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: New Kawasaki ZX-14 Facelift Coming This Month? Supercharged Hypersport Later?

08/11/2011 @ 11:59 am, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Rumor: New Kawasaki ZX 14 Facelift Coming This Month? Supercharged Hypersport Later? Kawasaki Ninja ZX 14 635x484

Rumors are swelling around the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 (the Kawasaki ZZR1400 for friends on the other side of the pond). First up is that a new updated Kawasaki ZX-14 is set to debut by the end of the month. Expected to be only a cosmetic makeover, the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14 will mechanically be the same as the current model.

Looking farther down the pipe though, it would seem from reports and patents that Kawasaki has been eyeing putting a supercharger on the hypersport machine, presumably to better position the ZX-14 against the increasingly more powerful 1,000 superbikes, like the company’s on 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R.

According to MCN, at least four patents have been published that show Kawasaki working on a supercharger system for a motorcycle that looks like the ZX-14/ZZR1400. Additionally according to Visordown, the model revamp is now just weeks away, and will feature few, if any, mechanical changes. With that information in mind, it’s not clear when the supercharged hypersport will be out, though it would make sense that the model is one or two more model years down the pipe from where we are now.

The Kawasaki ZX-14′s revamping adds weight to the idea that this upcoming update is a precursor to the bike being replaced, with the cosmetic changes being made to help move remaining bikes off dealer floors more quickly. That line of reasoning is supported by the lack of mechanical changes, which suggest Kawasaki doesn’t want to invest more money and time into the ZX-14, and instead just wants to see a sales boost from customers.

While forced induction is commonplace in the automobile realm, the idea has never permeated motorcycles with great expanse. In a market segment fueled by outright performance, but not stifled by racing homologation, the idea of turbochargers and superchargers making their way onto hypersport machines seems more like a matter of “when”, and not a matter of “if”. Considering motorcycle manufacturers can more easily bump up model performance figures with forced induction, there’s another incentive for manufacturers to go down this route. If true, it will be interesting to see how this changes the hypersport marketplace.

Source: Visordown & MCN

Comment:

  1. BBQdog says:

    The front looks a bit like those multi-eyed fish Bart Simpson is fishing out of one of those nuclear polluted ponds of Mr Burns.

  2. kevin says:

    What was the last turbo or supercharged bike to be produced for North America.

    I remember a friend having a turbo seca.

    And you’re right, with such an emphasis on performance from not only the supersport machines but also in other segments (power cruisers) I’m surprised we haven’t seen much forced induction.

  3. Klotz says:

    “to better position the ZX-14 against the increasingly more powerful 1,0000 superbikes”

    Wow! Where do I find one of these 10,000 cc bikes? Must accelerate something fierce

  4. BikePilot says:

    Sweet! Forced induction makes great sense. I think if it weren’t for out-dated raceing regs that most all performance street bikes would be forced induction – just a great way of getting more power and wider power curve from a smaller, lighter package. Its been a huge boon to cages, PWCs and sleds. Kawak has the 300hp Ultra 150 blower in its back pocket…

  5. Bruce Monighan says:

    I like the looks of that teaser photo. If they are going for a more rounded look it would be a welcome design relief from the “copy me” angles that have been around for years

  6. Hayabrusa says:

    I’m with BikePilot – SWEEEEET!!!! I’m drooling already! Having owned 2 Hayabusa’s, I can only wish that Suzuki is thinking the same thing.

  7. MikeD says:

    Like BikePilot already said…they are forehead deep with forced induction (Ultra 250X, 260X & 300X) and the last one is a BEAST…a Blown ZX-14 ? BRING IT…U won’t hear me complaining.

    Suzuki…did u hear that ? Get to work.
    Bring back the Stratosphere Concept with the I-6, Supercharge it and put it into production…and dump that Horrid B-King Lump.

    And Honda should produce the Evo 6 and blow it too.

  8. MikeD says:

    Just a crazy idea…how about going back to 1200cc but blown ? Just saying…lol (^_^ )

  9. sunstroke says:

    I’d be more interested to see what forced induction could do for low displacement models. The thought of a 300lb 80hp-100hp supercharged Kawasaki ZX-5R is salivating.

  10. jeram says:

    @sunstroke,

    80-100 hp from a supercharged 500cc inline 4?
    id be expecting that from a naturally aspirated bike.

    andw this supercharged 1400 shouldnt be anything new for kawasaki,

    the supercharge these hypersport motors in their jet skis :)

  11. AK says:

    @Kevin

    Honda CX 500T is also a turbo production bike.

  12. mxs says:

    Yes we need more supercharged superbikes (eye roll) …. because that’s what sells, right?

  13. Keith says:

    hmmmm, GSXR750T. Yeah I could enjoy that. Especially if they go with the aerocharger turbo…constant boost almost zero lag.

  14. Desert Hawk says:

    Rumor: New Kawasaki ZX-14 Facelift Coming This Month? Supercharged Hypersport Later? – http://aspha.lt/rb #motorcycle

  15. mugget says:

    Awesome. It has always been my goal to own a turbo bike, plenty of people building turbo Hayabusas. But factory super charger, that would be good. No need to spend thousands of dollars on top of the bike. And now that the bike world is catching up with the car world as far as flashing ECUs etc. it should just be a matter of upping the boost for more power. Nice.

  16. carboncanyon says:

    Hmmm the current ZX-14 reminds me of a cross between an orca and Waternoose from Monsters, Inc.

  17. BikePilot says:

    Turbo tech is at a place now where it just makes so much sense, not only for boosting peak hp, but for creating a wide, fat power curve. Look at the current direct injection, turbocharged motors from Ford, BMW, Kia/Hyundai, Audi, etc. All making great power, light packages and super-wide power curves.

    A DI, turbo’d ~600cc, 300lbs supermoto single would be awesome. Something like this should allow KTM SMR990-like power in a package no heavier or more bulky than a 690 duke.

  18. Shaitan says:

    Two of my riding buddies have older ZX-14′s and I’ve ridden them; they’re rather understated in their overkill nature — so smooth you don’t know you’re doing triple digits in 2nd. Great bikes, but I don’t want one because I live it a place where my 140hp bike is already overkill. I’d rather see supercharging smaller displacement bikes, because the ZX-14 is hardly underpowered, and I can NEVER enjoy it’s full supercharged awesomeness because cops would definitely see the dimensional warping it would cause. That said, for the sake of absurd fun, I hope Kawi does make the ZX a total uncompromising beast!

  19. MikeD says:

    August 31th…and no word about it. LMAO. Oh, well there’s always Intermot and or Milan.