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.

American Cafe Film Tells The Slimey Crud Run Story

01/12/2010 @ 8:10 pm, by John Adamo13 COMMENTS

American Cafe Film Tells The Slimey Crud Run Story slimey crud run ad1 560x314

Honestly I don’t even remember how I found out about The Slimey Crud Run. About 6 years ago, long after the ride originated I started making the trek up there from Chicago with my friends. How could we not attend a bike gathering that exists loosely between two Wisconsin towns in the middle of some of the best asphalt in the Midwest? It was quite obvious from the minute we heard about the ride that it was the brain child of riders. The only structure is to show up a Pine Bluff, WI in the morning and ride to Leland, WI and back again if you want. The time line and the route are totally up to you.

Read more and see the American Cafe movie trailer after the break.

Cresting the hill before the first stop in Pine Bluff you are greeted by a sea of plastic, crash guards, chrome, Gortex, primer, leather, fur, helmet mohawks and every motorcycle badge that has rolled the earth. People bring out their best for the Crud Run and unique rules the day. You get extra love for Italian, British and anything old. Expensive or highly modded goes a long way too. It’s common knowledge that the Run started as a cafe racer gathering but evolved into a remarkably balanced representation of motorcycle culture.

The Crud Run is a bit of a mystery for most as no one seems to know how it started and who plans it. It is not advertised and there are no ride leaders circling their arm. It just happens… twice a year, spring and fall, rain, snow or shine. For better or worse second society and Jason J. Gullickson will change that with the film American Cafe this May. Jason and crew have been pounding the pavement for the last few years interviewing the founders of the Crud Run and documenting their story.

I had the chance to view an early cut of American Cafe and I feel like I know a secret about one of the Midwest’s best motorcycle gatherings. The documentary tells the story of two guys who are on a mission to show up at the Crud Run on something unique. As Jason and Matthew Cribben tell the story of morphing their basket case 1972 Honda CL350 and 1982 Honda CB650SC into running cafe racers the Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang tells the story of how the ride came to be. The gang is a strange mix of folks brought together by their love for two wheeled machines. Each of them are as unique as the bikes they ride. Motorcycle enthusiasts know one of the characters very well and he is often seen chatting with riders in Leland and Pine Bluff. I won’t ruin the surprise if you don’t know already but the second society website may give it away.

If you are a motorcycle enthusiast grab your riding buddies and get to Sundance Cinemas Madison in Madison, WI on May 1 for the first showing of American Cafe. Even if you have never been on a Crud Run you will relate to the camaraderie of the gang, great roads and great friends. Hope to see you there.

For more information check out the second society. You can also fan American Cafe on Facebook and follow American Cafe on Twitter. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets.


  1. Nice writeup on American Cafe by @skadamo at Asphalt and Rubber!

  2. Nice writeup on American Cafe by @skadamo at Asphalt and Rubber!

  3. John Adamo says:

    Can't wait! #SlimeyCrud RT @jasongullickson: Nice writeup on American Cafe by @skadamo at @Asphalt_Rubber!

  4. American Cafe Film Tells The Slimey Crud Run Story

  5. American Cafe Film Tells The Slimey Crud Run Story – #motorcycle

  6. John Adamo says:

    Wisconsin, Chicago, Midwest motorcyclists. Be sure to check out @acmovie about the Slimey Crud Run #motorcycle #film

  7. SupSappel says:

    RT @skadamo: Wisconsin, Chicago, Midwest motorcyclists. Be sure to check out @acmovie about the Slimey Crud Run #motorc

  8. Brammofan says:

    American Cafe Film Tells The Slimey Crud Run Story

  9. Dave Jenneke says:

    You hit the nail on the head. I wouldn’t miss this showing for the world. May 1st is the day before this year’s run. I’ve been to many of the runs and they are all different with different participants for every one. The one thing you really want for a Crud Run is nice weather. Then you can enjoy the outdoors while smoozing and checking out the bikes. The grilled food that Kitt’s offers is much better on a sunny day too. The attendance is also much higher. Those of us who enjoy this event are counting the days to May 2nd. Now we have a reason to look forward to May Day too.

  10. Ray says:

    Uh…anyone here ever read Leanings and Leanings 2 by Peter Egan? The Slimy Crud Motorcycle Gang? Highly recommended reading.

  11. llamacide says:

    sorta reminds me of the M2M TT race from back in the late 90′s…. a TT style race that ran from Milwaukee to Minneapolis early on a saturday morning… the route was never disclosed until the morning of the race so authorities could stop it….

  12. Bean Pole says:

    The photo has a typo in the Ad above, was to be Classic Limes, Pasta, Schnitzel & Rice. We debated about the USA ingrediant, finally settling on Pork, so really it’s; Limes, Pork, Pasta, Schnitzel, Rice. From the beginning, we were interested in you, your bikes, the sounds, the roads, Spring & Fall, Cafe Racers….the Style, all Motorcycles, helping Junior Sprecher’s wallet, and doing something to be around people like us.

  13. skadamo says:

    American Cafe I assume? :D #motorcycle #documentary #SlimeyCrud RT @jasongullickson: Finally watching the "Final Cut"