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: Randy de Puniet & Davide Brivio Talk About Suzuki Racing Testing at Motegi

08/11/2013 @ 7:23 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Randy de Puniet & Davide Brivio Talk About Suzuki Racing Testing at Motegi randy de puniet motegi motogp suzuki racing 635x423

One of the great joys of private testing in the MotoGP class is the lack of media control and censorship placed upon the teams. We know that this seems like a backwards concept, but since Dorna can’t block teams from filming at the track, the private tests the MotoGP squads undertake are ever-becoming media and marketing opportunities, and our latest example comes from Motegi and the Suzuki Racing MotoGP effort.

Perhaps one of the most exciting projects in the MotoGP World Championship right now, Suzuki Racing’s bid to re-enter the premier class in 2015 has been eagerly awaited ever since the Japanese factory left Grand Prix racing at the end of the 2011 season.

Now publicly working its still unnamed race bike, with its inline-four engine and Randy de Puniet at the helm, Suzuki Racing has shown that the squad has the potential to run with the other factories, though still not within the restrictions of the upcoming MotoGP rules.

With a season and a half to go in that endeavor, fans are now getting the treat of watching Suzuki develop in real time. Queue the team videos from Motegi, where Davide Brivio talks about the results of the test, and hired gun Randy de Puniet explains the progress with Suzuki’s new chassis. 2015 can’t come soon enough.

Source: Suzuki Racing

Comment:

  1. TexusTim says:

    I really think it’s a shame there having to waiting till 2015.

  2. New Zealand Dan says:

    +1 Tim

  3. Jimbo says:

    This is great for the sport – the more factory teams the better!

    Just need to persuade Kawasaki to come back, Aprillia to go full factory, BMW to dip there toe in more than just providing the safety car!

    If Triumph want to get involved i wouldnt complain – imagine the noise of a 250hp Triple prototype engine!

  4. smiler says:

    The most insightful comment here “We know that this seems like a backwards concept, but since Dorna can’t block teams from filming at the track, the private tests the MotoGP squads undertake are ever-becoming media and marketing opportunities…..”

    I wish someone sensible would purchase Dorna and put the whole organisation straight. Richard Branson and the Flammini brothers spring to mind.

  5. MotoGP would be bankrupt by now if the Flammini brothers were in charge.

  6. pingpong says:

    puniet, who? champion? nop..how many podium he got?……………..

    i wonder why suzuki take him to ride the bike on 2015..

    waste money, time and efforts. suzuki seems not serious to grab back the championship..

    they’ve won long time ago, last with KR Jr..and never won since then..

    if they very serious to make comeback, they should hire the very talented rider, whatever it take they must get at least one rider..marquez, lorenzo, dovi,

  7. Bob says:

    It was such as shame when Suzuki stopped as the previous bike looked to be handling so beautifully with Alvaro Bautista on board. He seemed to be able to turn the bike so well and all it lacked was top speed. Hopefully the new bike will look as good around the corners and run rings around the Ducatis. Love the graphics too.

    Being a brit I would love to see Scott Redding on this bike in 2015.

  8. Jimbo says:

    To me the suzuki ride screams out as a potential retirement ride for Pedrosa in 2015 and a pontential back up if crutchlow exercises a ducatti get out clause.
    Alternatively there is a very talented Espagaro brother who is currently riding alot better than de Puniet in the CRTs who would probably relish it.

  9. JoeD says:

    More is better. Jimbo, good insight. There is the cost factor with the “smaller” factories but these are different times. Most teams are part of a corporate behemoth capable of supporting two entries. Does Triumph have the depth? Hmm, owner support group donations any one? Just thoughts before coffee.

  10. Jimbo says:

    @JoeD – i would certainly agree with you!! Wishful thinking on my part as a Triumph rider!

    All we can hope is that Suzuki come in 2015, sign an Alexis Espargaro, or a Redding, or a Pedrosa (looking for a challenge and a hand in development), as well as bringing a competitive Bike to the table and get some fairly good results. From this see discernable increase in sponsor revenues and hopefully a pick up in GSX-R sales.
    If that happens it will make Kawasaki take notice and possibly BMW too. I agree with you utterly on the costs comments and those two houses are probably the only two makers who could finanically support a team who arent already in it/going to be in it.
    Harder for BMW having turned their backs on WSB but a man can dream.
    If i think with my head i see the need for CRT teams in MotoGP, but my heart wishes that MotoGP was a class of Factory Prototypes where you could see the pinnicle of motorcycle design, with the best riders in the world. The more Factories the better.

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “the private tests the MotoGP squads undertake are ever-becoming media and marketing opportunities, and our latest example comes from Motegi and the Suzuki Racing MotoGP effort.”

    and there it is. all the exposure, with a minimum of costs.

    re: “I really think it’s a shame there having to waiting till 2015.”

    not Suzuki, they think duping the gullible masses for yet another year is BRILLIANT…!

  12. Norm G. says:

    re: “MotoGP would be bankrupt by now if the Flammini brothers were in charge”

    i call BS. it was struggling under the FG group before they took it over in the early 90′s and got it to where it is today. 25 YEARS doesn’t past a CPA’s logic test. this means they had to have been doing something right.

  13. Norm G. says:

    re: “Just need to persuade Kawasaki to come back, Aprillia to go full factory, BMW to dip there toe in more than just providing the safety car! If Triumph want to get involved i wouldnt complain – imagine the noise of a 250hp Triple prototype engine!”

    look, i get it. living in reality is harsh. it’s difficult, but you guys HAVE to stop engaging in this “fantasy roadracing” nonsense. you’re only harming yourself. until such time WE come off the dime en masse for their product…? manufacturers like kawi and aprilia ain’t stepping up to the big show. tail wags the dog.

  14. TexusTim says:

    I wish suzuki was racing for the 2014 season.

  15. “puniet, who? champion? nop..how many podium he got?……………..”

    Maybe not a whole lot of podiums, but he did get 5 in the 250 class. The biggest reason why Suzuki hired him as a test rider is that he’s been riding in the series since 1998. He’s done tens of thousands of km of tests for all sorts of bikes/manufacturers over the years. That experience counts for one helluva lot.

    “i wonder why suzuki take him to ride the bike on 2015..”

    That hasn’t been agreed upon, as far as I know. For the moment, he’s just testing.

  16. tony says:

    i like rdp guys! he kinda seems like the euro nicky hayden…calls it like it is, doesn’t give too much of a shit about being pc…oh wait thats colin edwards…

    and hey norm g- shut the fuck up! let people dream, and stop being such a debbie downer ! after all, it worked for rocky balboa- i mean it worked for sylvester stalone! without dreams, where are we?

  17. Anvil says:

    Smiler, blaming Dorna entirely for the current state of MotoGP isn’t really accurate. The manufacturers are as much to blame as anyone, and probably moreso.

    Cost-cutting in MGP and SBK is necessary. I agree that how they’ve tried to get there is debatable but we’ve all got to accept that there isn’t money available to support unbridled spending.

    SBK has produced fantastic racing but has been headed for a financial crisis for years. It has become MotoGP-lite in many respects and, frankly, is not really true to the spirit of production racing anymore.

    Many years ago I had some involvement with racing teams and sponsorship and I can tell you the money was hard to come by then. Now it’s exponentially harder. Yet the required budgets to compete keep going up.

  18. irksome says:

    If you want more factories in MotoGP and racing in general, buy a new bike.

    The factories left because the global economy tanked in 2008 and let’s face it, bikes are a luxury purchase. When their bottom line increases, they’ll spend on THEIR luxury; racing.