The California Air Resources Board has certified a new BMW engine, confirming an entire new range of 1254cc R models for 2019. According to the new CARB executive order, the engine will be equipped on five models: the R1250GS, R1250GS Adventure, R1250R, R1250RS and R1250RT.
Kawasaki Europe has announced some updates to the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R’s engine, pushing its claimed power output up to 200 hp from the previous 197 hp with improved power and torque across the rev range. Also receiving updates for 2019 are the more track-focused ZX-10RR and the electronic suspension-equipped ZX-10R SE. As of this writing, these updates have not been announced for the U.S. market, but we expect to hear official news from Kawasaki USA shortly.
China’s intellectual property office has published a design registration revealing what appears to be a new 2019 BMW S1000RR. The design, filed Feb. 23, 2018 with China’s SIPO with a priority filing with Germany’s patent office dated Aug. 23, 2017, reveals a sportbike looking nearly identical to spy photos we published last July.
The V9 Bobber is getting a sporty new variant, with the new model to debut Sept. 7-9 at Moto Guzzi‘s open house event in Mandello del Lario, Italy. Moto Guzzi has released just a single photo of the V9 Bobber Sport, but that’s enough to give us a pretty good idea what to expect.
The major bane of every electric motorcycle’s existence, at least so far, is weight. As battery technology stands these days, there’s no getting around the fact that batteries are heavy. No matter how many trick components you surround the battery with, a plump curb weight is a killer when it comes to performance. Case in point, the Energica Eva Esse Esse 9. A trellis frame, Marzocchi fork, Bitubo shock, OZ wheels, Brembo brakes, and the finest in Italian electric motorcycle technology can’t hide the fact that the bike weighs 621 pounds.
In addition to the new FXDR 114, three Custom Vehicle Operations models and updates to its touring models, Harley-Davidson announced some significant updates to its trike lineup. In fact, apart from the FXDR which is brand new, the 2019 Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide Ultra and Freewheeler received the most updates of the company’s offerings for the coming year.
Harley-Davidson can’t seem to catch a break lately. The Motor Co. has come under fire for a multitude of different reasons, but mostly because everyone’s a bunch of whiners. That’s right, I said it. It seems like most people complaining about all the new Harley-Davidsons aren’t people who would consider buying one anyway, so what’s the point in voicing your displeasure other than for kicking someone while they’re down? Didn’t your parents raise you better? One of the new models coming out is the Street Fighter, which we can expect sometime in 2020, but Harley-Davidson, under Erik Buell’s leadership, used to build some pretty wicked bikes that were easily transformed into badass street fighters. Unfortunately, though, they went the way of the dinosaur.
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 will soon be joined by a naked version, as the California Air Resources Board has certified a model bearing the designation ER400DK for 2019. Kawasaki has long used “ER” code for its naked Twins, and the new model will likely be sold as the 2019 Kawasaki Z400.
The Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations line continues to showcase the most exclusive and advanced motorcycles the Motor Company can offer, with higher end finishes, paint and technology. Getting the CVO treatment for 2019 are the Limited, Street Glide and Road Glide.
What? You didn’t know the Wheelie Championships are a thing? Of course it’s a thing, and it’s been so since 2006. Taking place in York, England, the event attracts competitors from all over the European continent, but also riders from the US. While it’s known for the wheelies, the event’s other component is a speed contest (not involving wheelies) over the 1km course.
When Kawasaki announced updates for the 2019 Ninja H2, the headline-grabbing change was the 30-horsepower increase, raising the claimed maximum output to 227.8 hp. One change that drew much less attention was the new Highly Durable Paint treatment that Kawasaki claims is self-repairing.
We live in some pretty crazy times, and sometimes it feels like society would rather watch the world burn rather than to go out of one’s way to help someone else out. Bring up anything remotely political to the wrong person and all of a sudden you could become the devil, or a moron in their eyes just because you have an opinion different from theirs. How about when an older person gets on the train or bus, do younger people still stand up and offer their seat? I hope so, but only if they lift their nose out of their phones for long enough to notice. What about rush hour traffic? The roadways can become battlegrounds as if every last inch of asphalt were sacred or something. God forbid you let someone else merge in front of you because, after all, it’s their fault you’re late, right?
