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.

Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Street Bike Announcement Hype Machine Gets Under Way

09/08/2010 @ 7:40 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Street Bike Announcement Hype Machine Gets Under Way EBR Buell 1190RS 635x462

Erik Buell Racing has quietly been “tipping” sites off to the fact that Buell’s record label, Rat Pak Records, is selling t-shirts for a Erik Buell Racing 1190RS motorcycle. What is the 1190RS you ask? “The 1190RS will be the new street bike from Erik Buell Racing! The design is currently in the pre-production / testing stage and is not yet available for public sale,” says the website (Asphalt & Rubber brought you the first teaser of the 1190RS way back in July). However, a video of the pre-pre-production 1190RS will be up on September 14th, officially making this a teasing of a teaser video (are you still with us?).

Before you Buell fans start getting all in a tizzy, we have to break the news that the hype being generated about the EBR 1190RS is more about raising money for Erik Buell Racing, than announcing an upcoming motorcycle. Erik Buell & Co. have been making the rounds to investors looking for capital to build-out its production line, reportedly with little success. With a company built around a “never say die” attitude, Erik Buell hasn’t given up looking for cash (buy more t-shirts people!), and the 1190RS announcement is a way for EBR to show that there is a market demand for its motorcycles. Once the market is proven to exist, EBR is hoping investors will then open up their wallets.

This isn’t exactly a new trick for struggling motorcycle companies, and there is at least one other motorcycle manufacturer pulling-off this stratagem as we speak (or is it as I type?). However there’s a thin line being walked here as well, since Erik Buell has a non-compete with Harley-Davidson that prohibits him from making street bikes (February 2011 is the expect expiration date on that contract). While having someone tip-off websites, and promoting the new bike on a record label’s website sounds like a great way to get around the non-compete agreement, the legal reality is that it would take short work to link it all back to Buell, and run the company into legal trouble.

All the boring business and legal stuff aside, the Erik Buell Racing 1190RS, if it ever makes it to production, will be a welcomed alternative to the inline-four hegemony currently found in the motorcycle industry. Expect the 1190RS to be based off the 1190RR race bike, except with lights, horns, and shiny reflective devices. We’ll post the video on the 14th…or sooner if our Bothan Spies complete their mission with success.


  1. joe says:

    If it has a chain drive, and isn’t too, pricey I’ll take one. Dual brembo monoblocks upfront too, please.

  2. Mark says:

    As much as I’m wishing Erik & Co. all the success in the world, I don’t see this as a viable plan for the long term. If he is successful at bringing the 1190RS to production, there are a ton of roadblocks to overcome.
    Firstly, how are they going to get access to a new supply of engines, frames, etc. from Rotax and all the other suppliers when HD owns the rights to everything? I’m sure Erik has a fairly good inventory of left over parts, but what do they do once that stock is depleted?
    If he’s only planning on building as many as his current stock will provide, that won’t be too many and will guaranty that the bike will be very expensive and limited. Who is going to invest money into a company with a plan based around building a few handfuls of bikes, before having to start all over again from scratch?

    The only way I see this working is if HD decides to sell Erik the full rights to produce the bike, which will cost a ton of money, if HD even decides to sell it at all. My hunch is that this may be exactly what Erik’s plan is, and I hope he is successful in doing so.

  3. Jaime says:

    At the Buell Homecoming this past summer, Erik announced that he was released from the non-compete agreement EARLY. There is no legal reason he can’t produce street bikes now… only financial ones.

    As if ANYTHING from the mind of Erik Buell even REMOTELY competes with the over-priced, underpowered museum exhibits from Harley Davidson…

  4. hoyt says:

    How much of a change to the Helicon engine would constitute a new engine, and therefore separate the new engine from the engine built under HD ownership? If a new engine doesn’t require a significant change, then it would seem EBR/Bombardier could move forward. (e.g. radiator placement).
    Same goes for the frame.

  5. JB says:

    where is the stick beating the (dead) horse on their logo…’s over…let it go…move on….

  6. lemonchili says:

    “…since Erik Buell has a non-compete with Harley-Davidson that prohibits him from making street bikes (February 2011 is the expect expiration date on that contract)”
    Really? He said at the Buell Homecoming in June that he was no longer under any non-compete clause.

  7. lemonchili says:

    Oops… didn’t notice Jaime had already posted that.

  8. Greg says:

    Whatever Erik ends up doing with his 1190RS bikes, I hope he’s successful. What I would really like to see is for him to team up with U.S. Highland. I’d love to see him continue to apply his outside-the-box ideas to another American branded motorcycle.

  9. MikeD says:

    Best of luck… i would be happy if his success “pressured the others” (besides Ducati) to build something along the same lines (1200cc V-Twin 180hp Sport Twins).

    A man can dream, lmao.

  10. Sid says:

    JB – that is one of the biggest coward comments in the blog world

  11. Jim says:

    If, and a big if the 1190RS becomes a reality, my guess is that the price will be $25K or higher. It would be nice to see it happen, but given the economic environment, the prospects of the motorcycle industry in general and the reticence of investors, I won’t hold my breath.

  12. buellracerx says:

    Sid – you beat me to it.

    JB – you suck.


    Jim – the market is driven by buyer confidence. get some confidence! it can/will get better.

    I’d love to see what Erik and the others can produce w/o big bro H-D looking over their shoulder. If they get this 1190RS out, I’ll be one of the first to throw down.

  13. Tom says:

    Gotta join in against JB. Wuss move man. At least Erik isn’t a quitter like Harley and keeps trying. A lot of people lost their jobs so how in the hell is that a good thing? There are those who pray for the demise of Harley and I ask the same thing, with thousands out of work how in the hell is that a good thing?