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.

Spy Photo: BMW S1000RR Naked Bike Caught Testing

06/08/2012 @ 12:00 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Spy Photo: BMW S1000RR Naked Bike Caught Testing BMW S1000RR streetfighter spy photo

Pictures of a supposedly naked version of the BMW S1000RR have surfaced on MotoRevue, as the motorcycle was caught testing at BMW’s proving grounds by spy photographers. Showing an S1000RR-esque motorcycle with a half-fairing, the motorcycle would be just the second addition to BMW’s true sports bike line, after the S1000RR itself of course.

Expected to be a detuned version of the superbike variant, we can expect horsepower north 160hp, flat bars, and improved ergos from such a design experiment (in order to compete with the Aprilia Tuono V4 R and Ducati Streetfighter 848), though there is some reason to give pause about what these photos actually mean.

While the “spy shots” look convincing enough, the timing seems a bit off as the S1000RR is begging for an update in the 2013 model year. With no real precedent to be had from BMW on how it would handle a naked version of its superbike, you have to wonder if zie Germans would introduce a streetfighter model based on the previous generation superbike, and release that next-generation superbike all at the same time.

This is of course assuming that the “BMW S1000SR” or “BMW S1000RS” as some are calling it, is a 2013 model year motorcycle, though since the photos show a fairly polished-out bike, we would tend to think that this is something we would see at Intermot or EICMA later this year.

We do know that with the success of the S1000RR, BMW has been keen, though cautious, about following the sport bike a bit further. Time is going to have to tell on this one. More photos available via France’s MotoRevue magazine.

Source: MotoRevue

Comment:

  1. slomo510 says:

    ” the S1000RR is begging for an update in the 2013 model year” How so? the 2012 was a very heavily revised model, dont expect a new S1000RR update till ’14 or ’15…

  2. I’d hardly call the 2012 update to the S1000RR “a very heavily revised model”

  3. MikeD says:

    Please, Dear Motorcycle Gods:

    Don’t let it become another VISUAL FRANKENSTAINED ABOMINATION/ABORTION OF A GOOD LOOKING ORIGINAL Motorcycle…

    Like those HIDEOUS Tuono V4 and StreetFighter( sorry Jensen buddy )…specially the Tuono, GOd that thing is FUGLY ! If i were the RSV4 i would hang myself out of SHAME.

  4. No worries Mike, even the ugly girls need love.

  5. Tom says:

    MikeD, not everyone wants to ride a full fairing sport bike ya fag. The older I get, the more and more all superbikes look exactly the same to. Naked bikes have a unique look, deal with it.

  6. Damo says:

    @Jensen

    Sometimes ugly girls actually need a little more lovin if you know what I mean. (I owned a Honda 919 Hornet for 5 years)

    I personally think the S1000RR is hideous in it’s current incarnation, as an engineer I just can’t stand asymmetrical design and the ergos on it are torture rack-esque.

    I agree that while the Tuono V4 is the highest performance sport naked ever produced, it looks like a hot mess.

    Personally I think The Streetfighter and the Speed/STreet Triple are the best looking of the bunch. The z100 looks cool in a robo-anime kinda way as well.

  7. Twin6 says:

    @Damo, there’s plenty of examples of beautiful asymmetry on motorcycles: single-sided swingarm, single side exhaust, drive chain on one side – brake rotor on the other, single front rotor (e.g. Buell), kickstand (although I guess a center stand would be the symmetrical alternative). Consider that making both sides of a motorcycle look the same diminishes the joy in walking around it and treating the eye. I would concur though that asymmetry for asymmetry’s sake is … less sophisticated.

  8. Westward says:

    I like bikes that are reminiscent of an elegant woman, beautiful, and naked (usually Italian)…

  9. MikeD says:

    @Tom:

    Thanks for labeling me A FAG, i really apreciate it…it says a lot about you and what a smart and magnificent person you may happen to be.
    U could have dissagreed with me in a million different ways besides name calling but i guess that’s how you get off and i guess your mental capacity is not up to the task at hand. Thanks for trying. LOL.

    P.S: I don’t have to deal with it, i don’t harbour any ownership feelings towards the thing. I too ride a naked motorcycle…albeit not that ugly.
    Maybe you own one and i stepped all over your pride/joy by calling it UGLY in the open ? My apologies, is just my opinion…we all have one and they all STINK.

    Be cool about it like Jensen and his ” different looking ” Street Fighter… \(^_^)/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    @Damo:

    The S1000RR has grown on me. I too happened to not like it when it came out, specially the WTF Look headlight arrengement. lol.

    No doubt, the new Tuono is one hell of a burner…looks aside.

    Of all 3 you mentioned i only like the ST (although i can’t wait for Triumph to DUMP that 1050 Dinosaur of an engine), i have quite warmed up to the new headligths, specially sporting the factory bikini windshield…The Z1000 it looked cool, i don’t know what happened…i don’t like it anymore.
    The SF ? Not a chance.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    @Twin6 & Westward:

    U guys are such helpless motorcycle romantics………LMAO. (^_^)

  10. Damo says:

    @MikeD

    Agreed, the big issue with the 1050cc isn’t really the power so much as that lump weights a metric ton!

