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.

PPIHC: Motorcycles Shatter 10 Minute Barrier at Pikes Peak

08/12/2012 @ 9:41 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

PPIHC: Motorcycles Shatter 10 Minute Barrier at Pikes Peak 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 21 635x425

With the road to the summit of Pikes Peak fully-paved now, riders not only had to contend with learning the 156 corners that comprise the race to the clouds, but they also had to learn the new asphalt sections that were paved after last year’s race. Getting three days of practice and sunshine on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb course, on Saturday the weather hit the reset button, bringing rain down on the mountain, which made the road very green for racing the next day.

The sun returned for Sunday’s set of races though, with the motorcycles leading the charge up Pikes Peak. As with the previous years, the talk of class records falling was again high on the discussion list, which is unsurprising since Pikes Peak has added new pavement sections each year to the course. Though, with the asphalt now going all the way to the summit, the big question this year was by what margin the records would fall, and in the motorcycle category, whether a new class of motorcycle would dominate the mountain.

With most of the field still comprised of supermoto bikes and a handful of flat trackers, the 1205cc class showed the most diversity in entries, with BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, and KTM all represented. The PPIHC crew isn’t keen on full-fledged sport bikes racing on the mountain, relegating those entries that did show up into the exhibition class. Though many thought the sport bikers would dominate this year, it was the adventure-touring bikes in 1205cc class that would lay siege to Pikes Peak, in more than impressive style.

Shattering the 10 minute lap barrier to the summit, Carlin Dunne made a repeat victory and course record with his 9’52.819 run on the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak race bike. With Dunne’s transponder failing to check in a final time at the finish, the entire paddock had to sit and wait for his result before a winner could be declared, since Greg Tracy also put in an astounding sub-10 minute run as well, with a 9’58.262 lap to the top — doing so with a vertebrae that he fractured the previous Sunday, shooting a commercial for Ducati & Audi.

With the motorcycles getting fairly good weather on the mountain, the rest of the classes were not as fortunate. With rain, hail, and snow reported at the summit, the car classes had to contend with the changing conditions, and a bevy of red flags, before they could get all their races completed. One of the longest hill climbs in duration ever at Pikes Peak, the day saw Rhys Millen set an outright course record of 9’46.164 in the Time Attack class on his Hyundai drift car.

Of course, the real feat is Dunne and Tracy’s times, which were the third and fourth fastest overall for the day, respectively — on fairly stock adventure-touring machines, no less.

2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race Results:

Pos.PICNameLap TimeSpeedHometownChassis
1205cc Motorcycle Class
31Carlin Dunne9:52.81972.872Santa Barbara CADucati
42Greg Tracy9:58.26272.209Long Beach CODucati
163Bruno Langlois11:05.34264.929Ajaccio FranceDucati
344Eddie Tafoya11:38.54561.843Chino Hills CADucati
405Michael Henao11:41.68661.566Boulder COHarley Davidson
506Jiri Heinik11:51.96760.677Czech RepublicKTM
1157Norman Meyer13:38.40852.785Conifer COBMW
1358Weston Orloff–.—0.000Mukwonago WIHarley Davidson
750cc Motorcycle Class
101Gary Trachy10:40.75367.421Orange CATM
152Jeff Grace11:02.47265.210Colorado Springs COKTM
283James McKay11:31.42362.480Dayton NVHusaberg
314Joseph Toner11:35.44962.118ScotlandKawasaki
425Marco Belli11:43.71561.388Varese ItalyOuroboros
446Mattia Riva11:44.39761.329Maslianicocomo ItalyHusaberg
487Ryan Oosterman11:49.82760.860New Ipswich NHKTM
598Joseph Connor Toner12:00.45759.962ScotlandAprilia
749Pierpaolo Vivaldi12:16.13358.685Trevenzuolo ItalySMR
7810Dan Harmon12:20.85558.311Florissant COKTM
10811Lee Summers13:14.63954.364Midland TXKTM
450cc Motorcycle Class
171Travis Newbold11:06.61864.805Montrose COHonda
192Greg Chicoine11:12.31264.256Jefferson SDKawasaki
203Daniel Berendes11:12.970Monument COHonda
214Craig Gleason11:13.78264.116San Marcos TXYamaha
245Geoff Cesmat11:20.19563.511Boulder COYamaha
256Jeff Delio11:23.47963.206Littleton COYamaha
267Chase Guthrie11:28.05662.786Mentone INDKawasaki
298Darryl Lujan11:33.56662.287Brighton COHonda
339Teague Sawyer11:38.39961.856Thornton COHonda
3710Cal Collins11:40.74961.648Chandler AZHonda
4611Tom McCarthy11:44.80761.293Des Moines IAHonda
4712Donnie Bales11:47.24161.082Murrieta CAHonda
4913Greg Nichols11:50.95160.764Boulder COYamaha
5614Mark Niemi11:59.23460.064Denison TXHonda
6015Timothy Buhler12:01.19759.900Pine COYamaha
6216Eric Monus12:01.82359.848Houston TXYamaha
6717Mark Woodward12:06.62559.453Longmont COKawasaki
6818Jim Cole12:06.68859.448Parker COYamaha
7119Justin Flater12:10.88959.106Colorado Springs COHonda
7220Thomas Specht12:13.90658.863Woodland Park COHonda
7321Doug Chestnutt12:14.89058.784Littleton COYamaha
7922Michael Kassebaum12:22.86958.153Lawrence NEHonda
8323Brandon Rader12:29.19757.662Lees Summit MOHonda
8724Ryan Radar12:37.96956.994Lees Summit MOKTM
9025Charles Ford12:39.45056.883Colorado Springs COHonda
9326Donnie Burns12:42.64256.645Colorado Springs COHonda
10427William Kitchens12:56.46255.637Houston TXAprilia
11028Chris Carr13:15.36054.315Atlanta GAKTM

