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.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

Fuel or Electronics? Where Are Nicky Hayden & Scott Redding Losing Out on the Honda RCV1000R?

The news that Honda would be building a production racer to compete in MotoGP aroused much excitement among fans. There was much speculation over just how quick it would be, and whether it would be possible for a talented rider to beat the satellite bikes on some tracks. In the hands of active MotoGP riders, the gap was around 2 seconds at the Sepang tests. Nicky Hayden – of whom much had been expected, not least by himself – had made significant improvements, especially on corner entry. The difference in performance and the big gap to the front has been cause for much speculation. Where are the Honda production racers losing out to the Factory Option bikes?

Officially Official: Harley-Davidson “Sells” MV Agusta to Castiglioni Family

08/06/2010 @ 11:53 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Officially Official: Harley Davidson Sells MV Agusta to Castiglioni Family MV Agusta sold Castiglioni 635x425

There has to be a bevy of high-fives going on in Milwaukee right now, as Harley-Davidson has finally unloaded MV Agusta from its holdings (we broke the news on the purchase earlier this morning). Harley-Davidson bought MV Agusta for $109 million back in 2008 (most of which was bad debt), and now just a little over two years later is making a tidy profit of…well, nothing. After wiping the books clean, investing in new infrastructre, and getting MV Agusta back on track with an all new model line-up (with a bike on the way), Harley-Davidson saw a paltry sum of €1 cross its desks. Harley-Davidson shares are down 3.5% as of this writing.

Instead Harley-Davidson is calling things even with the Castiglioni family, who would have seen a stock pay-out had the company exchanged hands with another buyer, like TPG for instance. The Castiglioni’s stock was worth somewhere between €20-€30 million, and now with 100% ownership, the Italians are free to once again run MV Agusta into the ground, just like they did leading up to 2008.

Harley-Davidson & MV Agusta press releases are after the jump. One interesting point of note that taking the helm of MV Agusta is former Ducati General Manager and Chief Engineer Massimo Bordi. Bordi was once offered the job of CEO at Ducati, but turned it down, and the position was filled by Gabriele del Torchio, Ducati’s current CEO. Bordi’s last item of business at Ducati was trying to sell the Italian brand to Harley-Davidson, which makes for some good irony in today’s announcement.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON FINALIZES SALE OF MV AGUSTA

MILWAUKEE, Aug. 6, 2010 — Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) has concluded the sale of its subsidiary, MV Agusta, to Claudio Castiglioni and his wholly owned holding company, MV Agusta Motor Holding, S.r.l., effective today.
Castiglioni is the former owner of the Italian motorcycle maker and has served as MV Agusta’s chairman since 2008, when Harley-Davidson acquired the company.

In October 2009, Harley-Davidson announced its intention to sell MV Agusta as part of a new corporate strategy to focus resources on the Harley-Davidson brand. Since then, Harley-Davidson has held discussions with various potential MV Agusta buyers.

“MV Agusta is a proud brand and we wish Mr. Castiglioni and the company’s employees well,” said Harley-Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Wandell. “Our decision to divest MV Agusta reflects our strategy to focus our efforts and our investment on the Harley-Davidson brand, as we believe this provides an optimal path to long-term growth.”
MV AGUSTA IS ITALIAN AGAIN

Varese, August 6th 2010 – Claudio and Giovanni Castiglioni, through their family holding company have repurchased from Harley Davidson 100% of the shares of MV Agusta Motor S.p.A. which owns historic brands MV Agusta and Cagiva.

Harley-Davidson announced in October 2009 its intention to sell MV Agusta to concentrate on its core business and brand.

