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.

MotoCzysz Makes 2012 MotoGP Bid? [Updated]

12/14/2009 @ 6:48 pm, by Jensen Beeler30 COMMENTS

MotoCzysz Makes 2012 MotoGP Bid? [Updated] MotoCzysz C1 990 motor render 635x454

In a candid perspective on the current rule changes to MotoGP, Michael Czysz detailed his thoughts on the switch to the 1000cc format for 2012, and what it means to MotoCzysz and it’s racing goals.

After Czysz’s hopes of racing in the pinnacle motorcycle racing series were dashed by the switch to the current 800cc format, the new rules adopted for 2012, which will bring the racing format back to 1000cc’s, may not only breathe life back into the company’s ICE racing hopes, but also give MotoCzysz some advantages as they consider another MotoGP entry.

After a disection and critique on the once again changing MotoGP climate, Michael Czysz in a company blog post hints to the fact we may see another MotoCzysz bid in MotoGP racing:

The 2012 season is a great opportunity! MotoCzysz now has the base motorcycle, enough time and rules actually leaning a little in our favor- we could not ask for a better opportunity. Let’s hope others feel the way I do. There is heavy lifting to be done but great things can be accomplished with many hands and the assistance of a few true believers.

The advantages that Czysz talks about are of course the recent changes and restrictions for MotoGP, which were officially announced this last Friday at the Valencia test for Moto2. While the new rules were only a few lines long, they may give MotoCzysz a jump on the competition.

One example of this is the 81mm bore restriction that will be put in place for 2012. Since the MotoCzysz C1 uses an 82mm bore size already, it is not a large developmental step to make in order to bring the C1 motor in-line with MotoGP’s 81mm bore size restriction. This gives Czysz and his team a leg-up on the competition in developing an tuning their racing machines for peak performance characteristics, while the rest of the teams start closer to the drawing board.

MotoCzysz has obviously another advantage in the form of the four cylinder restriction put in place by the new rules, which will not likely affect the incumbent teams to any meaningful degree, but will keep other would-be entrants at bay (sans using a modified production motor). Similar, the C1 chassis can remain largely unchanged from its current design, meaning the bulk of MotoCzysz’s R&D would be focused on further refinement of their total package, which is another leg-up on the competition who will likely accommodate their new motors with new chassis designs.

We know exactly where our strengths and weakness lie and how to remedy the shortcomings and elevate the entire motorcycle. We came a long way in our first engine design and I am confident by our second iteration we will be competitive. The chassis is very complete, all who have ridden the C1 claim it to be the best handling, most neutral motorcycle they have ever ridden.

We’ve reached out to Michael Czysz about this development, and are waiting to hear back as to where MotoCzysz is headed in the future, and how this affects the company’s plans in the electric motorcycle sector, the E1pc, and their joint-venture with Bajaj. More as we get it.

UPDATE: After initially denying that MotoCzysz would definitively be on the grid for 2012, Michael Czysz responded to our inquiries with his usual cryptology, “the opportunity is there… dependent on finding additional hands and believers…”, which only leads us to further belief that if Czysz can put together the resources necessary to go race in MotoGP, he’ll be there as well.

Source: MotoCzysz

Comment:

  1. Brammofan says:

    Been forever since his last blog update. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: MotoCzysz Makes 2012 MotoGP Bid? – http://bit.ly/5UVzgA #motorcycle

  2. John Adamo says:

    huh? oh yeah, guess his bike will work for that now. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: MotoCzysz Makes 2012 MotoGP Bid? – http://bit.ly/5UVzgA #motorcycle

  3. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: MotoCzysz Makes 2012 MotoGP Bid? – http://bit.ly/5UVzgA #motorcycle

  4. Dr. Gellar says:

    HELL YEAH!!! I’m excited now… :-)

    A couple of weeks back I left a post on the MotoCzysz blog asking them what they thought of the upcoming MotoGP changes, and to my surprise and pleasure, I actually got a reply from Michael Czysz. He indicated at that time his concern that MotoGP was possibly heading toward a spec-engine ala Moto2, and if so would likely not be a place for MotoCzysz to compete.

