The MotoGP season is closing ever nigh, and we know this because KTM just debuted its two teams in the MotoGP Championship, while giving us a glimpse at its 2020 machinery.
For a treat, we can see that the 2020 KTM RC16 stands out from its predecessor by its larger, more oval and more central air intake. The aerodynamics package on the machine continues to evolve as well, as KTM tries to spend its way to the front of the timesheets.
Mechanical bits aside, one of the highlights from the 2020 launch is the new livery (and quasi-new sponsor) for the Tech3 KTM squad, which is hocking Red Bull’s new cola product with a fetching orange, white, and blue livery.
Episode 30 of the Brap Talk podcast is now out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, and as always, it is packed with some interesting motorcycle discussions.
Every year the motorcycle industry comes to our backyard, as The One Motorcycle Show packs Portland, Oregon with two-wheeled enthusiasts.
One last entry from our wandering lens at The One Motorcycle Show, we bring you this BMW R1200GS from Roland Sands Design.
The machine gives a throwback to the rally machines we saw in the 1980s competing in the Dakar Rally, particularly those made by HPN-Motorradtechnik, which were based off the BMW R80 G/S
Zero Motorcycles has been actively trying to quash publications and channels from showing you this promo video for their upcoming Zero SR/S sport bike, but since Asphalt & Rubber is still on double-secret probation with Zero, we have no problem sharing this leaked video a week before its launch.
Of note for two-wheeled fans is that this video gives us the full monty on how the new Zero SR/S looks, which mostly means that we get to see what a full fairing looks like on the SR/F platform.
It is a rarity in marketing to see a brand target a competitor as explicitly as Harley-Davidson just did with Indian and this “unofficial” ad on social media.
The guerrilla social media marketing campaign isn’t officially sanctioned by the Bar & Shield brand, so we are told, but it is hard not to see this as the American motorcycle company’s faithful throwing some shade at its biggest contender.
There was a flurry excitement in the MotoGP media after the Chinese round of the F1 series in Shanghai was postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, as the coronavirus has been officially named.
The excitement concerned the MotoGP race in Thailand, at the Buriram circuit, due to take place on March 22nd. Would the second race of the season be able to go ahead?
The answer to that question is the same now as it was nearly a month ago: yes, the Thai GP in Buriram will go ahead as planned, unless the situation changes, and governments issue official warnings against traveling to Thailand.
Episode 130 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one gives us all the happenings at the official MotoGP test in Sepang.
For this show, David Emmett is joined on the mics by a special guest, respected racing journalist Manuel Pecino. The pair walks us through the various headlines and highlights that happened in Malaysia, as we get ready for the start of the MotoGP season.
Though the show is less than an hour long in duration, David and Manuel cover in-depth a number of key topics, including what’s happening at each of the six MotoGP factory teams.
Another bike that caught our eye at The One Motorcycle Show, this tasty morsel is a 1982 Yamaha Virago 750 (XV 750) made by the hands at WKND.
Though not a terribly appealing motorcycle in its original form, and part of Yamaha’s first attempts at challenging Harley-Davidson in the cruiser space, the Yamaha XV750 has seen builders make some tasty customs off its old air-cooled v-twin platform – as we can see here.
It had promised to be a spectacular Silly Season in MotoGP this year. With all 22 rider contracts up for renewal at the end of this season, several long months of hard bargaining was expected, resulting in a major shakeup of the grid. Few seats were expected to be left untouched.
Yamaha dealt the first body blow to any major grid shakeup, moving quickly to extend Maverick Viñales’ contract through 2022, then moving rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo to race alongside him in the Monster Energy Yamaha team.
Valentino Rossi was promised full factory support from Yamaha in a satellite team if he decided to continue racing after 2020 instead of retiring.
Yamaha’s hand had been forced by Ducati. The Italian factory had made an aggressive play for both Viñales and Quartararo, and Yamaha had brought the decision on their future plans forward to early January.
Yamaha decided to go with youth over experience, and Ducati was left empty-handed.
Motorcycle magazine titles continue to close, as the market consolidates and print titles struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing media landscape.
The latter was the bigger issue for Motorcycle Consumer News, which closed its doors officially at the start of this month.
Motorcycle Consumer News was in business for 50 years in the motorcycle industry, and distinguished itself as being 100% subscriber supported and advertisement-free.
It didn’t arrive to the biggest fanfare, but the 2020 Triumph Street Triple R has the potential to upend the middleweight sport bike market with its arrival, as the British marque has packed a lot of value into this three-cylindered machine.
On the spec-sheet, not too much has changed – the Triumph Street Triple R still makes 116hp and 57 lbs•ft of torque, but the real talking point is the $10,500 MSRP, which is $100 less than 2019’s best-in-class KTM 790 Duke.
If you think it is a coincidence that the Triumph has price the Street Triple R just under the KTM, you would be sorely mistaken, and the Brits are hoping that a fewer dollars, a robust feature package, and a unique triple should get riders’ attention.