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.

2011 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Breaks Cover

02/17/2011 @ 7:25 pm, by Jensen Beeler39 COMMENTS

2011 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Breaks Cover Erik Buell Racing 1190RS 635x423

It looks like we didn’t have to wait until tomorrow to see the 2011 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS finally out in the open (and with its clothes on this time). Finally breaking cover, we can see the details of the EBR 1190RS that Erik Buell has been hiding from his fans for all this time. Called the Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Carbon Edition, the name implies what material the bike mostly consists of, as this is supposed to be the premium model that will be sold in limited quantities to help get the 1190RS homologated for racing duty.

Only 100 or so models are needed for such a purpose, meaning this will be limited-run, and one expensive endevour for the intrepid few (Buell isn’t quoting prices just yet, but Ducati 1198R prices are being banded about). While the high-cost will keep many Buell fans left out in the cold, cheaper, more production-ready examples of the 1190RS are expected down the line. It seems Erik Buell Racing wants the 1190RS Carbon Edition to be its halo bike, as the company looks to recreate a dealer network, woo investors, and begin racing on a more even playing field with the other 1,200cc racing v-twins and 1,000 racing inline-fours.

From the photos we can see EBR’s new lighter magnesium wheel design, and while power figures aren’t available (the race-ready EBR 1190RR, which the 1190RS is based off of, makes 185hp), the bike is said to be on the anorexic side of the scale…the race kit even includes ballast to help meet minimum weight requirements (which come in around 380 lbs wet sans fuel). Other items include the dual-muffler exhaust we’ve been moaning about for a while, but there is apparently some method to the madness as the exhaust can we’ve seen in spy photos is the second stage to the muffler system, which is located in the belly pan of the EBR 1190RS. This design helps lower the Cg, meet emission and noise regulations across the world, and doesn’t suck too much power from the peppy v-twin motor. Ok, those are good things Erik, but we’ll still be excited for a nice aftermarket option.

Styling will be subjective, but we happen to like the double-stacked headlight look that EBR has done here, while the mirrors with their integrated turn signals stick out oddly at us (and by oddly we mean the bike looks depressed). Looking at the bike head-on you can see the teardrop design in the fairings, which should make for good ground clearance (like on previous Buell models). Of course our favorite color for any motorcycle is going to be carbon black, which the EBR 1190RS Carbon Edition has plenty of in spades. We’ll live with the minimalist tail, and cardboard looking race seat…we’ll even live with those funky mirrors as they’re not needed where this bike was born to thrive.

Of course the thing no one is talking about yet is whether the EBR 1190RS can sell itself on the the merits, like Erik Buell originally intended, or is it back to appealing to people’s sentiments to move models out of the dealer doorway. While the technical specifications are presumably present this time around, we suspect the price tag will be a deal-breaker for everyone but the most loyal of Buell fans (that could very well be the intention though). Compare the EBR 1190RS Carbon Edition’s expected price of nearly $40,000 to the offerings of KTM, Ducati, and Aprilia, and see where customers come down on their purchasing decision we say. Let us know what you think about Buell’s latest creation in the comments, would you sign-up for one?

Source: Road Racing World; Photos: Steve Anderson / Erik Buell Racing

Comment:

  1. rliddell says:

    I love it, between this and Motus, I am excited for the future of American motorcycles.

  2. MikeD says:

    Sweet Piece (on Randall’s Voice from Ugly Americans).

    BUT, if i had the $$$ to buy, It would rather go to something more “conventional” like: Ducati 1198R , Benelli Tornado 1130 or some other high end/exotic equipment.

    Keep at it Erik and don’t forget to “eventually” build regular bikes acce$$ible to regular folks who can’t purchase such high end ass jewelry as this 1190RS.

  3. Andrey says:

    Certainly looks the business. I am sure EB has done his homework and it will probably be his best machine yet. Would love to see him successful and make the HD decision to let him go become a big error

  4. Ades says:

    I think that Erik Buell needs to contract the services of a good (European?) designer. Mechanically, and frame wise it looks great. The Bodywork though, is all sorts of ugly……….

    It looks like they took a bit from the RC8R, a bit from the MV Augusta F4, and a bit from the Ducati 999, then threw in the 2-stroke RGV style exhaust.

    Not a fan.

  5. pyrogen says:

    It looks like the bike I wish my 1125R was. IF I was able to come up with the money, I’d get one though I’d ask for the 1125R head fairing.

