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.

Video: Sometimes It’s Just Not Your Day…

05/22/2013 @ 12:55 pm, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS

Video: Sometimes Its Just Not Your Day... russian motorcycle crash 635x423

The old adage with motorcycles is that it’s not if you crash, but when you crash. That is because over an infinite amount of time, your chances of riding a motorcycle without crashing drop to zero — if not but for the simple fact that you cannot control the actions of others.

Take for example our unfortunate Russian friend here, who had the misfortune of crossing over a path of diesel/oil/coolant left by a car on a highway off-ramp. Obeying all the laws of the road, he still ended rubber-side-up on the roadway, and left to pick-up the pieces after the crash…literally.

It is sort of a surreal video with the music choice, but serves as a good PSA for the ATGATT movement. Luckily this rider was able to walk away relatively unscathed, and his bike will live to ride another day as well. Be careful out there folks.

Source: Motor Pasion Moto

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  1. Dan says:

    Damn. A perfect reminder that there is no proven way to avoid all risks.

  2. Westward says:

    That’s why it’s called an accident, unless one meant to do it on purpose…

    Makes me think of all the cool kids riding without helmets. Reminds me of a line in LOTR, ” Go now and die in what manner seems best for you…”

  3. smoke says:

    Crap luck. Looks like something leaked a long smear of slippery shit down the road. I wonder what brand of top case that is so I don’t ever buy one.

  4. 310driver says:

    I got caught out on spilled diesel from a farm tractor or a truck with a fuel leak a couple of years ago. My accident looked scarily similar to this. I was barely in a turn and went down faster than I ever could have imagined. I remember yelling WTF inside of my helmet as I was tumbling down the road. There is ZERO traction on fresh diesel fuel on blacktop. I was OK and the bike was ready to roll in short order but sucks I couldn’t pin it on the asshat that spilled the fuel in the middle of the turn! ATTGAT for life!

  5. Gritboy says:

    Always assume residue or debris from other vehicles is in the middle of any lane.

  6. nakdgrl says:

    Notice how the cars stopped, but the only one to get out and help was another motorcyclist. We gotta stick together cause no one else gives a damn.

  7. sideswipeasaurus says:

    Yow. Yes in after accident analysis we see exactly why we should stay out of the center of the lane. Knowing before hand that there was going to be an accident it was easy to look for and see that slick down the center of the roadway. I just recently had an off similarly not keeping to road scripture and cut too close to the inside of a corner and found sand and gravel where it customarily congregates. Similar results. Happens to the best of us and the rest of us.

  8. area51 says:

    My endorsement instructor told my class about the same kind of thing happening to him and his group here in Florida. Anything can happen. Be alert! Stay safe!

  9. mariofz1 says:

    Been there, done that…My welcome to Miami was diesel fuel on one of the few and fun turns this city offer. Good thing I was chilling that day and instead going my usual speed, 55 , I doing 35 when I noticed the slick but was too late….A hole in my hand and a my posterior…bike was parked for a month waiting for parts….no, unfortunately you can’t control everything, you can only try….and wear your gear !

  10. Ouch. That had to hurt. It’s easy to armchair from afar, but avoid the centre of the lane. All manner of crap ends up there. Bah. Poor guy.

  11. motomuso says:

    Seems he failed to read the road surface and took the exact line of the spill. Does it look like he may have lost the rear a bit while braking before the turn at 00:10? That could have been a clue the road was oily. I’m not saying I’m a perfect rider; we all make mistakes and I have low-sided in a similar situation to sideswipasaurus.
    I’m glad he wasn’t hurt. It was also good to see another rider coming to his aid.

  12. andrey says:

    I watched this carefully and perhaps I am just fortunate but at 10 or 11 seconds into the vid I spotted the shiny arc in the middle of the lane and then easily saw the next big shiny line… he rode right into it. Perhaps he looked elsewhere momentarily… poor guy.

  13. Alasdair says:

    Glad to hear he was ok. from the cam you could easily see the slick but agree perhaps his eyes themselves were elsewhere. I usually ride in the middle of the lane because I get the impression that the driver in front will see me better in their rear view mirror but after watching this hell no. I wouldn’t have missed that slick though

  14. BBQdog says:

    Never seen something stupid like this. You can clearly see the oil track and even if it wasn’t an oiltrack an experienced cyclist would never ride over such marks.

