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.

CAD Drawings of the Ducati Streetfighter 848

04/11/2012 @ 5:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

CAD Drawings of the Ducati Streetfighter 848 Ducati Streetfighter 848 CAD 15 635x506

Overall, our impressions of the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 was that the new baby Fighter from Ducati, is a well-improved upon successor to the original Ducati Streetfighter 1098. Helping differentiate the SF848 from the higher-spec, though otherwise identical, Streetfighter 1098 S, the Streetfighter 848 takes the geometry from the Ducati Superbike 848, which means it gets a much-better handling 24.5° rakes. Ducati has also brought over the Testastretta 11° engine, which made its first debut on the Ducati Multistrada 1200, and then found its way onto the Ducati Diavel.

Smoother and easier to operate, the new Streetfighter’s 849cc motor may be down on power compared to its Superbike counterpart (132 hp at its peak, compared to the Superbike 848 EVO’s 140hp), but the SF848 has a much flatter torque curve and a power band that extends into a more useable range for urban and aggressive street riding. When compared to its predecessor, just about the only thing we don’t like about the Ducati Streetfighter 848 is the foot clearance issue with the shotgun exhaust, which limits the movement of a rider’s right foot on the Streetfighter’s peg.

Releasing these CAD drawings at the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 US press launch, maybe some eagle-eyed industrial designers can come up with a solution for this reporter’s kneecap. CAD renders after the jump.

CAD Drawings of the Ducati Streetfighter 848 Ducati Streetfighter 848 CAD 17 635x506

CAD Drawings of the Ducati Streetfighter 848 Ducati Streetfighter 848 CAD 18 635x506

CAD Drawings of the Ducati Streetfighter 848 Ducati Streetfighter 848 CAD 16 635x506

CAD Drawings of the Ducati Streetfighter 848 Ducati Streetfighter 848 CAD 19 635x506

CAD Drawings of the Ducati Streetfighter 848 Ducati Streetfighter 848 CAD 12 635x541

CAD Drawings of the Ducati Streetfighter 848 Ducati Streetfighter 848 CAD 02 635x448

CAD Drawings of the Ducati Streetfighter 848 Ducati Streetfighter 848 CAD 05 635x474

Source: Ducati

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Looks painful to ride slow (meaning: urban every day riding at “sane speeds” and highway droning).
    Is your SF1098 THAT Sport oriented ergonomically ? Man, i feel for u unless u only use it for track days and super curved canyon dicing.

  2. The SF1098/SF848 isn’t so sport-oriented that it makes every day riding a chore. I’m 6’2″ and find the bike fine for 100+ miles. I’ve even gone 300 miles non-stop on my SF1098, and while I wouldn’t recommend the experience, it was way better than doing it on a full-fledged sport bike.

    I can draw a 75 mile circle that encompasses 95% of my riding, and the Streetfighter would be my weapon of choice for all of it. Easy to get through traffic, even makes the commute fun. Sporty enough for a Sunday morning ride, and proficient enough for an odd track day or two.

    The SF1098′s front-end is a bit vague, and the SF848′s geometry really cleaned that up. The thing with the fight foot is a design flaw though, and you only encounter it when riding hard, and trying to hang off the bike.

    FYI, you don’t go over 120 mph on these bikes, the force of the wind is just too much.

  3. MikeD says:

    HAAA ! U are telling me ?! ………anything over 90 and im tucked in behind a small Bikini MRA screen i have on my SV1000N…i gave the finger to someone the other day at 85-90 and my arm felt like it was gonna get ripped off and i lost my balance momentarely….SCARY SHIT.

    I think my bitchin on radical ergos comes out of me being so fricking out of shape…..NOT FAT…but rather a pretty phisical labor-less job and life style alltogheter.
    If i ride like im suposed to (loose arms, abdomen and legs handling the weight,etc ) my whole frame hurts like a biatch the next day.

  4. Not aging gracefully maybe?

  5. MikeD says:

    Apparently so…LMAO…(early 30′s)

  6. Damo says:

    My old Speed Triple and Honda 919 Hornet had similar ergos and the old time I hated them was on long highway stretches. For highway travel I much prefer my aprilia RSV, just lay on the tank and roll the throttle.

    The SF1098 I threw a leg over last year seemed like it would be a comfy everyday machine. It is nice to finally have a stable of naked bikes to chose from here in the US, maybe we are finally starting to catch on…

  7. M.I. says:

    The Ducati looks like a cross between MV Agusta’s new F3 and their older 910R with a few trick bits from their new lineup. I’ve ridden the 910R at +120mph and “age” has nothing to do with being able to take a near-full wind blast to the face. The mini screen is nothing but decoration.

  8. Max says:

    Alright, I have to test drive one of these to see if I like it or not… the jury seems to be split on whether or not the ride is ergonomic enough for city riding daily plus canyon carving on the weekends or it just isn’t worth it as your all-purpose bike.

    My Monster 1100 does the trick, but I just can’t help myself… the SF848 in matte black is seriously something Batman would ride. Am I right here or am I crazy? hah

    Maybe the best solution is 2 matte black bikes… the SF848 and the 2012 Harley Night Rod. It’s not nearly as fast or maneuverable, but highway cruising is amazing and you have to admit that bike turns heads. For a Harley, it definitely moves…

    What do you guys think?

  9. Jake says:

    I occasionally do over a buck twenty on my speed triple. The wind isn’t so bad if you tuck in nice and tight behind the fly screen. Wearing a full-face Arai helps too. It certainly wouldn’t be comfortable without a helmet.