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: Belgian Classic TT

03/11/2013 @ 3:52 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Video: Belgian Classic TT Belgian TT video 635x357

A video we should probably save for a Throwback Thursday, we bring you this short film by Tim Buys, which features last year’s Belgian TT Classic. A race open to any motorcycle of 40 years age or older, the Clas­sic Racing Motor­cycles Bel­gium (CRMB) holds the Classic TT in Gedinne, Belgium on a short road course that measures 3.15 miles in length.

With 22 proper turns and one chicane, it is interesting that the longest straight on the course is only 200 meters long, still the road course is considered to be quite fast for the vintage bikes that race on it. If you like your race bike older than their racers, and your race courses on public roads then we’ve got a special treat for you after the jump. Happy Monday.

Source: Clas­sic Racing Motor­cycles Bel­gium via derestricted


  1. matthew916 says:

    awesome! thanks!

  2. Prasenjit says:

    ** Awesome :) :) **

  3. BBQdog says:

    Could have been a nice video, but I don’t like it when they put crappy music over the motor sound.
    I can’t understand why someone who loves motorcycles would do that.

  4. Alan Comfort says:

    Absolutely stunning. The music is great and there is just enough ambient sound to make it all work. Thank you for sharing it with us. This is an event that I must attend before I shed this mortal coil.
    Alan in Vancouver

  5. Bruno says:

    I’ve attended this event several times and it’s one of the highlights of the summer. As there’s currently 10-20cm of snow outside in Belgium, it couldn’t seem further away at the moment.
    Superb video!

  6. That was one helluva nice video. Makes me really want to go there!

  7. ADG says:


  8. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    That was awesome! That looks like awesome fun to watch or ride in. I’m a fan now…where can I see something like this in real life in the States?

    Why don’t they do something like that around here (California). …or do something like the modern take on the Miglia Millia (sp) but for bikes. A giant road trip for these classic bikes.

    I disagree with the others about the music. The sound of these bikes is the music! The whole time I watched the video I was like “omg turn that #@!$! music off I want to hear these machines!” If the sound of race bikes isn’t enough and you need some wacky soundtrack to pump you up…?

  9. Ken Howell says:

    Good video crappy soundtrack. Can’t believe that any racing enthusiast would make about vintage motorcycle racing and then spoil it with a music soundtrack. I’d personally want to hear the bikes. Hell that’s half of the enjoyment of vintage racing.

  10. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    30 second diatribe–today’s society seems to constantly need to suck everything down a peg in a futile attempt to attact those who otherwise wouldn’t be interested. Don’t like a short movie about vintage bikes? Wait. Don’t turn that dial…we added Fortunate Son by CCR. Now you interested? or, did you happen to go to an NBA basketball game and you don’t know why you’re there because you hate basketball…maybe this will change your mind (cue blaring music).

    It’s Thursday, I need the weekend. The sound of vintage racers would have lifted my spirits.

  11. “Why don’t they do something like that around here (California).”

    Because North Americans love to sue whenever something goes wrong.

  12. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    I agree Trane.

    The threat of lawsuits has killed the fun in almost everything but I’m only allowed one diatribe. I’ll leave this one to you.

    Although, didn’t Rossi and Ago and some others go for a ride down Hwy1 with a bunch of people a few years back during the Laguna Seca round of MotoGP? nobody rode vintage bikes but it was in a similar spirit of fun.

    Vintage racing looks really fun. I hope something happens to promote it here in the USA.

  13. “Vintage racing looks really fun. I hope something happens to promote it here in the USA.”

    There are some clubs that focus exclusively on vintage bikes. The American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association comes to mind [ ]. :-)

  14. Tim Buys says:

    For the short, with more sound:

    The sound was not good enough for me to use in the extended version, didn’t had a soundman or the time.
    New season starts soon…

  15. john says:

    I can remember some kind of vintage bike race at Laguna Seca back in early 80s. They for sure had a race that was only Twins back then.