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 MotoGP.com 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.

Triumph Tiger Explorer Gets $15,699 MSRP Price Tag

01/13/2012 @ 5:16 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Triumph Tiger Explorer Gets $15,699 MSRP Price Tag 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 03 635x476

When the Triumph Tiger 800 came out, speculation immediately set forth on when the British brand would build a “full-size” adventure bike. Then the 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer broke cover ahead of the 2011 EICMA show, and officially added a 1,200cc three-cylinder adventure-tourer to Triumph’s motorcycle line-up. Along with a plethora of other motorcycles, the Triumph Tiger Explorer hopes to take on the BMW R1200GS, the undisputed king of ADV riding.

Since the Tiger 800 gained favorable reviews and traction in the marketplace, the Tiger Explorer was expected to also be a market favorite for 2012…that is of course if Triumph could price the big-displacement Tiger competitively against the Ducatis, BMWs, and KTMs in the US market. Getting a $15,699 MSRP price tag, that element of our question has been answered, and sets the Triumph Tiger Explorer as the cheaper alternative in the premium-adventure market.

With the Ducati Multistrada 1200 priced at $16,995 and the BMW R1200GS starting at $16,150, the Triumph Tiger Explorer is $500-$1,300 cheaper than its biggest two competitors, though it remains $1,600 more expensive than the seemingly unchanging KTM 990 Adventure.

With the Triumph Tiger 800 priced at $10,999, Triumph has setup a nice price-point differentiation between the two models in its house across the pond. So far there is not much to dislike about the Triumph Tiger Explorer, though we’ll refrain from passing too much judgment until we have had a chance to ride one, and see how the adventure bike from Britain differentiates itself in this competitive market segment.

Triumph Tiger Explorer Gets $15,699 MSRP Price Tag 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 06 635x423

Triumph Tiger Explorer Gets $15,699 MSRP Price Tag 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 02 635x423

Triumph Tiger Explorer Gets $15,699 MSRP Price Tag 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 14 635x952

Source: Triumph

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    That’s HOT…and im not talking about the Motorcycle…although i have come to apreciate, even like these “2 Wheeled Hummers”.
    Wake me up when Triumph find the balls to slap that 1215cc Triple on something “Urban/Sport”(is it asking to much too for it to be less than $10K by then ?)…THEN i’ll look into trying to find a way to buy NEW (selling body/body parts most probably).

  2. Jake Fox says:

    Triumph continues to dominate (or is that redundant?)

  3. Shawn says:

    I used to think that the Japanese manufacturers corned the market on origami styling. Turns out I was wrong. Man, is that thing ugly.

    Whatever happened to classic, simple styling? Why does everything nowadays have to look like a clashing jumble of lines and angles? What do I think would be a good looking adventure bike? A Triumph Bonneville Scrambler with 9 inches of quality suspension travel front and rear.

  4. Beary says:

    might be good looking…but try sitting on your Triump Bonneville Scrambler with 9 inches of quality suspension travel all day every day for two weeks, then you’ll trule feel why adventure touring bikes are designed this way.

    If it’s lighter than the 1200 GS with same or better power, then this could definitely make a hole in BMW’s sales.

  5. RobG says:

    The 1215cc urban bike will likely happen.. .give it a year or two.

    I like the Explorer. I saw it at the show in Long Beach. BUT, I’m not spending that kind of money on a bike.. so for me I’ll either go with the Tiger 800XC, or something cheaper still. Besides, my DR650 is still my choice for offroad use.

  6. Jake Fox says:

    My off-road riding experience consists of the occasional gravel patch on a poorly maintained road but it seems to me that for off-roading you would want a light and nimble bike that wouldn’t kill you if you dumped it or give you a hernia trying to pick it back up. What then is the advantage of this bike over lighter bikes that cost less?

  7. jackie says:

    Don’t forget the Yamaha Tenere (spelling?), at 13,900.00.

    It slots in really well with them all.

  8. jackie says:

    Jack Fox, I think the trade-off for the weight, is the distance these heavier bikes can carry you and your gear..and the key here is, in comfort.

    While I’m not of the mindset (yet), the people (that I talk to) that ride these things, dream of Ironbutts, and trips across states, if not continents; rain, snow, mud, whatever. they also seem to know these aren’t dirtbikes per se, they are off-road bikes. For those who think dirt, mud and gravel are an invitation and not an obstruction. For those who want to get away from it all…far away. Or at least dream of doing it.

    RobG, Check out North County Yamaha, online, down near San Diego. They have a KTM 990 Adventure with hardbags for about 13k +…not to mention Tiger 800XCs. I’m not affiliated with them at all, but if your looking, that a pretty good deal. I figured I’d point it out.

    MikeD, It’s sad isn’t it? I think the day of the 10k bike is slowly slipping away. I’d love to have this Triumph, but after taxs+tags+hardbags+etc we’re closing in on 20k.

    Shawn, I hear that. Watch the video Cycleworld did of the Jack Pine Triumph, I bet you’ll dig it.

