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.

Honda Motorcycle Sales Down 5% in 2012

01/28/2013 @ 11:42 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Honda Motorcycle Sales Down 5% in 2012 honda logo 635x400

Honda Motor Co. has reported its 2012 sales figures, with the Japanese behemoth showing a 5% sales drop for 2012, when compared to 2011. Selling 15.6 million units last year, Honda made progress in its home country Japan (+1%), as well as in North America (+25%) and Europe (+22%).

However in Honda’s most volume-heavy markets, the company suffered modest loses: South America (-14%), Asia (-5%), and China (-1%). With three out of four Honda motorcycles being sold in Asia, the region’s 5% dip essentially assured the Japanese company’s sales loss for the year.

Honda’s 2012 figures reveal some interesting data points, namely that the first-world markets are showing signs of life again for the the Japanese OEMs, who have been slower to recovery than the European brands in the same markets.

Another interesting trend is the slow-down in the Asian markets, which for the past few years have been carrying companies like Honda. Whether the loses are due to the increased competition in the region, or a larger sales trend remains to be seen, but it is worth keeping an eye upon.

Source: Honda

Comment:

  1. Beinggodisgreat says:

    They need to make the RC52… Killer reliable V-Twin for the masses. Instead of the V4 for the super rich…

  2. akatsuki says:

    No surprise here. Long in the tooth sportbikes, missed notes (would anyone buy a VFR over a Multistrada)…

  3. akatsuki, I think you missed the point. Honda is up in the markets you state.

  4. akatsuki–I’m a Honda fan to the core, and I totally agree with your take that their sportbikes are long in the tooth. Minor cosmetic tweaks to both CBR’s just isn’t enough these days. Five years ago, who would’a thunk that the fastest, sharpest, best-selling literbike would be a freakin’ BMW?

    But don’t knock the new VFR too badly. Because of its slow sales, I bought a brand-new 2010 DCT last year for less than $12,000 Out-The-Door (about 40% off). It’s one of the best-kept secrets in modern motorcycling. Would I have bought one at the $17,500 MSRP? Absolutely not. I would quickly pay that much for a new interpretation of an RVF1000, though.

    And I’m first in line for the 2013, finally coming to America, CB1100 at my local dealer. Europe and America should have been right there with Japan and Australia when this bike originally debuted.

  5. Peter G says:

    I should have puchased a RC45 when I lived in Japan…. At the time, I was on Big $$$…… Ahh, we live and learn :-)

  6. Paul McMenamin says:

    Please Honda, bring out a proper, modern replacement for the ST1100 and ST1300. How about a flat four? Give us (after 20 years) proper aerodynamics and a well-designed windscreen. Match the weight of the R1200RT. Put FOUR good HID headlights on the thing. Make the handlebars and footpegs adjustable. Make the bags LIGHT, yet capable of holding a full-face helmet. Keep the weight down low. Tune the engine for torque (like the NC700X) and forget about the horsepower race. Give us a thin steel sheath over the tank zone so we can use a magnetic tank bag. Have LED sidemarkers and tail lights, and factory fog light options. Give us an easily-accessible fusebox, battery and fuel filter. Test the thing with people from 5’5″ to 6’6″. And go back to the drawing board if you can’t make a windscreen that works! And use your magic to give us an honest 60 mpg at 70 mph. If I can get 32.5 mpg highway in a CVT Altima with four adults and luggage onboard (BTDT), a motorcycle with good aeros should be able to get 60 mpg.

