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.

POV: Watch a Motorcycle Cop’s High-Speed Pursuit

04/15/2013 @ 11:56 am, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

POV: Watch a Motorcycle Cops High Speed Pursuit florence alabama high speed chase motorcycle 635x357

Attempting to stop Justin Sanders for traffic violations, the 24-year-old lead Officer Troy Gurley and his motorcycle on a five-minute chase through the city streets and residential neighborhoods of Florence, Alabama. Gurley is eventually joined by other officers in patrol cars, and the chase ends with Sanders ditching his Mazda3, and making a run for it on foot.

With the whole incident caught with a helmet-mounted camera that is tied into the police radio channel, the video is a pretty interesting perspective of what law enforcement officers have to go through in such an extreme situation. As for Sanders, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but will be facing charges for the possession of drugs and firearms, resisting arrest, and of course his numerous traffic violations. The video is after the jump.

Source: Carscoop via AutoBlog


  1. sergei says:

    didn’t this guy realize that you can outrun a car cop on a bike, not vice versa?
    also, who the hell stops at stop signs while running from the cops?

  2. What bikes do the US officers ride? I know it’s likely to vary from state to state, but that didn’t look like the most nimble of machines (not that I’d want to be banking it over in shirt sleeves!)

  3. It varies more department to department. This looks like a BMW R1200RT, which is pretty common. You’ll officers on Harley’s and Kawasaki’s for the most part as well.

  4. Logan says:

    I know here in Tuscaloosa, AL the TPD are usually on Harleys, but the UAPD (campus police) have the BMWs.

  5. meatspin says:

    def. a BMW dash. I dont think a HD could keep up in a pursuit.

    most motorcycle cops i’ve met tell me they really dont pursue. Their bikes are more for ceremonial and parade duties.

  6. Great job by the Officer during the pursuit broadcasting his location, direction of travel, speed, licence plate etc…in a calm manner (not easy). Police pursuits are incredibly dangerous for suspects, Officers and innocents and many departments across the country have policies against pursuits by their motors as a result. Although this Officer did an outstanding job, there were many moments during this pursuit that it could have turned ugly and this footage gives you a pretty good idea of what it’s like. Also good job by assisting Officers using restraint while taking the suspect into custody. That’s not easy either. Good job boys!

  7. Kenny says:

    Did he stall the bike at 3:35?
    Interesting how the rider capitalized on the bikes acceleration, slowing right down at corners and intersections then using the bikes acceleration to keep up with the car.

  8. Slangbuster says:

    (Kenny) He didn’t stall. Looked like he was turning his key off and getting ready to dismount his bike to begin a foot pursuit or to confront the driver after the car had a small collision. Cross traffic at intersections is always a major safety concern as is dirt and debris in the roadway and It’s always nice to have the horsepower advantage down the straightaways. As the pursuit starts, the Officer is braking for an intersection in the center of the lane and appears to lock it up and loose traction on the dirty roadway surface, almost going down. (nice to have ABS too).

  9. anders eliasson says:

    @Slangbuster … you give the LEOs too much credit with respect to restraint. 7 officers on one suspect, 2 already had him subdued, not too difficult to exercise ‘restraint’ … if you surmise that I’m no fan of the current crop of LEOs in the US you would be correct, times have changed and not for the better …


  10. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    There is a crime wave in Florance, Alabama. Goodness! he must be stopped! Motorcycle cop to the rescue.

    Umm, get a license plate number and document for a quarter mile that the dude won’t stop… Wouldn’t that be enough? You’re rolling film, right?

    …and how hard will it be for Boss Hogg to find this dude? It’s Florance, Alabama. What’s he gonna do hide out in Forest Gump’s mama’s house? have a stand-off at Ricky Bobby’s mansion? I mean seriously, what in the sam hill? It’s Florence, Alabama. Can’t somebody just call Nick Saban or something? Minnie Pearl? Bo Jackson? Lynard Skynard? surely somebody can talk some sense into this fugitive running from the law.

    And what in the world could this dummy have done to warrant fleeing from Florence’s finest? I mean…it’s Florence, Alabama!

    Whew…they caught him. My goodness, my heart can’t take this excitement. Thank god the motorcycle cop didn’t let him get away. Florence, Alabama is safe again!

