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 MotoGP.com 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 BMW K1600GT Sport – Familiar, But Different

07/11/2013 @ 8:15 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

2014 BMW K1600GT Sport   Familiar, But Different 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport 02 635x448

BMW Motorrad has just released a bevy of minor changes to its 2014 motorcycle line, and amongst the facelifts and feature changes comes a “new” motorcycle from zie Germans. Unsurprisingly, the 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport is a take on the company’s flagship tourer, the K1600GT, but with a sportier, baggier, feel.

To be honest, we can’t help but think that the folks at BMW Motorrad saw the positive response that Honda had with the Honda Gold Wing F6B bagger conversion, and figured the same would work for them. If you can’t beat them, join them, eh? BMW junkies, we’ll want to hear your thoughts on this one.

BMW lists the changes to the 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport from its paterfamilias as follows, making this strictly a minor derivative of the current K-bike:

  • Two-colour paint finish in Sakhir orange metallic/ Black storm metallic including decor
  • Black gloss coated wheels
  • Low windshield
  • Seat in sporty design

2014 BMW K1600GT Sport   Familiar, But Different 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport 03 635x448

2014 BMW K1600GT Sport   Familiar, But Different 2014 BMW K1600GT Sport 01 635x448

Source: BMW Motorrad

Comment:

  1. Gonzo says:

    I have an S1000rr, but this intrigues me. Too bad it doesn’t come in blue…

  2. Chris says:

    Still waiting for the naked, hooligan version. Akropovic ? Yes, please.

  3. Alex says:

    @ Gonzo
    2013 comes in a really nice blue, really nice in person. FYI I have a 2012.

    I think we might see the naked S1000 this November, didn’t see any plans for a naked K16..but it would be SIIICK :O)

  4. DWolvin says:

    Seconded that a naked would be Sick…. (daydream)

  5. Shawn says:

    I don’t get it. A K1600GT Sport is a K1600GT with… different color paint, a short windshield, and a different seat?

    No doubt there will be a premium price on it, and the Beemerphiliacs will glom right onto it.

    Not sure how this merits a new model designation, rather than just a variation of the spec sheet checklist.

  6. BrianZ says:

    BMW doesn’t normally play the Honda game, so why start now?

  7. meatspin says:

    i kinda see design elements taken from the new Vstrom.

  8. KSW says:

    As a K1600GTL owner I’ll say it’s really just some color choices. We’d all like color choices but making them available as options at order time would be better than one year this one year that.

    I don’t get the comparison to the F6B unless by that you mean painted rims, barely visible lower shield and two tone paint. The K1600GT/GTL/or Sport can all be fully loaded or naked.

    As an owner I think it needs a K Button much like the coveted M Button in the cars not painted rims and a shield I could lower on my own in the shop in 45 minutes all in off to back on. Think about that BMW, a K button that disables all the electronics like we can do now if we want to go into the menu and do it after stopping. Not enough
    time at a red light for that.

    Now, create a rear trunk for the solo rider that is bigger and comes at least half way over the passenger seat with the tail lights wrapping around the corner of the trunk for visibility.

    K

  9. “Think about that BMW, a K button that disables all the electronics like we can do now if we want to go into the menu and do it after stopping.”

    Yes, because what everybody needs is a bloated touring-bagger with insane-sport mode.

  10. KSW says:

    Trane,

    Actually, take all the bags off for that and loose some weight. Wheel up over rises in the road is a good thing right? Unless you turn it off manually each time you turn the key it’s all on which is good unless you want to go naked and have fun. I’ll take a simple button with a K on it.

  11. paulus says:

    Target market = USA
    black wheels and 2 tone 70′s colours paint…
    Is this the Roland Sands special US edition?… LOL

  12. MikeD says:

    I’m still day dreaming that BMW will surprise us with a mighty K1600R or K1600S.
    C’mon BMW, pull that broom stick out of your lowest back and do something like “Just ’cause we can” like you did with the S1000RR.

    Personally, i can’t see myself choosing this one over the already sporty GT.

    LMAO, whoever can’t connect the dots and see that BMW is trying to pull an F6B here needs badly a brain tune up.

    @Paulus: The RS paint job comment was spot on.

    @KSW: U Sir are a Mad Man, LOL.

  13. Paul McM says:

    I wonder if the lower windscreen is a no-man’s land mistake. Meaning not low enough to allow clear airflow, not high enough (even when raised to full height) that you get still air w/o turbulence. But the real question is how much weight is saved over the K1600gtl which is listed as 797 pounds with fuel. OK, let’s just call it 800 lbs to be simple — that’s 0.4 TONS boys and girls. IMHO anyone willing to toss that kind of poundage around is just going to get a Goldwing. Better seating, better wind protection, better reliability, WAY better passenger accommodations.

    When I sat on the K1600gtl at the Long Beach show I couldn’t believe how massively tall, wide, and thick in the middle the thing seemed. And it was scary top-heavy. I think BMW has jumped the shark on this one. How about giving us a compact 3 cylinder 1300cc powerplant, belt drive, combined with modern long-travel suspension and those kewl headlights — all at around 600 lbs and under $16K. I’m just really not sure how many customers BMW will find for a $25,000 800-lb motorcycle. The “wingers” grown accustomed to bulletproof Honda reliability aren’t going to switch brands.

  14. Stiggleton says:

    ‘Go faster stripes’ do not make a vehicle…er… go faster! The K1600GT Sport does not appear to have any mechanical changes that might warrant the nomenclature of ‘Sport’.

    What’s more is that the K1300GT (with no fantastical V6 engine) had a better power to weight ratio than the K1600GT and a much sportier feel.

    I wish rather than fool a few people with some orange paint, a less protective windshield and a badge with sport written on it they had just done a limited edition run of the K1300GT again :-(

  15. MikeD says:

    @Stiggleton:

    Yup, a lot of people saying the same about killing the 4cyl GT. Why they had to go and kill a good bike (specially at a time when almost all of the bugs had been fixed and all the “wrinkles” ironed out) . . . but that’s BMW for you, always doing crazy if not unthinkable shit.
    I hope they slap that 6cyl jewel in other models in the “not too distant future” (next 2 years or so).