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.

Product Lust: Photoshopped MV Agusta F3

03/01/2011 @ 2:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

Product Lust: Photoshopped MV Agusta F3 MV Agusta F3 desmoworks track bike 635x434

Our friend Anthony at desmoworks will probably be the first person in California to own the new MV Agusta F3 supersport motorcycle, which is expected to debut later this Fall as a 2012 model, but that hasn’t stopped him from photoshopping up some ideas on what to do with his F3 when it arrives. Mirrors? Headlights? Turn signals? Those are all well and good if you plan on riding on the street, but Anthony plans on putting his F3 to work.

Stemming from his track-oriented purpose we see he’s added GP-style belly exhaust, replacing the triple pipe outlet that you either love or hate on the new MV (admittedly, it’s growing on us). While we deride MV Agusta for constantly recycling the Tamburini aesthetic, this is going to be one hot bike, especially in race trim. Like what you see? Anthony is considering putting together a kit for F3 owners to achieve the same effect, and we imagine posting up in the comments would help make that opportunity happen.

Photoshop: desmoworks


  1. Feelgood Inc says:

    Why couldn’t MV have though to do that with the pipe instead of that triple pea shooter monstrosity?!?! Good job that man!

  2. froryde says:

    Schwing!!! That is HOT! However, I kinda like the pea shooters too…

  3. fasterthanyou says:

    that ticks all my boxes

  4. Odie says:

    Oh…..that is nice.

  5. RGR says:

    The triple exhaust is killer and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. The belly exhaust looks cool too, but I want my 3 pipes. I’ve already got my down payment on one. :-)

  6. KTMx says:

    That exhaust is beautiful! The triple pipes are terrible.

  7. ML says:

    I’m still deciding what my next bike will be (most likely will end up purchasing the ZX-10R or the F3). With that said, I think my decision would be much easier if several items were changed on this bike.

    Since you all care about my tastes related to the new F3, here are some of the things that annoy me:

    1) I hate the color scheme (I hope they offer the F3 in a dark color scheme, like black and dark gray).
    2) The fork bottom looks cheap (probably because they are).
    3) Wish the production bike would come with true projector headlight(s).
    4) Will probably cost $15,000.00+ when it finally ships.
    5) Forks don’t look adjustable (related: see item 3).
    6) Wheels look ugly. Wish they were regular 5/7 spoke design, not pseudo 10 spoke.
    7) What ever else I forgot to mention.

    This is the color scheme I have in mind when I think of a good looking F3/F4:

  8. Anthony says:

    @ML – I saw the bike at EICMA and the forks are adjustable for compression, rebound and of course preload. I highly doubt the bike will hit $15,000. In interviews they’ve already said it will be priced less than an 848 (and the official price has been announced for Europe, which is less than the 848).

    I think the fork bottoms look cheap as well. I’d like to see a set of R/T forks on there myself.

    Overall I’m really stoked on this bike. The cheaper items are easy to replace and I probably would have anyway to get the setup I like such as the rear sets, front fender, master cylinders, etc…

    The core of the bike sounds like it is done right though – the engine and electronics. If they hit their goals it will be the highest output and have the most advanced electronics of any bike in the 600cc class. The weight will most likely be impressive as well.

    I must say though – I like the silver/red paint scheme. I’ll probably do a carbon belly pan, rear fender and front fender, but leave the rest on mine.

  9. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Product Lust: Photoshopped MV Agusta F3 – #motorcycle

  10. ML says:

    Yeah, the rest of the bike is awesome.

    Like you I’ll make many changes, too. Custom paint (unless stock paint comes in a color scheme I like), front forks, rear sets, upgrade to brembo clutch and brake master cylinders, BST carbon wheels, carbon rear hugger, and perhaps a carbon front depending on the bikes color scheme.

    Oh, and a GP style exhaust. At this point I should just buy a better bike. Hah!

  11. Anthony says:

    No doubt… but if you bought a better bike you’re probably do all the same to it too as even the best bikes don’t come setup exactly how you’d want! We sold a Biaggi Rep. RSV4 to a customer (the $70K track only version) and it still had quite a few things I’d upgrade on it. A very cool bike overall, but just not totally done up. It has the electronics done right though!

  12. Mike J says:

    “While we deride MV Agusta for constantly recycling the Tamburini aesthetic”

    Why deride MV for doing something that Ducati have been doing for far far longer?

  13. Other Sean says:

    And Porsche even longer? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’d like to see any of you design better!

  14. Other Sean says:

    To expand on that, I would argue these makes, MV, Ducati, Porsche like I mentioned, have a rare aesthetic that is tied to their image. Kawasaki redesigns all the time, and we see how ugly those have been recently.

    As for this photoship, it’s extremely well done. And while it looks good, I agree that the triple pipes give it part of it’s MV flair. This gp style doesn’t look bad but it doesn’t set it apart, looks like MANY other (japanese) bikes. Nothing wrong with Japanese bikes, but you buy Italian for a reason.

  15. Anthony says:

    I’m surprised you think of Japanese bikes with an exhaust like that. To me the RC8 comes to mind first and then Buell – neither Japanese. You’d better get used to this style exhaust on an Italian bike though – the 2012 Ducati 1200cc Superbike has exactly this exhaust stock!

  16. mxs says:

    Are you still within reasonable noise level (not sure if you have a bylaw to obey)? What about cat? There’s no free lunch, right?

  17. Mike L. says:

    I think they are broke and that’s why it’s not available….yet?
    Just seems logical to me, but I was wrong once before.

  18. kastone says:

    See for some nicely coloured Photoshop F3s if you don’t like the classic MV Paint Scheme.

  19. Ducracerx says:

    Looks more like the NEW 2012 Ducati superbike. You will see in November.

  20. Ducracerx says:

    @Anthony true, good post!

  21. Ducracerx says:

    @Other Sean you are on some serious drugs or live on another planet if you think the underslung exhaust looks like a Jap bike and is what the Japs do LOL!! KTM and Ducati did this 1st and others will follow in the future.