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.

“Kesh Angels”: The Fierce Females of Morocco

02/27/2014 @ 11:03 am, by Aakash Desai12 COMMENTS

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It’s always nice to get a firm slap in the face from somewhere in the world that contradicts our notions of what motorcycling is all about.

Toeing the line between the hedonistic expressionism of Western culture and the more austere conservatism of traditional Islamic culture, London-based artist Hassan Hajjaj aims to pull-apart the pretentious self-importance of both worlds.

More importantly, by using female subjects as the protagonists in his compositions, Hajjaj challenges numerous Western and Eastern stereotypes about gender roles in this context.

The poses are playful and challenging and the use of scooters and motorcycles cements the subjects in Moroccan two-wheeler culture as well as in the Western two-wheels-as-freedom narrative. A metaphorical straddling, if you will.

Titled “‘Kesh Angles”, Hassan’s compositions are bright, colorful and chock full of cultural references. The subjects embody bravado, aggression, sexuality and even normalcy in high fashion and hip-hop poses.

The transformation of the traditional abayas with brash designs and product trademarking points to the very real ways in which globalized marketing strategies eventually subsume and co-opt all forms of cultural difference.

Yet, is it possible to see Hassan’s project as a reversal of this Western co-optation of the East? I had a friend and badass Gramscian queer feminist, Ariel Cooper, take a look at the images. She saw the work as less of a negative referential critique and more as an active reappropriation of the female identity in Islamic culture and move in defiance of Western narratives of the Islamic female.

She thought that the work challenges the way people, and most notably males, in Islamic and Western culture normally view the female body; the way they, and we align it into specific roles or spaces for participation and exclude it from others.

“The image of women riding motorcycles is commonly seen as sexy and assertive in the ‘West’, even if it still unexpected, but what happens when this image is transposed into an Arabic, Muslim landscape?” she asked.

At the same time the Hassan’s female protagonists are taking the privilege of voyeurism, of surreptitiously viewing these female bodies, away from us. In this way Hassan’s frames are spaces where agency is removed from the viewer and appropriated by the subjects.

Missing, however, are the voices of our female protagonists who still must exist in a less creative and more concrete reality outside of the artist’s studio.

I want to hear from them about their thoughts on the project, their experiences riding on the streets of Marrakesh and their perspectives on performing gender at the meeting of fabricated or real cultural divides.

The exhibition can be viewed at the Taymour Grahne Gallery in New York City through March 8th.

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Source: Daily Beast; Photos: © 2010 Hassan Hajjaj — All Rights Reserved


  1. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Doesn’t it embody repression of sexuality? right wrong or indifferent and to be as politically correct as possible…isn’t that the point of covering up every square inch of a woman except her eyes?

    I can practically hear in the background…”if you #@!! take this photo shoot any further (I’m talking to you reckless bandit who took that pornographic photo of knee-to-ankle bare leg) somebody is gonna get stoned!”

  2. Because, all Muslims are the same right?

  3. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Speaking to these pictures only and culture in Morroco Jensen. But thanks for your vile assumption. Let’s hope it kick stirs debate on something having nothing to do with this blog.

    Your comment Jensen is the intolerence everyone is tired of. Why do I have the feeling you nearly choked on your sandwhich running to the computer the nano second you saw a comment.

  4. I swallowed first (phrasing?).

    I doubt these photos are making waves in Morocco, which is a pretty liberal state, on the Islamic spectrum. There is a commentary being made, nonetheless though — I’m just not sure it’s about religion, sex, or oppression.

  5. Chaz says:


    I didn’t want to be picked as anti or “ist” but keep it a little less heady.

    If you’ll excuse me now I’m gonna read the other stuff you posted about motorcycles now.

  6. JW says:

    This is art. Therefor I see no race, religion or borders.

  7. Flyingfox says:

    Well I think its farckin’ hilarious! Not exactly the Road Safe dress code but who cares……………….if the Kesh Girls want to ride Let em’ ride

  8. smiler says:

    Well done for bringing something different to the blog Mr Beeler.
    Given the conservatism of many muslim countries, top points for these girls for breaking the mould and dressing in a humerous manner.

    Everyone wears a uniform. the KKK in the states do not look dissimilar to these girls. American bikerboyz culture also cobers iteslf from head to toe in cotton, thoughn they do it volontarily, so do many women in the Muslim world.

    That manufactuer mototobecane – should read moto to be caned?

  9. paulus says:

    It is equally strange and staged/contrived as the other recent “women’s” piece.
    … but with a sense of fun.

  10. Starmag says:

    Yea! The Bandit Circus is in town!

  11. Matt Higgins says:

    Dem bitches be representin’ an shit!

  12. Wayne Thomas says:

    Too many Americans want to just hate on Islam without bothering to read our own cultural tome – the Bible and see just how misogynistic, brutal, and historically inaccurate it is. The Bible is not appreciably different than the Muslim piece of historical fiction, but our culture has far outpaced our book where many who profess to be Christian simply ignore the parts that they don’t like. Muslims do the same, but the problem Dr. Dawkins/Sam Harris/New Atheist Movement is not in or our mythologies. Our problems lie in ourselves.

    Blaming religion for the world’s ills is in no substantive way different from those who blame the devil.