For those unaware, MotoAmerica took over the AMA Superbike Series in 2015 and is currently the premier motorcycle road racing series here in the United States. Its primary goal was/is to reinvigorate the sport of motorcycle road racing in North America, and to act as a feeder series to showcase riders and ultimately send them up through the ranks to race against the top-level big boys in World Superbike and MotoGP. Since its establishment in 2015, MotoAmerica has grown and evolved, and there are currently five classes: Superbike, Stock 1000, Supersport, Twins and Junior Cup.
Despite what you may have heard, the supersport class is not completely dead, as Motorcycle.com can confirm that an updated Kawasaki ZX-6R is coming for 2019. We can also confirm the new 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R will be announced (at least, for the U.S.) on Oct. 11, which happens to be the first media day at the 2018 AIMExpo show.
Kawasaki announced a number of updates to the 2019 Ninja H2 and Ninja H2 Carbon, making the supercharged engine more powerful, while maintaining the same fuel efficiency as the previous iteration. While Kawasaki USA hasn’t released any power figures for the H2, its European counterpart claims a substantial increase from 197.3 hp to 227.8 hp. We’ll have to wait to see if the North American-spec version gets the same boost. The 2019 Ninja H2R also receives some updates, though its engine remains unchanged.
Harley-Davidson dropped a bombshell on us this week, revealing a new liquid-cooled modular engine platform, prototypes of its first adventure touring bike, a streetfighter and custom model, and detailed plans for the LiveWire and other electric motorcycles and small-displacement models for Asia.
Harley-Davidson is launching a new modular platform including a liquid-cooled DOHC engine that will be produced in four displacements ranging from 500cc to 1250cc. This platform will result in three product lines, an adventure touring family, a streetfighter/standard family and a more traditional H-D custom lineup.
From these photos that were slipped under the MO office door, Ducati appears to be bringing the 2019 Diavel more in line with the XDiavel. It’s been some time since the standard Diavel received any attention from Ducati, so the timing of the 2019 revamp makes sense.
Harley-Davidson today announced its net income for Q2 2018 at $242.3 million, a drop of 6.4% compared to this time last year. The news comes on the heels of the European Union’s announcement earlier this year that it would be imposing tariffs on certain U.S. products – Harley-Davidsons included – in retaliation for President Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Harley-Davidson also reports revenue at $1.71 billion, down 2.9%.
You read that right, folks – Motorcycle.com wants to ride your bike. By now, loyal Motorcycle.com readers are familiar with our Church of MO pieces we run every Sunday. Reviving the stories and reviews from the motorcycles of yesteryear, it allows us to admire the engineering, styling, or otherwise excellent decisions some companies have made with models that have withstood the test of time. It also lets us laugh, mock, and otherwise shame the motorcycles that should have never made it out of the design phase.
Once again, we’re here to announce that the Yamaha Ténéré 700 is still not available. Surprise. What is available though, are some rad photos and video of rally racing legend, Stéphane Peterhansel ripping the T7 prototype through the Moroccan desert which once hosted the famous Dakar rally up until 2007. Next stop for the 2018 Ténéré 700 World Raid: Morocco.
Niccolò Canepa is a bit of a journeyman in the racing scene. With stints in both MotoGP, Moto2, World Superbike, Superstock 1000, and Supersport 600, the Italian has now found a home in the Endurance World Championship, where he’s riding the factory GMT94 Yamaha R1. In this video, you can see why Canepa has raced in virtually all of the top-tier classes the world has to offer. In this practice session for the Suzuka 8 Hours, Canepa takes you on board as he slices and dices his way past lesser riders – all of whom would likely smoke the biggest hotshot at your local trackday.
It goes without saying that the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the most dangerous motor races in the world. I should know – I flew off the mountain and lived to tell about it when I raced Pikes Peak in 2013. Coincidentally, Carlin Dunne was there that year, too. In fact, he was the fastest two wheeled machine up Pikes Peak on the motorcycle we now know as the Lightning LS-218. The year prior Dunne won the race on a Ducati Multistrada, setting a course record that stood for five years.
Racer William Dunlop of the famed road racing Dunlop family has died after crashing during practice in a race in Ireland. The older brother of Michael Dunlop, William was the son of Robert Dunlop and nephew of the great Joey Dunlop, both of whom also died while racing. William Dunlop was 32.
Here in Southern California, where the MO staff call home, we’re experiencing the first summer heat wave of 2018. Temperatures are soaring well past 100ºF all over the state and air conditioning units are working overtime to keep the masses cool. So when we came upon this video, we knew we had to share. Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on a Suzuki GSX-R1000…snow bike.
