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.

Bimota BB3 — Italian Design, German Performance

11/06/2013 @ 7:53 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 2 635x421

Today marks a formal new beginning for Bimota, as the boutique Italian firm has recently been acquired by Daniele Longoni and Marco Chiancianesi. Helping to commemortate that event, Bimota debuted at the 2013 EICMA show its new S1000RR-powered Bimota BB3 sport bike.

Using the 999cc four-cylinder superbike motor found on the BMW, the Italians quote 190hp for the Bimota BB3, the same as what the Germans have been able to coax from the S1000RR. Weight is 394 lbs dry, also the same as the BMW S1000RR, so on paper the two bikes appear to be quite similar. In person though, they are anything but.

Bimota has applied the same general design aesthetic to the BB3 that it has done with its current DB line of Ducati-powered motorcycles. A steel trellis frame is mated to alloy plates, which comprises the chassis, while choice bits from Brembo, Öhlins, and OZ abound.

The build is clean and efficient, with smooth lines running from the tidy tail piece all the way to the front of the BB3. From the rear, the Bimota BB3 is quite a sight to see, from the front though, the bike feels quite bland, and reminiscent of Suzuki’s current design direction.

Walking away from the unveiling, we were left with the feeling that the headlight feels vaguely familiar, though you will have a hard time pin-pointing which Japanese street bike has been lifted from. Meanwhile, the air intakes feel like a complete afterthought. Still an attractive machine, but it makes us long for Bimota’s of yore.

While the Bimota BB2 was a huge departure from Bimota’s previous work, and you either loved it or hated it, the BB3 is a very conservative journey down Bimota’s recent past — an interesting situation for a brand that has been anything but conservative since its inception. At least, that is our take on it. What’s yours?

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 28 635x421

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 1 635x421

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 6 635x421

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 8 635x421

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 10 635x421

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 13 635x421

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 15 635x421

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 21 635x421

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 23 635x421

Bimota BB3    Italian Design, German Performance Bimota BB3 EICMA 27 635x421

Technical Specifications for the 2014 Bimota BB3:

Engine type: 4 cylinders, 4 stroke, 16 valves -Displacement: 999 cc
Bore x Stroke: 80 x 49.7 mm
Compression ratio: 13,0:1
Fuel System: Electronic injection
Battery: Li-Ion extra light battery
Driving assistant: Anti-wheeling, traction control, ABS, electronic shifter
Cooling system: Water-cooled
Emissions: Euro 3
Power: 193 CV / 142 kW at 13000rpm
Torque: 112 Nm / 11.42 kgm at 9750 rpm

Gearbox : 6 gear
Clutch: Multi-disc with antislip system
Final drive: Chain

Frame type: Steel trellis and light alloy side plate
Swingarm: Light alloy fully machined, adjustable pivot position
Rake fork angle: 25°
Front suspension: Telescopic fork Ø43mm, adjustable in pre-load, rebound and compression damping
Rear suspension : Monoshock, adjustable in pre-load, rebound and compression damping
Front rim: 3.50 x 17” aluminum forged
Rear rim : 6.00 x 17” aluminum forged
Front brake: Double disc Ø 320mm, Brembo calipers Freno posteriore – Rear brake: Single disc Ø 220mm
Front tyre: 120/70-17”
Rear tyre: 190/55-17” or 200/55-17”

Overall Length: 2075mm
Overall Width: 1130mm
Overall Height: 830mm
Seat Height: 820 mm
Wheelbase: 1430 mm
Dry Weight : 179 Kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17 liters

Source: Bimota; Photos: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0


  1. SteaminSteven says:

    Me thinks the headlight is from a GXR from a few years back…. The machine sure doesn’t look like their typical uncommon design language….

  2. Bob says:

    “Walking away from the unveiling, we were left with the feeling that the headlight feels vaguely familiar, though you will have a hard time pin-pointing which Japanese street bike has been lifted from.”

    2004 Suzuki GSX-R 1000

    Bimota motorcycles were special at one point. Bimota, in the past, made a name for itself by taking reliable, proven motors and making them go around corners really quickly. Something the Japanese had a difficult time doing, long ago. Since the early 90′s, though, Japan has been producing some of the best handling bikes available. Bimota’s old formula is no longer relevant.

    The BB3 is an overpriced S1000RR, with the silhouette of an ’08 Fireblade, and the face of Gixxer. The BMW is a looker, it’s priced well, and no one can argue that is one of the most capable sport bikes every made. So, what’s the point?

  3. Paleochocolate says:

    The headlight is from a hayabusa. Sure looks like it.

  4. Paleochocolate says:

    oh, so 2004 gsx-r1000 it is.

  5. budspencer says:

    What a shame for such a bike to re-re-re use a headlight that we have seen for the first time almost 10 years ago..i believe the headlight is a quite expensive piece to engineer and produce, but they could have used something more modern..

  6. Nico says:

    A modern motor with 90s/early 00s design – a step backward. Disappointing for Bimota, disappointing for Italian design.

