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?

XXX: 10 Photos of the Suzuki “XRH-1″ Testing at Catalunya

06/17/2013 @ 2:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

XXX: 10 Photos of the Suzuki XRH 1 Testing at Catalunya 2015 Suzuki XRH1 MotoGP Catalunya Niki Kovacs 09

Suzuki broke some hearts today by announcing that the company’s MotoGP team would not return to the premier class until 2015, instead of 2014 as was rumored.

Telling perspective riders last week about the decision (so they could make alternate plans for next season), Suzuki was still at the Circuit de Catalunya for MotoGP’s post-race test, joining Yamaha Racing (which elected not to go to the rain-sodden Motorland Aragon circuit), Ducati Corse, and a bevy of satellite and private teams.

Shaking down its inline-four GP race bike, codenamed the Suzuki XRH-1, Nobuatsu Aoki was first-up on the machine. But the day’s real work was done by Randy de Puniet, who put in an impressive 1’42.676 lap time near the end of the day — just over three quarters of a second off the top time set by Jorge Lorenzo.

However, despite the impressive debut for the XRH-1, Suzuki’s official reason for its delay back to GP racing is the pace of development on the project.

Part of that development process surely is for the electronics, as Suzuki is currently using an electronics package from Mitsubishi, though the company expects to switch over to the spec-ECU from Magneti Marelli later this year, in the autumn.

If that all whets your appetite, our favorite Hungarian Photographer/Journalist Niki Kovács (be sure to follow her on Facebook & Twitter) has sent us nine more photos of the Suzuki XRH-1, which are after the jump for your viewing pleasure.

Be sure to note the XRH-1′s staked gearbox (a very Yamaha design), which is mated to the “big bang” four-banger. The twin-spars of the aluminum chassis looks likes like an evolution of the GSX-R platform, which shouldn’t be too surprising — though when Satoru Terada talked to GPone, he said that Suzuki hasn’t begun work on a new WSBK machine.

XXX: 10 Photos of the Suzuki XRH 1 Testing at Catalunya 2015 Suzuki XRH1 MotoGP Catalunya Niki Kovacs 01

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XXX: 10 Photos of the Suzuki XRH 1 Testing at Catalunya 2015 Suzuki XRH1 MotoGP Catalunya Niki Kovacs 04

XXX: 10 Photos of the Suzuki XRH 1 Testing at Catalunya 2015 Suzuki XRH1 MotoGP Catalunya Niki Kovacs 05

XXX: 10 Photos of the Suzuki XRH 1 Testing at Catalunya 2015 Suzuki XRH1 MotoGP Catalunya Niki Kovacs 06

XXX: 10 Photos of the Suzuki XRH 1 Testing at Catalunya 2015 Suzuki XRH1 MotoGP Catalunya Niki Kovacs 07

XXX: 10 Photos of the Suzuki XRH 1 Testing at Catalunya 2015 Suzuki XRH1 MotoGP Catalunya Niki Kovacs 10

Photos: © 2013 Nikolett Kovács / KovacsNiki.hu – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. TheSwede says:

    Love that Susuki blue, and the livery is top notch

  2. WilCon says:

    Interestingly with the 2015 announcement doesn’t that mean Spies will be available? Maybe by then John Hopkins will be fully healed and they plan to bring him back? I think they should hire Kenny Roberts to run the team and let him find a rider.

  3. TexusTim says:

    really like the colors and layout//livery….think king kenny would dive bike into the mix ? not sure bout that one…Im a fan of collin becoming a team manager/ owner one day..he is such a fixture in motogp. and has that special personality riders would like. swede you think the blue is “pearl vigor blue” like the gsxrs ?

  4. monkeyfumi says:

    Can we please just give up on the notion that John Hopkins will be returning to motogp. There are a number of good reasons why he is no longer there.
    On a more positive note, the new bike just looks “right”, none of the awkwardness of the later GSVRs’

  5. Damo says:

    Coming along nicely.

  6. M says:

    Image links broken?

