Honda sprung news today about upgrades for its 2021 Gold Wing, the biggest of them being a capacity increase for the Tour version’s trunk. Shrinkage in luggage capacity was the chief complaint with the heavily downsized 2018 ’Wing: the new trunk holds 61 liters of storage, compared to the previous 50 liters, which Honda says will easily accept two XXL full-face helmets (even when equipped with headsets).
KTM hasn’t officially announced its 2021 1290 Super Adventure models yet, but it briefly published the pages for both the street-focused Super Adventure S and more off-road capable Super Adventure R on its website. The pages were quickly taken down, but we’ve managed to snag the details. Both models receive a number of updates, including a radar-based adaptive cruise control system for the S model.
German vehicle emissions documentation confirms that a new KTM 1290 Super Duke RR is on the way, adding a higher-end variant to join the already-impressive Super Duke R. (UPDATE Feb. 1, 2021: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also certified the Super Duke RR, confirming the same state of tune as the Super Duke R.)
Several months ago, Harley-Davidson announced plans to reduce its model lineup by 30% as part of its Rewire and Hardwire business strategies. More recently, the company revealed it will announce its 2021 models online in a “ virtual launch experience” on Jan. 19. The question, then, is what current models are on the chopping block, and which models will return?
Motorcycle sites around the world have been buzzing the last few weeks about the Harley-Davidson Custom 1250, the Revolution Max-powered potential Sportster replacement, suddenly appearing on the Motor Company’s official website, signifying it’s impending launch.
Honda has updated its lineup of PCX scooters with new frames, new engines and traction control. For the Japanese market, Honda will include a 124cc version (simply called the “PCX”) while the PCX 150 sees a displacement increase to 157cc to become the PCX 160. Honda will also offer the PCX e:HEV hybrid electric version which combines the 124cc engine with an electric motor in Japan.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, lightweight vehicle for riding around town or completing short errands, scooters are an excellent choice. If you want something with a bit more performance and versatility, you might want to consider a maxi-scooter instead. Maxi-scooters, or touring scooters, offer larger engines and typically better wind protection, making a good choice as an everyday commuter or for longer distance rides.
Honda Europe announced new CRF300L and CRF300 Rally dual sports for 2021, replacing the CRF250L and CRF250L Rally models. As of this writing, American Honda has yet to confirm whether it will import the new 300 models, but it’s likely we’ll receive news shortly.
Kawasaki typically tries to showcase some of the project it works on at motorcycle shows like EICMA. Last year, for example, Kawasaki presented an electric motorcycle concept and provided a look at its development. Obviously, there are no motorcycle shows this year due to COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped Kawasaki from showcasing some of its ongoing projects, providing a peek at its hybrid motorcycle and artificial intelligence projects.
In a cross-branding exercise with its Emilia-Romagna neighbor (and technically, it’s parent company), Ducati revealed a new Lamborghini edition version of the Diavel 1260. The limited edition Ducati Diavel 1260 Lamborghini is styled after the automaker’s Siàn FKP 37 supercar, sporting the same Gea Green and Electrum Gold color scheme, similar-looking wheels and lightweight carbon fiber elements.
Last week, I decided the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon is my favorite motorcycle of all time. This week, that could change with the introduction of Kawasaki’s new sit-up straight naked Special Edition Z H2. If this new Z SE doesn’t have quite the top end horsepower of the full-monte H2 (206 rear-wheel hp on the dyno), it still has plenty, and it also has many other tidbits going for it that might very well make up the difference, including the aforementioned upright naked-bike ergonomics. “A relaxed riding position has been created by a combination of an upright handlebar shape and a seat with an optimized base plate and cushion thickness,” says Kawasaki. “This design provides a high degree of freedom for riding posture and low vibration, allowing for a pleasant and comfortable ride.”
KTM has filed a patent application for a new low-slung saddle-shaped fuel tank, and the illustrations suggest it will be used on a new 1290 Super Adventure. KTM first introduced the rally-style tank design on the 790 Adventure R, and a similar design has since made it to the 890 and 390 Adventure models. It seems natural, then, that we would see the 1290 Super Adventure get a similar design.
