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.

Three Moto Guzzi V7 Models Coming to America for 2013

09/26/2012 @ 9:16 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Three Moto Guzzi V7 Models Coming to America for 2013 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 range 635x423

For the new model year, Moto Guzzi is bringing three variations of its V7 line to the United States with includes the 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone, 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer, and 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Special. Based around the Italian company’s revised 750cc 90° longitudinally mounted v-twin motor, all three models also sport a cardan-shaft drive and double-cradle “Tonti” frame, for that classic Guzzi retro look.

The three Moto Guzzi V7 models should be popular with riders who are looking for a throw-back aesthetic, with a bit more modern engineering. That being said, Moto Guzzi has struggled for traction in the US market, due in part to an inadequate supply/support chain, but also because of some confusing marketing and segment placement.

While the Piaggio Group subsidiary struggles to find its identity, we think the company should further explore bikes like the V7, which provides a unique alternative to the standard modern-bike fare, and creates a bit of distance between Moto Guzzi and the rest of the Piaggio Group line-up.

2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone:

Three Moto Guzzi V7 Models Coming to America for 2013 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone 635x536

A completely new version designed to appeal to younger riders, complete with a competitive price point; trendy, agile, easy to customize with an array of accessories. The V7 Stone features the new and more powerful, 750cc, 90-degree V-Twin motor and new lightweight, six split-spoke alloy wheels. The simple color scheme combined with the six split spoke wheels enhance the chrome accents and make the Stone the ideal foil for a wide variety of Moto Guzzi accessories. The matte black or pure white tank and the chrome accents make the V7 Stone a showstopper on the road or at any café, bike night or local hot spot. The 2013 V7 Stone is available in Matte Black and Pure White. MSRP is $8,390 and will be available in mid-October at Moto Guzzi dealerships across the United States.

2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer:

Three Moto Guzzi V7 Models Coming to America for 2013 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer 635x471

The 2013 V7 Racer is an ode to café racer motorcycles from the ‘50s and ‘60s with the performance of a modern machine. The V7 Racer has a new 750cc, 90-degree V-Twin motor with increased torque, horsepower and throttle response for an enjoyable ride. The new V7 Racer features a myriad of unique style attributes—from a chrome fuel metal tank studded with red Moto Guzzi badges and finished with a handsome leather strap, to a suede leather seat with an aerodynamic seat cowl and ‘70s-style racer number plates. The V7 Racer is perfect for an adventurous rider with an eye for design and a wild streak. The 2013 V7 Racer is available in Chrome. MSRP is $9,990 and will be available at Moto Guzzi dealerships across the United States in early-October.

2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Special:

Three Moto Guzzi V7 Models Coming to America for 2013 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 635x573

This is the closest to the original 1969 V7 Special, not only because it shares its name with the first V7 signed by Lino Tonti, but because it faithfully cites the same riding philosophy – that of a touring bike with a sophisticated fit and finish and uniquely “Guzzi” engine character. The new engine, significantly stronger in driving torque and especially in maximum power, which is increased by 12%, is perfectly suited for medium range touring and contributes to low fuel consumption and greater tank capacity with 5.8 gallons for an average range of 310 miles.

Just like its predecessor, it is wrapped in a two-tone paint scheme and equipped with aluminum spoked wheels reducing unsprung weight and improving handling. The V7 Special proves a worthy touring machine with bags and windshield, accessories which go well with the overall design of the V7 Special. The V7 Special is available in White/Red Metallic and Yellow/Black Metallic. MSRP is $8,990 and will be available in quarter 1 of 2013 at Moto Guzzi dealerships across the United States.

Source: Moto Guzzi


  1. Gritboy says:

    Fun retro bikes. Love the 300+ mile range on the V7 Special.

  2. Franxou says:

    I really like the V7 racer but I would not live with it. From the other two, while I like the two-tone paint from the classic, it’s the stone that would win my heart. I’m absolutely sure the solid wheels will make it a better ride than the spoked wheels from the classic, but even then I absolutely love spoked wheels… The shaft drive is a real plus for me because I don’t like taking care of a chain. It’s not supposed to be long but I’m not good at it, it takes me a while, it’s messy, I must bring two cans of stuff and a little brush, I don’t like that.
    But I will not get anywhere near these bikes until I see a serious bonneville and V7 comparo. And not the T100 bonnie, the standard one or maybe the SE model.
    That and I’m still on the lookout on the used market for a good GT 1000 even though I don’t really have the money right now…

  3. Gary says:

    Come on Moto Guzzi, offer the darn thing in a 1200 alreeady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Iwan says:

    So, what’s 2013 about them? This is just the model as it’s already sold this tear, isn’t it?

