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 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.

Volkswagen Motorcycle Could be NSU Comeback?

04/15/2010 @ 3:10 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Volkswagen Motorcycle Could be NSU Comeback? nsu bison motorcycle 560x357

This rumor just doesn’t want to die (maybe there’s some truth in it then?), but talk continues about a possible Volkswagen motorcycle. This time the speculation centers around NSU an old german brand that VW bought back in the 1960′s. Known for its wankel-style rotary motors, NSU was the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer in 1955, but sadly went out of business in 1969 when the failing brand (primarily due to its automobile division) was acquired by Volkswagen, never to be seen again or so it would seem.

To us however, this rumor still sounds more like fantasy than plausibility. While there is undoubtedly some interest in a VW motorcycle (although no one seems to be asking if there’s room for another motorcycle company in the industry), and VW’s partnership with Suzuki on small cars for developing nations does lend some weight to the idea that the two manufacturers could conspire further, the idea that Volkswagen would resurrect a brand with little current value with modern day consumers when making a new entry into a new industry is a little baffling.

As such, we’ll file this under idle speculation until we see something more concrete (like trademark registrations). Stay tuned Bavarian fans.

Source: Automobile Magazine via AutoBlog; Photo: Special Shout out to BikeEXIF


  1. Chris Hunter says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Volkswagen Motorcycle Could be NSU Comeback? – #motorcycle

  2. Ken says:

    I hope it is true. An ultra small displacement rotary engine with forced induction would be very frugal in regards to fuel yet provide eye opening performance. The forced induction would be for the lower rpm range for torque primarily; you wouldn’t need much boost for a motorcycle. Intriguing, and competition is always good.

  3. Rob says:

    ^^ Ken, if you knew rotaries, you’d know they are a VERY thirsty breed in terms of fuel consumption. Forced induction will only matters worse. The Wankel is a very cool idea indeed, but I can’t seem to make sense of it on a street bike. Now on a race bike where we could rev it to the moon and no need a bunch of bottom end ooompff…hmmmm it starts to make more sense, especially not needing many rotating parts such as cams etc.

  4. Volkswagen Motorcycle Could be NSU Comeback? – #motorcycle

  5. Bob Pinkett says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Volkswagen Motorcycle Could be NSU Comeback? – #motorcycle

  6. Markus says:

    The bike on top was build from Franz Langer, a little contest between his old 1000 cm³ single and “werners satte literschüssel” author Brösel (comic). I think, at the moment there’s no chance for an vw bike. It would be great, my golf, my vw bike…but there are others problems first, and than invest money in a motorcycle project ;-)

    regards from germany

  7. Matthew says:

    If VW do come out with a bike it won’t be a rotary.

    The point of this exercise if it goes off at all will be going against BMW, so they will probably want something to kill the s1000rr or K/R1300s and GSs.

    I’m betting something based on an existing Suzuki bike (I4s based on the Bandit and Hayabusa, because Suzuki would never put something against their bestselling bikes, then GSX-Rs).

    Now a touring or hyper bike with a small VW 4-banger would be interesting.

  8. @maatmann says:

    Although retired, Ferdinand Piëch is more or less still in charge of Volkswagen Group. He is the man behind acquiring Lamborghini for Audi, establishing Bugatti and purchasing British Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

    He is the architect behind the epic Porsche takeover. All objectives he wrote down 15 yrs ago. There’s only one thing on his “I want”-list: a motorbike company. MV Augusta is still a target. But don’t be surprised VW starts working on the revival of NSU.


    NB: “Stay tuned Bavarian fans” BMW is Bavaria (south). VW is located in the northern part of Germany.

  9. Jackie says:

    I just wish they’d do it, and sell there old Volkswagen GX3 three-wheeler…might not have two wheels, but I’d love to give it a go.