Ducati has updated its SuperSport for 2021, giving it Panigale V4-inspired styling and a six-axis inertial measurement unit while bringing it in line with Euro 5 standards. Ducati also officially added “950” to the model’s name, which is interesting in that it suggests other displacements might be in the works, but at this point, the 2021 line-up will consist of the SuperSport 950 and the SuperSport 950 S.
Kawasaki‘s World Superbike racing team has begun testing of the 2021 Ninja ZX-10RR, revealing the superbike’s new look. As KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes take the new Ninja out on the Jerez circuit, Kawasaki confirmed the production model ZX-10RR, and presumably the Ninja ZX-10R as well, will be revealed on Nov. 23. (Updated with high resolution photos).
Harley-Davidson‘s electric bicycle sub-brand Serial 1 has revealed its initial line-up of four electric bicycles. The debut line-up of pedal-assist ebikes range in price from $3,399 to $4,999 and will initially launch in the U.S. and Germany. Serial 1 is accepting pre-orders now, with deliveries expected to begin in March 2021.
BMW revealed a new electric scooter concept called the Definition CE 04. Debuting at #NEXTGen 2020, a BMW event showcasing the company’s ideas on the future of mobility, the Definition CE 04 offers a blend of electric drive and digital communication technologies. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because BMW introduced a similar concept in 2017 called the Concept Link.
Ducati says the Nightshift, “whose name immediately evokes the atmosphere of the night, fits into the `Land of Joy’ as the ideal choice for all those looking for an essential and stylish bike at the same time, with a comfortable riding position, also in the company of a passenger and which allows its owner to experiment through customization.”Yours exclusively in Aviator Grey, the Nightshift gets a new flat seat in Cafè Racer style for two. A straight and narrow handlebar is added to the Cafè Racer mirrors, with number plates taken from the Full Throttle.
Ducati has updated its XDiavel range to meet Euro 5, adding two new variants for 2021: XDiavel Dark and XDiavel Black Star (pictured above). The good news: the Euro 5 update adds 8 hp to the XDiavel’s claimed power figures. The bad news: only countries where the emission standard is in place will get the update, meaning countries like the U.S. will not see a performance increase.
Further bad news: the XDiavel Black Star will not be offered in North America.
Dang, it sounds like Honda has given one of my personal favorites a little more of everything that makes it a favorite: More power, more rpm, outstanding fuel efficiency (up to 66 mpg), 13 fewer pounds of weight, a bigger storage compartment, lower seat height, sharper styling, ride modes, a slipper clutch for the 6-speed version – and the automatic Dual Clutch Trans is still an option, which gives the NC really all the best features of a motorcycle and a scooter. Which makes it interesting that Honda categorizes it as an Adventure motorcycle (where the current NC’s price is $8,099 in the US).
Yamaha announced a new SP version of the updated 2021 MT-09 revealed two weeks ago, featuring higher-end suspension and cruise control plus a black and blue color scheme. Joining the MT-09 SP are the MT-10 and MT-03 which return for 2021 with new color options.
Honda has updated the CB1000R for 2021, giving its “Neo Sports Café” flagship a slightly new look, a color TFT display and Euro 5 compliance, as well as a Black Edition variant. As of this writing, the new 2021 Honda CB1000R has only been announced for Europe, but we expect a U.S. announcement to come soon.
Ducati officially revealed its new Multistrada V4, which joins the two-cylinder Multistrada 1260 and Multistrada 950 in its adventure-touring lineup. The 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 will be offered in three versions, the base model V4, the V4 S and the V4 S Sport.
An updated 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-10RR have been confirmed in vehicle certification data submitted in Australia. The certification documents reveal a new fairing for the Ninjas, plus some engine updates that were likely aimed to meet Euro 5 requirements.
