MV Agusta F3 800 Ago Now Officially Debuts

We already announced the bike last November, and brought you a bevy of hi-res images of the special edition machine. Although now that we think of it, MV Agusta never released anything on this Giacomo Agostini tribute motorcycle — better late than never, right? Back at the EICMA show launch, where the MV Agusta F3 800 Ago was first shown to the public (and Agostini himself), the Varese brand promised us two additional motorcycle launches in early 2014. MV Agsuta made good on half that promise with the Dragster 800 model, hopefully this Ago special edition isn’t the other half of that statement, and MV Agusta still has something waiting in the wings. That being said, the Tricolore & Gold paint scheme is gorgeous, and looks even better in person.

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 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.

Arete Americana’s Ducati 999 CF

07/03/2013 @ 12:24 pm, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

Arete Americanas Ducati 999 CF arete americana ducati 999 cf 31 635x424

It might not have been the sales disaster that many make it out to have been, but Pierre Terblanche’s Ducati 999  remains one of the most controversial machines ever to come out of Borgo Panigale. However, the more we look at the 999′s staked-headlight and double-sided swingarm design, two of the biggest design elements that Ducatisti took umbrage with at the bike’s launch, the more we think that the Ducati 999 Superbike will become a collector’s classic, and stand as a unique time in the Italian brand’s history.

So, it warms out hearts to see that there are people out there still building off of Terblanche’s work, and one of them is Bryan Petersen at Arete Americana and his Ducati 999 CF. Sporting a tail and tank from Radical Ducati (Arete Americana is the North American distributor for the Spanish firm), along with a singe-sided swingarm conversion from an 848, the Ducati 999 CF is our kind of custom: subtle, yet to the point, and Arete Americana has ensured that all the right go-fast bits were included in the build.

Helping give the bike its name, the Arete Americana Ducati 999 CF has carbon fiber fairings from Ducati Performance, while the RAD solo-seat is self-supporting and is too made from carbon fiber. Titanium bits abound, including a titanium steering stem nut. Petersen also built a custom one-off exhaust for their Ducati 999 CF build, which sneaks out underneath the lower fairing, and features individual tubes for each cylinder.

Arete Americana Ducati 999 CF Technical Specifications:

  • Ducati Superbike 999R frame
  • Brembo RCS masters
  • HP race rotors
  • 32/36 billet machined monoblock radical calipers
  • 34mm billet machined endurance rear caliper w/custom mount
  • TOBY steering damper
  • Ohlins FGRT210 30mm Front end
  • Ohlins 1098s rear shock w/DP adjuster
  • Forged Aluminum Marchesini wheels
  • One-off 57mm stainless exhaust w/SLR style outlet
  • 848 Swingarm
  • Yoyodyne slipper clutch
  • Rizoma clutch and sprocket cover color matched to the machined case covers
  • One-off Carbon fairings
  • Custom Radical Ducati carbon tank
  • Self-supporting Carbon solo tail (weighing 2lbs)
  • Custom carbon seat pan with leather and suede double-stitched seat held down by 8 custom made, color-matched grommets
  • Ti everything

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Source: Arete Americana (Facebook) via il Ducatista


  1. Shawn says:

    I always thought that the 999 was an unfortunately maligned bike. Pictures really didn’t do it justice – it was one of those bikes that truly looked better up close and in person. I think you’re prediction may become true; that the 999 will eventually become a collectible.

    As for this custom, I’m not sure what I think. From certain angles, the rear end looks too truncated for me. But I appreciate that someone had the grapes to take one of the red-headed step-children of the Ducati lineup and try to do something special with it. Personally, I think ALL Ducati flagship superbikes should be built with single-sided swingarms. It really should be some sort of Italian law.

  2. Aj says:

    If the bike had shipped like that, it would have changed everything. It’s beautiful.

  3. jet057 says:

    A true mind blower,just awesome.I want one.

  4. Norm G. says:

    the mkI bikes (like the yellow in the background) were the uglies. the mkII bikes had a lot of the stying deficiencies sorted. the front fender, the slits in the upper, the kit swingarm, blackedout subframe, red mainframe etc. there was really nothing wrong with the tank/tail combo. ducatisti know what i’m talkin’ bout.

  5. Nice to see that Pepo got so much mileage from that fuel tank. Still the nicest one I did.

  6. hipsabad says:

    Single-sided swingarms increase unsprung weight in the rear merely for visual fashion; not the kind of suspension engineering i want to pay for.

  7. shabazz says:

    Uhlarik, tell us all about the other fantastic things you’ve done! You’re the Kanye West of motorcycling.

  8. JoeD says:

    @hipsabad-Thank You Sir! Anchor that wheel/drive assembly properly with the double arm. Even better if steel and braced ala Benelli.(I’m partial with a Café Racer in the flock). What is in use for MotoGP? I have admired the 999 since Day 1 and they are gorgeous in person. Black is especially sinister and appealing.

  9. Adam says:

    My first and only bike is a black 06 749. Loved the bike the first time I saw it. Only problem was the muffler but that can be changed with a spark exhaust. The only one that resembles and is as clean as the termi race kit. As with most bikes people either love them or hate them, personally I think the current R1 is the most hideous thing out there at the moment. Stacked headlights… I guess we forget a few model years of gsxr’s also had stacked headlights. Interesting take on this model, looks good but the tail is a bit small to me, makes the bike look front heavy.

