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.

Yamaha MT-09 Ténéré Concept by Oberdan Bezzi

02/19/2014 @ 5:47 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Yamaha MT 09 Ténéré Concept by Oberdan Bezzi yamaha mt 09 tenere concept oberdan bezzi 635x425

The Yamaha FZ-09, or the Yamaha MT-09 as it’s known outside of the USA, has become a big win for the tuning fork brand. A fun three-cylinder machine that has enough pep to carve up the canyons, yet also has a relaxed enough riding position to handle commuting duties, the Yamaha FZ-09 really wins our hearts and minds with its dirt-cheap price tag of $7,990 MSRP.

We’re not alone in our opinion, as the MT-09 has done so well in the global market, that Yamaha built off the buzz and released its two-cylinder cousin: the Yamaha MT-07.

If the Japanese OEM truly is eyeing more three-cylinder machines, we are excited for the prospect. Oberdan Bezzi is excited too, as the Italian designer has imagined his own interpretation of what Yamaha could do with the MT-09 line.

Envisioning a smaller displacement version of the Yamaha Super Ténéré, Bezzi sees Yamaha tapping the MT-09 chassis and engine to make a solid 847cc three-cylinder adventure-tourer. Smaller and lighter, such a design would be a great middleweight addition for the Yamaha line.

We’ve seen a lot of intriguing, yet fanciful, designs from Obiboi before, but this has to be the most practical concept to come from the Italian designer. Hopefully Yamaha is paying attention, they would do well to consider the prospect of an MT-09 base ADV bike.

Source: Obderdan Bezzi


  1. Paul McM says:

    First things first. FIX the Throttle!!!!!!!! I rode the MT-09 at Long Beach. The motor is stupendous — spins like a 750, but has torque like a liter-bike. But… the throttle response in A mode and Standard mode is completely terrible — as in “unridable and dangerous” terrible. And even in B mode it is bad — bad as any FI bike ever built. I rode with a group, tasked with maintaining position in a “convoy” on a highway, and then city boulevards. It was absurdly difficult to just maintain position relative to another bike. When you even slightly rolled off the throttle it felt like you had no gas at all. I have read (but don’t know if this is true), that the MT-09 actually uses a separate fuel injection cut-off circuit to meet emissions. If so, a simple mapping change (with power commander) won’t necessarily fix this bike. It’s a shame. I loved the motor, and the machine is a wheelie monster in A mode. But with the throttle I experienced I consider this bike fatally flawed.

  2. paulus says:

    I guess it will depend upon how many unsold XT660z Tenere’s there are in Yamaha stock.

  3. Marc F says:

    I’d prefer one built on the MT-07 twin, but yes please I’ll take either one over the ridiculous Super even at the same price

    Super Tenere: 587lbs wet, $13,900
    MT-09: 414lbs wet, $7,990
    MT-07: 395lbs wet, ??? but less than $7,990

    Why the shit does long travel suspension weigh almost 200lbs and cost $6,000 at Yamaha, especially when it includes lopping off a cylinder?

    Please please, can someone build a reasonable offroadable, tourable actual adventure bike that fits in the giant chasm between a KLR and a GS?

  4. Kaw4Life says:

    USA ?

  5. 2ndclass says:

    @Marc F,

    Wouldn’t the Triumph Tiger 800XC fit that bill?

  6. Vulture says:

    Triumph Tiger 800XC does it all and better style.

  7. Marc F says:

    @2ndclass, Tiger is still bigger and more precious than what I have in mind. Especially with the idiotic fixed passenger pegs and subframe, it’s a bike I would not ever want to drop off road – one 0mph fall on the peg and the frame is done. The NC700X and Versys (and wee strom) are closer to what I’m looking for. A version built on the MT-07 for actual offroad would be ideal… a 2-cylinder, reliable Adventure 640. Just enough power and cylinders to cruise smoothly and happily at 80 loaded up; no more weight, width and expense than necessary.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “Please please, can someone build a reasonable offroadable, tourable actual adventure bike that fits in the giant chasm between a KLR and a GS?”

    see entry for Suzuki V-strom 1000. beak lovers, your ship has come in.

  9. DeezO says:


    Throttle’s already been fixed by Stoltec Moto. They’ll reflash the ECU to remove the fuel cut, the speed limiter, timing retard, and make the throttle maps more predictable. The result is that B Mode is basically useless now that STD mode is so smooth.

  10. Gutterslob says:

    RE: “…as the MT-09 has done so well in the global market”

    Any link to worldwide sales figures?

  11. AK says:

    I will consider tradding in tiger roadie for more power :)

  12. teanau says:

    Marc F, I’m pretty sure what you seek will come out of india. I havent seen any efforts to bring anything fitting the bill to the american market. I cant find a replacement for my husky 610.

  13. mxs says:

    The bike has barely sold anywhere yet, but A&R knows it has done well world wide????

    I don’t think there’s many people who would dislike MT-09, but there’s a huge difference between like and actually pay for it.

    I let you on a secret the MT-07 will sell even better …. it’s lighter and less expensive with enough power to excite most people. But you will have to move to Europe to ride it … LOL

  14. Ian Pinner says:

    An MT – 09 Tenere styled bike would certainly go down well in Europe. This is assuming that the throttle “problem” has been sorted, of course!

    Provided that it had good pillion accommodating, a decent sized fuel tank – at least 20 litres – and sold for around the £8K/€9,500 mark it would find a lot of buyers!

  15. Michael says:

    Just what we don’t need, another overweight monster poser “adventure” touring bike that will be bought by thousands of fat, middle-aged, used to be fast, touring guys who want to re-live their youth by pretending they are going to ride offroad like a rally rider; when in reality the bike will be lucky if it seems a dirt road. But hey, you can pretend you are as cool as your richer, bigger poser friends who can afford the overpriced and useless BMW GS series bikes.

  16. steve says:

    I like long travel suspended bikes for urban commuting. That thing would be perfect for me as the ergos on the 09 are a bit tight. This style of bike is awesome as there are so many applications for it. Even jaded cynical bastards like them once they get over themselves.

  17. Matt says:

    Marc F – “A version built on the MT-07 for actual offroad would be ideal… a 2-cylinder, reliable Adventure 640. Just enough power and cylinders to cruise smoothly and happily at 80 loaded up; no more weight, width and expense than necessary.”

    +100, amen, halleluiah, ditto

  18. ben says:

    DO NOT DE-TUNE THE MOTOR. at all. in any way.
    that, and try not to gain much weight.’
    do these two things and I will absolutely RUN to the dealer to buy one

  19. Frans says:

    I want one !!