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.

Listen to Attack Kawasaki’s Crossplane CRT Bike

02/01/2013 @ 10:52 am, by Jensen Beeler36 COMMENTS

Listen to Attack Kawasakis Crossplane CRT Bike crossplane crankshaft 635x385

The 2013 MotoGP Championship season is rapidly approaching us, and while many of the teams are now making their way to Sepang, Malaysia for their first test since the winter ban period, Attack Kawasaki and rider Blake Young were out in the California desert, putting laps in on Rich Stanboli’s new crossplane-enginged Kawasaki CRT bike at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.

Only time will tell on how Attack’s racing package performs at its three MotoGP wildcard events (Austin, Laguna Seca, and Indianapolis), but so far the project is music to our ears. The only Kawasaki with a crossplane crankshaft that we can think of, enjoy the video posted by RM Racing after the jump. And remember, it’s Friday, so no one at work would judge you if you bumped up the speakers.

Source: RM Racing (Facebook)


  1. Ken C. says:

    That’s pretty cool. It should be interesting to see what Blake Young can do on this thing.

  2. ivanlo says:

    fantastic. can’t wait to see Blake in action in Austin!

  3. BBQdog says:

    Went to the Assen TT this year and I love the sound of the Yamaha.
    At low rev’s it is very nice and deep. The sound of the RC213V was really
    dirty and hurts the ears. The Ducati also sounded nice but a bit sluggish.

  4. Afletra says:

    “Listen” to Attack Kawasaki’s Crossplane CRT Bike…
    Pardon me, is crossplane crankshaft most notable by it’s (unique) sound?

  5. Afletra, a crossplane cranked four-cylinder does make a unique sound, when compared to standard bike. The real benefit though is smoother power delivery and decreased fuel-economy.

  6. Laurençio says:

    I’m rooting for these guys. More wildcards please!

  7. DeezToolz says:

    I got judged…. :-(

    Silly coworkers don’t know what they’re missing out on!

  8. Edward K says:

    Sounds great… But I thought CRT bikes were to use production based engines in prototype chassis?… What production Kawasaki has a crossplane crank?


  9. mikelew65 says:

    @Edward K “Production based” is the catch-all used to allow bikes with various and cheaper production parts, i.e. cases, but still allow heavy mods such as a crossplane cranks. This was to address the Harris-WCM problem from a few years ago when what was essentially a prototype bike (and a quick one at that) was DQ’d because it had production cases and other minor bits. So CRT, unlike say WSBK, can make pretty heavy mods legally. At least that’s my understanding.

  10. Jon says:


    “smoother power delivery and decreased fuel-economy…..”

    Isn’t decreased fuel economy a bad thing ;)

  11. So Jon, I guess you see what I did there… ;)

  12. Mr. X says:

    Yes, Jensen, it is Friday. I know this to be true because every Friday I crank up that wonderful Friday song from Youtube to torture my employees.

  13. You’re a bad man Mr. X.

  14. Edward, ZX-10R motor with a modified crank. All perfectly legal according to the rules.

  15. jet057 says:

    Oh,,what was that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,An earthquake or my wALLS JUST SHUTTERING FROM THAT BAD-ASS KAWI………..LOL,,,,Its friday beotches,,,,,,,,,,,feeling good cause were riding tomorrow,,,,,,,,oh yeah..

  16. Matty says:

    You have the wrong crank in that picture…….. Seriously.

  17. CTK says:

    I don’t think this is a crossplane. Call me crazy, but it sounds like a parallel twin. Given the ZX-RR Big Bang of 2005, and the link back to Kawi’s parallel twin bikes, it makes a lot of sense. Pulling off, it sounded a LOT like the hollow ATV like gurgle of my Ninja 650R, and really nothing like the V8 burble of a V4 or the crossplane R1. Interesting choice Kawi, VERY interesting. Still hoping for the return of the ZX-RR

  18. Matty, that’s the correct photo, and it’s from Yamaha.

  19. Dc4go says:

    Crossplain have un even firing order causing pulses in engine power thus increasing traction and a smoother power delivery. A virtual V engine in an inline format. Attack made the crank cause Kawi doesn’t currently make one.

  20. Dr. Gellar says:

    I really hope these guys do well this year. If Blake Young can ride that machine anything like he rode the Yoshimura Suzuki at Road Atlanta this last season, he may surprise a few people.

  21. Vince says:

    Didn’t Kawasaki have a big bang inline four in 2009 that Marco Melandri rode ( to one podium) in MotoGP?Kawasaki actually pulled out of MotoGP and stopped develpoment but Hayate ran the the one bike team. It sounded like the Yamaha M1.

  22. Paulo says:

    Sounds ALMOST as sweet as an R1………just almost :)

  23. BBQdog says:

    @Matty: I don’t think this is a crossplane

    That’s what I thought too ….

  24. BBQdog says:


    “Crossplane cranks can be combined with big-bang firing order for improved power delivery.”

    So a crossplane crank hasn’t to be bigbang ….

  25. Slow Rider says:

    Cool! Good luck for them!

  26. Jim Race says:

    “The real benefit though is smoother power delivery and decreased fuel-economy.”

    Jensen? ;)

  27. Faust says:

    I think Jim is trying to say that “decreased fuel-economy” is not a benefit.

  28. And I’m trying to say it’s this crazy thing called humor, tongue-in-cheek style.

  29. Craig says:

    Interesting that someone builds their own Cross plain these days when 5 years ago it was not a conceived idea for production and barely race bikes…

    Should be interesting for sure… :)

  30. ScreaminBigBang says:

    hummm…. so it’s better to build a ZX10 with a custom crossplane crank than it is to modify an existing +09 R1 engine to be competitive as a CRT engine?

    Without it being race proved the idea in itself is awesome and hopefully inspiring to the other CRT teams to think outside the box a little bit. :)

    If it works decent I’m sure Colin Edwards II will be the first in line to buy one for his Kawi-FTR. :)

  31. moto4 says:

    BBQ- a cross plane crank will, by definition be a big bang engine…surely??