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?

SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD – Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports

04/09/2010 @ 8:48 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD   Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports SPEED TV logo

The MotoGP season is kicking off this weekend at Qatar. The oddity of the night race is good news for us Americans, as the race will hit the airwaves at a semi-decent hours. Accordingly, SPEEDTV will kick-off the season with a 1PM PST (4PM EST) live broadcast of the Qatar round.

“In addition to the international feed shared by all partners, SPEED will produce SPEED-specific features, interviews and graphic enhancements,” said Rick Miner, SPEED SVP of Production & Network Operations. “We are really stepping up the presentation for the American audience.”

Commentary will come from Greg Creamer as the in-studio host for SPEED, and Nick Harris will handle the play-by-play for the international feed. Providing analysis is Ian Wheel, with Gavin Emmett reporting from the pits. For 90% of race enthusiasts this means simply the absence of Greg White. Time and schedule of races after the jump.

Schedule and Times for MotoGP on SPEED (subject to change):
Grand Prix of Qatar – April 11 (4 p.m. ET, Live)
Japan – April 25 (Late night Saturday, April 24, 2 a.m. ET, Live)
Spanish Grand Prix – May 2 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
French Grand Prix – May 25 (2 p.m. ET, taped)
Italian Grand Prix – June 6 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
British Grand Prix – June 20 (9:30 a.m. ET, Live)
Dutch Grand Prix – June 26 (9:30 a.m. ET, SDD)
Catalonian Grand Prix – July 4 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
German Grand Prix – July 18 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
U.S. Grand Prix – July 25 (TBD)
Czech Grand Prix – August 15 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
Indianapolis Grand Prix – August 29 (TBD)
San Marino – September 5 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
Hungary – September 19 (9 a.m. ET, Live)
Malaysian Grand Prix – October 10 (6 p.m. ET, SDD)
Australian Grand Prix – October 17 (Late night Saturday, October 16, 1 a.m. ET, Live)
Portugal – October 31 (5 p.m. ET, SDD)
Valencia Grand Prix – November 7 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
*Note: French Grand Prix is taped event due to schedule conflicts

Comment:

  1. SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD – Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports – http://bit.ly/9lOypE #motorcycle

  2. Victor Knowles says:

    I hope they will bother to show Moto2. So far that does not seem to be on their schedule.

  3. Anthony says:

    Yeah – I want to see Moto2 as much or more than MotoGP!

  4. kevin says:

    Be glad you’re getting this instead of a “nascar special”.

  5. Victor Knowles says:

    That’s true Kevin, Speed are all about the NASCAR.

  6. Jason says:

    Speed sucks. Why show a live 40min race if you aren’t a) going to do it commercial free or b) double vision thing with the race and commercials on screen at the same time?
    I wasn’t surprised what was going to happen when I found out the race was going to be live. They should have front loaded the commercials so that when the race started that could run it straight through (as they have done in the past). But no instead we get 2 laps and 4 or 5 commercials….half way through the race I just turned it off. If this had been nascar they would have made sure there was constant action on screen. truly pathetic and the fact that they’ve extended the deal makes me sick.

  7. Singletrack says:

    Great to see MotoGP (and Moto2) in HD!
    WOW what an improvment from the grainy TV coverage in the past. I loved the detail of the nighttime reflections, the track texture, seeing the chain links move, the riders eyes and stitching on the leathers. Excellent. I hope the daytime races offer as much visual pleasure.

    I have no complaints about the coverage. Sure there’s always room to provide more/better, but i’m satisfied with it now that it’s HD.

    But I do hope Speed can get the audience numbers up to a level where they can do a 1/2 hour prerace show to provide more in depth review of the technology and riders – tell me more about the elite athletes they are.

  8. wayne says:

    Man, what a difference in clarity! I watched the (DVR’ed) MotoGP and WSBK Race 1 back to back and the WSBK race looked like it was done frame-by-frame on an etch-a-sketch. BUT…I was really miffed that they cut the podium interviews. And if I’m honest, I am disappointed that Speed TV feels the need to “NASCAR-ize” the pre-race stuff. I guess they’re afraid we Americans can’t get our tiny brains around a racing series that turns left AND right.

  9. don_zielke says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD – Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports http://bit.ly/9lOypE

  10. ladyhawke82 says:

    RT @don_zielke: RT @Asphalt_Rubber: SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD – Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports http://bit.ly/9lOypE