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.

Husqvarna Strada – Do We Need A Single-Cylinder Nuda?

11/29/2011 @ 10:06 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 03 635x423

Husqvarna apparently didn’t show all it had to offer at the 2011 EICMA show in Milan, Italy several weeks ago. Debuting the Husqvarna Strada concept at the Paris Motor Show today, the Swedish brand continues its expansion into the on-road market. While the business case is strong for why Husky is currently on a street-bike tear, excitement over the Strada might pale in comparison to the hype that surrounded the 2012 Husqvarna Nuda 900.

Based on BMW’s 650cc single-cylinder motor found in the G650GS, the Husqvarna Strada has allegedly been “breathed” on by the Italian engineers at Husqvarna. Details are still under lock and key, though Husqvarna says the Strada will tip the scales at less than 170kg dry (375 lbs). While the bike being unveiled in Paris is a concept, Husqvarna plans to go into production with the Husqvarna Strada in 2012, meaning what we’ll see on dealer showroom floors will look very similar to what we see here now.

“Targeted at youthful on-road motorcyclists,” we can expect the Husqvarna Strada to come in at a cheaper price point than the Husqvarna Nuda 900, and to be more of a starting point for street riders looking to get on the Swedish brand’s bikes. Looking every bit like the rest of the Husqvarna line, our biggest concern is that the Strada doesn’t have enough differentiation from the Nuda 900 to truly merit a place on the product range.

While price and overall tune will likely be used to set the Husqvarna Strada apart from its larger compatriot, at its core, the Strada has the same face melting maxi-motard ethos as the Nuda. While that’s fine and dandy for brand management, the product differentiation may not be as great in the eyes of the consumer. Bringing out one niche motorcycle, especially as a first offering in the street segment, was a well-played move, but Husqvarna may have made a misstep by rolling out a second bike that overlaps so heavily, and competes for exactly the same riders as its previously released model.

Hopefully the BMW subsidiary will truly expand its product range with the likeable Moab street-tracker/scrambler concept, and we can always hope that the BMW S1000RR motor gets tapped for Husqvarna’s next science fair project.

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 04 635x423

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 08 635x423

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 07 635x423

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 11 635x423

Source: BMW Group

Comment:

  1. RSVDan says:

    Wake me up when Husqy churns out something other than a BMW re-badge.

  2. BBQdog says:

    Really like the looks. But 170 dry (!) weight for a single cilinder ??
    Will wait and have a look the the KTM Freeride 350.

  3. mxs says:

    Forget how it overlaps with the Nuda, but what about Husky SM630 which will be much closer to that than Nuda ever will be.

    Puzzling move to say the least.

  4. BikePilot says:

    A single really should be closer to 300lbs wet and ready to ride, 340lbs max (see e.g., KTM 690SMC at about 315 ready to ride, no gas and the 690 duke at a bit more than that).

    Also it looks to have too much rake out front and the wheels/tires don’t comport with its otherwise road-going design – it should have a tighter head angle (at least visually) and sticky 17″ rubber.

  5. Ervgopwr says:

    Agree with concerns about the excessive bulk. Why does a single need two exhaust cans?

  6. johnc says:

    do we need a single cylinder nuda? nope.
    do we need a twin cylinder nuda? nope.
    do we need a moab? yup!

  7. BBQdog says:

    … and I guess the seat is that high I need a ladder. Hope the far eastern markets will grow,
    people aren’t that long over there so manufacturers will be forced to make more adjustable and lower
    seats.

  8. PeteN95 says:

    Nice looking bike, but how can you delete a cylinder and only lose 10lbs?!

  9. Shawn says:

    It looks great to me. For those complaining about weight, its 65 lbs lighter than a KLR 650, so it sounds good to me. Price would be the main problem I see with it, if its a “premium single” versus the Nuda, which I’d also like to own.

  10. fazer6 says:

    Looks nearly identical to my x-country, which was a disappointing bike…tried to straddle the middle of the line between road and dirt, but didn’t do well at either.
    Give me a Moab!!!!!!!!!

  11. MikeD says:

    Naah, if i had to pick one to take to production the MOAB would be it(but with tube-less wheels/tires) a la SuperTenere.
    MXS makes a good point IMHO, i too feel this is not needed when they have that BAD ASS SM630 but i guess the world would be a DULL GREY place to be if we all wanted or thought the same, lol.
    Weight is ok with me, im used at riding bloated albeit low & stable Pigs (’82 GS1100G).
    Yes, they all should stop the silliness with the front 19″ tire/wheel combo on what fundamentaly is a STREET BIKE, a 17″ is far more ADEQUATE here and have a far wider spectrum of tire choices.
    2 Cans to have decent exhaust flow and yet keep it quiet enough that the it won’t bother “non rider” public ? Just saying…lol.

    P.S: That skinny not wider than (and as hard as ?) a school ruler dirt bike seat won’t help the cause if this thing is to become a “street bike” to ride for more than 1/2 hr. A nice wide padded seat goes a long way.
    The seat on my SV1000N is not as bad as this thing and i find myself wishing for something wider, softer and perhaps mode padded ?

  12. PeteN95 says:

    I currently ride an XR650R with a 19″ front wheel and tires similar to this, but it is about 90lbs lighter!?! I think it is a very fun bike for both street and dirt, but carrying another 90lbs would seriously hinder both.

  13. Ken says:

    This looks like a direct competitor to the Suzuki DR 650. Not as tall and rugged as the one lung Honda, not ment to travel the world like the KLR but a great all around bike. The problem with the DR was poor suspension (lack of adjustability), it was geared one tooth to big up front, was outfitted with “Death Wings” and the seat was shitty. Fix those things and it makes an amazing all around bike. While it was never nimble off road like my WR450, it handled single track just fine. Damn near a modern scrambler in use: Not to tall for the streets, bullet proof engine and trans, great ergos and good street handling. If they can address those things, they’ll have a winner.

  14. Teakwood says:

    I’ve owned about 20 bikes in my life and presently own a DR650, a Beta400RR and a DRZ400E. The DR is a great bike. It’s way more street friendly and with a custumized seat it’s quite comfortable for all day riding. Like Ken says, I dropped a tooth on the front sproket and mounted a pair of knobby tires and its dirt capability improved considerably. I imagine the Stada will be similar but with better suspension and more power, thus I could put up with the extra weight. I don’t think it’s comparable to the Nuda which is more like a big super moto with a parallel twin. They’re not in the same category, the Strada is a dualsport. It’s like comparing apples and carrots, they’re different, but I like both.

  15. Hodgmo says:

    Based on what I’m looking at here, this bike looks like something you could jump on and ride anywhere and everywhere. That’s a totally appealing concept to me. I would love to get my hands on one and ring it out.