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.

The Rappture Comes to Laguna Seca – Mission Motors Wins Electric Bike Showdown

07/24/2011 @ 2:31 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

The Rappture Comes to Laguna Seca   Mission Motors Wins Electric Bike Showdown Steve Rapp Laguna Seca race win

With the micro-weather climate that is Laguna Seca, the skies cleared in time for the FIM e-Power/TTXGP Championship race. Fast throughout the week, Steve Rapp stood on the pole position riding the Mission Motors Mission R electric superbike supersport. Qualifying second was Michael Barnes on the Lightning entry, and rounding out the front row was Michael Czysz on the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc. With eleven motorcycles on the starting grid, Laguna Seca proved to be one of the most well-attended grids for electric motorcycle racing; but perhaps more importantly, it was host to some of the most professional entries we’ve seen to-date from electric racing.

With 11 seconds covering the top six riders, the gaps between teams has narrowed in the two short years of electric motorcycle racing. Most of that gap caused by Mission’s scorching pace, a margin of just three tenths of a second covered the second row of the grid, making a battle for fourth almost assured from the get-go. Though the qualifying times were far apart overall, there was still some close racing to be had at Laguna Seca.

Walking away with the lead after the first lap, Steve Rapp checked out from the competition while Michael Barnes and Michael Czysz vied for second. Barney lead for most of the race, but Czysz followed in pursuit, capitalizing as the Lightning machine began to run out of power in the final lap. Closing the gap, Czysz burtst by Barnes with just a few yards to the finish line, snatching second place from Lightning by a matter of feet for the second year in a row.

The close finishes wouldn’t stop with the battle for second though, as the next group of riders battling for fourth had been neck-and-neck the entire race. With Alessandro Brannetti leading the three-rider pack (Brannetti, Atlas, Himmellmann) for the first five laps, Steve Atlas took over on lap six and rode his Brammo Empulse RR to a fourth place finish. Atlas would not have an easy time of it though, as both Brannetti and Himmellman were just a matter of yards from each other coming down the final straight.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Steve C. says:

    How fast are they compared to the gas powered?

  2. Nick says:

    Saw it reported that Rapp did a 1:31 in qualy so slower for sure, but getting there.

  3. Jon says:

    I read somewhere that Rapp’s qualifying times were comparable to AMA Supersport. I think they said it would have placed him something like 13th on the gird.

  4. Doctor Jelly says:

    I’m glad Mission has finally brought a product to the grid and even more glad it doesn’t look like their first bike! MotoCzysz’s dominance is in question and they may be dethroned if Mission is at the next IoM!

  5. “You read somewhere” should be replaced with “you read here” – http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/racing/mission-motors-supesport-pace/

    Track’s internet went down for a better part of the day, it’s a small miracle this article went out. I’ll update it tonight with the full results table.

  6. Rich says:

    1’31.376 would have put Rapp and the Mission 4th on the grid of SS, and 20th on the DSB grid. In the race Rapp ran 1:33s to 1:34s while he was way out front. Only e-bikes were suppose did 8 laps, and SS did 18, and DSB were suppose to do 23. It is relatively easy to put big power in these bikes. It’s just they can’t go that fast as far. However the biggest “fuel tank” was .43 gallons of gas (14.4kwhr). DSB requires stock tanks. So some quick math (33.7kWhr per gallon, ICE eff 30%, elec.eff 95%, 4.5 gal gsx-r600 tank) electric bikes only need 1.42 gals of fuel to go as far and fast around the track. That’s about a 47.9 kWhr pack. That technology is years away still, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see 20kWhr packs next year or two that are the same size as the current ones, and maybe lighter with some of the technology that more than one company is claiming they have right now.

  7. The Rappture Comes to Laguna Seca – Mission Motors Wins Electric Bike Showdown – http://aspha.lt/px #motorcycle

  8. Tessier says:

    To bad we can’t see Chip Yates compete they we might have a great race since he is the one racing ICE bikes!

  9. rollme says:

    I wonder if Czysz will be putting a professional on his bike from now on.

  10. KyleG says:

    @Rich

    I would think an ICE engine is more like 15-20% efficient under racing loads. The electrics are going to be more like 85-90% as well. Nonetheless you are correct that to compete directly with gas bikes, electrics would need north of 20kWh. But why would electrics want to compete against them? We race electric because its different, clean, and has a big future. Racing against gas bikes is not an ultimate goal for a lot of electrics IMHO

  11. Czysz said in the post-race press conference that he’d be hiring a pro rider next year.

  12. Dr. Gellar says:

    Watching the race from just in front of Turn 4, I was totally surprised by Rapp’s speed on the Mission R. Holy s**t that bike was flying around that corner! He was noticeably faster there than both Czysz and Barnes on the MotoCzysz and Lightning bikes respectively. Those guys got beaten bad. I do wonder how much of that performance was due to Rapp’s riding skills vs. any superiority of the Mission R compared to the E1pc and the Lightning. I’m a big MotoCzysz fan, but congratulations to Rapp and Mission on the win.