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.

Photo: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199′s Headlights

06/27/2011 @ 3:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Photo: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199s Headlights 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199 motociclismo continues to be Ducati’s favorite channel to leak teasers of its upcoming Superbike, the 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199. Promising to be a revolutionary design for the Italian brand, we know already that the bike will shed roughly 20 lbs from the 1198 model, while adding 20hp to its peak horsepower figure. This astonishing power increase comes from the “Superquadrata” v-twin motor, which features an overly-square cylinder design, that should rev to peaky power delivery delight (if you’re into that sort of thing).

From this latest photo we see that the new 1199 (we’ve been enjoying the rumors that the new Superbike would be called the Xtreme) borrows from the 916′s squinty highlight design, while adding the 1098/1198′s more pronounced air intake structure. The Ducati Superbike 1199 will be fed that healthy dose of oxygen through a stressed aluminum airbox/headtube design, à la its MotoGP frameless technology, and for which we’ve already seen patents of the design.

In other “leaked” photos (here & here) we’ve already seen that the rear shock will be horizontally mounted, and will attach the extra-long swingarm to the chassis. Our sources tell us that the Superbike 1199 will have an underslung and tail exhaust, much like the Ducati Desmosedici GP12. So far we’ve only seen the underslung exhaust, but we hear the tail section in its full glory is a thing of beauty. Looking at what side photos we have of the bike already, the design would appear to be very well integrated, as its lines have barely been given away (check out Luca Bar’s take on what the Superbike 1199 will look like).

From a purely speculation point-of-view, it’s interesting that this photo doesn’t show pronounced headlamps or projector assemblies. If Ducati really wanted to blow our minds, an LED headlight system would be very trick. Watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it’s clear that LED headlight technology has come a long way, and can be very, very bright indeed. Something to ponder, though we doubt such an arrangement exists in the Superbike 1199‘s design.



  1. Other Sean says:

    I was concerned about the headlights in particular, but this looks promising. For cripes sake, they’d better not call it some stupid name. Xtreme? Seriously, lame. That’s what they name those multi blade face razors.

  2. Don’t worry Sean, anyone who thinks Ducati would name their Superbike that has serious issues, or likes to stir a good pot. Remember when the Diavel came out and there was rumors it would be called the Mega Monster? Or when the Diavel was supposed to be called the Cayenne? It’s the same thing going on here.

  3. Duckblind says:

    Maybe I’m seeing things but it looks like this bike does indeed have LED daytime running lights above the main lights per BMWs automobile arrangement. Look at the multiple little diodes .

  4. I think those are just decorative “cuts” in the headlight reflector, my Streetfighter has them as well.

  5. 2ndclass says:

    Aprilia called, they want their front end back.

    I’m guessing this new bike will suffer from the same issue that the 999/749 did. A better rider but no one gives a shit because it doesn’t look like a 916/996.

  6. ML says:

    It does look like it’ll have LED running lights as Duckblind states. I think it’ll a common feature going forward on all street bikes. The new ZX-10R sports LED day time running lights.

  7. sunstroke says:

    My guesses:

    People have heard the bike at full chat so I’m inclined to believe the 14,000rpm rumors are true, and to believe the Superquadrata/Hypersport nomenclature is accurate in describing the bike’s characteristics.

    This bike is going to be a 1000. The old 999R was 104mm x 58.8mm. This new twin will be 108 x 54.5mm, a bore-stroke ratio of almost 2:1, hence Superquadrata. Entirely titanium internals like the 999R, but maybe with a twist like 5 or 6 valves per cylinder. I think the 1198 will actually stay in production since this bike will be homologation exotica for racers and wealthy Ducatisti.

    IMS and MSMA hate performance-indexing across multiple displacements in SBK, that’s why Ducati are introducing the bike 1 year before the 1198R’s 5-year life cycle is complete.

  8. Cpt.Slow says:


  9. Duckblind says:

    It’s nice to see Ducati innovating again. The chassis and motor innovations are going to make this a Ducati worthy of it’s storied history. I was a bit let down by the evolutionary updates on the last two generations of super bikes they’ve produced. Not since Mossimo Tamburini left have they really found their voice. I hope th styling is up to snuff. I must say I’m not too confident from the teasers. I know styling is just that, but Tamburini was able to meld both revolutionary engineering in styling that was beautiful and ground breaking. It’s why no one will let go of the 916, or the MV agusta F4. Italian machinery needs a fresh new look, here’s hoping Ducati pulls it off.

  10. MikeD says:


    Yup, same thing went thru my head. What’s with the ugly “Joker Smile” side intakes ?

    W/e happened to the central air intake concept of being the place with the HIGHEST/CLEANEST air pressure point ?

    I guess it will always be Form over Function…after all, this is just a “street” bike…looks first.



    If they can make that lump of a Twin rev 14k w/o self-grenading itself then i don’t know what’s next. Those pistons must be the size of a Toilet Plunger OR BIGGER !

    More than 4 Valves per cylinder ? I can see the real state to make it happen and the asociated potential gains but that is so unlike Ducati…but so was ditching the trellis frame…we’ll have to wait and see.

  11. Shereef says:

    I tend to agree with MikeD. The 14K redline sounds a bit ambitious; although, it would be nice if they can acheive it. The RSV 4 is about 14.2K and the ZX10R and BMW are in about the same range. These are a V-4 and I-line-4s respectively. If ducati does indeed use an oversquared v-twin and not a 4 banger, then I think it is unlikely they can match the revy competition. Still, the main purpose of their engine will probably be to provide useable torque instead of peak power, I think. Is there any confirmation that the superquadrata is a L-twin and not a L-four (double L-twin) with smaller pistons?

  12. 76 says:

    Yes those are LED running lights on top and yes those are actual LED “Headlamps” in the picture. no projector is that samll in dia. and for sure no coventional reflector / 2way

    There are already street legal full LED aftermarket headlamps for sale right now, Polaris just released a SxS with full LED headlamps which put out about just as much as needed for a bike from one. Of course none have pulled it off so trick as this though, I like what I’m seeing here

  13. tone says:

    Why can’t the exhaust just be underslung only? Tail exhuasts are so passé. Fron the pics it looks like the exhaust is like a Kawi Versys but the exhaust exits both sides of the bike. If it is, this will be a cool feature !! I want the 848 version !!!! Yes Santa !!!

  14. sunstroke says:

    @ Mike D

    The 999R revved to 13,000rpm. The titanium bottom end could handle the strain, but the giant valves and the tiny valve clearance tolerances on the Desmoquattro top end were not up to the task for long. If Ducati were to add valves, the smaller top end components would probably handle the stress a bit better.

    I don’t know that it is a 1000, but Superquadrata sounds a bit like boastfulness. Ducati already built the 999R with bore-stroke of about 1.8:1. You’d think the Superquadrata would be even more oversquare than the old 999R.

    Shereef’s idea of a Twin Pulse (as Ducati have named it) V4 is interesting as well since Ducati have built Twin Pulse engines before, but I’m not sure where Superquadrata fits into that equation.

    One thing is for sure. With all of the hype/tease Ducati have done for this bike, it must be very special or people will be quite disappointed.

  15. DucracerX says:

    I couldn’t have designed the front end nose fairing better myself!! bellissimo!!!! Now I am waiting to see the complete package. The most interseing part will be the exhaust system. And Luca Bars drawings are so ugly and such garbage! This beauty will look NOTHING like his drawings.

  16. MikeD says:

    C’mon People… There must be an A&R reader that lives in Italy…go buy the July Issue of Motociclismo, photocopy the thing and send it to Jensen so we can finally see the real deal.