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.

Aprilia RS4 125 Video – Who The Hell is This Bike For?

11/24/2010 @ 10:51 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Aprilia RS4 125 Video   Who The Hell is This Bike For? Aprilia RS4 125 white

The folks in Noale have a video out now (watch it after the jump), promoting the 2011 Aprilia RS4 125 – the four-stroke 125cc street bike that is a spitting image of the Aprilia RSV4 superbike. With 16hp coming out of that tiny single-cylinder motor and cool styling from its larger sibling, the Aprilia RS4 125 seems like the perfect beginner bike for some teenager in Europe, but we have our reservations about how the bike will sell here in the United States. A classic example of how ideas don’t always carryover, Aprilia seems hellbent on bringing this 125cc bike to a market that demands twice that displacement for practical street bikes.

If the argument is that the RS4 125, with its low power figure, is safer and thus better suited for new riders, then why are the RS4 125′s track/race features being promoted? If this is an aspirational sale, who does Aprilia think it is selling this bike to? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the 16-year-old kid. If this is a track bike for young racers, then why conform to the European power specs, and in what popular racing class is it going to compete? Here in California (the largest motorcycle market in the United States) a motorcycle must have 250cc’s in order to operate on the highway legally, so what adult is going to buy this around town motorcycle with that limitation in place?

It’s questions like these that have us trying to understand exactly what Aprilia is thinking with this model being brought over to the USA (at least with the RS125 you could make a track bike argument for the two-stroke machine). Don’t get us wrong, the Aprilia RS4 125 is a sharp looking bike, and it will be all the rage in places like Italy and Spain where there is an actual market for these machines. For the same reason that the KTM 125 Duke isn’t coming to the US, Aprilia should take a hard look at how the American motorcycle market is different from Europe, and what different features and uses we demand from our two-wheeled vehicles. Selling a 125cc bike against something like the Honda CBR250R just isn’t going to work guys. Good video though.

Video: SoloMoto30

Comment:

  1. BikePilot says:

    Well its more practical and probably faster (in terms of cruise speed at least) than the RS50. I don’t know how well the RS50 sold, but on the used market they are still fairly expensive, suggesting that there’s some demand.

  2. JJ - moto addict says:

    Why not a 400 cc bike?

  3. Brij says:

    Whether it will sell in the US or not! You have to commend Aprilia for not fitting their 250 and 125cc bikes with cheap downgraded parts, unlike the other metric sports bikes! the person buying the 125 still gets USD forks and other premium components, which doesnt make the buyer feel like he is being robbed!

  4. gildas says:

    Because it would be intelligent and there are laws against that.

  5. Even 250cc is just too small. I’ve owned a Ninja 500 and DRZ400SM. I think JJ is right – a 400cc twin would be nice and give about 40hp.

  6. doug says:

    I think it will outsell the lackluster CBR250 (which shouldn’t be under the CBR badge) and the Ninja 250.

    I’m a 205# guy and I will probably buy one and enjoy the hell out of it. Sure, I have other, larger 4 strokes and a RS250, but this thing will be a hoot and the cool factor is light years ahead of the Asian brands. :thumbsup: to Aprilia. I dig it!

  7. Johndo says:

    I’d be curious to see what it sounds like…

  8. Prich says:

    I have a lot of bikes, including an R1 that puts out about 205bhp. The point is I’d still have this bike. it’s not always about power. Any everyday rider can ride a 1,000cc bike because it gives you the power to make up for poor riding skills. Take this to a track day and it will show you exactly what you’re made of. A poor rider will be getting blasted by bigger bikes. An accomplished rider will be dancing through the traffic in the corners.

    New superbikes are a lot of fun. I’ve ridden the RS4 a few times and on my very best day, I’m using 60% of what that bike can offer. On this – I’m max biagi. You can only learn to truly ride a fast bike after you’ve mastered a slower one. This is the bike that will improve your skills more than you know.

  9. Kumo says:

    @Doug Is the VTR 250 sold in USA? It’s not faired, but it’s better than that Moto3 new CBR250

  10. Johndo says:

    I think 16HP can be dangerous on the streets when you need to get out of trouble fast. I think 250cc is the magic number for this kind of bike.

