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?

The MotoGP Season Ends at the Valencia GP

10/26/2008 @ 8:38 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

The MotoGP Season Ends at the Valencia GP 232537 motogpgroupinaction 1280x960 sep28 original

Well that’s it folks, the MotoGP season is over. Not to spoil it, but Randy de Puniet was not the come-from-behind points winner for the rider’s cup. Click on the jump to see every dirty spoiler.


Stoner, Pedrosa, Rossi…

The MotoGP Season Ends at the Valencia GP 235866 danipedrosacaseystonerandvalentinorossionthepodiumatvalenciamotogp 1280x960 oct26 original 300x225This season ended the same way it started, with Casey Stoner riding the Ducati all the way to the finish line…ahead of everyone else. Stoner pulled out an early lead, after reeling in Dani Pedrosa, leaving the rest of the pack to play “follow the leader” for the rest of the race.

Valentino Rossi could only watch from his third place position while Dani and Casey lengthened their leads on him lap after lap. Valencia is a track that has plagued the multiple (and no record number) World Champion Valentino Rossi, and today was no different. The Italian still showed the crowd what Champions are made of, but was unable to give them a top podium finish. In typical Valentino style before the race, Rossi made remarks of doubt about his expected performance citing issues getting the bike to respond the way he wanted in the rain and damp of qualifying and testing.

Despite his podium, Stoner finishes the season in second place 93 points behind Rossi. The Australian superstar of last year has certainly had a season worthy of praise, but lacked the complete and total domination that Ducati had last year.

Other star performances came from Danny Pedrosa, who was up to his usual rabbit starts, but was unable to hold off Stoner’s advances, and had to be content to finishing the race over three seconds behind the Australian.

The MotoGP Season Ends at the Valencia GP 232924  original 300x225Andrea Dovizioso who has had an amazing season by any racer’s standards, let alone a rookie. No surprises there, Dovi is sure to be a racer to watch in the next few seasons. Despite his epic rides, Dovi couldn’t stop the other resident Rookie Jorge Lorenzo from taking the rookie of the year crown. Lorenzo has had a stellar season, which has only been marred by his physical injuries. Hopefully he can heal up over the winter months, and make a proper bid for superstardom next season.

Anthony West didn’t get achieve his goal of besting Marco Melandri who is to replace him at Kawasaki nextseason. Marco finished three seconds ahead of Anthony.

Tomorrow starts a whole new season, with almost all the 2009 MotoGP teams starting their testing at Valencia. Say goodnight sweet prince…of cake…or…have your cake, and eat it too. Damn, I can’t decide what pun to use.


2008 Valencia Results:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Total time
1 C. STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 46’46.114
2 D. PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team + 3.390
3 V. ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team + 12.194
4 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP + 24.159
5 N. HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team + 26.232
6 C. EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha + 32.209
7 S. NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini + 34.571
8 J. LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team + 35.661
9 L. CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 38.228
10 A. DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini + 47.583
11 J. TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha + 52.107
12 S. GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team + 52.350
13 C. VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 52.833
14 J. HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team + 53.227
15 R. DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP + 53.411
16 M. MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team + 1’08.387
17 A. WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team + 1’11.181
18 T. ELIAS SPA Alice Team + 1’37.055



Final 2008 MotoGP Championship Standings:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Points
1 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 373
2 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 280
3 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team 249
4 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team 190
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP 174
6 Nicky HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team 155
7 Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha 144
8 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 128
9 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini 126
10 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 118
11 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 105
12 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team 92
13 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team 67
14 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini 63
15 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP 61
16 John HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team 57
17 Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 51
18 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team 50
19 Ben SPIES USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 20
20 Jamie HACKING USA Kawasaki Racing Team 5
21 Tadayuki OKADA JPN Repsol Honda Team 2


Source: Photos:

Randy de Puniet…we’ve never seen someone look so good, going so slow.

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