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.

Say Hello to the 2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200…Again

11/08/2012 @ 7:05 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Say Hello to the 2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200...Again Aprilia Caponord 1200 635x508

Leaked well ahead of the 2012 EICMA show, the Aprilia Caponord 1200 again finds its way to the interwebs, albeit in a clearer and more official way. Taking heavy styling cues from the Aprilia RSV4 sport bike, which has become something of the paterfamilias of design at the Italian brand, the 2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200 shares a chassis and motor with the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200, and will be the Noale brand’s big offering against the sportier side of the adventure-touring market.

Featuring 17″ wheels, selectable fuel mapping, traction control, and ABS brakes, the new Aprilia Caponord 1200 has all the basic amenities you would expect in increasingly competitive adventure bike market — and if rumors are to be believed, Aprilia will offer a Caponord 1200 with semi-active suspension as well (Aprilia Dynamic Damping, or ADD…no seriously).

Say Hello to the 2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200...Again Aprilia Caponord 1200 white 635x508

With the Dorsoduro 1200 making 130hp and 84.8 lbs•ft of torque, in its 492 lbs bulk at the curb, it will be interesting to see what else Aprilia has done to make the Caponord 1200 competitive with bikes, like the Ducati Multistrada 1200 and KTM 1190 Adventure, which are likely to be more powerful and lighter.

We will have to wait and see the full tech specs of the 2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200 before we can truly pass judgment, and of course pricing could play a huge role in whether the Caponord 1200 is a success or failure. One thing is for certain though, Aprilia is putting a lot of effort into bringing out new models each year, something that has not really been the weak point of its business plan.

This is another story that has been broken by Asphalt & Rubber. Be sure to follow the rest of our EICMA news for the most comprehensive coverage from Milan.

Source: Bothan Spies


  1. 2ndclass says:

    So basically a Dorsoduro 1200 with a fairing and ADD then?

  2. …and more electronics. The BIG question though is how this article doesn’t have more ritalin jokes in it.

  3. Adam says:

    Hopefully it doesn’t inherit the terrible fuel/air mapping and on/off throttle response from the Dorsoduro 1200 too…..

  4. Rolo Tommassi says:

    Like most products from that company, I am sure the machine itself is fine, the support from the parent company and its subsidiaries is what will make it complete crap.

  5. Damo says:

    If it comes through with the same mild power and heft of the 1200 Dorsoduro, I wonder who would buy it?

    This also makes me realize that at 140hp and 475lbs my RC51 isn’t the rocket it used to be and 90% of the power is still not useable on the street. I rarely wish for more power these days, BUT I always want “lighter” especially for anything that might be taken off the tarmac.

  6. Ken says:

    Although I wouldn’t put it in the Adventure category, it looks like an interesting bike to me. I’d put it more in the Touring/Travelling category. As such, I’d prefer a full fairing and not the split version. Most likely a weight saver. The cases look goofy to me, I’d still visit Touratech for replacements. The low mount exhaust is fine because at 490+ lbs. it wouldn’t see anything more challenging than fire roads anyways and it’s easier to mount full size cases. I would like to see a 19″ front wheel though and it needs to easily mount a GPS. I’m glad it doesn’t have a beak. At first glance it seems to be a bit lighter than the “competition”, R1200GS, Super Tenere, 1190 Adventure, but we’ll have to wait to see the final specs. I think seating position and tank size is going to be a big determinant for how it does.

  7. MikeD says:


    Or the horrible MPG of the V4 Tuono…or maybe it comes with a tank the size of the Exxon Valdez to somehow band-aid itself.




    I would, too bad im 99.9% broke and terrified of seeing myself in the DIRE situation of needing spare parts OR GOD FORBID, SERVICE ! .

    I’ll take mine White.

    P.S: I know what you are saying about weight, specially when u get off a ~450lbs SV1000N and go for ride on a Bicycle…bicycle felt like a non existant entity.


    The cases look a lot like those used on the MG Norge. +1 no beak.

  8. CB says:

    Taking heavy styling cues from the Aprilia RSV4 sport bike, which has become something of the paterfamilias of design at the Italian brand, the 2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200 shares an exposed radiator and oil cooler with the Aprilia Rsv4 which just begs to have a rock puncture one or both of the very unprotected key systems in the middle of nowhere. Fire roads not recommended. Fender anyone?

  9. MikeD says:


    Styling is starting to grow on me, but i have to say, the lower edge of the Rad’s shroud is following NOTHING, totally out of place, don’t know what they were thinking.
    Front fender u said, PFFF, those are so yesterday (sarcastic)…radiator ? rocks ? that will never happen. (rolls eyes).

    Yeah, these guys are taking the whole form over function crap a bit too far…and she’s not even good looking to make it worse.