  7. Jugernautishere says:

    Indian market will see a final denouement in the next 5 years….Other competitors are shaking in their boots since Honda has decided to concentrate on its wholly owned subsidiary HMSI and divorce Hero (erstwhile Hero Honda)…This has huge long term implications……I am an Indian who grew up in the late 90s and 2000s and mid 20s now…..Honda is known as the company that is almost mythical in its engineering prowess….MotoGP has been broadcast live into India for the last 19 years…and most of that time especially during the 500s it was an age of total Honda domination…….People who were young and teenagers then know that the winged badged Honda was the best motorcycle company in the world since it won the races…..That one can afford a racy looking and fairly sporty, equipped with ABS , fuel injected, liquid cooled modern 150cc 4-stroke made entirely by the same company that wins all the prestigious races at MotoGP will bound to have and is having a massive psychological impact on the 18-30 year old demographics in India…That Honda and Yamaha are bringing 150cc and 250cc versions of their YZF and CBR series that can be had for between $1500-$3000 is creating ripples among the youth…quite frankly Honda association with Hero was known for extrmely bland and boring bikes…Youngsters just couldnot connect Hero Honda with Winged Badged Honda of MotoGP and the 500cc GP……Now Winged Badged Honda is making uni-shock , unit pro linked rear suspension bikes in small capacities have made it favourite among the upscale youths in India along with Yamaha…….Its customary for a a middle class youth in India these days to have a sporty 150cc bike and a girlfriend as pillion and matching stylish helmets these days…The craze for sporty motorbikes among youth play a major role in constituting the 14 million unit market (That is the motorcycle and scooter production number including export)

    So what games can Hero and TVS and Bajaj play? Hero will mostly undercut the competition by offering cheaper prices on its outdated Honda tech…TVS is doing that too…remeber HMSI (wholly owned Indian subsidiary of Honda) has been in the motorcycle game only a few years and previously they were making only CVT scooters…Hero and TVS will use their vast distribution network to offer bulk 100-110cc and midsize 125cc models at cheaper prices and that will be hurting Honda regarding volume in the short term…Bajaj will fight with Honda tooth and nail for the mindspace of the upper middle class 18 year olds..around 5 percent to 10 percent of the 18 year olds buying 150cc sporty bikes today will buy 1000cc superbikes 15 years from now…that is a market of 250,000-500,000 per annum for 1000 cc bikes in 15 years…So it is that important to fight for the mindspace of the upper middle class youth……………………Abdur Razzaq a Pakistani cricketer won a CBR1100XX Blackbird for being the MVP in a cricket tournament in Australia in 2000….Pictures of that were splashed across many newspaers in mags in India which also helped Honda to gain mindspace….Many Indians see it this way that the Honda which makes world champion race bikes and Formula 1 cars is also the Honda that is making their 150cc bikes…This is powerful powerful messaging…..It can be readily said that no other company in the world with the possible exception of BMW knows more about four stroke naturally aspirated petrol engines than Honda

  8. jabawocki says:

    A new Africa Twin is dramatically and urgently needed!

    It’s more than 10 years that after this motorcycle anything has been release by Honda while from the other side of its main competitors many and many models have been made…! BMW with GS, Yamaha with Tenere and Super Tenere, Triumph with Tiger, KTM with 990 Adv etc etc

    Why Honda anything yet??

  9. steve says:

    guess nc700x isn’t quite what you meant

  10. Paul McMenamin says:

    quote: BMW with GS, Yamaha with Tenere and Super Tenere, Triumph with Tiger, KTM with 990 Adv etc etc

    As much as those bikes are impressive (and better in the dirt, at least with KTM), the NC700X is a better mount for 95% of the riding that 95% of motorcycle owners actually do. I’ve ridden them all, extensively on the Super Tenere. I love the Yamaha motor, and the KTM off-road ability. But if I had to pull one out of the garage for most “normal” riding, an NC700X would get the nod. I think Honda understands this. Most of the big “adventure bikes” are “profile statements” for aging upper middle class and rich guys who want to look like they can ride to Patagonia while they do an 80-mile road loop on a Sunday afternoon.

    I still want to see Honda apply its masterful technology to a world-betting sport tourer. The VFR1200, as I predicted, missed the mark hugely. Uncomfortable, too expensive, not good for passenger.

  11. Dman says:

    Maybe they should bring back the Pacific Coast–only this time with Tattoo graphics to really liven up the brand.

  12. jabawocki says:

    I’ve a KTM 990 ADV where I travel a lot around Europe and Africa (I’m italian): sometime doing some off-road too during the trip.
    As far as I know, most of the owners of ADV are ex-Honda AT that waited a lot before to move to another brand: in this case the austrian one that probably is one of the best for these kind of travels also with a kind of off.

    In my opinion Super Tenere is good, but too heavy while BMW GS is too expensive and usually destined for – as you I’ve correctly written – middle-class and rich guys.

    Honda AT has been the last Queen that was able to be a winner either in Dakar Race and in the street market for the excited owners.

    We miss it a lot.