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.

Spotted: Honda CBR500 & Honda CB500?

09/12/2012 @ 2:24 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Spotted: Honda CBR500 & Honda CB500? 2013 Honda CBR500

If you believe the Honda CBR 250 Forums, Big Red is set to drop some 500cc machines at INTERMOT/EICMA later this year. Expected to be lower-spec models built in the company’s Thailand factory, the 2013 Honda CBR500 & 2013 Honda CB500 are interesting offerings that fall in between matrix of the Honda CBR250R, Honda CBR600RR, Honda CB1000R, and Honda NC700S.

It is not clear what market Honda intends to drop these models in, though we are having a hard time seeing either the Honda CBR500 in North America, but both bikes do represent an added stepping-stone in Honda’s model lineup for new riders. One thing is clear, manufacturers like Honda are starting to question the previously proscribed displacement categories with their new models.

Looking at both bikes, it is clear that Honda is channeling heavily from its common parts bin. The CBR500 is very CBR600RR-esque in its appearance, though looks decidedly less aggressive. This is an interesting departure from the Honda CBR250R which just looks very sport in its diminutive package.

The styling cues seem are reminiscent of the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and the previous generation Kawasaki Ninja 250. The styling move is surely to keep the Honda CBR500 off the toes of the venerable Honda CBR600RR, but also creates an interesting question of whom Honda sees buying this motorcycle.

The rumored 2013 Honda CB500(R?) makes a bit more sense in Honda’s lineup. With the Japanese manufacturer already offering the Honda CB1000R on a variety of continents, a half-sized version makes perfect sense. More road-oriented than the Honda NC700X, and fitted better for newer riders than the Honda CB1000R, the Honda CB500 seems more likely to make it to US soil, though Honda has never shied away from interesting category-crossover choices in North America.

Source: via


  1. T.J. says:

    A 400cc version could be sold within Japan and worldwide…

  2. Singletrack says:

    Well Duh! Why has Honda been sitting on the sidelines for decades on this CBR500? To me, it’s a no-brainer. Every young rider wants a cool, modern looking bike. But they all don’t want/need top spec performance and price. For years the smallest Honda sportbike was a 600. Ridiculous. At least the 250-600 spread was a bit more reasonable.

    It seems that every other manufacturer has figured out that a mid-spec, mid-displacement motorcycle is a good idea: Ninja 250/500, SV650, GS500 etc. etc.

    Come’on Honda, just do it already.

  3. Gutterslob says:

    [wishful thinking]

    Maybe it’s a 2-stroke 500!!

    [/wishful thinking]

  4. Westward says:

    What about Yamaha, I want to see 250, 300-400, or 500 machines from them…

  5. ttxgpfan says:

    Bring back the 500 V4!!!

  6. MikeD says:

    New Product……..and yet………..WHAT’S WITH THE ANCIENT First Gen CBR600RR Front End ?

    W/e happened to using the Cylon Face of the VFR1200F and CBR250R ? I liked it, it was different yet modern looking.

    I like the “Cone Can” on the CBR250R better than the Bazooka on these 500′s.

    500cc ? Two (2) CBR250R engines slapped togheter ? Hope so, not a fan of Monos. And while at it make it a 270* Crank…no ANEMIC flat bottom-mid range response 180* Crank here, please. This is not a repli-racer that needs to make 100hp at 18k rpm. Leave that to Kawasaki.

    Honda seems on track here, T-Trees, Fork, Caliper, Wheel seem like the same items on the NC700S…hell, even the front Brake M/C and Hose could be the same Items.

    How about they drop in the Aluminium Swinger from the CRF250L in this 500 ? Steel swing arms SCREAM BUDGET…IMHO.

    And lastly……….i hope it makes it to the U.S of A. We need more “rea$onable” yet aesthetically pleasing choices when it comes to the small bike sector here…and we know it…(^.^)

  7. Paulo says:

    Any word on the 2013 CBR 1000RR??????????? Repsol version????? New features???? A totally new bike???? I’m DIEING over here!!!!!!!!! Anyone? Anyone??

  8. MikeD says:


    Play the Lottery…u have a way better chance of getting it before a NEW CBR1000RR, specially after been refreshed so recently ( last year was it ? )

    BNG ? Maybe they’ll give u something there, maybe that Repsol replica u want. New features ? Like i said, if u are lucky a new paintjob or graphics. LOL.

  9. Damo says:


    I am on board man, I hope this ends up being a 500cc twin. Is they keep it a light agile sportbike with manageable power and great gas mileage, this could be a rockin little bike. I love the hell out of the CBR250R we got for the wife.

    The fact that this bike will be awesome means we probably wont get it in the states.

  10. David Greenfield says:

    Enough already with the crap brakes, crap suspension approach to UJM
    Don’t go for the horsepower number, engineer the motor to have a personality (like the Nuda)
    Corporate same-same won’t make the numbers Honda, wake up.

  11. Damo says:

    @David Greenfield

    You might want to wake up, the CBR250R is the number 1 selling bike for Honda right now and they are obviously looking to build on that success with this new intro model.

    The little 250cc actually has plenty of character, I am guessing you haven’t ridden one? I haven’t seen one person get off a CBR250R that doesn’t have a smile on their face and I am sure this bike wont be any different.

    Oh and Nuda…seriously? It may have character, but talk about overpriced for performance value. Try to even see one of those in person in North America, let alone buy one.

  12. Eddie says:

    “but also creates an interesting question of whom Honda sees buying this motorcycle”

    The same crowd who bought the Ninja 500 and GS500 (F). People who want arRelatively tame sensible bikes with semi-upright ergos and decent power. A CBR500 would be a step-up for a not-so-newbie-anymore- rider, a perfect bike for those who have outgrown or never suffered from penis envy race replicas, for experienced woman riders, for older but not over-the-hill riders getting back into riding or just anyone looking for a modern semi-aggressive styled bike. I think this covers an array of prospective buyers.

  13. BBQdog says:

    OK, about 5 years too late but we’ll see …. finally they are waking up.

  14. BBQdog says:

    ” …… from the Honda CBR250R which just looks very sport in its diminutive package”

    The CBR 250 R looks like sh*t. I know because I own one. Nothing wrong with
    the bike though but for the weight and looks. Will swap it against a Duke 350
    next year.

  15. spokexx says:

    If you really want a fun bike that’s not too serious like a modern 600 but more than a 250, get an old Honda Interceptor 500 like my ’86. Makes about 70hp and weighs about 400lbs dry. Handling is razor sharp and that V4 sounds awesome!!!!