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.

Triumph Tiger Explorer XC Breaks Cover

09/01/2012 @ 3:02 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Triumph Tiger Explorer XC Breaks Cover 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC 635x476

If last year’s debut of the Triumph Tiger Explorer left you wanting a more off-road capable machine, then the British brand hopes that its now unveiled Triumph Tiger Explorer XC will suit your tastes. Featuring the same 135 hp / 89 lbs•ft 1215cc three cylinder motor as the Tiger Explorer, the Tiger Explorer XC primarily differentiates itself with its tubeless steel spoked wheels (19″ front, 17″ rear), and off-road accessories (hand guards, fog lights, engine crash bars, and an aluminum belly pan).

Like its on-road counterpart, the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC also features a ride-by-wire throttle, traction control, cruise control, switchable anti-locking brakes (ABS) , and shaft-driven final drive. Expected to be in dealers by April 2013, Triumph has also tacked on a two-year unlimited mileage warranty, while service intervals are said to be every 10,000 miles. You can get the Triumph Explorer XC in any color you want, as long as it’s Khaki Green.

The announcement of the Tiger Explorer XC brings some symmetry to Triumph’s adventure touring line, as it mimics how the Triumph Tiger 800 XC compliments the more street-oriented Triumph Tiger 800. However, what is interesting here with the Tiger Explorer XC is how similar its specs are to the Tiger Explorer.

Hardcore adventure-touring fans will probably be disappointed in the 19″ front wheel choice by Triumph, while the rest of the differences seemingly come from the aftermarket parts bin.

Another issue will be the 10,000 mile service interval, which is even less than the mechanic-friendly Ducati Multistrada 1200, though the two-year unlimited mileage warranty makes up for things to some degree.

We will have to see when Triumph officially debuts the Tiger Explorer XC at INTERMOT what other details emerge about the bike, but we suspect pricing will be the biggest factor.

We’d expect to see the Triumph Tiger Explorer XC list for around $16,000 (the Triumph Tiger Explorer sells for $15,699 MSRP here in the US), which would make it a very tempting offer from the British brand, though time will tell on that one.

Source: Triumph


  1. john says:

    please, for god’s sake… cover it back up!

  2. dream bikes says:

    See photo compilation…

  3. Paul McM says:

    What’s next… an “Adventure” Softtail Fatboy from Harley. The world really doesn’t need another high COG, 600+ lb “adventure” bike that most owners can’t pick up if they dropped it in their driveway. Why can’t someone simply build something like a DRZ400 with a wide, properly shaped “all-day” seat, a 5.5-gallon gas tank, and dual HIDs. Is that so difficult? These adventure bikes have become the stuff of ridicule. I see them ridden by balding execs compensating for their declining testosterone counts.

  4. MikeD says:

    Meh ? This is basically a more powerfull and more electronics loaded SuperTenere. This should have been the regular version from the begining…and the first one with cast wheels should had come with a 17″ front hoop and no silly stereotypical Beak.
    Can’t wait for something else other than Dual Sports and Sport Bikes…some Roadster with a hot rodded 1215cc Triple would be nice…something along the lines of the old BMW K1200R ?

  5. It would be nice if someone built a hybrid motorcycle for adventure riding, a small V-twin high torque motor, sub 500 cc putting out maybe 70 hp with an electric motor partner with an additional 35 hp, that would give you something equivalent to 100 mpg, and weigh under 350 lbs.

  6. Gutterslob says:

    Motorcycling seriously needs some sort of new catalytic converter/muffler technology. It’s always the stock exhaust that ruins the look (and adds a ton of weight in the process). Can’t recall when it was exactly, but I’m guessing it was sometime between 2004 – 2006 where some new emmission reg made the pipes obese beyond belief.

  7. kevin says:

    It seems manufacturers and for that matter many riders think they need a bike like this (or the BMW’s etc) to ride trails. Most adventure riders are not riding through Patagonia (though that may be the dream) and that’s what these high end, large and heavy adventure bikes are best for.

    For a day or two of riding trails, a nice light enduro will do quite well.

  8. Richard Gozinya says:

    If I understand things, the beak is supposed to resemble a sort of high fender. Yet this thing has a beak, and a fender. At least the MTS’s hideous beak-like thing serves a function. This, this is just stupid. Then again, this whole segment is stupid. The only one that actually looks good is the Stelvio, and that’s due mainly to that purdy Guzzi engine, and the lack of a beak.

  9. Richard Gozinya says:

    @ Gutterslob

    I think it has more to do with European and Asian noise regulations than anything else.

  10. Gutterslob says:

    ^ Yes, It could’ve been noise regs as well. Sorry I left that out. But whatever the regs, we’ll be needing some sort of saviour newfangled tech if we’re to avoid having howitzer sized pipes in a few years. Ether that or electrics with a deck of cards.

  11. Damo says:

    So Triumph finally makes a bike in Proper British Racing Green…..and it’s their adventure bike? Odd.

    Can I get that color on a Street Triple please?

    You guys are right for the most part though. I never see the big displacement adventure actually going off roading, that being said they do make excellent touring bikes and are comfortable/powerful for long trips.

    Anyone serious about real adventure biking should quite bullshitting and just buy a KTM Adventure 690 or a KLX650 and have done with it.

  12. MikeD says:

    I knew that front end reminded me of someone, THIS GUY:

  13. Sixty7 says:

    Still to heavy……..can’t triumph make a lighter version……I tested the road version it’s a bloody barge….and handles like one as well……get a grip triumph the last thing u need after a few hours in the seat is a lead weight…..

  14. paulus says:

    as a tourer… it will be awesome. Comfortable and practical.
    You CAN also go offroad if you want or necessary.

    It is a market segment… and Triumph now has an offering for it.

  15. Sixty7 says:

    Triumph is going after the GS, KTM ADV,Yamaha Super T and the Triumph is heavier……259kg……..I know where my money isn’t going…..

  16. Jonathan says:

    @ paulus: I know a few “adventure bike” owners. Their bikes never leave the tarmac. To be honest they only rarely leave the garage. I guess that any road with a handful of gravel on it counts as “offroad” to some people.

    It’s a styling exercise to appeal to the same people who buy a mahoosive 4WD to take the kids to school. The Triumph looks better than most IMO (and is the proper colour!), but Sweet Baby Jesus, any modern bike that weighs more than a quarter of a tonne should be sent back to the factory with a note saying “Must try harder.”

  17. MikeD says:

    Jonathan says:

    “Any modern bike that weighs more than a quarter of a tonne should be sent back to the factory with a note saying “Must try harder.”

    ROTFLMAO. Good one, Dude.