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.

Are You the Ducati 899 Panigale?

08/20/2013 @ 11:09 am, by Jensen Beeler43 COMMENTS

Are You the Ducati 899 Panigale? 2014 ducati 899 panigale spy photo

With the 2013 EICMA show just a couple months away, it is unsurprising to see next year’s bikes cropping up on the internet — case in point, this photo of the Ducati 899 Panigale.

Rumored since the Ducati 1199 Panigale broke cover two years ago, the Bologna Brand’s supersport-class sport bike appears to be mostly as expected, though it is surprising to see Ducati fitting a standard-style swingarm to the machine instead of continuing its iconic single-sided design.

Expected to be a 2014 model year machine, the Ducati 899 Panigale should be good for north of 150hp at the crank — though it’s not clear if the 899 designation (which is mostly a work of the associated press) will reflect any material increase in the engine’s displacement.

It goes without saying that the expectation is Ducati’s Superquadro engine and “frameless chassis” designs reside underneath the machine’s fairings.

We can expect to see the baby Panigale with a boat load of electronic packages though, with ABS and traction control practically guaranteed to be on the offering. It is also likely that we will see Ducati’s engine braking control (EBC) and selectable riding modes make it onto the Ducati 899 Panigale’s feature list.

As expected, lower-spec suspension and  braking components can be seen in the photo, as well as the same wheels found on the base model 1199. There is of course no word on pricing at this point in time, though we hope that the 899 doesn’t receive the same sizable bump in price like the 1199 did over the 1198.

Source: Ilmagnifico Giuseppe (Facebook) via


  1. I’m a bit surprised. This swing arm looks very low-cost for a Ducati sbk, even for a downscaling of the 1199.And a so clean picture leaking for a new bike…

  2. BBQdog says:

    Was happy to hear the EICMA was coming soon, but it’s a little bit later, 7 to 10 November

  3. BBQdog says:

    @Olivier: there can be plastic covers over the rear fork and other parts to hide the real stuff.

  4. ADG says:

    I don’t get the single sided swing arm infatuation. It was designed in the ’8Os for endurance racing and quick rear wheel changes. It is definitely not the lightest or most efficient design for anything other than what it was intended for. Are you willing to add un-sprung weight just to look hip in the parking lot at SixBucks?

    Sheep, rappers and fish, like bright shiny objects.

  5. keet says:

    Agreed ADG, I had the 749 and It was blasphemous that it had a double-sided swingarm even though it was lighter and stronger than the previous bikes SSSA.

  6. triple says:

    I would like to see a new Ducati 750 superbike, so it fits the FIM Supersport rules.

    @ADG i agree on that. Though it is a additional, special optical gimmick (besides the advantages you already mentioned), common swingarms dont look worse in my opinion, just normal, or in other words: i dont understand the rejection about inventing common, double sided swingarms instead of single-sided swingarms. Didn´t got it in the 999 era either.

  7. ADG says:

    I live in Panama now and would love if Ducati or KTM came out with a semi-light weight 750cc dual-sport V-twin (not a pig “adventure” boat anchor).

  8. onespeedpaul says:

    while that swingarm does indeed look pretty cheesy (maybe just a quality photoshop to troll with?) if indeed it is it, i agree with the above and am glad to see a double sider, it’s always going to have a superior strength to weight ratio… iconic single arm….PSHHH wasn’t honda doing it way before ducati?

  9. No one is questioning the single or double sided swingarm here, i’m just surprised of its quality witch is not the’s done more or less like the monster 696 one, with large molded parts, and this is typically the low cost way to do it, take a look at all the other sbk, they have a mix of machined formed sheet metal and few molded parts all welded toghether, that’s all i’m saying.
    @BBQdog agree with you for typical prototype leaked pics, but here it really looks like the final part.

  10. Jake F. says:

    The decision to go without a SSSA is a mark against it in my book. Setting aside the question of engineering merits or drawbacks, the SSSA certainly adds aesthetic value. And let’s be honest, if aesthetics don’t factor into decision-making on which bike to purchase, you were never considering a Ducati Superbike to begin with.

  11. EA says:

    Very well said. I think that the majority of people who choose to purchase Ducati Superbikes are more interested in their aesthetics than performance. This is not to say that Ducs are all for show, and can’t keep up on the race track, because they can, even if they have slowed down in recent years in professional competition, they are still cutting edge performance machines. My point is that this bike is not at all being marketed to the right demographic. Whatever the reason was that they chose to abandon the SSSA it will be a costly mistake. This bike will not sell nearly as well as they want it to if this is actually how it looks. Sorry Ducati…

  12. onespeedpaul says:

    SSSA are sooo 1997, good riddance!

