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.

MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing

12/11/2009 @ 5:31 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing motoczysz e1pc tail section ttxgp race

It’s been nearly six months since the inaugural TTXGP race at the Isle of Man, but electric motorcycle racing seems to be a growing subject as of late. As discussion surrounds both the FIM and TTXGP, and their respective series, we’re beginning to see teams make their 2010 racing commitments. We reached out to Michael Czysz of MotoCzysz to see why his company has been suspiciously silent on the issue to date.

With the TTXGP’s first stop scheduled at Infineon in only five months’ time, and rumors of a new lighter and more powerful MotoCzysz design already being hinted at, we asked Czysz where his company stands now as it furthers its racing program.

“At the moment our ‘racing program’ is totally up in the air,” Czysz responds. “It is difficult to have a solid race plan when the series(s) themselves are in such flux. The current state of the series(s) and overall professionalism really hinders everyone’s ability to do their best.  The e brand is being damaged, it is hard to speak to sponsors and racers about this ‘great opportunity’ when there is not even a firm schedule in place.”

For all the electric startups, there are challenges in not only the day-to-day business tasks, product development, etc, but also in the electric motorcycle space, there is the added requirement of taking on the challenges competing on the race track. For MotoCzysz, and of course the rest of the field, money is the biggest concern to these budget strapped startups.

“It is very difficult to find sponsors for racing, it is even more difficult to convince investors to spend money racing,” as Czysz knows all to well from putting together teams for both MotoGP and electric motorcycle racing. “However, if the goal of your company is to be at the forefront of what could be the next wave of performance, racing is essential. Today, e racing is at best a novelty; it is not on the radar of large sponsors, manufactures or in the heart of most race fans.  Only under the best circumstances can companies like ours find the resources to race; the current e series(s) are not providing those circumstances.”

After hearing about the announcements from Zero Motorcycles & Mission Motors, all eyes are now on the Portland based company to see when it will announce similar statements. Prodding Czysz for a hint on when we could hear such news, he seemed willing to hedge his bets for now, “apparently Zero and Mission had sufficient information to make their decisions, but we do not. I have traded several emails with the FIM, but none of substance with Azhar or his team.”

When asked directly about which series MotoCzysz would pick, Czysz’s reply was both coy and terse, and simply stated, “I do not know. I am still searching for answers.”

Talking to MCN‘s Guy Procter, Czysz does hint that the conflicts that surround both the FIM and TTXGP are factors in MotoCzysz’s hesitation to join either series. Telling the British magazine in their article, “a successful race series must have a sanctioning body, which protects competitiveness and manufactures interest and a promoter that can market and grow the series. These are separate and exclusive functions, and with the joint TTXGP/FIM venture they could have had that, for the short term at least. Look at American Superbike racing for a lesson.”

We still have a lot of winter left before motorcycle racing starts up again, but it would seem things are already heating up in the electric sector. More as we get it.

Source: MCN


  1. MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing

  2. Brammofan says:

    I hope Czysz picks one pretty soon… I really want to see that sweet bike of his on a track again!
    Come on Azhar – if you can get Motoczysz on board, well… between you and Zero and Czysz , you’ll have something the FIM will never have: Four “Z”s.

  3. Brammofan says:

    MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing #ttxgp

  4. John Adamo says:

    More from Czysz… RT @Asphalt_Rubber: MotoCzysz Talks About Future Plans of Electric Racing – #motorcycle

  5. race news says:

    MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing

  6. MotoCzysz Weighs in about Electric Racing

  7. ijbjugga says:

    Well…while his bike was sweet looking…it didn’t run. Personally i was excited when MC first announced themselves…innovative american-ish sportbike that actually looked GOOD! I even saw the protorype C-1 run at laguna in ’05…But he is a snake oil salesman! no real plan…just seems like a rich guy playing IMO.

    I’m no real follower of e-bikes but rather a motorcycle racing enthusiast in general..all types. With his comment of “overall professionalism really hinders everyone’s ability to do their best. ” what is he refering too? Racing is used for two things typically competition and improving/validating a product. In this case he can’t compete and doesn’t have a real product based on recent history….

    Maybe he should help some of these other ebike manufacturers design some that moves the soul. Now thats one thing MC can do.

    IJB aka dissapointed/past Motocysz fan

  8. road_rage says:

    I have nothing but admiration for MotoCzysz as a visionary and a salesman, but he is the motorcycling version of Preston Tucker. @ijbjugga (wow, would love to hear that name paged at O’Hare, Maybe send Mike Hunt to collect him.) is right. One of the best ideas MotoCzysz ever had was to go electric. It allowed MotoCzysz to change the game and play to his strengths. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t finish, that’s motorsport, but he showed took some real risks and if he can pull it off, then he may finally deserve his statue on the hill (I mean, if his shyness doesn’t get in the way)

    MotoCzysz, whilst a danger to himself, is great for the sport where ever he goes. But I don’t know why he would consider the FIM as an honest broker over TTXGP. They have form in screwing him in particular. Doesn’t he remember how 800 become the new 1000 and where that left him?

    (also seriously Michael, the FIM Endurance Championship is the cousin in the celler nobody ever talks about. They even make AMA-Pro look spectacular. That’s better then Infineon or Toronto (thanks Brammofan)? Seriously? You’d rather go to Qatar then Silicon Valley??)

    What is surprising is that MotoCzysz gives the FIM so much play. TTXGP is a startup like him and would I suppose, be very very incentivised to make him successful. The FIM only have a tactical need to kill TTXGP. If they succeed then it’ll be business as usual. In historic terms that means the little guy get f**ked or in another version, MotoCzysz gets a second chance at getting screwed.

    Anyway, IMO, if he does go for the FIM, he deserves everything he gets. I would personally, in a heartbeat, support the FIM if they had any credibility in this space. They crave the credibility that people like MotoCzysz can give. And for the short term they will whore themselves out to do it. They have to. They have made the stakes so high.

    Wow, entertainment aside, can’t believe how dumb the FIM have been in setting about damaging the sport. The traditional OEM’s must be pleased as it gives them an excuse to sit on the sidelines and blame the chaos. In the meantime the victims are the sport, the technology and progress.

    At a time when the world is getting together in Copenhagen to work out how to fix some serious shit, the FIM goes its own way as a the trustees of our sport.

    Great work F**cking Inbred Morons.

  9. Brammofan says:

    @road_rage – damn. If I knew anything about motorcycles, I would have said everything you would have said, it would have been almost as funny, and I wouldn’t have used the like-fingernails-on-chalkboard-marketing-buzzword “incentivise.” Now, having said that, has anyone actually seen Mike Hunt?

  10. road_rage says:

    @Brammofan – “incentivise” WTF?! I try and fight it, but it takes over like Hyde.

    I am cursed to spew bullshit during the day job whilst flogging my widgets.