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.

TTXGP: Brammo Sets Track Record at Infineon

05/15/2011 @ 1:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

TTXGP: Brammo Sets Track Record at Infineon Brammo TTXGP lap record Infineon 635x457

The California sun gods were in our favor this morning, as the rainy heavens over Infineon Raceway parted long enough to dry out the Sonoma track, and allow racing to commence under cloudy skies. After a thrilling ambulance race (Infineon Raceway had all its four-wheelers out drying the tarmac and racing line), Race Direction deemed the course fit for racing, and the slower-paced electrics were first on the card to try out the dryness of the track. Fielding three bikes for Race 2, we saw a return of Brammo, Moto Electra, and VOLT to the starting grid, as Ely Schless and his Proto Moto was a scratch for today’s event.

With such a large spread in the field, things sorted their way out much like on Saturday, with Brammo taking the early lead and never looking back. Thad Wolff made an impressive showing, but was no match for the faster Brammo Empulse RR. Meanwhile in the Formula TTX75 class, Kenyon Kluge rode to a solo victory with no other competitor fielding a 7.5 kWh machine.

Perhaps in response to some remarks by an unscrupulous blogger, Brammo put to rest any doubts about its efforts, as Steve Atlas set a track record for electric motorcycles on the Empulse RR. With a 1:55.150 race lap time, the Brammo team shaved nearly 19 seconds off his overall race time from yesterday. Breaking the record for electric motorcycles at Infineon with authority, Atlas posted 1:55 and 1:56 lap times throughout the race, setting a new bar in the TTXGP series.

Talking to Brammo’s Brian Wismann, he explained that the team swapped out the 180 Dunlop rear tire from yesterday, for a 160 tire. Brammo had been testing on the 160, but was unable up until today’s race to find one in the Dunlop truck that would hold air on the team’s rims. Dunlop was able to find one for today’s race though, which allowed Brammo to run a gearing setup they were more familiar with, and was much faster on the Empulse RR. In fact, all three bikes were quicker Sunday when compared to their Saturday afternoon times. Absent from the race was Ely Schless, who withdrew after completing the first race, having motor heating issues.

As with yesterday, the bikes of Lightning and Mission Motors were also scratches, both citing a lack of time to get their race bikes together in time for the first race of the TTXGP season.

Pos.No.RiderTeamTimeDiff.
158Steve AtlasBrammo17:25.021-
237Thad WolffMoto Electra17:54.06929.047
319Kenyon KlugeVOLT19:22.3771:57.355
Not Classified
DNS18Ely SchlessProto Moto--
DNS15Mike HannasLightning--
DNS80Michael BarnesLightning--
DNS17Steve RappMission Motors--

Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Gavin says:

    Anybody have the lap times from today?

    Gavin

  2. Ron says:

    This is an interesting class to watch for about a half a lap. I would really like to see this class grow with other teams, but with 3 silent bikes on the track, and the race pretty much over after the first turn, nobody watched. I hope this isn’t too discouraging to the manufacturers and teams. I would like to see them on a shorter track, maybe Super Moto?

  3. Brammofan says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: TTXGP: Brammo Sets Track Record at Infineon – http://aspha.lt/j9 #motorcycle

  4. Iaasic says:

    I made the trek out to Infineon raceway to find out the Brammo bike would be doing laps. Disappointing.

    Today was a setback for the blossoming e-motorcycle industry. Two of the bigger racers bow out? I mean wtf? Did Mission need more time to work on photoshop images of its bike? C’mon guys, race a damn race already.

  5. Gavin says:

    Lap times for the winning Empulse would be nice to see…wanted to see how they compared to yesterday’s ride. Where were the 19 seconds gained?

    Thanks
    Gavin

  6. Richard Gozinya says:

    That’s pretty cool, but until they go up against Lightning, Zero/Agni, and MotoCzysz, Brammo’s basically just running laps.

  7. Gavin:

    Lap 1 – 3:46.871
    Lap 2 – 1:56.619
    Lap 3 – 1:55.688
    Lap 4 – 1:55.150
    Lap 5 – 1:55.533
    Lap 6 – 1:55.771
    Lap 7 – 1:56.665
    Lap 8 – 2:02.723

  8. skadamo says:

    Love it! RT @Asphalt_Rubber: TTXGP: Brammo Sets Track Record at Infineon – http://aspha.lt/j9 #motorcycle

  9. Dr. Gellar says:

    Iaasic hit the nail dead in the head. I too made the trip to Infineon today, and I feel exactly the same. Only 3 participants today?!? Really?!!? Yikes…even MotoGP has more competitors than that! :-p I only hope that the Isle of Man TT Zero race next month and the combined TTXGP/FIM e-Power race at Laguna Seca in July will have far better turn-outs.

    Props to Brammo though, not just for showing up with a top-notch effort and winning, but for once again having the hottest trophy/umbrella girls of the event as well!

  10. Gavin says:

    Thanks Jensen:

    What is nice to see from the 2 races: From Saturday to Sunday…

    Improved times in all laps. Very good, consistent times in the middle 6 laps (4 of them in 1:55, 2 in 1:56). And it is great that Brammo is basically running a modified production bike—yes heavily modified, but still Brammo is just about ready to get a version of this bike out to the public…I don’t see that yet from any other company. Hopefully that changes…Competition is a good thing.

    It’s fun to see the bike run some laps, it is much more fun to ride them ourselves around town and out in the mountain twisties :)

    It will be interesting to see if the gear box Brammo is bringing to electric motorcycles can improve the first lap time.

    The only small area of concern for me is the final lap time. Lost 6 seconds each day on the final lap. I was concerned that it was Steve conserving the battery…but it could also have been just slowing a bit on the final lap as nobody was close. I guess it isn’t a concern if Brammo was running 12 laps at practice on Friday.

    Hoping to see more entries in Seca and maybe Brammo upping the Power from 85% to in the 90%…a lap at 100% would be fun too :)

    Thanks again for the updates and info.

    Gavin

  11. These awesome people are doing something new. Completely new. They are not buying an R6 and building a racebike from a proven design with readily available kit parts and tuning knowledge. They are conceptualizing, engineering, testing, and racing a completely new form of motorcycle on a shoestring budget compared to factory backed or well funded privateer ICE race teams. Pure prototype racing.

    To expect cubic-dollar infused participation and effort at this point is silly. I marvel at the level of design, engineering, and quality these teams have managed to pack into their programs already. Ask Kenny Roberts what it takes to create, manage, and fund an engineering program and prototype motorcycle race team for international competition.

    The improved performance over last year is a great stepping stone. Kudos to everyone involved in the TTXGP at Infineon. Can’t wait until Laguna Seca to see all of the biggest players on track at the same time. I completely agree with Dr. Gellar “Props to Brammo though, not just for showing up with a top-notch effort and winning, but for once again having the hottest trophy/umbrella girls of the event as well!” And even bigger props to Asphalt and Rubber for doing an incredible job of covering the scene!

  12. KLS says:

    I hope that Brammo plans to use a 160 or similarly-sized rear for the production bike. When they first started taking “pre-orders” I pushed them for a smaller-section rear tire than the 180/190 on the prototype. MAYBE an R1 can use a 190 (although not much on the street) but it just adds unneeded weight and drag on the announced e-bike.

    That’s not to diminish their success on the racetrack. The difficulties with the other teams demonstrate that it’s an enormous task to prototype, build, test and race a brand-new machine.

  13. Rockstarartist says:

    Forget Brammo’s track record! Who is that umbrella girl and what a cute round tush she has!

  14. Oh her? She’s….someone’s daughter.