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.

2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez

03/22/2012 @ 1:32 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 635x523

Light on sponsors, but heavy on style, the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 broke cover today at the Jerez. The 1,000cc inline four-cylinder machine will catapult factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, as well as satellite riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad, as they attempt to overturn the Honda supremacy of last season.

With more than 240hp at the crank, there can be little doubt that the new M1 will be blisteringly quick, and 220+ mph speed trap times are already being pondered for fast tracks like Mugello. Called the best bike in the paddock by Repsol Honda boss Shuhei Nakamoto, the tuning-fork brand seems set to give Casey Stoner and HRC a run for their money in their Championship defences. Photos and technical specifications after the jump.

“It’s very exciting to be here so close to the first race. I love the new livery and Yamaha’s hard work has given us a very competitive bike to fight with this season,” said former MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo. “It’s good to be here at a different track to test against our competitors before we start next month. It was a pleasure to see so many of our MotoGP media friends here to take part in the launch, nice to see so many take their picture with my bike!”

“I’m loving the new bike, man it’s great to be back on a 1000cc machine!” added American Ben Spies. “The riding style is much closer to my natural way of riding which makes it a lot more fun. The colors look great so I’m ready to get out there tomorrow for our final shakedown before Qatar.”

Technical Specifications of the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1:

Engine: 1000cc liquid-cooled, inline four-cylinder, four stroke
Power: more than 240 horsepower (176Kw)
Transmission: 6-speed extractable with various choices reports
Chassis: Aluminium twin tube, with various geometrical possibilities of steering angle, distance, height. Aluminum swingarm
Suspension: Ohlins inverted fork and rear shock, all adjustable for preload, compression damping and rebound damping adjustable high and low speeds. Various rear suspension available
Looking for: MFR, diameter 16.5 inches front and rear
Tires: Bridgestone, 16.5 inches diameter
Brakes: Brembo,. two 320mm carbon fiber and double clamp with 4 opposed pistons. Single stainless steel rear disc brake caliper 2-piston calipers
Weight: 157 kg according to FIM regulations

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 01 635x423

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 05 635x423

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 13 635x954

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 12 635x952

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 15 635x422

2012 Yamaha YZR M1 Breaks Cover at Jerez 2012 Yamaha YZR M1 16 635x954

2012 Yamaha YZR-M1:

2012 Yamaha Racing Livery:

2012 Yamaha Factory Team Livery for Jorge Lorenzo:

2012 Yamaha Factory Team Livery for Ben Spies:

Source: Yamaha Racing

Comment:

  1. AC says:

    I’m digging the livery.

  2. Westward says:

    Not sure I’m digging Spies’ new number plate. May take a while for me to warm up to it, otherwise, it’s a right clean looking bike…

  3. FeelgoodInc says:

    IMHO the best looking M1 since the glorious Gauloises livery in 04 and 05. Specifically 04. For me though, its a shame not to see a 46 on the front.

  4. Dang, that’s lookin’ sweet. :)

  5. MikeD says:

    These pictures are SHARP…and the bikes are looking SHARPER.
    That Ohlins Fork and Brembos Calipers + Carbon Rotors are ManCave CenterPiece Material !
    Are those Marchesini wheels ? Magnesium or just forged Aluminium ?
    Side comment: Why do they even bother on slapping something remotely similar to a muffler when these things run str8 pipes ? That Akra can’t possibly muffler something…the darn thing looks more like a friggin resonator if anything !

  6. MikeD says:

    P.S: Somehow Yamaha squeezed more HP out of the HP-UNfriendly CrossPlane Crank(going from 800 to 1000cc didn’t hurt’em either,lol)…Why can’t they do a bit like that for their Street Cow(R1) ?

  7. Anti says:

    I want that exhaust.

  8. david says:

    i’m trying so hard to really imagine what it would feel like to be running somewhere around 240hp and i can’t wrap my mind around it.

  9. @david: Imagine, if you will, being in 6th gear running at 160 kph. You crank the throttle and the front wheel claws skyward. That’ll give you some idea.

    Meanwhile, according to Kenny Roberts, don’t wheelie one for more than two seconds; otherwise, the motor self destructs due to oil scavenging issues. *giggle*

  10. Roy says:

    Love it! i’m worried though about the lack of sponsorship on the fairings..

  11. Adam says:

    @Mike D: I would think they put the muffler on there for marketing. it is a straight pipe yes but would it make sense to an exhaust manufacturer to only have a pipe with their sticker on it? to me no. If I were Akraopovic I would want something that resembles my product. that’s my thoughts anyway.

  12. Patron says:

    Well done. These are the guys I’m pulling for this season. Always been a Spies fan and really started liking JL after the last couple seasons. I’m hoping one of these two can unseat Stoner this year.

  13. MikeD says:

    @Adam:

    Marketing point of view ? Totally makes sense.

  14. Steve Lang says:

    Love the Coke can muffler. Can’t wait to start the season.