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: Rookie Carlin Dunne Surprises with Pole Position

06/25/2011 @ 10:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

PPIHC: Rookie Carlin Dunne Surprises with Pole Position PPIHC Carlin Dunne Santa Barbara Ducati 635x444

The 89th Annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is well underway this weekend, as the three days of practices sessions have now concluded, and teams are preparing for the race on Sunday. With the paddock abuzz that 2011 will be the last year that the hill climb will have a dirt section, things were shook up even further in the 1200cc motorcycle class as PPIHC rookie rider Carlin Dunne from the Santa Barbara Ducati team took the pole position with a qualifying time of 5:35.937 (each classes qualifies on only a single section of the race course, with motorcycles qualifying on the lower section this year). Vying for the top spot on the time sheet, Dunne had stiff competition in the 1200c race class, namely from Spider Grips Ducati riders Gregg Tracy, who crashed during the qualifying session.

Battling with Dunne, Tracy’s off occurred due to the cold tarmac conditions, thus losing valuable time. Tracy’s practice times from earlier in the day were favorable though, posting a 5:48.798 in traffic earlier in the morning. Dunne’s rookie pole debut is a rarity on The Peak, though traditionally it predicts a top-step finish for the rider (no pressure, right?). In order for that to happen, the Santa Barbara native will have to keep Tracy and his teammate Alexander Smith at bay, along with a very fast Mark Cernicky (who writes about motorcycle occasionally). Also in the hunt is Glenn Cox on his KTM SuperDuke R, though Joe Kopp’s Triumph Speed Triple has been relegated to an exhibition class, as it falls outside the 1200cc & 7500cc class rules (the 1200cc class is for v-twins only…draw your conclusions on that as you will).

“It’s pretty overwhelming at first — there’s a lot of information to process,” said Dunne while explaining his first time racing Pikes Peak to Asphalt & Rubber. “Your first ride you really question why, for me at least, what am I doing? Why am I here? There’s 156 turns and each one is different. Some are decreasing radius, some are increasing radius, and a lot of them are blind.”

“I actually had to take a step-back, slowdown, quit trying to go fast, and start going slower and learning,” continued Dunne who will ride a modestly modified Ducati Multistrada 1200. “When I started doing that, things started really to come together, but it was pretty overwhelming at first.”

An accomplished road and dirt bike racer, Dunne was quick to point out the obvious challenge that Pikes Peak presents to riders. “There’s literally no guardrails on some of these big sweepers, and going over 100 mph we’re get loose, real loose, and as soon as you start to think about that, you’re definitely slowing down.”

“But, it’s a calculated risk,” Dunne immediately added. “You know you could go faster, but you also know that you’re on your limit of adhesion, so you’ve got to walk the line, much more so than any closed-circuit race track. There’s no second chance, there’s no run-off, so you have to respect it, and that’s the most important part.”

When asked about how felt about his pole-position qualifying, Dunne simply stated: “I can definitely feel the target on my back getting bigger, but really I’m not letting it get to me. No one expected me to do much, and for me it’s just about riding my race. I’m not worried about racing anyone else, I’m just focused on putting 156 turns together as flawlessly as possible…and keeping it on two wheels while I’m at it.”

Select Qualifying Results for the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb:

Pos.No.NameBikeQualifying Time
134Carlin DunneDucati Multistrada 12005:35.937
250Mark CernickyDucati Multistrada 12005:44.131
355Alexander SmithDucati Multistrada 12006:00.252
413Glenn CoxKTM SuperDuke R6:01.912
5555Greg TracyDucati Multistrada 12006:12.082
Other Times of Note
1*357Gary TrachyTM 660 SMX5:22.310
2*508Stuart SinclairAprilla SXV5:32.130
2**3Joe KoppTriumph Speed Triple5:43.758
-489Chip YatesElectric Superbike Prototype6:50.275
*Qualifying Position from the 750cc Motorcycle Class
**Qualifying Position if Included in the 1200cc Motorcycle Class

Source: PPIHC; Photo: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Is the 1200cc class sponsored by a certain Italian marque? Very odd about the config. restrictions in place…

    Would’ve loved to see some Leicestershire metal fighting for the win.

  2. Trev says:

    If they adapted the Superbike formula, 1200 twins, 1000 IL4′s; logically 1100 triples would be in there?
    Neither formula allows for anything outside of what the organisers want, or are told to want…
    And what is the story with the 660 and SXV (550?), excluded because they aren’t powerful enough, or too light, or too fast?
    Maybe this is a ‘race’ for touring bikes?

  3. Ri says:

    It’s fun to read you write “It’s a lot of data to process” and write something this informative and a bit long. Clearly there’s no irony here.

    –Ri of changerules(dot)net

  4. jeff_williams says:

    I thought the 750cc class is for those bigger than the 450 but smaller than the big boys but they are definitely faster than the big bikes. Maybe they are put there on purpose because of that. I want to see the 450cc times.

  5. The Aprilia SXV is race legal in the 750cc class, and in fact one was raced (crashed in the race if I recall correctly, but qualified well). Pikes Peak’s regs are based off the AMA flat track rule book, and the course has traditionally been a dirt event, all of which factors into its current incarnation.

    That being said, I think the 1200cc class should be like what we see in Superbike racing, especially now that the course will be all paved for 2012. This would also remedy the appearance that the class was made specifically to cater to PPIHC’s official motorcycle partner.