Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

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.

Rumor: Ducati Scrambler Cometh

07/08/2013 @ 4:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Rumor: Ducati Scrambler Cometh ducati scrambler 635x405

While I was lounging at the pool this holiday weekend, getting my bronze on, the A&R Bothan Spy network was hard at work dumpster diving, hacking emails, and subscribing to the NSA’s live PRISM feed.

The fruits of that labor was the alarming realization of how many kitten videos the motorcycle industry collectively watches in a single day, and the fact that Ducati is working on scrambler-style motorcycle.

The project itself dates way back when Pierre Terblanche was still toiling away in Bologna, dodging equal portions of labor strikes and carbonara, and at the time was based around the now defunct Ducati Sport Classic.

Shelved, and thought never to see the light of day, we can only imagine this whole Hipstacyclist™ movement has helped Ducati rethink its position regarding a scrambler.

What we expect to be either a 2014 or 2015 model year machine, there are couple differing rumors on the Ducati Scrambler project, and knowing Ducati, the two stories we have heard may not be mutually exclusive, and likely indicate that the Italian company itself hasn’t come to a hard conclusion on this machine.

One version of the rumor pegs the new Scrambler as being an air-cooled single-cylinder machine, 600cc or so in displacement. A stepping stone for Ducati to enter the smaller bike market, the Ducati Scrambler would be the gateway from big bikes to little bikes in the Italian brand.

While Audi has been fairly laissez-faire with its tampering on the product side of Ducati Motor Holding, one has to imagine that there are marching orders to develop machines that would be better suited to emerging markets.

We have a hard time thinking that Ducati is building a new air-cooled motor, as the industry is being pushed further and further towards water-cooled lumps that have friendlier CO2 emissions, but the idea isn’t the craziest thing we have heard today (Patrick, she’s 19!).

Other sources say the Ducati Scrambler will be based off the Ducati Hypermotard, which was designed with a modular chassis, for this very undertaking. In that case, the Scrambler would have the same peppy 821cc water-cooled v-twin motor found on the Hypermotard. A more “Ducati” approach to building a new bike, but perhaps less enthralling.

What we do know for certain is that the new Ducati Scrambler will be very similar in design to Terblanche’s work, with some reworking and updating.

Will it fill the void left behind from the Ducati Sport Classic? Probably not, but it could be a sign of future more-niche machines to come from Borgo Panigale.

Source: Bothan Spies; Photo: JVB-Moto

Comment:

  1. paulus says:

    Maybe the scrambler will be more than one model, similar to the monster.
    A base model for emerging markets and a higher spec one for developed nations.

    definately an interesting look.

  2. Andrew says:

    You mean, something like Borile Scrambler? That would be nice… come to think of it, maybe Ducati could just buy Borile’s design and put it into larger scale production… I’d love to get one! (Borile uses a top half of a Ducati engine)

  3. Norm G. says:

    re: “We have a hard time thinking that Ducati is building a new air-cooled motor, as the industry is being pushed further and further towards water-cooled lumps that have friendlier CO2 emissions”

    Chinese math is what that is.

  4. BBQdog says:

    It’s time Ducati returns to their roots and starts building singles again.
    A nice street supermono (seems KTM brings is the RC 390 next year) and
    a single cylinder bases scrambler.

  5. TexusTim says:

    it’s hard to make a non water cooled motor pass emissions and then theres the fact in many places..ei texas that are very hot during the summer and hell when you get caught in traffic….yea somthing will “scramble” …I like the concept but the only new bikes that dont need coolant are electric…now and electric scrambler would really be exciting news.

  6. Iwan says:

    They recently applied to register “Ducati Scrambler” as a trademark name: http://www.nieuwsmotor.nl/motornieuws/18479-ducati-scrambler-merknaam-aangevraagd.html

  7. David says:

    I only clicked on this hoping to see pics of your new bronzeness.

    Your such a tease!

  8. Scott says:

    This is a bike that has already been built and gone, by JvB-moto:
    http://jvb-moto.com/rocknroll/?page_id=37

  9. TRL says:

    Terblanche had so many good ideas and was exploring some really interesting directions during his tenure at Ducati. Unfortunately most will probably not see the light of day.

    Smaller displacement bikes (anyone remember the 400cc monsters?) make sense and not just for the emerging markets due to the change in EU mc licensing regulations that came into force earlier this year..

  10. Shawn says:

    I actually whimpered when I saw that. I need help.

    It looks like the headlight would be circular, not one of those droopy ones a lot of manufacturers use now. I definitely like that better than the mugs on most of the naked/standards.

  11. smiler says:

    Clearly we have no need to worry about prism…..all the concrete info comes from google and a good old source.
    The custom market will be happy.
    A Ducati designed for developing world roads would be really useful in the UK.
    If they do make a new smaller capacity engine then presumable be able to put it in the Hypermotard.

    Still wondering why they do not replace the ST4S. Not as if they do not now have all the parts for one.

  12. Sometimes, I think the only part of the story you guys read is the picture…

  13. Shawn says:

    Jensen, I enjoyed the story too. A scrambler built on the water cooled 11 degree hypermotard would float my boat, absolutely. But that bike is so pretty it needs to be discussed.

  14. MaxAR15 says:

    BBQdog says:
    July 8, 2013 at 10:44 PM
    It’s time Ducati returns to their roots and starts building singles again.
    A nice street supermono (seems KTM brings is the RC 390 next year) and
    a single cylinder bases scrambler.

    I have been dreaming of a new Super Mono for a LONG time!

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “Sometimes, I think the only part of the story you guys read is the picture”

    are we that transparent…? :)

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “Still wondering why they do not replace the ST4S.”

    wonder no more, that categories deader than well… dead. adventure tour’s BMOC (big man on campus).

  17. Rick H says:

    That gets built as shown in the picture and priced at $9k or so and I swear, I’ll be the first in line. Looks like what I’ve been waiting for!