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.

Are You The New Ducati Scrambler?

10/03/2013 @ 3:45 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Are You The New Ducati Scrambler? 2014 ducati scrambler spy photo

Back in July, Asphalt & Rubber broke the news that Ducati was working on a Scrambler model, which was based on the drawings originally inked by Pierre Terblanche during his tenure at the Italian company.

A month later we confirmed that report, noting the Ducati had trademarked the use of “Ducati Scrambler” for the American market, in relation to a model of motorcycle. Throughout all this time though, we had yet to see a photo of the expected 2015 model — that is, until now.

Getting our first look at the 2014 Ducati Scrambler, we are finally able to draw some definitive answers to the earlier speculation, namely that the Italians have chosen to mount one of their air-cooled v-twin motors for the machine.

Likely the same 803cc v-twin found in the Monster 796, the engine has been mated to trellis frame with a double-sided swingarm, and we can also see that the Ducati Scrambler here has a traditional 17″ rear wheel, while it looks to be sporting a spoked 19″ wheel up front.

The seat appears to be a flat, single-piece, “banana” seat, with the fuel tank elongated for that unique scrambler style. The overall fit and finish is clearly lacking from this photo, but if the radially mounted Brembo calipers are any indication, Ducati does not plan on making the Scrambler a budget model, which had been rumored previously.

With only a few more months until the EICMA show, we won’t have to wait long to find out all the details of Ducati’s new bikes. Stay tuned loyal Ducatisti.



  1. eg says:

    honestly dont see the point to this

  2. ross ewich says:

    i was honestly looking forward to this from the previous leaks. a simple, back to basics, ‘leave the racer fairings and egos behind’- kind of bike.

    but after seeing this monstrosity… i’m happy i didnt wait for it and bought my aprilia shiver.

    (i realize that the awful front headlight is probably a stuck on piece to throw off looks for under-the-radar testing… as is the three spoke rear and the zebra-flage on the tank… but still, it looks like more of a “why?” than a “wow!”)

  3. smiler says:

    899 swing arm, oh dear.

  4. Norm G. says:

    re: “we can also see that the Ducati Scrambler here has a traditional 17″ rear wheel, while it sports a spoked 19″ wheel up front.”

    wait, you can…? that is…?

  5. frod04 says:

    I wonder what are Ducati’s designers thinking! oh well, moving along

  6. chris says:

    “but if the radially mounted Brembo calipers are any indication, Ducati does not plan on making the Scrambler a budget model”

    all ducatis, even their budget models, have used radial mounted brembos for the past five years, right?

  7. JoeD says:

    Almost there. Move the pegs down 2″ and forward a bit and install a steel trellis type swingarm with spoked wheel for a lighter look. I rode the ’12 Monster 1200 last weekend and the pegs were perfect.

  8. TJ99 says:


    I wonder what all of you are thinking, passing judgment based on some random photo of an obviously unfinished bike/test mule/proof of concept/who knows, that may or may not be on the lineup next or any other year…

    Granted this is the internet, but a little common sense would be nice.

  9. Jerry says:

    I am surprised to see a 19″ front!

    I would have thought the Multistrada or Hyperstrada clearly deserved 19″ front wheels!

  10. Brandon says:

    So what exactly would be the real difference between this and a Hypermotard besides styling (slightly)?

  11. Scott says:

    We were always told the old Monster was a “parts bin” bike made out of various components from other Ducatis mixed in with some new styling. This Scrambler looks more pieced together than the Monster ever did. Like eg said in the first post, “I don’t see the point”. The low seat and high bars along with the big front wheel is going to just make this an oddball. The styling is not that interesting either. Makes me excited to still have my S2R1000.

  12. Nick Brown says:

    There is no point in Ducati introducing a bike and calling it the “Scrambler” if you can’t participate in scrambles on it.

  13. BBQdog says:

    With some luck they took the standing cilinder of and made it a real scrambler, not another too fat Duc.

  14. TJ99 says:

    “Too fat”, ha, every Duc made is the lightest bike in its segment. Am I taking crazy pills here?!?

  15. MikeG81 says:

    Well, it doesn’t have a single sided swingarm, so it’s clearly not a Ducati.

  16. Tony C says:

    Ducati has a history of “leaking” spy pics of their prototypes. With the Multi, they put a midget (sorry, small people) on bike that was far from the final product, just to mess with people. I doubt the final Scrambler would look anything like this one.

    I, for one, am looking forward to the final revewal.

  17. Aaron says:

    I like Nick Brown’s comments…a real ‘Scrambler’ would be awesome. Ducati has been in the habbit of blowing peoples minds lately and I doubt they’re about to stop now…time will tell.

  18. Brian stevens says:

    Why do “stolen” pics allways look as if shot with a 200 pixel phone camera of ten years ago ?

  19. ZootCadillac says:

    After some of the false alarms in the press, yes. this is a test bike for the scrambler platform. Whilst the trademark registration was no more than a commercial move on the part of Ducati it’s been no secret they are to produce a bike which nods back to one of its best loved models.
    Viewers should not concern themselves with what they see as we all know test bikes are always full of bolt-ons from the shelf of existing parts. What should be of interest is the choice of engine and frame.
    Showroom bikes rarely resemble the test bikes, especially when they are over a year away from announcement, as this is.
    Regarding the swingarm. I don’t comprehend the problem with the banana swingarm. On a scrambler/enduro type bike it’s almost essential for the clearance. It’s not like Ducati invented the single-sided swingarm and truth be told it’s only been on 3 of their sport platforms (916-998, 848/1*98 and the 1199) and even the bread and butter monster did not get the sssa until it was well into its life cycle and even then on the flagship model.

    The Ducati scrambler is looking good and will bring a whole new group of people to market for the company. That’s the direction now.

    As for the leak? I think this is a public shot from the phone. Yes Ducati do leak pics of their models to create buzz. That 899 pic was an internal leak. This? My opinion is that it’s a shot taken by a member of the public on a phone cam.

  20. MikeD says:

    I understand this is only a “test mule”, but did the have to make so damn fugly ? LMAO.
    P.S: Is cool, scramblers do nothing for me . . . so carry on DUC. (^_^)

  21. paulus says:

    Dont worry… to sell it into the US there will be a Roland Sands Designs version
    black performance machine wheels with CNC milled accents and black belt covers with CNC milled accents and black ‘everything’ covers with CNC milled accents…. bike will be painted 70′s candy apple red

  22. Damo says:


    EVERYTHING? Hypermotard has a different swing arm, wheels, frame, engine, etc.

    I am guessing this will be a fruity off road monster, not a parallel product to the Hyper line.

  23. Ruyters says:

    Are You The New Ducati Scrambler? – No, i am not. I am a so called “Versuchsträger” (german word for prototypes who will never been built). This bike was assembled for riding tests (engine testing, exhaust and Euro 4/5 behaviour) and nothing more.

    Zoot is right.

    And second: Who said a scrambler made by Ducati has to be cheap? My guess is somewhat on 10-11.000 Euros, means probably around 9.500$?

  24. Duc guy says:

    I have seen this bike in person…I can’t say when or where but rest assured it is not ugly at all!!!

  25. MeatyBeard says:

    Guys, it’s a test mule. Not production ready. It will look nothing like this. Calm down.