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.

Official Photos of the MV Agusta Dragster 800

01/31/2014 @ 9:43 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Official Photos of the MV Agusta Dragster 800 MV Agusta Dragster 800 635x425

It’s been a long tease with the MV Agusta Dragster, with Giovanni Castiglioni hinting at the machine’s debut as far back as the 2013 EICMA show. We still expect the machine to debut any day now, but MV Agusta has dropped some more details by adding scenes to its “Metallica” promotional video.

A few official studio photos have also leaked out of Varese, which if nothing else confirm the lines we have been seeing these past few weeks.

Borrowing heavily from the Brutale 800 platform, the Dragster 800 defines itself really with a lower seat height, a chopped tail section, and it 200 width rear tire. Will those differences be enough to distinguish the Dragster from the Brutale? We don’t think so.

As fanciful as the turbo rumor was, it at least created a reason for the Dragster to exist alongside the Brutale. It’s an attractive motorcycle, like all MV Agustas, but we suspect that it will serve only to cannibalize sales from the Brutale line.

The only logic in that move would be if MV Agusta has seen Brutale sales drop, in which case the Dragster could hardly do any damage to the line’s sales, and instead could serve to get a few more Brutale platforms out of the factory door, in their new Dragster aesthetic.

Considering the heavy overlap in components, it likely didn’t take much of the Italian manufacturer’s resources to develop the “new” model, so there’s a plus.

Leave us your thoughts on the MV Agusta Dragster 800 in the comments. Would you take a Dragster over a Brutale 800?

Official Photos of the MV Agusta Dragster 800 MV Agusta Dragster 800 02 635x425

Official Photos of the MV Agusta Dragster 800 MV Agusta Dragster 800 03 635x425

Source: MV Agusta


  1. Mike says:

    I wish a Japanese company with a history of reliability and availability would buy the MV design department. Whether this steals sales from the Brutale or not, it is much more attractive than the er6n, FZ9, etc.

  2. iakai says:

    stock bar end mirrors, clear rear with nothing hanging. awesome looking exhaust pipes. Design of this bike is stunning. This is the best looking naked bike ever. step aside ducati street fighter.

  3. Norm G. says:

    re: “It’s been a long tease with the MV Agusta Dragster”

    yeah it has.

    re: “we suspect that it will serve only to cannibalize sales from the Brutale line.”

    I meant to comment in the other thread, I like this bike. but it reminds of BMW car side and how the 6 series looks the 5 series successor simply brought forward a few years. same with the new 4 series and current 3 series saloons. wait, what…? exactly.

    while car world might be able to get away with this, bike world can not. the brutale will go away, if not by committee, by natural selection. honestly I never really warmed up to it styling.

    re: “200 width rear tire”

    more akin to the 200 section Pirelli developed in Ital-SBK and fitted OEM to the 1199R and RSV4 factory APC, less so to what’s fitted to the Diavel which is a 240.

  4. ADG says:

    Style and form over function Norm……..(Trading Places) sell! sell! sell!

  5. Bluey says:

    it’s a Buell XB12s, 10 years later.

    Buell really was ahead of his time.

  6. lucasgsxr says:

    Nice looking bike but to expensive its 800 cc at the end of the day and cost nearly as much as new tuono v4

  7. MeatyBeard says:

    So basically its a Brutale 800 with a Rivale tail. I see no point to this. Looks great though, but so do the Brutale and Rivale, which I already thought were too similar as well. MV is trying to make as many bikes as they can with as few components as they can so they can have a “full model line.”

  8. KSW says:

    I guess if you’re going to do something in house rather than hire Satya Kraus of Kraus Motor Co. or Roland Sands to do a redesigned “Custom” that’s what you do. Personally having seen some of Satya Kraus’ private work others haven’t Satya is the hands down winner. Keep an eye out for the future is clear, close and bright.

  9. Everyone pay attention to what Meaty just said.

  10. te5 says:

    Looks great. I like the new headlamp, its flat, different from the bubbly Brutale-headlamp.
    Unfortunately theres ne thing that just makes me not liking MV Agusta: the quality in general.
    I´ve seen the new brutales in real and i was a little bit shocked. It´s plastic all over. curved plastic as fenders, ok thats common. Cockpit completely made of plastic, looks cheap. even the exposed parts (the air intakes frames, cockpit cover+windshield) made out of that material. The triple exhaust pipes look great but unfortunately the covers look really cheap, theyre plastic of course. The MV-emblems on the fuel-tanks were just stickers, you can feel the edges if you swipe over it, theyre not even clear-varnished… . To me it seemed like they are not even trying and are just relying on their famous name. Very dissapointing to me. At least they are affordable now, but so are japanese bikes, and the quality of workmanship is often greater. Also they are presumably more relyable.
    Back to the Dragster:
    Only thing i dont get is why that “clear rear” should be better than an usual license plate-holder mounted under the tail. That cover over the rear tire looks just unbeleavably disgusting. First thing i´d do would be changing the position of the plate-holder and indicators and place them under the rear-end.

  11. te5 says:

    They could have at least used higher value plastic, the one i´ve seen on the current bikes just looks cheap. Or at least make some parts out of metal, like the “headlamp-frame” (the silver part arround the headlamp). Most parts of the fender id not seem to be mounted well. You could bend parts of the fender easily and it made poor “cracking” noises.

  12. Adrien says:

    Norm G. said everything.
    Design of the Brutale is now a bit old. The new Dragster just arrived at the right time.
    I hope it will come with good quality components and building.

  13. ADG says:

    As is if anyone of you could use it to it’s potential.

  14. Mariani says:

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that they could have launched this as a ‘new’ Brutale.


    Yes! The new Z1000 hurts my eyes.

  15. Allez Allez says:

    This motorcycle shows what a genuine, proud & brave (super)model Ducati’s Diavel is.

  16. mxs says:

    Nice design … too much money and I wonder whether the fuelling issues have been solved? Every respectable review I have read so far concluded that the fuelling is one of the worst on the market right now …. the money they need from customers to keep the show going should not deliver flawed fuelling.

    Maybe they should focus on making the exist models work first and then expand the line?