Isle of Man TT Gets TV Deal for Australia & USA

Want to watch the Isle of Man TT from the comfort of your non-British TV, but haven’t been able to in the past? A new TV from the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development will do just that. Inking a new TV contract with North One TV, the Isle of Man TT will be televised in the American, Australian, and of course British markets, making it easier than ever to watch the iconic road race. With a five-year contract with the Velocity Channel in the US, the American cable channel will show seven one-hour race shows. Each segment will air within 24hrs of each race, and be tailored for the American market.

Castiglioni Denies Fiat Buyout of MV Agusta Is in the Works

After reporting 22% growth in Q1 2014, Giovanni Castiglioni had some closing words about the rumors that Fiat could acquire MV Agusta — a popular rumor that has been swirling around in the press the last two months. Denying outright that MV Agusta had, or was in, talks with the Fiat-Chrysler group about an acquisition (some reports linked even MV Agusta to being bought by Fiat-owned Ferrari), Castiglioni said the Italian company solely was focused on building growth, and building motorcycles. “Moreover, I’d like to take this opportunity to deny rumours circulated by the media over the last few days concerning supposed negotiations vis-à-vis the sale of a share of MV Agusta to the Fiat-Chrysler Group,” said Giovanni Castiglioni, the President and CEO of MV Agusta.

A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

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.

2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Breaks Cover

09/09/2013 @ 9:23 pm, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS

2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Breaks Cover image27 635x475

Confirming rumors that Borgo Panigale has been working on a smaller-displacement version of its namesake superbike, and that the machine would have a double-sided swingarm, Ducati debuted today its new “supermid” superbike, the 2014 Ducati 899 Panigale.

Showcased ahead of the IAA International Motor Show, where Ducati will preview its 2014 motorcycle line, the Ducati 899 Panigale features an 898cc Superquadro motor that produces 148hp (73 lbs•ft of torque), a monocoque “frameless” chassis design (372.5 lbs dry), and a bevy of electronics (DQS, DTC, RbW, EBC, & ABS).

Priced at $14,995 (red model) & $15,295 (white model), Ducati hopes that the 899 Panigale will create a more affordable entry for motorcyclists that want to own a Ducati superbike.

Clearly ineligible for any supersport racing class, Ducati’s “supermid” sales pitch is not too dissimilar from the line of reasoning behind the MV Agusta F3 800 — a lightweight, yet stout, sport bike package that street and track riders alike can enjoy.

Claiming more horsepower, less weight, and just as many rider aids, the v-twin Ducati 899 Panigale ticks the right boxes when compared against the three-cylindered MV Agusta F3 800, though the verdict is still out on the bike’s double-sided swingarm, and what that will mean for Ducatisti.

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2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Breaks Cover image34 635x475

2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Breaks Cover image36 635x475

2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Breaks Cover image29 635x475

2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Breaks Cover image30 635x475

2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Breaks Cover image31 635x475

2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Breaks Cover image32 635x475

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Source: Ducati

Comment:

  1. Front Toward Enemy says:

    I must be the only guy on the planet who isn’t a fan of single sided swing arms. Love the new 899.

  2. BBQdog says:

    That’s 168.9 kg dry (Jensen there are some european readers :-)
    Not bad !

  3. Red says:

    Should I trade this with my 848 evo? Think I should give a try

  4. Mariani says:

    At which point should we start comparing this ‘supersport’ with the similarly [lower] priced litre bikes?

    Anyway, it is an interesting package, but for my money I’d have it without any electronic nonsense.
    Lighter, cheaper and pure. I can only wish.

  5. ML says:

    The biggest turn off for me is the lack of SSS and lack of LED lights (the LED’s on the S are the best headlights I’ve had on a bike by a mile. It’s even better than most cars). Glad I got my 1199 S.

  6. Rossopuro says:

    @BBQdog also consider, that weight is with standard ABS! Not bad at all.

