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?

For Hire.

02/02/2011 @ 8:06 am, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS


  1. Rob says:

    Spies needs to shave his head again, he looks ridiculous with that new hair. Sure hope he kicks the shit out of Lorezo this year

  2. CodyGP says:

    Agreed. MotoGP riders have some of the WORST haircuts I’ve ever seen!!! Bautista, Simon, Rossi, Hayden… all of them need to spend alittle $$ and get a stylist already. And by stylist I dont’ mean some 110lbs gay dude from Milan.

    I’m also rooting for Spies as it looks that Rossi and Hayden will be tardy to the 2011 season.

    Good thing Jorge is going bald, atleast it gives him less room to look like an idiot.

  3. F1 says:

    ,, I guess it is fashionable to bash the #1 rider in the world today. Lorenzo is amazing talented and fast as F*ck (and he isn’t my favorite rider). He rode great with all the pressure in the world last year. This year, less pressure and no over-the- hill, past-his-prime, prima-dona egomaniac as a garage-mate. The bike never looked better and If Yamaha can give the team a lump that doesn’t wheeze after 2 races, then watch the repeat unfold.

  4. DS says:

    Lorenzo’s font for his 1 (“JL”) can be interpreted as the number “11″. Foreshadowing for the current # 11?

  5. Balzaak says:

    I gotta agree, that hair does border on the Jersey look but then again, the shaved with size 1 clippers has pretty much been burnt out thanks to people with fat rolls at the base of their heads sporting it.

    OH the live of a rider, always trying to figure out what’s the best haircut to go for that’ll look good after wearing a helmet

  6. Jimmy Midnight says:

    What pressure? Rossi broke his leg and Pedrosa broke his collar bone so there was no pressure. Repeat? HA! Not gonna happen. WhoreGay is a one hit wonder at best. When the Best riders are fully fit then the “B” team will have to move over.

  7. RSVDan says:

    Are you guys seriously having an in-depth conversation regarding racer’s hairstyles??

  8. Dan, are you seriously not?

  9. Kevin says:

    JL can ride. He is the current world champ. No question about it… but the guy has his head stuck so far up his own arse it makes me want to puke. It would be hard not to have a bit of an ego doing what these guys do and with the fame and fortune, but this guy is just way over the top.

    GO BEN!

  10. fazer6 says:

    Now why oh why can’t Yammy sell a roadbike that looks even half as good?

  11. Tyler Sanborn says:

    I, too, can’t pull hard enough for Jorge to fail in 2011… his riding is amazing, but his charsima is brutally lacking. Every sport needs superstars that not only win, but win-over the fans also (it’s called having “character”), and Jorge does not do the latter. For whatever reason, he is one of those athletes that everyone loves to hate (not because he is good, but instead because he needs to know that everyone else thinks he is the best).

    Sorry, not a likeable or admirable trait… Viva Rossi, Spies, Hayden, De Puniet, Elias, Simoncelli, Crutchlow, etc… those guys have loads of character, are great to watch, and even greater for the sport as a whole… ciao!

  12. Clive Randall says:

    Agree with Fazer6 – where is the flow of Motogp tech in terms of style flowing to the road bikes???

    As for JL you guys have it all wrong, he will kick arse this year (he is also not my favorite but i don’t reckon he loses any sleep over what you guys think of his character), only guys to come close will be Casey and Ben, with Dani the dark horse. The rest will look like superstocks lead by Vale.

  13. Baldy bonce says:

    i am better than all of them just give me a go and ill show you
    realy speaking just fancy a go thats all lol
    p.s will wear a wig if you want me too.

  14. Shaitan says:

    Some people are really talking about haircuts? Who gives a sh** what they look like; these guys can ride their asses off, so they can wear their hair however they want. Dorks who can’t ride and have bad haircuts…now that’s worth chuckling at.

    I have my favorite riders, but really all I want is an awesomely competitive MotoGP season. :D

  15. Balzaak says:

    @Shaitan i’m sensing some jealousy here. when did you start balding? have you thought about medical alternatives?

  16. wayne says:

    I’ve spent the off-season watching all of the 2009 races at and from what I’ve seen, like him or not, Jorge is fast. When he’s on form he’s hard to beat which he demonstrated in the 2010 season. As I recall, he bested Rossi in more than one race before the “break that was heard ’round the world.” Rossi may be the best ever, like him or not, but I can’t see him coming out on a bike he’s never ridden in a race before with a shoulder that is still just a bit touchy and laying waste to the field. As much as I would LOVE to see Ben completely dominate this year, I think it’s going to boil down to Lorenzo vs. Stoner. A healthy Stoner on a bike with (in his mind) a stable front end set-up should be something to see and I think it’s going to be a great year for us no matter who does the business–regardless of the vegomatic haircuts.

  17. LutherG says:

    The leg was not VR’s biggest issue last season. The shoulder was severely damaged, and Dr. (get em on the track) Costas did not evaluate the extent of the shoulder damage. Its the primary reason for him (and pedrosa) fading in the final laps. On a flat track where the shoulder wasn’t so much of an issue, VL could still win.

    JL is a very good, very fast rider. He is, as many of the new racers now, boring as hell. Egomaniacs can be amusing and charming as well. Spies is dull as dishwater.

  18. Steve says:

    OK, Yes. Whore Gay is an incredibly talented rider but there is much more to being a World Champion. He is a representative to the world and I would say he has much to learn about how he is perceived. Maybe Yamaha could send him to Charm School to bleed of some of his obnoxious arrogant egotism. Yes, he has talent, there’s no question about it, but I’m not willing to pay the price to acknowledge more than that. He reminds me of the “Little Prince” all dressed up standing in front of his thrown demanding all his subjects bow to him. The guy makes me sick and he will have to go a long way to earn the respect and admiration a world champion deserves. What a little turd.

  19. Baldy bonce says:

    front resembles old thunderace colours dont help

  20. Damo says:

    Marco Simoncelli has the best hairstyle in the grid…just saying.

  21. hoyt says:

    fro sho’

  22. Shaitan says:

    @ Balzaak – LOL! Not quite, since I have a full head of metalhead hair. I’m just saying, a racer’s haircut is the last thing I give a crap about.

  23. Joey Wilson says:

    Jorge is undeniably talented. I wonder if he’s that self-promoting, or just feeling his oats now that he’s out from under VR’s shadow. I know it must gall him to no end that they’re still scrambling for a primary sponsor while the Duc MGP team is having to turn away the Brink’s trucks at the back gate.

    I do suggest he may want to visit with one M Mladin about his new ‘Number Two’ teammate . . . . .