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?
Fast luxury touring. That is, specifically, the translation of turismo veloce lusso. Add some numbers and acronyms and you have the long model designation of the motorcycle we would be riding in northern Italy near the MV Agusta factory in Varese, the 2018 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso SCS.
By definition, designing a motorcycle tire is an exercise in compromise. The perfect tire would have ultimate grip in every scenario and would never wear. Whoever can invent this unicorn tire capable of setting lap records and transcontinental travel simultaneously will cash in handsomely. Until then, however, we all have to live with compromise. Here in the real world, tire companies constantly battle with the challenge of balancing grip for longevity, and when it comes to track-worthy – and street legal – tires, the challenge becomes even greater; the tire should definitely provide enough grip to confidently hustle a motorcycle around a track but should also be robust enough to survive the everyday grind.
Aprilia took advantage of the third round of MotoGP, making its sole appearance on North American soil to introduce a very exclusive machine. At the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, key members of Aprilia’s MotoGP staff, including Aprilia Racing team manager Romano Albesiano and team riders Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding, took the covers off the latest evolution of the company’s flagship production sportbike, the RSV4.
As the rain made its way between my mismatched waterproof motorcycle gear and we climbed in elevation through southern Spain’s pristine backroads, I thought to myself, there still isn’t anywhere I would rather be at this moment than atop the 2018 Yamaha MT-07 in the Spanish countryside.
Kawasaki may have just found the sweet spot with its new Ninja 400. At a glance, the new motorcycle has undergone a substantial weight reduction treatment, a displacement boost of 103cc, and a sexy styling redesign – all while remaining at the exact same price point. Non-ABS models start at $4,999 while ABS is an additional $300. Kawasaki was out for blood when it went back to the drawing board for its new entry-level motorcycle.
We just returned from the launch of Ducati’s all-new Panigale V4, and it’s no exaggeration to describe it as one of the best sportbikes ever made, perhaps even the best. Its new four-cylinder engine is melodious and powerful, it handles with agility akin to a much smaller bike, its electronics are leading-edge and fully customizable, and it looks sensational in person.
Today Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., announced that it will be offering a high-end SE model to its ZX-10R line, joining the ZX-10R ABS KRT edition ($16,399) and ZX-10RR ($18,899). This new SE ($21,899) takes the RR’s premium components like forged-aluminum Marchesini wheels and an updated KQS up-and-down quickshifter and adds semi-active electronic suspension.
After unveiling the Ninja 400 at the Tokyo Motor Show and seeing it again in Milan at EICMA, Kawasaki officially announced the new 399cc sportbike for the U.S. market. Impressively, American pricing starts at $4,999 for the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400, the same MSRP as the outgoing Ninja 300 (the ABS version is also priced similarly, at $5,299). We’ll also see a KRT edition color option (with ABS) in dealerships carrying a $5,499 price tag.
Here it is in the flesh, the first mass-produced Ducati motorcycle to mount a four-cylinder engine, and it’s derived, Ducati says, directly from the MotoGP Desmosedici. Actually there are three of them: Panigale V4, Panigale V4S and V4S Speciale – the latter two with electronic Öhlins suspension featuring a new Smart EC 2.0 system, plus forged aluminum wheels, lithium ion batteries, and other assorted exotica. If that’s not rich enough, the Panigale V4 Speciale is a numbered, limited-edition bike with dedicated livery, titanium exhaust and CNC-machined from billet components. If you have to ask how much, don’t ask.
This one should go some way in comforting the bereaved mourning the passing of the Panigale 1299. Though this smaller L-Twin is but a measly 955cc, the 2018 Ducati 959 Panigale Corse arrives rated at 150 hp @ 10,500 rpm and 75 pound-feet of torque @ 9,000 rpm. Which is really quite a bit more than enough for most people, all in a package Ducati says weighs 435 pounds (wet, with a 90% fuel load). This special Corse model also gets suspension by Öhlins, some street-legal Ducati Performance Akrapovič titanium silencers, a lightweight lithium-ion battery, and a MotoGP-inspired matte paint scheme. Ducati says the 959 Panigale Corse is ready to race, (Isn’t that KTM‘s line?) but the valve clearances still only need to be checked every 15,000 miles.
If you’re a fan of high-performance sportbikes, BMW’s new HP4 Race should be at or near the top of your must-ride list. This carbon-framed and -wheeled ultra-sportbike achieves new levels of what’s possible from a production superbike. Imagine about 200 horsepower in a bike weighing less than a Ninja 300!