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.

WSBK: FIM Confirms Cost-Cutting Rules, Adds EVO Class

08/09/2013 @ 11:21 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

WSBK: FIM Confirms Cost Cutting Rules, Adds EVO Class aprilia rsv4 factory engine motor cutaway 635x423

The FIM has confirmed changes to the World Superbike Championship for the 2014 season and onward. Following in the footsteps of the MotoGP Championship, WSBK will go to an eight-engine allocation (per rider, per season), have a limited number of gear ratios, as well as price caps on brake and suspension pieces. Pretty standard fare.

More intriguing though is the announcement by the FIM that World Superbikes will have a sub-category: the EVO class. British motorbike race fans will find the term familiar but for the rest of us, the distinction is simple.

The WSBK EVO class will follow the same rules as the standard WSBK-spec machine in regards to chassis, suspension, and braking components, but will follow the FIM Superstock rules when it comes to engines and electronic systems. The press release is after the jump.

FIM Superbike World Championship 2014 Rules

Following various meetings between the FIM, Dorna and the MSMA, a new framework has been put in place for the progressive application of the new Superbike rules. The new rules are aimed at reducing costs for the motorcycle and its components.

1. The rules changes for the 2014 FIM Superbike World Championship season will be as follows:

  • A limited number of engines (eight) per rider/per season.
  • A limited number of gear ratios.
  • A price cap on the brakes.
  • A price cap on the suspensions.

2. In order to ensure that there are a sufficient number of riders with competitive motorcycles on the grid, the MSMA has agreed to provide, on request, a complete motorcycle package at a fixed prize, for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The motorcycle packages supplied will be the same as those used by the manufacturer and will receive certain updates and maintenance from the manufacturers during the season.

3. Under the new rules, there will be a sub-category known as the EVO class. This class will follow the FIM Superbike technical regulations for all chassis, suspension and brake components. On the engine and electronics side, however, these motorcycles will follow the present FIM Superstock rules. The price cap on brakes and suspensions will be the same as Superbike.

More details about the EVO technical rules will be available on the FIM Website shortly.

A draft of the new technical rules will be published on the FIM website by 26 August.

Source: FIM

Comment:

  1. sideswipeasaurus says:

    Back to race on Sunday, sell on Monday rather than a soft GP series. This could work.

  2. 2ndclass says:

    Definitely good news for the series. WSBK development is getting out of control, hopefully this will put more bikes on the grid, particularly getting the factories to provide machines at a set cost.

  3. Rs says:

    So does this EVO class run with the superbikes? Or is it a totally new class? Or does it replace Superstock?

  4. Mariani says:

    @Rs
    I have the same questions as you.

    Anyway, I don’t think WSBK should be downplayed all the way down Superstock route, as I see place for both categories to co-exist. Just ban the damned electronics and I’ll be a happy bloke.

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “Definitely good news for the series.”

    MotoGP series.

    re: “WSBK development is getting out of control”

    sayeth ezpelata.

  6. james says:

    By the sound of it the evo class will run in the same race as the wsbk’s, much like teh CRT’s currently are in moto gp. I’m guessing there will be a seperate leaderboard for them and an evo championship etc.

    The bit that intrigues me though was point 2? does that mean you can approach the msma and say i’d like a rsv-4 plus support and here’s 500,000 euros (for example) then they get the bike and support for the rest of the season?

    If so then this is definitely a winner as there should b no more losses like HTM Racing and Effenbert etc halfway through the season.

  7. smiler says:

    If the Evo class is a replacement for superstocks then this is likely a good idea though it will provide competition to BSB. Which up until now has been a strong feeder class to WSBK.

    My concern is that Dorna are downgrading WSBK. Superbike sales have been shrinking for a while because of demographics. So if development does not attract teams but the race on Sunday buy on Monday idea why is it Aprilia are thinking of leaving and BMW have already left?
    perhaps making the evo class is a good idea. But perhaps better would be to revise the WSBK rules and replace superstocks with a naked race format?

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “My concern is that Dorna are downgrading WSBK…”

    …for no other reason than to put down the threat of competition.

    “This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi, it will soon see the end of the Rebellion.” (vader voice)

  9. meatspin says:

    to me, WSBK, should be as thus- I should be able to go into my dealer and purchase a motorcycle and with a few performance mods not more than say 50k USD be able to have a motorbike capable of winning a superbike race given that I have the talent to do so.

  10. Gutterslob says:

    @smiler
    RE: “…why is it Aprilia are thinking of leaving and BMW have already left?”

    Politically correct answer;
    Both Aprilia and BMW think they provide a good enough base package, and since they can’t do much development with the new rules, they’re leaving the racing to private teams.

    My answer;
    Aprilia tend to use about 800 engines per season, so cutting back to 8 doesn’t sound so viable to them. BMW have spent a bazillion dollars and still haven’t won a SBK championship, so they’re leaving now to save face (blaming new rules) since there’s no hope for them once the cost-cutting comes in.

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “BMW have spent a bazillion dollars and still haven’t won a SBK championship”

    however (comma) they HAVE won 2 superstock titles and may yet be on for a 3rd. with the rules changing, these victories are actually greater than they could’ve ever imagined. wait, they’re bavarian boffins, OF COURSE they’ve imagined this. how silly of me to think otherwise.

  12. Dc4go says:

    @ Gutterslob. Currently Aprilia uses a motor over a race weekend cause there’s no engine rule in place so why not. I’m sure they would have no problem running 12 engines a year since they already comply to limited engines in their CRT bikes. As far as BMW is concerned they figure a title would have come a lot easier.

  13. Gutterslob says:

    @Norm G
    Hence my politically correct answer about them deciding they have a good base bike for a non-factory team to win on.

    @Dc4go
    Yes, and I’m sure many other teams run quite a lot of engines as well. I watch WSBK on Eurosport, and a few races ago when Guinters had an engine failure, the commentators were discussing Aprilia supposedly limiting their engines in an attempt to condition themselves for next year’s (rumored at the time, since these rules weren’t officially announced yet) rule changes, and they were having a lot of difficulty.

  14. Dc4go says:

    Part of racing pushing to the limit then throttle back just a hair. Every single bike on the grid is tuned pretty high. Sykes had a pretty spectacular blow up 2 weeks ago looked like a rod flying out !

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “I’m sure they would have no problem running 12 engines a year since they already comply to limited engines in their CRT bikes.”

    right now there is an engineer in noale thinking about slitting his wrists vertically.