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.

All You Need to Know About TTXGP at Infineon – Mission: Out – MotoCzysz: Out – Brammo: Doubtful

05/01/2010 @ 12:46 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

All You Need to Know About TTXGP at Infineon   Mission: Out   MotoCzysz: Out   Brammo: Doubtful mission one motors infineon test 2 560x373

Even though the official TTXGP entry list isn’t due to be out until Monday morning, Asphalt & Rubber has been working hard to find out what electric motorcycle manufacturers would be at Infineon for the first round of TTXGP. We already expect Zero to show up on something that doesn’t rhyme with Ravizen, but what about Mission Motors, MotoCzysz, and Brammo? The answer to that question would be: no, no, and maybe…but probably not.

Even though Mission Motors tested their Mission One at Infineon, and signed early in the silly season to ride exclusivily with TTXGP, the San Franciscan company is going to be a no-show at Infineon. Citing their focus on getting the Mission One into production, it looks like we won’t see Mission at many races as the company balances priorities. The good news though is that Mission has tipped us off that they wil be debuting a new race bike later in the season. Mission Motors would neither confirm nor deny that the new race bike would be based off their second-generation street bike, which we’ve dubbed the “Mission Two”. More on this as we get it.

An additional no-show at Infineon will be MotoCzysz, which is blaming Infineon’s race date as being to close to the team’s ship date for TT Zero, the Isle of Man TT’s zero-emission race that sarts June 1st. TTXGP has been purposefully scheduling events on top of other competing racing events, TT Zero being just one of these instances.

Brammo is the only remaining question mark from the big electric four, and the only company that hasn’t made it’s racing intentions clear. The Ashland, Oregon company, the last time we talked to them, was indecisive about racing this season, and with zero time left on pulling the trigger for Infineon, we’re not expecting a Brammo (or Best Buy) tent at the Sonoma track.

While each team has their reasons to obstain from what was expected to be one of only a few gatherings of competitive teams in electric motorcycle racing, we think the final reason comes down to time and money, commodities all startups are in short supply of. This development does bring into question if it’s too soon for a full-blown electric motorcycle racing series, and whether or not the current situation is encouraging growth in the industry, and putting this budding sport in a positive light.

As we like to say here, only time will tell.

Comment:

  1. KLS says:

    “…whether or not the current situation is encouraging growth in the industry, and putting this budding sport in a positive light.”

    For an industry to grow there has to be consumption. Electric bikes have been around for decades and it was past time for something to prompt their production and innovation. The best way to do so is racing–at least when it comes to our two-wheeled sports.

    Every motorcyclist I know thinks of themselves as more creative, more innovative, and more forward-thinking than car drivers. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be riding! As such, I know that electric racing is pushing the envelope of technology and setbacks are bound to happen. We don’t have car executives building these racebikes, we have engineers. Engineers make progress by trying stuff and improving what breaks. It’s not pretty to watch but as a result we have a whole new type of competition in racing. When was the last time that happened in >>any<< motorsport?

  2. All You Need to Know About TTXGP at Infineon – Mission: Out – MotoCzysz: Out – Brammo: Doubtful – http://bit.ly/9284OF #motorcycle

  3. Brammofan says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: All You Need to Know About TTXGP at Infineon – Mission: Out – MotoCzysz: Out – Brammo: Doubtful – http://bit.ly/9284OF

  4. skadamo says:

    RT @torkindia @Asphalt_Rubber All You Need to Know About TTXGP at Infineon Mission: Out MotoCzysz: Out Brammo: Doubt.. http://bit.ly/9284OF.

  5. Odie says:

    As much as I would like to see electric bike racing, it seems to me the electric bike industry just isn’t quite ready yet. I also think the racing is too fractured.

    A number of years ago, there was a huge push for fuel cell engines for cars. People touted it as THE solution for the next generation of car power. It turned out to be a lot harder than anyone anticipated and a lot of promises were made that could not be filled and the whole movement pretty much stopped dead in it’s tracks.

    I just hope that this doesn’t happen to electric bikes. I thought TTXGP on the Isle of Man was a good start, but a full season of events maybe too much for these fledgling companies to pull off if they want to make and, most importantly, sell electric bikes.