  9. Jared says:

    Since when is the GS the “undisputed” king of adv riding? That may be a comfortable touring bike but i’d rather have a KTM 990 adventure off road any day… what a joke. Just because they sell a ton of them doesn’t make them a better adventure bike.

    This new triumph is the same touring bike crap with little off road prowess. Again these fools make an “off road” bike with tubless tires…. geez

  10. MikeD says:

    Hey Jared, would u mind telling us whats so great about tubed tires on these bikes ? Cause i for one hate tubes with a passion.

    Im missing something OBVIOUS here ?

  11. George says:

    How can you guys talk about adventure bikes in this size/category and not even mention the Yamaha Super Tenere at $14,500.00??

  12. Beary says:

    well George, it’s cause the Tenere has already been mentioned.

    And yes, the GS1200 *is* the undisputed king of Adventure bikes. Just read any Adventure bike test, and it wins every one – at least every one I have ever read in magazines or online in recent years. It is an extremely well sorted adventure bike. That being said they weigh a ton… and when you get to *really* dodgy terrain they can be a liability cause of their sheer bulk. That’s why this triumph is quite appealing.

    I was a road + trackday rider for many years till I lost interest in the doing the same old blacktop sections and the same old tracks. Adventure riding is really fun, you don’t need a dirt background, and getting away from the traffic/cars/mom+pop touring campers has been for me, a real breath of fresh air on two wheels. I don’t think I could go back to a dedicated road bike again, modern adventure bikes / hybrids give you a lot more options on where you can go and what you can see.

    Seems to me though, that it’s for people ‘of a certain age’ – when simply going fast no longer does it for you, you look for more, and that’s where bikes like this very lovely looking Triumph comes in.

  13. MikeD says:

    Beary says:
    Seems to me though, that it’s for people ‘of a certain age’ – when simply going fast no longer does it for you
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I think more less the same way… I see myself riding one of these not too far from now… going fast (100mph +) was fun but watching the result of speed gone wrong have “changed” me “a bit” … now i care a bit more for myself. LOL.

  14. MikeD says:

    P.S: Not to mention they look comfy like a reclining LazyBoy… if anything besides weight issues more utilitarian than ur garden variety sport/semi or naked street bike.

  15. george says:

    Beary
    I have no problem if you talk about these adventure bikes and don’t mention Yamaha, I just have a problem and I think you doing a disservice to readers when you say:
    “Getting a $15,699 MSRP price tag, that element of our question has been answered, and sets the Triumph Tiger Explorer as the cheaper alternative in the premium-adventure market”

    Premium???? are you saying the Tenere is not in this class? if you say it’s not in this class, okay it’s your opinion but if you say it’s in the class and it’s been mentioned elsewhere (not in this article) then don’t say the Tiger Explorer is the cheaper……..

    I own a Tenere and will probably like the Explorer too, I think they are all in the same class.
    Go read the latest “Cycle World” and see what they say about the Tenere, KTM and GS

  16. Jared says:

    Mike D…. You can patch tubless tires out on the trails but I wouldn’t rely on that ability. I can carry tubes (many if needed) and keep replacing as needed. The bigger issue really is the size of the front tires and the ground clearance afforded by these so called adventure bikes. All of these adventure bikes except one has a less then 21″ front tire. Anyone with real off road riding experience will tell you the larger front makes for a more capable bike.

    To be certain, i’m not like most adventure riders. I prefer to be off road 90%+ of the time and enjoy large obstacles. This is why I drive a KTM 990R.

    As for those ride reports the BMW keep winning… Most of their riding is done on pavement and well graded dirt roads. If that is your idea of adventure, then a BMW or similar bike will be just perfect for you. My KTM is nowhere near as comfortable on the highway, but it manages fairly well. My adventures would rip the cylinder heads off the sides of a bmw… lol

  17. mxs says:

    How do you run tubeless tire and spoke wheel? You don’t, not without some time consuming fiddling around. You do want to be on a spoke wheel when going off-road, right? If you don’t feel free to bent your tubeless fancy rim on the first larger bump ….

  18. MikeD says:

    @MXS:

    YAMAHA, BMW and HONDA(BMW’s way knock off) seem to be doing it just fine…WITH SPOKES…tubeless…(^_^)

    And as far as cast wheels…sorry, it’s not made out of wax…they can take a beating too.

    If ur hell bent in off roadin to hell and back one of these Pigs(i like’em but it is what it is) i can see the whole point of 21″ tubed spoked fronts and maybe a 18″-19″ tubed spoked rear…otherwise…is just totally pointless and UN-practical on THE REAL WORLD(everyday riding and weekend getaway on some fire roads).

    Jared seems to have his priorities very clear.

  19. Shaitan says:

    Saw it in person at the International Moto Show and MUCH preferred the look and size of the Tiger 800. BMW still gets better marks for styling of ADV bikes, but the Triumph’s and that kick ass engine call to me.