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.

Indonesian City Plans to Ban Women Straddling Motorcycles

01/03/2013 @ 2:03 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Indonesian City Plans to Ban Women Straddling Motorcycles horse side saddle

Fresh off the international presses, the Indonesian town of Lhokseumawe (population 170,000) aims to pass a regulation that would forbid women from straddling a motorcycle while a passenger on a male-riden motorbike. The town’s mayor, Suaidi Yahya, says the regulation aims to save people’s “morals and behaviors” — unsurprisingly, Lhokseumawe resides in the only region of Indonesia that follows Sharia law.

The regulation will now mean that women need to sit side-saddle when a passenger on a motorcycle, though it would seem that the regulation doesn’t apply if another women is driving the motorcycle. According to Mayor Suaidi, women can still sit straddled on the motorcycle when they are riding alone, assuming they are appropriately dressed.

For a little background, Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country (81% of the population follows Islam). However, while the rest of country practices a moderate form of the religion, the Aceh province, which has had special autonomy since 2001, is the only area in the democratic country that implements Sharia law.

Opposition in the Muslim community has already voiced its concerns about Suaidi’s proposed regulations, citing that Islam’s holy texts are mute about the proper way to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle. “How to ride a motorbike is not regulated in Sharia. There is no mention of it in the Koran or Hadiths,” said liberal Islamic activist Ulil Abshar Abdalla on his Twitter account.

Feminist groups in Indonesia have obviously comedown against the proposed regulation, adding that the region has more pressing issues than how a woman rides on the back of a motorcycle. Suaidi hopes to implement these regulations, as well as the side-saddle regulation, in a few months’ time.

In other news, Lhokseumawe also hopes to pass regulations that ban women from wearing tight trousers, and allows for the stoning of adulterers, as well as the flogging of homosexuals.

Source: BBC & Associated Press


  1. 76 says:

    Well sounds like that place has VA CA TION for me written all over it. Bravo jacktards of Sharia law, way to make your mark… a big fat brown one.

  2. for god sakes, in aceh province they have law that prohibit woman to wear jeans! In Jakarta itself this Sharia law in aceh province still remain controversial. bay the way, Aceh Province is the only province that have their own system, including Sharia Law, Political Party and they also had a ” Islamic law enforcement”

    Aceh itself didn’t represent Indonesia as a whole nation, they try to gain their independence since 1993-2003 to become Islamic nation. they are allowed to enforce Sharia Law as a compromise from central government.

    before 2010 aceh route is a great riding and touring destination. but since the enforce Sharia law, most of the tour are never beyond north Sumatra province. nobody wants put in prison for a year beacuse they ride with his girlfriend.

  3. Afletra says:

    I never understand Islam strict rules, although I’ve tried to…

  4. DareN says:

    Welcome to dark ages, yet again…

  5. Heatsoak says:

    Go to Malaysia, where it is illegal for an unmarried woman to be in a hotel room with a man. If caught by one of the patrols whose job it is to enforce such BS, the woman has a choice between being taken immediately to temple to marry the man, or going to jail.

    If the man is married already, that removes choice A.

    Shame the scuba diving is so good, because the rest of the country can take a flying leap…

  6. hoyt says:

     Suaidi Yahya needs laid

  7. Panigale and GSArider says:

    Last time we (indonesian central government) try to impose Secular law, it ended up in long time bloody civil war conflict. at the end aceh province are allowed to have Sharia Law.

    So what ? if u don’t like to live under Sharia Law in aceh, why you are not moving to other province ?

    neighbouring province North Sumatra is not under Sharia Law … 50% population is not a muslim … why bother ? or why aceh people not migrate to Jakarta ? or Bali ? we have a very good night live there …

  8. WetMan says:

    I guess you need to look for a girlfriend with a bike licence and snuggle up behind her…

  9. abahgiza says:

    i don’t know u guess here are so into this matter, i’m indonesian and i’m a muslim. that law is not Syaria law, that law is an opinion from the guy alone. i have to be honest that this issue in indonesia is not even in the corner of a news media because they have been exactly knowing that this is rubbish.
    n for u to understand, next time if u want to quote opinion about syaria (or anything else related to islam in indonesia) dont take ulil abshar abdala’s quote because he’s a complete idiot. nobody noticing him here, he’s only existed in twitter.

    just for a little fact, here in indonesia u can easily found a jilbaber ( a muslim woman with long veil clothes) in a famous universities riding a motorcycle as good as guy do, n yes they’re islamic syaria brainer know how n they’re a bike hardcore too.

  10. ... says:


    In Malaysia those things that you said is applicable only to muslims… and not at all to non-muslims…

    and BTW if a married muslim man is caught in those circumstances, he can still marry that girl, as muslims are allowed to have up to 4 wives LoL! (IMO it is more legally binding for a man towards a woman even if that woman is his 2nd, 3rd or 4th wife, by law as the legal status is still the same)

    Oh boy why did i reply to this… Anyway A&R please no more of this crap and more of 2 wheels awesomeness!