finish the races they are supposed to. Really, he’s perfect for a CRT. He’ll put one near the front and make the subclass legit. Then at about lap 12 he’ll provide the track marshals and a few fans with carbon fiber souvenirs.

  17. F1 says:

    DePunet TODAY would finish within sight of Stoner, Lorenzo and Dani if he were given a decent mount, Which he NEVER had. He is fast, period. Pushing over the limit in search of speed is far more commendable than accepting 10th place before the lights go out, which is what most other riders on the grid have been doing for years. And, you have to be a major tool to evaluate any rider, save one, based on his results on the verified POS Ducati gp bike for the last 6 years. Randy WAS a habitual crasher, but he always pushed EVERY bike to its limits. Now he’s wasting his talents on a joke CRT bike. Joke because it is nothing but a grid filling half-ass idea from Carmelo to appease the 17 bike minimum rule,,, with nothing but out-classed lapper machines.

  18. Clay says:

    fk me she’s the size of an avatar!!!

  19. finance says:

    Great stuff, I enjoyed reading it!

  20. Mike says:

    Ah RDP. He continues to amaze in his ability to hang onto a ride — not literally of course. He has the most remarkable quick/stupid ratio in the paddock. But rather than say it myself, I’ll leave it to longtime MotoGP reporter Julian Ryder on RPD’s home race this weekend: “Unfortunately, Randy managed to crash before crossing the start line, which must be a record. He got on his spare bike and managed to crash that too. Which must be a record.”