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.

Harley-Davidson Working on A Liquid-Cooled V4 Engine?

04/20/2009 @ 10:14 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Harley Davidson Working on A Liquid Cooled V4 Engine? harley davidson vrsc night rod special ld 560x373

There’s a rumor going around that Harley-Davidson is working on a water-cooled, four cylinder, v-twin motor with a displacement somewhere between 1,300cc and 1,600cc. The good, the bad, and the ugly after the jump.

 

Supposedly, the heads of the motor are set at 72º, which is halfway between the bulkier but smoother running 90º setup, and the more traditional 45º setup used on the current Harley Twin Cam and Evo engines. What is especially interesting about this rumor is that each crankshaft throw is to be split 18oº either side of the throw centerline, so that the resulting piston configuration emulates a 90º engine. This arrangement could be in an effort to retain the “Harley” sound of the bike, which the company once tried to trademark.

It seems hard to imagine  how this rumor could be true if the final application of the motor is to be on a Harley-Davidson cruiser. A complete departure from an air-cooled, v-twin motor is sure to sour the taste with many die hard Harley riders. However, we can perhaps see this application in a “sportier” cruiser model, similar to the V-Rod, that is aimed to extend Harley’s product line beyond its current loyal fan base. This notion is something the company should seriously consider doing, but so far has had a less than stellar time achieving with the VRSC model line. The brand extension is more palatable, but would still be a big step for the Milwaukee based manufacturer, who had an up-hill battle when simply proposing the Porsche design V-Rod motor.

What we’re more inclined to believe is that the motor could be destined for a different mark under Harley’s control, either Buell or a new brand of motorcycle not yet disclosed. Time will tell both if this rumor should pane out to be truth, and what the final details are. 

Source: Moto123

Comment:

  1. Alex says:

    The engine definitely doesn’t jibe with anything currently under the HD umbrella. Though it sounds like an engine that would be well suited to a bike that would compete against the Moto Guzzi Griso, but i’m not sure who would build it.

  2. [...] While it’s a rumor If it pans out I may be interested in buying my first Harley. I guess eventually they’ve seen the loss in sales even with the Vrod. I hope it is true personally. Harley-Davidson Working on A Liquid-Cooled V4 Engine? – Asphalt & Rubber [...]

  3. capester says:

    It’s about time Harley thought about upgrading the v twin slug.V-Rod was a step in the right direction. A v-4 would bring them more in line to the 21 century in power and looks.

  4. John says:

    Bring them into the 21st Century in power and looks? Are you outta your frickin mind? My V-Twin Bagger has more than enough power with over 100hp & 100 ft lb of torque. As far as looks go, they don’t need to change that either. You guys must be in diapers and like plastic. Leave our baggers alone!

  5. Tom says:

    I have always liked the feeling of power from a motorcycle when you pin the throttle open on a long straightway. It’s hard to duplicate that in a car. I would always like to have more power, even through I only use it every once in a while. That’s the main reason I ride. I’m a older rider, but I still like to romp down on the throttle every now and then and row thru the gears. A “V” four Harley Cruser…….WOW…….170 ponies…..WOW……I could go for that!!!

    Sign me up!!!

  6. g.a. says:

    This is true.I have seen cad drawings for castings for a harley v 4.

  7. lago says:

    “water-cooled, four cylinder, v-twin”

    A 4 cylinder v-twin? I think someone needs a better editor.

  8. dalvir singh says:

    its good . plz try to set wthe wankel engine with harly’s bike. it will thunder nad rocking.

  9. gilbos440rt says:

    Harley already built a V-4 back in the late 70′s early 80′s and was ready to produce them when AMF pulled out, rumors always been that the engineers from the NOVA Project (the code name for the HD V-4) migrated to the tuning fork company and the V-Max grew out of the HD design. ;)

  10. It is necessary for H-D to have new products – no, new and improved products, in its line up. So a V-4 would make sense in the current market. I have 3 older big twins and will always prefer them. But welcome new products & technology. It was good to see H-D build and market the Evo in the mid 80′s, it caught up to the technology of the 60′s. And the Twin Cam has helped it catch up to the technology of the 80′s. It is a fact that other companies have better engineered the V-Twin engine, both import and domestic. There will always be a loyal customer base for the big air cooled twins and I’m among them.
    And to grab customers at an earlier age it would also help the company to reintroduce something along the line of their discontinued 45 cu. in. model, but with their newer engine designs; a lot of the younger riders have no choice but to buy an import for their 1st and 2nd bikes.

  11. Daron Oneil says:

    To me it sounds like a bunch of Buell. Why in the heck would anyone make a rumor like this? Harley has been making it with the traditional V twin forever and forever it will be. Who thinks that the cruise and slightly sporty bike company would be going for an unaffordable performance four. What happened with the XR’s with an extra carb etc. , good seller no more expensive yes. Its not a new concept. Multi cylinder bikes have been around for years. I believe that if a production four cylinder Hog it would already be. This is not the first time this rumor has been out and I am quite sure that it will come around again and again throughout years to come. The ones that are custom made are just two motors slapped together no great feat but a show stopper. Too bulky and heavy to be practical. I myself think that the engines will continue to get bigger and so will the bike, being scaled up to massive sizes. How is that for a new rumor.

  12. Branscom says:

    The Harley Davidson V rod would not have been such a tough sell if they had just left the cooling fins ON the engine.
    The Kawasaki 1500 V twin was liquid cooled and they kept the cooling fins on. No one even thought about the fact it was Liquid cooled .

  13. Big D says:

    I was under the impression that the NOVA project is what was handed over to porschce
    when creating the VROD??

    FYI I have rode all,

    Pan – evo and the only thing I miss having a VRSCDX is the good old sound.
    That is the only thing. The Power out of the 1250 vrod is an amazing machine on its own. the great step in the “future” of how things should come. I do believe they should have an option for the air cooled engine or just a air cooled engine line. Here in California with all the crap we have to deal with on the Air Quality Board. the polution control of the air cooled motors is the problem. unless they redesign them to put out alot less emitions looks like the vrod engine is the future engine.

    My opinion of course.

  14. James says:

    I was in our local Harley shop recently and the salesman asked what he had to do to get me on a Harley. I told him that they needed to build a “double V-rod” 4 cylinder and put it in a touring cruiser chassis with all the bells and whistles. He said that I wasn’t very far off of a future development. I grew up on Honda CB 4 cylinders and I find I need a little more bang for my buck than a V-twin (ANY V-TWIN) can give me. Within the next 5 years I will be dropping big cash on a new bike and it will NOT be a V-twin. I’m not impressed with Yamaha’s failure to fuel inject and upgrade the Royal Star so if no one else buils a bigger 4 banger, I’ll be buying a Triumph Rocket III. I love the look of Harley’s bikes but if they want to continue their supremecy of the American market they need to start looking to please people like me. I want to ride an American made bike, but I refuse to give up performance and longevity for patriotism. Come on Harley, build a bike for ME and I’ll pay whatever it takes.