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.

Horex VR6 Classic

08/14/2013 @ 4:52 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Horex VR6 Classic Horex VR6 Classic 02 635x423

Just the other day we were wondering what was going on with Horex, as we haven’t heard from the German brand in nearly nine months. Finally shipping its first bike, the Horex VR6 Roadster, Horex has now announced a second model that is geared more towards mass consumption, the Horex VR6 Classic.

A re-styled, and apparently de-tuned version of the Roadster model, from what we can gather from Horex’s press release, the big changes for the Classic are its new aesthetic and reworked motor, which produces 124hp compared to the roadster’s 161hp peak figure.

Other changes include connecting tubes for the bike’s 6-in-2 exhaust system, and a reprogramming of the VR6′s motor’s engine map, which according to Horex creates more low-end and midrange torque, with a peak figure of 88.5 lbs•ft.

On the visual side of things, wire wheels are easily noticeable, as well as the red paint with silver pinstripes. A premium leather seat has also been fitted to the Horex VR6 Classic.

Less noticeable is the switching of a Sachs rear shock, with preload and rebound adjustability, in lieu of the three-way adjustable WP unit that is found on the Roadster. Both bikes use WP forks with adjustable preload, compression, and rebound settings.

Pricing in Europe is €24,500 (€28,700 in Austria, and 28,900 CHF in Switzerland).

Horex VR6 Classic Horex VR6 Classic 03 635x423

Horex VR6 Classic Horex VR6 Classic 01 635x423

Source: Horex

Comment:

  1. Damo says:

    THAT is a good looking motorbike.

  2. AdventurePig says:

    I very much agree. Too bad it’s so pricey. :(

  3. Doug says:

    It is good looking, but the engine covers (3dots & that “v”) are awful

  4. proudAmerican says:

    I agree with the guys above. It has a very Moto Guzzi look, but with a much better engine. I’ve got a brand-new Honda CB1100 that I love, but that Horex is stunning.

  5. Shinigami says:

    USD forks with no protectors will mean tube scratches and leaks in a short time. Unacceptable in an $8000 bike much less a $33000 one.

  6. Doctor Jelly says:

    @Shinigami
    I believe a fair number of bikes with USD forks don’t come with protectors…

    @Doug
    I don’t know if the ‘V’ has a pratical purpose outside of styling, but the three dots are the plugs for the line drilled cam journals. They can’t be avoided, but the could have been done in black to be less standoffish…

  7. Damo says:

    “USD forks with no protectors will mean tube scratches and leaks in a short time. Unacceptable in an $8000 bike much less a $33000 one.”

    I just sold my 2005 RC51 with 20,000 miles on it and it had USD forks with no protectors and they were mint with no leaks.

  8. JoeD says:

    Smooth out the scratches with a Scotch brite pad. Sharp edges nick the seals. Sure, replace the seals that leak but the scratch, once smoothened, won’t be a prob. Only time it occurred to me was on the 74 Norton that was neglected resulting in pitted tubes.

  9. JoeD says:

    The radiator is a sore thumb. The Benelli Tornado design would look better.

  10. 1KPerDay says:

    Hurlex, more like.

  11. nerve says:

    Not sure what you mean joeD, owning a tre1130 myself, but i find it a shame this being a six and no exterior clues to that. Maybe u were referring tot Sei..

  12. Doug says:

    @Dr. Jelly -

    They’re both stylized poorly & I get the triple cam journals…that makes it more of a shame. That unique part of the whole bike is not represented well at all

  13. paulus - Thailand says:

    Another model on the road… well done and best of luck to Horex!

  14. Norm G. says:

    re: “That unique part of the whole bike is not represented well at all”

    +1, they are shortchanging their USP.

  15. damn says:

    thats an ugly bike.

  16. “thats an ugly bike.”

    I kinda find myself agreeing with that. That said, I don’t much like the CB1100F, either.

  17. Leon says:

    Is this the same publication that was knocking the EBR American Flag bike? Now you have the Homer Simpson bike of the future past. What?

  18. kdomino says:

    I’ve always considered myself a “form follows function” kind of guy. I figured is a machine is designed to work well it will by definition look good, too.

    This bike might work well, but I can’t get over how much I dislike the way it looks. Eye of the beholder, I guess, but I put this picture next to those of other bikes and it comes off as a caricature. The materials, the styling, the colors, especially the relative sizes and shapes. The pipes with the bung and bulge in the middle, the side covers that look like they belong on a WWII submarine hatch, the rear subframe that came off a 1930s tractor. Yikes. It makes me think that multiple (unfriendly) designers were put in charge of different parts of the bike.

    The Suzuki Madura 1200 has been dethroned as the ugliest bike in my mind.

    (full disclosure – I have a Madura in my collection. I love the motor and just avoid cameras and riding past stores with reflective windows)

  19. Reno says:

    If it’s looking nice or not – everybody should decide … so at least it’s not boring.
    The “forks with no protectors” – yes, bad idea but can be fixed with 10$ or 30$ in the preferred style.
    The materials and technology – wow! Looking at the detailes – home made and from suppliers shows that only premium parts are used.
    A mass bike? Definitly not – the founders of Horex just needed to find the right niche to survive. If they succeeded or not … let’s wait and see.

    I personally found it worth a try …
    Got the roadster version of series-1 #23. After 500 miles, I still love it. I’m anything but a hard core driver. So cruising around with this thing is just pure fun. And I can’t stop watching and touching. Looks like every single screw is designed and applied with great passion. Even the fixing of the license plate is done with titanium style screws. Again, others might see this compeletely different – and thats OK, as long as there are enough fans to secure the future.