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.

Suzuki V-Strom 1000 Concept – Coming in 2014?

10/02/2012 @ 12:17 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

Suzuki V Strom 1000 Concept   Coming in 2014? 2014 Suzuki V Strom 1000 concept 01 635x486

While the KTM 1190 Adventure and BMW R1200GS were grabbing all the headlines from INTERMOT today, we think the real news from the adventure-touring section is the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 concept, a nearly production ready bike that will debut in 2014. While Suzuki V-Strom owners we preach from the mountain the off-road prowess of their bikes, the truth is that Suzuki did not have adventure-touring on its mind when it built the V-Strom 1000 (or 650 for that matter), with the emphasis more on the touring side of that designation, than the adventure.

A quick look at the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 Concept for the 2014 model, and that has clearly changed. A bit late to the party, Suzuki has finally put together what looks like a serious ADV bike, which will likely rival other Japanese ADV bikes like the Yamaha Super Ténéré, and give BMW, Ducati, KTM, and Triumph buyers some serious pause before they plop down the extra cash on those premium market bikes.

Originally built around the TL v-twin motor, Suzuki has built a whole new 1,000cc v-twin engine for the new “Strom” bike, and has added other features like traction control and ABS to the mix. With 17″ wheels front and aft, the 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 looks to be still a very road-oriented machine, though it is possible that Suzuki could produce the bike as two models, each with different wheelsets for road and off-road usage.

Seeing the traction and growth in the adventure-touring segment, Suzuki has clearly noticed how imperative it is for the company to have a competent machine to the growing number of ADV riders. With this concept said to be coming into production in 2014, the question is then whether if Suzuki is too late to the party. We imagine pricing will play a huge part in this equation, as the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 could be a serious contender if Suzuki can get the price low enough in the North American and European markets.

Suzuki V Strom 1000 Concept   Coming in 2014? 2014 Suzuki V Strom 1000 concept 03 635x423

Suzuki V Strom 1000 Concept   Coming in 2014? 2014 Suzuki V Strom 1000 concept 05 635x423

Suzuki V Strom 1000 Concept   Coming in 2014? 2014 Suzuki V Strom 1000 concept 09 635x476

Source: Suzuki

Comment:

  1. Gary says:

    Looks like the KTM :) A very handsome update.

    Actually all the silhouettes of these ADV beasts are looking similar.

  2. Brett says:

    The exhaust is luggage-friendly. Wish my Triumph had the comfort of a V-Strom, but the current 1000 is just too bulky and tall, keeping an eye out for this, hope they can lighten it some at least.

  3. JoeD says:

    Form follows function?

  4. Dabber says:

    I love the update! This segment of motorcycle appeals to me.

  5. Bruce says:

    That’s a 19 inch wheel up front, by the way…

  6. Ken says:

    Lose the beak. They’re all looking like Gonzo from the muppets. I liked the fairing from the 990 Adventure and I think it makes the most sense. +1 on the exhaust being user friendly

  7. matt says:

    beak was totally unnecessary. (damn you BMW!!) Otherwise good show. Needs a “same price” wire wheel option even if it’s still just a 19 front.

  8. Larry Hannemann says:

    These bikes are getting uglier and uglier-hurts my eyes to look at ‘em. My curiosity got the better of me.

  9. Bret Edge says:

    Sweet lookin' bike RT @butlermaps: More concept or the real deal: Suzuki Suzuki V-Strom Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom http://t.co/RbI6tHAz

  10. MikeD says:

    Meh…(looks down to crotch area & says)… It does nothing for me.

  11. Boret says:

    All they need to do is to make it as affordable as the original DL1000 and they will have a great selling bike. A lot of people say the original was ugly (debatable but probably true… I still loved mine) but it sold like hot cakes!! You still see a lot of them on the road today. If they can sell this bike around $10K or less nicely equipped it will be a blockbuster. Btw, I do like the new look!! Do you think they have worked on the buffeting that plagued the original? Does anyone have a link to a pix of the instrument cluster?

  12. mark says:

    That’s clearly a 19″ front wheel.

    And what makes this bike more adventure-worthy than the old V-Strom 1000? Is it just because it has a beak?

  13. Gary says:

    This will likely be a fantastic bike in all practical respects. I just wish Suzuki had the courage to break from the crowd and ditch the superfluous beak. Most ill-conceived example to date: Ducati Multistrada.

  14. Mikey says:

    Yeah get rid of the beak and then we’ll talk. It looks like a rubber chicken from the side.

