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.

Asphalt & Rubber Turns Three Years Old Today

10/28/2011 @ 1:14 pm, by Jensen Beeler41 COMMENTS

Asphalt & Rubber Turns Three Years Old Today Jensen Phillip Island track day 635x422

It’s the end of October, and there is a picture of me from a birthday track day, so that could mean only one thing: Asphalt & Rubber has aged another year. Now into our third year of this crazy online motorcycle blog experiment, I pleasantly get to reiterate some of the text from last year’s anniversary announcement, as A&R continues to grow beyond anything that this dyslexic kid, who routinely failed writing classes, could have imagined.

This year has been one marked with notable events, as Asphalt & Rubber has come to you live from a bevy of remote locations for our race and event coverage, such as Qatar, Australia, and the Isle of Man. Storming perhaps the last refuge for motorcycle print journalism, we’ve also become one of only two pure-online publications regularly seen in the MotoGP paddock.

But most impressively this year, Asphalt & Rubber passed the 500,000 reader mark, and fittingly this October is shaping up to be our best month ever in terms of traffic & readership…as was the month before that, and the month before that — with all of that math culminating into the fact that A&R has almost doubled in size since last year’s birthday announcement.

One of the questions I often get in regards to A&R is the use of the royal “we” on the site, and the answer I give is that Asphalt & Rubber wouldn’t be possible without the hard work, encouragement, and support of a very loyal group of people. So, I’d like to give a quick shout out to everyone that helped A&R this past year, with a level of gratitude bordering on indentured servitude to Daniel LloydDustin GibbsPeter Lombardi, Jason Yu, Jessica Pichora, Joanne Donn, Scott Jones, Tim Hoefer, Victoria Reid, and lastly our network of Bothan Spies, who continue to provide us with industry-leading news tips despite their own almost certain peril.

Also a big throttle-full of gratitude goes out to all our friends (you know who you are) and family (thanks Mom for letting me start this whole blogging nonsense in your basement), who for reasons beyond my comprehension continue to support this occasionally profitable endeavor. Lastly and most importantly, thank you to all our readers who make all the work worthwhile. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, friend us on Facebook, or just leave a comment below. See you next year.


  1. New Zealand Dan says:

    Well done guys (and gals if applicable) Thoroughly enjoy the site and content. Keep up the good work!

  2. Congrats Jensen, many happy returns

  3. Todd says:

    Great job Jensen! Congrats and see you at the D-Store!

  4. Bjorn says:

    Happy birthday A&R. My first motorcycle fix each day.

  5. Kurt says:

    Congrats Jensen. As an anniversary article… u should publish pix of my customized Benelli. LOL. Best wishes for many more years of successful publishing.

  6. Fluffy says:

    Awesome news! Congratulations on year 3! I hope there are many more as your site is one of my daily stops. Thank you!

    Let’s see the rest of those track day pics!

  7. Minibull says:

    Congratulations Jensen, been with you since the start, and I’ll be here for many years to come. Keep up the brilliant work :)

  8. John Magnum says:

    Congrats Jensen quality everyday good reading and always fun in the comments section
    happy b day A&R!

  9. Alexontwowheels says:

    Happy birthday bitches!! :-D

  10. Taufik says:

    Happy B Day A&R From TMCBLog in Indonesia

  11. MikeD says:

    Congrats, Omedeto(in Japanese) and Felicidades(in Spanish)…KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK…I truly apreciate the freedom of speech AND THEN SOME that we have/ENJOY here(even when we get out of hand)…and then to boot, IS FREE HERE ! No suscription fees B.S.(for now? LOL)

    I recently got BANNED from for calling the “new” Aprilia 850 scooter A Sperm Whale with LipStick…and before that some other “written opinions” erased. Yeah…i guess i had it coming…LMFAO.

    Thanks for the hard work ! Keep it UP ! A daily reader/visitor. MikeD.

  12. DarN says:

    Greetings Boys,
    Happy B-day and keep up the good work!

  13. Happy Birthday! RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Asphalt & Rubber Turns Three Years Old Today –

  14. Love you work Jensen! RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Asphalt & Rubber Turns Three Years Old Today – #motorcycle

  15. ChrisD says:

    Hey Guys! Congrats on getting to the 3Rd year! Its been almost a year since Ive made you my Number 1 Stop for all my motorcycle and racing news.. Definitely my daily read. Thanks for all the great posts! Keep it going!

  16. phil says:

    Congrats, guys. A compulsory stop each day.

  17. Jack Lange says:

    Nice work. I visit the site daily.

  18. John says:

    Congratz from Argentina!

    Keep it up!

  19. vetrick says:

    Just wanted to say that I read your blog quite frequently and I’m always amazed at some of the stuff people post here. But keep up the good work, it’s always interesting. See ya,

  20. Frod says:

    congratulations! and keep up the good work from Connecticut, USA

  21. irksome says:

    I’m smooshing a cupcake into my drive even as we speak. I’ll forward it to ya.

    Hope you like chocolate!

  22. BBQdog says:

    Happy birthday A&R and Jensen. Everyday I come by to have a quick look at this site but most of the times I stay longer :-)

  23. digfoto says:

    Congrats! Keep up the great work!!! When I was in Africa a couple weeks ago without any internet access – MISSED reading your daily posts. Glad to be reading them again each and every day.

  24. Marzouq says:

    Been following your blog/online motorcycle mecha for years now! Been following it probably since day one which I stumbled upon it by accident! I keep loving it more and more, I love all of your passion for the machines! Please keep it up and I hope to see A&R grow and more machines! More Italian Machines :P hehe

  25. PD says:


    MORE of the same. MORE, MORE of the same.

  26. 76 says:

    You get a check from me everyday, great job and continue the success, cheers..

  27. Jack says:

    Great site!!!! I check in at least twice a day.

  28. Congratulations, Jensen! I’m proud to be involved, and grateful to all of the A&R readers who support the site with their readership and comments.

  29. invisible cities says:

    Congratulations, Jensen! A shout out to you and the whole A&R team. Your dedication to this site shows! Many happy returns.

  30. Paul McM says:

    Jensen –
    As a fellow Blogger I have some concept of the effort you put into the site. It is my favorite “moto” destination on the web. Best layout, best photos, and often the most current/timely reports. You are to be congratulated on your efforts and the high quality of all the content you deliver, week in and week out. My only suggestion for the future is to put up some videos with real-world gear and bike tests. Most other media sources have so-so credibility.

  31. Azhar says:

    Happy Bday. You guys rock! Your my first choice for the most update date moto info. Keep up the great work guys!!!!!!!!!

  32. Damo says:

    Great site, keep up the good work. became a daily visit for me about a year ago and I have been spreading the word every since!

  33. Adrien says:

    Congrats from China
    it brightens the cloudy days at work,
    Keep it up !

  34. Pedro says:

    Since I discovered this site, not a day goes by without checking it ! Kudos to all of you from Portugal :)

  35. TonyC says:

    Congrats A&R! I’ve enjoyed visiting your site every morning this past year. Keep up the good work and I look forward to many more years to come!

  36. jimmyo says:

    You guys are my favorite motorcycle new site. Keep up the good work, clean UI, and minimally intrusive advertisement.

  37. Mr. X says:

    Good job, love the site.

  38. Thanks for the kind words everyone. Makes it all worthwhile.

  39. David Dungan says:

    Never disappointed with your timely information.
    You guy’s are always on top of it and it is reflected in
    the quality of this site.
    Very well done! Congradulations to all that make it so…..