  6. Dave says:

    The bike looks fantastic!
    MikeD, I take it you’ve never ridden a Benelli. If you had you probably wouldn’t call it “high end”.

  7. Andrew says:

    Good for him, and good luck to him, I really look forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

  8. gildas says:

    Where is the airbox intake? Behind the fork?

  9. Other Sean says:

    Pyrogen, I feel you. If they’d produced something with the low front fairings like this that match the aggressive/marketable profile of everything else on the market, the 1125R might have actually sold.

    Too little, too late? But it is the best looking Buell to date.

  10. Rick says:

    EB finally builds a great looking serious sportbike. Its really cool, but I’m thinking not $40K cool. Too many ‘as good’ or better choices for us regular guys. Its also a shame that the only venue to demonstrate its competitiveness is the AMA, which is sinking fast.

  11. MikeD says:

    @ Dave:

    No, i have not. But it can’t be that BAD , can it ? I have talked to some owners on YouTube they say is just fine, no major Flaws or anything, they have improved a lot since it’s launch back then, from metalurgy related failing primary drives to weak/bad electricals.
    Anyways, for w/e riding i would be able to perform i believe it would be more than OK…most probably i wouldn’t even use a 30% of what it has to offers, so… lol.

  12. Jeremy says:

    The cooling ducts for the front caliper is pretty slick!

  13. Ken C. says:

    I agree with fazer6. “meh”

    The bike has some nice things going for it, but that headlight and exhaust more than make up for them.

    Obviously, they didn’t learn from Ducati’s mistake on the headlights. Just look at Ducati’s (sportbike) headlights from 2003-2006 and look at their sales numbers. They are pretty much directly correlated. Granted, the Ducati’s of that era had a lot of other styling quirks working against them, but if I were designing a new bike, I’d use Ducati as a cautionary tale.

    That exhaust is hideous. Looks like they ran out of money and cut a stock muffler off a small car and stuck it on the side of this bike. It just ruins the look. That’s the first thing I would be cutting off this bike if somebody gave it to me (because there’s no way in hell I’d actually pay that much for it).

  14. gnmac says:

    Aesthetically speaking, it’s pretty uninspiring, especially compared to te offerings from Ducati, MV, and even KTM. Especially the headlights and the fairing around them…yyyyy-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwn. At least the mechanica is something to not sneeze at. One step closer to my dream for one day a legit American-made super/gp-bike to successfully take on the big int’l boys!

  15. F1 says:

    Finally, something respectable from the relationship between Buell and the AMA/DMG. Nothing was more pathetic than seeing the old version thumper race against 600s. It was the epitome of “please don’t put us up against other 1000s cuz our bike sucks”. It was sad to see two years ago, that title was void IMO.

    And now,, proper liter against proper liter, the world is rotating again, good looking bike,, Good luck Erik

  16. Joe says:

    “fazer6 says:

    meh”

    That’s the first thing i thought when i saw it. Not my cup of tea but more bikes to choose from is always a good thing.

  17. BikePilot says:

    I agree that its rather uninspiring to look at, but at least that’s a dramatic improvement over previous efforts! If they’d made the first 1125 simply uninspiring instead of fugly it might have actually sold ok.

  18. Alfonso Rodriguez says:

    Overall, I like the look. Yes, the exhaust tip looks a little weird but I am sure someone will soon market a nice setup for the bike. My question is, “What’s it got?” Somebody do a test on this thing already! I’m tired of the “teaser” stuff. Thanks Erik.

  19. patron says:

    To each their own when it comes to aesthetics, but I love it. I agree w comments on the exhaust, really bad, but that’s usually mod # 1 on most sport bikes. As for the rest of the bike I think it looks great. I don’t agree at all that vertically stacked lights make or break a bike. The styling for a bike is all about subtle differences. A half inch here or there and it appeals to people differently. I think that looks WAY better than the 999 and MV which I never really liked. The fact that one light is on the front and the other is sunk in makes the difference to me. EB has always had hit or miss styling on his bikes IMO. The Buell XB12s hit w me so I bought one. The 1125 was just god awful. Even w money in hand I couldn’t bring myself to buy one when they were all but giving them away. But this looks so much more interesting than…say…a GSXR. Price aside for the moment, and this bike beats out all its liter competition on looks save maybe the 1198. It’s a real American Superbike, it’s different, it’s a twin, and I can’t wait to see it race and see how it stacks up.

  20. Mark says:

    I love all you design experts critiquing this bike. If EBR would have incorporated design elements from Ducat, MV or KTM, you’d be saying that he copied, now since he didn’t, you’re complaining that he should have. Get real!

