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 Sales up 22.4% in 2011 Thanks to India

02/17/2012 @ 1:21 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

KTM Sales up 22.4% in 2011 Thanks to India KTM 125 Duke illustraion 635x536

If you want a quick synopsis of how the European motorcycle brands performed in 2011, they killed it. BMW, Ducati, Triumph, and now KTM have all reported double-digit sales growth figures for 2011, a stark contrast to the still struggling sales of Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha.  Reporting a 22.4% sales increase last year, KTM made a cool €20.7 million in the process of selling its 81,200 units in 2011 (KTM sold 66,327 units in 2010).

Leading the Austrian company’s growth was the KTM 125 Duke, which has been a huge hit in India, its country of origin, but has also helped grow KTM’s market share in Europe. KTM is also reporting that its latest EXC models have helped spur sales, but we suspect it is the new small-displacement Duke, which was made with developing markets in mind, that is really responsible for the surge in sales growth. KTM says that it expects sales in Europe and North America to remain flat, while the company expects to see growth in emerging markets continue (no surprise there).

“The successful launch of the 125 Duke and the new Enduro Competition generation were crucial for these increases,” said KTM CEO & Chairman Stefan Pierer. “KTM’s market share in Europe increased by 30% from 4.9% to 6.3% compared to previous year. Hence, KTM is the most successful brand and outpaced its competitors clearly.”

Riding the wave on motorcycling’s new map to success, the KTM 200 Duke has already hit Indian dealerships. For 2012, KTM expects to sell 20,000 motorcycles in India alone, or to put it in other terms roughly 1 in 5 motorcycles KTM builds will be bought in India this year. In other news, Bajaj laughed all the way to the bank. Expect to see the KTM 350 Duke hit US soil sometime in 2013.

Source: KTM


  1. MikeD says:

    YUP, the small fries is where the FLOW is at. Best of luck and rampant success to them. The more $ they make the more $ available for R&D on new models and classes.
    A small/ligth yet good looking bike it’s starting to sound more and more atractive to my “ways and style”…the 03 SV1000N it’s starting to feel a bit heavy at times already…and riding it under 75mph feels like WALKING IT…wind blast ? WHAT wind blast ? LOL.

  2. Anant Bhatia says:

    The BIG error in this article is that the KTM Duke 125 is NOT FOR SALE IN INDIA. Duke 125 has sold ZERO units in India, its country of origin. The Duke 200 bookings were started 18 days back and I doubt if any have been delivered as of now, so thats another ZERO! No other KTM product is for sale in India as of now.

  3. rattle says:

    @anant you r right about duke 125 not being sold in india. it’s the duke 200 that is on sale. but wtf- country of origin? the bike was designed by ktm engineers not bajaj. bajaj only sell and use ktm technology to an extent.

  4. Pushkar says:

    The KTM Duke 125 has never been for sale in India. And only the bookings for the KTM Duke 200 have opened. Get your facts right!

  5. BBQdog says:

    On January 24, 2012 the 200 Duke was presented to the public in New Delhi for the first time. With this model KTM – in cooperation with Bajaj – enters the Indian market for the first time and expects sales of more than 20,000 motorcycles. The 200 Duke is the first KTM-model that is available worldwide.

    …. enters the Indian market for the first time ….

  6. BBQdog says:

    On sites from India they are even speaking of 250 and 300 versions !

  7. IBman says:

    Wrong facts!

    The KTM 125 and the KTM 200 are both co-developed by Bajaj and KTM. So yes it is an ‘Indian’ bike that you blokes in Europe hip hop on.

    The KTM 125 is not in sale in India.

    The KTM 200 has just begun its bookings.

    And a pinch of salt: ALL parts on the KTM 125 and the KTM 200 are made in India, and yes the Duke 350 is next in line.

  8. BBQdog says:

    Why a pinch of salt ?

  9. mxs says:


    you are 100% wrong by saying that all parts on KTM125 and 200 are made in India. the bike is assembled in India and many parts are made in India, but certainly not all.

    The one thing about KTM is that it always excited me to read that they do well. Lately though I stopped caring, be cause where I live (Canada) they almost don’t exist. They seem to ignore North American market pretty good. I do realize that it started with the economic downturn, but still all they are known for here is off-road in my opinion. There’s one RC8 I have seen and a couple of Dukes, different models ever …

    I am not sure how their recent success thanks to India will trickle down to where I live or North America in general. You see Honda, Ducati really communicating frequently with their potential buyers, I don’t remember last time seeing any announcement from KTM North America. Do they even exist?? Because I would love to ask them why the new Duke 690 ain’t hitting our shore ….