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.

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.

motoDNA: The Jerkiness of Jerky Motorcycle Throttles

02/14/2014 @ 3:45 pm, by Mark McVeigh34 COMMENTS

motoDNA: The Jerkiness of Jerky Motorcycle Throttles motodna throttle 02

Asphalt & Rubber is please to bring you the motoDNA column, which will be written by our good friend Mark McVeigh, of the motoDNA Motorcycle Academy.

Mark is a former international 250cc racer, as well as a former MotoGP engineer. His unique experience and perspectives on motorcycle dynamics and racing will be a regular feature on A&R. Enjoy!

In these high tech days of electronic fuel injection, you would expect motorcycle throttle response to be smooth as. However many of the latest bikes have a snatchy and jerky throttle response; especially around town at low speeds — feeling more like a switch than a throttle.

This is not just plain annoying, but makes holding a steady throttle in corners and riding in town tricky, often becoming a bigger problem in wet and slippery conditions. On the track, life can be even more difficult when the bike is closer to the edge of the tire, due to higher lean angles.

The throttle controls not only acceleration and traction but has a large influence on our bikes handling including weight transfer, steering and stability. The throttle is also our connection to the rear tire. If it’s linear and smooth, this is reflected in our riding performance.

We expect modern bikes to have smooth and accurate throttle response; but in fact throttle response is worse these days compared to carburettors of old. Why? In one word – Emissions.

Engines are more efficient and powerful than ever, however ever-tightening emissions laws mean that engine engineers have to lean out the engine map at certain speed and load points, where emissions are measured in the power curve.

You may notice flat spots in your throttle curve; this is often the point on the engine map that these emissions are measured, and therefore the engineers have reduced the amount of fuel available to the engine.

You may also feel some hesitation getting back on the throttle. For best ride-ability ideal fuelling ‘wets’ the cylinder head intake ports, which smooths out initial throttle application. However, the latest emissions laws also remove this ‘wetting’ strategy, adding to the harshness of modern motorcycle throttles.

motoDNA: The Jerkiness of Jerky Motorcycle Throttles motodna throttle 01

Emissions are the nasty byproducts of engine combustion that come out our exhausts such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.

There are lots of strategies to clean up emissions, such as air injection and catalytic converters; however the easiest method is to reduce the amount of fuel injected into the engine or to run a lean air-to-fuel ratio.

Ideal combustion is to burn all the fuel in the engine, and reduced emissions occur at a ratio around 15 parts of air mixed with 1 part of fuel; however maximum power and smooth throttling needs around 10% more fuel.

This fuelling is generally controlled using a lambda sensor in your exhaust, which measures the air-to-fuel ratio, while a control loop strategy in the ECU adjusts the engines fuelling to match the target mixture.

All the trouble started when Euro carbon monoxide emission laws effectively halved ten years ago — and then halved again two years later. Motorcycles are different to cars, that’s why we love them; however motorcycles by nature make engine mapping even more difficult compared to four wheels.

Extra challenges for the motorcycle engine engineer include starting, higher revs, lower weight, lower engine inertia, and transient fuelling.

motoDNA: The Jerkiness of Jerky Motorcycle Throttles motodna throttle 05

This intricacy is also reflected in the racing world where MotoGP ECU engineers, who work on fuelling, traction control, engine braking, etc, are amongst the highest paid. This complex role is pivotal to a team’s success and is reflected in their pay packet.

What does the future hold? Apart from electric bikes, which have a superb torque curve, we are looking at larger catalytic converters, faster ECU processing performance, throttle cam development, and advanced ride-by-wire.

Common aftermarket mods include changing the exhaust to match an ECU change, either via re-flashing or a Power Commander. This basically involves removing the catalytic converter and adding fuel. It is most likely this setup has been tested on a dyno and a plug in is available for your bike.

Or we could just buy an old bike with carbs?

Mark McVeigh is a former international motorcycle road racer and MotoGP engineer who now works as a moto-journalist and development rider. He currently is also the Director of Coaching at the motoDNA Motorcycle Academy. Read more of Mark’s work on the motoDNA blog, and follow motoDNA on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Glad to have you onboard Mark. Great piece, can’t wait for the others!

  2. crshnbrn says:

    Mr. McVeigh, I am looking forward to more technical articles from you on A&R. If I may ask a question of you, do you see direct injection being applied to motorcycles as a solution to reducing jerky throttle response with leaner air/fuel ratios?

  3. Ken C. says:

    Great explanation. Makes me want to go change out the stock exhaust, and reflash my ECU or get a power commander for my R6 right now.

  4. Gonzo says:

    Spot on article! I must say, however, that my 2011 S1000RR is quite smooth…as long as you leave the mode selector in Rain or Sport. Flip it to Race or Slick, and you have an abrupt on-off switch. True to your article, I turn faster laps at track days in Sport than Race or Slick.