BMW released information on some models that will be returning with minor updates for 2019. For the most part, the changes consist of new color schemes and improved self-cancelling turn signals as standard on some models. Others, such as dynamic brake lights as standard on R nineT models, aren’t allowed in the U.S.
Travis Pastrana is a psycho, seriously, but in the best way possible. He’s also one of the most genuinely nice human beings out there. Few other people in this world can seemingly bend the laws of physics to their will like he can and then bounce off the ground like a basketball (or sack of potatoes) only to get up and do it again when things don’t go as planned. He’s revolutionized the sport of freestyle motocross and all the other action sports he’s tried. From skydiving and base jumping, backflipping and front flipping motorcycles, to racing rally cars and demolishing anything in his path, all the while somehow managing not to die – there’s no end or limit to Travis’ abilities or creative ideas. He just landed this one trick – I don’t even think there’s a name for it yet, but it could easily be called the “what the fuuuh…” – and all the spinning and twisting while backflipping through the air, several stories above the ground is enough to puzzle even a Rubik’s Cube wizard.
Four years ago, Honda UK came up with the crazy idea to set a new speed record for a riding lawnmower, building a rig around a 996cc VTR engine. Well, it’s 2018 and the Brits are at it again, building the Mean Mower V2, this time powered by the CBR1000RR SP‘s inline-Four.
In honor of Independence Day here in the U.S. of A., we thought we’d bring you this incredibly exciting on-board footage of Chris Fillmore flying up America’s mountain – Pikes Peak. The 2018 edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb marks the 96th running of the event, and this year Fillmore chose to tackle the mountain aboard the all-new KTM 790 Duke, which is slated to come to these shores later this year. And what better marketing for the 790 Duke than by setting the middleweight course record at a 10:04.038 – smashing the previous record by more than 30 seconds! Fillmore’s time was also good enough for third place overall.
MO’s resident moto-sleuth, Dennis Chung, has done it again with this online discovery of these Honda CBX design drawings, which were filed Feb. 1 and officially registered June 8 with Japan’s intellectual property office. As with all drawings of this type, they are both remarkably detailed and frustratingly vague. For example, the side covers over the electronics appear to have Dzuz fasteners holding them on, while there are no hints at all as to what is going into the space between the top of the engine and the frame. Will Honda allow that much light to pass through its motorcycle in the final design? Let’s take a deep dive into what we can surmise from these drawings.
Triumph issued a press release recently describing a recent test of its 765cc Triple, to be used as the spec engine for Moto2 starting in 2019. In the release, several Moto2 teams conducted shakedown runs with the new engine and the specific chassis designs each team is building around the Triple. We couldn’t help but notice, however, that the photos included with the release featured a motorcycle with Triumph badging and the number 765 on the tail. This one was clearly different from the rest. Is Triumph foreshadowing a future Daytona 765 and hiding it in plain sight?
President Trump has responded to Harley-Davidson’s decision to move some of its manufacturing overseas – a move triggered by the EU levying harsh tariffs on the Milwaukee-based motorcycle company.
Harley-Davidson announced Monday it would move some of its production overseas to avoid a dramatic tariff increase imposed by the European Union. The EU tariff comes In response to the United States implementing a tax on aluminum and steel to several countries, including EU nations. The EU has responded in kind, levying a tariff on several American products. The most notable for the Motorcycle.com audience is the tariff on American motorcycles 500cc and larger. This is clearly targeted at Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson, though Indian Motorcycles (and parent company Polaris) will also be impacted. Electric motorcycles are not affected by this tariff, leaving Zero Motorcycles out of the conversation.
Riding a motorcycle on the street after you’ve become comfortable and proficient with its controls comes with its own set of obstacles and challenges, which are endless really, due to the constantly changing and/or unpredictable situations that can arise. There are a million different things a new rider will encounter on their motorcycle, but the most important thing you can do is be aware of your surroundings, pay attention and don’t let yourself get distracted. There’s too much at risk. The whole point of this New Rider: How To is navigating blind turns safely, and we’ll start with left-hand turns first.
The unique Red Bull Straight Rhythm event is back again this year for its fifth installment, but this time, it’s all about the two-strokes – yeahhh baby. There won’t be any four-strokes lining up, but you will see some electric Altas – kind of like a past meets future type of shindig, which is pretty awesome when it comes to motorcycles. Girlfriends, not so much.
