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.

Happy 30th Birthday to the Kawasaki Ninja

02/12/2014 @ 12:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Happy 30th Birthday to the Kawasaki Ninja kawasaki ninja 30 years

The Kawasaki Ninja line began life with the Kawasaki GPZ900R (the Ninja 900 to its friends) in 1984. Now 30 years later, Kawasaki is celebrating three decades of Ninja motorcycles, a model name that has become synonymous with the sport bike segment.

While the Ninja 900 began as Maverick’s daily ride in the movie Top Gun, the model sparked what would later become the superbike wars amongst the Japanese manufacturers.

The Ninja name has grown in time to become the Ninja ZX-10R superbike, refined itself to become the Ninja ZX-14R sport-tourer, and also grown into the small-displacement offerings of the Ninja 250R and Ninja 300, with many models in between.

A Ninja also just recently won the World Superbike Championship – not bad for a Gen-Xer. So we bid Happy Birthday to the Ninja, and hope for another 30 years of awesome green bikes with the Ninja name emblazoned upon them. Got a story about your Ninja? Leave it in the comments.

Source: Kawasaki


  1. Ian John says:

    i have to say, and i was only in a conversation on this not so long ago; the two Ninjas i have had in the past were somewhat epic in a way. The other bikes held great motorcycling moments, but there is a twinkle in my Ninja history that is significant on thrill and reliability.
    Happy Birthday Ninja……..whats our big up and coming surprise????????
    Editors note;
    92 CBR 250
    99 ZX-6
    05 CBR 1000
    08 ZX-10
    12 S1kRR

  2. Jan says:

    Still riding one of those supersport icons; a 2001 Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R!
    Done a lot of Kilometers throug Europe on that green machine. Heavy but stable, bit older but a timeless design!
    And no technical issues – at all!
    Dreamed of this bike when I was a kid. Sometimes I feel like buying a new one but man, I love this iconic bike!

  3. Manny varela says:

    I ride an 06 zx6r.
    And overall its just the perfect bike
    For my needs. Has been very reliable,fast
    Enough for me, and always admired ninjas
    Since i was a kid.
    Maybe in the not so distant future
    I will upgrade to a zx10.
    But for now
    This 636 is siiiick!
    And worthy of the street.

  4. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    as a longtime fan of the bike I bought a green 636 Ninja last year. All Ninja’s should be lime green. Fast little bugger. Thoroughly modern too.

    Happy Birthday Ninja!

  5. keiths04 says:

    09′ zx6r purchased in 2010 (first bike)
    mileage 54000ish

    Lets just say as soon as i was able to get a license and my first bike, zx6r, ive been hooked and somewhat addicted to motorcycling especially the world of sportbikes. As a newb i thought i could handle a 600 class sportbike as my first but if i could do it again i would have maybe started with a smaller bike. But i didnt so yes ive loved every minute with my zx6r. 54,000 mi and around 6 crashes later on the same bike, youll learning a few things about motorcycling. I cant believe it took me so long to get on two wheels but better late than never. while my friends were learning wheelies i would talk about lean angles, body positioning, throttle inputs, etc. things which these bikes are made to do. Thats what i love about this sport/lifestyle, the never ending learning process. Always learning, evolving, perfecting your craft. I just hope i can keep doing it for many more years. Ride safe guys.

  6. scott says:

    I still own my 1985 red/black zx900A2 Ninja – I purchased the new bike in April of 1985 – (Yes I’m old…. thanks! )over 45k in real street miles on the clocks and I have managed to keep it looking new. The bike is a time capsule of the hop ups that were out through the ’80′s – Super trap slip ons with 10 plates / euro spec lower clip ons / Lockhart Lowers for better cooling, Ninja 1000 Carbs, etc…
    It’s not a daily rider any more…. parts are too scarce, but I do get it out for an occasional Sunday sport ride and take it to the bike nights and events – try to log at least 500-1000 miles a year on it…. had it parked up at the Kawasaki tent at Americade last year … it was displayed there at the 10th and 20th anniversaries as well.
    Still a fast competent sport bike, bullet proof build and on real roads it can still easily stay with or run away from newer models…. and yeah, an open straight or a fast track…. the new ones are now so much better everywhere – but a street ride through the mountains 75+ top speeds… still has everything it needs to light up a smile that can’t be slapped from your face! And the looks of surprise on the peoples faces that they were loosing ground to a 29 year old bike….Still my favorite sport bike… out of all the others I have owned over the last 30 years, and those include some great machines….. I plan to be buried on my Ninja!

    Had a 1990 ZX7 as well…. that honestly I wish I had not sold…. kind of fat, but for it’s time it was a blast to ride!! And holy crap Green…… the only color the 7 should have ever been!

    My son now carries on the Ninja tradition owning both a new ZX6 – and a Ninja 650R track bike…… the 900 Ninja being his earliest memories of growing up around motorcycles and the first bike he ever got a ride on.

  7. Don says:

    Ive had my Ninja 2011 250R for 3 yrs now with 26,500 miles on it.. (from work)
    never had a problem. very reliable and I usually get around 65 MPG..
    great bike.
    Happy bday Ninja..!

  8. froryde says:

    Surprised they haven’t announced any anniversary special edition(s) yet. My brother had an AR80 when he was in college and everyone on campus called him/it the Little Ninja ;)

  9. Kaw4Life says:

    Bring back the Z1R !!!!!


  10. H.L. says:

    09 ZX-6R (Black)

    One of my dreams/goals finally came true when I bought my ninja after working so hard and often times two jobs. I was a little youngblood when I first laid eyes on green ninjas owned by the older guys around the neighborhood. I fell in love instantly. I knew in my heart that I could ride a 600 as my first bike. I studied riding techniques, read books, mentally rode to work downshifting and upshifting in my mind as I drove to work (funny), watched MotoGP, AMA etc.. My Ninja has been nimble enough to get me out of several potential accidents and I have been accident free so far (Thank you Jesus). I can honestly say it has helped me with depression from losing my grandmother and my good friend and co-worker just two months apart. God and my Ninja are my weapons against the trials and tribulations that life brings.

  11. Saffron says:

    Happy with a yammie but will one day join the ninja family