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.

Concept: Harley-Davidson Brawler

08/02/2010 @ 9:39 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Concept: Harley Davidson Brawler Brawler concept Travis Clark 8 560x401

Centered around capturing a younger demographic, the Brawler is the latest concept from Travis Clark. Hoping to engage younger riders with an actually sporty Sportster, Clark’s Brawler, in its finest trim, combines the high-powered Porsche designed motor in an attractive package that speaks more to a younger generation than anything that’s come out of Milwaukee…and it looks good too.

While Harley-Davidson has certainly been gaining some traction in younger markets with its different Sportster offerings, like the new Forty-Eight, the company still needs a major youth infusion. Clark thinks that his Brawler is the the ticket with its more modern design and performance-centered operation. Designed to come with two different suspension packages, the base Brawler features inverted forks and an 88ci air-cooled HD power plant, while the high-end brawler comes with the V-Rod motor and leading link front suspension.

There are some cues to the original VRSC, but Clark’s Brawler also has hints from other designs. For instance, the high-mounted scrambler-styled exhaust is a welcomed change from the down and low pipes we’re accustomed to seeing from the custom crowd. With other manufacturers interested in the performance cruiser segment, it will be interesting to see if Harley-Davidson picks up designs like the Brawler.

Source: Coroflot via The Kneeslider

Comment:

  1. RGR says:

    Very cool. The first Hardley I’d actually consider buying. I love that they used the Speed Triple as a mule for the seating position since that’s the bike I currently own. It would take a lot to pry the Speed Triple out of my hands but if the Brawler had more power, similar (or not much more) weight, and had excellent handling capability I’d certainly consider it. If any of those marks were missed, they’d lose me. I’d just wait for Triumph to come up with a “Super” Speed Triple.

    This would have made a very cool Buell… :-(

  2. joe says:

    Why shitcan buell if your gonna make this?

  3. Ecosse says:

    i like it. but why hide the leading fork with the ugly plastic? it’s a technology showpiece.

    hd will never build it.

  4. Isaac says:

    This is an H-D I’d actually buy. I’m a little skeptical of such a huge rear brake rotor. All-in-all, this is what they need to appeal to guy like me in thier early to mid-30′s.

    This is like a sportier modernized version of the XR-1200. I can definitely see some club racing done with this bike. Maybe with some vintage looking oval number plates on the side.

    I’d still prefer a water cooled twin vice the ACT they have now.

  5. Concept: Harley-Davidson Brawler – http://aspha.lt/18n #motorcycle

  6. Doctor Jelly says:

    *facepalm*

    Sporty? Buell did what he could with their poor old motors but they just aren’t on par with today’s engine designs… The Revolution engine is exponentially better, but is still weak in comparison to competitors. As far as I know HD retains the Helicon design, and if they haven’t destroyed or sold off the tooling they could get the Buell Barracuda back on track (under the HD logo of course). It was a much more conventional sportbike look and had it’s power beefed up a bit over the original 1125 (or perhaps they could stick the 1190 in?). Either way, this is not the direction their ‘young crowd’ bikes need to head (doubtful that Wandell is going to let it happen within the next few years anyway)…

  7. irksome says:

    A curse upon HD for killing Buell. And why oh why would anyone even consider an air-cooled V-Twin?

    I suppose it’s good they based the ergonomics on my Speed Triple. Remind me again why I’d ever trade it for this thing.

  8. Bike EXIF says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Concept: Harley-Davidson Brawler – http://aspha.lt/18n #motorcycle

  9. doug says:

    Great concept, but that’s about as far as it goes for me.. I will never buy a H-D as long as it is offered with ancient engine/transmission design. If you can stand the noise roll down your window while sitting at a stop light and listen to the rider engage the transmission… It will make you cringe and then peek under the bike for gears falling out of the cases.

    Design a modern, smaller, lighter, more powerful V-twin with a modern smoother transmission and H-D will attract a whole new crowd. Maybe they should create an off-spring and model it after Bimota. Buy proven power plants and put them in H-D designs like the Brawler.. Or they can continue making the current offering and die a slow death….again.

  10. Matt says:

    It isn’t like HD would allow this to be affordable enough to gain any traction in that desirable younger demographic anyway. There is more at work here other than just how “cool” it is to market a bike like this successfully.

  11. dave says:

    meh. I’m in my early 30′s and I’d buy a sportser 48 or nightster (and bob it) over that any day. if i wanted a futuristic bike, there’s plenty to choose from.. this isn’t something i’d expect from HD.

  12. It’s an updated Buell S1W. :-|

  13. BTB says:

    What the hee-haw youth market are they after. Looks like a V-rod crossed with a Confederate and something from the old Sic-Fi Tron movie. How about building a performance style standard or cafe style. HD marketing is way out of touch with any any demographic except the baby-boomers.

  14. Michael says:

    What “youth” market? How are the Generation x/y/whatever going to be attracted by a bike with an engine and transmission design that is older than their grand parents? The Youth of today hardly has use for a 6 month old smart phone, much less a 80 year old engine design! News Flash! This is a old hog in a new sack! How much is it going to cost, 15-20K? H-D could not sell Buell, how do they hope to do better with this thing? H-D is NOT about Sport Bikes or Winning Races (except where allowed by AMA rules) You tell me how a kid with a GSXR, CBR or other sport bike is going to be attracted to this so called “sport bike”. How is this going to attract younger riders who have ridden REAL sport bikes that REALLY perform? This is akin to asking a champion jockey to ride a mule in the Kentucky Derby! Looks like more Jesse James/Orange County Choppers to me! Looking at the concept drawings I can see about 100 things wrong when it comes to bringing the concept to reality! It is one thing to draw up a bunch of “Cool” pictures and totally something else to ENGINEER a really great motorcycle that really performs! Hint to H-D, Leave the sport bikes to those who know how to build them!

  15. BikePilot says:

    I like the general idea of a naked big bore v-twin, but fear it’ll end up poorly suspended and way over weight. If they can get the weight down to something even sort-of close to the Ducati Streetfighter and put on quality, adjustable suspension and enough fuel to actually be useful I’d consider buying one.

  16. akatsuki says:

    I think they should maybe try a cafe racer first.

    They seem to be allergic to sport, first with Buell and now selling MV Agusta.

  17. Neil says:

    The main problem with Harley is who passed me the other day on a backroad, big group of Harley riders, no safety gear, tattoos, mean looks on their faces, half helmets, minimal sunglasses, no response to my wave, despite me riding my very cool Suzuki TU250 retro single. The dealerships are the same way. The 60′s are over. Come into the 21st century. This bike would be a start, but, they have to get some normal human beings to ride it. If everyone looks like they are pissed off at the world, then young people, who are optimistic, will not come into the dealerships. – The other thing is where Harley is located in the MidWest. People on the coasts are more modern and more with it. They ride all manner of modern technology bikes. A friend in FL just bought a horizontal engined Husaberg. Forward thinking. I like this Brawler design though and I know the Porshe engine is nice as well, having ridden a V Rod.

  18. frizzanz says:

    SCREW HD!! I’m a proud Buell owner, and HD is as f*cked up as it gets concerning its aging and irresponsible management. Both Buell and Augusta suffered for it, and NOW what are they doing?? Harley needs to completely restructure itself and get the old out, and bring the ‘young’ in. HELLO ROTAX!!

    /rant