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 MotoGP.com 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.

2010 Honda VFR1200F US MSRP Set at $15,999

12/07/2009 @ 1:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

2010 Honda VFR1200F US MSRP Set at $15,999 2010 honda vfr1200f action shots 7 560x373

A few weeks ago we announced that the Honda VFR1200F would cost nearly €15,000 in the European market, and speculated that the price here in the US would be $15,000 +/- about a grand. Well it looks like we were right, as American Honda Motors has announced that the base model 2010 Honda VFR1200F will come with an MSRP of $15,999.

With this price point, Honda is pitting their new VFR squarely against the likes of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 ($14,995, $16,495, or $19,995 depending on trim level) and the BMW K1300S ($15,550, $15,800, or $17,800 depending on trim level). Since the VFR1200F appears to be more touring oriented in its sport-touring heritage, the up-tick in price seems to reflect the idea that this is a motorcycle meant to ridden across the country without sacrificing power and handling.

We still await news on the DSG equipped VFR’s pricing. More on that as we get it.

Comment:

  1. johnstarky says:

    Cool bike, but overpriced RT @Asphalt_Rubber: 2010 Honda VFR1200F MSRP Set at $15,999 – http://bit.ly/6ukw6o #motorcycle

  2. Hayabrusa says:

    Well, I guess some of them Honda people are a bit smarter than I give them credit for! I mean, yeah, they didn’t become the world’s biggest motorcycle brand by being dummies! But, as I squirmed, waiting for the VFR 1200 price, my personal thought was that $17k was too much and would turn off a lot of people. If a Honda costs as much as a BMW or Ducati, I’m buying European! So, Honda comes in at $16k – high enough to make me complain, but not so high that I rule it out entirely, ahhh the planning that must have went into that!! Luckily, I have 6 months to roll dice (to pick a bike) before it gets warm enough to ride one here!

  3. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: 2010 Honda VFR1200F MSRP Set at $15,999 – http://bit.ly/6ukw6o #motorcycle

  4. 2010 Honda VFR1200F MSRP Set at $15,999 – http://bit.ly/6ukw6o #motorcycle

  5. honda car says:

    2010 Honda VFR1200F US MSRP Set at $15999: A few weeks ago we announced that the Honda VFR1200F would cost near.. http://bit.ly/5Xqtpv

  6. MarkF says:

    After loosing my 5th gen VFR (my 3rd) and my ST1100 (my 2nd) to a house fire I have been looking for a replacement(s). This gen of VFR had been high on my list since I was not a fan of the VTEC but had a strong desire for another VFR. What really turns me off here is the tank size. At 5 gallons this thing is in no ways a sport-touring bike. Touring just doesn’t happen with only 5 gallons on board. When going up against bikes like BMW K series, Ducati Multistrada 1200, Kawasaki GTR1400, and others in the same price ballpark you had better bring something equal, or greater, capabilities. I don’t see that here. Even ignoring the small tank other features that should be standard are missing (adjustable windscreen, side cases/saddlebags, heated grips, traction control, etc)

    As outrageous as it may sound, Honda needs to undercut the competition on price with this one if it wants to be competitive. I predict there will be plenty of 2010 VFR leftover next year to keep their DN-01 stablemates company in dealers backrooms.

  7. Rich Franklin says:

    16k It will have to be faster than my Blackbird to make that price fly

  8. Mike says:

    Ya ya ya . Thanks Honda!! I bought the yamaha Vmax 2009 which has a current 2010 MSRP of $19500. Luckily I bought first year for $1000 under msrp (17999). Best bike ever made.. V4 engines just Rock. I will buy this Honda because of the V4 and the fact that I can get it serviced anywhere!! The nearest Duc dealer is 72 miles away. The nearest BMW dealer 105 miles away. I wonder how far away the district guru who approves my warranty issue is? Thanks Honda for investing in my fun. Thats why I will buy Honda. Just for the record I own two aprilia motorcycles. I love them. The dealers suck. They have not invested in the computers or programs needed to service the bikes yet are allowed to sell them? Yes thats a question mark.. One of the dealers is a ford dealership/aprilia motorcycle dealer?? I go in and ask questions when I am in a bad mood just to watch them scramble..lol.. MSRP isn’t everything is my point!!!

  9. Jeff says:

    I second Mike’s comment about dealers. I have a Honda dealer 1/2 mile away and several others within easy driving distance. I am interested in a Mana 850GT. The only Aprilia dealer in my mid-western city of just under a million people doesn’t even have a service department. He has made arrangements with an independent shop. No Ducati dealer in town any more and the BMW dealer visits three days a week from another town 95 miles away to truck bikes back for service. The next nearest BMW dealer is one state away. So you dance with the one that brought you. Years ago when traveling across country I started keeping track of car and bike dealers in small rural towns. Ford and Honda show up where no one else sets up shop. Honda is expensive and sometimes their models go on too long and become long in the tooth. But they have always been there and will likely remain for years to come. Maybe their conservative ways make business sense. When American bikes begin to fade from the scene Honda kept the sport alive. And they do come up with great bikes every once in awhile.

    That said I’ve seen some rather ugly and/or strange bikes showing up on Honda show room floors. Rune and DN-01 for example. (My apologies if I stepped on someone’s toes) My dealer claims they sell but I have my doubts. I do sometimes wonder how Honda does it’s pre-production marketing surveys.

  10. Shadow says:

    16 grand?
    That’s horrid for a bike… -_-