MV Agusta Brings Back DAZEROA300 and Marco Lucchinelli

Not only will World Champion Marco Lucchinelli be coaching, but he will be joined by the one and only Noriyuki Haga! I will spare you commentary as the press release has it all. However, I will say this is a very limited opportunity. If you are in Italy or can get there, get your reservation in early.
Here is the official MV Agusta PR about the special rider and racer training program, DAZEROA300:

World Champion Marco Lucchinelli
Varese, 14 May 2014 - DAZEROA300 is back on the track, inaugurating a new season of safety and sports-oriented riding courses thanks to close collaboration with MV Agusta and coordination by former World Champion Marco Lucchinelli, a pro rider and team manager who has enjoyed outstanding success in the World GP and Superbike Championships.
Following the success of the first day, held last year on the Vairano di Vidigulfo race track, the DAZEROA300 instructor team, made up of highly qualified pro racers, is now ready to offer all participants an awesome, fun-packed track day specifically designed to improve their riding skills in absolute safety.
The courses have the following goals:

The Basic course is aimed at beginners. It involves a series of exercises, to be carried out in a suitably set-up practice area, that aim to give riders the skills needed to handle all riding situations safely. Course effectiveness is enhanced by innovative teaching tools such as additional frames and supplementary shock absorbers.
The Master course is intended for expert riders looking to hone their technique or experiment with track riding in complete safety.
The calendar for this new season is:
  • 16 May 2014 - Vairano di Vidigulfo race track (Pavia - Italy)
  • 09 June 2014 - Adria race track (Rovigo - Italy)
  • 27 June 2014 - Vairano di Vidigulfo race track (Pavia - Italy)
  • 12 July 2014 - Vairano di Vidigulfo race track (Pavia - Italy)
  • 25 July - Adria race track (Rovigo - Italy)
  • 15 September 2014 - Vairano di Vidigulfo race track (Pavia - Italy)
  • 06 October 2014 - Adria race track (Rovigo - Italy)

The first day's Special Guest will be a true motorcycling legend, Japanese rider Noriyuki Haga, who will giving the more expert riders on the Master course a truly unforgettable experience. Only four places are available on the course with Haga: this ensures participants get plenty of attention and benefit from the champion's unique tuition throughout the day.

"We look forward to seeing you on our courses and sharing a breathtaking day dedicated to riding," says Marco Lucchinelli, co-founder and instructor of the DAZEROA300 school. "Being able to continue this adventure with MV Agusta, together with some of the best professionals in the business, is an enormous pleasure. We want to share our passion for riding with the pupils: their support meant that we had the privilege of racing for a living. Now we want to give something back by letting them benefit from the experience and skills we've acquired on race tracks all over the world".
In addition to the riding courses there will also be practice sessions open to all enthusiasts eager to try out their bikes on a race circuit and have fun safely; moreover, it will also be possible to consult the instructors and riders of team DAZEROA300 and get some great riding technique and bike set-up tips.

To register and obtain information: www.dazeroa300.com


Time Changes All Things - Dr. Costa Passes the Torch

Dr. Costa and the Clinica Mobile Staff
The Clinica Mobile will never be the same, but it may be better. Dr. Claudio Costa, the long-time head of the mobile clinic which offered the best trackside medical care outside of a world-class hospital for the riders in the MotoGP World Championship, is moving into a new position at the Clinica Mobile. His usual duties will be taken over by Dr. Michele Zasa, who will head the clinic, and Dr. Guido Rosa Prati, who now runs the European Diagnostic Centre. Assurances have been given that the relationship with Dorna will continue as normal and the capabilities of the medical center itself will only improve. Dr. Costa will be missed, but he deserves some time with his family and being in charge of his own health, primarily in enjoying it.


MV Agusta Wins after 38 Years Away!

