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.

Video: Building the MV Agusta F3

12/23/2012 @ 2:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Video: Building the MV Agusta F3 MV Agusta F3 635x425

Have you ever wondered what the backstory was to building a motorcycle? Perhaps no greater version of that story exists than the rebirth of MV Agusta from the hands of Harley-Davidson, and the building of the company’s supersport model, the MV Agusta F3. Making an appearance on National Geographic‘s “Mega Factories” show, the doors of MV Agusta were opened up to the film crew’s cameras, and a fairly candid look at what is behind the curtain takes place.

The reason for the show’s success is because it is always interesting to see what goes into building our favorite machines, and for motorcycle enthusiasts, the insight given by MV Agusta tells more of the saga that surrounded the development and production of the F3, and the reason for its delays to market.

While full of interesting new details, this episode of “Mega Factories” has also substantially whitewashed of some the more important points of the MV Agusta story. For instance, the show goes out of its way not to mention Harley-Davidson’s recent involvement with the brand — namely how it cleared the Italian company’s debts, invested in infrastructure, and created the business plan that is currently being implement with the three-cylinder line of bikes.

Calling the 30-someting Giovanni Castiglioni “the patriarch” of Italian motorcycles, National Geographic sort of jumps the shark with its level of praise for the young CEO, and the canonizing of the late Claudio Castiglioni is well underway here, with nary a mention of how the brand has been run into the ground multiple times. Ducatisti might take offense to the show’s seeming forgetful nature that there is another iconic Italian motorcycle brand just down the road, thriving on a sales that are considerably larger than those of MV Agusta.

All that being said, the good outweighs the bad here, and it is well worth the 45 minutes of your time this holiday weekend to take a glimpse behind the curtain of Varese. After all, the MV Agusta F3 really is motorcycling art. Enjoy.

Source: Faster and Faster


  1. bemer2six says:

    With out any hesitationI enjoyed every minute of it and if it ever becomes possible that I can buy one in the US I’ll have one.

  2. TTT says:

    Just picked mine up yesterday! Still can’t get this stoopid grin off my face… :)

  3. Video: Building the MV Agusta F3 – #motorcycle

  4. Corey S says:

    Cool videos. It it looks as if MV Agusta will be around for awhile, I would consider buying one.

  5. Dewey says:

    “For instance, the show goes out of its way not to mention Harley-Davidson’s recent involvement with the brand — namely how it cleared the Italian company’s debts, invested in infrastructure, and created the business plan that is currently being implement with the three-cylinder line of bikes.”

    Mr. Beeler,
    I owe you an apology, I had you pegged as the type of “Italophile” elitist who would never have a good word to say about most other makers, especially Harley Davidson. While I’m sure that there are many MV Agusta owners that would simply choose to either ignore or dismiss what HD has done for MV, you are obviously not among them. It is refreshing to see objective reporting in the motorcycle press.
    I heartily apologise.
    Keep up the good work.

  6. What a puff piece. I mean, what did we learn here?

    That the F3, despite delays running to YEARS, is the greatest motorcycle to ever be shat out of a bike factory.

    That MV dealers are pretty suggestible if you can show them a bike with a set of empty cases for an engine and still get applause from them.

    That all production line problems are solved by 5 guys gesticulating wildly.

    That an MV doesn’t go into production until some nameless test rider gives his blessing bestowed by thrashing the shit out of it around a racetrack – as opposed to riding it ON THE STREET.

    Actually I liked the F3 except for those three drooping dicks that pass for end pipes…

  7. Tom says:

    Oh please Dewey. Grow up. You Harley people are childish cult members who cannot take an honest statement about your group. From MV’s perspective, sure H-D was a sugar daddy who came in and set things right. But, from a H-D stockholder’s perspective H-D made pathetically disastrous moves that cost the company money and has still hurt it today.

    Its every aspect of life, but some people are just too emotionally invested in Plato’s Cave real estate to be able to deal with the real world as it is.

  8. Dewey says:

    I don’t own a Harley and never have, but you sound like an angry H-D stockholder.

  9. MikeD says:

    Thanks for posting this. Nice insight to the whole “voyage” and most of the kinks and bends to building from “scratch” a new model.

    I hope they stick around (make themselves profitable) and keep building new products.
    There’s no such thing as too many choices when it comes to motorcycles.

  10. Tom says:

    Keep apologizing Dewey. You’re on a roll.

  11. Dewey says:

    I did not apologise, I stated that I did not own a Harley. I don’t know what you mean by “I’m on a roll”, it sounds like you’re “off your meds”.

    I don’t know what particular flavor of Kool-Aid you’re into but you should go have some more.

  12. Tom says:

    Dewey, The lady doth protest too much, methinks.