Photos from 250+ Feet up COTA’s Petrolsaurus Rex

Standing 251 feet above Turns 16, 17, & 18, the COTA observation tower provides a bird’s eye view of just about every tun on the circuit, if you can stomach its subtle sway in the wind and clear-glass floor at the precipice. Officially called by COTA as the “Observation Tower” – it really needs a better name for casual conversation. We’ve heard COTA Cobra used a few times with some lovely alliteration, but the structure has always struck us as less snake-like, and more like a big dinosaur — we’re going to use the name “Petrolsaurus Rex” until I hear something better, or COTA sends me a cease and desist order. I climbed to the top of Petrolsaurus Rex (read: took the elevator) during the MotoGP Warm-Up session, and snapped a few photos in the process. Enjoy!

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 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.

Aprilia Continues to Fail So Hard at Social Media

12/21/2010 @ 2:21 pm, by Jensen Beeler49 COMMENTS

If one were to grade the marketing efforts in the motorcycle industry, you’d be hard pressed to hand out a grade better than a B- to one of the major OEMs. While some companies have produced some brand value, carved out a defensible niche for themselves, or caught on to this whole internet fad thing, none of the OEMs really do a bang-up job of hitting all the standard marketing best practices.

If we had to single out one company that needs a letter sent home to mom, it has to be Aprilia, as the Italian company constantly proves itself to be the pants-on-head retarded (sorry Sarah Palin) window-licking moron (sorry again Sarah Palin) paste-eating buffoon (we’re not sorry for that one) of motorcycling media. Report card: F with a “does not play well with others” note attached.

We don’t know how a company with a sport bike history launches a new exciting motorcycle that wins the World Superbike Championship in its second year of campaigning, and still manages to get the snot beaten out of it by BMW in liter bike sales. How does a company fail to capitalize on that sort of accomplishment?

Maybe it’s time someone in Aprilia HQ woke up and realized that the “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” sales slogan just doesn’t work, despite how cool it sounds when someone rattles it off like the eleventh commandment. Of course that cute little phrase might work better if dealerships were actually open on Mondays, but we feel like that’s asking far too much from the motorcycling industry sometimes.

We don’t know what we hate more about this video: the fact that it is really just not that funny, and makes an over-stated jab at Ducati riders (all of Aprilia’s marketing on the RSV4 as of late seems to be more about putting down the competition than promoting its own offering, which isn’t really that classy of a move for a “sophisticated” brand, let alone rarely results in sales increases), or the fact that Aprilia actually paid a social media company to make it.

The Italian company should just go back to buying off online publications to make its viral videos, at least those were mildly entertaining with their “I’m 18 and angry at my father” teenage angst, despite the clear conflicts of “reporting” going on.

Source: Bikes in the Fast Lane


  1. fazer6 says:

    Wow. That is sad.

  2. Balzaak says:

    Seems more appropriate for Harley than Aprilia, not that Harley are the only things for “real men”, just that they’re typically the riders to not recognize other riders in passing.

    so yeah, I agree, the ad blows.

    They should change up their marketing by following Apples method for their iPhones by just simply selling the “cool” factor rather than compare themselves to the competition.

  3. Billy B.Tso says:

    damn that ad does suck…that what happens when a motorbike company hands over all control of an ad to a marketing company that doesn’t understand who they’re selling to…that was weak…in fact i wont buy an aprilia because of it!! (kidding)

    funny post, enjoyed it! and very good points raised about a more appropriate marketing technique they should be using!
    …and I don’t want to seem like a grammer-nazi, because I certainly am no english scholar…but when you’re flat-out calling someone an idiot, a spelling mistake really takes the sting out of the comment…”paste-easting”…

  4. MikeD says:

    WOW. . . Lame . . .(o_O )

  5. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    Is it just me, or did the guy on the dorsoduro at the end pull out into traffic and then check up on the brakes? haha, why didn’t they just show the “real man” getting t-boned by a beemer and then getting up and kicking the drivers ass?

  6. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    BTW, the Ducati Nicky Hayden xmas video was worse. And on the topic of the marketing prowess of the manufacturers, I get emails from Ducati and have never seen such a sorry sight…. they look like garbage in gmail (not sure about other ESPs).

  7. Steve says:

    I’d rather ride the little red bike to a Harley bar rather than watch that again…Pretty bad. And your right Alex, the Ducati Christmas ad was pretty bush as well but this Aprilia thing was in a class of it’s own. What a piece of crap. At least they didn’t put Perris in it.

  8. Johndo says:

    They certainly shouldnt have taken a Ducati toy to prove their point either, as I don’t think anyone would see a Ducati as not being a “real” bike. High maintenance yes, but so are Aprilias. Not their best ad for sure…

  9. Damo says:

    Thank the gods their engineers are better than their advertising department….this commercial was haga!

  10. Butch says:

    It’s unfortunate that the Aprilia marketers are so weak, given that the Aprilia engineers are so strong. I own and have owned a number of Aprilia motorcycles. I have had good luck with them mechanically and more importantly they have all been tremendously fun bikes to ride. It is frustrating as an Aprilia owner and fan that the company has not capitalized on their racing success and their high quality machines to increase sales and build a more robust dealer network.

