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.

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries

01/09/2012 @ 5:36 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 01 635x419

Here at Asphalt & Rubber, we don’t feature too many bikes that subscribe to the “modern-take on the retro look” hipster theory of motorcycling. Maybe it’s because we prefer to go fast rather than look cool, or maybe it’s because we don’t own any form fitting denim pants — honestly, it could go either way on that one. That being said, we know what we like, and more importantly when know what we like when we see it, and that pretty much sums up our thoughts on the 1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries.

Beginning life in the mundane, the Honda CB is a crowd favorite with the retro-turned-hipster crowd for making modern takes on the café racer design aesthetic. Don’t get us wrong, we have seen plenty of café racers that we like, and the market segment enjoys a small but militant following of motorcycle enthusiasts. However, rarely does a Honda CB, no matter how much beauty school it has attended, floor you in your seat. This work by Derek Pauletto however, would be the exception to that statement.

Comprised of parts from all the major Japanese manufacturers, Pauletto has a few American bits and pieces on the Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 for good measure as well. The front-end is off a Kawasaki sportbike, while the headlight is from a Harley-Davidson V-Rod. The frame, swingarm, and wheels have all been widened, and the Honda CB650 motor has been slightly tuned for a bit more pep-in-the-step.

However, what we think really crowns the work that Pauletto has put into his former commuter is the exhaust system. The happy marriage of four exhaust pipes making a short convergence into a single muffler, the work really shows off the creative thinking and skills found at Trillion Industries. Rated at 63hp stock, we doubt this ’79 CB 650 would blow our hair too far back when said literally, but metaphorical? Consider us wind-blasted.

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 07 635x952

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 06 635x423

1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 02 635x952

Source: Pipeburn


  1. Hollywood says:

    Liked everything but the exhaust, it looks like a after thought

  2. Andrey says:

    Cool bike but that exhaust is a mess. Why not conceal the sound attenuation inside some larger diameter pipes?
    Front end view looks like a modern superbike. Back end is the opposite but still cool.
    Just wish I had more time and money to play like many of these bikes here on EXIF!

  3. max says:

    Exhaust is definitely interesting. I wouldn’t mind having something like that on my bike though, nothing wrong with something a bit different.

  4. BBQdog says:

    Agree: nice except for the exhaust.

  5. No, no, no. Wot the fuck. I suppose it’s ok if you like having your knees up near your balls and lying on the tank. And wot about the car muffler stuck on looking like they ran out of money for the pipes? And how about all the road grit blown up in your face when stopped, idling. But then again, I suppose the dicks who rode this would never be brave enough to wear an open face helmet ? !

  6. Damo says:

    That thing might be reasonably quick. If the weight is down around 250 pounds and it has close to 70 horse, that is about the same power to weight ratio as a late 90′s super sport.

    Which is faster then I would want to go on a home-made bike.

  7. Daniel Croft says:

    Great looking bike, I’d rock it for sure.

    If I had a project like this, I’d locate a Kawasaki H2 and start chopping. 750cc inline 2 stroke triple with modern suspension & brakes… mmmmmmm

  8. John says:

    Nice looking bike, but the oversize rear tire and exhaust are just plain stupid.

  9. jamesy says:

    Although the “look” was achieved (mostly, tank is way too long both aesthetically and ergonomically/dynamically) it was done at the cost of proper fore/aft balance needed in a machine capable of using that much front tire. Toshiro would’ve shat at the exhaust heat on his clutch housing, let alone leg. I do kinda like the can tho…
    Let me guess; the shifter’s on the left hand and throttle on the foot? ALL THAT WEIGHT on the rear=Rossi could not go fast on this machine! Not to mention the rear axel adjuster lock nut is not locking diddly at that end, but hey, we be coool!
    I like Dan Crofts idea, go for it Dan but get the motor further fwd than this!

  10. Johndo says:

    I just love these projects. That said I love the headers but not the exhaust hanging on the side like that and tank could be just slightly shorter. Otherwise it looks like quite a fun ride. And the finish of the bike looks quite neat.

  11. jamesy says:

    Good point Johndo, didnt give props to the build quality, it is nicely detailed! But in the real of “form follows function” it is a non-sequitur. I’d hate to try and tighten up a corner with all the weight on the back

  12. Johndo says:

    I think these just need to be seen for what they are. Cool creative projects. They will never go after an R6, but will certainly have loads of personality and character :) If the tank was about 5″ shorter, and I had 5-6 bikes in my garage, I’d certainly appreciate this bike as one of them for a fun sunday ride. In fact I wish I had the knowledge and talent to build a project like this myself!

  13. Westward says:

    I’m with “max” on this one, It is interesting & different. I could be wrong but, the fact that the pipes and the exhaust are at the front, doesn’t that mean there would be more weight in that area too. Besides, might be a new way to heat that front tire.

    I like it, as for the length of the tank, looking at the guy standing behind it in one of the pics, makes me think its just right. Not all of us are Motogp racer height. Pedrosa might struggle on it, but those aggressive cafe racer style handlebars should be enough for a guy like him to reach…

    I’ll take one…

  14. mxs says:

    The position of the tank, seat and pegs is definitely weird. The knee angle will be …. strange. but I am sure that’s what the builder wanted. Strange and different bike to the army of cafe racer out there nowadays.

  15. Sporty4Life says:

    “Real” motorcyclists truly appreciate ALL motorcycles, regardless of type, country of origin, or buildup, and this one is certain worthy of honorable mention. My mother taught me that “If you can’t say anything nice; don’t say anything at all.” She would say that a couple of you responders (you know who you are) should have your mouths washed out with (tire-mounting) soap. I very much appreciate our webmasters daily coverage and all the diversity that he includes! KUDOS!!!

  16. MikeD says:

    Cool little thing to look at, maybe even ride…but definitively not something is would own or even pay for. Im too square for that…LMAO.
    Cafe RACERS don’t do it for me…unless we are talking about this one:é_1130_Racer/31386431/1024×768.html

  17. jamesy says:

    So, pardon me for asking for a mechanical device which we all use for SOOO much fun, to ride as good as it looks. You can get all kissy face with its creator, hey, fair enough, but to expect a toy being shown as a major lust item for enthusiasts to not get any criticism for its function is a bit naive. I think that was the attitude at General Motors right before they required massive subsidy from your tax dollars, ne ce pas?
    Not a hater at all. It is a far better accomplishment than any motorcycle I’ve made from scratch, which is none. But unless it comes with a major disclaimer that it is intended for use predominantly on its rear wheel (which will suit some of us for sure!) then it must be viewed for what it is AND is not. Great powder coat on the frame, truly bitchin set of forks, cobby welds on the pipes, etc.
    Thanks for your permission to keep it real.

  18. Well then. Every one else’s comments seem far more polite than mine. I meant no disrepect to the builder(s). I just stated my opinion. But………I will agree with jamesy.

  19. Garrett says:

    Wow, lots of negative comments from people who have most likely never attempted any project much less a custom one off cafe job. It stands head and shoulders above most of the garbage produced for so called reality shows. Yup, I like it, very very cool.

  20. Soos says:


    Having owned/modded 6 ’79-81 cb650′s, I must say I am impressed with the look.

    And as for the tuning…. you can get a cb650 (stock262cc) up to 763cc with the right pistons.
    (yes I have done, this as well as several other cc variations.)
    :) being a machinist has it’s benefits.
    At 763cc it getsthats around 72hp AT the rear wheel.(roughly 79-80 flywheel HP)
    for a 30 yr. old bike amazing.

    Gotta say the exhaust… not my cup o tea, but not the worst I’ve seen.
    Great cb650 cafe setup though.