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.

Harley-Davidson H-D1 Factory Customization

01/03/2011 @ 5:35 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Harley Davidson H D1 Factory Customization harley davidson genuine parts 635x430

As much as we harp on the them, Harley-Davidson really is one of the few motorcycle companies that truly seems to grok the idea that motorcycles are about personal expression, and are an extension of a rider’s personality. This simple understanding has lead to the company’s brand marketing and lifestyle business strategy being taught in business schools around the world, tattoo parlors keeping a healthy array of Bar & Shield designs at the ready, and ensuring the State of South Dakota stays out of Canadian hands.

So it should come as no surprise then that the Milwaukee based company has started a factory-level customization program that will allow Harley-Davidson customers the ability to purchase a nearly one-of-a-kind motorcycle that is built from Harley’s 8,000+ genuine parts & accessories, which will then be built at the factory and shipped to the customer’s local dealer.

Called the H-D1 program, Harley plans on letting customers go wild with its parts bin, and when they need help, customization experts and consultants will be available to help advise on customization ideas. Slated to start February 4th, the H-D1 program is a clever way to get customers to think of Harley-Davidson for their customization needs, rather than going down the aftermarket route, although most smart dealerships are already active is pushing H-D Genuine Accessories on new buyers and current riders when they enter the store.

While this latest program seems to be just another layer being added into the Harley-Davidson “experience”, there could be some real potential for the H-D1 program if the customization consultants actually have a grain of originality and talent, and aren’t just dealers who sat through a slideshow presentation. If done right, Harley-Davidson could capitalize on a genuine opportunity to pull more of the custom chopper crowd back into its customer demographic, which could help breath some life and vitality into the stagnant company.

Of course things could just as easily go the other way, with this being the lipstick on the hog pig that Harley-Davidson is trying to dress up. So far Harley-Davidson hasn’t release a great deal of detail on the new program, other than some hype marketing and website with a countdown ticker. Our favorite phrase at A&R is back for 2011, as time will tell on this one.

Source: Harley-Davidson

Comment:

  1. On a side note: The photo, while not for the H-D1 program, is perhaps one of the best ads to hit the industry in a long time.

  2. RGR says:

    Totally agree, that picture is bada$$.

  3. MikeD says:

    BadAss Picture Indeed !

  4. AFDK says:

    RT @MabuaHD: Harley-Davidson H-D1 Factory Customization http://bit.ly/e8lwo2 via @asphalt_rubber @Arifkaseptea

  5. freon says:

    What could cause the explosion? LOL ;)

  6. Jim says:

    What the program needs is an online configuration tool that allows the buyer to spec his/her bike and get the dealer out of the design process. Such a tool would ensure that no needed parts were overlooked, allow the buyer to view representations of the finished bike etc. The output would be a build sheet that would be submitted by the dealer as a custom order.

  7. Cobb says:

    Nice!! Up until now Harleys idea of a “custom” was offering the bikes in flat black

  8. Isis says:

    @ Jim:

    Like Mini Cooper right? First thing I thought of.

  9. Beale says:

    I dunno, that picture looks like an add for Loctite [shrugs]

  10. Scooter says:

    It seems that HD will do anything to keep from designing a new line of bikes. I guess they have run out of stupid names and colors so now HD is into selling an outdated bike that you can customize. Wow what a new idea.

  11. irksome says:

    Even though I have an aversion to all things HD, I have to say that this idea, while certainly not original, could help them to retain market viability. Let’s see if they can keep the bean-counters from screwing it up.

    This is the first positive statement I’ve made about HD since they asked the Reagan Administration to lift the tariff on Japanese competition so they could compete on the open market back in the ’80s.

    So for balance, allow me to add that that photo looks like what I see on the road when I ride with my friends from New Hampshire.

  12. Joe Reis says:

    I totally agree with this. It’s about time! Most car companies already have a customization tool that you can print out. Why now HD? Besides it will keep the local dealers from ripping you off on the “buy this one in stock or we’ll jack up the price if we have to locate one for you at another dealer”. They really have to keep the dealers out of it to make this work!!!