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.

BMW HP4 – Your Track-Tuned BMW S1000RR

07/27/2012 @ 11:36 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

BMW HP4   Your Track Tuned BMW S1000RR BMW HP4 12 635x423

We teased you with the BMW HP4 last week, and now the Bavarians have made their tuned-S1000RR officially official. Starting with the top-selling superbike from the German company, BMW has taken the S1000RR and made it the track weapon of choice. The lightest four-cylinder superstock bike on the market at 373 lbs dry (with ABS), the BMW HP4 is also the first motorcycle to get BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), a computer controlled semi-active suspension system.

Getting a number of improvements over the S1000RR, the BMW HP4 maintains the same 193hp peak horsepower figure, but gets a boost from more mid-range torque. As we said, the BMW HP4 is also more svelte than its predecessor, as it sits at 439 lbs / 199 kg at the curb with the fuel tank 90% full — a full 13 lbs lighter when wet, and 26 lbs lighter when dry. Other changes include a revised traction control system, launch control, quick-shifter, and a 200/55 ZR 17 rear-tire size.

The big news here of course is the inclusion of the BMW DDC system to the BMW HP4. Automatically detecting and adapting to the road conditions, the DDC suspension will automatically adjust the HP4′s rebound and compression settings on-the-fly. Allowing for a stiffer ride when blasting through corners, and a more supple ride when cruising on the open road, BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control system is something we are looking forward to experiencing first-hand.

Helping complete the package of HP4′s added power and refined suspension is the bike’s upgraded braking system. Now featuring Brembo radial monoblocks and Brembo 9x floating discs, BMW has also evolved the parameters of its Race ABS package to meet the on-track demands of the HP4. Meanwhile. the HP4′s massive weight savings come courtesy of the forged wheels, lighter sprocket carrier, titanium exhaust, and lighter battery.

BMW makes no qualms about announcing that the HP4 is a homologation special for its racing efforts. As such, the HP4 is set to be an exclusive motorcycle from BMW. There is no word yet on pricing for the BMW HP4 — though we expect it to be well upwards of $20,000 here in the United States.

BMW HP4   Your Track Tuned BMW S1000RR BMW HP4 05 635x476

BMW HP4   Your Track Tuned BMW S1000RR BMW HP4 02 635x476

BMW HP4   Your Track Tuned BMW S1000RR BMW HP4 10 635x476

BMW HP4   Your Track Tuned BMW S1000RR BMW HP4 13 635x422

BMW HP4   Your Track Tuned BMW S1000RR BMW HP4 21 635x423

Source: BMW

Comment:

  1. Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

    Looks fantastic!

  2. JasonB says:

    How can they claim it’s the lightest when it still has a higher wet weight than the standard, and considerably less expensive, ZX-10R?

  3. Tyler says:

    TYPO – FYI – “courtesy of the forges wheels”

  4. Tyler says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t want my front forks changing by as little as ONE CLICK while riding it.

    One click can make a difference in how the bike is handling when you are on the limit, or how it is pointing into the apex in a specific corner. The last thing I want is the computer deciding how – I – want the bike to work… not what it thinks is ideal.

  5. Westward says:

    So a bike developed from the experience and work of their WSBK effort is not good enough for the public, yet more then enough for a WSBK pilot who is more likely to reach the actual limits of the bike.

    After all, what are a few wins in the BMW in WSBK if Melandri can’t win on a Ducati in Motogp…

    Marco is rubbish…

    Methinks I would like to get one of these machines, but too bad I can only barely afford the Kawasaki equivalent. Maybe there is hope for an 800cc version…

  6. Jake says:

    ” a full 13 lbs lighter when wet, and 26 lbs lighter when dry”

    Did they find heavier water to fill the radiator with? Or does it have a bigger gas tank? Something does not compute.

    Nice bike though.

  7. Richard Gozinya says:

    Only thing that would make this cooler is if they’d done the paintjob up like the old R90S.

  8. MikeD says:

    Well, it is REAL, HURRAY !…and they still managed to keep the heated grips…LOL…truly a BMW to the end.

    Now where are those winning lottery tickets when i need’em ? [o_o]
    But is cool…im too good for this bike…this bike DOES NOT deserve me as her rider…LOL.

    Can someone make like a spread sheet of something so i can figure out whats the deal everyone is talking about her “chunkiness” and her sister “base model” ? Did i sound lost ? Cause i really im.

  9. Hard to find fault with anything on this bike, after decades of producing overweight technically inferior motorcycles, BMW took all the things that the Japanese and the Italians have perfected over the years, and did it better than any of them. Pretty impressive.

    But if I do have to fault something it’s the lack of numbers on the tachometer, it’s a gauge not a fashionable clock, we want to see ALL the numbers when we look at the tach.

    The only thing that would make it better is if it had the V-4 engine from the Aprilia and its brakes.

  10. Sentinel says:

    I wonder if this one will have the awesome “engine blowup” feature like the others?

  11. BMW HP4 – Your Track-Tuned BMW S1000RR http://t.co/xKxxwxTY

  12. noch says:

    is this a bmw fanboy forum? the aesthetics are absolutely hideous.

  13. MikeD says:

    @Noch:

    NO. Not really. If u do a quick search here for “Bill the Cat” a.k.a BMW S1000RR u’ll find out that most of the opinions are just like yours…maybe on this occasion there’s more positives than negatives because it has grown on some of us ? Go figure.

  14. Ryan says:

    If one could get one of these with the traditional BMW “M” red/white/blue, that would be more than worthy of a perfect first purchase after winning the lottery.

  15. F1 says:

    ,always someone hating what the masses agree is one top flash bike. I didn’t like the separate left/right styling at first, but it grows on you. The fact that this is one of the few bikes that can back up the quirky appearance with sublime efficiency and performance makes this one sexy bike. I agree, lottery ticket inclusion into the “must have” bike collection for sure.

  16. The Stig says:

    @Tyler I’m sure the suspension doesn’t change on its own, it changes when you choose. Or your just too bad ass for a class leading superbike.
    @noch are you serious? This bike is much better looking than any Suzuki sportbike on the market.
    I have an s1000rr and yes I’m a huge fan, the bike is magnificent. I agree at first glance I had trouble accepting the different headlights and side fairings. But take a look at the performance of the bike, it’s top “noch”. Every review placed the S1000rr first place (2011), except for one or two reviews which were obviously biased. I am tempted to trade my S1000 for this bike when it is released (if the price is right). But does the DDC control both front and rear suspension?

  17. MikeD says:

    @The Stig:

    OH…NOW U HAD GONE AND DONE IT.
    But seriously…IMPO…of the big 4 i think the Suzuki looks the best and classiest of the bunch….XCEPT…for that rediculous xhaust can angle and shape.
    I have really warmed up to the Honda’s xhaust solution and new LESS-PUG-FACE by now, too…i wish i could say the same for the “Faces” of the R1 and ZX-10R…im really visual when it comes to my toys…if they don’ look good standing still too IS A NO GO for me…(does that make me sound superficial and shallow ?) LMFAO.
    By the way…i like your “asymetric” bike too…specially with the Bue/White/Red paint job.