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.

Dakar Rally – Stage 5: Coma Leads, Despres Penalized

01/09/2014 @ 6:18 pm, by Bryan Delohery4 COMMENTS

Dakar Rally   Stage 5: Coma Leads, Despres Penalized marc coma dakar rally stage five ktm 635x422

Stage five of the 2014 Dakar Rally saw  riders battling  some very inclement conditions. With temperatures soaring to well above 100 degrees and poor visibility due to last week’s rain, Stage Five  took its toll on all the riders as they covered the 912 km jaunt between Chilecito and Tucumán.

“It was another tough day and it was really hot out there,” explained Marc Coma. “To get to the end of the stage I rode for 10 km lost in a river bed.” Coma and his KTM 450 Rally rode to the stage lead with Jordi Viladoms taking second nearly 13 minutes behind Coma, while Kuba Pryzgonski finished third.

“It was a difficult stage physically, but mainly the navigation was difficult,” said Viladoms. “At the final of the stage, the river was very difficult and everyone was lost, but I am happy because I rode a good stage.”

While Viladoms took second in today’s stage, he still finds himself in fourth place overall, almost an hour behind Coma. The win today for Coma places him in the overall lead of the Dakar Rally, leaving Joan Barreda a somewhat safe 41 minutes behind him, with Chaleco Lopez occupying third, over 53 back.

Despite experiencing fuel system issues on Stage Five in 2013, as well as in this year’s rally raid, Barreda has still managed to place himself second overall. “I lost a lot of time trying to repair this problem but it’s okay because I am here at the finish and many of our rivals also had problems,” said Barreda about the issue.

After a disappointing setback on Stage Four, Cyril Despres did not have any better luck today, and incurred an hour penalty for missing a waypoint, and in the process nearly ran out of gas. Today’s result more than likely puts the Frenchman out of contention for this year’s Dakar win, and dashed his hopes of winning his sixth Dakar Rally this year.

“It was very hot in the special and the sand was soft. Because of that I was paying particular attention to engine temperature and even more so when I noticed I was consuming fuel at an alarming rate,” said Cyril Despres. “I was on my way to get the [infamous] WP17 but had to turn back when I realised I wouldn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end.”

“I was right on the limit of running out when I came across a quad rider who kindly gave me a litre and a half,” he added. “In all, my various problems cost me 44 minutes, to which will be added the one hour penalty.”

Top 10 from Stage 5: Chilecito to Tucumán
1. Marc Coma – (ESP) – KTM – 03:02:08
2. Jordi Viladoms – (ESP) – KTM – +00:12:54
3. Helder Rodrigues- (PRT) – Honda – +00:25:53
4. Riann Van Niekerk – (ZAF) -KTM – +00:32:04
5. Juan Carlos Salvatierra – (BOL) – Speedbrain – +00:33:12
6. Juan Pedrero Garcia – (ESP) – Sherco – +00:34:03
7. Robert Van Pelt – (NLD) – Honda – +00:37:04
8. Daniel Gouet – (CHL) – Honda – +00:37:53
9. Alain Duclos – (FRA) – Sherco – +00:39:28
10. Jeremias Israel Esquerre – (CHL) – Speedbrain – +00:40:07

2014 Dakar Rally Overall Standing after Stage 5:
1. Marc Coma – (ESP) – KTM – 18:45:11
2. Juan Barreda – (ESP) – Honda – +00:41:10
3. Francisco Lopez Contardo – (CHL) – KTM- +00:53:41
4. Jordi Viladoms – (ESP) – KTM – +00:58:58
5. Alain Duclos – (FRA) – Sherco – +01:02:13
6. Jeremias Israel Esquerre – (CHL) – Speedbrain – +01:23:30
7. Olivier Pain – (FRA) – Yamaha – +01:27:22
8. Kuba Przygonski – (POL) – KTM – +01:43:02
9. David Casteu – (FRA) – KTM – +01:52:41
10. Helder Rodrigues – (PRT) – Honda – +01:58:18

Source: Dakar; Photo: KTM

Comment:

  1. Chris Reedy says:

    No mention of the heartbreaking first place to flames fate of HRC’s Paulo Goncalves? Easily one of the most raw and powerfully emotional reactions in the past few years of racing, especially the video. If the guy that got the shot of Paulo next to the bike head in hands as the flames rise doesn’t get a Pulitzer it’ll be a damn shame.

  2. Kaw4Life says:

    Chris – Thank you!

  3. Kaw4Life says:

    Sitting in my chair with lots of time to think about it. If I were the rider wearing blue, I would have roosted the burning bike in and attempt to smother the fire with sand.