Kawasaki Europe officially announced full specifications and details about its first electric motorcycles, the Ninja e-1 sportbike and the naked Z e-1. Both models are classified as 125cc-class motorcycles and will be available soon in European markets, but we expect they will be offered in other markets, including Australia, Japan, and America.
If you believe the conventional wisdom of our forum moto-trolls, a motorcycle must be full-sized, fast AF, have the range of a WWII Dornier 217 medium bomber and price tag of a 1980 Suzuki GS850 to have any hope of success, much less being a sales leader. Based on that, what model do you think Öhlins suspension, the high-end, race-focused Swedish company, likely sell the most cartridge kits and shocks for? The GSX-R? Ninjas? Ducati Superbikes?
Admit it: hooning around on little motorcycles and scooters is fun. At least Ryan and I think so, anyway. And so it was; the two young pups at MO (well, Ryan anyway) went about dreaming up things to do outside our usual testing regimen. Because, you know, even though we have great jobs, the daily grind gets a little routine at times. After a little internet browsing we discovered the glorious sight of Vespa scooters tackling the Dakar. Yes, that Dakar. Thus, the wheels were set in motion.
Here’s a marque that we didn’t expect to see at EICMA. Mondial has apparently risen from the ashes to produce motorcycles once again. The storied manufacturer started producing motorcycles in Bologna, Italy in 1948 and had a great deal of success in Grand Prix racing and on the Isle of Man in the 50s. Mondial fell on hard times and has previously undergone unsuccessful attempts to revive the marque. MO last tested a Mondial in 2003 during one of the revival attempts in the form of the Mondial Piega with a Honda RC51 engine as a power plant. Alas, that revival, too was met with failure.
At last year’s 2014 EICMA, Husqvarna displayed two concept models, the Vitpilen and Svartpilen. At that time both were referred to as 401s, leaving us to speculate that the models will be powered by KTM’s 390 Single found in the RC390 and 390 Duke. Joining the 401 models this year are a Vitpilen 125 and a Vitpilen 701 Concept. Outside of these minimalist announcements Husky is very hushed about its concept models other than to confirm that the company is committed to fulfilling its promise for an expanded street model range.
First used in 1968, Vespa is recycling the Primavera name in 2014 with a 50cc two-stroke and two 3-valve four-stroke versions (125cc & 150cc). We recently tested all three. Vespa sold 162,000 units in 2012 for parent company Piaggio. In 2013 Vespa has already seen 40% growth as of last quarter and is hoping to beat the 2012 figure this year.