Yamaha revealed an updated MT-07 that… well, let’s just say that if you aren’t a fan of the 2021 MT-09‘s new look, you likely won’t be a fan of this either. Chances are you won’t be a fan of the MT-10‘s next update either if it follows Yamaha’s smaller “Master of Torque” naked MT models.
Harley-Davidson‘s much analyzed “ Rewire” plan may be starting to see some positive results, as the company reported its strongest third quarter since 2015 despite decreasing sales volume. It will take a while longer to see if the plan and its eventual follow-up, the Hardwire plan, will pay off in the long run, but for the short term, the Rewire has succeeded in reducing costs.
Ducati announced small updates to its Streetfighter V4 models, making it Euro 5 compliant, and added a new “Dark Stealth” matt black color option for the V4 S. All told, the changes for the 2021 model are pretty subtle, which makes sense for a model introduced just a year ago.
BMW revealed its 2021 R NineT line-up, with an updated engine to meet Euro 5 requirements, a new rear shock and a new range of Option 719 customization components. For 2021, the line will consist of four models: the R NineT, R NineT Pure, R NineT Scrambler and R NineT Urban G/S. As we previously reported, the cafe-styled R NineT Racer has been removed from the lineup.
Honda announced a redesigned Grom for Europe, with a new engine, a five-speed transmission, IMU-based ABS and a new, more utilitarian-looking styling. For those keeping track, this is the second redesign for the Grom since its introduction in the 2014 model year. Does the fact the Honda Grom is already on its third design make anyone feel old? I can’t be the only one, right?
Harley-Davidson has issued a recall for Livewire models built between March 18, 2019 and August 20, 2020, because of a software fault with the On-Board Charging (OBC) System that can shut off the motorcycle without warning. In some cases, the motorcycle could not be restarted, or if they could, they would shut off soon after.
BMW announced it will reveal five new motorcycles on Oct. 22 at noon EST/9 am PST across its social media channels. BMW only offered two clues about the five models: they will all be what BMW calls its “Heritage world”, and at least one will be an R18 model based on the engine photo accompanying the news.
Triumph is set to announce a new sport-touring model to be called the Tiger 850 Sport. The new model will be based on the current Tiger 900 adventure models, with the same 887cc Triple, but we expect it to be purely street-based model without off-road aspirations.
All our conjecture was resolved early this morning when Ducati CEO Domenicali unveiled the new V-Four engine that will power the next generation Ducati Multistrada. The biggest surprise is that the new “Granturismo” 1158 engine will not use desmodromic valve actuation, but regular springs. That doesn’t seem like a bad thing in this application, as it gives the engine “record-breaking maintenance intervals”– 60,000 km or just over 37,000 miles. (It’s probably an excellent thing, in fact, since the mystery and expense of having to have one’s desmodromic valves adjusted has always loomed large for the non-wealthy when contemplating Ducati ownership.)
Honda is adding a new 745cc member to its Forza maxi-scooter lineup in Europe, alongside an updated 125 model and a new 350 model. The new 2021 Honda Forza 750 is essentially an urban GT version of the more adventuresque X-ADV, but also somewhat of a replacement for the NC series Integra. Like its two forebears, unfortunately, we don’t expect Honda to bring the Forza 750 to the U.S.
Kawasaki has announced it will be producing the Versys 1000 S for the European market. Currently, the top trim level available in Europe is the Versys 1000 SE, which includes the KECS – Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension. The new S model will ditch the KECS in favor of traditional 43 mm Showa components at both ends, adjustable only for rebound damping and spring preload. Undoubtedly, this will also bring the price down.
KTM announced a new 890 Adventure R and a limited edition 890 Adventure R Rally, introducing a new, Euro 5-complaint follow-up to our reigning Motorcycle of the Year, the 790 Adventure R. The 890 Adventure R will be the standard model, while the Rally model adds a number of race-ready components and will be produced in a limited run of 700 units worldwide (with 200 units destined for the U.S.). KTM hasn’t explicitly said whether the 790 will continue in its lineup alongside the 890, like it’s doing with the Duke line, but from the way KTM describes it, that doesn’t seem likely.
