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 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.

Vyrus 986 M2 – Soon to Infect Moto2 & Showroom Floors

01/13/2011 @ 7:16 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Vyrus 986 M2   Soon to Infect Moto2 & Showroom Floors Vyrus 986 M2 Moto2 concept 635x424

You remember Vyrus right? The company that makes the Vyrus 987 C3 4V…the Bimota Tesi look-alike with a Ducati 1198 motor, hub-steering, and a supercharger? Not willing to rest on its laurels as having “the most powerful production motorcycle in the world” (211hp gets you that title), the small Italian boutique firm seems set to enter Moto2 racing with its new Vyrus 986 M2 race bike, whose preliminary concept photo has just leaked out of the Rimini factory.

Taking the idea of prototype racing to its fullest dimension with its hub-center steering design, perhaps the only thing more exciting than the prospect of seeing a few of these Vyrus 986 M2′s at 18 of motorcycling’s best venues, is the prospect that a road-based version of the machine could be siting in our garage later this year (assuming we could afford such things). Details after the jump.

Like all Moto2 class machines, the Vyrus 986 M2 is based around a Honda CBR600RR motor, but will be the only bike on the Moto2 grid to feature hub-steering. While Vyrus says the new 986 M2 will be an affordable option for Moto2 teams, the company also has plans to take the bike to the consumers (likely with some modification to get around the “prototype” requirement in Moto2), offering a road bike version available for purchase.

This news makes us especially excited for the uniquely styled 600cc machine, and with a March 2011 delivery date on the road version, we’re surprised Vyrus has been able to keep this project under wraps for this long.

Scheduled to debut at the Verona show on January 21, 2011, we’ll have more info on this dream machine in a couple of weeks.

Source: Moto.it & OmniMoto.it

Comment:

  1. 76 says:

    Awesome news, hope they can can make the start and become competitive. Would really put the motorcycle world on its head

  2. Brammofan says:

    Hub steering… wow. I had to google that just to educate myself. There are some good youtube vids that show it in action. Seems to make a lot of sense but obviously not in use by many (if any?) major manufacturers.

  3. A couple manufacturers have played around with it, the Yamaha GTS1000 comes to mind. The generally consensus seems to be that the cost outweighs the benefits, but that is also coming from companies that have a financial interest in Öhlins and Showa, so…

  4. hoyt says:

    Very Nice.
    Prototype racing to its “fullest dimension” with a spec engine from 1 OEM? Any word on Moto2 allowing other manufacturers to enter their engines in the coming years?

  5. Keith says:

    Hoyt, I would have to say it DOES make sense. As far as drivetrains go and in spite of traction control, instant shift gear boxes and dual clutches there isn’t a whole lot new. Currently our power trains are well ahead of the chassis, suspension and brakes. So what’s wrong with Moto2 providing a competative venue to accelerate research? I like the Vyrus and it’s hubless steering.

  6. hoyt says:

    Keith, you state there isn’t a whole lot new. How is there going to be anything new with one manufacturer?

    accelerate research? Engines and chassis get developed together, not in silos. Your logic suggests engineers will learn everything they need to from the inline 4. It is bad enough motorcycles are primarily developed around one front-end design, the tele.

    Yamaha is only into their 3rd retail year of the cross-plane crank engine. What if they combined that with staggered pistons (e.g. Horex’s VR6) so their 4 is the size of a triple? The chassis now has more options.

    Aprilia is only into their 3rd racing season with a brand new v4.

    Sure, these companies can develop in the GP class but a lot of innovation comes from small companies with smaller engines. Let there be choices across various classes so more players can contribute new designs. Plus, supporting a full-on prototype GP class with a class that uses one engine from one manufacturer doesn’t jive.

    I think the Vyrus is great too and hope Martin Wimmer’s team gets their front-end on the grid this year. The more the merrier, so why stop at a CBR 600?

  7. “companies that have a financial interest in Öhlins and Showa”

    I am pretty sure that Yamaha sold it’s interest in Ohlins back to the company, although Honda still owns Showa.

    Hub center steering is probably still just a gimmicky thing and probably not a real improvement over telescopic forks. Even BMW decided to go with telescopic forks for their s1000rr, even though they had a lot of development in their Telelever and Paralever Systems.

    Although it’s good to see companies thinking outside the box, I don’t see a bunch of Moto2 teams jumping on board until it’s proven, which means Vyrus better have a deep war chest to go racing to prove their ideas are better than the norm

  8. Tom says:

    I like the different engineering that I’m seeing these days, but I have to take issue with the names. Motus, Vyrus, Motoczysz, etc. None of them roll off the tongue in a “cool” or endearing manner. Maybe someday some with get a Vyrus tattoo to show their devotion, but I’m just not feeling it.

  9. ds says:

    BMW went w/a tele front because the tele is most widely accepted, but it is not necessarily the best engineered solution

  10. froryde says:

    DROOL! Might have to sell the Tesi 3D to get this one!

  11. “BMW went w/a tele front because the tele is most widely accepted, but it is not necessarily the best engineered solution”

    According to a BMW developer of the S100RR they said they tried the telelever, but for the best lap time, the telescopic fork was best. Also said was that the Duolever system results in too long of a wheelbase for racing. Also said, the natural braking dive of the telescopic fork “changes the steering angle and the trail, and riders find that leads to ease of turning, at race pace” This was from the latest edition of Roadracing World. While there may be other engineering solutions to the front end of the motorcycle, manufacturers have had almost 80 years to develop a new design, but have not. They have chosen to evolve the conventional fork. Probably for good reason

  12. ds says:

    I agree with most of those points but there are other designs in addition to the BMW version of the telelever and duolever. There are other factors at play too:

    racers will always prefer the tele because that is all they know & have known (for the time being).

    80 yrs ago, the tele was revolutionary and was the best so other designs did not seriously emerge until the 80s. Look at the results of designs like the RADD & 6x Flex with a fraction of the development time compared to the tele. Incidentally, the latter designs do incorporate some telescoping action to include some dive.

  13. ds says:

    …and the duolever and telelevers do not include dive (as far as I know)

  14. ds says:

    oops…telelever does include dive. BMW’s version of that setup has been fairly heavy so that wouldn’t have been included on a bike like the 1000RR anyway