Source: PPIHC; Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. wreckah says:

    can anyone tell me why sportsbikes are not liked on the mountain? also, if it is 100% tarmac, how come sportsbikes are not faster? is it too tight?

    i mean, it is pretty fun racing these sit-up motards (i do trackdays on my 990SM too), but you can hardly say they’re perfect for road racing : weight, seating position, ground clearance, aero’s, power,..

  2. Gutterslob says:

    @wreckah
    Yeah, I asked the same thing in the previous Pikes Peak article a couple of days ago.
    Wasn’t quite sure as I’ve never been to the place, but looking at the amount of aero and what little ground clearance the cars have, I’m think a full-on litrebike or something like an Aprillia Tuono 1000 would decimate the outright lap-times set by the cages.

    Not sure how much they’d gain in the higher sections where the turns are tighter and the air thinner, but they’d make a helluva lot of seconds in the flowing bits at the beginning, me thinks. Maybe they should let John McGuinness have a go next year.

  3. dwolvin says:

    I would bet that it’s because of the brutal acceleration that a race bike has means that they would be carrying so much corner speed in that the race officials fear becoming the new IoM TT, and they don’t want the fatalities.

    Not saying it’s true, but that’s my gut feelign.

  4. MikeD says:

    U know……….a couple of pictures of the other riders/competitors/machines besides these GLORIFIED Ugly Ducs wouldn’t hurt.

    Sure, congrats to Ducati but they ain’t the only ones risking it going up the mountain.
    It makes it look to me like a DUCATI PAID and ENDORSED Article…not the case ?
    Sure smells like it.

    P.S: I know u like Ducs…but c’mon.

  5. Steve says:

    @ Gutterslob

    Me don’t think so!

    Rough figures:
    Superbike: 220hp for 260 kg (with 80 kg rider) = 0.85 hp/kg
    2011 Suzuki Monster Sport SX4: 910hp for 1170 kg (with 80 kg drider) = 0.78 hp/kg

    Car specs: http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/default.aspx?carID=19958&i=2

    The car has a lot more traction for accelerating, braking and cornering, especially if you count the aero devices!

    Fastest electric in at 10:15! (Watch out for the next years!)

  6. MikeD says:

    @Steve:

    Besides the woes and havoc that temp changes bring to batts…the beauty of it AND electric motors is that they don’t give a five flying frack about DEMINISHING AIR DENSITY.

  7. Woody says:

    On almost anything requiring traction, the fastest car will beat the fastest motorcycle. The tiny contact patch on bike tires can’t give the corner speed that four car tires can.

  8. MikeD says:

    @Woody:

    +1. Proven Fact.

  9. MikeD, if I did that, then you’d be complaining that this story didn’t have a photo of the bike/rider that blew away the course record and gave the four-wheelers a serious run for their money on the King of the Mountain title.

    You must be confusing me with another blog that’s on an Italian manufacturer’s payroll.

  10. MikeD says:

    @Jensen:

    That’s why i said ” besides “… The winner will be the winner(he/she will always be given the utmost attention) … but he wasn’t the only competitor.
    I don’t xpect a picture of EVERYONE that was there…but someone else besides the Ducs wouldn’t kill you.

