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?

Video: Greg Tracy’s Sub-10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak

08/23/2012 @ 11:51 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Video: Greg Tracys Sub 10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 121 635x425

Carlin Dunne and I might go back nearly a decade, but when it comes to Pikes Peak racers, Greg Tracy is sorta my hero. A six-time winner in the Race to the Clouds, when Greg isn’t racing in America’s second-oldest motorsporting event, he spends his off-hours as a major-production stuntman. You’ve probably seen him before, but just didn’t know it. Despite his blockbuster resume and besides being a boss on two-wheels, Greg also happens to be one of the nicest and down-to-earth people you will ever meet in motorcycle racing, let alone Hollywood.

Maybe it’s because when your job involves risking it all on a daily basis, you don’t take for granted the little things in life. Also at the same time, you probably don’t sweat the small issues that cloud what is really important at the end of the day. You would only have to spend a few minutes around Greg to find an anecdote to support that hypothesis. For as nice of a guy as Greg is in person, I would hate to be one his motorcycles in competition.

Racing up Pikes Peak with fractured vertebrae (Greg had a big crash the weekend before, filming a promo video for Audi & Ducati at Pikes Peak), Tracy was the fourth-fastest competitor ever, in any class, at the 90th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Putting down a jaw-dropping 9’58.262 time up the 12+ mile course, with its 156 turns, Greg was just six seconds shy of Carlin’s class-winning time of 9’52.819. We would be hard pressed to imagine what that race would have looked like had Greg been 100% fit. Respect.

A video of that sub-10 minute run is after the jump.

Video: Greg Tracys Sub 10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 361 635x424

Video: Greg Tracys Sub 10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak 2012 pikes peak international hill climb 58 635x425

Video: Greg Tracys Sub 10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak 2012 pikes peak international hill climb 63 635x425

Video: Greg Tracys Sub 10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak 2012 pikes peak international hill climb 64 635x425

Video: Greg Tracys Sub 10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak 2012 pikes peak international hill climb 71 635x425

Video: Greg Tracys Sub 10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak 2012 pikes peak international hill climb 74 635x425

Video: Greg Tracys Sub 10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 751 635x425

Video: Greg Tracys Sub 10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak 2012 pikes peak international hill climb 77 635x425

Source: My Life at Speed; Photos: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Charlie says:

    If Pike’s Peak is mainly if not all paved, then why doesn’t Ducati use the 1098R or 1199 Pannegale S and totally obliterate the lap record?

  2. Pikes Peak is now fully paved.

    Ducati doesn’t use its Superbikes there in part because racing the event was meant to promote the Multistrada 1200 for Ducati North America, and second the rules have various provisions against sport bikes, like a bike must come from the factory with a single handlebar, not clip-ons.

  3. Charlie says:

    In that case not really knowing the major differences between the 2 bikes, but I would’ve used the streetfighter S

  4. Charlie says:

    Knowing that Ducati likes to use their engines in different pakages and sell their bikes in various forms of moto disciplines, I guess the chassis are extremely different?!

  5. John says:

    Can anybody explain why, despite the course being fully paved, he seems to ride with a kind of supermoto style, very upright, kicking a leg out sometimes? Couldn’t he go faster hanging off?

  6. JoeD says:

    Would be nice to see a Benelli out there. The TnT R160 fits the requirements.

  7. David says:

    Very SAD to see the road paved all the way to the top. Takes away from the unique nature of the event. Also makes all the previous records pointless.

    Maybe the Isle of Man TT will dig up 10 miles of asphalt and make a dirt section.

    Speaking of Isle of Man. Imagine if those fearless riders from over there came to Pikes Peak with their sportbikes and giant nads. The Pikes Peak records would really get lowered then.

    I suspect that is what will eventually happen. Sportbikes will be allowed in their own classes and will dominate Pikes Peak. All the other types of bikes will just be supporting classes.

  8. @David: “Also makes all the previous records pointless.”

    Yeah, in the same way that Agostini’s championships are pointless because the tracks aren’t the same as they used to be.

    Uhm …

  9. David says:

    The Pikes Peak Champions will always be listed as Champions. I was talking lap times on a mixed surface track compared to the new all asphalt track.

    I guess it’s progress.

    Kind of like Agostini’s lap times are pretty much pointless.

  10. Richard Gozinya says:

    @Charlie

    A couple of Streetfighters did compete, one got beaten by a Harley.

  11. Steve Lang says:

    Very impressive and it looks like if you should happen to come off, you would starve to death before you hit the bottom. Good work boys!

  12. Video: Greg Tracy's Sub-10 Minute Run up Pikes Peak – http://t.co/vKJqxjZE #motorcycle

  13. MikeD says:

    @JoeD:

    Great sugestion…….let’s see who’s up to take it. I would like to see Benelli BE much more promoted here in the States…wish i had the $$$ to get me new “butt jewelery” of that caliber…lmao.

    @Richard Gozinya:

    LMAO…Your comment has made my night…i sure needed it…ROTFLMAO.

  14. Sbraz says:

    TT’s guy can kick his butt!

    By the way, now it’s all asphalt… and I don’t like it anymore. It’s a shame…