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.

Rumor: Harley-Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works

08/04/2009 @ 4:59 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Rumor: Harley Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works Harley XLCR 1000 Café Racer 560x361

There might be a pulse after all in the town of Milwaukee. A&R has gotten word that the Sultan of Slow is working on a cafe racer motorcycle, similar to the classic XLCR 1000.

If true (and not flubbed like the V-ROD), Harley-Davidson may have found the happy merger of maintaining its brand identity, and manufacturing a motorcycle for people that never owned a black & white television. We secretly hope this rumor is associated with the Harley-Davidson V4 rumor we heard not so long ago, but that may also then indicate Hell freezing over and the Earth collapsing in on itself like a dying star.

Harley-Davidson has come under fire lately for chasing the baby-boomer generation at the peril of not infusing the brand with fresh blood. Including a cafe racer design into its line-up may well give the American brand the traction it needs with the younger generations, and help indoctrinate them into the Harley brand.

We’re always cautious about rumors here, and even more so when they involve H-D doing something right; so as usual, time will tell on this one. We just hope H-D updates the bike a little bit more than the 1970′s version shown above.

Comment:

  1. ‘Tis a thing of beauty… RT @Asphalt_Rubber Rumor: #HarleyDavidson Cafe Racer in the Works – http://bit.ly/KfSXQ #motorcycle

  2. ‘Tis a thing of beauty… RT @Asphalt_Rubber Rumor: #HarleyDavidson Cafe Racer in the Works – http://bit.ly/KfSXQ #motorcycle

  3. Interesting… RT @Asphalt_Rubber Rumor: Harley-Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works – http://bit.ly/KfSXQ

  4. VintageWrencher says:

    Why do I envision a Sportster with stock footrest position,clubman/ACE bars,checker board tape running down the center of the fenders,tank and bum stop seat,the obligatory “CAFE” sticker on the side covers and some kinda fruity name like “The Cafster” ?

  5. Billy B says:

    VintageWrencher….because you’re unfortunately right…I’m one of those youngsters they should be looking to capture, I actually already own a project softail in the making I bought for cheap…over the few years I haven’t really seen too much forward thinking from HD to capture the younger market, and I will admit to wanting to purchase another company’s cafe-type racer…only for the reason HD doesn’t have a decent one! I would kill for an actual specifically designed HD cafe everyday-ride that isn’t a sticker/badge slap-on job on one of their other bikes!!!

  6. Rumor: Harley-Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works – Asphalt & Rubber: If true (and not flubbed like the V-ROD),.. http://bit.ly/szKOA

  7. Rumor: Harley-Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works – Asphalt & Rubber: If true (and not flubbed like the V-ROD),.. http://bit.ly/szKOA

  8. Rumor: Harley-Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works – http://bit.ly/KfSXQ #motorcycle

  9. Rumor: Harley-Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/KnBMi

  10. Rumor: Harley-Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/KnBMi

  11. Ed Stuck says:

    Rumor: Harley-Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/KnBMi

  12. Ed Stuck says:

    Rumor: Harley-Davidson Cafe Racer in the Works – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/KnBMi

  13. Dr. Gellar says:

    Considering Harley already has the XR1200, wonder if it will end up looking something like this?

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/XR1200X/rotcorp52/XR1200X.jpg

  14. JR says:

    Dr. Gellar

    I almost spit out my coffee when I saw that picture…… yummy

  15. Eric Dodge says:

    @tallertrees http://bit.ly/KnBMi Hilarity. Harley guys make fun of our DIY attitude café-ing out old bikes, and now they copy the style.

  16. mike yk paahana says:

    wish they would make 1 with moped size engine

  17. Tonup says:

    Not another try hard Cafe Racer. Harley need to stick to what they know and come to terms with the fact that this market ain’t for them…unless they are prepared to let go of their “set in stone” style and get some inspiration from the custom builders who are creating their own Harley Davidson Cafe Racers.

  18. groupw says:

    > Harley guys make fun of our DIY attitude café-ing out old bikes

    ……. nah, we don’t really care. Just gimmie a 2011 Road Glide w/103″ and you guys can put yer butts as far up in the air as ya want. ……. go fast, i’ll still wave !

  19. Donny says:

    They picked that over buell,lolololololololololol.(PS) just look at the picture above,then look at a buell lightning long ss.