  5. Johndo says:

    Just love the V7 Stone….

  6. Iwan, you Europeans have been having all the fun with the V7. The news item here isn’t something new with the bikes, it’s that they are coming to the USA.

  7. Richard Gozinya says:

    About damn time. Now if we could only get a V12 LeMans, but I won’t hold my breath.

  8. Johndo says:

    Yeah the V12 LeMans is one of the nicest concepts I’ve seen…At around 14000$ or less I’d pick one up for sure.

  9. Damo says:

    Kinda pricey for something that is much slower than any Bonneville model and it a bit more maintenance intensive. I mean the Bonnie is over a grand less (almost two grand less than the top model) and has about 30 more horsies.

    (Admittedly the Guzzi is MUCH better looking.)

  10. Franxou says:

    @Damo, Is it seriously that much less powerful?
    I know that the bonneville is fast enough to be fun but is still slow compared to a lot of bikes with its 67hp/53ft-lb… Right now I have an old vulcan750 that is dumb fast for a cruiser (weird, right?) and it’s spec’d less than the bonnie… But if the guzzi feels any less powerful than the bonnie, it’s going to be as slow as a royal enfield?
    Otherwise for looks it’s everyone’s guess, I prefer the bonnie and in fact I believe the GT1000 is leagues better than those two.

  11. “Is it seriously that much less powerful?”

    I think the V7 Racer pops out 48 ponies. That’s about as understressed as you can possibly make it.

    I want to like these. I really do. Alas, what I want is something that looks like a Daytona 1000 or MGS-01. A “Daytona V7″, even with 48 ponies, would be sorely tempting. Make it beautiful. Make it handle well on real-world roads.

    And, for the love of god, keep the word “trendy” out of the damn ad copy!

  12. Damo says:


    Here is the break down:

    Triumph Bonneville (Thruxton Trim): 60.7hp, 0-60 = 4.2 seconds, 1/4 mile = 12.94, 119mph top speed.

    Moto Guzzi V7 Racer: 38.7hp, 0-60 = 5.5 seconds, 1/4 mile = 14.35, 104mph top speed.

    That would put the Bonnie in the “way faster” range.

    (The GT1000 Duc is light years better looking I agree, it also leaves these two in the fuggin dust performance wise.)

  13. @Damo:

    Is that 38.7 hp measured at the wheel? The US specs out at 50 ponies @ 6200 rpm. The Canadian model runs 48.8 hp @ 6800 rpm. (Odd differences, aren’t they?)

    In any case, these aren’t 100+ hp/litre beasts by any stretch of the imagination.

  14. Damo says:


    That is actual tested wheel horsepower taken directly from Cycle World October 2012 issue.

  15. @Damo:

    Thanks for the clarification. Seems the drivetrain really soaks up a lot of the good stuff.

    It’s worth noting that 14.35 quarter matches what an RD400F Daytona Special did back in 1979. Progress! ROTFL

  16. Damo says:


    Yeah I know, right?

    At least on the Bonnie you can still out run a decent crop of cars in a straight drag.

    In terms of modern retro the Ducati GT1000 still takes the prize: 91Hp (at the crank), 0-60 in 4.0 seconds, 1/4 mile = 11.9

    I still have no idea why Ducati stopped making it, such hot little cycle.

  17. Franxou says:

    well Ducati doesn’t give a rat’s ass about heritage except for their L-twin configuration, so as soon as the bike didn’t sell well enough it was the end. It is sad because it really was a classic with modern performance, and a good example can still fetch “new bonnie” prices.

    So to sum it up, I like the bonnie (except the T100), I want to like the V7stone and V7racer but hhmmmmm no, and the GT1000 is the best in its class, though not in prod anymore…

    Any though about the Royal Enfield racer? I sat on one at the bike show last year and I really like it, it felt really small and I like a big single thumper, but the 50′s technology means the performance should be worse than the V7?