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.

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi-Res

11/13/2012 @ 7:52 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV R ABS 15 635x423

We already told you last month that the 2013 Aprilia RSV4 would get a bevy of revisions, not to mention the inclusion of ABS brakes…yet for some reason we had to wait until today to tell you that information again. Yes, it is completely bizarre yet completely normal situation to encounter when dealing with Italians, and especially so with the Noale company. Honestly, it is just one of the perks of working in the motorcycle industry, or not in it, as American Honda seems to think.

What is perhaps more newsworthy than these thinly veiled rants are these first photos of the Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in matte black, which is drop dead sexy in any language. Aprilia is keen to remind us that the RSV4 topped many of the superbike shootouts this year, besting machines like the Ducati 1199 Panigale and BMW S1000RR (we’d be keen to try an RSV4 Factory against the new BMW HP4 though).

Selling the RSV4 has never been a problem of product for Aprilia. The RSV4 is superb, and in its second year of racing, Max Biaggi took it to win the World Superbike Championship. The Roman Emperor repeated that feat again this year, though we doubt it will move that many more units in North America for Aprilia, which sells RSV4′s by the hundreds, not the thousands, in the largest sport bike market worldwide.

If there was ever a brand you wanted to see get its act together, Aprilia, and the Piaggio Group as whole, has to be it. Until that happens though, we will have to view the photos after the jump with a taste of foreboding. Like Eve’s apple, Pandora’s box, and Lindsay Lohan’s driving, the treat is tantalizing, though the headache is probably not worth it. Le sigh.

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV R ABS 14 635x393

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV R ABS 13 635x497

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV R ABS 16 635x481

The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory ABS for Good Measure:

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 01 635x423

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 02 635x463

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 03 635x495

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 04 635x423

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 05 635x509

Photos: Aprilia


  1. Angus McFangus says:

    Why do you always talk about photos ‘after the jump’? There’s no jumps…the pics are directly afterwards. In fact, the only jump is your text saying the photos are after the jump. Why are you trying to make my life so difficult and confusing?

  2. motogpdr says:

    I have to say that I’ve been glued to my seat this week on the internet searching for EICMA coverage. A and R is by far the best!!!!

  3. Angus, it’s the small things that make this whole blog thing worthwhile for me. Making your life difficult and confusing is one of those small perks. Sorry for partying.

    motogpdr, why were you searching the internet? Just come here each time. :)

  4. Spektre76 says:

    Drool worthy bike. I can’t imagine how much better next years beat will be!

  5. dc4go says:

    Rubbing my hands already waiting for the 2014 model.. hope they don’t make it any smaller cause at 6’2″ my current RSV4 factory is a tight fit…

  6. apriliaboy14 says:

    Awwww, dammit. I feel a midlife crisis coming on. Always wanted an RSVR, and my ’07 Tuono is getting close to 60K… This might be a great 50th Birthday present to meself. At least SWMBO would like it better than a blonde girlfriend!

  7. Silas says:

    Just do it apriliaboy!

    I am in a love hate relationship with my RSV4 Factory right now because I want a new ride but the Aprilia is just too good. Having never owned a bike for more than 2 years, it’s looking like the Ape will take me to the 2014 RSV4. I’ve tried almost everything, including the Panigale (actually defaulted on my deposit after I rode it). There is just nothing out there that makes you feel more like you’re riding a real superbike.

  8. DareN says:

    No place to buy it and no place to fix it (coming from former Aprilia owner)

  9. Tyler says:

    Well… I have a 2010 RSV4 Factory with 14,000 miles on it… and it has only had a couple very minor issues, all being covered by warranty (2 year warranty, unlimited miles…).

    I would not stray away from Aprilia, especially if there is a dealer nearby. It is the best pure sport bike on the market right now.. simply amazing. I hope Aprilia continues to grow in the USA – their chassis are second to none… it is too bad they are competing in the other MotoGP series as they once dominated in the 250GP class…

    The RSV4 is essentially a 250GP chassis with a V4 motor inside it… <3

  10. Tyler says:

    They are *not* competing.. oops

  11. DeezToolz says:

    Tyler- I’m also a 2010 V4 Factory owner, and all minor issues have been tucked into the warranty.

    Personally, this flat black is the scheme I have lusted after since Day 1. It mimics the flat-carbon (from a distance) prototypes that they had first released spy shots of, and it’s just so CLEAN. Understated class. True lust.

    This gives me a reason for a second set of fiberglass fairings. Might have to give the folks at Racers Edge in AUS a buzz, see if they still make that set with the black gelcoat. Perfect base for this project…

  12. “Why do you always talk about photos ‘after the jump’? There’s no jumps…the pics are directly afterwards.”

    I’ll spoil Jensen’s fun, Angus: The jump comes from reading the article spoiler from the front page and “jumping” to the full article proper by clicking the Continue Reading button. Those of us who read via e-mail subscriptions go directly to the full article.

  13. This remains my favorite superbike. The old V twin Aprilias were awesome, but once they went with the V4 engine, they moved into another level of performance.

    For an overall daily rider, the BMW may be the preferred ride, but for those who want to experience the ultimate in superbike rocketship scalpel on the edge performance, this is the bike to go with. If you live near an open expressway, or any place with roller coaster rolling hills, this bike offers the opportunity to dive into the hyper realm of performance, a place most humans will never experience in their lifetime.

    As the old saying goes, life begins at 170 mph, and on this bike you’ll hardly notice when you blow past that mark, because all you’ll be doing is watching the road in front of you disappear, and hearing the sound of that molto molto Bene engine singing to you as she hits her sweet spot at 13,000 RPMs, and the shift light comes on.

  14. Tim says:

    Hello Jensen,

    Why is this? “North America for Aprilia, which sells RSV4′s by the hundreds, not the thousands, in the largest sport bike market worldwide”.

    With all of the positive Media reports and reviews it’s a great bike. What I have noticed that I still have not seen a RSV4 Factory up here in North California/Alice’s/STP and only 1 white RSV4. In your opinion is it because of pricing, reliability or?

  15. Lack of a dealer network, and worse…dealer support. Gone might be the days of waiting months for a part from Noale if you had an issue with your bike, but things are still far from perfect.

    This is the same company that hires “journalists” from “publications of record” to do their marketing and PR work.

  16. DeezToolz says:

    Hahahaah. That WesT Publication sure has come Apart a few times and had to make a few OEM parts replacement orders from Noale, hasn’t he?

    On the other hand, I find my dealer in Thousand Oaks to be very supportive. Tim- I know a few fella’s from the AF1 Forum that live in NorCal and occasionally ride out to Alice’s, but you’re right, there aren’t many.

  17. BBQdog says:

    @Tyler: “…. as as they once dominated in the 250GP class”

    They also dominated the 125 class. It’s a pity they don’t partitcipate in Moto3.
    And I would love a street RS4 250.

  18. Tyler says:

    Luckily my dealer in St. Pete, FL has been very good to deal with. Quickness of parts delivery is another thing from Italy..