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.

Report: Massimo Bordi Out at MV Agusta

06/24/2013 @ 2:08 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Report: Massimo Bordi Out at MV Agusta Massimo Bordi Giovanni Castiglioni MV Agusta 635x423

Cycle World is reporting that Massimo Bordi has  retired from his post as CEO of MV Agusta, as his contract has not been extended by the Italian motorcycle maker. If you recall, Bordi was brought into MV Agusta by the late Claudio Castiglioni, after the Castiglioni family bought MV Agusta from Harley-Davidson.

Making his son Giovanni Castiglioni President of the company, and Bordi the CEO of MV Agusta, many saw Claudio Castiglioni’s choices in management appointments as a way to help ensure that there was a steady hand was on the wheel as the young Giovanni learned the ropes of his father’s business.

So, for many involved with the company in Italy, Bordi’s departure is perhaps less of a surprise than it is a natural and expected evolution at MV Agusta. For many outside of Italy, who are not caught up in the romanticism of the brand, the news could require a bit more than a casual glance though.

In many ways, MV Agusta is operating on the final bullet points of Harley Davidson’s game plan for the Italian brand. With product development cycles taking years to come to fruition, much of what we have seen from MV in the past few years was pitched during the company’s ownership by the goof folk in Milwaukee — most notably the MV Agusta F3 675, MV Agusta Brutale 675, and MV Agusta Rivale 800 owe their existence to Harley-Davidson.

Modernizing its operations, and clearing its debt, Harley-Davison is immensely responsible for the current state of MV Agusta, though the American company is reaping few of those rewards (we would still argue that the Harely’s circling the wagons around its core brand was the correct business move at the time).

With the plans set in motion by Harley-Davidson’s now reaching their realization, the next chapter of MV Agusta will come from its current leaders. Bordi’s influence will certainly be there, and their is a wealth of experience that comes from the former Ducati CEO. However, we think the coming years will surely be marked as Giovanni’s reign at MV Agusta.

Now officially in charge, it will be interesting to see what the 33-year-old CEO does with the iconic motorcycle brand.

Source: Cycle World


  1. after having seen that natgeo megafactories episode of mv, i really want to see these guys do well. i also really want a brutale or f3 as a next bike. even though the triumph equivalents are without a shadow of a doubt, “better.”

  2. Matt M says:

    Triumph being without” a shadow of a doubt” better is quite a statement. I think most who owned either or both of these brands would disagree with you. The attention to detail, fit and finish of the MV Agusta are at a level triumph only can dream about. Not to mention the MV Brutale 1090RR would piss all over the Speed Triple. Im not saying the triumph is crap, just not on the same level of MV Agusta.

  3. CTK says:

    Everyone knows MV Agustas are beautiful, but everyone knows they have shitty fueling. Lol @ spending $3-4K more on an MV and then having to spend another $500-1000 to fix the fuelling. Subjectively it’s up to taste but objectively Triumph wins. It’s not like the Triumphs are ugly anywa.

  4. Wil says:


    I beg to differ on the fueling. My F3 has been flawless, even on a recent 1800 mile road trip covering town, freeways, twisties and high speed sweepers.

    I hear that some of the first batch of F3s had issues, but that’s been fixed with ECU map updates.

    Now the quality of the seat foam… now there’s something that needs a little work. ;)

  5. smiler says:

    Dear Matt M. Anyone who has owned an MV will know their attention to build detail is hopeless (flaking wheel paint, bits falling off, side stand breaking), until recently there were serious issued with their fueling (plain dangerous at @2,500 – 4,000), parts were difficult to get hold of (3months) and they were very over priced (my 312 -30% of list price with one free service and a very nice race fairing). Suspension set up was a nightmare (scaffolding front forks, much too stiff for anything other than track use)
    But when it was good it was great and other than the 916, best looking bike out there.

    As for the Brutale / Speed Triple comparison, the triumph weighs less, makes fewer horses but more torque.
    Triumph sell well over 50K bikes per annum. The Speed Triple out sells the Brutale by a factor of 10:1.

    Having said all of that, the future for MV looks much better than a few years. Ago. The new bikes are achingly gorgeous, there are more of them to choose from as well as some clever step ups like the 800 F3. So I really hope they do well. And if you compare them with offerings from Japan, no contest.

  6. Matt M says:

    The snatchy throttle or fueling issues really have not been an issue in several years. Since 2010 on I believe the Brutale’s to respond much better. I can only speak for the model I actually have right now. And comparing the number of motorcycles built by both companies is ridiculous. Of course triumph can sell more bikes, they are a much larger company. Comparing two similar sized manufacturers would seem to make more sense .

  7. Damo says:

    “MV Agusta are at a level triumph only can dream about”

    Kind of like how Triumph have a dealer support network on MV can dream about.

    I live in the grim reaches of Northeast America and I will never buy an MV as long as their dealer network, service intervals and poor cost/return on their products exist.

    Ducati have come light years away from being finicky machines, hopefully MV can do the same.

  8. Ranger Jay says:

    My Daytona 675 came from the factory as perfect a piece of machinery as I have ever seen. I don’t see anywhere that its “fit and finish” is somehow in need of improvement. It looks fantastic, rides great, and I have my dealer nearby where I can depend on fast and reliable service. This is my second Triumph, and it has presented no problems whatsoever. I rode into work on it this morning, and it is absolutely gleaming in the sun as I look at it sitting in the parking lot next to a rather plain looking Honda CBR1000 (which also rides great, according to the owner).

    Triumph builds great motorcycles. And I don’t have to knock MV Agusta to say that, either.

  9. Kevin says:

    Agree with Damo 100%. Would love an MV but no way to get it serviced. My money will go to either a BMW, Ducati or KTM. All within 50 miles of my house. Which to pick? Tough question!