In connection with the repurchase transaction Lazard and Co. have acted as the financial advisor along with counsel Alessandro Varrenti (CBA) and Giuseppe Galeano whom provided legal and tax assistance in conjunction with family counsellors Giuseppe Carteni (Leadlaw), Andrea Lanata and Sergio Caramella.  Along with Giovanni Castiglioni, the company will be headed by Mr. Massimo Bordi, a well known Italian manager. A 62-year-old engineer, Bordi took Ducati to success during the years when that company was owned by the Castiglionis and continued to manage it successfully under the ownership of Texas Pacific Group. Since 2003 Massimo Bordi has been the CEO of Same Deutz Fahr, contributing largely to the success of the company. Massimo Bordi commented that “MV Agusta has full capacity to once again become a major player in the high luxury brand motor bikes, this brand is one of the most recognized worldwide. We will implement a number of reorganization and managerial actions in the near future. Both the current and new models under development have a very strong character, great innovative features and a very unique design, I have no doubts about their future success.”

Claudio Castiglioni, the historic intimate soul of MV Agusta will continue as chairman, and will concentrate on the development of the new products. Upon signing the agreement with Harley-Davidson, Claudio Castiglioni stated “MV Agusta is the crown jewel of Italian motorcycles, I am thrilled to have completed this transaction. I have already won once together with Massimo Bordi, we made the most beautiful bikes in the world and we will continue with this tradition”.

Source: Harley-Davidson & MV Agsuta

Comment:

  1. Mark says:

    $109 million lost in this deal, $125 million thrown away shutting down Buell…….
    It looks more like HD is the company running itself into ground.

  2. Officially Official: Harley-Davidson “Sells” MV Agusta to Castiglioni Family – http://aspha.lt/193 #motorcycle

  3. Andre says:

    So if I have this correct Harley paid $109 million 2 years ago and today gets 20 to 30 million Euro’s; maybe a third of what they paid……. are these people nuts or something???? Corporate incompetence at the shareholders expense. Just like used car salesmen and life insurance agents, they wonder why everyone has a healthy disrespect for them!

  4. irksome says:

    Too bad they couldn’t bring themselves to do the same for the last REAL American motorcycle company: Buell. Guess they were afraid of having an innovative, forward-looking subsidiary diluting their “brand”.

    What does HD do after all the wanna-be weekend bad boys trade in their pirate costumes for RVs?
    “Whaddaya MEAN it’s not air-cooled?”

  5. eze1976 says:

    The CEO is a know it all d-bag that at the time thought anything they touched would instantly turn to gold.

  6. Jenny Gun says:

    Andre it’s worse than you think. HD didn’t get 20-30 million euros out of the deal…they got 1 euro.

  7. Shaswata says:

    This Castiglioni has made a habit of himself of selling MV Agusta for huge hundred million dollar deals to various companies and then buying it back for 1 Euro In Decemebr 2004 Proton , the Malaysian carmaker which is also owner of the legendary Lotus sports cars, bought 57.7% of MV for 70 million euros (Husky and Cagiva incl.) It was sold for Euro 1 to Gevi Spa a year later as MV incurred 107 million euros of debt…Husky was then sold off to BMW for cool 93 million euros….Harley acquired 100 percent of MV for 70 million euros ($107 Million) out of which 45 million euros wen to debt payments. Now MV is again back with Castiglioni for Euro 1…Amazing..the way this guy pulls the threads from behind that even big companies are left bamboozled

  8. BikePilot says:

    That is pretty impressive!

  9. Mark says:

    I wish Claudio and MV all the luck this time around. It looks like they are in better shape now, since HD paid off their debt and tooled up for a few new models. However, this alone doesn’t guaranty success. What a company like MV needs is access to large amounts of capital and good management assuring that capital is used and invested properly. This is the main reason for Ducati’s turnaround. TPG installed good management and invested smartly to rebuild Ducati from old school, to a modern high tech company it is today. MV needs exactly that kind of investment to assure success in the future.

  10. donno says:

    Now the Castiglioni family has pulled this trick twice, first to Proton, and now to HD, doesn’t all of this sound fishy? Pocketing millions by selling the company to others; still staying on as the company head while running the company to the ground, and later buying it back for 1euro.

  11. Skip says:

    Harley lost 120 million closing Buell, 100 million on this deal and they owe Warren Buffet 650 million from there failed financial services division. That’s almost a billion dollars of stupid corporate moves. This company is run by morons and I am glad I do not have stock in HD. Harley has no new models in there stupid line up and no money for R&D.