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.

KTM Reconfirms “Faired” and “Travel” Duke 390 Models

12/03/2012 @ 6:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

KTM Reconfirms Faired and Travel Duke 390 Models 2013 ktm moto3 250 gpr production racer 635x423

For some time now, we have known that KTM intended to bring a 300cc-class version of its KTM 125 Duke motorcycle to market, thanks primarily to a leaked product road map that covered the Austrian company’s product line-up clear through the 2014 model year.

Slotted to bring the KTM 390 Duke to the US market this coming spring, the leaked road map has so far proven to be accurate, and has two interesting machines listed for 2014: the KTM Moto3 350 & KTM Enduro 350.

Now confirmed by KTM’s CEO Stefan Pierer, KTM will debut a “faired” model (the KTM Moto3 350) and a “travel” model (KTM Enduro 350), which are based off the KTM 390 Duke platform, and will share the bike’s 375cc single-cylinder engine.

Talking to India’s CNBC-TV18, Pierer stated that KTM will continue to rollout models every six months, with the faired sport bike and enduro model included in that plan. This is the second time that Pierer’s has confirmed the “faired” machine, which is said to take heavy cues from the company’s Moto3 race bike.

News on the “enduro” model, however, has been a rarity, and the bike is in full-speculation mode. With conjecture raging from something that is more adventure-touring related, to something that is more along the lines of a street motard, it is still anyone’s guess what will debut from the Austrian brand.

Continuing his talk with CNBC-TV18, Pierer also outlined his plans in India, where a sub-200cc Duke will be built for that market, as well as KTM’s plans to push into Malaysia and Indonesia.

Interestingly enough though, the Austrian does not see KTM making its way into China anytime soon, saying “In China I am very careful because for me the culture doesn’t fit with my culture. So, as a race brand I want to win. If you go to China, you can just get the second place and that’s not what I like.”

The full interview is pretty interesting and worth a watch/read. Check it out on CNBC-TV18′s website.

Source: CNBC-TV18 via


  1. froryde says:

    Hope it’s not made in India by Baja – not very impressed with the rusting bolts and overall build quality on my brother’s Duke 200…

  2. Tim says:


    is the Duke 390 supermoto stilling going to be in the USA line up or are we just going to get the 390 Full Fairing Moto3 Replica?

  3. BBQdog says:

    Party time !!!!

  4. Halfie30 says:

    It would be amazing if the make the “Moto 3″ bike look like Thr RC8. I would totally get one instead of trying to obtain an RC8.

  5. Damo says:

    I REALLY want to test ride the 390 Duke. Weighs less than the CBR250 and has almost 1.8 times the horse. Going to be a fun little bike, provided the maintenance schedule isn’t crazy.

  6. Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

    There’s already a 350 SX, EXC and XC-W in the US lineup. My guess is the 390 Enduro will be a kider, gentler dual purpose bike. If it has great suspension, I would be interested in that since they do not seem to want to bring the Freeride over here.

  7. tyler says:

    This is exciting news – I think we all knew it was going to happen based on the tidbits of info over past months… the prospect of a small-ish KTM track bike option either in sportbike or supermoto form is almost reality..

    I really hope they bring a supermoto version of this out… or have easily swappable accessories for on/off road customization between each discipline).

  8. DeafDaddy says:

    I can’t imagine the MSRP of the faired 375cc sportbike; with the Duke 390 MSRP rumored to be around $6,500, that could put the faired counterpart’s MSRP in the ballpark around $7,000+. Sure, it’ll have the KTM moniker but c’mon, 7G for a single-cyclinder 375cc sportbike?

  9. MikeD says:

    Thumbs Up.
    Smaller, Fresh, Affordable NEW Products can’t get here soon enough.


    I hear you about the possible M.S.R.P’s.
    They better keep those 3rd world country assembly plants with SUPER CHEAP labor at full steam to keep the prices as low as posible.
    It may sound short sighted at best but just like you i can’t see myself forking over 7G’s for a measly although “fully faired” 1 CYLINDER 375cc engined bike.
    It just doesn’t compute on my “caveman” brain…(^_^) LOL.

    I hope too it look like a Mini RC8R…or better ?

