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.

Is BMW Working on an S1000RR Based Sport-Tourer?

02/13/2014 @ 2:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

Is BMW Working on an S1000RR Based Sport Tourer? bmw s1000f artist sketch motorrad magazine blur 635x423

Rumors out of Germany say that BMW Motorrad is working on a new variations of its “S” platform, which would see the S1000RR used as a base for a Multistrada-esque four-bikes-in-one type of machine.

According to the well-informed folks at Motorrad magazine, the new BMW model could be seen at this year’s trade shows (we would expect an INTERMOT debut, over an EICMA premiere), and would feature dynamic damping control, ride-by-wire throttle maps, ABS, and traction control.

The new model, tentatively called the BMW S1000F, would likely share the detuned four-cylinder engine found on the BMW S1000R streetfighter model, along with various ergonomic changes for longer-mileage riding.

How BMW Motorrad would diffentiate the machine from the S1000R, which already has a bag of touring goodies in the BMW parts catalog, remains to be seen.

It also remains to be seen how the Germans would differeniate that S1000F from the R1200GS, K1300S, and F800GT, which have considerable crossover with the “do-all” model being rumored.

That being said, we’ve often found BMW’s touring models to be lacking enough “achtung!” for our sporting needs, which could leave a nice low-volume niche for the S1000F variant.

With enough pieces from the common parts bin, the S1000F could be an affordable way for BMW to get some more mileage out its superbike offering, no pun intended.

Could this also be a sign that BMW is ready to revamp the now six-year-old S1000RR? As we’re fond of over-saying, time will tell on this one.

Source: Motorrad


  1. Ypsailon.B says:

    Take my money now! Seems like a tiger 1050/multistrada concept

  2. Deeds says:

    Overpriced with 12 dozen options. What about the K1300S? I’m still waiting on a ST version of the Fz-09.

  3. paulus says:

    seems like a viable option. More sports touring than a GS.

  4. Tom Mullaney,DVM says:

    K1600 S anyone? Doubtful but an interesting more sporting platform than the GT group.

  5. Matt P. says:

    K1600S? I’d buy one tomorrow. Sold my K1300s and regret it. I’d buy another one but I’m hoping BMW will come up with something a little fresher.

  6. Norm G. says:

    (quick check of the calendar, right then it’s not 1/4)

    re: “According to the well-informed folks at Motorrad magazine”

    yes, usually well-informed they are, but on this one Normstradamus says they’re full of beans.

  7. Paul McM says:

    Dear BMW. Just make a sweet 1300cc Torquey triple with counter-balancers and put it in the R1200rt Chassis. I just rented a 2013 R1200RT in Arizona and rode it 900 miles. Fantastic bike, totally underwhelming engine. I know the H20-Head 2014 will be better, but I think a triple is the answer for a Sport Tourer. The R1200RT already has so much that is excellent — Riding position was great, seat was quite comfortable, and the windscreen was unbelievably good — no turbulence. Quieter at 70 mph than my ST1100 screen at 35 mph. Honest. But the motor — meh. Too vibey at hwy speeds, wanted MORE power when passing on up-hills.

  8. tiger37373 says:

    s1000rr is already an amazing touring machine. I’ve ridden mine thousands of miles. Just add a shaft drive and I’ll make a trade…

  9. Joe Sixpack says:

    Looks like a Triumph Tiger

  10. Deckard says:

    Make it a real sport-tourer please, like a Kawasaki Z1000SX. Enough with these pretend Adv street bikes that will never spend any time off asphault, give us street bikes designed for street use. Thank you.

  11. damn says:

    im with Joe Sixpack

  12. manny varela says:

    bmw is not making anything worthy of the street.
    all the same recycled nonsense..
    more electronics ? nothing new
    engines being used ? nothing new
    prices ? suck
    i rather get a ktm super duke 1290r
    or even a z1000.

  13. Matthew says:

    “That being said, we’ve often found BMW’s touring models to be lacking enough “achtung!” for our sporting needs, which could leave a nice low-volume niche for the S1000F variant.”

    –the K1200/1300GT didn’t have enough achtung for you at ~160hp/100tq? I get that the 1600GT is lacking in the sport department and the F800GT isn’t terribly sporty, but some of the Ks can move like hell. Nevertheless, this would be a sensible move since there’s now a huge S/T gap to be filled between the 800 and 1600 in their lineup.

  14. Trumpet Chap says:

    Looks like a Tiger eh! That’ll make a long overdue change from Triumph chasing BMW’s tail all time.

  15. Marc F says:

    This was a spectacular bike when it was called the FZ-1, so should be even better with BMW farkle-ization.

    (snark intended, but no sarcasm)

  16. Bazerko says:

    GARBAGE!! bike will be just as ugly as their superbike is

  17. Manny varela says:

    BMW is a joke.
    Their superbike?
    They have one?
    Ohhh yea the their world superbike
    Machine that quit competing
    Because the japs (kawasaki)
    And Italians (aprilia)
    We’re too
    Much for them
    To handle….
    Maybe the laser headlights bmw is
    Developing will help them go faster.
    Aren’t s1000r ‘s & hp4′s
    Fully unlocked ecu wise from the factory ?

  18. Spamtasticus says:

    Is commenting in a style like you are text messaging with yourself some new kind of mental masturbation developed by millenials or do you have a Return key fetish? As far as the content of your vertical dribble is concerned, may I suggest you keep working on your track skills so that some day you can beat whomever is raping you with an S1000RR so that you no longer need to post in forums to relieve the pain.

  19. Nd4SpdnTX says:

    Lets hope this isn’t BMW’s idea of a K13S replacement. One more mini, IMO. Too small, not enough HP and Torque. K13S is the best bike BMW makes. All they need to do to sell more is put them in the showroom. Houston dealers rarely have one, and when they do it’s sold in a week. Floor full of S1000RR, and GS’. All we need on the KxS bike is more hp, like 200 is a good number. Please, no 1600 “sport” bikes. Too heavy, and not enough power.

  20. troydba says:

    I would love to see BMW come out with an direct competitor to the Ducati Multistrada with these IMPROVIEMENTS: Ditch the Enduro Mode, Lower the Fork Travel from 6.7″ to 5″, Lower the Seat Height at least 1.5″, provide much better wind protection, Eliminate the massive fork dive issue that plague the multi, make it the sweetest, best handling canyon carver in the segment, make it the most tour friendly bike in the segment. This is what I desperately want and can not find in the market right now.

  21. Norm G. says:

    re: “Eliminate the massive fork dive issue that plague the multi, make it the sweetest, best handling canyon carver in the segment, make it the most tour friendly bike in the segment. This is what I desperately want and can not find in the market right now.”

    unbeknownst, troy’s just revealed he hasn’t visited his local dealer to test ride the new GS.

  22. Troydba says:

    Alas, I did in fact visit my local dealership and took the new R1200GS for a spin last week and was very impressed with the bike. If I was in the market for an adventure enduro with designs to ride off road or even dirt roads, then I would have met my match. I even told the dealer that I thought it was smoother all around than the multistrada – no fork dive, consistent powerband (my opinion only). However, I still don’t want an enduro motorcycle. I’m looking for a performance street machine that is biased more toward touring than the dirt. It obviously gave me some hope for the R1200RT which I plan to test ride next. However, I originally went into the dealership interested in test riding K1600GT ( I rode a K1600 GTL before and was a overwhelmed by the size of the beast although it felt much smaller underway. My biggest gripe was the back-lash in the drive shaft and clunky transmission). So, to my original point, something smaller, sportier with more power than a boxer, none of the drive line issue of the K1600 and no enduro stilts would be perfect – for me! Cheers!