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.

2014 Benelli BN600GT – Entry-Level Sport Touring

11/03/2013 @ 1:35 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

2014 Benelli BN600GT   Entry Level Sport Touring 2014 benelli bn600gt

Benelli has a couple new models waiting for us at EICMA this year, and first up is the 2014 Benelli BN600GT. Based on the Benelli BN600 that debuted last year (which the company is now confusingly calling the Benelli BN600R since it added Brembo Brakes, Marzocchi forks, and Sachs rear shock to the machine), the Benelli BN600GT is a more touring-friendly approach, with the same 80hp inline-four engine.

Like the BN600R, the BN600GT uses chassis that is comprised of a steel trellis frame mated to an aluminum alloy casting. Forks are 50mm, wheels are 17″ with a 180 in the rear, while brakes are 320mm / 260mm (front/back) and radially mounted.

At 490 lbs dry, we admit it is hard to get excited over the relatively bland Benelli BN600GT, though we think touring fans will likely lose the plot with the bike’s 27 liter (7.13 gallon) tank.

All-in-all, a pretty basic sport-touring option that has been built with newer riders in mind, says Benelli. The company also says that the 2014 Benelli BN600GT will “available starting by mid-2014 at a really competitive price.” Don’t expect to see the machine in the USA anytime soon though.

Source: Benelli


  1. dream bikes says:

    By driving position, handlebar height, height and design of the headlight and fairing, it seems more of a dual purpose bike that GT…

  2. Bern says:

    Why do I feel like I’m looking at a bloated Versys?

  3. I’m getting the Versys vibe too. Athough this to me at least looking at it side on isn’t a bad looking bike. Please note that I think the Versys isn’t bad looking either… so I’m weird that way.

    I feel very sorry for Benelli at the moment. Ever since the Qianjiang takeover they’ve been all over the place, I’m not saying that the Italians did a better job managing the marque, but at least they had two things going for them: beautiful and interesting motorcycles, although fragile and unreliable. I still crave a Tornado or a TNT from that period, I’ll be more than satisfied to put one in the middle of the office as an expensive sculpture and not care about reliability. Now, I can’t see why would anybody buy any of the models from the current range.

    And what’s up with the green ? Why don’t they offer green/silver bikes ?

  4. Anvil says:

    Boy, this think could have and should have been much better looking. There’s no real reason even a basic motorcycle can’t be attractive.

    But looks aren’t everything, for sure. Unfortunately they’ve built a tourer with a peak of 38 pounds-feet of torque. I hope that’s one very flat curve at least.

    I can’t help but think the Chinese have too much influence on product at Benelli. There are signs that some Chinese manufacturers are begining to get it. I’m not sure I see enough of it in this bike, though.

    Kostadin, I’m with you.

  5. donno says:

    Well it does look very much like a bloated Versys, and i’m pretty sure that is the bike that they aimed for. And the fuel tank, 27 liters? wow that is huge for a mid-sized bike. In south east asia the TNT600 (which is similar to the BN600) is selling for less than an ER6, and if this bike can be sold cheaper than the Versys, i think it will sell like hotcakes. Currently one of the biggest selling mid size bikes in south east asia is the Versys.

  6. jet says:

    Yuck.I ride for sport-touring an 07-Ducati ST3-S guess i’m spoiled.The “B” rear shock looks cheap and not enough HP for me.

  7. MikeD says:

    Versys was the first thing that popped in my head.
    Maybe that’s not a bad thing, maybe this will do great for it’s intended use and target rider(s).
    I think is alright, not desirable but still ride-able. I wouldn’t mind being caught on it, lol.
    You can definitively see some of “The New Owners” influence here and there but overall an ok-ish product.
    I hope said influence don’t get carried over to their big bikes.

  8. mutanic says:

    Can’t wait to see more images, please give us more review…