Jusel Cluzel Wins in World SuperSport
Giacomo Agostini was the last one to do it, back in 1976 at the Nurburgring. MV Agusta carried that day and then retired (not Ago, though, he kept on racing). Today, 38 years later, at the Phillip Island Circuit in Australia, MV Agusta brought another rider home in first place. That would be Jusel Cluzel, who took the win in the World Supersport Championship aboard the Yakhnich Motorsport F3 675 after battling his way to the flag from a 14th position start. Amazing! Finally, MV Agusta is back where they belong!

Full text of the press release from MV Agusta:

Varese, 23rd February 2013 – Thirty-eight years on from their last success, achieved by the great Giacomo Agostini on his 4-cylinder 350 cc at the Nürburgring, MV Agusta are back on the top of a world championship podium. The superb F3 675 of the MV Agusta Reparto Corse - Yakhnich Motorsport team has, in fact, pulled off a stunning Supersport win at the Phillip Island circuit to take the first round of this World Championship.

The win followed an incredible comeback by Jusel Cluzel: despite starting from 14th place on the grid, he soon set an astonishing pace, steadily making his way up the field to catch the leaders and setting the scene for a spectacular battle for final victory. In the end a gutsy Cluzel got the best of Coghlan and De Rosa, who came in second and third respectively. In short, the young French rider of the MV Agusta Reparto Corse - Yakhnich Motorsport team rode a blinder, showcasing both his considerable talent and the bike’s enormous potential. The team’s other standard bearer, Vladimir Leonov, might well have put in an equally brilliant performance were it not for an unfortunate fall in the first few laps.

Jules Cluzel: “We were terribly unlucky both during testing and at the start of the weekend. We rode far fewer laps than we should have. So, after that, going on to win was just a dream! Before the start I told my mechanics I’d do my utmost: and that’s exactly what I did, without making a single mistake. It’s a deserved victory; we’ve still got a long way to go but we’re convinced that the bike and the Team have huge potential”.

Delighted by this success, Giovanni Castiglioni, President of MV Agusta, stated: “A marvellous win, an indescribable thrill. I want to dedicate this first victory to my father, whose faith in MV and the possibility of a successful return to racing was always unshakeable, and the late father of Brian Gillen, our Reparto Corse manager. I want to thank the Yakhnich Motorsport team and everyone involved in this ambitious project for their exemplary commitment”.

Como-born rider Claudio Corti’s debut in Superbike proved more problematic yet was, nevertheless, encouraging. Riding the F4 RR, he finished the two races in 13th and 18th position respectively, with only a tough start in Race 2 preventing him from taking points in both.

80 Years of Race Experience to Compete in Suzuka 8 Hours

Kevin Schwantz Flying the Colors on a Grand Prix Victory Lap
Almost 80 years would be more accurate, and it will be a very good story to watch unfold. Kevin Schwantz, 48, will join Noriyuki Haga and Yukio Kagayama, both 38 now, will race for Suzuki at the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours on 28 July. All riders have experience at the circuit, and all are among the top talents in the history of the sport - motorcycle racers which no one will forget - but they are also in the upper end of the racing age spectrum. These men are all professional, though, and will race to win. If only it were televised...the potential for record book writing is there!


Bonhams Sells Historic Vincent and Another Steve McQueen Indian

1952 Vincent Black Shadow
The functional sculpture seen here recently sold at a Bonhams auction held Sunday, 28 April, in at the International Classic MotorCycle Show at the Staffordshire County Showground in the U.K. This 1952 Vincent Black Shadow is a historic machine in so many ways, it actually set eight new records while attempting to set a 24-hour endurance mark in France. The main goal was not achieved, unfortunately. The Black Shadow was already a legend before it ended its production run in 1955, and this specific model has an incredible provenance - about £113,500 (~US$176K) worth of historic appeal, to be precise. Steve McQueen's 1914 Indian Model F also changed hands, this to the tune of £32,200 (~US$49,750). There is more, so check the links:



You Already Know - BMW HP4 Now Confirmed

Maybe you remember back to the BMW HP2 and how it was very focused and in limited production? It had a high price, but it sold out even with its limited usefulness. Now comes something in the same vein, but with a much different purpose - the S1000RR-based HP4. BMW claims it as the lightest 4-cylinder bike in the liter class; I'm not so sure about that as it depends on what you put in that category (Ducati's latest?). However, with 193 HP on tap, 199 kilograms wet feels far lighter than it ever has previously...so, make up your own mind - include the Panigale or not?

