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 MotoGP.com 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.

Does the Ducati 1199 Panigale SP Cometh?

09/05/2012 @ 12:58 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Does the Ducati 1199 Panigale SP Cometh? Ducati 1199 Panigale SP rumor 635x475

You may have been hearing a bit about this EPA compliance spreadsheet that has been outing more than its fair share of new motorcycles for the 2013 model-year. Tipping us off to a number of Kawasaki’s soon-to-be-announced models, like the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300, the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 400R, the return of the 636cc Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, our continued torture with the carb-based Kawasaki Ninja 250R, EPA document also makes mention of a BMW F800GT, as well as a Ducati 1199 Panigale SP.

As any good Ducatisti knows, the Italian brand’s SP models boast more farkle for the buck, which helps Ducati move more product by doing a pseudo-update to the model. Out for only a year now, the Ducati 1199 Panigale has been selling well in the United States, as well as abroad, which makes this hint about an SP variant a bit surprising given the sales success thus far.

However peculiar, the EPA document lists the following models from Ducati under the the 1199 Panigale line item: 1199 Panigale ABS, 1199 Panigale S, 1199 Panigale SP, 1199 PanigaleS ABS, 1199PanigaleS TCLE ABS, which accounts for all the models currently in Ducati North America’s line-up, plus one extra: the SP version.

With Ducati already set to debut three versions of its water-cooled Hypermotard 848 at EICMA later this year, there are rumors the Ducati Superbike 848 could also be replaced, with several models getting re-worked as well. Our suspicion is that the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak edition will get an update with the livery the team ran at this year’s hill climb, while the Ducati 1199 Panigale SP could debut, and help make more sense out of the Panigale’s expensive price tag. As always, time will tell.

Source: EPA

Comment:

  1. Andrey says:

    Perhaps it needs to be in production in order to be homologated for racing somewhere in the world next year???

  2. Ed says:

    I just clicked on the EPA document link and I see no mention of Panigale or 1199 anywhere. Perhaps they have pulled it already ???

  3. Dc4go says:

    E.P.A. needs to look after more important than noise regs. on production bikes… Taking all the fun out of everything!!!

  4. paulus says:

    Maybe it will get the Japanese specification :)

  5. Ed, it would appear so. The latest list is short about 42 entries. Looks like the word got out ;)

  6. Damo says:

    I am SUPER interested in how the new Hypermotard turns out. I hope it drops with roughly the same power as the Sytreetfighter 848, but maybe in a package sans the rider aids. (I don’t personally need traction control on a bike with less than 140hp)

    If it is priced right that may be my new machine.

  7. DeezToolz says:

    This bike boasts more farkle? Is that a contraction of f_cking-sparkle, are you a Zonk player, or am I missing something?

  8. You need to spend more time abroad Deez.

    Farkles are the extra bits that people put on their bikes to compensate for the absence of other qualities, e.g. full system exhausts, carbon fiber bodywork, elaborate data recorders, and Knightrider-esque headlights.

  9. Theodore says:

    I did not find the Panigale SP in the spreadsheet you are talking about. Can you point it out to me?

  10. sunstroke says:

    I think the new SP will be a 1000cc motorcycle. Ducati are not keen on the 1200cc rules b/c they don’t like the air restrictors or the performance balancing. They have withheld the 1199 Panigale from WSBK competition this year specifically b/c they don’t care for the current rules.

    Next year, the rules are set to change as the five-year rules contract expires. The new technical rules and homologation procedures will probably recreate a level playing field for all 1000cc motorcycles. Unlike 2007, Ducati have the financial means, thanks to the reorganization and the Audi purchase, to pursue 1000cc SBKs.

  11. I want some of whatever you’re on.