I’ve always been a fan of anything that’s different or sets you apart from the rest of the pack, and it was for this reason I decided many moons ago to buy a Buell. I also grew up in a Harley family, so it was a natural choice. I was 17 when I got my first Buell, a 2003 XB9S. God I loved that bike, and I modified it quite heavily in the following years. After going through and upgrading the motor with higher-compression pistons, a five-angle valve job, porting, polishing, a better-breathing modified air intake, freer-flowing Randy Hawkins exhaust, more aggressive Andrews cams and a remapped ECU, it was cranking out 110 hp to the wheel – it was pretty wicked, and it sounded awesome on the pipe with the throttle pegged. And that’s just what was done to the motor.
Picture it: you’re cruising along without a care in the world. The weather is beautiful, the roads are perfect, and your motorcycle is singing its lovely tune. Off in the distance you see a grade along the path – an incline known to make motorists struggle in their cars. It doesn’t faze you, though – you’re on a motorcycle, one easily capable of powering up the hill without a problem. Then it happens: you get caught at a red light right as you’re in the middle of climbing the grade.
It’s only natural for world-class motorcycle racers to also be interested in car racing – specifically, Formula 1. Valentino Rossi might be the most famous of the MotoGP world champions to try four wheels. He routinely participates (and wins) rally races after the MotoGP season is over, and he came pretty darn close to driving for Ferrari’s F1 team after a series of tests. To date, however, only the late, great John Surtees is the only person to ever win the 500cc world championship (1956, 1958, 1959, 1960) and the Formula 1 title (1964).
After news broke yesterday that Dani Pedrosa was leaving Honda, we knew it would be just the first in a series of MotoGP contract news to come. Pedrosa has had his seat with the Repsol Honda team for 13 years, and his departure created an opening the team immediately filled by signing three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Ford’s patent application was filed on Nov. 23, 2016 but only published May 24, 2018, by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Coincidentally, application was published just a week before General Motors settled a lawsuit with a motorcyclist involved in an accident with one of its autonomous cars.
By now I think we’ve beaten the electric motorcycle horse quite a bit. First there was the Electric Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide, where we gave you a glimpse at the electric offerings available today. From there we explored whether electric motorcycle racing will be the next big thing (answer: possibly!), we followed that up by exploring the pros and cons of electric motorcycles, then delved into the electric infrastructure and where to charge electric motorcycles (and cars, for that matter). Lastly, we explored the range of electric motorcycles to help enlighten people on just how far today’s electric motorcycles can actually go (and that range is getting better year after year).
You may not realize it, dear MO reader, but the 2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 was the first motorcycle I reviewed after coming back to Motorcycle.com after nearly 12 months away. In many ways this was the perfect motorcycle to ease me back into the game – the Scrambler line is all about having fun on two wheels and less about dissecting the spec sheet for every last ounce of performance. Believe it or not, the more you do this job, the more you tune-in to the details, and having been away for a short while, I think I was a bit rusty. Had I been reviewing, say, the Panigale V4, there might have been some important details I may have overlooked.
Say it with us, folks: one point nine million dollars. Written out it looks like this: $1,900,000.00. Yes, that’s how much the world’s most expensive Harley-Davidson costs. We know loyal Motorcycle.com readers already have their opinions about Harley-Davidsons, and this one is sure to turn your flames into wildfire. A collaboration between Swiss motorcycle customizer Bündnerbike and Bucherer, a watch and jewelry house, the result of this partnership can only be described as wild.
Last November, Moto Guzzi presented its V85 concept, an adventure-touring model powered by a new air-cooled 850cc V-Twin. Based on the comments in our EICMA show coverage, the V85 concept was very well received by MO readers. If you’re one of those who liked the concept, you’ll be happy to learn that Piaggio has filed a design patent for what looks to be the final production model, and it does not stray too far from the original concept. (UPDATE: better quality versions of the patent images now added, from filings with China’s patent office.)
Trying to figure out the range of an electric motorcycle is like competing in an eating contest: You think you know the limits, but you’re never quite sure until you’ve gone too far. Nonetheless, we at Motorcycle.com are fortunate enough to have ridden many of the electric motorcycle offerings out there, and at the very least, this gives us a starting point when discussing the range you can expect from an electric.