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?

Ducati Mega Monster Spotted Again – Some Things Can’t be Unseen

07/15/2010 @ 8:26 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Ducati Mega Monster Spotted Again   Some Things Cant be Unseen Ducati Mega Monster spy shot Motociclismo

Spotted just outside Ducati’s Bologna factory by an amateur photographer, we now get a proper glimpse of Ducati’s “Mega Monster” performance cruiser. Based around a 1200cc v-twin motor, Ducati is hoping to tap into the American dominated cruiser market, and steal a few customers away from Harley-Davidson.

While, we’re not calling the Mega Monster a “butter face”…well…actually we are, hopefully the Rhinoplasty Fairy will come visit the bike before its debut at EICMA later this year. Ducati, for the love of God, please re-think this motorcycle. Check for more photos.



  1. Ian says:

    This remind anyone else of the ill-fated MT-01?

  2. Ken C. says:

    First of all, that is NOT a cruiser. If they’re trying to steal customers away from the Harely camp, they’re going to have to try harder. The bike is too tall, and not raked back enough to fit into the American cruiser “mold”. In this state, it’s just a Monster on steroids (not that it’s a bad thing). I think it’s a pretty good looking bike, but it’s not going to steal any Harley customers.

  3. Blake says:

    To steal any Harley customers they are going to have to add some chrome to that thing too. The riding position isn’t nearly as relaxed as most Harley riders are use to.

  4. Sean Mitchell says:

    Epic fail. Makes Terblanche look like Tamburini.

  5. BikePilot says:

    I think the point is that the purpose is the same as a cruiser – sacrifice function for a certain aesthetic, ride to bike nights, bars, shows, look at in the driveway and do other similarly inane things with it. Sorta like the “custom” sport bikes with lots of chrome, fat tires, stretched and lowered… In this category its downright sensible. Don’t know that it’ll sell though. I’d take a SF or MTS over one any day.

    I’ll need more pics before I can make up my mind whether its truly ugly or just about as ugly as most current bikes. The mirrors have got to go though!

  6. froryde says:

    And how is that much different from a Monster S4R or S4RS?

  7. TwinMe says:

    Figure wise (shape, style, w/e is called) i think is C00L (Please, don’t rake it anymore or extend its wheel base). Don’t get too far from the Monters series Look.

    NOW, I think the side exhaust HAS TO GO, HIDE THAT MESS OF TUBING, Buell XB12S Anyone ? Route it like the SV1000N or the Monster 1100, StreetFigther or 1198, PLEASE! Or Streamline IT a little bit more. Looks like a last minute idea some pissed designer decided to tag on a cool design, that BEND at the rear cylinder outlet coming forward can’t be good for performance + BAKED LEGS.

    Engine: If they ever got it on their heads selling this as a “Cruiser” in ” Bigger IS ALWAYS Better America” they should do some polling on people about engine size (Yamaha did this with their latest VMAX on the microsite it created then).

    1200cc ? Ducati……..REALLY ? If your gonna go out, go out with a BANG, (BANG=1600CC OR +) AFTER ALL, ain’t the VMAX (1670cc) one of its competitors ?

    What? Don’t have cases, cylinders, heads, crank, rods & pistons to support such increase in size yet ? Well, cast-machine some new ones then.

    Don’t forget Bigger fuel tank capacity than VMAX Please! Some people like to be total Hooligans for more than a 100 miles Range at a time.
    And that ugly stacked muffler style has to go, looks BULKY and oldschool. Keep it MT-01 Clean & Simple.

    Ok, im done ranting….LMAO.

  8. TwinMe says:

    One more thing, Tire Width is looking a little xcessive and rear shock location looks like a nigthmare to adjust.

  9. Dr. Gellar says:

    This “Mega-Monster” will likely prove interesting once it gets to production, or at least the complete prototype stage. However, if Ducati really wants to get some of Harley-Davidson’s customer base, they should produce a modern version of their own V-4 Apollo. Now that, if done right, could be really cool.

  10. TwinMe says:

    Dr.Gellar: U make an excellent point. Go the Apollo way.

    They could take 2 “Old” 1098 Engines and cast them togheter and get a 2.xxxL V-4 rigth there. Im affraid Ducati doesn’t build anything smaller than 1098-1198 to make such V-4 Naturally High Powered.
    But i think something of this nature would be ” Too Wide at the Knees ? ” Maybe ?
    Im down for a 1600cc+ regular L-Twin

    696, 796, 1100 Monster Engines are Air Cooled (Overheating ?) and 2 Valves Heads (Not HP friendly ?). Did i miss any other possibility or candidate to pair for a V-4 ?

    I must say, even i don’t have anywhere near the finances to buy such a bike like this i truly want this bike to be a hit, the more choices out there the better, rigth ?

  11. Mike says:

    This bike ROCKS! The monster series was too soft, streetfighter a bit too pure in concept (I own one), this bike is beautiful in a brutish hyabusa kind of way…. like a muscle bike should look. VMAX was spot on but no-one would spend that kinda dough on a yamaha… ducati however… I reckon its a winner… as long as they can keep the weight and wheelbase manageable

  12. paulus says:

    It’s a Muscle bike… and it looks good for that purpose.
    I dont think anybody should right it off until it is launched and we see the final product.
    I like the concept. It’s not a Harley, it’s a Ducati version of a muscle bike.