The Piaggio Group has gained access to a €60 million credit line from the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which will fund the motorcycle conglomerate’s research, development, and innovation pursuits.
Oberdan Bezzi has an interesting concept for us today, taking a peak into the world of Italian heritage at the motorcycle factory in Mandello del Lario, Italy.
We are of course talking about Moto Guzzi, and the bike in question is an idea that is built off the Moto Guzzi V85 platform, which we know Moto Guzzi is keen to use in a variety of motorcycles, not just the current V85 TT adventure-touring bike.
Dubbed the “Black Eagle”, the concept shows a sporty usage of the air-cooled 853cc transverse 90° v‐twin, with the bike using a half-fairing design, clip-ons, solo seat, and copious amounts of carbon fiber.
We were surprised to hear that French brand Voxan was going to make an attempt on the FIM land speed record for electric motorcycles (specifically the I.A1.B VII +300kg record).
Last we heard, the Voxan brand was being shut down by parent company Venturi, with the company’s electric cruiser model, the Voxan Wattman, classified as dead on arrival.
Now taking that same platform (though the two motorcycles seem to share nearly no components), Voxan has sprung back to life to try and tackle the outright FIM record for partially streamlined two-wheeled electric motorcycles.
Two unnamed riders have been caught infringing the Grand Prix testing and practice regulations.
In a press release issued today, the FIM announced that breaches of the rules had been reported, which would be investigated during hearings to be held at the (re)opening of MotoGP at Jerez, on July 19th.
Though neither the names nor the specific infraction were mentioned in the press release, the wording of the announcement makes clear that the incident involves either Moto2 or Moto3 riders, and that they are accused of having used bikes that were not eligible to be used for training.
Adaptive cruise control has been coming for a long time now to the two-wheeled world, and in the past couple of years we have seen more than a few European brands playing with the technology (all of which are likely working with Bosch to integrate this feature).
Already a staple in the automotive industry, now adaptive cruise control comes to the motorcycle industry, with BMW Motorrad being the first company to feature the tech on its bikes, which the company calls “Active Cruise Control” (ACC).
Yamaha has announced that Michael van der Mark will be leaving their WorldSBK team at the end of the 2020 WorldSBK season. After what will be four seasons with the Pata Yamaha squad, the 27-year-old Dutchman has decided to leave for pastures new.
There is as yet no confirmation of where Van der Mark is heading, but reports on Speedweek suggest his destination is likely to be BMW.
With Kawasaki already having signed Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea, and little interest from either Ducati or Honda, BMW is the obvious choice.
The long wait for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R is nearly over, it would seem. This news comes to us as Kawasaki Indonesia has announced an online unveiling of the four-cylinder quarter-liter, set for July 10th.
Originally expected in April of this year, the coronavirus outbreak shifted things in the schedule, much to our 17,000 prm loving hearts.
In just over two weeks’ time, Asphalt & Rubber will be swinging a leg over the Ducati Superleggera V4, giving this $100,000 bike a run for its money at the iconic Laguna Seca race track in sunny California. It’s a hard life.
Only 500 models of this mean machine will be produced in Borgo Panigale (the production run is currently underway), making the Superleggera V4 a fairly exclusive affair – and that’s before you factor in the MotoGP and WorldSBK track experience packages, which are basically unobtainium opportunities.
At the end of the day, the Superleggera V4 is a 233hp (174 kW) fire-breather when the race exhaust is installed, and Ducati quotes a dry weight of 335.5 lbs (152.2 kg).
With three weeks to go to the official start of the 2020 season for the MotoGP class (Moto2 and Moto3 have already raced at Qatar back in March, lest we forget), the 2021 grid is starting to fill up.
Of the 22 seats available next year, 12 have already been filled: Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo in the factory Yamaha team, Alex Rins and Joan Mir at Suzuki, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira, and Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona in the factory and Tech3 KTM teams respectively, Marc Márquez at Repsol Honda, Jack Miller in the factory Ducati team, Aleix Espargaro with Aprilia, and Tito Rabat, who already had a contract before the start of the season.
There are a few more seats we can pencil in as near certainties: Pol Espargaro at Repsol Honda, Franco Morbidelli at Petronas, Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin in Pramac Ducati, Alex Márquez at LCR Honda.
Cal Crutchlow is almost certain to be back, whether that be with LCR Honda or Aprilia – the Englishman appears to be giving serious consideration to what might be an attractive payday before he retires. Johann Zarco is likely to be on a Ducati again in 2021, the odds being that he is forced to accept another season at Avintia.
There are a couple of question marks too: the second seat at Aprilia is complicated, depending on the outcome of Andrea Iannone’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against his doping ban. If the CAS upholds his suspension, Aprilia will need a replacement for the Italian.
If the CAS lifts the ban, then Aprilia has stated their intent to keep him. If Aprilia doesn’t take Iannone, then Crutchlow could go there. If he doesn’t, and stays at LCR, then Takaaki Nakagami could be forced to head off to WorldSBK, and race for the Honda WorldSBK team.
Andrea Dovizioso was taken to hospital this weekend with what was suspected to be a broken left collarbone, after crashing during a regional motocross race in Faenza, Italy.
On Sunday evening, Dovizioso underwent surgery at the Policlinico di Modena, and he will be able to start physiotherapy immediately. This means Dovizioso should be ready for the first 2020 MotoGP race, which is July 19th at Jerez.