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.

Husqvarna & Husaberg Will “Reunite” After 25 Years Apart

05/16/2013 @ 3:47 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Husqvarna & Husaberg Will Reunite After 25 Years Apart husaberg husqvarna 635x423

Ever since Pierer Industrie AG bought Husqvarna from the BMW Group, there has been a great deal of speculation as to how the Italian-based Swedish-born brand would fit within the KTM empire. With zie Austrians needing another dirt bike marque like a hole in the head, it was curious to see KTM add a third off-road brand name to its stable of two-wheeled machines.

Adding even more intrigue to the situation, Stefan Pierer announced that he would discontinue Husqvarna’s pursuit of on-road machines with his acquisition, starting with the Husqvarna Nuda 900, and that he would also be closing down the bulk of the brand’s very beleaguered Italian operations, much to the chagrin of local officials and worker unions.

Now, the next chapter of Husqvarna is set to unfold, with the announcement of a new company, Husqvarna Sportmotorcycle GmbH, which unsurprisingly will be based in Mattighofen, Austria and will build off the technology that Husaberg has developed, while using the more recognizable Husqvarna name.

While no one has officially stated that this is the end of Husaberg as a separate brand, it is implied from the company’s actions and wordings in its press release (of course, we have attached the press release so you can draw your own conclusions on the matter).

Describing how the two brands would “reunite” in what they started 25 years ago, the presumed conclusion is a fitting one for the Husaberg name, which started life as an offshoot of Husqvarna after it was acquired by Cagiva, and several of its engineers declined to move to Italy, instead staying behind in Sweden.

Plans for a new 2013 line are already in place, and it is expected to debut to the public at the 2013 EICMA show in Milan, Italy.

Press Release from Husaberg:

HUSQVARNA AND HUSABERG REUNITED

“WE BRING TOGETHER WHAT BELONGS TOGETHER”

The year 2013 will be remembered in motorcycling history as the year that Husqvarna was reborn.

HUSQVARNA STARTS A NEW ERA OF GREAT SUCCESS
Following the acquisition of Husqvarna by Pierer Industries AG and after careful analysis and evaluation of all aspects, it was decided to reunite what came out of shared roots 25 years ago. In other words, Husqvarna will enter a positive new era by combining its own rich heritage with Husaberg’s state-of-the-art technology.

NEW HUSQVARNA MODEL LINEUP TO BE PRESENTED IN OCTOBER
The new generation of Husqvarna models is already in progress: a new line-up, with brand new exclusive design and the latest technology is being developed and will be offered in the segments Enduro, Motocross and Sportminicycles. There will also be exciting, newly developed products in the Supermoto segment – one in which Husqvarna has enjoyed a lot of success in recent years.

DON´T MISS THE PRESENTATION OF THE NEW HUSQVARNA OFFROAD LINEUP IN SWEDEN; PLANNED FOR EARLY OCTOBER 2013. The new line-up will be presented to the big fan community at the international EICMA show in Milan in early November.

HUSQVARNA SPORTMOTORCYCLE GMBH, OPERATIONAL AS OF OCTOBER 2013
As of October 2013, the new group company “Husqvarna Sportmotorcyle GmbH” based in Mattighofen, Austria, will be fully operational in the production and sale of the new model range to the Husqvarna network of dealers and distributors. Parts supply and Customer Service for all Husqvarna models up to and including Model Year 2013 are guaranteed for the years to come and will remain at the current business location in Biandronno (VA), Italy.

Source: Husaberg

Comment:

  1. Jonathan says:

    Hmmm, what’s blue, yellow, red, white and orange all over? And which color KTMs will Graham Jarvis and Dave Knight be riding next year? Offroad motorcycling just got a lot duller. At least we still have TM, Beta, Gasgas, Sherco etc. here in Europe, but for how much longer?

  2. good dog says:

    Well, throw out all our speculations, it’s all a good ending for Husqvarna. I am saddened a little that we won’t see the Nuda ….. or will we…..

  3. BrianZ says:

    Huskaberg?

  4. shaller says:

    GOOD ENDING????????????????
    212-240 workers losing their jobs is a good ending????????
    Are you joking?
    BMW and PIERER/KTM are international thieves!!!

  5. Brett says:

    The overlay image is really cool, seriously.

  6. sideswipe says:

    The real question is/was would these companies be viable on their own in a declining moto market? I don’t think the consolidation is because they are growing and thriving independently. Otherwise it wouldn’t make sense to merge them. Change isn’t necessarily bad. Husaberg came to be out of Husky for a reason and now are reabsorbed for a reason not simply as an evil plot to lay people off. I wonder how they will split the market segments between KTM and Husqvarna. KTM have been growing in larger and smaller street bikes for years now while Husqvarna is pretty much only a name in high performance off road to most. Interesting if they further go those directions with KTM for street bikes and Husqvarna for off road. ?

  7. paulus - Thailand says:

    Husqvarna was spiralling down the toilet when BMW then Pierer industries bought them out.
    There is no ‘KTM’ evil plan to lay off people… the blame for the lay offs lays firmly with Husqvarna management decisions and a global recession over the last few years.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Less choice for customers is never a good thing – it’s hardly like the offroad scene is exactly flourishing at the moment anyway. A “one make series” with a single company calling the shots isn’t going to help anyone who is interested in dirt as a participation sport / leisure activity (because there’s far more to offroad than MX and SX).r

    Perhaps (and I’m in serious wishful thinking mode here) one day the Japanese will sink a few yen into interesting and innovative dirtbikes and raise the bar a little. Much of the output from KTM (and Husky, to be fair) over the last few years ha been at best “adequate” rather than stellar, because it simply hasn’t had to be that good.

    And manufacturers selling underdeveloped, flaky, high maintenance competition derived bikes with plates has done immense damage to participation levels in dual sport and it probably hasn’t done a lot of good for the supermoto scene either:

    “Are you coming out for a ride this afternoon?”

    “No, I have to change my oil and filter.”

    “You did that last weekend.”

    “Yeah, but I don’t want to break another big end. And anyway, I’ve just spent $1000 on four new valves, so I have to check the clearances. And the poxy Magura clutch is dragging even worse than normal, so I have to look at that. Anyway, by the time we get back it’ll be dark and you know how useless my lights are…”

    etc.

    Riding a dirtbike is like a trip back to the 1980′s – and in a bad way. A giant rickroll. C’mon manufacturers – save the competition bikes for competition and give non – superhuman riders bikes that they can actually ride, because it’s clear that fewer and fewer people are buying the current hardware. [/rant]