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 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.

Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tires: Now with Pi Sign

01/26/2010 @ 12:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler32 COMMENTS

Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tires: Now with Pi Sign Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact tire 560x373

All new for 2010, the Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact tire is set to redefine the motorcycle industry with its proprietary Chicken Strip Assessment Technology. Do your buddies brag about how far over they can lean their bike? How they’re the next Golden God of Canyon Carving? With Metzler’s Chicken Strip Assessment Technology system, there’s little doubt about how much you’re compensating for something else; and now you can rate your manhood on a scale from 1 to 5. Now go chase that crazy elephant! Chase him!

We here at Asphalt & Rubber always appreciated it when companies send us press releases, keeping us abreast of their business’s most recent news and products. However we have a hard time understanding the press releases from tire companies: pages of hyperbole about how a tire has different weaves, treads, and compounds mean nothing if you can’t experience it ripping against the asphalt.

Dear Metzler, next time you send us a press release, please include a pair of rubber doughnuts as well.


  1. And Chicken Strip Assessment Technology! RT @Asphalt_Rubber Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tires

  2. John Adamo says:

    how big are your chicken strips? RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tires: Now with Pi Sign – #motorcycle

  3. Ray says:

    So I’m thinking this will shut some of my friends up for sure!

  4. Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tires: Now with Pi Sign

  5. CBR600RR 09 says:

    Not to be a big neg head on such a cool idea but…Isn’t this encouraging people to lean over further in corners simply to show off?

    Wouldn’t this say…increase accidents/injuries/fatalities on those that are less skilled/showing-off/being pushed for a mark on there tyres?

    That said, cool idea :P

  6. Of course, if would have to be the Germans to incorporate a scale on the tires for the squids to refer to. As we all know, experienced riders typically get the strips down to mere fractions of an inch from the edge of the profile. Having said that, it’s a confidence booster courtesy of Metzeler. How’s that? Look at the pix and tell me that you know any rider NOT capable of hitting the 5 on the strips. Even at a “Full 5″ lean, You’re still not touching the Elephant. When u can wear off the speeding Elephant, THEN yer really GETTIN IT. And, in case anyone wants to see a Metzeler carcass with the Elephant worn off from normal street use, let me know. I’ll be glad to email u a set of pix of my latest set of Sportec M1′s… Ride it like ya stole it and keep the breeze between yer knees.

  7. Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tires: Now with Pi Sign – #motorcycle

  8. 4stroke says:

    They should have replaced the top figure by one that has a skirt, haha. Great on Metzeler though.

  9. Don says:

    If this article had been released on April 1st, I would have believed it was a joke. As it is, I’m not sure how to take this. I’m with CBR on this one. I think it’s going encourage riders to push past their limits, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. The last thing I want to see is even MORE squidly and irresponsible behavior on the street. On the street, I just wouldn’t allow myself to be pushed much past 4.5 or 5 on the above depicted lean scale. It’s just not safe.

    Track days would be another story. That would be a cool tire to market directly to the track day crowd as a “measuring stick” on how well you are progressing. What kind of compound does the M5 have? I’m assuming it’s a sport tire and not a touring compound…

  10. Matthew says:

    Nothing a belt sander can’t take care of. :D

  11. Patron says:

    Chicken strips are like herpes. You either have them or you don’t. The severity doesn’t matter. I don’t look down on people who have ‘em, but I like the fact that I have none.

  12. Manhood rate meter aka Metzler’s Chicken Strip Assessment Technology system!

  13. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tires: Now with Pi Sign

  14. Dawg says:

    If you can’t make number 5 you need training, or some serious suspension tuning.

  15. This is hilarious – Metzeler's new sportbike tires have Chicken Strip Assessment Technology. Chase that Elephant! Lol.

  16. Chris says:

    How good of a rider are you really when this is the way you rate your skill? When the turns come you see who can keep up and who can’t. At 38 I’m not so sure its talent or balls anyway and I know mine don’t seem as big as they once were!

  17. Patrick says:

    well the numbers a cool for average street riders but im hoping for mor performance and longevity out of these tires because i currently use metzler m3′s and i chang the rear every 2k and front every 4k.. plus the assesment is good for people that cant reallly lean and are just trying to show off because i rubbed the elephants off my m3 and rolled over the edges after about 200 miles on it..

  18. the one says:

    Who needs this, give me my Battle Axe BT0-16 and I’ll blister it enough to scrape off the leftover rubber.

  19. Flyin' Low says:

    Chicken strips=lean angle. Proper body position=less lean angle=more chicken strips. I can scrub my strips in an empty parking lot at 35mph with the proper body position (leaning to the OUTSIDE of the turn, the technique for tight U-turns on the street). The measure of a rider should be how fast/smooth (s)he is through the twisties, not chicken strips. If you use up all of your tires on the street (utilizing proper riding technique and body position) you are pushing too hard. Take it to the track before you hurt yourself and/or someone else.

  20. patrick says:

    I go to the track and it is true that you lean differently on the track but that because you have to to get around that turn as fast as possible I have no need to go that fast on the street and I rather not hang my body off the side of my bike in the street because the roads suck and in not wearing race leathers and wrecking sucks I ride hard on the street but the track is a whole other world where you can get rid of you chicken strips in the front tire on a good day

  21. 'Tim says:

    By far between bridgestone,Michelin and Metelzers…..metelzers suck ball sack…Used M3′s on the track and never again…oh yeah btw good PR for squids to show off how far the lean on their tires….

  22. Not sure what's worse here: pretentious chicken strip meter, or faux carbon fiber sidewalls?

  23. Randall J says:

    Well funny thing about those chicken strips… I can leave mine on and out ride guys that have ground them off riding.. A lot to be said about “technique” and getting your fat butt off the seat…

    My track tires are for certain off the scale but I refuse to push that hard on the street.. More squid food IMHO…

  24. Chuck says:

    The lawyers will love it.

    Especially the ones in state legislature who can get a few votes back home by proposing to outlaw motorcycles because the cost to society from death and injury have gone up.

    I even think it is sad that the dead and dying will be squids…such a waste since getting on a track is so easy for anyone with common sense.

  25. FSM says:

    They need to replace the elephant with a pair of testicles.

  26. Patozas says:

    The elephant represents that you have balls like an elephant!!! Yamaha kai den eimai kala.

  27. Chicken strip assessment technology? when in doubt add moar numbers

  28. Dr Trustme says:

    Just ride with low pressure in the tyres for a while. That will certainly mark the tyres nicely. : )

  29. Raceface says:

    My penis is huge, and I can piss really far. This tire meter will prove it to everyone who doesnt beleive me. But seriously this is funny stuff.

  30. Caruma says:

    次のMetzeler Sportec M5のマーカーがとても面白いw いいねこういうの。

  31. Kirk Osgood says:

    i hope the compound is good because the marketing is lousy. What a lot of bullsh#t!