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 Roland Sands Design Ducati Diavel

10/17/2010 @ 11:16 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

More Photos of the Roland Sands Design Ducati Diavel Roland Sands Design Ducati Diavel custom 3 635x476

Our good friends at Ducati News Today have released more photos of the Ducati Diavel that Roland Sands built at his Southern California shop. While this photo is RSD’s take on how the Diavel should look, Roland and his crew have made a variety of accessories and OEM parts that Ducati will carry for the Diavel when it officially launches.

You’re not likely to hear Ducati brass tout the fact though, as they’ve tried to distance themselves from Roland Sand Design’s involvement — a misstep in our opinion. If anyone can connect the stodgy custom chopper market to a more hip and younger motorcycling audience, it’s Roland Sands Design, and Ducati could do well to associate themselves with the talent surrounding that firm. After all Roland Sands Design is really the only link in the US market that exists between the sport bike and cruiser markets.

Regardless the 2011 Ducati Diavel is Ducati’s take on the performance cruiser category, and may rival the Monster 696 as Ducati’s shortest motorcycle. Based on the Multistrada 1200′s 11° Testastretta motor, the Diavel will make more power than its sport-touring counterpart, and weighs a paltry 456lbs. With Ducati Traction Control (DTC), anti-lock brakes, and multiple rider modes, the Diavel continues Ducati’s use of electronics on consumer vehicles, and cleverly enough will be a first to do so for this market segment (a high-tech cruiser, who would have thunk it?).

The 2011 Ducati Diavel will come in two versions, one with obviously more bling and performance parts. Good money also suggests the higher-spec model will feature a plethora of carbon fiber body work, which was officially teased by Ducati last week. Expect to see more teasers as we get closer to the 2010 Ducati Diavel’s unveiling at the EICMA show in Milan. More info as we get it.

Source: Ducati News Today


  1. Isaac says:

    See, not even Roland could save this ugly girl.

  2. Johndo says:

    Amazing… Amazing how ugly this bike is.

  3. hoyt says:

    Is it ugly because it is a cruiser?

    If a company is going to build a cruiser, there are 2 obvious, broad ways to approach it…a vintage re-do or something not yet tried. The latter will always generate various opinions.

    If you are a designer @ Ducati and management tasked you w/building their cruiser, how would your design look?

    (nevermind about the decision to build a cruiser in the first place because the decision has been made)

    More dragbike styling instead of Ducati Fighter-influence?

  4. JR says:

    Yeah, it looks better than the V-rod and you don’t look like you’re taking a crap with your feet below you rather than sticking straight out in front of you.

    It’s a power cruiser, it’s not going to look like a sportbike… if it did, people would bitch that it looks too much like a sportbike.

  5. CBR600RR 09 says:

    2009? Is that photo lying to us?

    Otherwise I think it is an exceptional bike! Smooth flowing lines and a super awesome speedo to boot!

  6. Isaac says:

    hoyt would you like to see what I would have done for a cruiser? I am an Industrial Designer you know.

  7. hoyt says:

    sure, Isaac, but it was a rhetorical question to anyone, regardless if they’re an industrial designer

  8. Tom says:

    At least Ducati isn’t going the bland route like Harley does decade after decade. Bold designs evoke strong emotions. Thankfully, Ducati doesn’t try to appeal to everyone. There will never be a Ducati Camry.

  9. wacom says:

    Isaac, I am calling you out. Lets see it. I know ID fellas a pleanty, and I (we) would like to see a link to your power cruiser.

    I will hold my judgement on Ducati’s power cruiser attempt until I can get some seat time. However, in this boring american cruiser market, we need something to revolutionize the way these “tired” manufactures/consumers view the market. If is was not for products like the Diavel, we would be building aircooled twins until apocolypse. So I guess I can say I am optimistic about this Ducati departure in direction.

  10. Andrey says:

    Well I have to give credit to Roland Sands for making the back half of this look pretty good to my eye. Cannot understand why Ducati altered the design of the back of the bike to what they chose… I mean this is sleek at the back end…….. what they have on the spyshot bike looks like someone hacked the end of with a machete. In the first photo above the back half of the bike looks OK to me…

  11. gnmac says:

    Son of a buck this thing just gets uglier and uglier – why must we continued to be tortured by this beastly stepsister of the Italian beauty???!!!! You know, Luca Bar (Bar Design, check it) rendered out a cruiser concept called the D66 (I think) and it looked like the sickest power cruiser ever while retaining the lithe, aggressive, track-bred swagger of the Streetfighter, Monster, and the SBK and MotoGP Duc’s. Why couldn’t Duc’ have just hired Bar to pen it rather than this porker????? Luca Bar – where the h are you – save us from Duca-zilla please!!!

  12. Keith says:

    WTF? Have they decided to see if they can design something UGLIER than a BMW?????

  13. MrBlistershifter says:

    Ducati should keep their distance from Roland Sands. He has effed up a lot of great bikes because he has no concept of how to design anything that looks decent.

  14. MrBlistershifter says:

    Why would Ducati let someone “customize” a new bike and show it before the bike is even released ??
    Roland Sands should take up knitting.

  15. Erez says:

    It’s an amazing machine no matter what u guys say,,,,,,,the master of all masterpiece of any bike ever made,,!!!!

  16. Erez says:

    I will be the firest one in Israel to get this bike!

  17. Erez says:

    I hope they will relies it as soon as possible!

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