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.

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848

09/12/2011 @ 10:02 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 51 635x475

After Asphalt & Rubber first announced the bike back in July, the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 has finally made its official debut (with a little teaser help from Nicky Hayden). Expanding Ducati’s Streetfighter brand to now include two bikes (we’ll have to wait a little longer for the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 1198), the Ducati Streetfighter 848 is certainly not a shocking release. True to the streetfighter movement’s ethos, the Streetfighter 848 is a stripped-down version of the Superbike 848, with a twist.

As we predicted, Ducati has brought over the Testastretta 11° engine configuration for the smaller Streetfighter, meaning not only will the Streetfighter 848 have a wet-clutch, but also a 15,000 mile valve service interval. While Ducati is mum on many of the new SF 848′s details, the Bologna brand says the bike will come with the Ducati Traction Control system (DTC), and from what we can see in the photos, unsurprisingly lower-spec Brembo brakes and Marzoochi forks, instead of the Superbike 848′s monoblocs and Sachs units.

While we’re fans of the Streetfighter 1098 and its progeny, the devil is going to be in the details for Ducati when it comes to the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848. Having to strike a balance between the Superbike 848, Monster 1100 EVO, and the soon-to-be-release Streetfighter 1198, the Streetfighter 848′s performance specifications and price point are going to be integral to it success. Expect that Streetfighter 848 to make less power than its Superbike counterpart, while pricing will be nestled above the Monster 1100 EVO.

Available in November 2011 in Europe and January 2012 in North America, the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 comes in traditional Ducati Rosso Corsa, matte-black, and also brings back the Ducati yellow color scheme. Details surely to follow soon.

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 4 635x475

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 6 635x475

Source: Ducati


  1. Johndo says:

    One of the only stock bikes I’ve seen that wouldnt require aftermarket blinkers and a tail tidy, why can’t other manufacturers make theirs as neat as this? Even the mirrors are better looking then most…

  2. Other Sean says:

    Nice work Jensen, you’re article is more clear than the one on MCN and the pictures are bigger and more numerous. They had a confusing sentence about a dry clutch, which sent me over here to get the real story.

  3. Thanks Sean. Their article is really confusing. Andy Downes, MCN’s reporter, usually does a bang up good job on his stuff, so I’m not sure what happened over there. Maybe just rushing to get it out the door. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have days/articles like that too. C’est la vie.

    What will be the real factor in for 2012 will be how the SF 848 is positioned against the SF 1198. The Superbike 848 is Ducati’s best-selling bike in the US, and is near the top or at the top in virtually all the other markets. There has to be some notion in Bologna that the SF 848 could sell like hotcakes, but it’s going to come down to price and how much de-tuning goes on compared to the Superbike model.

    It’s an easy bike for Ducati to make (from a decision perspective), but incredibly hard to position. I’m not sure I see a clear way of doing it, so even I’ll be curious to hear where the final decisions come down.

  4. DC says:

    DTC byt no ABS though apparently?

  5. deckard says:

    Ducati: Gives you less, yet gets more press.

  6. HondaCBR600RR says:

    Think I’ll wait for the SF 848 EVO. Hmm yummy!

  7. DareN says:

    Hey! Where is white?

  8. Keith says:

    finally an non-monster Duc I’d love to have. So spot me a few bucks and tell me a lie and say I only have to adjust the valves every 25k miles. 8^)

  9. luke says:

    no red version? expect crying ducatisti at your local dealership soon. perhaps ducati will do a special edition version a bit later with the classic ducati hue on board.

  10. Fear not Luke, the Streetfighter 848 the bike comes in red, or as we called it “Ducati Rosso Corsa” – the traditional racing red of Italy.

  11. Astro says:

    You gotta give it to the Italians.
    They sure know how to pen a bike
    What gets me is how it costs the same to make a shit looking bike as a hot one.
    How come the japanese giants cant come up with something comparable.
    Thake the Honda CB1000, they did a fair job but still couldnt get it right.
    Bad headlight and bad wheels spoil the look.
    Sure it would be the more reliable of the two, but it just doesnt give you wood.

  12. Nobody says:

    And on top of the 848 StreetFighter we see the 2012 1199′s tank.

  13. konalight says:

    Off topic: next derivative of the 848: a Multistrada 848 (120 HP / 170 Kg)?

  14. Frode says:

    Fxxk me! AWESOME! I WANT ONE!!!

  15. This just might be my next bike… Oooh yes.