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.

Audi Bought 100% of Ducati’s Stock

04/19/2012 @ 2:48 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Audi Bought 100% of Ducatis Stock ducaudi 635x485

With the Volkswagen Group’s Board of Directors meeting done, ahead of the company’s shareholder meeting which is also now complete, details of Audi’s acquisition of Ducati are starting to emerge.

Paying €860 million ($1.1 billion) for the Italian motorcycle company, perhaps the biggest shocker to come from Audi’s acquisition is not the price, but the unconfirmed reports that Audi AG has bought 100% of the Ducati’s stock, meaning Borgo Panigale will now come under complete German control.

This news means that Audi not only bought out the 70% ownership of Investindustrial, but also the 30% remainder that was held by private equity fund BS, the Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan, and other minority shareholders.

Unsurprisingly, this also means that Audi has assumed all of Ducati’s financial liabilities, estimated to be in the €180 million to €200 million range. This adjusts Audi’s valuation of Ducati to somewhere just shy of $1 billion, likely in the $850 million to $900 million range, which is considerably less than the $1.3 billion valuation Investindustrial placed on Ducati earlier this year.

Converting into euros instead of dollars, the valuation of Ducati Motor Holding’s business comes out to be €650 million to €685 million, which is a tidy sum for a company that did only €480 million in revenue last year. Some gorilla math pegs this purchase price multiple at around 1.5x Ducati’s revenues, a tad higher than the .9x multiple typically seen in manufacturing, though inline with assessments of Ducati’s intangible brand value.

According to Investindustrial, Ducati posted earnings before interest and taxes of only €51 million, a stark contrast to the €5 million the company was earning when Investindustrial first took ownership of the Italian brand. This figure largely is due to the fact that Ducati had a break-out year, and sold over 42,000 motorcycles in 2011, which helps the Italian motorcycle manufacturer account for 11% of the over-600cc market.

With European anti-trust regulators not expected to stop the acquisition, this week marks the starting point for Audi’s ownership of Ducati. It will be interesting to see what the German brand can do with its new Italian motorcycle company, both strategically and financially.

Source: Infomotori & Investindustrial

Comment:

  1. Afletra says:

    Eh…

  2. Dan says:

    and this is how the Germans rule the world….

  3. Ken C. says:

    Maybe Audi can tell Ducati what to do to get Rossi winning again. :P

  4. Halfie 30 says:

    Everybody still on board with Audi’s acquisition now!? I think not. Bad news!

  5. SPEKTRE76 says:

    Maybe we’ll get those cool looking Audi LED headlights for next years Panigale as seen on the 2012 A4.

    We also may see a V-4 in the future too.

  6. Umm…the Panigale already has LED headlights…

  7. 76 says:

    There will be alittle culture shock from those at Ducati, but as long as both parties involved can weather the storm short term I can see a positive outcome for both the bikes & companies in the long. VW has already proved they can take small exclusive/exotic brands and employ structure and a know how to take what DNA makes that brand special and build on it (On a automotive level). This change will also will come with more structured and formal level of R&D / production. Ducati will also enjoy access to a pool of both designers and engineers on a more advanced concept level I’m betting.

    Honestly I think VW’s motive is simple, continue building the Audi reputation as a top tier exclusive brand by linking the worlds most exotic and well know Superbike brand with their own. I see it like marrying a supermodel, these unions are normally short lived but of course when you marry a supermodel you dont get 100% of her stock (she actually gets alittle more access to yours), that little detail could really put alittle more emphasis on the T in team for Ducati.

  8. +1 to what 76 said. I suspect that the marriage will be a good one for Ducati, as it will benefit from deeper pockets and possibly technology that will make its production and distribution more efficient. Those are both aspects that can only help Ducati in capturing further market share.

  9. Westward says:

    Providing they stay in MotoGp, I wonder, does this mean we could see Bradley or Cortese on the Ducati…

  10. Damo says:

    That’s it I am buying a Triumph!

  11. paulus says:

    I would rather see the owners be automotive than an industrial venture capital group and a pension plan…. wait for the fruits of the union and then decide.

  12. SBPilot says:

    I cringe at Audi buying Ducati because I like Ducati but dislike Audi. Audi as an automaker IMHO is unoriginal and always playing catchup to BMW. Ok, I admit, I am a BMW fan, but I like older Audis too. However, Audi will never stack up to BMW in cars since they are more or less hopped up VWs and never could/will in bikes because BMW has been building bikes for a long long time where Audi has not motorbike history. Of course Audi wants to rival BMW in the bike segment so hey, why not snag a financially troubled iconic Italian brand. Admittedly I think it will do well for Ducati as it did (very) well for Lamborghini. However, it definitely turns me off a bit towards Ducs now that Audi owns it…

  13. coolbiker says:

    Ducati should consult with Husqvarna ( bought by BMW ) to find out more about the Germans running their life

  14. TJ says:

    @SBPilot
    “BMW has been building bikes for a long long time where Audi has not motorbike history”
    Actually, they have a “history” in the two wheeled business. Look up NSU and DKW.

    Anyhow, the question emerges – whether it is important to have such history or not. BMW was new for bikes in the 1920′s, Ducati started motorcycle business only after WWII. Both came far so long…

  15. BikePilot says:

    I doubt it’ll go anything like the BMW-Husqvarna abomination. BMW built crappy dirt bikes and had no brand value with dirt bikers so needed a sticker with some off road cachet to slap on its crappy dirt bikes and some help making its bikes slightly less crappy, and it got that plus some. In the future it might even make a good dirt bike, its proven with its superbike that it can make something that’s light and fast.

    Audi doesn’t make bikes, but wants to make money. It’ll be in its best interest to see to it that ducati continues to build its bikes and brand in the way that’s lead to their fantastic recent success. With Audi’s cash, business knowledge, manufacturing IP, etc., it outta be able to do awesome as long as it doesn’t meddle too much with the Ducati designers and engineers.

  16. Jake says:

    With German precision and Italian passion, what’s the worst that could happen?

  17. BikePilot says:

    The worst? German passion and Italian (strike that, Chinese) precision =p

  18. Ryan says:

    A lot of the comments I read on this blog and other automotive blogs contain similar sentiments to what SBPilot has shared. Unfortunately, believing that Audi being German or having little two-wheel experience will at all affect Ducati is pretty simple minded to say the least. What two-wheel experience do venture capitalists have? How would you describe the product nationality of the investment firm that sold Ducati?

    TLDR: Don’t be daft. Audi’s acquisition makes sense for both parties and will not affect the soul of the new Ducatis.

  19. SPEKTRE76 says:

    @Jensen Beeler

    I know my good sir. I mean t I hope that we get them so that the have that little white outline wrapped around the headlamp assembly.

    http://www.m25audi.co.uk/images/audi/a6/new-audi-a6-led-headlights-02.jpg