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.

2011 Ducati Diavel Breaks Cover at EICMA

11/01/2010 @ 7:16 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

2011 Ducati Diavel Breaks Cover at EICMA 2011 Ducati Diavel official 1 635x475

The 2011 Ducati Diavel has leaked ahead of its debut in a few hours at EICMA, showing us the final lines of Ducati’s performance cruiser. Performance is the key word here with the Ducati Diavel boasting features like: 162hp Testastretta 11º engine, 94 lbs•ft of torque, 456lbs (carbon) / 463lbs (base), radial brakes, ABS, traction control, ride-by-wire, and three riding modes. Other features include keyless ignition (as found on the Multistrada 1200), a split dash (as we revealed earlier), fold-up passenger pegs, and a carbon version of the Diavel (aptly named the Diavel Carbon) which sheds 7lbs of weight over the base model by adding carbon fiber body panels and forged Marchesini rims.

Looking at the Diavel, the bike’s 240mm wide rear tire is immediately apparent, and will likely draw the ire of many loyal Ducatisti. Ducati however says that they have been able to make the 240mm tire work on the bike, providing the expected handling characteristics of a Ducati, while incorporating the style and design of a drag-ready performance cruiser.

Merging the worlds of power and style has never been achieved with such convincing precision. A specially engineered 240 section rear tyre combined with famous Ducati chassis technology serves up mind-blowing handling and lean angles which defy the laws of physics, whether carving through curves on your favourite road or just riding out for a night on the town.

The Ducati Diavel Carbon comes in either “red carbon” or “black carbon”, referring to the color of the paint on the trellis frame. Both versions of the Diavel Carbon will have black forged Marchesini wheels, which shed 5.5lbs off the Ducati Diavel’s base mass. The Carbon will also get Marzocchi forks, whose low-friction diamond-like-coating adds even more blackout to the hotness.

Both bikes will get the full Ducati electronics package, which includes Ducati Traction Control (DTC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), rider-by-wire throttle control, keyless ignition, and rider-selectable riding modes. New for Ducati is the split instrument panel, which sees an instrument panel mounted on the handlebars, and another mounted on the fuel tank. The handlebar mounted instrument cluster presents your standard information like speed, revs, warning lights, temperature, and time.

2011 Ducati Diavel Breaks Cover at EICMA Ducati Diavel white 635x475

The tank-mounted TFT display shows bike information such as the current riding mode, gear selection, DTC settings, etc. The TFT display senses the ambient light and choses whether or not to invert the display coloring to aid in daytime/nighttime reading. When stationary the secondary display also handles tuning the traction control and ride-by-wirse settings.

Also new for Ducati are the laterally mounted radiators. Helping keep the front profile of the Ducati Diavel clean, the Bologna company used two highly efficient lateral radiators on both sides of the bike. Located beneath the fuel tank, the lateral radiators use aerodynamical ducts to draw air through the radiator fins, and have high-flow electric fans when more cooling is required.

Expect pricing to start at $16,995 for the Ducati Diavel, and $19,995 for the Ducati Diavel Carbon.

Source: Autopia (Press Photos) & Italia Bike Center (Phone Photos)


  1. rrse says:

    and I thought Harleys were ugly, thats Italian ugly

  2. Keith says:

    heh and worse yet it looks like a Vrod and a V Max spent a drunken weekend in Tiajuanna and this was the love child. Not ugly as such…but only bit nicer looking than the parents. Oh well, never was one for cruisers and I only care how the dash looks as the road approaches it, 3 seconds ahead.

  3. Rick Higgins says:

    I certainly like the bikes looks, it’s just like my VMax and maybe as quick.

  4. wayne says:

    Oh, the horror…

  5. gnmac says:

    Thank God Ducati got Rossi, that’s about the only thing that will forgive for this lack of judgement and taste.

  6. Sean says:

    At least MV made a cool bike this year…

    If Ducati wins it’s annual most beautiful bike of EIMCA or whatever, I cry fowl! Kinda like how dictators win elections.

  7. irksome says:

    If I met one at a party, I’d have to say “Y’know, for a fat chick you don’t sweat much”.

  8. CBR600RR 09 says:

    That is one awesome sexy cruiser. I am a supersport man but I would ride that!

  9. Ades says:

    You know what they say……Fat Girls go harder……..

    Personally I like the look (except the awful headlight) but I can see the V-Rod/ V-Max influence in the lines. Maybe they called have called it the V-FAT????

  10. I like it okay, but wife says boat has to go or trade? RT @Asphalt_Rubber: 2011 Ducati Diavel Breaks Cover at EICMA

  11. Joao says:

    I own a 2009 Vmax so I understand tha look. Probably I would expect something more from Ducati design studio, but nevertheless, it shall be a hell of a machine.

  12. Jim says:

    If people like or dislike the Diavel is a question of taste. But it certainly stands out. Time will tell, if it was a smart move for Ducati to enter new segments (Diavel cruiser & Multistrada tourer).

    Ducati has understood that in order to grow in the future it will need to target mature riders with a strong bank balance. Although young riders dream of Ducati sports bikes, these are not the consumers who can afford them. Older riders (bar some exceptions) are not going to be won over by uncomfortable and impractical sports bikes.

    The AMG Mercedes partnership is a stepping stone in exactly that direction. The image transfer will benefit both brands. Ducati will attract existing AMG buyers with the Diavel and Multistrada, whereas Ducati riders will be tempted by entry level AMG models. Time will tell…

  13. Laurence Benderhoff says:


    Yes, I’m sure it goes well etc but I want Ducati to know that I think it looks bloody awful. If this is the future then shoot me now.

    Rode a Monster 696 and hated it, was suspecting Ducati were losing their way, now I’m certain of it.

    What ever happened to that wonderful Italian blend of form AND function?

    Normally I wouldn’t comment negatively on a blog post, preferring to say nothing at all but Ducati have left me no choice.