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.

California “Liberates” OHV Funds for Non-OHV Purposes

06/04/2012 @ 12:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

California Liberates OHV Funds for Non OHV Purposes piggy bank 635x542

Despite being the eighth largest in the world, California is fairly upside-down when it comes to the state’s balance sheet. Looking for places to make up the difference, California has had to make some hard choices with its budgets and cash reserves.

One such choice of course has an effect on our dirt-loving two-wheeled brethren. With roughly $60 million in the Off-Highway Vehicles Trust Fund sitting on the books, the California State Assembly Budget Sub-Committee could not help but vote for a transfer of $31 million from the OHV fund to use for in non-OHV programs. Yay.

With OHV fees being collected under the auspices that the money collected would go back into off-highway programs, the largest issue at stake in California is the unintended usage of ear-marked funds. For motorcyclists, the reality is that the loss of funds will affect riding areas like Mendocino and Six Rivers National Forests, the BLM Cow Mountain Recreation near Ukiah, and the BLM Samoa Dunes Recreation Area near Eureka.

What will be interesting to see is whether the move by California’s legislature will set a precedent that sees the OHV fund becoming a regular piggybank to be raided, or if this piggy will only be cracked open once (we’ll give you two guesses on that, but you need only one). What is also worrying is the massive amount being taken out of the fund, and how greatly that will impact the intended uses of the OHV fund.

Source: DealerNews


  1. ZeitgeistXiii says:

    They have done this for over twenty years going back to the late 80s when the “crisis” of mismanagement happened then too. No guesses needed the state takes what it wants and a FU you cant do a thing. History repeats itself again.

  2. MikeD says:

    Well…what else is new ? Is cool, the lambs can’t decide…so we let the wolves do as they please…for us.

  3. JRl says:

    If you don’t spend it, they’ll take it…

  4. Grant Madden says:

    So the governor needs a new car?Guess who is going to pay for it.They will say its for the state but you know that the men in charge wont chip in to pay when they can rip off the populace so easily.Sounds like your political representation has gone and left you all in the crap as usual.So much for democracy.
    Civil rights right?Na just the usual crap.

  5. Keith says:

    So glad I don’t live in the cess pit known as california…who need them? Well, not the ones from teh western half of the state.

  6. Spamtasticus says:

    Bastards did that to us here in FL. I have been paying for titles on my red sticker motocross bikes for almost a decade and none of that suposed off road riding trail money has been spent on trails.

  7. Richard Gozinya says:


    That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve read this week. California is the nation’s leading industrial state, is a net exporter of federal tax dollars (Gives more money than it gets back), essentially subsidizing states like Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. There’s also that whole Silicon Valley thing, basically the reason you’re able to post comments on blogs and look at porn.

    Then there’s that whole year round riding weather, with some of the most fun backroads in the nation thing, but who would ever want that?

  8. California also produces a large portion of the USA’s food, and then there’s that whole Hollywood thing…

  9. Mike says:

    Dear Governor and Past Attorney General Brown:

    This is outrageous!!! The portion of the so called “gas tax” that this being stolen is in fact all that remains of a bastardized version of what was originally a road tax and the theft is a clear demonstration of TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!! Furthermore it is totally unfair that the OHMVR trust is the only user/gas tax funded program being ripped off!!!

    Funding from OHVMR grants assures that it is California’s off-roaders themselves that pay for the services of law enforcement agencies in policing this popular and growing recreational activity and through the OHMVR Commission, off-roaders make possible our State Vehicular Recreation Areas. SVRAs, like any well managed park, provide the general public with a variety of recreational opportunities, related facilities and services but they provide us a place for regulated off-roading as well.

    Gutting the off-road fund makes no economic sense, none! And it will threaten any continued support of the program by its taxpaying participants.

    As a CALIFORNIA TAX PAYER I ask you to stop this ill-conceived plan.

    Mike Hawkins

  10. Gritboy says:

    Con job as usual. It’s a you payee… we takey world in CA.

  11. Tom says:

    California’s budget woes are the fault of the people themselves. You people voted to make the situation this way and the politicians or both parties have to work within the mindless tax/referendum system that the people created. Good job Californians for creating a system where it is wrong to blame the politicians.

  12. diogenes says:


    Nice, blame the victims. Motorcyclists, especially those who ride off-road are in the minority in this state. We suffer at the hands of the of liberals, who vote for the ecologist misanthropes (people haters). You missed this in U.S. history 101, it’s called the tyranny of the majority. Unfortunately, the bill of rights wasn’t written to guarantee that taxation could not be levied against the populace. That argument was lost during the Whiskey rebellion, which happened before California existed as a U.S. state.

    Not our fault Bozo.

  13. robin st. denis says:

    At this point it becomes pure extortion,The green sticker fund which did not always exist,Becomes a tax for one group of people that have no say.Which leads to the larger question of weather this can be fixed within the current system?Since all we can do is vote and write to our reps. that don,t seem to represent us.