    @Twin6

    “asymmetry for asymmetry’s sake” is exactly where I was going. I feel that is kinda what BMW did.

  11. Faust says:

    @ Damo

    It wasn’t done for “asymmetry’s sake”, and you should really get over your hatred against the BMW. They entered a new market segment in a year when most other people were pulling back (the 09 BMW was a much better choice than the non-existant 09 GSX-R). They have taken a sizable chunk of the superbike market in North America and are selling more bikes post-economic downturn than they ever have. Stop hating. The only thing asymmetric about that bike is the headlights and the side vents. Using different type headlights on the front and having different venting requirements on each side make a lot of sense. Coule they have made them to look the same and produced the same effect? Sure they could, but then that would have been symmetry for symmetry’s sake. Why constrain yourself to what everyone else is doing? They took a chance on a new design and it payed off BIG TIME. If only other manufacturers were making new and exciting clean sheet designs right now (aside from the 1199 which obviously fits that description). Stop hating Damo! And in 3 years they turned this bike from nothing into a beast in superstock, a force on the endurance curcuit and a WSBK winner. I mean, come on!

  12. Damo says:

    @Faust

    The reason I hate on the BMW has nothing to do with the engine or the technical benchmark BMW has achieved with the new bike. It has everything to do with the fact I think the bike is hideous and sitting on the bike is about as comfortable as getting put to the question in Salem Massachusetts circa 1692!

    The main point which I have stated ad nauseam in the past:

    Comfort and performance are equally important to me. My bike is my prime mode of transportation, so I need to be able to do 2-3 hours of riding on the bike on the regular (I also realize that my 6’2″ 200lbs frame doesn’t agree with most sport bikes) I urge you to go sit on a S1000RR and get back to me.

    Maybe if BMW puts out a super high horsepower naked liter bike I might give them a ring, especially if it is priced reasonably. The Tuono would quite possibly be the ideal bike for me, good ergos, high performance, etc. but to say the dealer network is sparse would be an understatement.

  13. Damo says:

    @Faust

    Also I thought as adults we have established that WSBK success (or lack there of) has absolutely nothing to do with their street models.

  14. Faust says:

    @Damo

    Except we know that it DOES play into their street bike because racing development is what prompted the changes to this year’s model. The feedback from the racing versions is why they changed the swingarm pivot point, refined the chassis, changed the steering head angle, shortened the wheelbase, added trail, reduced fork offset, and reduced shock length. Without their racing program, this would not have happened.

    As for comfort, from a man who was just saying on another article that he was looking hard at Ducati 1098/1198s as a future bike to bash on the BMW for ergos…. hmm….

  15. Damo says:

    @Faust

    For my frame a 1198/1098 is light years more comfortable than the S1000RR.

  16. Ryan says:

    I declare Faust to have lost this bout. Give up, take it like a man, and avoid the situation by not being so aggressive towards other’s opinions. I like everything about the S1000RR except for the fact that I can’t afford it.

  17. Faust says:

    @ Ryan

    I went to high schol with Damo and we’ve known eachother since the mid 90s, so chill out. I’m just giving him a hard time. It’s what I do. Where do you get off thinking I care if you “declare” a winner to a debate, and who are you to tell me to “take it like a man”? Everything I said about the S1000RR is right on. You can’t afford an S1000RR? It’s only 15k man, wow.

  18. Ralph says:

    Hey guys,

    I agree with Damo that the BMW looks weird with asymmetric head lights and the vents, then again BMW ventured into a completely new design approach and it actually works!

    When it first came out I thought WTF went wrong with the designers, but as faust said, sometimes you have to think outside the box and do something completely different.
    Personally I love naked bikes, I own a Monster and purchased a Diavel no so long ago. And yes I really dislike the Tuono “performance aside”.

    I was recently thinking about venturing into the world of sport bikes, so I test ride the 1198 and rode it for approximately a week “200 miles or so” and then the S1000RR.
    Well, as comfort goes, I felt the BMW to be more comfortable than the 1198. The riding position is more upright then the 1198 and the handling “OMG” is amazing!
    The BMW boast more self confidence and I felt that it maneuvers much easier then the DUC.

    Although my heart goes to the 1198 but practicality and fun wise, BMW is the winner :)

  19. MikeD says:

    @Ralph:

    Aside from those who find it a matching piece to their body size (there’s one or 2 guys around here who own it and took it over the others 1Ks cause it fitted them well enough)………YES, the 1198 has been known to be one, if not the most “race oriented” of the litre bikes for a while now.

    I think Honda followed closely by Suzuki are the most “comfortable” of the current 1Ks Crop.

  20. I would have to agree that the naked look of the S1000RR-ish bike in the spy cam image is definitely fugly, IMHO. And this in spite of the fact that i too prefer a naked bike as opposed to a typical superbike with full fairing. It gives it more character. I would have to agree that all those superbikes look like clones of one another… lol.