  21. Richard Gozinya says:

    The styling could perhaps use some polish, but it fits more with Buell’s design philosophy of function over form. I don’t see any problem with it really, just surprised he didn’t stick with the underslung muffler, or even that spiffy exhaust in the swingarm thing he came up with.

  22. Westward says:

    What it lacks in looks I hope it makes up for in engineering. The MotoCzysz is way better looking, but it does look better than the Britten…

    Oe things for sure, it ain’t a passenger bike, unless that passenger weighs less than 10 lbs. that tail section looks a might thin…

  23. geokan says:

    Mark is right.
    What exactly do you want ???
    A company has to keep its own ‘identity’, and according to this point of view this is an updated Buell, not an Italian or a Jap.
    For example 1098 is an updated 916, but no one is grumbling about Ducati.
    I think Eric is on the right track, and by the way, I like the double pipes in the exhaust, they remind me the Ducati Supermono in a strange way…
    I am waiting for a new Lightning …

  24. 4Cammer says:

    “The MotoCzysz is way better looking”

    And they have yt to make a street bike. Or a production race bike. Or……..

  25. Phill says:

    I love it! I’m so sick of the boiler-plate-design of the Jap-4, that this is refreshing. Honestly, it’s not perfect just now, but I say, give it 5 years. We’ve got to be nearing the end of ‘the pointies’ (ever notice how product cycles swing from sharp lines to curves back to sharp lines, then curves … etc). I bet in 5 years we look back at this bike and say DANG! That’s goooood looking! What an innovator!

    I just hope that his company is still around in 5 years to recognize his brilliance.

  26. Alexander says:

    even America can’t kill American ingenuity.

  27. Dave R says:

    This bike is gorgeous and any sport bike enthusiast which doesn’t agree needs their head examined. The exhaust on this bike is designed as you see it to meet ever increasing EPA emission requirements. The major appeal to me is the fact that it’s Buell and it’s American made. Buell has a tremendous and loyal following (myself included) and will be soon producing and offering bikes at competitive prices. As long as I ride, there will always be at least one Buell in my garage. Keep up the great work Erik….congratulations!

  28. MikeD says:

    LMAO. Is always the same…so many different opinions about the same topic from “Haters” like me to “Buell Cool-Aid Drinkers” like Dave R. It never gets old. Keep it up people, im having a Blast(no pun intended) at ur expense.

  29. Mike L. says:

    Mike,
    There’s still no excuse for not using a professional designer. Again. It’s the same cronies that would never be employed by another design firm or motorcycle company.

  30. Mike L. says:

    err, Mark, rather.

  31. xbEvans says:

    True to the form of proggression in an ideal few understand.
    Eriik Buell built my hot rod.

  32. xbEvans says:

    pardon me greatly * Erik

  33. Ades says:

    It seems more a case that EB has always claimed that he wants to build a genuine American sportsbike that can compete (sales wise etc) on an international level. It speaks volumes about the design aesthetic that Buell’s biggest market was the US. Buell’s are well received in the US, but not at all aesthetically in other parts of the world.

    So, if EBR wants to sell to a worldwide market, maybe they should get serious and employ a designer who can design something unique, yet aesthetically pleasing to the world market.

    My previous comments still stand though. You can see at least an attempt was made to do this, however, it seems very clear that the design was a little from Italian A, a little from Italian B, and a little from Austraian C, and then uglied up by Buell’s designer to make it more in line with Buell’s evolutionary designs.

    That said, mechanically it looks the ducks nuts, so why ruin it with a poor exterior?

  34. ds says:

    Looks cool. The design experts are laughable

  35. ds says:

    F1 – don’t forget to include Aprilia and KTM with your criticism about the liters racing with 600s since teams used them as well

  36. MikeD says:

    @ds:

    And so is each and every one of us and our little stinking opinions…what else is new ? (o_O ) Is a NASTY CYCle.

  37. bill says:

    This bike is sweet, I cant wait to see it in AMA this year.
    go Buell

  38. david says:

    eric buell has made what i think is the best bike in the world.it is so far a head in design that it makes other bikes look sad.it is most likely the safest bike on the road as it is so well balanced.it is hard to conseve that it design could be improved upon.what a man the motor bike world should be so proud of him the years of working to make this most wounderful bike come to life.lets hope that one day h.d. will come there sences and put the bike back into production as it just too good not to be made nice one u.s.a. you are inovative