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.

Ducati Mega-Monster Spy Shots

06/29/2010 @ 6:16 am, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

Ducati Mega Monster Spy Shots Ducati Mega Monster spy shots 1 560x373 has snagged some spy shots of the rumored Ducati power cruiser, or Mega-Monster as it’s now being called in the press (the Ducati Vyper nomenclature has seemingly been dropped). Aimed to take on Yamaha V-Max and it’s crew, the Mega-Monster is a big step for Ducati in tackling new market segments.

Taking a page from the Multistrada 1200 campaign, which saw a plethora of “leaked” images, we don’t really know if you can call these photos true “spy shots”. As with that release, these photos are clearly being staged by Ducati PR people, and then being leaked to motorcycle magazines.

With each rider clearly wearing Ducati apparel, the dots are being connected for us as we can see that the Bologna brand has indeed been working on a cruiser-styled bike, despite saying the project was canned last year. Photos and more after the jump.

Another sign that Ducati PR is at work is the fact we can really only see one angle of the bike in these photos. As with the Multistrada 1200 campaign, we seemed set to see a dribbling of these kind of pictures over the summer and fall, right up-until the bike’s expected launch at the 2010 EICMA show in Milan.

Despite how the pictures came to be, we can still see some details of the Italian power cruiser. The Mega-Monster is showing a huge rear-end that accommodates a 200+ sized rear tire, which is mounted to a single-sided swingarm. A Streetfighter-styled shotgun exhaust can also be seen, as well as your standard Ducati trellis frame. Radially-mounted front brakes, and dual-LEDs finish out the touches of the bike that we can gleen from these photos (post up in the comments if you see something we’ve missed). Stay tuned Ducatisti, you’re world has just been turned upside-down.



  1. joe says:

    New Ducati Indiana. LAME!

  2. hoyt says:

    The above Ducati has similar styling cues to the Vun Duu, which is apparently popular in Europe.

    “diluting the brand” or whatever some Ducati fans are worried about? I don’t think so if they sell a bunch that helps them develop their core product even better.

    An example of diluting a brand would be the Shelby Ford Explorer. (which did not get far, fortunately).

  3. MonsterAti says:

    From a company that’s had to compete with the deep pockets of Yamaha and Honda, and as a true Ducatisti, I see nothin’ wrong with branching out from they’re norm. Just as long as they remember why they [Ducati] are here… To race.

  4. joe says:

    I’m all for branching out from the norm, but I’d rather see a street legal supermono. These are just my opinions. The overpriced cruiser market seems to be well covered already, and the Indiana was lame.

  5. fazer6 says:

    @ MonsterAti, Ducati is here to sell bikes and make money for their investors.
    Racing has sometimes helped them do that.
    You’re deluded if you think otherwise.

  6. Ducati Mega-Monster Spy Shots – #motorcycle

  7. skadamo says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Ducati Mega-Monster Spy Shots – #motorcycle

  8. Brandon says:

    Hey I don’t know if you guys saw it but the under tail has two grooves down the middle. It makes me think that the side exhaust is a disguise and the production bike will really wear an undertail exhaust system.

  9. Hayabrusa says:

    I sure am glad SOME manufacturers are ‘stretching the envelope’ (ie. Ducati, BMW, even Triumph) rather than hiding out during tough times (can you say ‘Suzuki’ anyone?!!) Just goes to show the Europeans have a grip on reality! The reality being, of course, that the market wansts (and needs) new, exciting, and fresh ideas to keep it humming along!

  10. aaron says:

    uhh, yeah. welcome to 200x (whenever the 1098 came out)

    DEAR FIM: ducati wishes to race motorcycles that blah blah blah our production bikes. as we are discontinuing our 999cc bike, please let us race our new engine… or maybe one a hundred cc bigger.

    flash forvard to tomorrow… ducati launch the new 1300cc plus vyper at the same time the 1200cc bike is considered uncompetitive against the fours. wonder just how hard it will be to fit into a superbike frame? wonder how long it takes management to decide that 2 similar motors is just too expensive when they could easily survive with only half the tooling and inventory? I wonder how many douche-catista’s could live with themselves knowing they only had 1198cc?

    jeez… oh well, nobody ever thought less of porsche for the truck and family sedan, right?


