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?

WSBK: Late-Race Resurgance in Race 2 at Imola Extends the Championship Fight

09/25/2011 @ 7:26 am, by Victoria Reid1 COMMENT

WSBK: Late Race Resurgance in Race 2 at Imola Extends the Championship Fight checa right pirelli imola 635x420

Starting on pole for the sixth weekend of the 2011 World Superbike season, Carlos Checa sat the front row for the second race at Imola alongside Jonathan Rea, Noriyuki Haga, and Tom Sykes. Checa set a new lap record (1:47.196) during the Superpole sessions on Saturday to take that pole, despite leading only S3 and the two free practices all weekend. Rea was the first to take provisional pole on Friday, with Sykes having the honor Saturday morning. Meanwhile, Eugene Laverty and Noriyuki Haga were fastest in each of the first two Superpole sessions, though it was Checa’s final time that counted to win pole.

Though Ruben Xaus has returned to the track, missing this weekend are Chris Vermeulen and the freshly-retired James Toseland. Paul Bird Motorsports did not replace the Australian, but Javier Flores is the new rider at BMW Motorrad Italia alongside Ayrton Badovini. Most importantly for the championship, Max Biaggi is still unable to ride due to his Nurburgring practice injury and has missed the second race weekend in a row. Haga was again quickest in the morning warm-up, Sunday before the race. He led Sykes, Rea, Haslam, and Checa as the fastest five. Race 1 at Imola was just as dicey as the rest of the leaderboard throughout the weekend.

The sun continued to shine for the second WSBK race of the day at Imola, as Haga wheelied away from his spot and Rea took the lead into the first turn. Laverty was right behind him, with Sykes up to third. Camier took fourth, and Checa was fifth. Within a few turns, Rea and Laverty had a gap on the rest of the field. Haga had gotten a bad start and had slipped back to seventh. Camier was next to move up, taking third from Camier and keeping it. At the end of L1, Rea led Laverty, Camier, Sykes, Checa, Haslam, Haga, Melandri, Fabrizio, and Guintoli as the top ten.

Meanwhile, Sykes continued to drop back, as Checa, then Haslam and Haga all took position from the Kawasaki rider. Smrz was the first rider to crash out as Rea’s lead increased to a second and a half over Laverty. The latter was beginning to fall into the clutches of Camier. Camier pushed through on Laverty three laps into the race, leaving some room for Checa to also go through, though the Spaniard could not capitalize. Five laps into the twenty-one lap race, Rea led Haga and Camier in the podium positions, while at least five riders fought over fourth. Checa was in fourth while Haslam, Laverty, Fabrizio, Sykes, Melandri, and Guintoli were the top ten, only as Sykes slide further back. He sat up with an apparent issue.

Rea, after barely keeping Haga behind him in the first race, had three seconds on the Japanese rider eight laps into the race. However, Haga was not letting him get too far away, clawing back some of the gap with continued race fast laps. The gap was down to 2.6s with ten laps to go, with Checa in third. Melandri had been in the upper mid-pack, but ran off and dropped down to twelfth. Fabrizio was the next to drop out of the race with an issue, driving into the garage, as Berger followed the next time around.

The riders seemed to have settled down with eight laps remaining, as Haga was back up to 2.8s behind leader Rea. Checa was catching up the Japanese rider, but could not quite pass. As they dueled, Rea managed to get back more of his previous gap. Checa got through on Haga for second, then Rea’s gap was gone with what appeared to be a throttle issue with five laps to go. Checa made his way around Rea, only for the latter to appear to fight back. As the lap progressed, Rea’s issue (which was later explained by the team as, “Battery connector. A classic 50¢ part.”) continued and he was forced out of the race he had led so dominantly.

With Checa’s lead, he would win the championship. However, Melandri made his way around a wild card to take eighth and an extra point. Checa had more than three seconds over Haga when two laps remained. Camier, Laverty, and Haslam completed the top five at that point. Polita, a wild card Ducati rider, was the next to end his race, as the Italian bike blew up dramatically in a gravel trap. Melandri was up two more positions, taking Lascorz and Guintoli on the penultimate lap. After a clear and easy final lap, Checa ended the race more than four seconds ahead of Haga, with Camier completing the podium. Melandri’s late-race resurgence to took him to sixth position and kept the championship fight going for another week.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 2 at Imola:

Pos. No. Rider Team Diff.
1 7 Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati -
2 41 Noriyuki Haga PATA Racing Team Aprilia 4.631
3 2 Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 15.159
4 58 Eugene Laverty Yamaha WSBK Team 17.195
5 91 Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad 17.388
6 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK Team 18.533
7 50 Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 19.615
8 17 Joan Lascorz Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 20.063
9 8 Mark Aitchison Team Pedericini Kawaski 24.194
10 86 Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia 28.485
11 86 Ruben Xaus Castrol Honda 28.600
12 111 Federico Sandi Althea Racing Ducati 41.802
13 23 Maxime Berger Supersonic Racing Ducati 54.750
14 121 Javier Flores BMW Motorrad 1:12.281
Not Classified
53 Alex Polita Barni Ducati Racing Team S.N.C. 2 Laps
4 Jonathan Rea Castrol Honda 4 Laps
84 Michel Fabrizio Team Suzuki Alstare 11 Laps
15 Matteo Baiocco Barni Racing Ducati 12 Laps
11 Troy Corser BMW Motorrad 12 Laps
66 Tom Sykes Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 14 Laps
44 Roberto Rolfo Team Pedericini Kawaski 19 Laps
96 Jakub Smrz Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 20 Laps

Source: WSBK; Photo: Pirelli (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. kyle says:

    Rea showed all weekend what he was capable of, to bad it didn’t go his way this time around. Hopefully he can have aleast one double this year….