Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

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.

Video: Tim Weig – Supermoto Fast Guy

01/29/2014 @ 4:49 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Video: Tim Weig   Supermoto Fast Guy tim weig supermoto 635x357

The original premise behind supermoto was to create a sport that could be a melting pot and meeting ground for the hot racers from the  off-road and on-road worlds.

Essentially dirt bikes with street tires, the class is the mixed martial arts of motorcycle racing, and it requires riders to have both good street and dirt skills at their disposal. If you haven’t given it a try, we highly recommend it.

It is a little surprising then that supermoto wasn’t more than just a fad here in the US – the racing is spectacular, in the literal sense of the word. Helping prove that point is this short video by Chrome Capes, which follows SoCal’s resident supermoto fast guy, Tim Weig. We think you will enjoy it. Thanks for the tip Jason!

Source: Chrome Capes

Comment:

  1. ADG says:

    You might want to add that the whole concept was started in the US by Gavin Trippe in ’79 to ’85, and was called “superbikers”. It was covered by ABC “Wide World of Sports”. Kenny Roberts, Jeff Ward, Eddie Lawson, Danny “Magoo” Chandler and many others raced it on either a motocross bike or flattrack based bikes.

  2. ADG says:

    Oh, and I miss my KTM 560 SMR….Really couldn’t bring it here to Panama.

  3. Slangbuster says:

    Absolutely the most fun you can have on two wheels. I’m surprised as well it didn’t catch on here a few years ago. It seemed like a perfect formula for success. (ADG) Thanks for giving kudos to Gavin, he is quite the forward thinker. Get on You Tube and bring up Wide world of Sports Superbikers at Carlsbad Raceway. Thrilling to watch.

  4. paulus says:

    Watch the Euro SM races… sideways action and lots of super-fast guys

  5. small wheel sunday says:

    un like most people i race mini motards fun and powerful and scary in pro class

  6. Greg says:

    Supermoto is huge fun, but considering the abysmal coverage of AMA roadracing over the past few years, it’s hardly a surprise that it hasn’t caught on to a greater degree.

    Fortunately, there are outfits like SoCal Supermoto which are keeping the dream alive and for quite a bargain too!

  7. jeff_williams says:

    I love supermoto. Ridiculous fun and the equipment is cheap. The ingredients make for good racing. It is almost impossible not to ride hooligan on the street though.

  8. ADG says:

    @jeff_williams, Hooliganism….after the spring thaw in Jackson, Wyo the roads still had a little sand on them. Nothing like hitting the twisty s and lighting up the rear tire at 50-60mph feet up and sideways. :)

  9. Tim did a great job on this video and he really is fun to watch race. Great guy too! SM is growing and getting more popular every year! If you have not done the SoCal Supermoto School you have not lived! It is the most fun I have had on a motorcycle in 10 years riding and to beat up a DRZ400 for around $200 all day is a deal!

  10. ADG says:

    @Slangbuster….Carlsbad was THE REAL deal…..not friggin stupid little go-cart tracks.

  11. MeatyBeard says:

    I did my first SoCal Supermoto class with Tim. He was there for his second time and my god was he fast. He was keeping up with the track day regulars that came with their modified KTM, Aprilia, Honda, and Yamaha supermotos and Tim was on a basically stock DRZ400SM school bike. The nicest guy too, can’t say that enough. He brought a huge flat of water to make sure everyone was hydrated and was super friendly, being talkative and supportive with everyone. Genuinely a great person. Go Tim!

  12. Singletrack says:

    I’m actually not surprised Supermoto never took off as a spectator sport, at least in its current forms.

    It’s sort of stuck in the middle, with none of the high speed excitement of road racing or dirt track, and none of the high flying extreme action of motocross.

    It’s its own animal, which is fantastic for participants, but I don’t find it that interesting to watch. The compact go-kart tracks and dense settings currently used keep things safe for the average rider, but not exciting.

    Superbikers was a thrill. 500cc 2-strokes, V-twin dirt trackers and 120 mph+ with big hills was very cool. Sort of like a Grand National Championship, all rolled into one event.

  13. mxs says:

    I love it … but it really does depend where you live (tracks) and what’s your time availability … If either is not good it’s really not that great … the fun factor wears off pretty quickly.

  14. Norm G. says:

    re: “The original premise behind supermoto was to create a sport that could be a melting pot and meeting ground for the hot racers from the off-road and on-road worlds.”

    on paper the calculations jive, and to a certain degree it’s worked in real life, but the “REV limiter” comes back to what it always does… the people.

    re: “It is a little surprising then that supermoto wasn’t more than just a fad here in the US”

    imo it was never promoted properly. I attended some of the rounds during the brief resurgence back in what was it…? 2007…? definitely nothing wrong with the product. t’was good shit and I still believe it holds promise.

    re: “It’s sort of stuck in the middle, with none of the high speed excitement of road racing or dirt track, and none of the high flying extreme action of motocross.”

    it’s kind of a purists activity, but then so is RR, DT, and SX. I think there’s still plenty of action. however, those currently on meds for ADD might not want to apply. UFC it ain’t.

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “Watch the Euro SM races”

    I do/did. I forget who it was (may have even been Speed?), but they aired a season of S1 and S2. that’s right, I have the recordings.

    but again, we fail to support so in the end, we’ll get nothing and like it.