    Same thoughts on the “dual sport/w/e it ends up being/looking” version…please don’t make it AS HIDEOUS AS the Big Rigs (Caponord, ChickenStrada, 1190 Adventure and the Japan Inc versions.)

  10. I’d very surprised if either bike cost that much.

  11. Jeram says:

    I’m hoping a few of them go bang early on, as I wouldnt mind snapping up a damaged one cheap to pop a KTM300/380 motor in it.

  12. tyler says:

    I can’t imagine they would go $7k… maybe 6… what’s that new CB500R at in USD?

  13. Halfie30 says:

    If you look at how much Kawi is askinmfor the new 300 Ninja, I could easily see the faired bike costing 7 grand or perhaps a bit more. Already owning a Duc I kind of see KTM medeling road going bikes in a similar fashion.

    So if KTM released a supersport bike comparable to the 848 it would run about a grand to 1500 less tha the Duc. Easily leaving a gap to charge more than 7 grand for their “entry level” faired bike.

  14. Be prepared for something more like the Honda CB500X than the KTM 450 SMR on the enduro/touring model.

  15. @Jensen: “I’d very surprised if either bike cost that much.”

    I wouldn’t be all that surprised. Here in Japan, the 200 Duke sells for ¥489,000, which comes in at US$5,971 at the current exchange rate. Granted, markets have their own pricing structures and Japan tends to be somewhat on the expensive side, but …

    Pricy little bugger.

  16. You hit the nail on the head with “markets have their own pricing structures.”

    If I had to estimate the pricing, I’d say the KTM 390 Duke will be $5,500 USD, not $6,500. KTM on average prices the $1.25 to the GBP, and keeps the euro and dollar very close.

    This is a bike that sells for £4,500 and €5,000 abroad, that has to compete against sub-$5,000 bikes here in the USA.

  17. Regardless of the pricing, I can only hope that the Moto3 350 finds its way to the Canadian market. Given that they don’t even have the 990 SM T (love that one) in Canada, I doubt the smaller road bikes will make the grade.

  18. mxs says:

    I was hoping he would say that the useless KTM NA management will be replaced soon.

    Also, I find it a bit misleading for him to say that in US they are bigger or as big as BMW …. only thanks to the dirt bikes. As far as road bikes are concerned, it’s no contest the orange guys are getting their butt kicked … big time. I have to ride days before I run into a street KTM bike. He surely doesn’t lack self-esteem … LOL

  19. a tom says:

    I thought Bajaj was only putting together the smaller KTM’s for the India market? Or are they in charge of global manufacturing as well?

    In either case, Bajaj is not known for their build quality, but they’re now well above where they used to be… trending positively!

    And pricing: the Kawa EX250 (hate the dilution of the ‘Ninja’ subbrand) in Japan is Y510k machine only ($6.2k) vs $4.5k in the US, so that KTM 200 Duke is really not obscenely overpriced.

    As you said, just be glad if it hits your market! 400′s are a great city rider with sufficient power for some highway riding, wish Ducati still made the L-twin Monster 400s… with the Termi’s, yum!

  20. “And pricing: the Kawa EX250 (hate the dilution of the ‘Ninja’ subbrand) in Japan is Y510k”

    In fact, if you spring for the Ninja 250 ABS Special Edition, it’ll run a cool ¥603,000 MSRP.

    “wish Ducati still made the L-twin Monster 400s… with the Termi’s, yum!”

    No kidding!

  21. BBQdog says:

    I have always wondered why KTM hasn’t also made some kind of fairing version of the KTM Duke 690.×418.jpg

  22. MikeD says:

    Looking at those prices of the JDM Ninja 250 all i can say is that most of the time we(USA) have it pretty good when it comes to pricing (from gasoline to the bikes itself).

  23. MikeD says:



    The only KTM i see around are the ones for sale on Craigslist…and then most of it are dirt bikes and the odd Duke 990 now and then (VERY, VERY, VERY ligthly used).

    Luckily (or is that oddly ?) i have a KTM dealer probably what seems like 7 miles away ? I would almost put my wang under a machete that 99.9% of their sales are dirt bikes.

  24. Mikeg81 says:

    Hopefully that ‘Moto3′ 390 is a proper sportsbike, not a high-bar CBR250-style learner machine.

    If KTM goes that route, I’ll have my YZF600 in on trade in a heartbeat.