  7. Looter says:

    Bimota just phoned it in when designing that front end. You guys sure the new owners didn’t change the name to Bipolarmota? Like Jensen stated, nice arse but Oh…that butterface!

  8. budspencer says:

    @Paleochocolate, the headlight is not from Suzuki, but from the bimota Db5, produced in 2004..that’s typical italian practice, i believe ducati 900ss/888 headlight was from a fiat car.

  9. budspencer says:

    I’m not 100% sure but i think the guy behind the new bimota’s designs is this one

  10. Mr.X says:

    Design engineering for a headlight reflector can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and someone has to write that check.
    And a Bimota with a fork? Still, though, nice aluminum pieces.

  11. Paleochocolate says:

    @budspencer, i personally believe the Db5 looks more elegant with that headlight than the BB3.

  12. Viceroy_Fizzlebottom says:

    “While the Bimota BB2 was a huge departure from Bimota’s previous work, and you either loved it or hated it”

    I actually thought the BB2 prototype looked really cool. For better or worse nothing else on the market looked even remotely close to it. All of Bimota’s designs are a bit of an acquired taste most of the work has a polarizing effect.

    I would say shut up and take me money, but I don’t have that much. I’m guessing this bike is going to start around $30K or more new.

  13. Hugo says:

    They should have let Sergio Robbiano design this bike because his Bimotas had a lot character regarding design (DB5, SB8, 500) this has nothing to do with the “old” Bimotas…it has the same power and weight so what is the point? Like Mr.X said, maybe with a FFE it would have been different…

  14. starmag says:

    I can understand the premium for bragging rights of having a visually unique Tesi, (if you can live with the turning radius), but how is this worth more than a stock S1000RR again? A trellis frame you mostly can’t see and isn’t highlighted? Bimota better think of something quick.

  15. Superlight says:

    Disappointing. I expect Bimota to push the design frontiers more than this, with a unique exhaust treatment, wild LED head/tail lights, unique wheels and maybe a rearview camera instead of conventional mirrors – something the big OEMs wouldn’t take the time to do.

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “I actually thought the BB2 prototype looked really cool.”


  17. MikeD says:

    I liked the previous design better with the wierd headlights and it’s retro look.

    I would rather buy and ride a ” Bill The Cat ” faced S1000RR with the Motorrad Team Blue, White & Red paint scheme than this Italian Gixxer 1000.

  18. MikeD says:

    Upon closer inspection and blowing up the photos:

    We can call this bike all kinds of nicknames and make fun of it but it’s execution, level of hardware, fit and finish is very good.

    I would make sweet love to that swing arm, fork, calipers, side plates, OZ Wheels, (re-badged Akra Can ?) . . . (~_^)

  19. Norm G. says:

    re: “The BMW is a looker”

    well… it’s a good first effort, but lets not get crazy.

  20. Norm G. says:

    re: “it’s execution, level of hardware, fit and finish is very good.”

    solution: combine the 2 designs. that first design actually wasn’t finished. i believe it still used the stock frame and the swing arm was just a cover over the stocker.

  21. “….Weight is 394 lbs dry, also the same as the BMW S1000RR”

    How did Bimota not cut weight compared to the stocker considering their bike is a solo seat? Changing a sub frame is an easy way to loose weight, so is their chassis heavier?

  22. Norm G. says:

    alright, i’m just gonna come out and say it. bimota, this version SUCKS A$$. I don’t know who told you the BB2 wasn’t on point…? but they lied to you. you hear me…? they LIED to you. it was nearly perfect in the classic sense of bimota.

    I’m keen on it for two reasons. #1, I’ve never really warmed up to the s1000′s mk-1 mod-0 styling and since it’s a still a new model in the grand scheme, it’s perfect for a remake (“fan-summers” have only ever seen ONE version of it). #2, the BB2 reminds me of a modern YB7, a bike I still lust after. BB3…? keep the chassis, bin the fairings. they’re rubbish.

    the modern ducati stuff like the DB7 and the Tesi 3 were great, but to advance the brand you’ve gotta diversify and get back to producing kit from other manufacturers, and the s1000 is the way to go. however, making it look like the Moto2 racer is not.

    oh and speaking of Moto2 racer, stop screwing around and produce something nice and retail that as well. Moto2′s been around, what, almost 4 years now…? and nobody’s done it yet. hellloo…!? mcfly…!? YOU can be the first.

    end transmission.

  23. DFR says:

    Great power plant we all know! But, IMHO, an absolutely pathetic design. What were they thinking? Who are they designing for? Please don’t answer these questions. I don’t wanna know!

  24. NeilS says:

    New guys buy company, want to increase sales/turnover, dumb down brand? Sales fall. Onlookers unsurprised.
    All the really fast bikes are better than their owners and everyone knows it. Got one.
    Bimota need a Supermono alike or Moto2 otherwise they will just wither on the vine.

  25. Valendino says:

    Why would anyone buy this bike, its styling is horrible compared to other Bimota’s. If you want an ultimate Italian bike with ultimate Italian styling and the ultimate engine, just go and buy an Aprilia RSV4 Factory, it has more than proven itself in WSBK and MotoGP, it is a full Italian package engine and all!