  5. Bazerko says:

    Those morons at Ducati with that underslung exhaust. burning up the rubber on their tires. When will they X that dumb panigale bike and build a V4 with exhaust once again under the tail

  6. coreyvwc says:

    in reply to @bazerko

    Have you noticed lately that not one single manufacturer in the industry is still using an under- tail exhaust…? and yes Ducati once built a V-4, it cost $60,000. It won’t happen again.

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “Those morons at Ducati with that underslung exhaust. burning up the rubber on their tires.”

    don’t look now, but you just save hundreds of dollars by switching to Gei… errr… you just saved $300 bucks on tyre warmers.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “Have you noticed lately that not one single manufacturer in the industry is still using an under- tail exhaust…?”

    see entry for Yamaha R1, see entry for CBR6.

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “do you see direct injection being applied to motorcycles as a solution to reducing jerky throttle response with leaner air/fuel ratios?”

    before he answers, you may first want to answer, are you willing to come off the dime…?

  10. Halfie30 says:

    Ummm… The Desmosesici RR had an undertaking pipe and an under tail pipe….

  11. Halfie30 says:

    *under slung

  12. Manny varela says:

    Thanks for this excellent article.
    I hope to see more like this on here.
    Welcome to a&r

  13. TexusTim says:

    I got a 2008 cbr 1000rr when they first came out, it had injection snap after a lot of mods it was pretty good. now I have a 2012 cbr 1000rr and honda really cleaned it up but it still had throttle jerk.
    so changed out the exhust with a full yoshimira system, did the pair valve mod,did the ram air flapper mod and the bazzaz z bomb and now its smooth as it doesnt take much some hours in the garage and about1500 bucks
    I think the biggest difference is the 2012 has a o2 sensor(wide band) so it can tell whats going on the older versions did not so no matter the mods it was allways there. I kept the o2 sensor as the full system has a bung for it and it is located right at the header collector the stock one was located after the muffeler..many aftermarket exhaust company’s recomend an 02 delete mainly for a universal fit I dont recomend ditching the 02 sensor.

  14. Keith says:

    “or buy old bikes with carbs” hmm, really irritate the power that be…but an only 2stroke street bike, install modern carbs. Ride the heck out of it. Yep…that could solve the problem.

  15. Nerve says:

    mister McVeigh, please tune it up a notch, your article was not exactly Keith Code ‘throttle control’ level stuff. Looking forward to some real insights, as you clearly have the mileage.

  16. twoversion says:

    Sportbikes will follow the lead of super cars with direct injection, higher compression, and lower number of cylinders to reduce blow-by. I’d also expect to see internal exhaust coatings and leaner fuel mixtures to keep the temps higher. And the upper limits I’d expect them to simply cheat with a dual cam system, like Honda does with their cars.

  17. crshnbrn says:

    @ Norm G.

    “are you willing to come off the dime…?”

    To me the sweet spot of fuel injection is the period after the first crude replacement for carburetors and before modern, strict emissions standards. For the most part rideability, idle smoothness, and fuel economy were acceptable during that time. When emissions standards got tighter, rideability and idle smoothness suffered while there was little if any improvement in fuel economy. If direct injection can restore rideability and idle smoothness, then I “might” come off the dime as you like to put it. If not, then the answer to your question is a resounding “NO”.

  18. Nick R says:

    Its a fine article indeed, but I love those photos! Im sure Im not the only one who loves seeing the insides of bikes as much if not more than the outsides, please feed us more!

  19. TexusTim says:

    @crshnburn..the first generation of fuel injected bikes had the worst throttle snap or jerk, it was very hard and jerky not smooth at all. like the 2001 cbr 6000 f4i with the added injectors and ecu adjustments the later generation bikes are a lot easier to deal with and doing the mods to the emissions makes it a lot better it makes it run leaner as well.

  20. Westward says:

    I would be interested in knowing which manufacturers and teams the author of this article worked with, also if he was associated with a factory effort or a satellite outfit. My reason for asking this, would be to say, is it possible that it different depending on where was is at. Could it be not an issue at HRC in MotoGP but an issue in WSBK. Or Yamaha Factory MotoGP is better at resolving the issue than Tech3.

    After all are there not trade secrets, hence why pay packets are higher than others….?

  21. Norm G. says:

    re: “If direct injection can restore rideability and idle smoothness, then I “might” come off the dime as you like to put it.”

    right then, talk to your compatriots. help them see your valuing mentality. unfortunately, their never-ending quest for free lunch (consequences be damned) makes bike world’s wilful adoption of DI… DOA.

    re: “If not, then the answer to your question is a resounding “NO”.

    and there it is.

  22. TexusTim says:

    @ westward..dont you think he is talking about street bikes ? emissons and catalitic convertors are not used on race bikes right? although there is pictures of motogp bikes I belive he means factory stock bikes as the motogp and wsbk bikes dont suffer from these issues.

