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 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.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

2012 Lightning Motors Concept Sketch – Two Bike Team

05/09/2011 @ 5:41 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

2012 Lightning Motors Concept Sketch   Two Bike Team Lightning Motors electric superbike concept 635x360

After our Bothan Spies brought back photos of the new Lightning Motors electric race motorcycle, we got this concept sketch of the new 2012 “Flying Banana” that gives us some idea or what to expect this weekend at Infineon for the first round of the North American TTXGP series. It is hard to glean any real information off the sketch, other than of course that the machine will have two-wheels, a seat, and some fairings.

What we can tell from this information though is that the Lightning is suspiciously svelte compared to last year’s racing machine. Though it’s easy to hide a motorcycle’s mass in two dimensions, it looks like Lightning Motors has gone on a diet with its design philosophy, which backs up the information we got that the machine has lost 150 lbs from its previous bulk. Time will tell what sort of sacrifices the team had to make in order to achieve that feat, but with two bikes listed on their card, Lightning seems to mean business this year.

Taking a quick look at the TTXGP entry list for Infineon, we also see that Lightning is listed as running two bikes for Sunday’s race, with Mike Hannas riding Lightning’s #88 machine (Michael Barnes returns with the #80 machine). This makes Lightning the only team running two bikes at Infineon this season, which could be interesting. Hannas was formerly tied to the team, which suffered the tragic loss of Matthew Dieckmann last year.

Unless our Bothans can come through again, we’ll likely get out first glimpse of the “Flying Bananas” (do you see what we did there?) on Friday, when the TTXGP grid has its first practice session. Lightning will have to contend with a small, but distinguished grid, as only seven bikes are listed on the TTXGP website.

Hopefully making the outing a fruitful one, other teams named on that list includes the marquee brands of Brammo and Mission Motors, along with the familiar names of Thad Wolff, Ely Schless, and Kenyon Kluge. More as we get it.

Source: Lightning Motors


  1. Mark says:

    Is that a Hossack front suspension I see?

  2. From my previous conversations with Hatfield, I’d put money on standard forks.

  3. Dr. Gellar says:

    WOW! If the new Lightning race bikes actually look anything like the drawing above…I will be most impressed! What a huge difference a year can make. Having seen the Lightning bike for the first time last year at Laguna Seca, I was surprised to see how fast it was…faster than even the MotoCzysz E1pc, which I was not at all expecting. And if this new bike indeed is 150lbs lighter and 50HP more powerful…YOWZERS!

    Kudos to Mr. Hatfield for fielding two riders this year. I saw this at the TTXGP website, but was wondering if it was a typo or not. Yet another positive sign that the professionalism in electric road-racing is slowly on the rise.

  4. I find it amusing that you make this statement: “Yet another positive sign that the professionalism in electric road-racing is slowly on the rise” after making the previous one: “saw this at the TTXGP website, but was wondering if it was a typo or not.”

  5. Dr. Gellar says:

    I guess it is a contradiction of sorts…lol. When I referred to Lightning running two riders as a positive sign of professionalism slowly on the rise, I was thinking more from a team perspective, rather than a series perspective. Most factory teams in MotoGP, WSBK, AMA/DMG and other series around the world tend to, but not always, run two rider efforts. Two riders are said to be a better situation than a single rider when if comes to development, and can sometimes indicate that a team is (relatively) well funded. So to me, Lightning is taking electric racing to that next step of increasing (at least) the professional appearance of teams in electric racing. Which is really cool… :-)

    From a series perspective, we still have a looooong ways to go before the professionalism of TTXGP or the FIM e-Power series truly improves…but I guess baby-steps are being made towards that too (I hope). However, until I saw the news on your site…I couldn’t trust what TTXGP’s site had to say…

  6. 2012 Lightning Motors Concept Sketch – Two Bike Team – #motorcycle

  7. Isaac Chavira says:

    I know how they did it! Look at the sketch, it’s a riderless machine.


    It actually makes me think of a modernized Ducati 916. Can’t wait to see it fly!

  8. The rear suspension has a spring over, even if in the concept isn’t seen.

    The key to this weekend with many new bikes that will make the first steps on the track will be the affidability.

    Too bad the Lightning has shelved the induction motor his sound was really nice!

  9. Victor Pritzker says:

    Actually, I think the reason for there being two of these beautiful new bikes is that there will now be two racing classes of bikes in this series, to take into account the widely differing abilities of the entries. Lightning is indeed a very professional and serious group, and will likely use the two bikes to contest both classes.
    It is also likely, that with the newly slimmed down, and more powerful package, Lightning will go after breaking it’s own very impressive World Record at Bonneville this year as well.
    This should be an even more exciting season for eBike watchers.

  10. the new team Amarok isn’t in the entry list, you have information about this?

  11. Probably realized that it was fatally-flawed in design, or the trip from Canada was too far.

  12. Twilight Moonhead says:

    If the Bike looks like whatever is in that drawing, it seems like a real conventional design with some fancy graphics. Boring!!