  11. BLT says:

    AlexOnTwoWheels: Ironic how you defend slander with more slander

  12. Damo says:


    I recently became an Aprilia convert myself after scoring a deal on one and I have nothing but good things to say about the bike, but the marketing is painful I agree.

    Wish we had a forum here I would post some pics.

  13. 76 says:

    Creativity & Originality

    Engage & Excite


    All things an ad can hope to achieve, this one actually does the opposite. It hurts and makes Aprilia look quite bad actually. They need to pull the plug on that quickly like it never happened and make note never listen to whoever thought that was actually good idea again.

  14. Nobody says:

    I’d have to agree that the Ducati Christmas ad was worse. Aprilia did do the spoof of the BMW tablecloth ad, though. Gotta give ‘em a few boner points for that.

  15. ML says:

    I like to put my helmet on before my gloves. Other than that, I really have nothing more to add to the comments already posted.

  16. Matt says:

    I can’t believe they used the dorsoduro for that. It’s probably the lamest bike in their line up.

  17. RGR says:

    Wow, you all are drinking some good kool-aid there. I’ll go against the grain and say I thought the ad was funnier than hell. It didn’t make me think badly of Aprilia for having a little fun with Ducati, and it didn’t make me think less of Ducati. It was simply unexpected and funny. I love both brands and would certainly buy a bike from either in a heartbeat. Lighten up, it’s just a frickin’ commercial.

  18. Jim says:

    Of course it would help if the dealer channel had a reputation for quality service. Too many Aprila franchises are held by multi line dealers who really give a rip as they sell so few of the bikes. Also there are too many stories along the lines of I waited 6-9 months for a part so I could use the bike.

    BMW for all their warts, has a decent dealer channel who takes care of the buyer.

  19. TM says:

    Who cares? Aprilia is making the most raw, most exciting bikes of our time. Journalists and posers who spend more time on facebook and forums than riding are the only ones who could possibly care about Aprilia’s use of social media.

  20. Chris says:

    It made me laugh but I’ve also eaten my share of paste.

  21. faster1 says:

    +1 RGR,, it’s too bad that that the ad got by so many,, on that one factor, I guess it failed.,, But I got it, and liked it. Shooting one over the bow of your competitor is not new, nor ineffective. They drew a line in the sand and stood by their brand as being the better brand. As long as their bikes can back it up, it’s OK.
    What was in bad taste is Jenson’s offensive writing. This can’t be his main job, and it shows. You can get your point across without your I.Q. to that of a 10 year old. Not a whole lot of thought or imagination here. I’m not entirely politically correct, but then I don’t pretend to be a journalist either. A & R needs to put a disclaimer in front of this clown’s articles stating that it does not know about, or review what he writes.

  22. Doctor Jelly says:

    Uh oh, there must be a link on an Aprilia forum somewhere; the fanboys are weighing in…

  23. 76 says:

    I got it?…. I guess we were wrong there are still some that think that is funny and or bad ass. Or the guys who made the video

  24. Westward says:

    I ride a Monster, I thought the ad was cute. Funnier to me is that I think the Monster alone, sells more than the whole of Aprilia’s line-up. Their problem is that they are trying to be more exclusive than Ducati, and even at that they fail, cause I would think one would rather have an MV Augusta instead.

  25. Bear says:

    +1 faster1

    I too thought the ad was quite hysterical………On the other hand Jensen’s sophomoric writing is the last thing I want to read on a motorcycle blog.

  26. DWolvin says:

    @AlexOnTwoWheels Thank you! I wondered if I was just being a d!ck, but he is either double stopping (why?), or almost nailed by the cage… Seriously marketing peopel, at lease close the road so your ‘cool’ guy doesn’t end up looking like a choad.

  27. gnmac says:

    Kinda cheeky…I’d still buy an Aprilia though.

  28. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    @DWolvin… word, just callin’ it like i see. it.

    For all that are condemning Jensen’s post, you’re missing the point. This is only a slight jab at Aprilia, but more importantly a STAB at the marketing prowess of the entire industry. While it has come a long way, it’s still primitive. The level of sophistication and execution can come a long way, and that would be good for the industry. Jensen makes these points because he likes Aprilia, and thinks they should/can do much better! Worth mentioning kudos to Yamaha for their exceptional viral video efforts… self depricating, no stabs at competitors, and featuring the real men that whipe these machines around the worlds best racetracks. Why didn’t Aprilia get Biaggi to be in this video?

    Did anyone else also notice that the supposed ‘loser’ on the Ducati got laid the night before, and has a fat house with a pool and a gazebo? I’d ride that little electric Ducati with training wheels to work for a year in exchange for that house! But then I’d have to change my screen name to AlexOnTrainingWheels :-(

  29. ML says:

    Since when did people buy their motorcycle based on an ad anyway? Everyone buys the best looking bike they can afford or the one with the best numbers.

  30. Alan W says:

    Why the Sarah Palin slams? Pandering to one side of your readers or what? I like to get away from that stuff by reading what I love when I’m here in the sandbox of Iraq…….last place I thought I’d see juvenile slams on a political figure.