  13. MikeG81 says:

    Meh, the 851/888 didn’t have single-sided swingarms, and are iconic in their own right.

    I don’t mind this ’899′.

  14. Bigred1100s says:

    SSSA all the way. IMO this is a fail without SSSA and I dont care about a few extra pounds , i’ll just take up insanity workout and loose the weight from up the top or better yet get BST’s.

  15. JD says:

    BLAH BLAH its It takes 30 seconds to swap wheels no adjustment…..this is fact and its superior in that regard

  16. paulus says:

    We can’t even be sure which version we are seeing.
    it may be similar to the monster.
    Higher spec Euro/US version and budget Asia/South America version.
    Eicma will reveal all LOL

  17. Mike says:

    I think paulus is right

    This swingarm looks a lot like the Monster 795 out of Thailand

  18. Smitchell says:

    I’m an 848 owner and never been in love with the 1199′s lines, so this swing arm makes little difference to me. What I think is wrong, is bestowing this with the Panigale name. I think that should be reserved for the flagship, but that’s just me.

  19. JLo says:

    I don’t mind whether it’s SSSA or double-sided swing arm, that swing arm on the 899 shown above looks terribly cheap and not good looking at all. Look at the side mirrors. They don’tlook like the same mirrors on the 1199 at all. Look fat and clumpsy. If the production bike looks like that, it will be a major disappointment for me as I have been waiting for it for the past two years. I was considering an MV F3 but decided to hold on to see how the baby panigale looks like. Now either I go with the F3 or 1199 panigale, here I come !!

  20. I’m thinking this bike will debut ahead of EICMA…Ducati likes to tease the more mild releases ahead of Milan. From what I understand, something very good is coming our way come November.

  21. dave says:


    what do you mean exactly with ‘something very good is coming our way…’ ?

    can’t be the 899.

  22. damn says:

    Wow i hope its the same no frame concept like the panigale. That should be amazing. Like carlos said the panigale is made for wsbk it makes all the other bikes look silly. I hope this baby does the same thing as good as the panigale. Cheers ducati for building another amazingly bad bike

  23. 1199 is superrrr…. superb
    then 899, maybe…
    wait. frameless, …. i hope that easy to use like 1199

  24. ADG says:

    JD in real life…swaping rear wheels every 30 seconds.

    NASCAR pit crew or Costco tire monkey?

  25. JJG says:

    Here’s an idea – how about the bike without all the electronics but with upgraded suspension?

  26. onespeedpaul says:

    ^^^what JJG said^^^ i’m not saying lets go back to carburetors and points ignition, but I would gladly trade off engine braking management for better suspension or brakes…

  27. Norm G. says:

    re: “No one is questioning the single or double sided swingarm here, i’m just surprised of its quality witch is not the’s done more or less like the monster 696 one, with large molded parts, and this is typically the low cost way to do it”

    that’s exactly what this is. the swingarm on yam’s FZ8 and forthcoming FZ9 are made the same way.

  28. Norm G. says:

    ps, the DSS doesn’t look bad. it just now looks even MORE like a desmosedici from which it’s technology trickled down.

  29. Bart says:

    No trelis frame, SSSA, no belts, no power down low, not winning 1 race is Sbk, not one podium in normal conditions, is this a Ducati Race bike?

  30. Faust says:

    I was holding off on buying an 848 evo corse just in case a bike like this came out. Looking like this may be the bike for me. I can’t wait.

  31. Variable says:

    The 999 had a double sided swing arm and it was hugely successful as a race bike, taking the world title 3 times with three different riders. Who cares about a swing arm design that is blatantly just for looks? People hate on Ducati owners for buying bikes just for looks, then when ducati actually makes a modification that makes sense people pound on them for not sticking to the same old formula. The 999 is one of the best v twin race bikes of all time, but it didn’t look like a 916 clone so people bashed it. The Panigale program is advancing nicely, they are finding good success in SSTK, and setting faster laps in qualifying now. Look at BMW, they started competing with the S1000rr in 09 and never got better than a fifth place in SBK. They didn’t get their first win till 2012, but most would agree the S1k is a contender now. Give them some time will you! I know the culture these days demands instant gratification, but have just an ounce of patience. Ducati as a company is moving in the right direction, and I support that.