Honda Goes to Dakar in 2013!

Will Big Red be able to conquer the Dakar as they did the Baja and many other grueling endurance events the world over? They lost out at the Baja 500 this year for the first time in 15 years to an upstart Kawasaki team (not really - the THR Monster Team was very strong as evidenced by the results), but Team Green does not yet have a factory-backed bike in the Dakar and it is Honda after 23 years away. It will be an interesting few months as we hear more from Honda about their Dakar 2013 machine.

We know the team, though: Helder Rodrigues, from Portugal, motocross and enduro rider Felipe Zanol of Brazil, Sam Sunderland from the United Kingdom and Javier Pizzolito of Argentina. For a little more have a quick read here:


Daimler AG to Produce "smart escooter" Electric Scooter

This appears to be an actual fact and not some rumor. According to high-level officials at Mercedes-Benz, and parent Daimler AG, the company will begin selling an electric scooter under their smart automobile brand. It is now known as the smart escooter (all lower-case letters as is their standard with smart) and will be seen in dealerships and on the roads by 2014. Almost no details are available presently, but this is a firm commitment, so more information is certainly forthcoming. Until then, have a read:


Chip Yates and the Flight of the Century

Chip Yates will be familiar to those of us following American motorcycle road racing - not only is he an accomplished racer on gasoline-powered bikes, he is also the only person to put an electric motorcycle on a podium in a race full of old-school fire-breathers - but he may also be known for his technological prowess. His SWIGZ.COM team - both the engineers and the race crew - are all top-notch on their own, and they make Yates look good. However, this is a different story; this is about the guy who wants to fly an electric airplane around the world - Chip Yates is after the Flight of the Century:

Rocket Science Meets Triumph Street Triple

The idea was for XCOR Aerospace - a private company developing a reusable launch vehicle for low-earth orbit research and just about anything else someone would want to do in space - to test a piston pump which they plan to use in their Lynx spacecraft. Considering the cost of doing such tests in the far upper atmosphere, they searched for another test bed. It turns out that the Triumph Street Triple has the same cylinder arrangement as their engine's liquid fuel pumps, so they took a far less expensive route - and it worked brilliantly!

A Pair from New Zealand Arrive in Alaska

They call themselves "Two Moto Kiwis" and they are on an 'epic mission' from Prudhoe Bay in the great US state of Alaska all the way to the southern-most point of South America at Ushuaia, Argentina. The pair on this incredible motorcycle trip are Andi and Ellen Delis (44 and 43 years of age, respectively) and they are riding the entire route on two Suzuki DR650's with a wide assortment of adventure gear bolted on. Now that they have arrived in Alaska - about a week ago now - they will be on to build up their mounts for the trip; the bikes are new and showroom fresh, so they must be outfitted expressly for this trip. Next, it's a trip around Alaska and then a drive to make the Laguna Seca round of the 2012 MotoGP Championship. Check their site for the latest and see if you might be able to catch them when they come through your town!

Aprilia-Powered Norton to Compete at Isle of Man TT

Norton will not be bringing their own V4 to a MotoGP circuit anytime soon; no one has any doubt that they want to, and as soon as they are able. As a stop-gap, and a very good learning experience, they will field a kit Aprilia RSV4 engine - not too different from what the CRT teams have access to - in a Spondon frame in this year's Isle of Man TT. That last connection is interesting as Spondon used to frame many racing Nortons in its previous incarnation. And, Norton's new owner, one Stuart Garner, also happens to own Spondon. It's better to keep the program in-house as much as possible so as to learn everything it is possible to learn when using another marque's engine. In this way, Norton can prepare to create their own future MotoGP CRT engine. Since Norton already has some designs for this, I doubt very much that they will make a duplicate RSV4 engine - they will want their own. Norton has a reputation to protect if they plan to stay connected to their heritage in a meaningful way.