    So I’m very pleased to learn that, now that the basic concept for the new MotoGP rules are out, he and his company are looking at the possibility of giving MotoGP another shot. Very good news…

  5. MotoCzysz Makes 2012 MotoGP Bid? – http://bit.ly/5UVzgA #motorcycle

  6. patron says:

    That would be great. Would be nice to not only see a few more bikes on the grid, but an American addition would be a pleasent surprise. Best of luck!

  7. Excellent piece on potential new MotoGP entry: RT @Asphalt_Rubber MotoCzysz Makes 2012 MotoGP Bid? http://bit.ly/5UVzgA

  8. Eric says:

    More snake oil from the Bernie Madoff of the motorcycle world

  9. I'm going to guess that my comment here started it http://is.gd/5oQQX

  10. What’s needed at MotoCzysz is more steak, less Csyszlle.

    We’ve been waiting for great things since the first two C1 prototypes. We were initially impressed with the E1pc, only to be disappointed at the DNF at the Isle of Mann.

    The MotoCzysz team strikes me as innovative and able to come up with daring new approaches, but they’ve yet to deliver where it really counts. Maybe we’re being unfair. Buell didn’t really hit its stride until 25 years had gone by.

    If their partnership with Bajaj actually puts production bikes on the road, that should put a lot more cred into MotoCzysz. If they can field a competitive MotoGP bike and make it through the season, a lot more people are likely to start paying attention.

    I hope it’s the real thing this time.

  11. Jenny Gun says:

    SoCal Buell: so glad you posted up on this one, because there’s a great parallel here between Buell and MotoCzysz, and I think you touched on it.

    There are always hurdles in racing, business, life, etc that one has to overcome. One of the things I always hear from Buell nuts (Buellisti’s?) is how close the company was to making its break, “if only…”, “there should have been…”, “if Harley hadn’t…” so on, and so forth.

    I’d have to dig up the comment to give proper credit, but another reader here put it very well when they said, that if Buell didn’t create results after 25 years, why should we expect results to come in the next 25 years? Or basically, over time excuse mean shit (merde! pardon my French)

    MotoCzysz is at the beginning of this same cycle. Did the 800cc rules throw a wrench in their MotoGP plans? Yes. Did the E1pc fail because of a motors sourced from another company? Yes. It’s easy to excuse any one of these instance of failure, but when the only remaining common denominator in your personal failure, is you…you know where the problem really lies. Time will tell if this is going to be another Buell story, or if these were just early-roadblocks.

    That being said, there’s some opportunity to see a MotoGP revival with where the rules are at, and there’s so much more lead-time to Infineon & TTXGP (I can’t believe we won’t see MC at this race, even if he sits out the rest of the series) that the E1pc should be more than prepared to “wow” us. There’s plenty of opportunity for a success in the MotoCzysz camp still, but this is certainly a huge crack in time for the company.

    They need a game changing play to get the crowd roaring again.

    Also, I’ve heard rumors that we’ll see the Bajaj/MotoCzysz *cough* three-wheeler *cough* in the near future.

  12. Eric says:

    Jenny that was probably me when the announcement of Erik Buell Racing going live a few weeks ago. It also tied into a blog post of mine several months back called Erik Buell Time To Put Up or STFU.

    Here is the link for that post, moderators I hope this is OK, if not can you just delete the link.
    http://www.rumblestrip.net/main/2009/9/21/eric-buell-time-to-put-up-or-stfu.html

  13. patron says:

    As long as Czysz (or for that matter Buell) isnt using tax payer dollars to fund his machines, whats the big problem with making an attempt. So maybe their visions of world domination may never come to fruition. And maybe they didn’t wow us in they way we believed they promised, or should have. But the fact is that they are trying. Faliure or not at least they are making attempts. Why knock someone for trying? I dont get it.

  14. CBontheMV says:

    @patron

    Because it’s easier to belittle someone else for daring greatly and failing than it is to actually man up and try and create something great. The world is full of people trying to tear others down to a general level of mediocrity.

  15. Sean Mitchell says:

    I admire Czysz’ vision, the bike is a beauty. I want him to succeed, so after view the HD documentary Birth of a Racer again last week, I thought maybe they need to aim a little lower to get things moving. Honda, Yamaha, et all didn’t start at the top form of racing in today’s technnological climate.