    That’s all im saying.

    P.S: I always have something to critizice, one of my greatest shortcomings…sometimes taken with a grain of salt…..sometimes it has got me BANNED from other places… (^_^) hehehe.

  11. Richard Gozinya says:

    @MikeD

    If you’re all that interested in the other riders, you can always try Google. The guy on the Harley who placed 5th for example was interesting, a rookie rider, first time at Pikes Peak, on a bike he had 3 days with come race day. Not a bad showing for a rookie on an XR1200, up against MTS’s, Streetfighters and an HP2.

  12. Gutterslob says:

    @Steve
    I was basing my assumption based on the fact that an almost stock multistrada covered the entire course just 10 seconds slower than a highly tuned car. Not improbable that a supersport-spec 1000cc would make that up, considering the lenghth of the course.

    Obviously, the cars will get faster next year, having acquired data from this even and whatnot, but I still see them beating all the production-based cages. A highly tuned electric in a Radical SR3 “Le-Mans style” chassis might be a different kettle of fist, though.

    Speaking of Radicals, maybe we should see proper bike-engined Radicals or Westfields there in future. Those kits tend to rule the tight hillclimb events in England.

  13. I’ve got about 100 photos to touch up on the flight home, that should help diversify the coverage.

  14. RGR says:

    Gutterslob, I hear what you’re saying but I’ll bet you’ve never taken an MTS1200 out in the twisties. The bike might not have the hp of the top liter bikes but the handling is unreal. I doubt many could outrun me on my Multi; rider talent being somewhat similar. And my other two bikes are liter supersports btw. My only beef with the bike is the damn rider’s seat. I’m sure most other owners would disagree with me, but that is the most uncomfortable saddle I’ve ever sat in. Once I fix that, I’ll be very happy.

    The only thing I wonder about is how they fixed the clearance issue. I’m guessing they’re running custom rearsets on the racebikes although I haven’t searched out any pictures to verify. The stock MTS runs out of room pretty quickly in spirited riding and you hit the pegs (and your feet) pretty easily.

  15. AK says:

    Well they have Busa in a Sidecar class

  16. adam says:

    what happened with audi rs5 sport. it was told to compete with multistrada..

  17. Gutterslob says:

    @RGR
    No, I haven’t run a MTS1200 on a course like Pikes Peak, or anything resempling Pikes Peak, for that matter. I’ll take your word for it, as I only have one bike (Speed Triple) which probably came with an equally uncomfortable stock seat (the angle/incline, not the padding, in my case) btw.

    As for the pegs; well, they allow aftermarket rearsets even in the most amateur level club-race events I’ve taken part in, so I’m pretty sure it’d be legal to change em for something like Pikes Peak. Pretty sure they’d allow some sort of custom mounting even if the stock mounts didn’t suffice, since ground-clearance relates to safety to a large extent.

  18. MikeD says:

    @Jensen:

    Thank you Sir. Ur sure listen to your “audience”. LOL.

    @Richard G:

    (^_^) U saw that ? Sometimes even the Bitchy ones get attention…..ROTFLMAO.

  19. RGR says:

    Hey Gutterslob, we have similar taste. I was the proud owner of an ’07 Speed Triple at one time. I had the optional gel seat on mine and it was SO much better than the stock saddle. I’d say the Multistrada handles better than the Speed Triple believe it or not (a bit more stable and you get even more leverage from the bar). Of course, I have the S version with the Ohlins suspension, etc. so it’s not exactly apples to apples. It also has more power. The Speed Triple is an awesome bike though, so I’m certainly not dogging it for anything. I had a blast on mine and really liked it a lot.

    One nice thing about Colorado is that roads like Pikes Peak are all over the place lol! Riding here is phenomenal.

  20. BSA bike says:

    There aren’t any superbikes because the rules won’t allow it. While cars have an unlimited class that is only limited by safety gear, the fastest bike class is limited to three cylinders and must have come from the factory with a tube handlebar, not clipons. No Panigale, ZX-10r, S1000RR, etc. No superchargers or nos. No slick tires, must have street tires. These are pretty severe restrictions for a paved course that tops out at over 14,000feet.
    The only reason bikes got close to the cars this year is because snow closed the top of the course before the fastest cars got a chance to race. They ran a short course that was only 4-5 minutes long.
    Of course the fastest motorcycles were ridden by the spectators and parked on the shoulder while dirtbikes went up the closed paved course on treaded street tires.