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.

TTXGP Entries Announced

04/08/2009 @ 9:00 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

TTXGP Entries Announced motoczysz ttxgp

Entries for the upcoming TTXGP have been announced, and five teams have entered to run the Isle of Man on electric wheels. Mission Motors, EVO Design Solutions, Kingston University, Brammo, and Motorczysz will make up the field. The teams have just 64 more days to get their bikes ready for competition, which could be a tall order for some of them, whose bikes still only exist as CAD drawings.

We have a very reserved opinion on how TTXGP will go down. While these teams have been able to gain a great deal of attention in the blogsphere about their projects, it would seem virtually all of them haven’t actually built even a prototype yet (excluding Brammo). In the tech industry, we call this Vaporware, and with less than 10 weeks before race day, we have a hard time conceiving how all these teams will be able to deliver in this short of a time frame. Never-the-less, the TTXGP will be a big day not only for electric motorcycle racing, but also for electric motorcycles in general. Continue reading for a description of each team from their press releases.

Mission Motors

TTXGP Entries Announced mission one ttxgp 560x301

Mission Motors will race in the TTXGP with veteran motorcycle racer Tom Montano on the Mission One. Mission Motors is touting the Mission One as the fastest production electric motorcycle, the TTXGP should be a fine time for them to back that statement up with fact. With 25 years of racing experience, Montano, has achieved top-level finishes at the AMA, AFM, WERA, FIM & the Isle of Man. He also holds the distinction of being one of the fastest Americans around the Isle of Man TT course. Mission Motors will enter the Mission One in the Pro A class of the inaugural TTXGP.

EVO Design Solutions

TTXGP Entries Announced evo design solutions ttxgp 560x416

The EV-0 RR was created by design firm Xenophya Design with the goal of creating an evocative and exciting concept that would inspire sponsors to buy into the electric sportbike concept. The bike certainly looks the part, but then again that’s what Xenophya does for a living. The real test will be whether or not the EVO Designs Solution team can create the bike in real life. For the TTXGP, EVO Design Solutions is supposedly bringing 2 different models for the race:

  • EV-0 RR (twin GMS-M1 motor, carbon monocoque construction, lithium based battery technology, micro generator)
  • EV-0 R (single GMS-M1 motor, carbon monocoque construction, lithium based battery technology)

UK team EVO Design Solutions is based in Grantham, Lincolnshire, in the East Midlands. The EVO team will be entering three bikes into the TTXGP – the EV0-R (Open Class x2) and the EV0-RR (Pro Class). Olie Linsdell will ride the Pro Class entry, while Paul Owens and 7-times TT winner Mick Grant will ride the Open Class bikes.

Kingston University

TTXGP Entries Announced kingston ttxgp

Kingston University in the U.K. has entered the Firstest. Again, this another bike that as far as we know, still only exists in CAD form. The Firstest will be powered by Lithium-Ion Phosphate batteries, and is anticipated to do about 70 mph around the Isle of Man circuit. What really excites us about this entry is the fact that it is a student project. Additionaly, Maria Costello, Kingston University’s rider, is a Guinness World Record holder as the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course.

Brammo – Enertia Electric

TTXGP Entries Announced brammo enertia ttxgp 560x373

Brammo, the US manufacturer of the Enertia Electric motorcycle, was one of the first commercial teams from America to enter the TTXGP. A modified version of its Enertia motorcycle is currently under development for entry into the TTXGP. The Enertia is already available for purchase in the US and there are plans in place to make the Enertia road legal and commercially available in the UK. The Brammo team’s entry into the TTXGP is called the Enertia TTR and seasoned TT racer Roy Richardson will be the rider.

Motoczysz

TTXGP Entries Announced motoczysz ttxgp

Recently announced through a cryptic blog entry on the Motoczysz website, Motoczysz has decided to enter an electric motorcycle that would seem to carry-over some of the design and technology from its C1 MotoGP attempt.  The rider will be Mark Miller.

Frame:MotoCzysz Carbon Fiber/Aluminum “Open Architecture”
Front Suspension:MotoCzysz 6X flex with gas filled single Ohlins damper
Rear Suspension:Ohlin’s with MotoCzysz swingarm and linkage
Front wheel / brakes:16.5 x 3.5 Carbon BST with 320mm Brembo
Rear wheel / brakes:16.5 x 6.25 Carbon BST with 220mm Brembo
Drive:MotoCzysz PMDC propulsion pack
Energy:Lithium Ion ‘Hot swap’ battery packs/digital configuration up to 15kWh
Control:2,400A with regen
Weight:195Kg
Power:115hp+
Torque:300 Ftlbs peak, 150 Ftlbs nominal
Max speed:150mph+ (w/ single speed gear box)
175mph+ (w/ multi speed gear box)

Imperial College

TTXGP Entries Announced imperialbike

The Imperial College of London will have an entrant as well. Basing their design off a production motorcycle, and adding an electric motor in place of the gasoline powered one, the students hope to benefit from the engineering already in place in modern sport bikes. Their bike is slated to make 50hp, and weigh 640 lbs. From what we can gather, a Suzuki Hayabusa will serve as the donor motorcycle.

Comment:

  1. RennSau says:

    It is a shame that not one entry has released an actual picture of their racing cycles yet. You will know it when you see one it needs 20% MORE FAIRING BEHIND the rider than in front. The fairing design will be somewhat the genius of the team since the batteries, motors and controllers will be mainly sourced from outside suppliers.

  2. Nice precis on the TTXGP, with some pics – http://is.gd/rBTd. most of them still prototypes, so could be a very small field

  3. RT @EatSleepRide: Nice precis on the TTXGP, with some pics – http://is.gd/rBTd. most of them still prototypes…

  4. [...] 45 days remain until the start of the TTXGP, and electric hopefuls that once only existed on paper are starting to hit the pavement. We were delighted this morning to [...]

  5. BRose says:

    Man, I love what I’m seeing! Give it 5 years- these bikes will faster and actually more balanced than the conventional bikes – should be fun to watch.