  15. crashtd says:

    No point in crying over spilled milk….GET IT?!??!

  16. Nerve says:

    The problem with this type of accident is that instead of applying what you’ve learned “keep your eyes on the corner’s exit” you tend to look at the surface quality as it comes in your eyes focus. You all know how bad that habit is. The exit-theory can only be applied in confidence on a track day I’m afraid.

    When in midcorner I always hear Keith Code say : if you haven’t made a mistake, stick to the plan (ie keep the chain under tension and look to the outside, throttle control chapter basically).

  17. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    … can’t help but wonder when I watch this: what would Marc Marquez do?

  18. ML says:

    The ‘cagers’ did care enough to talk to him… you can tell as just about all of them had their window down and were attempting to communicate with him. If he were still on the road, I’m sure they would have stepped out to help.

    Honestly, it was clear that there was a patch of oil in the middle of the road. The rider probably fixated on the streak and road right into it.

    Glad to know he’s okay… I’m sure he’s out there riding again…

  19. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    “The old adage with motorcycles is that it’s not if you crash, but when you crash.”

    And people still choose to ride in shorts and flip flops…or “fight for their right” to not wear a helmet.

  20. TonyC says:

    Holy crap! I rode thru the same thing a few years ago. I was merging from one freeway to get on another freeway. The on-ramp is a fast sweeping turn with speed limit of 45. As I leaned toward my right to go thru that sweeping turn, I noticed an oil spill about 2 feet wide and about 20 feet long. The line I was taking it taking me right thru it…

    I didn’t have time to brake so I just stood my bike up and rode right thru it. Clutch in and tried to go as straight as I could. I felt the rear tire slid side to side for a bit. I ended up riding into the left shoulder gravel area. Had to change underwear after that….

  21. Shinigami says:

    I hate the negative mental game played by the “it’s inevitable” crowd.

    Mental management 101, people, if you accept a negative outcome your odds of experiencing one soar into the stratosphere.

    This WAS an avoidable accident, it’s not as if there was a swath of diesel/coolant/Vagisil across the entire surface.

  22. Westward says:

    @ Chaz MM

    He would use a lot of elbow and knee to try and save….

  23. sideswipeasaurus says:

    Nerve brings up a great point that I often encounter on the road. Correct riding has you looking where you want to go and up the road on the exit of any turn. I too find that doesn’t always apply on the street. I’m often changing focus back and forth between where I want to go and trying to keep an eye on road conditions as they come into view. For me the trick is not to spend too much time on the up close view as I fear that may result target fixation and over dramatic focus on where my tires will be in the next second or two. Lately I’ve added scanning road surfaces to the share of other glances taken like mirror checks. The street is a busy place for the eyes.

  24. TRL says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just an example of a simple lack of experience. To be fair, Russia is a country without the strong history of personal vehicle ownership or driver training that we are used to. In addition, the roads are not fabulous and, from my experience, there is no translation for the ideas of “vehicle inspection” or “traffic control” (all four lanes of the boulevard next to you turning left across traffic and all 5 lanes of the opposing lanes turning left across traffic with you AT THE SAME TIME, why yes thank you very much!).

    Although the upside is that you do find that the pedestrians are surprisingly fast.

    Good times…..

  25. PeteN95 says:

    It’s a good idea to stay to the inside on curving on and off ramps because fuel and oil is thrown to the outside!

  26. mxs says:

    Wow tough crowd here … AAR audience are only good riders and bunch of really good statisticians, eh?

    Don’t kid yourself that it cannot happen to you. Surely your ego would be bruised and you would never post about it, would you? You know who am I talking about ….

    Reminds me, when people do a slow motion replay and pick a referee up the stuff he has not seen when played full speed …

  27. TRL says:


    And how many of AAR readers are old enough to remember what the roads looked like 30 years ago. These days the center of the lane, the far side of the bump, and the outside of the turn are, generally, pretty damn clean. For the most part, the fluids stay in cars and trucks, not so much 30 years ago…

    Damn kids don’t know how lucky they are!

  28. mxs says:

    True, not many I assume …. the digital kids, you know … lOL

  29. TexusTim says:

    wow that guy is lucky he didnt go under that gaurdail and really get hurt….leeson of the day? watch the roadaway he might have missed it had he saw it…juts sayn even though it is not his fault whatsoever things can be avoided if attentive when ridding…just glad he walked away from it.