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.

Even More Leaked Photos of the Ducati 1199 SuperLeggera

10/19/2013 @ 5:35 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Even More Leaked Photos of the Ducati 1199 SuperLeggera Ducati 1199 Superleggera photo leak 03

The upcoming Ducati 1199 Superleggera continues to leak onto the internet in photo form, though this time we’re getting a little help from Ducati Chile, with the distributor listing some key figures along with its images: 205+ hp in racing trim & 166 kg at the curb. Confirming what we saw in a previous photo, the Superleggera will come decked out in a very “Desmosedici” red and white Ducati Corse livery.

In addition to these studio-quality photos, we also dug up what looks to be the SuperLeggera’s weight reductions (after the jump), listed by part and in comparison to the Ducati 1199 Panigale R. In total, the figures show the Supperleggera tipping the scales at 342 lbs dry, roughly 22 lbs less than the Panigale R.

Depending on whether Ducati Chile’s 166 kg curb weight figure is with or without fuel, the Superleggera could be a far cry from the 40 lbs we heard earlier this month (not to mention a lower horsepower figure than we were told). Still, Ducati’s new dream machine lives up its name, and is super light when compared to its homologation-ready cousin. More photos are waiting for you after the jump.

Weight Reductions by Part:

  • Carbon Fiber Fairings and Assorted Pieces: -1.0kg / -2.2 lbs
  • Magnesium Alloy Monocoque Frame: -1.0kg / -2.2 lbs
  • Carbon Fiber Rear Subframe: -1.2 kg / -2.7 lbs
  • Titanium Exhaust System: -2.5kg / -5.5 lbs
  • Forged and Machined Magnesium Wheels: -1.0kg  / -2.2lbs
  • Lithium-Ion Battery: -2.0 kg / -4.4lbs
  • Custom Front Fork and Rear Shock: 1.4 Kg / -3.1 lbs
  • Superbike Pistons: -194 g / -.4 lbs
  • Tungsten-Balanced Crankshaft: -396 g / -.9 lbs
  • WSBK Chain and Rear Sprocket, and Various Carbon Fiber Parts, Fasteners, and Machined-from-Billet Components: -1.3 kg / -2.9 lbs

Even More Leaked Photos of the Ducati 1199 SuperLeggera Ducati 1199 Superleggera photo leak 05

Even More Leaked Photos of the Ducati 1199 SuperLeggera Ducati 1199 Superleggera photo leak 01

Even More Leaked Photos of the Ducati 1199 SuperLeggera Ducati 1199 Superleggera photo leak 02

Even More Leaked Photos of the Ducati 1199 SuperLeggera Ducati 1199 Superleggera photo leak 04

Even More Leaked Photos of the Ducati 1199 SuperLeggera Ducati 1199 Superleggera photo leak 06

Source: Ducati Chile (Facebook)


  1. JD says:


  2. Tim M says:

    @JD-LOL! Yeah, it’s the repulsion/compulsion thing. That could definitely enable some inappropriate behavior. Maybe I DO need some man cave decor.

  3. Norm G. says:

    clear fairings please, I need to show the world my GOLDEN FRONT BONE…! (crazy dutch accent) wait, what…?

  4. “I need to show the world my GOLDEN FRONT BONE…!”

    ROTFL – Man, that is just soooo wrong.

    I don’t think I’d ever buy one, but I think the Panigale (both the big and the baby) are collectively the most beautiful bikes I’ve ever seen.

    ‘Cept the Japanese release, with its hang-out-the-back stick-on exhaust. Thatsa ruin a good thing.

  5. ZootCadillac says:

    Personally I think it is a thing of absolute beauty. Sure, it’s a Panigale when all said and done and the colour scheme is 2006 factory colours but there is very little wrong with that in my book and I think it will compliment this in the garage very nicely.

