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.

Spy Photo: 2012 KTM 690 Duke

04/27/2011 @ 12:28 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Spy Photo: 2012 KTM 690 Duke 2012 ktm duke 690 spy photo 635x444

MCN is running a photo today that a Austrian KTM enthusiast supposedly snapped at at gas station just down the street from the Austrian company’s Mattighofen headquarters. Coming across what looks to be an early-prototype of the 2012 KTM 690 Duke, we have at least a rough idea of what KTM will likely unveil at EICMA later this year.

Expected to be a few horsepower up on its predecessor, the ~70hp 2012 KTM 690 Duke has always been an urban wheelie machine that KTM would be hard-pressed to improve upon. The most notable changes so far appear to be a new headlight, a more pronounced pillion, and standard exhaust placement, along with a revised chassis and motor.

We’ll have to reserve judgment before actually seeing the machine in person, but one of our favorite parts of the current KTM 690 Duke was the underslung exhaust pipe. Likely having to tackle stricter European pollution controls, the two-part muffler design shown here helps address that issue, although not in the most pleasing of manners. Hopefully the mismatched wheels and all black paint job is a sign that the design-side of the bike is still in flux, and this side-mounted pipe isn’t a permanent element. It probably is though.

The headlight for many will be an improvement over the original design. Though we’d have to tend to agree here, one of the things that have always set KTMs apart has been the standard “face only a mother could love” mantra that seems to permeate through the brand. Like a motorcycling solar eclipse, if you stare at them long enough, you start to go blind to the blunt edges and appreciate the design. The new headlight looks like something straight off a dual-sport though, which may have been just what was laying around the office and not a final design element.

The more we ponder this idea, the more likely that seems to be the case, as we doubt KTM would want to tip that much of the final design this far away from EICMA. As always though, time will tell. Stay tuned KTM fans, as this might a sign that the Austrian company is getting hip to the “spy shot” before release idea that’s been going around the motorcycle industry lately…not that we’re complaining about seeing new bikes.

Source: MCN


  1. BBQdog says:

    Is it me or where the rest of the posts ?

  2. Ryan says:

    Change the exhaust to anything (undertail?!) instead of that current monstrosity and it’s delightfully beautiful bike. I really like the front end, headlight included.

  3. collyer says:

    What if this is a 450 Duke? Hmm? I don’t see them changing the 690 this soon. The Duke II lasted 7 years!!

    70Hp is PLENTY for a street thumper, and more torque/less HP (lower RPM) is more fun anyway.

    KTM is famous for prototyping for YEARS before releasing a production mule, so speculate all you want.

    Flogging my ’07 Super Duke, thinking an ’09/’10 690 Duke would fit in the garage next to it., for shorter shorter trips with more backing in episodes.

    But what do I know. I live in America, most people ask me “what kind of Kawasaki is that?”

  4. 76 says:

    No way they are retooling for the 690 already it was new 2 years ago, this is something else, what collyer pointed out seems to make alot more sense

  5. Jeram says:

    its either two things… a 710cc duke or a 350F duke

    if only theyd make a 300EXC-E duke.. Id be down at the dealership in a heart beat

    actually make that s 380 exc-e haha

  6. Jeram says:

    after reading the posts on a few other sites Id say it is a 250/300 duke

    I wish that was actually 300 two stroker duke…. FUN FUN FUN!

  7. freako says:

    i think what KTM is trying to do is separate its models trough design, rather than having a ‘beak’ less SM to make the duke, the spy shot shows its trying to catch the design cues of the super duke and the 125 duke, a proper street fighter rather than a ‘beak’ less SM. im just wondering how will the new SM (if any) will look like..

    SM rider, Malaysia

  8. RSVDan says:

    Look closely at the motor. It is without question the 690 LC4, not a 450 twin cam or 250/300.

  9. Ed Gray says:

    It looks uncomfotably like a Blast. I don’t mean fun I mean that fugly Buell.

  10. JB says:

    Front caliper looks to be std mount not radial=lower spec? Maybe a 450…….hummmm

  11. 76 says:

    I agree that is a 690 engine case & cover, but why in the hell retool for this model so soon? I like the light and all but would much rather the SM approach of the current model esp with the seat. I know the Orig Superduke was redone in 2 years but this just seems strange. I think its a Superduke Jr. like a 710 maybe. I guess we will soon find out, there is a new RC8 for 2012 I can bet you that and the rumors around the Superduke is 2013

  12. GeddyT says:

    Ugh. Kill it with fire.
    I thought the original 690 Duke (especially in black and white) was a beautiful bike in every way. This thing is hideous.

    Any links to info about the new RC8 mentioned above would be nice, though!

  13. Kilokahn says:

    Looks like they slapped on parts from their 690 parts bin. Exhaust from 690SM.

    The 690 LC4 engine is due for a revision, i guess this will be the first bike they fit the new engine.