  31. buellracerx says:

    lol it’s funny how bad this ad is, but even funnier how defensive you get about a dig on ducati, Jensen. I think you’ve been drinking too much of their kool-aid…

    AlexOnTwoWheels, I agree completely, it would’ve been badass to get Biaggi in there, maybe slo-mo backing into a corner or something. Oh yea but while it’s nice to think that Jensen likes Aprilia, seems like this Ducatisti, based on past reading, got his undies in a bundle mostly over the jab at his fave brand.

  32. irksome says:

    Gloves on before helmet? ‘Nuff said.

  33. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    Sunglasses and gloves… haha!!

  34. 76 says:

    The ad blows, period. If you like it well, your simple and in no creative position to comment (and if you are well you suck at it)

  35. frod says:

    If Aprilia intended to put an smile on the viewer, they achieved it with me but if I was going to get another REAL BIKE FOR MEN, then it would be another

    I completely agree with most of you here, the ad is definitely gay.

  36. Keith says:

    ROTFLMAO…and if you didn’t GET the joke, well you just might be a pants on your head retard. Mind ewe though, nothing wrong with what he rides if that’s what makes him giggle in his helmet. After all, THAT is the definition of a real motorcycle. I wont mention that anyone who insists that ONLY 1L plus motorcycles are the real thing is a complete and utter paste eating tool. Because that is just opinion. Then again if you can’t haul butt with 70hp or less you probally can’t ride for squat. 8^)

  37. Corsa says:

    Another cry-baby story by a ‘ so-called ‘ objective journalist – Jensen Beeler….I’m sure you have a Ducati in the garage…face-it…you lost the WSBK.
    Over the years Ducati has been brilliant… planting their own rider reviews on Aprilia models. It is easy to spot….they mention the word ‘ Ducati ‘ about 30 times in a review on an Aprilia, ( SAD ) always careful not to down-play Aprilia to much, but making sure to end the review with….Ducati a better choice. I have about 10 similar reviews on RSV’s dating from 1999. Having done 35 000 km on a RSV-R on road and track, it is blatantly obvious what sh*t was written by a pro-Ducatitisti. I have all the respect for an objective journalist and none for the ‘ planted ‘ ones.

  38. sal says:

    I get the rant on Aprilia, but why the need to make issue with a US politician/media celeb by aarrogant snobbish twat foriegn internet hack psuedo journo is beyond me. Can the sod

  39. Bob says:

    Crap, pure crap. Why a mailorder house in Philadelphia could do a better job. Click:

  40. Balzaak says:

    congrats Jensen, you’ve created a controversial article. That’s not said in sarcasm since the fact of the matter is: controversial journalist are the only ones that are memorable.

    Congrats also in showing that so many people read and hear what they want to read and hear regardless of what is actually printed or said/

  41. BBQdog says:

    The most stupid about this video is that Ducati riders and Aprilia riders are one communitiy.
    Aprilia riders could be potential Ducati riders and vise versa. By insulting Ducati they are infact insulting themselves.

  42. Keith says:

    It was a good add and anyone that says diffent is a either a poopoo head OR a compleate and utter onager.

    and if you insist on you monster bikes you are compensating.

  43. Damo says:

    “The most stupid about this video is that Ducati riders and Aprilia riders are one community.”

    I honestly never thought of it that way, but I realize that is pretty much the truth.

  44. Uri says:

    Epic fail… by your site. sorry.

    this is ***not*** an official commercial by Aprilia.

  45. a happy dood says:

    Jensen- get a sence of humor…

    the rest of you guys- get a life

  46. Ricardo says:

    I’m still buying an Aprilia.

  47. JohnR says:

    That could have turned me against Aprilla forever, if I didn’t love mine so much. I bought a Buell X1 Lightning in 2000 thinking it would be a great bike. 1200cc and the Honda 600cc walked off and left me in the dust. I traded the Buell in on a Triumph Daytona T595 three months after buying it and still have that bike. In 2007 I bought my RSV and fell in love with it also. My wife calls those two bike my mistresses, hey they never talk back and they’re always willing to let me ride them. I don’t want to sound anti American because I’m not, served 22 years in the US Army mostly stationed at Fort Benning with the 101st, but i will never own another Harley, at least not until I get 70 or older.

  48. MOGman says:

    Too bad you did not try the later Buell XB9S or XB12 series or better yet the Buell 1125R. I made the choices through which you’ve been and the later Buells are still awesome. The Aprilia is a superb machine, however, don’t sell the later Buells too short. As a draftee from 1965, thanks for your fine service to the USA!

  49. SBPilot says:

    I use to like Aprilia…
    Any brand that markets their product by hitting out at other manufactures for no apparent reason (ala Aprila on BMW) makes themselves look like 8 year old idiotic bullies. BMW is usually the subject, from Audi and now Aprilia but BMW doesn’t feel the need to retaliate nor should they. BMW has one of the best and original marketing departments, their unscripted videos wins more hearts than any of these imbecile commercials by Aprilia.