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.

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra

07/13/2012 @ 2:13 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Strada Outdoor 08 635x422

Just judging from the popularity of our posts on the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Husqvarna TR 650 Terra, it seems you all are about as enthralled as we are with the latest models to come out of BMW’s little dirt bike brand — that is to say, not enthralled at all. Maybe it is because the Strada & Terra feel like a rebadged BMW GS, maybe it is the angular styling that Husqvarna has been applying to its on-road machines, or maybe it is because the Husqvarna brand seems to lack any real focus whatsoever.

Whatever the reason may be, hopefully it is due in-part to the fact that we didn’t really get a good look at the Husqvarna Strada & Husqvarna Terra motorcycles when they came out a couple days ago, as at that time the German-owned, Italian-based, Scandinavian brand only released a few basic studio shots for your retinal enjoyment. Fixing that problem now, 42 high-resolution photos await you in the gallery after the jump. Enjoy.

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Strada 06 635x422

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Strada Outdoor 05 635x422

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Strada Outdoor 06 635x422

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Terra 05 635x954

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Terra Outdoor 06 635x422

More Photos of the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada & Terra Husqvarna TR 650 Terra Outdoor 08 635x422

2012 Husqvarna TR 650 Strada Photos:

2012 Husqvarna TR 650 Terra Photos:

Source: BMW Group


  1. Jonathan says:

    While I know that the Varese factory has (judging by sales over the last couple of years) been working well under capacity, I’m not sure that launching a range of bargain basement hacks in the middle of a pan – European financial crisis is the greatest idea ever. There’s never much money to be made in a race to the bottom, unless Beemer are letting the Italians have those Rotax engines for serious cheap…

    But what else can Husky do? It’s worth noting that here in Europe the 450 thumper competition dirtbike is getting irrelevant – may prefer the smaller thumpers or strokers and the residual value of a 450 is pretty much zero. Likewise the supermoto scene is contracting and buying a SMR449 or 511 for road use is pretty impractical as major engine components are life rated in a few dozen hours. Perhaps the American and Australian markets are big enough to justify the 449 / 511 model range, but are the bikes making any money?

    So, the roadbikes. Who is designing the aesthetics on these things? The Strada (and the Nuda for that matter) are an incoherent mess of random curves, angles and textures. Anonymous piles of parts, with no motif or signature. The Terra has a little of the 449 / 511 about it, but that’s not necessarily a good thing either. 400-odd lbs kerb weight is just too heavy for a single cylinder plodder too and screams of corner cutting in design. Why no 630 style chassis? Or something that apes the drop-dead gorgeous 250 / 310 dirtbikes?

    I guess that there are some people who will buy a bike solely on price, regardless of how fugly it is, but does that generate brand loyalty, or even much cash?

  2. frod04 says:

    if there was an award for Fugliest motorcycle of the year, then the 2012 Husqvarna TR 650 Terra would have no competition for first place. this bike a truly ugly


    A rider who is desperate to see a new bike that looks good from HusqHideous.

    from North Haven, CT

  3. Mitch says:

    Depending on the price and the seat height, I could be interested in the Strada. It looks like it could possibly fill the sort of niche the Aprilia Pegaso left, though with admittedly a . . . different style.

    Some people will buy a bike based solely on a price, regardless of its looks, and if the bike shows character and fun beyond the visual, that can generate some loyalty. This one appears to me midway between the dirt bikes and the Nuda’s aggressive, Transformer-like lines, and compromises rarely look striking.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Mitch: “…and compromises rarely look striking.”

    Everything is a compromise – that’s why you hire talented designers! Getting the basic proportions right, tidying the details and giving the whole an identity needn’t cost the earth and makes all the difference. As it stands I’m seeing parts bin specials thrown together by accountants and covered with fit-where-they-touch cosmetic parts that don’t complement each other at all.

    The Nuda is IMO nearly there and just needs a few cosmetic detail tweaks: maybe a bronze frame and some attention to the mess of pipes and plastic around the motor – which itself is no thing of beauty and would look better in simple gloss black. A bit of tweaking to the comedy front mudguard and exhaust wouldn’t go amiss either. Did any of the designers of the individual parts actually talk to each other, or even do a mockup before they slung it all together? It doesn’t look like it.

    The 650s are a bit more of a task admittedly – the engine and apallingly naff perimeter frame are not a great starting point. But the designers have somehow managed to give the front end a “wheel on a stick” look, which appears cheap, awkward and unbalanced. No two lines on the body complement each other and close-ups of the engine / footrest area scream “utility”. The tank and lower rad cover don’t even appear to fit together. FFS! It costs nothing to get this stuff right! I’ve seen generators with more design aesthetic.

    And put the Husky crown on the fuel tank!

  5. fazer6 says:

    The “Rotax” 650 has been made in China since the X bikes, which is why BMW is trying to push it into so many bikes–Much more profitable now–But I like that Husky was able to coax another 10hp.

  6. jackie says:

    What an unappealing piece of industrial-design plastic afterbirth that abomination is.

    I do like the red valve covers though…they should keep that.

  7. Terrafly says:

    It’s the right bike for Husky and I’ll buy a Terra. It’s not a dirt bike but it will do 95% what I would do with a dirt bike plus it’s got luggage carrying capacity, ho hack-job welding, gusset nonsense and reinforcements needed. The engines built proof and simple, very efficient, has 200+ mile legs and way more comfort, people need to look at this differently then a dirt bike……because it’s not. It’s much higher quality then a KLR, and it’s low maintenance, not an oil changing problem like most dirt bikes…….perfect if you ask me.

  8. Teddy Pescadero says:

    It is a dashing motorcycle and definitely has an impressive design. I think I can splurge on this if I ever get a bonus.