    I hear that Bologna is a little disappointed ( read : furious ) about the amount of information that has become public ( mostly from America ) as it kind of puts a dampener on the official launch at Eicma. Personally I think it’s naive to expect that a model of this importance would not be widely discussed. But hey ho.

    So here’s how it has gone down. Certain Ducati owners and VIP-listed potential customers got letters direct from Bologna informing them of the model and the opportunity to purchase. At the same time the dealer network were advised and they also contacted potential customers or informed Italy of the same.
    These people then registered their interest via the dealer and italy received the details of all registered parties. Won’t go into detail but i know that this was well over-subscribed within days.

    Biologna will then be informing those invited to purchase a bike ( that process was delayed ) that their interest has been successful. The first tranche of invites going exclusively to D16RR owners who submitted an interest form.
    Once those are out of the way and deposits confirmed, the rest of the interested parties will be sorted and hand picked to receive an invite to purchase. It won’t be a lottery, people will be ‘vetted’ for suitability as Ducati want the owners to be a kind of ambassador for the brand.

    I’m not sure but I think that actual numbered bikes will be allocated once deposits are taken. Deposits will be expected in very short order and are 20% of retail purchase price ( a figure that’s still supposed to be in the bag so I won’t discuss it here ).

    Bikes will be made to order but don’t expect any to be still sat on the drawing board awaiting a buyer. As of yet no rolling bike exists with the one in the recent leaked picture being a display mock up.

    Bike will be launched officially at EICMA. I won’t be going but I have immediate family there with the company and I’ll be asking her to take a set of pictures for me. ( access will be both during and after public access hours ). If you don’t have anyone there Jensen I’ll send you a pack of pics.

    I will see the bike in person a little later at the MCN Motorcycle Live event at the NEC UK ( biggest bike show in the UK and probably second only to the Milan show in Europe ) as Ducati are having an after-hours VIP party to display the bike, much the same as they did a couple of years back with the Panigale.

    I’m told that it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to sit on the bike but they said that about the Tricolore too and look how that turned out ;)

    So I’ll also get you a full set from that, if you would like them, Jensen.

    Kerb weight. My understanding is that the 166kg figure is wet, no fuel. That’s 1kg off the WSBK entry. Given the amount of extra weight needed to make the bike road capable, I think that’s pretty impressive. Yes, it’s not the numbers previously spoken of but I think I said in a previous post that some of the details being bandied around were unsubstantiated rumour. The 40lbs number was one such rumour and I think I know where it came from.

    Seen a lot of discussion about the colours and I simply don’t comprehend it. Was discussing it with a dealer the other day. If you plan to ride this bike, and we were both of the same mind that it must be ridden, although I think he just wants it to turn up often at his showroom at weekends ;), then you will be taking off the carbon and putting on race plastics for track or maybe some after market carbon for the road. Then you can have it any colour you like. Even if you want to keep it bone-stock original but don’t like the paint job? Wrap it. It’s done all the time, is inexpensive and more importantly, it’s reversible.

    right, that’s enough for now. 4am here in Blighty. Good job I have the Moto2 race close to going off at Philip Island.

  6. ZootCadillac says:

    I do hope that my comment ( rather long and containing a couple of links so has gone into the mod bin ) comes out of moderation. I put a little effort into it ;)
    last and only time I had a comment go into moderation for similar reasons, it never made publication :(

  7. meatspin says:

    every year, or couple of years, a manufacturer always seems to put out an “it” bike. This is the one.

  8. Anvil says:

    Very, very nice. But not for $65K.

  9. Zoot, all those links angered the spam filter gods.

  10. ZootCadillac says:

    yes Jensen. Aware that was going to happen but felt it necessary to include them. Thanks for sorting it out. makes me feel a little better after the worst #motogp race experience ( outside of the obvious dark times ) I can recall in the modern era.

  11. Hans Dreuger says:

    12.500 deposit down… got confirmation of the delivery. (300 have been sold up to last monday, when I placed the order)