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.

2011 Honda Crossrunner

11/02/2010 @ 2:53 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

2011 Honda Crossrunner 2011 Honda Crossrunner 2 635x476

Finally unveiled, this is the much-hyped 2011 Honda Crossrunner that Honda has been releasing sketches of for the past month. A 782cc 90° V4 that’s derived from the VFR800 series, Crossrunner’s liquid-cooled, DOHC motor makes 102hp and 54 lbs•ft of torque. Honda hopes the Crossrunner will fill in a gap that is a cross between a naked street bike and an adventure bike, but has been very clear that it intends the Crossrunner to be a road-only machine (the Honda Crosstourer Concept should fill the off-road need just fine).

Sans a shaft-drive, the Honda Crossrunner will come with a chain final drive, uses an evolution of the VFR’s VTEC valve system for its 16 valves, and features Honda’s combined-ABS braking system. Road warriors get excited because the 2011 Honda Crossrunner comes with a 5.68 gallon tank. The only downside? The Honda Crossrunner is 530lbs when its on the curb. Photos and technical specifications after the jump.

2011 Honda Crossrunner Technical Specifications:

ENGINE
TypeLiquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC 90° V-4
Displacement782cm3
Bore x Stroke72 x  48mm
Compression Ratio11.6 : 1
Max. Power Output74.9kW/10,000min-1 (95/1/EC)
Max. Torque72.8Nm/9,500min-1 (95/1/EC)
Idling Speed1,200min-1
Oil Capacity3.8 litres
FUEL SYSTEM
CarburationPGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Throttle Bore36mm
AircleanerOil-permeated, cartridge-type paper filter
Fuel Tank Capacity21.5 litres
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Ignition SystemComputer-controlled digital transistorised with electronic advance
Ignition Timing8° BTDC (idle) ~ 50° BTDC (1,200min-1)
Sparkplug TypeIMR9D-9H (NGK); VNH27Z (DENSO)
StarterElectric
Battery Capacity12V/11AH (YTZ-12S)
ACG Output386W
Headlights12V; 55W x 1 (low) / 55W x 1 (high)
DRIVETRAIN
ClutchWet, multi-plate with coil springs
Clutch OperationHydraulic
Transmission TypeConstant mesh 6-speed
Primary Reduction1.934  (64/33)
Gear Ratios1    2.846 (37/13)
2    2.062 (33/16)
3    1.578 (30/19)
4    1.291 (31/24)
5    1.111 (30/27)
6    0.965 (28/29)
Final Reduction2.687  (43/16)
Final DriveO-ring sealed chain
FRAME
TypeDiamond; aluminium twin-spar; pivotless
CHASSIS
Dimensions (L x W x H)2,130 x 799 x 1,243mm
Wheelbase1,464mm
Caster Angle25° 45′
Trail96mm
Turning Radius2.8m
Seat Height816mm
Ground Clearance140mm
Kerb Weight240.4kg  (F: 115.2kg; R: 125.2kg)
SUSPENSION
TypeFront: 43mm cartridge-type telescopic fork with stepless preload adjustment, 165mm axle travel
Rear: Pro-Link with gas-charged HMAS damper, 7-step preload and stepless rebound damping adjustment, 145mm axle travel
WHEELS
TypeFront: 6-spoke cast aluminium
Rear: 5-spoke cast aluminium
Rim SizeFront: 17M/C x MT3.50
Rear: 17M/C x MT5.50
Tyre SizeFront: 120/70 R17
Rear: 180/55 R17
Tyre PressureFront: 225kPa
Rear: 250kPa
BRAKES
TypeFront: 296mm dual floating hydraulic disc with 3-piston calipers, C-ABC and sintered metal pads
Rear: 256mm hydraulic  disc with 2-piston caliper, C-ABS and sintered metal pads

Comment:

  1. Odysseas says:

    This is not just ugly. It is unbearable.

  2. bikepilot says:

    That may be the most unattractive bike I’ve ever seen. Even heavier than the old viffer, didn’t think that was possible :( Honda may be the only mfg to have managed to take a bike that was brilliant 20 years ago and slowly make it worse with each “evolutionary” step.

  3. kevin says:

    That looks like a hot mess.

  4. Dabber says:

    I like it! This new class of bikes from various bike companies is the future. People are too critical. There are plenty of styles for everyone, at least it’s not a new cruiser.

  5. Maas says:

    I just can’t find anything nice to say…

  6. Nobody says:

    For anyone unfortunate enough to see one in a parking lot, Honda should offer bolt-on puke buckets as an option.

    Honda–in an effort to increase sales you should design your scooters to look like motorcycles, not the other way around.

  7. 2011 Honda Crossrunner – http://bit.ly/b81yXD #motorcycle

  8. brij says:

    A little disappointed!! Although the idea of the cross runner with a the V4 engine is good! the styling department really lags behind. At least a saving grace would be some USD forks and a lighter more agile chassis. Come on Honda you can do better than that!!

  9. larlok says:

    Too heavy. Too complex. Too busy. Too ugly….tiger 800 looking better and better.

  10. MikeD says:

    I like it, im just dissapointed that they kept the V-TEC Gizmo on this sweet Mill, keeping it’s valve adjustments still xpensive and complicated.

    Belt drive like a BMW F800ST could have been nice too…and a Center Stand(doesn’t have one?) for good measure and to ease flat repairs, chain cleaning, lubing and adjusting.

  11. Bikerdad says:

    You’re looking at the replacement platform (1-2 years) for the NT700. Buh bye to the Dullsville. Honda will sell both side by side until the inventory of the Dulls are gone, and then “poof”, slap a larger screen and standard bags on this.

    BTW, it’s lighter than the Dull, and has lots more power. But I gotta agree with y’all, the styling doesn’t work for me.

  12. mike says:

    It reminds me , not in a good way, of a scooter, you know the big wanna be motorcycle ones !

  13. PorscheBob says:

    December 15, 2010

    FIRE THE FAIRING/BODY DESIGN DEPARTMENT !

    It’s not ugly, it’s oogly (worse).

    It hurts my eyes ~

    I’ll keep my ’98 VFR800.