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.

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 Ducati Superbike: +20 HP/-20 lbs

11/24/2010 @ 1:08 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

2012 Ducati Superbike: +20 HP/ 20 lbs Ducati 1198 Superbike frame

2011 marks the end of the current Ducati Superbike 1198 as we know it, and Ducati has been hard at work on the successor to the crown jewel in its model line-up. Undertaking the most expensive model design in the history of the company, Ducati has poured a ton of resources into its 2012 Superbike in order to make it a market leader. Recently stretching the faith of the Ducati loyal by introducing bikes like the Hypermotard, Multistrada 1200, and now the new Ducati Diavel that extend Ducati into non-racing segments, 2012 is the Bologna brand’s answer that it is heavily committed to its Superbike roots.

Starting from scratch with its design, the 2012 Ducati Superbike features two impressive performance figures: an additional 20hp (taking the Superbike up to 190hp), and a weight reduction of 20 lbs across the model line. Host to a bevy of street bike firsts, our Bothan Spies also tell us that the new Superbike is going to be a stunner.

The writing has been on the walls for some time for Ducati’s trellis frame, and 2012 will be the year we see Ducati break away from this design element, which has become just as iconic as the company’s v-twin motors. Already being used on the Ducati Desmosedici GP9 and GP10 MotoGP race bikes, Ducati tipped its hand in March of this year with patents that showed a frameless motorcycle that used the motor as an integral part of the chassis. Attaching directly to the motor, Ducati will use a carbon fiber headstock that integrates the ram-air intake, airbox, and front fairing/sub-frame stay into a single composite-crafted unit.

Further weight reductions come from the single-sided swingarm that pivots directly off the motor, and is longer in dimension than previous models. The rear sub-frame will be built off the motor as well, although it is not immediately clear to us if this will be another carbon fiber construction, or some other material. What is clear is that the absence of the trellis frame, and use of carbon fiber has drastically reduced the weight of the Ducati Superbike platform, with a weight reduction of 20 lbs being quoted to us.

Despite the idle speculation that Ducati would use a V4 motor for 2012, the new superbike remains a 1200cc class v-twin. Using a massively oversquare cylinder size, the “Superquadrata” (overquare in Italian) motor benefits from being able to rev higher, and also produce more horsepower than its 1198 predecessor. Our sources are quoting a power increase of 20hp over the base model, which should mean a 190hp performance figure. Capable of holding its own against the BMW S1000RR and Kawasaki ZX-10R in the spec sheet department, expect the 2012 Ducati Superbike to be a peaky tire smoking machine.

Although it hasn’t been stated outright by our sources, the new Superbike’s rumored larger throttle bodies and gear-drive cam designs are surely a bone of contention between Ducati and World Superbike. When WSBK wouldn’t budge over provisions that allowed the 2012 Superbike design, Ducati said adios to the series, already too invested to turn back on its new Superbike design. With a high-technology motorcycle, class leading performance, and the star power of Valentino Rossi, Ducati likely thinks the trade off of not racing in World Superbike still makes sense. Many Bothan Spies died to give us this information.

Comment:

  1. If the PRODUCTION bike has the gear driven cams and larger throttle bodies, then why would that be a problem for WSBK?? I can understand the Aprilia controversy because the gear driven cames are neither stock on the customer bike, nor are they available aftermarket…

  2. BikePilot says:

    The “non-racing” hypermotard won the Pike’s Peak hillclimb in its class in 2009 and the “non-racing” multistrada 1200 won the same class in 2010 (and will likely win the overall motorcycle class in 2011 since they’ve paved more of it).

  3. Aprilia’s gear-driven cams were available in the aftermarket (not that anyone but a race team could afford them), which is how they got away with that move.

  4. BikePilot says:

    I’m also thrilled that they are keeping it a twin! Now for a naked streetfighter version and then a MTS version ;)

  5. Steve says:

    @Jaime

    The throttle body issue is a WSBK rule problem for them. The rules had the 1200cc twins running inlet restrictors (50mm IIRC) so larger TB’s would not have been of much benefit.

  6. Rob Evans says:

    I eagerly await this bike, however I would really hate to see the ‘new’ 1198 be even more peaky than the current gen model. To create another 20hp from the same displacement, expect the stroke to be apprx. 60mm or so, meaning itll rev to the moon (for a twin anyway) but lack that bottom end grunt. To me if a twin revs to 13.5k rpm to make an additional 20hp but sacrifices 20ft lbs down low, then whats the point of being a twin powerplant at all? The twin is so amazing because of its ability to put down tractable torque at nearly any rpm, I hope the new Superbike doesn’t lose this trait.