  7. smiler says:

    Why would you buy an Japanese Audi?

    http://www.mvagusta.it/en/f3/f3-800

    and it is even cheaper.

    If Ducati were wantng to save money then why go to the significant expense of designing, tooling for and adding a regular swing arm. When they have an item they can take off the shelf. One answer – Audi because a SS is illogical.

  8. TheBrain says:

    Not trading in my 848.

    BBQ, you can turn off all the systems.

    Will observe how this generation develops.

    Glad Ducati made this product

  9. AC says:

    Interesting that the 899 doesn’t have the revised heat shield that the 1199 has. Surely the engine puts out as much heat. That was my only real complaint about the 1199; when you’re stopped you are being cooked.

    Contemplating picking one up, but at $15K it’s dangerously close to a lightly used 2012 base 1199!

  10. Jeram says:

    Wow, you can get an Aprilia RSV4 R APRC for that price, more hp, more torque, perfect handling and only 10kg heavier.

  11. Faust says:

    Buying one. No doubt.

  12. BBQdog says:

    @Rossopuro: indeed, ABS adds about 5 kg to the weight of a motorcycle.

  13. MikeG81 says:

    That’s a nice motorcycle.

  14. Damo says:

    I think the bike looks amazing and the double sided swing was integrated into the lines perfectly. I personally prefer a 180 profile rear tire for quicker turn ins, I rarely (note: never) take 140 mph banked turns.

    Any one dissing on the electronics package and ABS has probably never ridden a bike with either. The Ducati TC system is totally invisible when placed on the correct setting. Also I don’t care if you are Nicky Hayden and Jorge Lorenzo’s love child, you can beat ABS, no matter how awesome you think you ride.

    @smiler

    The reason people wouldn’t buy and MV despite the fact that they are nice looking high performance bikes, is that MV dealer network and customer service support in North America is laughable at best and regularly horrific. Several folks I have chatted with from the UK express the same opinion, maybe you live next to an MV dealer I don’t know. I have yet to see anything made by MV that would hold up to the volume of riding I do per year. The Japanese Audi comment is just plain ignorant and unintelligent.

  15. smiler says:

    Any dealer worth his salt will supply a 180 section tire. If you need one.
    Do you know it is the same TC system, and why does anyone need ABS on a bike with 148BHP? Still easily crash with ABS. Better to be a good rider.
    I have had an MV for 3 yeras. First service for free. All very good.

    As for your ignorant comment about MV milage. I would love to see you do extensive milage on a Panigale, if nothing else becausde of the riding position. And how does 20k miles per annum.

    The 899 looks like something that the Japanese would make, no real distinguishing features – bland. Asd for ignorant. I have been riding for 25 years, on both Japanese and Italian bikes, so I think I have a valid opinion!!!! Ducati you have just been Audi’ed.

  16. SquidleyMcSquidson says:

    Smiler, nothing you say makes sense. What does BHP have to do with braking? Are you trying to suggest that with 148hp it’s not possible to enter a braking zone fast enough to benefit from abs? Because you’d be wrong. Nobody has ever said that rider aids replace rider skill, but they do help. Just because you’ve been riding “for years” doesn’t make the things you say make sense. There would be zero reason to buy an F3 800 over this bike other than to get a bike that looks the same as an F4 did in 1999. Yeah, really innovative MV. Maybe Ducati should just remake the 916 with a new frame and engine every few years and keep the body work.

  17. Shawn says:

    I don’t care one ounce that it doesn’t have an SSS. This bike looks beautiful and is mechanically just as good or better than the if it had an SSS.

  18. Grimey Benson says:

    @Smiler

    Yeah, I am going to go ahead and call you out for your claim of 2ok miles a year on your MV. You were just in another thread saying you only had 8,000 kilometers (4971 miles) on your bike the other day.

  19. Spiffster says:

    Leave to the Italians… Hot-damn that thing is gorgeous.