BMW announced updates to the R1250GS and R1250GS Adventure for 2021, making the boxer models compliant with Euro 5 standards, while also marking the 40th anniversary of the GS line. BMW is calling this a “new” GS, but the changes aren’t as dramatic as that sounds. Even calling it “new-ish” would be a slight exaggeration.
Kawasaki confirmed it will launch six new 2021 models for North America, with an updated Ninja ZX-10R expected to be among them. A timer on Kawasaki U.S.A.’s website ticks down to Nov. 23 at 6 am PST for the big reveal. A teaser video and images show six models under cover, with clues hinting at dual sport models and sportbikes. [UPDATE: Kawasaki Europe says it will also announce new models on Nov. 23, as well as some on Oct. 12. Because of market differences and PR departments running things, it’s possible some of the models from next week’s European announcement may also be part of the later announcement for the U.S.]
Ducati has started teasing a new model reveal for Oct. 15, with all indications suggesting it will be for the new Multistrada V4. Contrary to our initial report, however, it looks like the engine might be going smaller than the Panigale V4’s 1103cc engine and not larger to 1158cc. [UPDATE: Ducati clarified that the Oct. 15 announcement will be for the Multistrada V4’s engine. The bike itself will be revealed Nov. 4.]
We’re fast approaching the season for new motorcycle launches, which usually means its prime time for spy photographs of test bikes dressed in camouflage getting their final shakedowns before being signed off for production. Whether you believe most spy photos are legitimate or carefully orchestrated by manufacturers, Triumph has decided to cut out the middleman and release images of its new Trident roadster undergoing final road tests around its headquarters in Hinckley, U.K.
Harley-Davidson will reportedly stop offering its Sportster and Street models in Europe, thanks to the Euro 5 emissions standards that will come into effect by the end of the year. The Sportsters and Street models will continue to be sold in North America and other markets that aren’t subject to Euro 5 or equivalent standards, but for Europe, Harley-Davidson will discontinue its smallest and most affordable models. The news comes days after Harley-Davidson announced the end of operations in India.
Earlier this year, we revealed design filings for the Chinese motorcycle that was supposed to share a platform with a new small-displacement Harley-Davidson model. That design, filed in China and marketed by Qianjiang as the QJ350, but we noted the parallel-Twin’s engine casing was stamped with the Harley-Davidson name.
In a form 8-K report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, Harley-Davidson disclosed its intention to discontinue sales and manufacturing operations in India. In 2007, according to Wiki, Harley-Davidson motorcycles were first allowed access to the Indian market in exchange for the export of Indian mangoes – which one Indian commentator called “mango diplomacy.” In 2009, Harley-Davidson India (a wholly owned subsidiary) opened its first plant, and was originally building 11 models on six platforms: Sportster, Dyna, Softail, V-Rod, Touring, and Street. Harley has at least 29 dealers in the Republic of India, which is the second-most populous country in the world (1.353 billion people), the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. There’s also a booming HOG and an annual Harley Rock Riders music tour.
Ducati is set to introduce a new member of the Multistrada family, powered by a 1158cc version of the Stradale V4 engine. The new model, which we’ll call the Multistrada V4 for lack of a better name, will join the 2021 Ducati lineup alongside the twin-cylinder 1260 and 950 Multistradas.
BMW officially announced its first two-wheeled M model with the new M1000RR. Based on the S1000RR, no slouch on its own, the M1000RR offers a higher level of performance, adding aerodynamic wings and bumping the power output up to a claimed 212 hp while reducing the claimed curb weight to 423 pounds.
Yamaha‘s MT-09 is getting a larger engine for 2021, as part of an update to allow the “Master of Torque” Triple to meet Euro 5 standards. The new engine will increase from the current 847cc to close to 890cc and increase its maximum power by 4 hp to a claimed 118 hp while reducing its emission output. At the moment, we can only confirm the MT-09 will receive the updated engine, but we expect other Yamaha models that share the three-cylinder engine, such as the Tracer 900, XSR900 and Niken to receive the new powerplant as well.