  7. Caching issue I suspect. Refresh and try again.

  8. coreyvwc says:

    Every time single time Suzuki manages to produce an absolutely stunning MotoGP bike, yet their production sportbikes are the most bloated and outdated machines in the industry. Hopefully some variant of this design will cross over to their LONG overdue new sportbike.

    Oh, and their is not a chance in Hell that John Hopkins or Kenny Roberts will be involved with the race team in two years time. Possibly Spies, but that’s also looking like a long shot at this point. Give it up folks, the only suitable American road racer (besides Nicky) is 38 years old and currently riding a Yamaha AMA superbike.

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “Suzuki broke some hearts today by announcing that the company’s MotoGP team would not return to the premier class until 2015, instead of 2014 as was rumored.”

    way to go Suzuki, keep stringing ‘em along. looks like some folks just got SUCKERED for a year. like to try for 2…? told ya. curious, where’s ezpelata on all this…? he doesn’t give a rat’s how nice the kit looks. hammamatsu can “announce” all they want, but without a corresponding announcement of a 3yr commitment to motogp…? all of this smoke and mirrors guys. innit…?

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “The twin-spars of the aluminum chassis looks likes like an evolution of the GSX-R platform, which shouldn’t be too surprising”

    look again, it’s a copy of one of Honda’s early 213 chassis.

  11. SBPilot says:

    Is “big bag” a new type of engine or is it big bang.

    Bike looks great, not feeling the colour though. On the plus side, I think Lorenzo/Pedrosa/Marquez is at least 4 tenths quicker than RDP just in skill alone, which would put the bike even closer to the Yamaha/Hondas than one would think. Very impressive Suzuki, already a faster bike than the Ducati.

  12. Norm G. says:

    ps: for the record, there are FAAAR worse things they could copy.

    re: “yet their production sportbikes are the most bloated and outdated machines in the industry.”

    in their defense, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. that’s a perception derived from ignorance. which is quite an irony given the “wired” age in which we live…? the 25 year history of the GSXR i’m sure is but a google search away. how any self-respecting motorcyclist does not know this is beyond me…? it’s out there for all to see. just a cursory glance would reveal that the GSXR pedigree is actually…

    UNRIVALED BY ANY OTHER JAPANESE MANUFACTURER…!!!

    but instead we have comments like the above proliferating the internet. this would never happen up in car world, with say… Porsche. only in motorbikes. :( btw, the only manufacturer that matches Suzuki isn’t Japanese at all… they’re Italian.

  13. CTK says:

    GSXRs are anything but bloated, they are right in the mix and still very competitive

    This bike looks pretty cool and I’m glad it seems up to speed. All I want to know now is the firing order.

  14. dc4go says:

    Bike looks great and seems to go pretty good too. Best thing Suzuki could do it give the ride to someone like Crutchlow who truly deserves it. Young, talented, super fast racer and not a has been beat up racer. Crutchlow and Redding that’s a good line up.

  15. coreyvwc says:

    Re: Norm G.
    Relax relax my friend, you’re talking about racing pedigree which Suzuki undeniably has LOTS of. I’m talking about design and aesthetics, i.e. ingredients that make a good looking motorcycle. This is the area where Suzuki is lagging far behind in terms of production designs. The company still makes a fine motorcycle, but they just desperately need to revamp the design. Not just more stickers and atrocious color options. There is reason the company as a whole is in dire straits, no one is buying what they’re (still) selling…

  16. ZZZZ says:

    I’m no fan of Suzuki’s road bikes but I was really keen to see another brand mix it up next year – esp. if it had a non Spanish rider on board. I’ll continue to wait… sigh

  17. Crazy says:

    no hopkins and no spies. Suz needs riders like jorge dani marq, espa maybe?

  18. TexusTim says:

    this plays right into the hand of ben spies…I just hope over the next year and a half all goes well for him..would really like to see him out there on suzuki’s comeback year..I think the guy’s paid his dues.and his time is comming. P.S.leave your mom at home for reals…lol

  19. Gonzo says:

    Why can’t they put bodywork like that on a GSXR, instead of the ugly crap they do now? Suzuki’s have been ugly as sin for years now.