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 Wins TT Zero – 96.820 MPH Average

06/10/2010 @ 9:51 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

MotoCzysz Wins TT Zero   96.820 MPH Average Michael Czysz MotoCzysz E1pc Isle of Man TT

Mark Miller took the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc to victory today at the Isle of Man’s TT Zero race. Miller lapped the MotoCzysz E1pc around the Mountain Course with an average speed of 96.820 MPH and with a time of 23:22.890. Just shy of the 100 MPH average speed barrier, Miller passed through the Sulby speed trap going 135.300 MPH, and topped 140 MPH at one point.

Following Miller was Rob “Bullet” Barber who averaged 89.290 MPH on the streamlined Team Agni machine. James McBride finished on the podium with a 88.653 MPH average on the Man TTX race bike. Jennifer Tinmouth on the second Agni finished 4th, just seven seconds behind McBride.

The 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc was a dominate force at the TT Zero event, passing Rob Barber on his Agni before Ballaugh, the second timing point. Miller would go on to extend that position by just under two minutes by the race’s conclusion. With MotoCzysz the clear winner, the second, third, and fourth place bikes were more evenly bunched, and less than 20 seconds apart at the finish.

Eleven seconds behind Barber, McBride showed good speed, making up his 10 second start time difference on Tinmouth by Glen Helen, the first timing point. McBride passed Tinmouth after Glen Helen and went on to maintain his third place position throughout the race.

For Team Agni, the benefits of streamlining Barber’s bike seem to have been negated. The Bullet was able to marginally improve on his speed from last year (+2 MPH on average), but averaged only 1 MPH more over the Mountain Course than his teammate Tinmouth who had conventional fairings on her bike.

MotoCzysz saw similar results with its aerodynamical efforts. Mark Miller lapped the E1pc without the bulk of its fairings around the TT course with an average speed of 94.664 MPH in practice, improving on that pace by just over 2 MPH in today’s race with those fairings installed.

Unfortunately for TT Zero there were a number of no-shows and non-starters today, including 666 Racing (the only Mavizen bike expected at the Isle of Man), Electric Motorsports, and Tork Racing. Additionally, eight bikes left the starting gate, but only five finished.

Source: Isle of Man TT; Photo: Popular Science

Comment:

  1. Doctor Jelly says:

    WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  2. travis says:

    Hell fuckin yeah! Great work Mark, Michael, Adrian and Marty and to whoever else helped them complete this amazing bike and win the race!

  3. Congratulations MotoCzysz!!

    dc

  4. hoyt says:

    I didn’t realize the sliding section of his front-end was slightly angled.

    If Team Czysz is reading, how much battery life remained?

    Congratulations

  5. dp says:

    “If Team Czysz is reading, how much battery life remained?”

    I think they said 10% more in an interview

  6. MTGR says:

    Nice to see they finally have something more than a (very) pretty face to show for all their efforts. Congrats.

  7. bg says:

    And don’t forget Terry Czsyz in there too…

  8. MotoCzysz Wins TT Zero – 96.820 MPH Average – http://aspha.lt/12o #motorcycle

  9. Dr. Gellar says:

    Fantastic! Congratulations MotoCzysz…well done! It’s great to see some good fortune and success finally come your way. Lookin’ forward now to seeing how the E1pc performs at Laguna. As much as I enjoy MotoGP, if I go this year to the USGP…it’ll be primarily to see your creation. I am very, very happy for you all… :-)

  10. BMG says:

    Congratulations on the win with the E1pc. Please do not stop development on the C1 though, there are those of us who still root for ICE motorcycles.

  11. Bret says:

    Wow I would like to see ANY motor sport event see this kind of improvement in 1 year.
    Congratulations.

    With continual development of these Zero TT Bikes….ICE Bikes don’t stand a chance.

    25:53:50 Last year
    23:22.89 This year

  12. Josh says:

    I’m surprised the bodywork didn’t give a greater speed increase. I wonder if something else changed to negate the aerodynamic advantage as compared to the semi-naked speed run.

    Its a good rate of improvement, but a heck of a long way from so good that ICE bikes don’t stand a chance. Especially if you allow unlimited ICE bikes.