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?

Watch the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Live

06/29/2013 @ 6:44 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Watch the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Live pikes peak international hill climb live stream 635x421

We are only a handful of hours away from the 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and unless you like waking up at zero-dark-thirty to queue up the mountain road, we have an easier way for you to follow all the Pikes Peak action. Teaming up with Red Bull this year, the organizers at Pikes Peak have made available a live stream of the race. Booyah internetz!

This means you can watch Sebastian Loeb and Peugeot attempt to crack the nine-minute barrier (the ten-minute barrier was just broken last year!), see Greg Tracy make his four-wheel debut at the Race to the Clouds on-board the Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II electric race car (Monster Tajima is back with his electric supercar as well), and witness A&R lose a bet as Carlin Dunne attempts to set the outright motorcycle record on the Lightning Motorcycles electric superbike (Carlin has already posted the fastest qualifying time a motorcycle, petrol or electric, ever on the mountain).

To catch the action, you can either got to or watch the live feed on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb website. The racing starts at 8am (MDT), and will go according to the following running order (found after the jump). With weather expected to come through the Pikes Peak area, be advised that there could be delays.

  1. Pikes Peak 1205
  2. Pikes Peak Superbike 750
  3. Heavyweight Supermoto
  4. Pikes Peak 450
  5. Pikes Peak 250
  6. Quad Modified
  7. Vintage Motorcycle
  8. Side Car
  9. Exhibition Power Sports
  10. Exhibition Power Sports-

— Break to bring the bikes down the mountain, and a new car parade —

  1. Ulimited
  2. Time Attack
  3. Electric
  4. Open Wheel
  5. Pikes Peak Open
  6. Exhibition
  7. Pikes Peak Vintage

Source: PPIHC; Photo: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0


  1. L2C says:

    Dunno. Because F1.

  2. David says:

    Holy crap… about shitty coverage. lol

    I tried watching but they only show the announcers talking. They don’t even know who is on the track, even looking at the rider numbers. lol

    Don’t waste your time watching. They have no idea what they are trying to cover.

  3. cyclerama says:

    Sad but true. Terrible live coverage. It’s the first time this has ever been shown live, and there are always problems with anything new (ask Bill Gates).

  4. David says:


    Sheesh…I hate to be rude. But damn, do the announcers/producers even know what is going on here?

    I was waiting for Carlin Dunne.

    Thank gawd I was watching live timing and saw his name come up when he started. No freaking mention of him on the live coverage. They were trying to do an interview at the top. Why, I have no idea, their coverage at the top doesn’t work (can’t hear)most of the time.

    I just happened to switch from live timing and was astounded when they actually had some footage of Dunne on the mountain. But still no mention of him….lol….and they mostly showed announcers talking about something anyway.

    So I just watched live timing and saw how Dunne was destroying the sector times set by the Ducati….lol

    Dunne beat the fastest gasoline bike, Ducati, by 21 seconds for overall win (so far)….WOW

    10:00:694 to 10:21:323

    Still no mention of this on live coverage………WTF……IDIOTS!

    They probably should have done some testing of their coverage BEFORE the day of the event. lol

  5. jej says:

    The promotional videos are pretty sweet at least… :/

  6. L2C says:

    Well, F1 at Silverstone was shitty today. Unless you like to see your favorite drivers lose because of bullshit tires -Pirellis- this Pikes Peak Hill Climb might have been better.

    Count yourselves lucky that it was crappy because nobody knew what they were doing. Everybody knows what they are doing in F1. So when it’s bullshit, it is really bullshit.

    Sorry I missed this, actually.

  7. “Well, F1 at Silverstone was shitty today.”


    Well, I’ll just have to suffer through it anyway. I’ve already missed the Pikes Peak run, so bad F1 is better than nothing at all. I hope.

    Amazing to see that the Lightning knocked 21 seconds off the Ducati time. There’s your argument for 100% torque 100% of the time at any elevation right there.

    I still worry about dirty EMF ’round the ‘nads with those purely electric vehicles. It’s bad enough with conventional ICE bikes. :-O

  8. Josheurosports says:

    Pathetic is the only word that comes to mind after watching as much as could until I finally gave up. I work for a Ducati dealership in Pennsylvania called eurosports and had the pleasure of doing update training with Mr. Dunne in Palm Springs this March. It was nerve racking having a pikes peak winner ride behind me as we climbed the twisties of the mountains outside Palm Springs but was a cool experience none the less…to have live coverage got me all excited to see not only a champion of two wheels push himself and the bike to its limits..I was sadly disappointed that it was just one of the most awful things I ever saw…made the commentating of Ralph Shahene and Scott Russel seem like Julien Ryder and Toby Moody!

  9. L2C says:

    @ Trane Francks

    Sorry for the spoiler-ish comment, Trane. I’ll be more mindful in the future.

    A little F1 coverage would be nice here, though. NASCAR and Indy Car, too. WRC? The site has the perfect name.

  10. “Sorry for the spoiler-ish comment, Trane.”

    Not at all, mate! That’s kind of like apologizing for talking about the end of the Harry Potter series; it’s old news already. Although I still haven’t managed to watch the race yet (I only managed to get through FP3 and Qualy last night), I’m still very much looking forward to seeing what didn’t inspire you. :)

    Quite the news about Webber retiring at the end of the year to go race Porsches!

  11. L2C says:

    Yes, I’m looking forward to Porsche’s return to endurance racing with an LMP1. I’m sure Webber will make them proud.

    This was the first year I put in time for the Le Mans 24hrs. Watched 9 of the 24 hours, so that was pretty good. That race really is the epitome of motorsports, in my opinion. The Audis and the Toyotas were spectacular. Can’t remember the guy who was driving the Morgan, but he was also great. And Patrick Dempsey’s team came to within one position of getting on the podium in their class. Too bad about the tragedy for Allan Simonsen, because otherwise every minute of the race that I watched was incredible.

    I’m very much looking forward to next year.