  11. James says:

    CMM says: …it’s Florence Alabama! O.k. I get your point but think you missed the point. Just imagine, You’re riding your motorcycle, doing your job, you get disrespected by a possible criminal, and the only way you can register YOUR POINT is to run him down and have a chat. What would you do?

  12. James says:

    @ Anders Eliasson…My wife taught high school for 35 yrs. She is amazed at the number of school bullies who later become police officers. On the other hand, beneath their uniforms officers are ordinary folks. A strong, vicious criminal who gets his hands on an officers gun can kill the officer and others. That is why even good cops swarm offenders. Better safe than sorry.

  13. Paul McM says:

    Shows that the R1200 can accelerate pretty fast when it needs to…Nice camera footage. AT 5:38 you can see another helmeted officer (yellow shirt) with a “Countour” helmet-cam. Wonder what the BMW riding officer was using? I’ll have to add that the little Mazda was surprisingly fast — the bike officer had to wick it up to keep the Mazda in view.

    Ultimately, this just shows how stupid some people can be… must have been some good crack the Mazda driver was smokin’.

  14. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    @James. What would I do?…in Florence, Alabama? well, if I were in Florence, Alabama I’d probably be like that dude who wouldn’t pull over…because I’d be desperate to get out of Florence, Alabama. haha! In fact, from that standpoint I’m kind of mad the cop chased him! Wouldn’t it only be natural to try like hell to get out of Florence, Alabama? haha.

    My point is (and read this carefully, re-read if necessary in case you are from Florence, Alabama): No need for a chase. Why the chase? Was the bank just robbed? Does Florence, Alabama even have one? you caught everything on film.

    ….You know, get him later. If you conduct your peace officer business that way you can relax a bit…have a chicken fried steak, maybe a sweet tea, some grits, boiled peanuts, eat some delicious pecan pie. You know, important stuff.

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “It varies more department to department. This looks like a BMW R1200RT”

    specifically they are referred to as R1200RTP’s, and BMWNA’s sales department just got scored footage for an awesome multi-media presentation…!!!

    watch how in pursuit of suspect, this officer takes the RTP off some “sweet jumps”. (jon heder voice)

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “I know here in Tuscaloosa, AL the TPD are usually on Harleys, but the UAPD (campus police) have the BMWs.”

    about 8 or 9 years ago, attending an AMA round at barber, i had a chat with an officer who had a police packaged goldwing 1800. don’t recall if he was birmingam…? or a statey…? i know i have a picture of it somewheres.

  17. Norm G. says:

    re: “Umm, get a license plate number”

    Umm, of what…? a stolen vehicle…?

    re: “You know, get him later”

    oh, you mean AFTER he’s killed a convenience store worker in a botched robbery attempt when he stopped for gas…? you and your anti-cop sentiment should be quiet now.

    re: “What bikes do the US officers ride?”

    speed on your way to laguna seca for motogp, then look up as you approach an overpass, you’ll quickly come to learn what the CHP are riding.

  18. This is a pretty lame unexciting example of a police pursuit, and I see it’s been posted all around the net. Looks like a department PR release video, they don’t release the really exciting pursuits, with the crazed frustrated officers standing up on the pegs of their Harley firing their Beretta with reckless abandon. That doesn’t present the proper image. Also that bike is pathetically slow, good thing he was after an economy car with no power. It would have no chance of keeping up with a serious sport bike with a skills determined rider.

    Notice police departments never release videos of superbikes leaving they’re slow ass lousy handling shit bikes in the dust and even blowing the doors off their Jet Ranger helicopters and escaping entirely. But it does happen far more often than most Department would be willing to admit. That’s why they have those motorcycle checkpoints y’all like to complain about so much, that’s the only chance they have of catching em. :-)

  19. cvgsp75 says:

    @Chaz Michael Michaels , that was HILARIOUS i guess in Florence Alabama you gotta do what you can to entertain yourself like chasing cars on a motorcycle… either way great story telliing

  20. Norm G. says:

    wow, no sooner than i speak, than the very thing i articulate basically OCCURS in the massachusetts manhunt inside of 48hrs. being right all the time is no picnic, lemmee tell ya. :(