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.

Thinking of Off-Roading a Ducati Hypermotard SP?

07/26/2013 @ 3:44 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Thinking of Off Roading a Ducati Hypermotard SP? ducati hypermotard sp off road 635x423

When a press bike shows up at your doorstep, the miles on the odometer betray the sights and stories the bike could tell about its relatively short existence thus far.

At just nearly 2,000 miles, our little Ducati Hypermotard SP in the normal world would have stories of high-fives at the Ducatisti bike nights, hours spent in the parking lot outside of the local Starbucks, and maybe some tall tales of a wheelie or two.

But sort of on-par with dog-years, press-bike miles act as a multiplying factor, when in regards to the maturing of the machine. So with our machine at 2,000 miles, well that’s a bike that has really been around the block. Burnt clutches, blown fork seals, and chewed-up tires — those all likely describe this little SP’s first stop on the magazine tour bus, so multiply accordingly dear reader.

It is rare though that you really get to see/hear what the machine has gone through before it gets to you, but a quick check of the license plate in the video after the jump confirms that this “pretty impressive machine” has found its way into our hands. As far as we can tell so far, the description fits.

I am pretty sure that the rider here didn’t set out to make a promotional video when he took this Hypermotard for a spin outside of Palm Springs; but seriously Ducati, just edit this puppy down, put some bumpers in with the company logo, and call it done for advertising the Hypermotard SP to man-children.

After viewing Q’s jaunt, grown men will arrive on your doorstep offering their first-born for one of these machines.

Source: YouTube


  1. Damn. The way he pushed that thing over gravel on stock tires? Eep!

  2. David says:

    Wow that was impressive, I guess the stock suspension setting is pretty good out of the box.

  3. Ross Ewich says:


    that’s not “off road”. that WAS a road. a dirt road. my honda element does that kind road/speed every frikin day.

    like people with Range Rovers posting youtube videos of their vehicle tiptoe-ing off the asphalt.

    now you put just the slightest whiff of Colorado rocks/Florida sugar sand/Kentucky clay/Georgia roots/etc anywhere on that road and lets see what happens.

    that would be a whole lot closer to “off road”

  4. Terrence says:

    I agree with Ross. Show me some single track, hill climb, switchback action. If the bike is still in SoCal, I suggest taking it to Gorman, not the most technical dirt riding, but would be impressive if a hypermoto can handle it. And if you do go, at least put conti TCK80′s on there or some other equivalent 17″ street knobby. Be sure to put up some video of you going through some black diamond trails. Maybe even a lap on the MX track. Don’t worry, I’m sure Tim C. the Ducati PR guy will be okay with it as long as you put up some awesome video.

  5. “my honda element does that kind road/speed every frikin day.”

    Unless your Element has had two wheels removed and is shod with Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber, Whole Nother Universe. Just sayin’. :)

  6. Lone Amigo says:

    That front brake fluid reservoir looks awfully vulnerable…

  7. Paulo says:

    LOLOLOLO……….Ducati people love to love the image of their bikes becoming something grander then something less common because lets face it, they paid a lot and they need something to show for it.

    This video is definitely a feel good video but truth be told, it’s not when this bike goes down……it’s how painful the wallet will be to make it look Ducati good again! Listen people, Ducati’s are street bikes……period. Yes they can go in the dirt or around the world… the guy on an R1…….but everyone will think your nuts for doing it and have more money then sense. Great video but it’s all PR Ducati propaganda.

  8. froryde says:

    Not sure what you Ducati fans are whooping about and you haters and whining on about – IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RIDER (and he got skillz).

    I’m sure he could’ve done the same on a CBR1ZSX-R if he wanted, Ducati or no Ducati.

  9. Jake F. says:

    I feel like taking more chances when it’s not my bike, too.

  10. Damo says:

    “LOLOLOLO……….Ducati people love to love the image of their bikes becoming something grander then something less common because lets face it, they paid a lot and they need something to show for it.”

    Actually the Hypermotard isn’t very expensive. The stock version only cost $11,999 and still comes with full traction control and ABS as standard.

    Find another sub 12k bike on the market that has the same trim as the base 2013 Hyper.

  11. Faust says:

    Ducati haters gonna hate. Nothing anyone could say would make this video less awesome. Are there bikes that are more suited to off road? Certainly. Could those bikes also tear up the streets like sport bike? Do they have traction control and abs? Do they have as much power? Nope. If you don’t like the bike, buy something else. As for me, I’m envious.

  12. e says:

    i have owned a few ducati’s and I loved every one of them. I have also owned a 690 duke R an SD and just got an SDR and Pani on the way and oh might I add i also owned an R1, cbr 600RR, gsxR, zx10r and as it stands, i will never go back to jap: and thats my choice. Hypermotard and correct me if I’m wrong are not full-on dirt bikes and are not meant to be and so if you’d rather have d-tracker or rmz go head. Top vid good rider

  13. Daws says:

    As a Supermoto racer, I think this is awesome. Who cares if its not going through 5 foot deep rivers? That’s why we have enduro bikes. The Supermoto ethos is all about going stupid fast on the bitumen and then doing the same thing on the dirt, with the added bonus of having very little grip :) Oh and my KTM Superduke and Honda VFR love fast dirt roads too :)

  14. Lttlcheeze says:

    Hate to be a nay-sayer but I’ve done similar roads at higher speeds on my Aprilia SL1000R (with Michelin Pilot Road 2′s). No long travel suspension, no traction control, no ABS. And no blown fork seals either. This can be done with just about any bike out there, with a skilled enough rider. Like others have said, if you want to impress me lets see this thing doing some real off road.