  16. Dr. Gellar says:

    One thing you have to give MotoCzyzsz credit for, whether you support them or not…is that they were/are trying to build, in the form of the C1, a truly innovative and high-tech American road-racing (MotoGP) motorcycle to compete head-on with the best the rest of the world have to offer. Not just in the chassis and suspension department, but the engine as well. The whole package. A tall order indeed, especially considering the relative shoe-string budget they are likely working with. No other American manufacturer can really claim to be doing that. Certainly not Harley-Davidson…but also not Buell, not Fischer, not Roehr…none of them. Sure…maybe the results haven’t quite been there for MotoCzysz as many, including myself, would hope. But the fact that they are even trying to achieve this goal, and on two fronts no less (in the form of the C1 and the electric-powered E1pc), is extraordinary.

  17. Jake says:

    Geez what an article about nothing. All this is, is marketing hype for a product that doesn’t exist. I mean you don’t think after all these years these MotoGP guys don’t know how to build a motorcycle? How long has Ducati, Yamaha, and Honda been racing and building bikes in how many different configurations? So now all of a sudden a change is going to give some little non-racing low budget company an advantage? Ducati proved you don’t have to be a Japanese giant to win, but again look at their histroy compared to Czysz. As for his innovations……not to knock them, but BMW also has a lot of innovative ideas on their production bikes, but look which route they took when they made a serious sportbike. Again you don’t think the likes of Yamaha and Honda have innovative ideas? Esepcially in a prototype class like MotoGP. There is a reason they build the bikes the way they do.

    Again I’m not trying to knock Czysz but I’m really tired of all his talk and hype and really wise he’d race it or sell it or just shut up and go away

  18. Gildas says:

    Racing history is full of guys coming out of nowhere and smashing the established order… Remember Brawn? Remember Renault Turbo? Remember Audi Quattro? Remember Lotus etc etc etc (sorry for lack of bike blabla)…

    If Czysz are within 10% of the top established teams on power and have have found ways to wake the machine handle and put the power down better, they could do a “Chapman” on Ducati, Yamaha, and Honda.

    Remember, it’s not because you saw snowflakes on TV that you become an expert on icebergs – engineering at this level is war, and we, the viewer only get to see Fox sound bites.

  19. 4Cammer says:

    Hope he actually fields a bike. Good luck.

  20. Jake says:

    @Gildas

    for starters there is a HUGE difference (and I’m not just talking cars!! lol) between the teams/companies you mentioned and Czysz. For starters the Brawn GP story is really marketing hype. They weren’t a “new” team as they are portrayed. Basically they were an exisiting team that switched engines. Who knows how they would have faired with Hondas this year, but given it was Brawn’s design you we don’t know were the problems of the past were…..car or motor.

    I’m not against newcomers or people trying to take on the big guys, but all Czysz does is talk. and the press just hypes him up. for all his coverage he hasn’t done or proven anything yet. I know it’s not easy but I just wish he’d shut up already until he actually does something that he can boast about. Again to my point of , does anything really think that Ducati, Yamaha or Honda haven’t considered the concepts that Czysz has? Honest truth I’m not even an engineer and before the Czysz press machine began, talking with a friend I mentioned if I built a bike I do the engine just like what ended up in Czysz’ bikes.

    Again I’m just tired of him and the press acting like everyone should be scared of this dude and it’s some big conspiracy to keep him out of MotoGP. When it’s simply his business model that has kept him out of MotoGP. And to keep marketing his bike as a MotoGP bike is lame. until it has lined up on a Motogp grid it’s not a MotoGP bike regardless of hype. I have more respect for the failed Ilmor project because are least they actually made it on the grid and raced the thing!!!! And I’m really looking forward to that new MotoGP (can’t remember the name at the moment) for 2010.

    I’m not against anyone trying just against hype and BS. so far that has really been the only thing to come from Czysz in the last 4 or 5 years.

  21. Czyszn't going to happen says:

    What a load of hot air. Czysz is a joke.
    The Hasslehoff look alike that runs it is just wasting money I’d guess his family has made.
    Plenty more real racing ventures like Ilmor & KR that have actually put a bike in a race without all the hype. Czysz should be ignored until they get a bike in a race.
    They are all hat & no cattle.

  22. ijbjugga says:

    Never Gonna Happen…have to agreet with @Eric…bernie madoff LOL

  23. RT @Asphalt_Rubber MotoCzysz Makes 2012 MotoGP Bid? http://bit.ly/5UVzgA

  24. There’s a reason the title of this article ends with a question mark.

    I think you guys need to go back and read/re-read Czysz’s post on his site (link here).