Volkswagen Owns Ducati - Bought for $1.12 Billion

It is now final and official; after months - nee years if you listened to VW fans and their chatter - of rumor and speculation, VW's Audi brand has officially purchased Ducati for the sum of €860 million (US$1.12 billion). Some are arguing over why they did this. One of the articles linked here gets close. Audi wanted Ducati for the same reason VW wanted Bugatti and Lamborghini - prestige, a nameplate to put on the stock and letterhead. And, why not? Really, what kind of idiot would not buy a company on the rocketship rise, as is Ducati, for what is essentially a few days of revenue for VW/Audi? Not this idiot! Check it out and lust after the Panigale (someone needs to tell the Wired author that Ducati has actually named this one; no, not a great name, but a real name) in the photo here.

First tiny blurb: http://tinyurl.com/7s5zloj

Wired piece (far more informative): http://tinyurl.com/cmllp7e

Monocasco Concept Bike by Air-Tic - Object of Desire

Though the Monocasco Concept Bike is only that - a concept with no technical details whatsoever - it is something to behold. I only say that due to its mix of classic and modern themes; very stout-looking running gear, whitewall tires, a high-tech braking system, and classic bends of very cutting-edge materials all come together in a tight package which has the distinct appearance of possessing magnificent handling. Spanish design firm Air-Tic is responsible for this dream machine and they based it on the monocoque chassis from the mind of Grand Prix racer Santiago Herrero...well, you can read all that we know here:


Boulder Motor Sports and Shane Turpin to Race at MMP World Superbike

Miller Motorsports Park hosts a round of the FIM World Superbike Championship during 26 to 28 May 2012, and many of the world's best motorcycle racers will melt rubber in pursuit of winning - or at least finishing in the points - on the Utah circuit. Alongside them will be a name well-known to US fans of AMA Pro Racing, riding a Boulder Motor Sports Ducati 1198R will be Shane Turpin. You may also know him from the Yamaha Champions School, where he instructs, or from his many Championships accumulated from his time in the MRA series in Colorado, or for him riding for Segway / MotoCzysz in the TTXGP (see photo above). Please get in touch with him and wish him well! He could use a few sponsors...


Akira Lives!

This dedicated fan spent US$121,000 and seven years building his dream machine...and it rides! Some criticise its size and that it is not a perfect replica of Akira's motorcycle (if you have to ask, look it up), but I say that Masashi Teshima realized a dream - made it real! - and gets to live with it and even share it with the world. Personally, I think this artist deserves full credit for all he has accomplished!

Rare MV Agustas at Auction - The Gary Kohs Collection

See, this is absolute proof that I was never meant to be a collector of fine motorcycles. The past few years have seen some of the nicest, rarest, and most beautiful MV Agusta machines roll across the auction block...and this writer is worth more dead than alive! These bikes will only go up in value in the next decade as the super-wealthy start collecting vintage motorcycles (and it is becoming a fad among the Wall Street set). Thus, those lovely 'fire engines' and fire-breathing beasts will forever remain a dream, even to ride as they will probably be put behind glass and displayed or locked away in a massive garage outside Manhattan.

Anyway, if you happen to have some spare coin, head to Monterey in August:

Shell Advance 7 Riding Wonders FINALLY!

This was a story which I wanted to write last year, but the contest seemed to only be focused on central Asia and parts of Europe, so it did not match the audience I had at the time. Searching did not even turn up an entry link on the Shell Advance USA website. I have never ridden in India, but the contest certainly seemed to turn up a number of Indian roads - and the winning route is located there - but there are many who have been and their stories make this seem a little more possible. And, after all, it was an Italian who won the grand prize of the trip there and two Ducati motorcycles on which to experience it!

