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?

WSBK: Assen Race 1 Results

04/26/2009 @ 5:00 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Assen Race 1 Results spies assen wsbk race1 560x373

In Assen, Holland, it was Ben Spies who took the holeshot in Race 1, launching off the line from pole position and into turn 1 of the Dutch course.  Spies was followed by Max Neukirchner and Noriyuki Haga, neither of whom could touch the American’s lead position after turning just one lap around the course. As Haga closed in on Neukirchner it seemed there would be a good battle for second brewing, but the German made a mistake in the GT chicane and tossed his bike. He would finish 13th for the day. However, Race 1 at Assen wasn’t about to disappoint. Continue reading for a woefully inadequate description of one heck of a Superbike race that was WSBK Race 1 at Assen.


With nothing between himself and Spies, Haga quickly closed the Yamaha down, and sat on the Texan’s tail. The pair wasn’t alone either, Leon Haslam was setting a series of blistering laps and chasing the two leaders down, and soon the race turned into three-way melee between Spies, Haga and Haslam. Haga had been pushing Spies through the Ramshoek and into the final GT chicane for several laps, but Spies kept holding the Japanese rider off. So on lap 13, Haga switched tactics, diving underneath Spies into the Strubben hairpin, and taking the lead. A corner later, Haslam was passed Spies as well and began pulling away from the American.

As the laps started to click off, Spies started to reel Haga and Haslam back in, and with three laps to go, Spies made his move on Haslam. With the two bikes side-by-side through several turns, Spies finally got past the Englishmen and began gaining on Haga. Catching him as they started the final lap, Spies made his final move in the back section of the track. Getting past Haga with only a few turns to go, Spies held off Haga’s final challenge into the GT chicane to take the win. Haga was forced to settle for 2nd, with Haslam finishing third.

Tom Sykes rode his best race to date on the other Factory Yamaha to take 4th place, while Max Biaggi fought his way through the field to finish 5th, after starting from 10th on the grid. If you didn’t see this race, we feel sorry for you.


Results from Race 1 World Superbike at Assen:

Pos Rider Country Bike Diff
1 B. Spies USA Yamaha YZF R1  
2 N. Haga JPN Ducati 1098R 0.154
3 L. Haslam GBR Honda CBR1000RR 0.779
4 T. Sykes GBR Yamaha YZF R1 8.775
5 M. Biaggi ITA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 11.275
6 J. Smrz CZE Ducati 1098R 16.126
7 J. Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR 19.555
8 R. Laconi FRA Ducati 1098R 19.760
9 M. Fabrizio ITA Ducati 1098R 23.006
10 T. Corser AUS BMW S1000 RR 24.285
11 S. Byrne GBR Ducati 1098R 26.003
12 K. Muggeridge AUS Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 27.814
13 M. Neukirchner GER Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 36.962
14 R. Xaus ESP BMW S1000 RR 39.025
15 R. Kiyonari JPN Honda CBR1000RR 41.505
16 B. Roberts AUS Ducati 1098R 41.810
17 M. Tamada JPN Kawasaki ZX 10R 50.186
18 S. Easton GBR Kawasaki ZX 10R 55.567
19 D. Checa ESP Yamaha YZF R1 56.425
20 D. Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’05.169
21 R. Resch AUT Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’37.663
RET L. Scassa ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 4 Laps
RET S. Nakano JPN Aprilia RSV4 Factory 9 Laps
RET V. Iannuzzo ITA Honda CBR1000RR 9 Laps
RET M. Baiocco ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 10 Laps
RET C. Checa ESP Honda CBR1000RR 18 Laps
RET Y. Kagayama JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 21 Laps
RET T. Hill GBR Honda CBR1000RR 22 Laps

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