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 Yamaha YZF-R125 Debuts for Europe

02/18/2014 @ 12:06 pm, by Bryan Delohery7 COMMENTS

2014 Yamaha YZF R125 Debuts for Europe 2014 Yamaha YZF R125 17 635x476

Yamaha chose this year’s MCN London Motorcycle Show to announce the release of an updated version of the Yamaha YZF-R125 sports bike, which is scheduled to hit dealers in the Europe this April.

For 2014 the performance numbers remain largely unchanged from the 2013 model, still claiming 14.75 hp at 9,000 rpm, and just over 9 lbs•ft of torque at 8,000 rpm.

As a small displacement sports bike targeted for young riders and learners, Yamaha decided to upgrade stability and stopping power by coupling an upside-down front fork, a new radial front brake caliper design that clamps down on a 292 mm floating disc, along with a redesigned rear suspension linkage.

Riders of the 2014 model will notice a moderate gain in fuel efficiency due to a new fuel injection system that Yamaha claims is an 11% increase over last year’s model. The fairings have also been redesigned, and now include an air duct between the R6-styled headlights.

Other ancillary improvements include fully digital LCD dash, diagnostic display showing MPG, engine temperature, and speed data.

Cosmetically, there is a redesigned muffler and tail light alongside a host of aluminum pieces such as the shift lever, brake pedal, and footrests for the passenger.

All these improvements come with a cost though, as if one scrolls down to the bottom of the spec sheet, we find that the new YZF-R125 weighs in just shy of 309 lbs., putting on almost five pounds in the past year.

The 2014 Yamaha YZF-R125 should retail in April for €4,490 ( and sport three color options, Anodized Red, Matte Gre,y and Race Blu. Unfortunately, the 2014 Yamaha YZF-R125 is not expected to hit the US market.

2014 Yamaha YZF R125 Debuts for Europe 2014 Yamaha YZF R125 12 635x476

2014 Yamaha YZF R125 Debuts for Europe 2014 Yamaha YZF R125 13 635x476

2014 Yamaha YZF R125 Debuts for Europe 2014 Yamaha YZF R125 14 635x476

2014 Yamaha YZF R125 Debuts for Europe 2014 Yamaha YZF R125 15 635x476

2014 Yamaha YZF R125 Debuts for Europe 2014 Yamaha YZF R125 16 635x476

Technical Specifications of the 2014 Yamaha YZF-R125:

Engine:
Engine Type: Single cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 4-valves
Displacement: 124.7cc
Bore x Stroke: 52.0 mm x 58.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.2 : 1
Maximum Power: 11.0 kW (15.0PS) @ 9,000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 12.4 Nm (1.25 kg-m) @ 8,000 rpm
Lubrication System: Wet sump
Carburettor Electronic Fuel Injection
Clutch Type Wet, multiple-disc coil spring
Ignition system TCI (digital)
Starter system Electric
Transmission System: Constant Mesh, 6-speed
Final Transmission: Chain

Chassis:
Frame: Steel Deltabox
Front Suspension System: Upside-down telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm
Front Travel: 130 mm
Caster Angle: 25º
Trail: 89 mm
Rear Suspension System: Linked monoshock with spring preload adjustment
Rear Travel: 114 mm
Front Brake: Hydraulic single disc, Ø 292 mm
Rear Brake: Hydraulic single disc, Ø 230 mm
Front Tire: 100/80-17 M/C
Rear Tire: 130/70-17 M/C

Source: Yamaha UK

Comment:

  1. Ian John says:

    Right, thats the kids taken care of…..now how about updating that heavy chunka lunpa R1.

    of relevance, bike looks good.

  2. ADG says:

    Yanno I’m 46 and have been riding/racing motos for 43 years and have just as much or more fun riding and wringing the living shit out a small displacement bike than a liter sport bike.

    Hell, I received my first speeding ticket and evading police in ’82 on a highly modified Motobecane moped.

  3. BBQdog says:

    This looks prettier then the R3 to come.

  4. paulus says:

    The UK is a big 125cc market… and a BIG Yamaha share.
    These updates have to be to compete with the Duke 125

    Looks nice, even if the front nose is a bit too Aprilia RSV/KTM RC

  5. Westward says:

    They should skip the 250 and make a 300 cc version. It’s also a mistake to not tap the US market with these low displacement bikes. It’s the lack of lower cc bikes that cripples American developement of championship talent.

  6. Sharp looking bike, it looks slippery too.