    He spends 13 or so paragraphs talking about the upcoming rule changes in MotoGP that are due to take affect in 2012. He gives his opinion on what they could mean to the series, and what causes and effects could stem from these changes.

    Intertwined in this analysis and critique is the obvious, these rule changes create an opportunity for MotoCzysz to enter into MotoGP, picking up practically where they left off. I think it’s important to realize the context that observation is made in his posting.

    There’s little doubt in my mind that Czsyz would love to take on this challenge again, but I think his response to our inquiries summarizes the situation accurately, ““the opportunity is there… dependent on finding additional hands and believers…”. This isn’t a , “See you in 2012″ statement, but instead a very realistic perspective that if Czysz wants to achieve his life long ambition, he has his work cut out for him; and like any large endeavor, he will need the support of others to achieve that goal.

  25. Jake says:

    @Jensen Beeler. No I read the qoutes and what he said. My issue is all the press he generates for nothing. He hasn’t done anything, not raced one race or sold on bike, yet he continues to get tons of press coverage. Until he puts the bike on the track all this talk about how great and innovative the bike is just that….talk. Nothing against someone chasing a dream, but enough already. Stop all the talk and put the bike on the track in race or stop calling it a MotoGP bike.

    And that right there is my main issue with Czysz…..it’s not a MotoGP bike. It’s never raced MotoGP or even attempted to qualify for a MotoGP race. At least Ilmor got on the grid even if it was for a few races. So let me get this straight. He can convert his bike into an electric model, but can’t build a motor a few cc’s smaller? Before you or anyone else talk about a smaller motor being competative, can you honestly say that you thought his 990 motor would have been competative against the likes of Ducati, Yamaha or Honda? Again hype hype and more hype. I was interested in the project originally but at this point I just want him to put up or shut up

  26. ash says:

    why knock a guy who has great ideads and the balls to have a go and realise a dream we are all dreamers but not all doers. i take my hat off to Cyzsz and hope he see,s success with his bike

  27. Dr. Gellar says:

    @Jake

    There’s a reason MotoCzysz gets all the press that they do. Like it or not, lots of people out there are very excited by what MotoCzysz has so far tried to accomplish…and are looking forward to more in the future.

    The results that many followers have hoped for from Michael Czysz and company may not be there at the moment, but that doesn’t change the fact that so many people would love to see them succeed. I mean, what American road-racing fan wouldn’t want to see the C1 make it out on to the MotoGP grid?! Especially a bike as different, innovative and unique as theirs. True, that machine hasn’t actually competed in a race, but the MotoCzysz E1pc has (this year’s TTXGP at the Isle of Man), so to say they haven’t done anything is plain ignorant.

    As for reasons why the C1 hasn’t actually raced yet, there are a number of them I’m sure….lack of money and resources for development of the C1 probably being key. I think you fail to see the scope of what MotoCzysz have been doing. That is, trying to build the most advanced American road-racing motorcycle….from scratch! You mention previously about Ducati being small, yet successful. Well, compared to Ducati, MotoCzysz is downright tiny. In comparison, they make Ducati look like Honda. So add up the size of the company, plus the lack of necessary resources and funds to continue thorough development, and throw in the fact that they are trying to do something beyond what even the mighty Harley-Davidson once tried (in the form of the VR1000) and ultimately failed at, and it is easy to see why the road has been such a struggle for MotoCzysz and the C1.

    And as for the hype, I don’t think anybody, including the folks at MotoCzysz, think they are going to blow Honda, Yamaha and Ducati out of the water in MotoGP. I think it’s pretty safe to say that while the C1 has been praised by many for its handling, the bike still has a way to go in the power department. I’m sure there are more areas to develop as well, but that isn’t really my point. My point is that for these guys to just make it to the MotoGP grid and finish a race would be a victory, and I think they know that.

    Merry Christmas all!

  28. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: MotoCzysz Makes 2012 MotoGP Bid? [Updated] http://bit.ly/5UVzgA watching it now on HDtv!

  29. stressed member says:

    The critics are well deserved to throw their negative comments. After all , I’m sure they have all designed their own bikes,(and with good results).WTF?