  11. BikePilot says:

    250cc thumpers found in street legal bikes have typically been <20hp. I wouldn't be too focused on cc, rather hp/weight will matter more when it comes to getting out of the way. It'll certainly move along better than most scooters and there's a ton of them scurrying about.

  12. MikeD says:

    I couldn’t justify it if i can’t use it on the H-way sometimes (here the H-way flows at 70-80mph and then u need more steam in reserve to be able to pass and fend off distracted drivers) I can’t see a 125 doing so decently any time soon unless it weights 100lbs .
    A shame really, all the good stuff is already there, from that stout looking spar frame to the big front brake to the USD Forks to the RSV4 Styling…u mention it.
    Let’s see how it does and hope Aprilia get’s the Hint and don’t drop this model before it’s time and installs a 250cc or bigger engine on it.
    Im in love with it but i can’t justify the $$$ Aprilia thinks is worth and get pass the fact that is “only” 125cc.
    Maybe i would pick a used one.

  13. ting tong says:

    this bike is made for rich men who doesnt know what to do with their money…

  14. bryson says:

    16HP, my riding lawn mower has more power than that… what the hell are these ppl thinking any way??

  15. mamak kerala says:

    this bike actually Derbi GPR…different only at the coverset which look like his brother RSV4…..so nothing special about this bike..better get new one Cagiva SPS525…ore valuable for ur money

  16. mxs says:

    Fantastic, it was about time …… the the writer, pls stop doing disservice to the people who are interested in such a bike and were actually waiting for a long time.

    It’s hilarious to read how some people think that ” a bike with 16HP can be unsafe be in a traffic ….” LOL hilarious. I guess it’s truly hard to not fall into the “the bigger the better”, right?

    Good on you Aprilia.

    ps: To the editor, don’t bother looking in Europe, pls have a look much closer to the north of the border to see how “badly” CBR125 did, which US so wisely passed on as well …. Your article would be one of the reasons why perhaps we don’t get some of the smaller cc cool bikes Europe and rest of the world gets. I’d have to credit you though for the fact that we have 15 different +600cc bikes and probably another 20 plus +1000cc bikes ….. yeah thanks a lot for understanding our needs. I will let you know how my KTM125 Duke does ….

  17. MikeD says:

    MXS: If it works for u….THAT’S GREAT! U must live in the middle of nowhere with little to no traffic.

    All i have to say is, come down to Miami, FL and put your Money where ur Mouth is trying to overtake someone during rush hour on the Palmetto….with your “16HP more than enough” motorcycle…and don’t forget…SouthFlorida have the best drivers in the US or at least on the TOP 5. The best as in trying to kill and run u off the road.

    U and your lawn mower powered bike will look PRETTY as the HOOD/BUMPER ORNAMENT of a Silverado, F150, U mention it…….LMAO.

  18. Dustin says:

    I think this is a great bike and will be a welcome addition to the current small-bike lineup out here in Canada. Unlike the US, we’ve had the 13HP Honda CBR125R since 2007 and I’d say it has sold quite well with Honda’s new rider package.

    I had my reservations on riding such a small bike but because I’m not interested in being a keyboard cowboy, I went out and bought one on the used market for $1600 CAD and rode it around BC for about 3 weeks, covering about 2500km of highways in Northern BC one emergency rescue of some stranded friends in Seattle (via the I5) & one trackday. The fact is, one needs to understand the limitations of having 13hp and although I managed to maintain 60mph on the I5 80% of the time, a superslab highway is no place for a 125cc 4-stroke unless you have no other choice.

    My CBR125R was a FANTASTIC bike, a blast to ride and a great tool for teaching proper riding technique and how to manage yourself safely in traffic to avoid becoming a ‘HOOD/BUMPER ORNAMENT’. Frankly, that kind of attitude really highlights the kind of unskilled riders there are out there and the funniest part is that they’re the ones who always play themselves as the victim on the roadways

    I ended up selling the bike after a month because I was leaving the workforce and going back to school and didn’t need to have two bikes insured at the same time; but have been considering picking up another 125 just for fun–they are a blast. This Aprilia looks fantastic and all the extra tech. they’ve crammed into it would make it a lot of fun.