  32. triple says:

    Talking about esthetics and emotions buying a Ducati:
    The Panigale doesnt look good anyway, in my opinion. One of the less good looking bikes, if not the worst Ducati ever made. Nothing on the bike looks right in place but what always bothers me is the front with that seperate “nose cone”. Just strange, or lets say it: super ugly, doesnt mather if its stock a track fender. I was surprised over the hype when it was released and how everybody considered it as “beautiful”, reminded me of that fairytale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, like how something is considered as good if the right brand name is sticked on it (same goes with Porsches latest creations, Panamera and Cheyenne, people are buying it like crazy). I would go for a 1198 instead anytime, if both were offered to me, just plain beautiful bike. I dont wonder they could not improve that anymore and the successor wouldnt look as good. Thats my opinion, anyway, im prepared to receive a lot of hate for it ^^

  33. Willie says:

    …Its a good idea to differentiate since the owners of the 1199 don’t want to be mistaken for lesser.
    But i dont like the look. Ducati should remain an exotic – and i might be tempted to lean towards an MV F3 if they use a SSSA

  34. onespeedpaul says:

    the D16RR has a double sided swingarm, and it’s about as exotic as a Ducati can be!!

    I say again, SSSA are sooo 1997, they’re over, OVER!! (that’s my best-typed Fred Armisen impersonation ;-)

  35. aaron says:

    …or, are you the new 1199R, with performance enhancing dual sided swingarm? the 999 kicked ass in wsbk without requiring a displacement bump.

  36. dc4go says:

    I know this is not a finished product but it looks cheap. The whole “SUPERSPORT” twin cylinder bike doesn’t make sense to me personally. Getting a 1200cc bike ripping the motor out and instlling a small motor in the same frame just makes for a slower heavy SS bike. No advantage at all in weight or performance just a slower bike and maybe slightly better turn in.

  37. Heavy SS bike… lol OK so the weight of the big sister is 165kg dry, and you’re explaining us that this down sizing will result in a heavy SS, witch will be as heavy as a triumph daytona 675, but with 10 or 20 more hp…

  38. dc4go says:

    @olivier mari… Ride a Triumph 675R then ride 848 EVO and tell me with bike feels like a middle weight. Besides the Triumph runs circles around the 848 @ any track.Weight wise them may be close but over all size, feel and dimensions the 848 is no supersport as far as size goes. Remember this is coming from some one who owns 5 Ducs. Just not a fan of a SS twin does’t work for me. Now if Aprilia would make a SS V4 RSV 600cc im game for that. P.s Witch =which.

  39. That’s probably right, but here we’re talking about a baby 1199, and not the 848…and i believe its handling is far more in line with the rest of the production.

  40. Dewey says:

    @ Variable,
    Well said.

  41. stop CNNing says:

    All those hp and dyno numbers are becoming really annoying in some point as there is not a single line of reality any more. If this bike will do ~116hp at the dyno I’m impressed. 1199 barely reaches to the 165hp if you are lucky. Most of the sbk and ss bikes need really serious software and hardware changes to give out anything usable and close to claimed. BMW has really serous problems with all the intake so please if we talk about journalism when please we need journalism not CNN. 899 will never ever reach to the 150hp from stock as many other bikes. It’s not so difficult to do some co-op with some trustable calibrated dyno owner to get at least more less clear picture what is going on to have professional objectivity at least between the lines.

    Two side swing is about weight. And the bike is just fantastic by design, it takes a lot of time to make something better when this. 1199 results in SBK ain’t related with the bike but with the rules under they have to ride so please avoid any parallels comparison in this situation as street riders can use way more powerful bikes as SBK teams due the restrictions they have in intake and also in engine as conrods etc compare to the Japanese equipment which have reached to the level Ducati has been all the time. Time to get rid of all the twin restrictors!

    To the ones who say anything about 1199. High end design is ever for everybody so it need some trained and fined taste which means good home and education first of all. If some one starts to say it’s not this or what it just sounds embarrassing as there is not too many bikes which are so well worked trough proportionally and true design wise. Gianandrea Fabbro is a fantastic designer in the best possible way without any us-rockstar nasty rude attitude etc. so you can see all this deepness in his works in past and in the future. Luckily his works ain’t for everybody :)

  42. 1198Freak says:

    Glad to see a double sided swing arm, if you dont need to do quick rear wheel changes then a SSSA is a disadvantage in every way.. Even if it is two pounds heavier than an SSSA I would rather have the increased strength and stability it provides, also the improved visual symmetry.. SSSA’s always looked to me incomplete..

  43. Where is the Monoposto?! :(