  15. MotoRider says:

    Howard the Duck!

  16. Michael Brown says:

    I agree. Dump the beak and go back to the dual headlights. I always think of the beak as a BMW/Ducati ‘thing’. Dual heaflights are a VStrom ‘thing’. I can spot a Wee or Vee coming at me from a mile off. Why would Suzuki change that to look like a GS? And that fugly headlight, ala Gladius has to go. I can’t stand that headlight.

  17. Greg says:

    Yes, keep the dual headlights. Also, the wire wheel option for an adventure bike would be good as previously mentioned and frankly necessary for a true adventure bike. Have better suspension with adjustability and 7.5 inch plus travel. Do this to the 650 also! I wish there was a modern version of the DR800. But, make it a twin… That would be a GREAT adventure bike.

  18. Greg says:

    And yes, Kill the beak and be a bit more original…

  19. Looks sharp, and seems to have a heavy duty subframe and bracket for load support.

  20. Fabrice says:

    Love it! I prefer the style. If they can keep the price realistic the bike should sell well. The beak is a bit of a nock off but if it works it works. Don’t really think these bike’s are meant to hit he dirt too much? So wire spoked wheels would be a pain. I am more interested if they can keep it comfortable, slim and not excessively heavy. Time will tell.

  21. Kelvin says:

    Ok enough of comments about the “beak”….let’s get Suzuki’s attention on other details so they don’t miss the opportunity to build a category killer. Wish list: 1).High wattage Alternator for powering options. 2). Prewires for optional driving lights 3). Stebel Horn standard! It is time the motorcycle companies woke up to the sound of audible safety devices. 4). Increase the rear tailight size x3. Include accessory power outlets and provide mounting pad for GPS standard. 5).Prewire for electronic cruise control..no more than $500.00 option..or make it standard. 6).optional off road package includes quick change front wheel. 7). keep bags narrow to the profile of the bike. 7). Optional electronic suspension. 8).Is that really a windshield on the prototype??.how about a little larger? 9). Adjustable seat height 10). Switchable abs standard. Target pricing no more than $11,500 stripped..$13,500 loaded.
    By the way the BMW is actually more of a Duck beak..oddly enough Ducati should have grabbed that look! The Ducati on the other hand is more of a chicken profile…I think Suzuki should shoot for the Toucan look with storage in the beak! Finally I think beaks are ok…how about putting the air intake on top like the rest of the birds…:-)
    DL650
    BMW R1150GS
    hayabusa…real bird!
    Concours 14….but I really want the above bike!

  22. Kelvin says:

    Opps…I forgot…a centerstand for changing tires…AAA does not come to where I ride….Look at the sidestand…it would never hold the bike up in the sand or mud.

  23. ARHS says:

    Beak is not good?

    A modern adventure bike carries a wiring harness that is very complicated nowadays. All that wiring and gadgets usually leave under the dash. A beak was originally designed to enforce air in that area because as we know, wiring harness and electronics heat up especially when they are squeezed in a confined area such as the dash of a motorbike. An adventure motorbike is big, and sometimes times it has to crawl through traffic or rough terrain. That was the first thing the designers wanted to achieve.
    The next thing was aerodynamics. An adventure bike ha s a fairing like sports bikes do. Problem is that the gap between wheel and fairing is much larger on an adventure bike comparing with a sports bike. The fairing on the latter looks straight forward designed to split the air smoothly around the bike and rider to achieve low friction and stability. On an adventure bike however that’s not the case. The fairing is designed to split the air to protect the rider, while areas like the radiator or engine are getting hammered as speed grows increasing friction drastically (Cagiva Elefant, Honda Varadero, Vstrom etc). The beak in this case looks downwards to achieve a partial splitting of that buffeting sending the air around the forks and onto the fairing smoother to lower friction. It also adds pressure on the front wheel as speed grows too to maximize stability.

    I hope this helps all of you regarding the ugly beak. I’ll have it on my bike anytime regardless if it’s ugly or not.

  24. Mike says:

    Ok, the bike looks good, and it seems to satisfy all of the reading I’ve done on these bikes. I’ve whittled down to what I thought I want, and now this thing pops up, and I would say it would be perfect: just enough power to excel past the 800′s in this class, and a price point I’m sure will be very attractive. Add up the reliability factor, and this could be one cool bike. I saw the headlight at a different angle though on another website, and I was ready to say somebody was staring at a vagina when they designed it. This head on looks a lot different so I don’t know where the elongated look came from on the other website showing a picture of it at the show.