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.

Moto2 & Moto3 Silly Season Updates: Herrin & Zarco to Caterham, Honda’s Moto3 Plans, Rins’ Moto2 Option

10/01/2013 @ 2:13 pm, by David Emmett9 COMMENTS

Moto2 & Moto3 Silly Season Updates: Herrin & Zarco to Caterham, Hondas Moto3 Plans, Rins Moto2 Option Honda NSF250R Moto3 race bike 635x423

More changes are afoot in the Moto2 and Moto3 field for next season. With the lack of any American talent coming through from the support classes – despite the outstanding results of Joe Roberts in both the Red Bull Rookies Cup and in AMA Supersport, and the clear talent of riders such as Cameron Beaubier and Jake Gagne – the news that Josh Herrin is to race in Moto2 in 2014 will be well received.

Herrin announced the news himself on Sunday night, after wrapping up the 2013 AMA Superbike championship, defeating three-time champion Josh Hayes to do so.

Herrin had been refused to answer questions on who he had signed with, but informed paddock gossip suggested that Herrin had signed with the new Caterham Moto2 squad. Caterham, which is linked to the F1 team of the same name, and races with backing from Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, will race a Suter chassis next season, and will see Frenchman Johann Zarco race alongside Herrin in Moto2.

Herrin’s switch to Moto2 had been in some doubt, as there were question marks in the paddock over both Herrin’s outright ability and the sponsorship he would bring to the team. The AMA Superbike title helped remove one of those question marks, and the fact that Herrin is signed must mean that the other has also been removed.

In Moto3, there is more and more confirmation that Honda will be building a high-powered engine to defeat KTM. There had been a fierce internal debate inside HRC over whether to spend the money necessary to beat KTM at their own game, as the cost of the actual engine will be vastly more than the 12,000 euro price cap in Moto3.

However, facing humiliation at the hands of KTM – who have found other ways to pass on the costs, hiding engine development costs in the price of a complete bike package – Honda has decided to act.

To defeat KTM, they will also need a winning team, and that team will be the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team of Alex Rins and Alex Marquez.

The team, run by Monlau, the organization behind Marc Marquez and Maria Herrera’s Spanish championship team, will make the switch to Honda for 2014, and take on the KTMs. With Rins and Marquez being two of the top favorites for the 2014 Moto3 title, along with Jack Miller, Honda should have everything in place to defeat the KTMs.

Whether Rins stays in Moto3 is still not 100% certain, however. Rins is believed to have a clause in his contract which says that if he wins the 2013 Moto3 title, he will enter Moto2 with the Monlau team. On the strength of Rins’ performance at Aragon, his chances of being Moto3 champion are improving.

The Monlau team will not be the only one on a Honda. Racing Team Germany is also to remain with the Japanese manufacturer, and with Jack Miller having signed for the Red Bull KTM team, RTG has signed Efren Vazquez to race for them in 2014. Who Vazquez’s teammate will be is as yet unknown, but the chances of it being a young rookie look promising.

Photo: HRC

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. jack says:

    Competition with KTM will be a good thing for the series. Too bad Fox Sports has decided to show Moto2 and Moto3 only on Fox Sports 2. This channel is not available in most of the country unless you have Direct TV. It is a real shame and they should lose their contract with Dorna.

  2. Ian says:

    Herrin better be ready to step up. His teammate is a beast, and he has trouble with the top guys. Hopefully, Herrin learns the tracks and gains confidence. It would be great for him to set a good example of the potential of young guys riding at the top of the AMA series. Then, if Cameron can go over there next year and make a big splash….America will have hope again.

    Spies back healthy, motivated, and riding a factory Suzuki in 2015 would hurt either!

  3. jeram says:

    Annnnnd suddenly Moto-3 costs are spiraling out of control.

    wait…

    Wasnt that one of the driving factors for killing off 125GP?

    it sounds to me like what we have now is heavier, slower bikes which cost just as much….

    Another DORNA cock up

  4. Rico B says:

    I agree… Herrin will have to step it up big time! I am no fan of Herrin…. never have been. He jumped to AMA Superbike without EVER winning the 600 championship. In my opinion, he ain’t got what it takes. My Man Danny Eslick kicked Herrin’s ass a bunch of times back on the 600′s. I believe Herrins father is connected or something & if you put any of the top 5-8 Superbike riders on the Yamaha R1, Herrin would wind up somewhere behind them. Don’t get me wrong.. he’s ok… but he ain’t as fast as either Hayden, either Bostrom, Eslick, Cardenas, etc… if all where riding the same bike….
    I predict he will get his ass kicked in Moto 2 & that’ll be it. The AMA Superbikes, although way down on power compared to WBS or Moto Gp seem to be just about too much for Herrin now & he gets real squirrely when he’s pressured & theres gonna be a lot of that in moto 2….

  5. @jeram: “Wasnt that one of the driving factors for killing off 125GP?

    it sounds to me like what we have now is heavier, slower bikes which cost just as much….

    Another DORNA cock up”

    Don’t forget the war in Iraq, global warming and Planet X destroying Earth. All are Dorna’s doing, bro. Don’t kid yourself.

    The biggest reason they moved from 125cc 2-smokers was because most of the markets don’t feature them anymore. If you want your race bikes to be relevant in the market place, they need to be 4-strokes. The engines certainly could have contributed to reduced costs, but KTM apparently didn’t play by the spirit of the rules. Hence, HRC whining about their position on the grid nearly every race. Abiding by the letter of the rules and ignoring their spirit is counterproductive to everybody in the long run.

    Dorna seems to be the favoured scapegoat in such situations. Alas, Dorna isn’t at fault here.

  6. Anyone else’s ears prick up (or whatever) at the phrase, ” and the sponsorship he would bring to the team”? Is the implication that a reigning AMA Superbike Champion needs to bring money to an unproven Moto2 team? Yes, it is.

    Herrin may have a bit of an asterisk on his championship; I’m not as critical as some of the earlier commenters. When Hayes’ luck ran out this season, Herrin was the guy who kept the other fastest bike upright when it counted, and he won. Whatever, he’s clearly not slow and arrives in Europe with a major U.S. title. Spies was the last AMA champion to go over, and while he’s underwhelmed the last couple of years, he did win the SBK title in year 1, and was MotoGP Rookie of the Year in Year 2…

    Now, Herrin’s buying a seat in Moto2.

    Hmm…

  7. mark says:

    Trane Francks says:

    “”If you want your race bikes to be relevant in the market place, they need to be 4-strokes. “”

    Maybe in Superbike but GP like F1 does not represent anything the public can buy in any market place

    Sadly it is true though that 2 strokes are gone

  8. “GP like F1 does not represent anything the public can buy in any market place”

    In a literal sense, you’re quite right. For Joe Average drinking an ale while watching a race, though, an M1 with its crossplane crank and associated exhaust note looks and sounds very much like a hopped up R1. A paddock full of bikes that sound like angry bees doesn’t represent anything that one finds in the showroom anymore, unfortunately.

    FWIW, my favourite ride of all time was my RD400 Daytona Special. Nothing quite like it.

  9. Seth says:

    Josh is in for a big suprise next season and I think he will be fighting just to break into the points, look at how Sandro Cortese has fared this season. Granted Josh will be coming off a superbike and not a Moto3 bike I think the challenge will be steep for him.

    Johann will also be doing him no favors as he should be a title favorite and on the box on a regular basis.

    Yamaha must have thrown the check book at Cameron to stay here in the AMA, this is doing him no good unless he wants to race in World Superbike in 2015. I hate to say it but with DMG the AMA is basically dead in the water now, I just hope that J.D. can land a ride in World Supersport.