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 VZ1 Concept by Oberdan Bezzi

02/01/2011 @ 2:11 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Yamaha VZ1 Concept by Oberdan Bezzi Yamaha VZ1 concept Oberdan Bezzi Design 635x438

UPDATE: Obiboi has done up a Kenny Roberts paint scheme version as well. Find it after the jump.

Do you dream of Yamaha producing a V4 sport bike? How about naked-variant that supplants the popular FZ1? Does a carbon/aluminum trellis frame work for you, with a titanium exhaust of course? If you answered yes to these questions, and envision such a bike late a night when you’re forming your dream garage in, then Oberdan Bezzi has just the concept sketch for you.

Drawing on the same 1,000cc fairing-less street bike theme as the FZ1, Bezzi imagines a Yamaha with a forward-tilted V4 motor that has an almost perpendicular cylinder arrangement, and is capable of being a platform with worldly appeal.

Yamaha VZ1 Concept by Oberdan Bezzi Yamaha VZ1 Kenny Roberts concept Oberdan Bezzi Design 635x438

In addition to the salacious V4, the Ti exhaust system looks like it came straight off a GP bike, with a canister both under the tail section, and coming out below the left rearset. Oberdan stretches the likely tight budget constraints Yamaha would have on such a bike by including both Brembo calipers and a carbon swingarm on the VZ1 (not to mention the partially carbon frame). However as we’ve seen already with Suzuki, a move to such previously thought exclusive pieces isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility for the Japanese manufacturers.

Of course the biggest hurdle for the VZ1 concept is selling the rabid FZ1 fans on the more “gentlemanly” V4 motor, and otherwise tinkering with a design that has such a cult following. A gutsy, yet intriguing idea Obiboi.

Source: Oberdan Bezzi


  1. Henry says:

    Just get a Brutale.

  2. Johndo says:

    Only problem is, Yamaha would probably sell this 25000$

  3. Butch says:

    Aprilia should have had Bezzi design the look of the new Tuono.

  4. Ceolwulf says:

    Beautiful bike that doesn’t make much sense. Yamaha have been making their name lately by defeating a whole swarm of V4s with their innovative take on the inline four – why would they want to use a V4 for something like this?

  5. Shaitan says:

    Wow, it looks pretty much like a 2011 Aprilia Tuono only better.

  6. MikeD says:

    OK, continue…

    But more realistically…how about just an I-4 with the SBC Style Crank and 16V head instead of 20 ?
    A newer, fresher looking nose/headlamps section? A whole refresh ?
    A less Bulky/Fugly exhaust ?
    Make it more edgy ? IDK.

  7. MikeD says:

    But back to the matter at hand: YES, I WOULD HIT THAT ! And Butch nailed it, cause the new Tuono is FUGLY.

  8. Steve Guanche says:

    The only thing anyone may see from Yamaha as far as the FZ I would be the cross plane crank shaft from the latest R I. V4 is just a pipe dream.

  9. ken hague says:

    Not sure on this styling also some engines dont look that good on show its just a big lump with metal and plastic stuck on here and there, each to his own i suppose but its not matching on style kawasakis recent models. Stick a full fairing on it and it may get interesting.

  10. Doctor Jelly says:


    Yamaha went back to 4 valves/cylinder a few years ago…

  11. DS says:

    Cool look, definitely a mix of Yamaha & Aprilia.
    In terms of the engine: I’m not sure if it is possible with today’s crank shaft design, but a VR head design combined with the cross-plane crankshaft would be my dream engine. Yamaha might be able to get an in-line 4 as narrow (or less) than a triple.

    The VR head design I’m referring to are the ones by VW’s car & Horex’s in-line 6

  12. Oberdan Bezzi has done a Kenny Roberts replica version as well. It’s now been added to this post.

  13. Shaitan says:

    Love the Kenny Roberts black and yellow scheme.

  14. MikeD says:

    @ Doctor Jelly:

    Indeed, on the current R1 at least but on the current FZ1(using previous Gen R1 Engine) they still use the “too many valves” head.

    4 less Valves to worry about would be welcome in my ” backyard shop”. There’s no point u could say as they got the same amount of juice from both architectures.

    But nothing wrong with wanting to be different and having 4 more valves than the next guy.

  15. MikeD says:

    And to be more exact about it, since Model Year 2007 the R1 is using the 4 Valve configuration.

  16. Steve says:

    Where’s my check book ?