  10. trojanhorse says:

    @hipsabad not true. Several advantages including ease of rear-wheel removal, no alignment necessary, ease of chain slack adjustment. All of which are quite nice to have on a streetbike, having had one (and not caring very much about the visuals) I much prefer them.

  11. Westward says:

    Absolutely brilliant, I want one in a 749, and that tail light and turn signals are perfect. I love it, also, I always liked the Pierre Terblanche’s Ducati superbike design.

  12. alexsss says:

    nice, a tail which actually causes drag and makes you so slower so you can look like some kind of design challenged stunter + paint that’s never seen a hard days ride

    It looks nice tho

  13. paulus says:

    It looks great at every angle EXCEPT any that show the stacked lights.
    I don’t have a problem with stacked lights (Busa’s and GSXR’s look fine) but these just always looked like after thoughts…

    Nice special, lots of work put into it. Big respect for that.

  14. TexusTim says:

    single sided swingarm came about as a way to give room to route the exaust, it gives little to no advantage to weight or tracktability, yes I guess it’s easier to remove the rear wheel but thats not why they did it……is that what they say at the dealership ? isnt a swingarm sprung weight ? and it’s def not rotating mass so not a huge help here and in certain areas of force may actully hurt not help the handling..if it twist in the rear even a minor faction it will transfer that to the front end…sound familiar ?

  15. trojanhorse says:

    TexusTim I don’t need to rely on a dealership; I work in the industry, and you’re wrong. Spend 5 minutes googling “Honda Elf endurance” and you’ll learn that the SSSA was developed for ease of rear-wheel removal during endurance race pit stops. Also, that a swingarm is unsprung weight.

    It’s generally a good idea, when telling others they’re wrong in a belittling way, to actually know what you’re talking about.

  16. onespeedpaul says:

    @trojanhorse having owned a few I would disagree on your points for these reasons: The rear wheel is no easier to remove or install when you factor in the special brace that sometimes still doesen’t work to hold the wheel still while trying to apply the required amount of torque to hold that single nut. Chain slack is a bigger difficulty factoring in the special spanner required to turn the eccentric and more importantly that your ride height and suspension adjustments should also change when the eccentric is moved from it’s previously set position.

    Single sided rear arms (the arm as well as the eccentric and wheel all together) will never have a strength to weight ratio as good as a dual sided setup. And if it did, it would still suffer from the issue of having to readjust the ride height/suspension settings any time it is moved.

  17. trojanhorse says:

    @onespeedpaul, you make a good point, the rear nut does require a lot of torque and a very large socket/wrench.

    However I’ve never needed a special brace, but always just activated the rear brake to hold the wheel. And for my bike, the eccentric adjustment tool was included in its toolkit, and could be substituted with a simple drift or even a flathead screwdriver – the eccentric was just a notched ring like the one on a shock that adjusts spring preload.

    Readjusting ride height is inconvenient but infrequent, only necessary when chain slack is adjusted. Much more inconvenient (for me) is aligning the rear wheel every time it’s removed on a double-sider, because swingarm alignment marks are very inaccurate and to get a true alignment you need something better like a jig, which is a pain in the ass to use.

    I agree with you that the strength to weight ratio of double-siders is always better. But like anything in engineering there is a tradeoff. Personally I am willing to accept a slightly heavier swingarm for the advantages (to me) of a single-sider. You obviously have a different point of view, which is fine.

  18. Grimey Benson says:


    Apparently you can just wind tunnel that bike in your mind?

    Seriously though, bike looks amazing and I never understood why the 99 got so much hate. It is one of my personal favorite Ducs.

  19. Mitch says:

    I wonder how well that exhaust works as 1. there is no can at all and 2. the piping is now much shorter which has negative effects.

    Love the look though, even as stated that the tail would create more drag.

    SSSA will always introduce a little compromise that a dual sided arm won’t have to deal with.

  20. Mike Nailwood says:

    Yeah, lets pick apart the single sided swingarm some more, because nobody cares about what a Ducati looks like right?

    Sheesh, we all know that it’s all about functional utility with Italian bikes right? I mean, why did they even bother?

    Maybe it has something to do with the bike looking about 200% better with it, or the fact that the bikes performance probably doesn’t suffer one whit as a result of having it, you think?

  21. Norm G. says:

    re: “But like anything in engineering there is a tradeoff.”

    same as life… no free lunch. natural law this.

    re: “I don’t have a problem with stacked lights (Busa’s and GSXR’s look fine)”

    busa’s and gsxrs aren’t simple stacked projector beams that look like something somebody building a streetfighter in their shed would do with a set of PIAA’s. the design was a cop out.

  22. Doug says:

    Norm…one of the very few times I disagree with your comments.

    The stacked headlights were inspired by old freight trains. To their own, but the stacked headlight is very cool, especially in person.

    A black frame with a black fairing is still one of the finest stock Ducati’s made in the last decade. Aftermarket pipes are necessary as that box is awful.