  7. joe says:

    Rob, by the time you can afford one, you’ll know how to ride it.

  8. Ape Factory says:

    If you call the current bike “peaky”, you’ve never ridden one.

  9. MikeD says:

    Hope most of the “Intel” supplied is true. specially the gear driven Cams and -20 Lbs Diet.
    Im all in for BBC size Slipper Pistons, short stroke(lower piston speeds) and 190HP, not down with the Stratospheric Redline(for a TWIN anyways).
    KUDOS to them for keeping it an L-2 and not an L-4.
    What a shame, the Trellis Frame was such a Ducati LandMark…but i guess technology and design MUST continue.
    SSSA? Keep it, another Ducati stapple.
    All that use of Carbon surely will go NOTICED on the MSRP…Don’t matter, too broke to even think about it.

    Would be great if they could make the valve check intervals as long as or longer the Multistrada’s. Don’t know if the 1198 is already capable.

    Keep up the good work and keep the other OEMs on their Toes, Ducati! Nothing keeps the fish swiming and healthy as having a Shark on the same tank as them, LMAO.

  10. mamak kerala says:

    Ducati should take the gold opportunity and andvantages from Rossi in their camp to build the all new bike with more powerful and beautiful face…look what Rossi contribution in remake over Yamaha M1 to became the best in motogp..from worst to gorgeous..

    Ducati has produce Desmosedici RR which taken from GP10 for production sale and bikers over the world can feel it, taste the excitement with the bike..latest, they produce the Stoner replica for Ducati’s fans…so cute..si tasty…

    i hope, very very hope, with Rossi in their camp, Ducati’s management can use his expertise to build the new 1198sp..there is nothing imposibble for it..

    dont be like Yamaha and Honda which only their rider can ride and feel the most powerbike in the world..they doesnt know how to appreciate their fans to have the same bike as they use in Motogp…only Ducati make dreams come true,,only Ducati

  11. 76 says:

    The 1198 peaky…. thats funny
    What do you normally ride a V-10 R6?

  12. Westward says:

    Carbon body is a mistake, anyone that is familiar with cycling knows the the integrity of carbon a body frame deteriorates over time. Keep in mind that we are talking about a bicycle. The longevity of this new Motorcycle will not be for long I would suspect. Pro Racing it doesn’t matter. but for consumers, I’d never buy a new or especially a used one…

    Good luck with that purchase…

  13. mark usowicz says:

    sounds like the briten rip john

  14. pdub says:

    Single sided swinger? Still? Thought this might be the chance to leave that in the past too and make the new bike follow as a descendant of it’s GP machine with one of those massive GP style box swingarms. Alloy of course. A carbon one would cost more than a new R1. Then again there is the official aftermarket. Ducati would make a mint off the well heeled who have to have it “more GP” like.

  15. a m says:

    westward – had carbon bodywork on my 998 since it was new, had it uv-protectant clear coated and it still looks like new, bike has over 20k miles. there’s no problems there, not sure what you have read. bst wheels on another of my ducs, and they work fantastically.

  16. MikeD says:

    Maybe they are afraid of having another “999 Reaction” from the buying public and thus sticking to the 996/998/1098/1198 SSSA Format ?

    I don’t care wich route they choose im sure they’ll do an awesome job. The “normal” swinger looks like it could be made stiffer, ligther ?
    But its easier to adjust the chain and remove the wheel with the SSSA…JMHO.

  17. Minibull says:

    @a m: I think Westward is talking about carbon structural parts, as they say that the headstock is made of carbon fibre. Fairing panels dont have that much stress put on them…

    This does sound cool, but I’m waiting for the day that the manufacturers go back to the style of the first R1. Massive low and mid range shunt, just whats needed on the roads.

  18. Ducracerx says:

    I’m pretty sure Westward was talking about CF headstock and frame, not the fairing panels or body. Also I think he is speaking LONG range deterioration. I think by the way Westward speaks, he is a guy who keeps his Ducati’s for many many years. Unlike this “faux new generation” Ducati guys with that neophobe mentality. Then again……Ducati is entering the mind set of NOT caring too much about building a superbike for a guy to commute on the streets everyday BUT to build a racebreed monster that will win on the track. Why do you think they are making other bikes for you street riders??? Davial, monster, multistrada etc….