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.

AMA Making Forward Progress: Reduces Corporate-Elected Board Member Positions

02/18/2010 @ 11:51 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

AMA Making Forward Progress: Reduces Corporate Elected Board Member Positions AMA Logo 560x420

The American Motorcyclist Association has announced its plan to reduce the number of corporate-elected seats on its board of directors. If you’re like this author, and don’t follow the politics of the AMA, you’re probably saying to yourself, “there’s corporate-elected seats on the AMA?” Yes, now doesn’t that explain some things? Previously there were six corporate-elected seats on the AMA Board of Directors, which meant that motorcycle companies controlled 50% of the Board’s voting power. This new measure, which was ratified on February 13th, will reduce that number to four seats, or 33% of the voting power.

The two new open seats will be “at-large” member positions, which mean they are open to members of the general public. The remaining other six positions will continue to be filled by individual and regional representatives.

This restructuring sounds like a positive move by the AMA and a chance for the association to distance itself from corporate involvement, and to try and correct the organization’s slow decline into Dante’s lowest circles of hell. Talking about the changes, Jim Williams, Vice Chairman of the AMA Board of Directors said the following:

“Allowing a relatively small number of corporate members to control 50 percent of the Board was simply not in the best interests of the 240,000 individual members of the AMA. With the reduction from six to four seats, the corporate-elected members continue to provide input, guidance and expertise to the oversight of the AMA, but we believe greater representation by the directors selected by the individual members more clearly reflects the AMA membership.”

It would seem the entire board is aware of the influence the corporate-elected members were having on the direction of the AMA. Williams is a corporeate-elected board member, and represents Kawasaki’s interest in the AMA, but he was the person behind the proposal, which was unanimously voted into action, even by the other corporate-elected members.

The AMA Board of Directors’ is currently comprised of the follwoing six corporate-elected members: Jim Williams (Kawasaki), Jon-Erik Burleson (KTM), John Ulrich (Roadracing World), Andy Goldfine (Aerostitch/Riderwearhouse), Michael Lock (Ducati), and Scott Miller (Harley-Davidson), who has been recently appointed to replace Erik Buell. Both Michael Lock and Andy Goldfine are coming to the end of their terms. It would seem logical that it will be their positions that get replaced by the “at-large” Board seats.

Source: AMA


  1. Brammofan says:

    WOW! Sounds like a COI to me. Better tell Jensen so he can crack this one WIDE OPEN. Does the FIM have corporate-elected members? If the answer is “yes,” then what’s next? The downfall of Western Civilization, that’s what. Lionesses whelping in the street. Dogs and cats, sleeping together. Etc.

  2. mafiax says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: AMA Making Forward Progress: Reduces Corporate-Elected Board Member Positions – #motorcycle

  3. Harry, I feel like you’re mocking me here.

    Regardless, the GP Commission has a similar arrangement (FIM, Dorna, MSMA)…having all the stakeholders are at the table. The AMA is no different, but I think what we’ve seen in the past with the direction the AMA has taken, the corporate voices were given a louder microphone than the other parties, and that pushed the association from doing what was best for the motorcycle industry.

    Let’s not forget, the corporate side of Motorcycling is still very important to American Motorcycling.

  4. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: AMA Making Forward Progress: Reduces Corporate-Elected Board Member Positions – #motorcycle

  5. Brammofan says:

    “Mocking” is such an ugly word. It may be apples and oranges but I wonder why you haven’t been as critical of FIM or GP or AMA about the possibility of a COI when the manufacturers are part of the sanctioning body. Why give them a pass and be so hard on TTXGP?

  6. This is the AMA, not AMA Pro Racing.

  7. Brammofan says:

    Oh. (This is where I retreat to my “newbie” status) So there’s no overlap (no manufacturers) in the executive level of AMA and AMA Pro Racing? Or FIM or GP Commission? I honestly don’t know the answer… just curious.

  8. Carbon Warrior says:

    You two are acting like kids. Just exchange phone numbers and sort your differences without the full attention of the internet audience. What the general public wants to know is how these decisions are going to affect their favorite teams in the coming race season. Now… if either of you happen to have some perspective to share with the rest of the readers concerning these or other consumer level concerns, I’m sure a portion of the internet audience will indulge your rants. As is though… I’ve wasted enough of my limited cranial capacity indulging the two of you. I bid you both a good day, and keep the breeze between yer knees.

  9. AMA may be making progress; reduces # of corporate-elected officials