  19. JawDroppin says:

    Why on earth would Aprilia even bother with a 125cc if it is going to be 4 stroke… :S I just don’t get it… If it were 2 stroke – different story… 4 stroke – forget it, although it does look better than the Honda CBR125R

    JD ;)

  20. MikeD says:

    Dustin:… I don’t ride a lawn mower(no NASA calculations to overtake or pass), i just pick an exit line and give it gas, I don’t even down shift…not thanks to 125cc but 996cc…if anything i’ll become a TAILGATE/TRUNK BLUE/BLACK ORNAMENT. Natural Selection will take care if anything. Be THE BETTER RIDER…who gives a ^&*% about anyone’s skills? Not me. That’s who.

    AS I SAID, W/e works for the people…it can’t be wrong(for them anyways) IF 125cc tickles ur pickle is all good. (^_^ ) Be again a lawn-mower Cow-Boy.
    Hope it’ll sell good on Canada and u AND many others get it.

    The U.S.A ? I’ll have my pop corn , paper and pencil ready to take notes and see the outcome. Maybe Aprilia will come to it senses soon enough and make a 250 version for the U.S Market, maybe they’ll drop it from it U.S. model lineup faster than steaming Horse Poop. Let’s wait and see.

    Canada and the U.S are just too different markets. Live with it…I DO.

  21. adam says:

    Nice video. Great music by Skunk Anansie. I’d buy a 16hp 125 if the price was right. The 250 class would be better admittedly, but I think I’d have some pretty good fun zipping in and out of traffic here in southern California. I’m guessing we got some pretty good traffic down here too, Miami aint nothing special. I grew up on 12hp 125s in London and I got plenty of grins. Sometimes the 160hp on my TL1000 is just more than I need. Freeways are for wankers anyway, the real fun is on the streets. If I could get one of these used for about $2000 I’d be up for it. But yeah, the Ninja 250 still owns the sweet spot for fun cheap small light economical toy bikes.

    Regarding the 400cc comments….it makes me mad we dont see more of these. This is the perfect toy bike I think. Small like a 250 but with 50 horse, that would be tight.

    And MikeD you talk alot of sh*t man. Look out for those F150s bro. Karma has a funny way of taking care of bizness

  22. MikeD says:

    Adam: 160HP on a TL ? And then u fell off your bed or the crack buzz went away ?

    U SURE do talk a LOT MORE shiznit than i do, Wanker BRO. Go ride a lawn-mower, please. Ur soiling that TL, Ur rear ain’t fit for it but 2wheeled lawn-mowers. Aprilia needs your $$$.

    P.S: Karma was a chic…and i %^* with her a long time ago. Sock it to me.

  23. Yup says:

    well, i own an RSV4 and would welcome a smaller displacement bike to ride off-track (anyone that owns or has ridden as RSV4 will understand this) i was very excited to hear about the new CBR250 coming to the states and even more excited when i heard Aprilia would be releasing a small displacement bike as well. however, i do feel that a 250 would be the smallest you would really want to deal with on SoCal streets. i’ve been to Thailand where a 250 is a monster-sized bike and the 125 is great there but i’d have to say “no go” for the US. i would love to get one as a companion to my RSV4 but will probably hold out to see if they dump a 250 in it on the next run. the lack of power could also be addressed with gearing too. i’ll definately see about a test ride before i drop on the CBR250.

  24. Bob says:

    I think this is an awesome bike but i think bringing the 125cc learner legal version here is a mistake. As MANY people have said, this bike would be MUCH better with a 250cc engine. It would weigh A LOT less than the ninja 250 or cbr250, handle better and look better. I think with a 250, aprilia could really steal a lot of business from kawasaki and honda, even with a higher price tag. It would easily be the best 250 available.

    Contrary to popular belief, a lot of people would buy a lightweight, sporty, small displacement bike. This bike has all these things and looks great too, but this type of bike needs to be a 250.

    APRILIA, BRING THIS BIKE TO NORTH AMERICA AS A 250!!! And you will have a winner!

  25. BIKE MAN says:

    i love how the first picture is the new rs50 2 stroke minarelli engined bike not the 125