  11. Sam says:

    I’m drooling already…

  12. Bike EXIF says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Ducati Mega-Monster Spy Shots – #motorcycle

  13. Now that's a rear tire! RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Ducati Mega-Monster Spy Shots – #motorcycle

  14. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Ducati Mega-Monster Spy Shots – #motorcycle

  15. SquireSCA says:

    I think it is a great idea, this cruiser. I am sure that a lot of the Beemer purists thought that creating a bike like the S1000rr, something that wasn’t ugly, quirky or goofy and that people would actually buy, was a huge mistake for following the Japanese and “getting away from their roots”. Of course, the bike is amazing and is taking the market, and racetrack, by storm.

    Even the Multistrada was a deviation from the typical Ducati, back in the day.

    This is good, to create something outside the box. The strength of a company is not in their ability to stay focused on the past or status quo, it is in their ability to retain their core, while pushing the envelope and reinventing themselves and still being successful.

  16. Sean Mitchell says:

    This is the equivalent of Ferrari building some pathetic retro styled muscle car to go up against the new Mustangs and Camaros. The redneck hillbillies who are interested in power cruisers didn’t even buy enough of the new VMAX’s to make them a hit, so why are they going to buy a more expensive Italian version?
    Sigh…don’t know whether to keep my 848 as a relic of the company before they absolutely lost their minds, or sell it in protest.

  17. Hayabrusa says:

    Sean -

    Yeah, but the V-max SUCKS!! Who in their right mind will spend 20k on a Jap bike (of any kind!)? Having said that, it appears my sentiment is the same as everyone elses – shown by lack of V-max sales. Will I spend 20k on something Italian – you bet, as soon as MY economy improves!!

  18. hybrid promoter says:

    Haven’t any of you “racing” guys ever wanted the best of both worlds. A cruiser and a crotch rocket. Sure, you can go buy one of each, but this market is just starting to be tapped.
    Unfortunately, poor marketing and bad design choices are not helping it.
    After 100 years, Harley finally did something right with the VROD, and now that they have introduced the Night Rod Special and Muscle, sales have increased. “Traditional” guys are slooooooowly getting with the program with new and improved technology.
    And the VMAX does suck. It’s ugly and overpriced.
    The M109, too big and bulky.
    The Honda Warrior, a joke.

    This Vyper/Mega Monster, I think it looks great.
    And for the racing fanatics, are we forgetting about drag racing?
    It’s an untapped market for Ducati and you “Traditional” guys need to embrace change and technology to help Ducati grow and stay competitive.
    It may not be the fastest ducati and appeal to all ducati supporters, but this bike is a winner in my book.

  19. GeddyT says:

    Does this really surprise anyone? I mean, Ducati is second only to Harley in selling image/”lifestyle” first and bikes second. They are (by a million miles) the second best “brand” in motorcycling. It was only a matter of time before they put two and two together: the biggest group of riding posers (cruiser riders) and the biggest force in sportbike poser marketing (Ducati).

    You want proof? Look up a couple post to the person saying they wouldn’t be caught dead spending 20K on a Japanese bike, but would happily do so for a Ducati because it’s Italian. So, what, because a Japanese company wouldn’t be stupid enough to build a bike with a rear brake reservoir 2mm from a hot exhaust pipe (749S), or build a bike that leaks oil past the cam seals (MTS1100), or be about five years late to the party with an automatic fast idle circuit (same 749S), it must build a valuable bike?

    The two Ducatis I’ve owned (still own one), if I’m honest, have been more trouble than they’re worth. Both overheat a lot more than zero (my record with Japanese bikes), both stall for no reason a LOT more than zero (ditto), and even when I rode my friend’s brand new 1198 a couple of weekends ago I noticed that Ducati STILL isn’t making a bike that’s fueled worth a damn under 5000rpm and doesn’t radiate center of the sun levels of heat. He bought the bike without even test-riding the Japanese (or German or Austrian) competition. He bought it because he HAD to have a Ducati. Because it’s Italian. And, I mean, he already had the matching shirt, right?

    Yup, Ducati’s only mistake here that I see is that they waited so long to take this super logical step into cruiserdom.

  20. Fey says:

    I think, Yamaha V Max is better!!

  21. unclewill says:

    With a tire that wide, who needs a kickstand?

  22. Dever says:

    @ aaron If you had any idea of what you were talking about, maybe you wouldn’t come off as the shallow, pathetic, asswipe you seem to be. The Japanese are the ones who cried to the FIM get the rules to favor the boring, dime-a-dozen, in line fours. The twins must run a restrictor plate which effectively chokes the engine. If the restrictor plate rule was gone you would be singing a different tune,

    @ GeddyT Obviously, you’re a just a dumbass, Another of the simple minded idiots who buy rcer replica bikes to ride around downtown at 30 mph in bumper to bumper traffic and then whine because it overheats. Go buy a GSXR1000, all the other queers are.