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?

Harley-Davidson To Go Private? – Rumors of KKR Leveraged Buyout Spur Wall Street

03/16/2010 @ 11:23 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Harley Davidson To Go Private?   Rumors of KKR Leveraged Buyout Spur Wall Street Gordon Gekko Wall Street1

Harley-Davidson is all the rage this morning on Wall Street as rumors of the company getting bought out by private equity firm KKR abound. The rumors suggest that Harley-Davidson could be taken into private ownership if KKR’s rumored leveraged buyout (LBO) should materialize. KKR is giving its standard “We don’t comment on deal speculation” reply, while Harley-Davidson reps could not be reached, which makes this rumor hard to confirm. True or not, Wall Street is acting like its the real thing.

Investors on Wall Street seem to be taken the rumor seriously, as Harley-Davidson’s stock is up 6% after being one of the most heavily traded stocks on the New York Stock Exchange today. Adding more fuel to the fire was the increase in calls being made on HOG stock. Calls are basically a contract to purchase a stock made between two parties.

The contract gives a buyer the option to buy a certain amount of stock at certain price by a fixed date in the future, so when traders buy calls, they do so with the hope that the price will continue to rise. Since most of the activity today is in these call options (set to expire in March & April), it suggests that Wall Street sees an immediate gain in Harley stock in the next 30 days or so. Since it’s unlikely that Harley is about to release great financials and sales numbers, the culprit for the trading is surely a buyout rumor.

KKR’s LBO could see the private equity firm buying Harley-Davidson stock at a premium, in an attempt to swallow up the company in one gulp. This scenario would make sense with all the call option purchases, since KKR will have to pay considerably more than the market price to get all of Harley’s stock from its shareholders. These investors are basically betting on this situation coming to fruition, and judging from the activity in the market, the expectation of this occurring is high. Compare that to the fanciful rumor going around about Ducati and Piaggio merging, which still have pegged at not very likely.

Source: Reuters via HFL


  1. Harley-Davidson To Go Private – Rumors of KKR Leveraged Buyout Spur Wall Street – #motorcycle

  2. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Harley-Davidson To Go Private – Rumors of KKR Leveraged Buyout Spur Wall Street – #motorcycle

  3. Harley-Davidson To Go Private? – Rumors of KKR Leveraged Buyout Spur Wall Street – #motorcycle

  4. Not Interested says:

    Seems like KKR wants to get into the clothing business. They sure would not want HD for there aging line of bikes.

  5. Willie says:

    Must be a slow news month in the MOTO world.
    Henry Kravis on a Fatboy ?

  6. Slippery says:

    Its now wonder this country is in the shape it is in. The wall street idiots think HD is a good buy out company. Good God, it will take millions and millions to bring the junk they make up to date much less design a new bike for future younger buyers. The only suckers they have now for there out of date bikes are the 50′s and 60′s crowd who like to play dress up like a pirate and ride around town making noise with no exhaust. I’ll make a bet that they want the trade mark name so they can continue selling the aftermarket products to present Harley owners. They will shut down production or sell the production to China and keep the clothing line and such for themselves. Every Harley rider has to have a window decal, Harley t-shirt, do rag, ash tray, clock and Harley tools. – Morons………..

  7. Willie says:


    Why are you still headlining a “story” from 3/16 ?
    Suggest you report on areas of more salient concern to your readers and avoid speculation about that which you obviously have little knowledge. HOG has always been a volatile stock and has cost many novice traders dearly. Also notice the stock has stalled under dwindling volume since the one day move.
    Playing “rumors” ( a euphemism for planted stories designed to manipulate price movement) nearly always suckers the uninitiated – your readers.

  8. @Reyzie says:

    We might not be so “uninitiated” as our friend Willie says. Most of us dumped Harley stock years ago, seeing the obvious writing on the wall, that Harley corporate somehow missed!? They’re now more upside down (percentage wise) than just about any company in the US!

    Personally, although I saw HD laughing all the way to the bank and would have typically partaken in a little profit taking, I chose NOT to invest in a company that I felt was so detrimental to motorcycling in the US! With HD leading the way, American motorcycle design is the laughing stock of the world! As an American, I personally consider that to absolutely shameful! But I digress…

    And although you’re “head lining” an article from 3/16 as seemingly “old news,” MSN Money Central picked up, today, on a similar story: “5 of the worst corporate boards.” Harley’s on pg 3. Imagine that? See

  9. Knows Better says:

    Anyone who trades in Harley stock is as stupid as the Harley management. HD is a dying company that refuses to step into the 21st century. One look at there advertising and there product line would give any intelligent person a good excuse to ignore the company, its stock and its outdated products. Harley is firmly planted in marketing to the over 50 buyers who like the outlaw image and like to spend money on a “image” and or “lifestyle” and are not very concerned about value for there dollar. Mainly insecure people who like to be seen and heard on a loud and obnoxious motorcycle wrongly thinking that the Harley will buy them some type of respect.

  10. Not Interested in HD says:

    A fool and there money are easily parted.