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 Yamaha Fazer8 ABS – Also Officially Official & With Anti-Lock Brakes

03/12/2010 @ 2:47 am, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT

2010 Yamaha Fazer8 ABS   Also Officially Official & With Anti Lock Brakes Yamaha Fazer8 ABS 635x476

Along with the 2010 Yamaha FZ8, Yamaha Europe has finally officially released the 2010 Yamaha Fazer8 ABS. The 800cc cousin to the FZ8, the Fazer8 gets the obvious anti-lock brake treatment as the name implies. Drawing on styling cues from the larger FZ1, the FazerOcho distinguishes itself by what lies beneath its exposed motor. As was rumored, the Fazer8 borrows from the FZ1′s 998cc motor’s stroke length, making up the smaller displacement with a smaller bore diameter (68mm down from 77mm). Check out the full technical specifications and photos after the jump.

Previous Fazer owners will probably find the Fazer8′s near 485lbs of wet weight as an unwelcomed change from their more slender 600cc counter-parts (450lbs wet), which this bike now replaces. However the Fazer8′s 50% more torque (Fazer8: 62lbs•ft, FZ6: 46lbs•ft) on tap should help quiet the restless souls who have just seen their favorite motorcycle discontinued.

Like the FZ8, the Fazer8 carries many elements over from both the FZ1 and FZ6. However while the FZ8 gets a nose job, the Fazer8 retains the bird/moth/grasshopper head of a front fairing. New for 2010 is the obvious addition of 310mm front disc brakes, which are grappled to a rolling stop by the new ABS system on board. This is done to not only help the bike stop better on uncertain road conditions, but it also seems that Yamaha is trying to segment the market between the two models.

While the FZ8 is geared more towards the performance enthusiast meets street hooligan, the Fazer8′s marketing material is clearly aimed at the sport-tourer inside all of us, making the Fazer8 the proverbial Swiss Army knife of the motorcycling world. The ABS brakes seem to play up this role, and position the bike as an “any situation” rider. Time will tell how that works out for the tuning fork brand. European pricing starts at €8,690, and the Fazer8 comes in white, blue, and black.

Technical Specifications of the 2010 Yamaha Fazer8 ABS:

Features
  • A design study in understatement
  • New 779cc engine
  • Instant torque meets slingshot horsepower
  • Aluminium frame
  • Semi-faired for comfort and sleek aerodynamics
  • Slim fuel tank and compact, roomy ergonomics
Engine
Engine type:Liquid cooled 4-stroke, DOHC Forward-inclined parallel 4-cylinder
Displacement:779 cc
Bore x stroke:68.0 × 53.6mm
Compression ratio:12.0: 1
Maximum power:78.1KW (106.2PS) / 10000 rpm
Maximum torque:82.0Nm (8.4kgf・m) / 8000 rpm
Lubrication system:Wet sump
Carburettor:Electronic Fuel Injection
Clutch type:Wet, multiple-disc coil spring
Ignition system:Transistorized coil ignition
Starter system:Electric
Transmission system:Constant mesh, 6-speed
Final transmission:Chain
Fuel tank capacity:17 L
Oil tank capacity:3.8 L
Chassis
Chassis:Diamond
Front suspension system:Telescopic fork, 43mm inner tube
Front travel:130 mm
Rear suspension system:Swingarm, link suspension
Rear travel:130 mm
Caster angle25º
Trail109 mm
Front brake:Hydraulic dual disc brake, Ø 310 mm ABS brake system
Rear brake:Hydraulic single disc brake, Ø 267 mm
Front tyre:120/70 ZR17 M/C(58W)
Rear tyre:180/55 ZR17 M/C(73W)
Dimensions
Length (mm):2,140 mm
Width (mm):770 mm
Height (mm):1,225 mm
Seat height (mm):815 mm
Wheel base (mm):1,460 mm
Minimum ground clearance (mm):140 mm
Service weight (kg)220 kg

Comment:

  1. Bill Smith says:

    Why do I get the impression Yamaha is attempting to better leverage the parts from the FZ1? This is quite exciting if you enjoy a five-year-old bike design with a modified fairing and new engine at an over-inflated price in a horrific economy. I own an FZ1 (2006) and have owned an FZ6 (2007) – I was assuming we’d see something new from Yamaha in the upright category.