  20. Variable says:

    If Honda came out with a bike that had these same exact performance numbers, same swing arm, same electronics package and was at the same price point with an RC name…. People would hail it as the second coming. The fact that people have so much negativity bias towards this bike is hard to understand. This bike is a solid package. Haters gonna hate.

  21. Scott says:

    I like what they’ve done with the bike for the most part. I even think the double-sided swingarm was done very nicely. Sure, it’s not as exotic looking as the 1199, but that’s okay if you are going for mass market appeal. Going to the Showa BPF is cool, that system has a great reputation. The new seat looks much better than the terrible stock one on the 1199, and the change to the brakes shouldn’t cause any harm.

    Really the only things I don’t like are the change to the display, and the rear suspension. The shock looks awfully cheap, and making the linkage progressive-only doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. The 1199 is better in flat-rate configuration by far, especially for track or fast road riding. I’ve been riding one since December, so I have experience with both configurations. That is also the general consensus on the 1199 forums.

    The big issue is have with the 899 is the price versus the number of spec reductions. $15k seems like a big ask versus the base 1199 at $18k. If they had kept it at $14k, it would be more attractive. At $13k, I bet they would fly out the door.

  22. Norm G. says:

    Q: “why does anyone need ABS on a bike with 148BHP?”

    BETTER Q: why does a CBR250 need ABS?

    A: because of a forthcoming euro mandate in like 2015/2016.

  23. Norm G. says:

    re: “If they had kept it at $14k, it would be more attractive.”

    to whom…?

    re: “At $13k, I bet they would fly out the door.”

    yep, along with all the cash used to pay worker’s wages, process warranty claims, keep the lights on at your local dealership, upgrade computer systems, float crates across an ocean, develop new product so you may be yet again dazzled in the future, etc.

    where do you think the money (ie. fuel) to perpetuate this cycle comes from…? lets just say, it ain’t bank loans…?! it comes from YOU.

    no free lunch.

  24. Scott says:

    re: “no free lunch”

    I’m speaking from the perspective from someone who bought an 1199, I’m not looking for a free lunch. I also understand economics, and that Ducati needs the bike to be profitable. I’m just saying that with only a $3k price difference between the two bikes, it’s not a terribly attractive value proposition with all of the component downgrades on the 899. By all means, if you still want an 899 at $15k over a used 1199 at about the same or a new one at $18k, buy one! It’ll probably be brilliant.

  25. Aaron says:

    @Scott:

    Scott, I have to agree with you; it is ridiculous that the display and rear suspension linkage are not being offered from the 1199 and I thought this as soon as the pics were released, especially when there is only 3K price difference. In additional to those two items you will be conceding a more expensive single sided swing arm, a larger displacement engine, and brakes. All of the latter items and more that I did not list are understandable.
    As a perspective buyer, that is my position.

    With that being said, I am looking forward to the ride reviews of this beautiful motorcycle. I believe that this bike is definitely built for the road and seems as though it should be a road friendly Ducati; given the fact that it is comes with a 180 section rear tire, an aggressive 44 tooth rear sprocket, a more comfortable seat, and a progressive rear suspension setting. I hope that they are not compensating for a fueling/throttle response issue with the 44 tooth rear sprocket.

  26. Rawdzll says:

    Without the SSS or LED lights it has definitely lost some style points.
    Kinda Looks like an R6 and a 954 fireblade got drunk one night and 9 months later…

  27. Fed-up says:

    I’ve been a Ducati owner for 14 years. What pieces of junk they are building since the 998 series.

  28. Damo says:

    @Fed-up

    Yeah gods forbid they make more reliable bikes, with longer service intervals and new technology.

  29. mikeylikesit says:

    The 15k price point vs. 14k or 13k has to be because the 899 has a fuel gauge. Am I the only one who thinks the lack of fuel gauge on the 1199 is ridiculadunk? Reminds me of years ago when the gas gauge on my VW went out and I was constantly checking the trip meter.