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.

The Top 15 Motorcycling Roads According to AMA Members

03/16/2011 @ 9:55 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

The Top 15 Motorcycling Roads According to AMA Members best motorcycle road in the united states 635x476

The American Motorcyclist Association has taken nominations and votes on where the best motorcycling roads in the United States are located. With over 100 roads were submitted, the organization’s 230,000 person membership voted on the entries via the AMA’s website (although were not told how many actually voted). With the tallies finally in, the AMA has chosen 15 routes in all, with some honorable mentions as well.

With an equal showing of roads in the west coast, Rocky Mountains, and southern states, the AMA’s list also includes roads in the midwest and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, seemingly leaving not region unaccounted for in the results. Did your favorite road gain the top spot as “The Best Motorcycling Road” according to AMA members? Find out after the jump.

15. Washington Route 129 and Oregon Route 3, Clarkston, Wash., to Enterprise, Ore.

14. Ohio Route 170, Calcutta to Poland.

13. California Route 58, McKittrick to Santa Margarita.

12. U.S. Route 33, Harrisonburg, Va., to Seneca Rocks, W.Va.

11. Natchez Trace, from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville, Tenn.

10. Angeles Crest Highway, California Route 2.

9. U.S. Route 12, Lolo Pass, Idaho and Montana.

8. California Route 36.

7. Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina and Tennessee.

6. Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana.

5. California Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway.

4. U.S. Route 550, from Ouray to Durango, Colo.

3. U.S. Route 129 — The Tail of the Dragon — on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

2. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina.

1. Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming.

Source: AMA; Photo: Hitesh Shah / Creative Commons – Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic


  1. Roads 12 and 2 are awful. Stay away, there is nothing to see there. :P

  2. Dabber says:

    I know Matthew is just kidding cause they are awesome!! Sky line Drive isn’t bad either.

  3. Other Sean says:

    Yay, I did number 4 last year in my home state of Colorado. I’m sure it would be a much better road if I lived close enough to do it frequently. But it’s a seatfoam harvesting ride the first time! Mountain wall one side, sheer cliff on the other in some spots! Great post, wish i didn’t have to work and could just drive around and do these rides.

  4. MrP says:

    Wow, really surprised that 30th Street between 10th and 2nd avenues in Manhattan did not make the list.
    No Northeast routes?

  5. Keith says:

    There is a short little road right by GTTSR that is MAYBE 15mi long, marked 25mph and it makes the GTTSR look like an interstate. 1 3/4 lane twisty enough that by the time you finsh you are wonderning WHY it didn’t loop back entirerly on it’s self. No I wont tell you where it is, heck most locals dont’ know about it adn I’m impressed that google view attempted it in the fall after a bit of snow/ice. 8^) fat bike, sport tourers and sport bikes should avoid it and GTTSR. Them bikes are to big and handle too poorly…go ride lol pass or beartooth. OR ride from salmon, id to missoula. ;^) that one is almost twisty.

  6. Philip says:

    I wish I lived somewhere with nice roads, Houston sucks for bikers not just because of the bad traffic and shitty drivers but the topography here is flat as hell, nothing remotely scenic and absolutely no twisties – all straights.

  7. 76 says:

    Philip, thats why God invented racetracks

  8. Keith says:

    also phillip, that’s why uhaul and good maps exist. ;^)

  9. The Top 15 Motorcycling Roads According to AMA Members #motorcycles

  10. adam says:

    I cant believe Highway 2 is in there. Its okay, lots of twisties but not a top 10 road. Too many drifters, sightseers, gravel, busted up pavement from snow. I’m really surprized they Highway 49 in Californina gold country did not make the list, far better road than ACR. Hwy 49 is one of the purest stretches of highway fun I ever rode. Mile after mile of pristine black and yellow ribbon undulating through the northern California countryside. Nary a car or other vehicle on the road. Add to that the beautiful old villages along the way to stop for refreshment and historical imbibement, it makes for a stunning weekend road trip. Start in Placerville and work your way down through Sutters Mill, Sonora, Jamestown, Angels Camp, Columbia. End up in Mariposa with your lungs full of fresh Yosemite air. How this epic stretch of road was left of and crappy old ACR got on leaves me to question the validity of this list. Hmmm.

  11. RT @MissAdventuring: The Top 15 Motorcycling Roads According to AMA Members #motorcycles

  12. Bobcat Sig says:

    Going to the Sun Road in Glacier is NOT a good motorycling road. The road is absolutely trashed. It is always wet, it is exceptionally narrow and it is habitually clogged with slow Harley and Goldwing riders. Nevermind the rubbernecking tourists. As a Montanan, I don not recommend it – at all. Sure, it’s scenic, but it’s better done from a cage.

    Also, I’m surprised Hwy 101 in Northern California on up to Hwy199 into Grants Pass, OR isn’t mentioned. That’s an epic ride!

  13. nakdgrl says:

    Route 1 in CA — oh yeah!

  14. rparker says:

    There must be a lot of Harley and Gold Wing voters because any sport biker would be lulled into sleep on 2. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina. IMO 3. U.S. Route 129 is the most overrated Motorcycle road in unless you enjoy following hoards of Harleys and sports cars. Besides, you can fit about 10 129s into Lolo Pass. I’m a bit surprised that 8. California Route 36 is mentioned without notice to California 299. They are both awesome roads.

    The state of Colorado has more and better routes than anywhere else in the country. Being home to roughly 52 of the Rockies 54 15,000 foot mountains is more than enough indication for any obsessed rider.

    Besides the popular twisty routes which I love there are routes like MT 200, NV 50 and UT 95/24 where the only things to slow you down are deer, cows, pictographs and geography that’s beyond my description.

    On March 23, 2011, after receiving 6″ of snow in Minneapolis, MN, I reminisce and long to crank up the k1200rs and tour our great roads.

  15. Keith says:

    rparker….shhhh don’t mention MT 200 or UT 95/24. I’d rather not have riff raff on those roads. It’s too late for lolo and 93. Oh well, when I’m feeling froggy I swipe the wifes ninjette to go spank sprot bikes on those roads.