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.

Video: The Unholy Two-Wheeled Motorcycle Burnout

11/26/2013 @ 1:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

Video: The Unholy Two Wheeled Motorcycle Burnout two wheeled burnout 635x423

Motorcycling’s two-wheeled culture has seemed resistant to two-wheel drive machines, but maybe this video will be the breakthrough moment. After all, if one-wheeled burnouts are cool, then two-wheeled ones have to be twice as cool, right?

The logical conclusion to one of the more illogical undertakings we have seen, Gregor Halenda set out to convert his KTM Adventure 990 to use a Christini AWD system, and drive the bike’s front wheel for ultimate off-roadability. You know…because.

The process was not easy one, and it involved a bit of engineering prowess on the part of Cosentino Engineering to get the job done; but the result of all that hard work is a truly unique machine, and of course an epic two-wheeled burnout video.

There is a massive build thread on the ADV Rider forum for you gear-heads to spend hours poring over, and for the less technically advanced, there is a 2WD drive for dummies explanation in the video. Enjoy!

Source: Gregor Halenda


  1. Manny varela says:

    Thanks for the post Jensen, nice video.
    Im surely gonna enjoy that post at agv,
    Love the technical sh!
    Your the Man!

  2. paulus says:

    This is a technology who’s time has come.
    Ohlins made a fantastic hydraulic system in the 90′s… much cleaner, no chains.
    Unfortunately, it was ahead of it’s time for many reasons.
    This could work great for certain motorcycles….

  3. LoneStarBR says:

    In this day and age of integrated ; smart everything, this looks a little clunky. I would much rather see a super light weight kers type arrangement that does not have 10 times too much power at the front , but rather instant torque on the front only to aid traction when you pull a finger trigger , or better yet when X % of back wheel spin is detected – this looks kinda fun and all but it would really take some time to get used to it and use it to your advantage in a race; not to mention it robs lots of power.
    All that said, it would be a hoot to do 2 tire burn outs!

  4. Bob says:

    LoneStar, you should do a google search before making assumptions on how it works.

    I have a Christini. A Honda 450X. On the dyno, disengaged, I make 37 RWHP. Engaged, 37 RWHP. There’s probably a 1/2 HP missing that’s undetected and the heatsoak and knobbies might add that error, but, still the RWHP difference is negligible.

    Also, the front is driven at a ratio to the rear wheel and it is not 1:1. When the rear wheel slips a given amount the front only then kicks in. Otherwise, the front freewheels. There are 3 ratios to choose from. I went for the .83:1 ratio which is their highest offering. It allows the front to kick in sooner than the others. I can still spin the rear around a bit in the hairpins in the woods but the front does want to pull you forward while doing it…so donuts are out unless you turn it off. But I chose this ratio because of all the deep soft sand I ride in. I can stay rolling on top of the sand rather than trying to plow it and burying my front wheel. This, in itself uses a whole lot less HP to get through it and less wasted gas and lower engine temps. It’s come in handy for some real difficult climbs when it’s slick and rooted and I’ve gone through long mud washes that others get buried in and stuck.

    The last thing you would want is to have to manually trigger the thing on and off. You’d be doing it every second of your ride, depending on the conditions. Like I said, it freewheels until it slips a certain amount, then it grabs.

    I leave it on full time as it costs me nothing. Engage and forget. It kicks in when needed. So your momentum doesn’t change and you keep pulling straight.

    The only downsides are 15 more pounds on the bike and more mechanicals to maintain.

  5. Greg says:

    @Bob Thank you for sharing your experience! I´ve heard about AWD enduro bikes, hydraulic system, 90s Dakar or something, i even think it was a factory project (yamaha?). I have also seen a AWD Mountain Bike, but with cogwheel system similar to the shown bike in the video (i think t was a bike by JEEP) – way heavier than average mountainbikes and people who rode it say a lot of energy gets lost in the transmission. You already said it does not happen to your bike, so this question is sorted out.
    Maybe with todays technology the best way would be to use an electric engine in the front wheel (like seen on those electric bycicles), so ther are less parts an less weight, maybe more avayable power too (the combustion engine does not have to share the power). Im not an engineer, so please forgive me if it does not make sense ;)

    @Bob … i guess yours is cogwheel driven too? My question is; is there a clutch or something in the drivetrain? Or in other words; does the front wheel/rear wheel block if you apply one seperate brake? / Does it have any effect on the other wheel? Or; are the wheels permanently attached to each other by the drivetrain? I´m curious :)

  6. LoneStarBR says:

    Dear Bob,
    Thank you for your respectful and informative response to my post – now I know! I only want to slightly defend that fact that I did include the idea of automatic engagement when wheel spin is detected ! :) Well stated and I appreciate hands on insight.