  23. Mike says:

    Good article & one that follow conventional thinking about emissions etc.

    The thing I cannot understand is this.
    I have been using various maps on a EFI controller.
    Maps from many different tuners & without fail all except one
    has the majority of values set leaner than the stock ECU values.

    This goes against the accepted theory of needing to richen the fuel map.
    Even the maps that are designed for after market exhaust & air filter change
    ( less restrictive both ) are showing leaner than stock map values.

    If anything one would think if bike is lean from factory opening exhaust & intake
    to be less restrictive would demand even more fuel no? Am I thinking backwards here?
    Anyone know?


  24. crshnbrn says:

    @Norm G.

    re: “their never-ending quest for free lunch (consequences be damned) makes bike world’s wilful adoption of DI… DOA.”

    Key word being willful. Sadly, it probably won’t be adopted without being required to meet even tighter
    emissions standards. Even then, if DI doesn’t improve throttle response, then I won’t be coming off the dime for it. If technology doesn’t improve the riding experience or make a motorcycle safer, then it is of no value to me.

  25. Norm G. says:

    re: “Key word being wilful”

    exactly, you saw what I did there.

    re: “Even then, if DI doesn’t improve throttle response, then I won’t be coming off the dime for it.”

    no worries, we’ll end up paying for the tech regardless. as they say, the “savings” will be passed along to you. if bikeworld beggars whine that bikes are too expensive now…? good grief Charlie brown, wait’ll the manufacturers are forced to build with DI.

    if there’s a scenario more worthy of being slapped with a “beware what you wish for” warning label…? I haven’t seen it. antagonizing Honda till such time they pull out of grandprix, doesn’t hold a candle to this.

  26. Norm G. says:

    re: “Anyone know?”


    re: “This goes against the accepted theory of needing to richen the fuel map.”

    well like you said, that’s a theory. or what I like to refer to as a rule (of thumb). this would be different than LAW, meaning that sure, depending on the vehicle your talking about and it’s set-up, there’s a chance that you might be the exception to that “rule”.

    if your finding 4 outta 5 tables seem to corroborate this…? right then, if it walks like a duck…? and quacks like a duck…? maybe it’s a duck…?!

    get a wideband, zero out the map, and take your own a/f measurements. you may find that 1 oddball tuner is on to something…? or you may find you spent a whole lotta time and money doing duplicate work, only to realize that what the tuner majority had to told you was correct to begin with…?

    ultimately, you have to decide what’s it worth to ya to find this out.

  27. Mike says:

    Norm G. says: “ultimately, you have to decide what’s it worth to ya to find this out.”

    What you say is true Norm & of course the reality is 4 to 1 tuners are going lean.
    They have the time, reason & $$$ to dyno.

    For me my racing days are behind me & I ride for sport & pleasure now.
    So what it is worth to me is just satisfying a curiosity
    I just like tinkering with the maps
    loading 3 or so & trying them/ noting the results
    Just a pleasure/hobby

  28. Prich says:

    +1 on this. Great tech info and a great addition to A&R.

  29. Daryl says:

    Great article, thanks for the explanation. I took a Ducati Multistrada for a test ride and found that at legal speeds the binary “on or off” action of the throttle made the ride most unpleasant. It was such a turnoff I would not buy that bike.

    In this day and age of throttle-by-wire why couldn’t the manufacturers smooth out the throttle speeds to make the engine more tractable? Seems to me if they modulated the throttle inputs such that it smoothed out the harshness it would be better all-round for any non-racetrack riding.

    Having the power come on like a hammer to the back of the head isn’t much fun (or safe) when riding in town…

  30. YOLOSKATES says:


  31. Gonzo says:

    Motion pro makes a throttle called “The Revolver”, and it has different cams you can install, for a different pull. They make one that is slow up to 70% throttle, then fast for the remaining 30% to WOT. I have been considering this on my S1000RR.

  32. buellracerx says:

    good write-up, great perspective!

    Another contributor is higher power levels requiring larger diameter throttle bodies, which have lower flow resolution in the lower opening range. This has an effect regardless of actuation style, ride-by-wire or directly coupled.

    Similarly, higher required peak power levels require ports designed for bulk flow. Intrinsically these generate less charge motion, leading to combustion instability at part throttle conditions.

    As emissions regulations get tighter, MC mfg’s will be forced to adopt (and find ways to make lighter) technologies developed by automotive. Cam phasing and variable lift is one.

    DI will help power (volumetric efficiency) and part-throttle combustion (stratified charge combustion), this is fact. The trick will be getting the fuel spray to vaporize instead of impinging on the walls/piston of an oversquare engine.

  33. pab says:

    nice posting buellracerx
    fiat multi-air is simple and light

    one thing i’ve never understood is why mfgs still use the primitive butterfly type thottle body, while other designs must exists.

  34. Great feedback, thanks very much. Lets see if we can “Get off the dime”