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.

Rumor: Ducati Scrambler Cometh

07/08/2013 @ 4:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Rumor: Ducati Scrambler Cometh ducati scrambler 635x405

While I was lounging at the pool this holiday weekend, getting my bronze on, the A&R Bothan Spy network was hard at work dumpster diving, hacking emails, and subscribing to the NSA’s live PRISM feed.

The fruits of that labor was the alarming realization of how many kitten videos the motorcycle industry collectively watches in a single day, and the fact that Ducati is working on scrambler-style motorcycle.

The project itself dates way back when Pierre Terblanche was still toiling away in Bologna, dodging equal portions of labor strikes and carbonara, and at the time was based around the now defunct Ducati Sport Classic.

Shelved, and thought never to see the light of day, we can only imagine this whole Hipstacyclist™ movement has helped Ducati rethink its position regarding a scrambler.

What we expect to be either a 2014 or 2015 model year machine, there are couple differing rumors on the Ducati Scrambler project, and knowing Ducati, the two stories we have heard may not be mutually exclusive, and likely indicate that the Italian company itself hasn’t come to a hard conclusion on this machine.

One version of the rumor pegs the new Scrambler as being an air-cooled single-cylinder machine, 600cc or so in displacement. A stepping stone for Ducati to enter the smaller bike market, the Ducati Scrambler would be the gateway from big bikes to little bikes in the Italian brand.

While Audi has been fairly laissez-faire with its tampering on the product side of Ducati Motor Holding, one has to imagine that there are marching orders to develop machines that would be better suited to emerging markets.

We have a hard time thinking that Ducati is building a new air-cooled motor, as the industry is being pushed further and further towards water-cooled lumps that have friendlier CO2 emissions, but the idea isn’t the craziest thing we have heard today (Patrick, she’s 19!).

Other sources say the Ducati Scrambler will be based off the Ducati Hypermotard, which was designed with a modular chassis, for this very undertaking. In that case, the Scrambler would have the same peppy 821cc water-cooled v-twin motor found on the Hypermotard. A more “Ducati” approach to building a new bike, but perhaps less enthralling.

What we do know for certain is that the new Ducati Scrambler will be very similar in design to Terblanche’s work, with some reworking and updating.

Will it fill the void left behind from the Ducati Sport Classic? Probably not, but it could be a sign of future more-niche machines to come from Borgo Panigale.

Source: Bothan Spies; Photo: JVB-Moto


  1. paulus says:

    Maybe the scrambler will be more than one model, similar to the monster.
    A base model for emerging markets and a higher spec one for developed nations.

    definately an interesting look.

  2. Andrew says:

    You mean, something like Borile Scrambler? That would be nice… come to think of it, maybe Ducati could just buy Borile’s design and put it into larger scale production… I’d love to get one! (Borile uses a top half of a Ducati engine)

  3. Norm G. says:

    re: “We have a hard time thinking that Ducati is building a new air-cooled motor, as the industry is being pushed further and further towards water-cooled lumps that have friendlier CO2 emissions”

    Chinese math is what that is.

  4. BBQdog says:

    It’s time Ducati returns to their roots and starts building singles again.
    A nice street supermono (seems KTM brings is the RC 390 next year) and
    a single cylinder bases scrambler.

  5. TexusTim says:

    it’s hard to make a non water cooled motor pass emissions and then theres the fact in many places..ei texas that are very hot during the summer and hell when you get caught in traffic….yea somthing will “scramble” …I like the concept but the only new bikes that dont need coolant are electric…now and electric scrambler would really be exciting news.

  6. Iwan says:

    They recently applied to register “Ducati Scrambler” as a trademark name:

  7. David says:

    I only clicked on this hoping to see pics of your new bronzeness.

    Your such a tease!

  8. Scott says:

    This is a bike that has already been built and gone, by JvB-moto:

  9. TRL says:

    Terblanche had so many good ideas and was exploring some really interesting directions during his tenure at Ducati. Unfortunately most will probably not see the light of day.

    Smaller displacement bikes (anyone remember the 400cc monsters?) make sense and not just for the emerging markets due to the change in EU mc licensing regulations that came into force earlier this year..

  10. Shawn says:

    I actually whimpered when I saw that. I need help.

    It looks like the headlight would be circular, not one of those droopy ones a lot of manufacturers use now. I definitely like that better than the mugs on most of the naked/standards.

  11. smiler says:

    Clearly we have no need to worry about prism…..all the concrete info comes from google and a good old source.
    The custom market will be happy.
    A Ducati designed for developing world roads would be really useful in the UK.
    If they do make a new smaller capacity engine then presumable be able to put it in the Hypermotard.

    Still wondering why they do not replace the ST4S. Not as if they do not now have all the parts for one.

  12. Sometimes, I think the only part of the story you guys read is the picture…

  13. Shawn says:

    Jensen, I enjoyed the story too. A scrambler built on the water cooled 11 degree hypermotard would float my boat, absolutely. But that bike is so pretty it needs to be discussed.

  14. MaxAR15 says:

    BBQdog says:
    July 8, 2013 at 10:44 PM
    It’s time Ducati returns to their roots and starts building singles again.
    A nice street supermono (seems KTM brings is the RC 390 next year) and
    a single cylinder bases scrambler.

    I have been dreaming of a new Super Mono for a LONG time!

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “Sometimes, I think the only part of the story you guys read is the picture”

    are we that transparent…? :)

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “Still wondering why they do not replace the ST4S.”

    wonder no more, that categories deader than well… dead. adventure tour’s BMOC (big man on campus).

  17. Rick H says:

    That gets built as shown in the picture and priced at $9k or so and I swear, I’ll be the first in line. Looks like what I’ve been waiting for!