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.

Infographic: Aprilia – Ride Like a Champion

03/20/2012 @ 12:39 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Infographic: Aprilia   Ride Like a Champion Aprilia infographic crop

Aprilia has the dubious distinction of having some of the most compelling motorcycles in its product lineup, which are mated to some of the worst market communications in the industry, but the Italian manufacturer certainly seems to be trying this year. Getting ready to launch the Aprilia Tuono V4 APRC in the US later this month, Aprilia is trying to expose more riders to the Italian brand and its racing heritage.

While we were less-than-impressed with the company’s more recent strategy of hiring motorcycle blogs to create online commercials for the brand, this latest media effort seems more genuine and original. Find after the jump an ever-so-trendy infographic on Aprilia’s racing heritage, APRC electronics system, and V4 engine, and RSV & Tuono motorcycles. Click on it for an even bigger version, it’s actually pretty interesting.

Infographic: Aprilia   Ride Like a Champion aprilia infographic 635x2427

Source: Aprilia USA


  1. Afletra says:

    Fell in love with RSV4 since the first time I see it, simply awesome in every way…for me :)

  2. David says:

    Can somebody explain this statement on their add. To the left of the 206 mph spot.

    “August 15th, 2010
    Aprillia became the European brand with the most victories in MotoGP history.”

    I must be missing something here. I haven’t seen Aprillia in MotoGP in forever.

    Did they mean World Superbike?

    I’m to lazy to research. LOL

    But I love the V4 bikes.


  3. Dr. Gellar says:


    What Aprilia is trying to say is that they will “become the European brand with the most victories in Motorcycle Grand Prix history”. In the case of their orginal boast, think of MotoGP as representing the entire GP series (MotoGP/500cc, 250cc, 125cc), not just the MotoGP class.

  4. Smitch says:

    David, they’re probably including 250′s, not just the premiere class.

  5. TonyC says:

    They add a footnote under the 38 MotoGP Champions – King of 125cc Class

  6. Will says:

    Can someone clarify the 2 World superbike championships they have? Looking on world superbike official site I only see one, in 2010…Maybe I’m blind.

  7. MikeD says:


    Makers of awesome hardware COVERED by some HORRID STYLING , talking none less than the latest TUONO……..GOD, THAT THING IS FUGLY !

    Whoever designed the headlight area on that bike was feeling lazier than the guy that came up with the japanese flag design.

    Hey, Aprilia…call Triumph OR MV Agusta…they said they have so much pity for u that will teach your employees at the styling department how to properly style A NAKED Bike.

  8. David says:


    I knew I was missing something.

    I forgot about the other classes……DUH.

    Makes sense now.

  9. Grant Ray says:

    Aww shucks, Jenson. I’m blushing. I can’t speak for everyone on the team, but I know we all worked real hard. Thanks so much for the kind words.

  10. loki says:

    Hummm.. I’m not sure that the “500m of wires on a bike” is a good thing for their marketing department to brag about…

    @Will: you’re right, they have won only once in WSBK (all classes: superbike, supersport, superstock 1000, superstock 600), so the only reasonable explanation is that they count the riders and manufacturers championships won in 2010 separately. Which is a bit lame for someone that follows WSBK, but is otherwise an arguably good marketing argument for someone that doesn’t.

  11. Ervgopwr says:

    I was wondering when we’d see some response to the mild but continuous A&R v. HFL interwebscuffleformotoblogworlddomination…go on…

  12. BBQdog says:

    @David: Aprilia has been almost dominant in the MotoGP 125cc and the 250cc class over the last 10 years. It’s a shame they do not participate in the new Moto3 class.

  13. gebeme says:

    300 wires, 50 connectors, aos, alc, atc, awc, self calebrating wheel! Only a small sample of things that will cost a fortune to fix in a few years!

    Thanks for the warning.

  14. SPEKTRE76 says:

    I love the new Panigalle 1199 however the RSV-4 still takes the win. It has more technology and not mention it’s Moto Gp looks. And the power is still just a bit higher than the 1199′s.

  15. Westward says:

    I’d like to see a 675 or 750 cc bike from them other than the Shiver which is heavier than it should be…

    As for the Panigalle vs the RSV4, I’d like to actually see the 1199 in race action before making an assessment…

  16. loki says:

    The Panigale will probably be a better racer than the 1098R – which itself is a 5 year old bike that has managed to beat the RSV4 last year.

    As for the power, Ducati does claim a 195hp figure at the crankshaft… so let’s see some independent dyno tests before putting it behind the Aprilia power-wise.

  17. Dan says:

    Re the HFV v. A&R I say there is no question! Keep up the superior content, layout, & readership that makes you not only the best MC blog, but also the free-est!