I still want to ride this road no matter how the decision was made:


Erik Buell Racing and India's Hero MotoCorp - A Joint Venture

Again, another one late to be posted, but it remains significant:

Now that Erik Buell is free from the traditionalists at The Motor Company, he can fully explore his imagination, and that of the incredible engineers employed by his marque. Erik Buell Racing can also look to the future, and take on a partnership with the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world - Hero MotoCorp. For their part, Hero will become a minority owner of EBR; this will secure a "free-flowing relationship" between the two companies with an emphasis on research and development and sharing of technology. Under HD, Buell could have never done this, and Hero may not have even tried; Hero may have only taken this step since they dissolved their technology agreement with Honda (BTW: it did not "collapse" as they say). EBR should gain access to an amazing amount of engineering knowledge and technology, and Hero will learn so much from what Buell has always done - excel at the new and better.

Moto Morini is Back! with a new model...for some reason

Sorry to be so late with this...again.

Moto Morini is actually ramping up production of the company's first new model since Sandro Capotosti and Ruggeromassimo Jannuzzelli bought the rights to the firm and brought it back from the receivership. Unfortunately, the first model is what the company has dubbed the Rebello; it sounds like it could be a cool name for a genre-bending bespoke machine. Instead it seems a bit humorous and over-the-top for a machine which looks much like it was designed on an 8-bit PC used for a 1980's video game. It's just my first opinion, but the lines simply do not flow well - the stop lines are all wrong and that makes it look like a Transformer in mid-change. It does sport top-shelf components, though, so maybe she rides better than she looks...judge for yourself:

P.S. The process for getting hands on one of the new Rebello models is a bit convoluted too...

Lorenzo Legally Allowed to Ride a Motorcycle on the Street

Jorge Lorenzo has officially passed his motorcycle license test in Spain, his home. Although he can only ride a bike with less than 47 bhp, I'm sure he'll get around just fine - as long as he wears a full-face helmet. The Spanish are Moto-Mad, and we all love that great nation for that...and so much more. Anyone want to lend me a place in Spain?

TT Zero Welcomes Honda via Mugen

The Isle of Man TT has run the TT Zero as part of the race fortnight since it replaced the TTXGP in 2010. Since that time, no major manufacturers have entered their own machinery; partially, at least, this is due to the fact that they do not have much to enter at this point - everything is in development and their cycles require more time since they are trying for mass production and mass acceptance - and somewhat to the need that a big company not get embarrassed on a regular basis by people working out of a glorified garage. This, though, is about to change, even if it is only through an indirect route. An electric motorcycle designed by Honda as a prototype - this is speculated at this time - will be fielded at the 2012 running of the SES TT Zero Race, scheduled for 26 May to 8 June. As more comes out, I'll see if I can post it...until then, have a quick read to back this up:

Casey Stoner's Wife Gives Birth - on Rossi's Birthday!

Yes, the news is all about Casey Stoner becoming a father, but it was his lovely wife, Adriana, who had the difficult part; Stoner's contribution was far more fun. Even so, his firstborn will share a birthday with MotoGP great, and current competitor, Valentino Rossi. This means very little in the long run, unless you are into astrology, but it will sure make Stoner's child's birthday easy to recall...and Rossi's easier for Stoner.


The Coolest Little MotorBike You May Ever See - The Derringer Cycle

It's a 49.4 cc engine shoehorned into a custom frame that resembles a bicycle frame, it gets over 200 miles on one US gallon of fuel, and in many states you need no more than a driver's license to operate it - no insurance, no registration - and it can be taken into the bicycle lane in some cities. It is high-style and utilitarian at the same time. I cannot do it much more justice, so please take the link to read the Motorcycle Classics article about this ultimate cool machine:

New Website Aims to Help Make Riders Ride Safer

Though this does not make the same impact that a new, wild, high-tech concept motorcycle often does, the new YamahaChampions RidingSchool motorcycle safety website is an important new source of riding knowledge and should receive the same sort of attention. The instructors at the school led the effort - well-known rider, teacher, and writer Nick Ienatsch and AMA Superbike racer and teacher Ken Hill, specifically - with the simple idea being to "improve the performance of the motorcycle's weakest link, the rider." Every rider should at least have a look at what is contained there since riding is a life-long learning experience - or, at least, it should be!

PR: http://tinyurl.com/7rk89v6

The website: www.FasterSafer.com