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.

Kawasaki Taking Costco Sales Program Nationwide

06/10/2011 @ 6:13 am, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Kawasaki Taking Costco Sales Program Nationwide costco kawasaki 635x421

With all this talk about alternative vs. established sales schemes in the motorcycle industry, it seems fitting that we hear now that Kawasaki has decided to take its Costco sales referral program nationwide. We reported a while back that Kawasaki was teaming up with Costco, in a program that saw the wholesale supply chain acting as a sales lead for local dealers. At the time, the program was only in the trial phase, but it seems now Team Green liked the results, and has decided to take the program across the US.

The idea of the Costco Customer Referral Program is pretty simple really. Kawasaki dealers put a bike on display at their local Costco warehouses, which then serves as a vehicle (no pun intended) for new sales that Costco sends back to the dealer. The deal is a win for Kawi dealers, as it increases their exposure, and it’s a win for Costco as well, at the company adds one more perk to being a Costco member (Costco makes the majority of its revenue off membership sales, not item sales).

For shoppers, it’s a pain-free experience as buyers have an up-front price for their motorcycle purchase, and also receive a $250 gift card good at any Costco warehouse (imagine how much pizza that could buy). As a part of the nationwide roll-out, Costco members will be able to purchase Kawasaki’s complete line of motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, and utility vehicles, and we hear dealers not involved in the trial program are eager to enroll with the Costco sales scheme.

We like this bold move by Kawasaki as far as exploring new ways of selling their product (it probably helps that were avid Costco fans too). The interesting thing to contrast here is not only how the pressures of the recession are making OEMs rethink things about their business, but also a glimpse on how and how not to play with sales distribution models in the motorcycle industry. It will be interesting to see if other manufacturers hop on-board, and whether Kawasaki has an exclusive agreement with Costco (Honda’s at Sam’s Club anyone?).

Source: DealerNews

Comment:

  1. Does anyone know what the discounted price is for any of the bikes (specifically the C14)

  2. i saw a pallet full of ninjas @ costco earlier today.

  3. hugh says:

    Love the business and distribution articles! Please keep them coming, pleasant break from Motogp/WSBK rumors on a double up race weekend.

  4. max says:

    Very interesting move by kawasaki. I like it.

  5. Patrick says:

    Costco makes the majority of it’s revenue off of membership fees? Many of their products are repackaged into different quantities and bought at deep discount from the distributor but ultimately are sold at close to or more than other stores, loss leaders resale staples like granola bars and such being the exception. I think the “executive” membership even returns 1-2% of your total money spent at the end of the year.

  6. jamesy says:

    been exec member since ’95, i used to go for the price but now the things they put thier name on are some of the best available, so I shop for the quality and get price in the bargain.
    Glad to see the MC industry not trying to hit a home run with every sale now, being fair in business practice brings folks back and always is best.

  7. Sam says:

    I wonder what kind of return policies the MCs will have…tehehehe!