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Jensen Beeler

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For the past 24 hours, the internet has been blowing up over multiple reports that HRC is about to drop Alex Marquez from its factory MotoGP team, and replace him with Pol Espargaro in the Repsol Honda squad.

The news has been covered by Sky Sport Italia, AutosportMotorsport, and The Race, and those reports have led to an interesting rebuke (of sorts) on by HRC’s Alberto Puig on the MotoGP.com website.

Continuing our live chat video series on YouTube with members of the motorcycle industry, on Monday, June 8th at 10am PDT / 7pm CEST, Asphalt & Rubber will be sitting down with Walt Siegl.

Getting a chance to talk to one of the most-regarded builders in the motorcycle industry should be a great opportunity for a discussion about the current trends in motorcycling.

Of course, we will also be talking about Walt’s work, in particular how he approaches his motorcycle builds, finds inspiration, and makes motorcycles that look good and still perform well.

Ever since the opening round at Qatar, the schedule for the 2020 MotoGP Championship has been in limbo. And for American fans, this hasn meant a tremendous amount of uncertainty regarding the grand prix round held outside of Austin, Texas.

Though we are seemingly no closer to knowing if and when the Americas GP will take place, American fans have now been at least provided a timeline on when we will know: the end of July.

If you have a 2019 or 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R series motorcycle, then this latest recall from Kawasaki is for you.

The issue stems around poor ECU programming on the superbike’s computer, which can cause a backfire during high-engine load and use of the quickshifter.

The backfire can create a big combustion force in the exhaust system, which can lead to the air suction valves melting and/or catching on fire.

That motorcycle sales are down because of the coronavirus lockdown seems like an obvious thing to state. Just for clarity though, American motorcycle sales through the first four months of the year are down 9% compared to last year.

Truthfully, that number is far less than we were predicting here at Asphalt & Rubber, and there is a good reason for that. While the COVID-19 scare has decimate on-road sales (-23%) and scooter sales (-24%), this has not been the case for off-road motorcycles sales totals, which are up 30%.

Even dual-sports seem to be buoyed by having a tire in the dirt, with sales reported to be down only 5% during the same time period.

Looking deeper into the dual-sport numbers though appears to give an insight on this odd dichotomy between street and dirt sales in the motorcycle industry.

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Continuing our live chat video series on YouTube with members of the motorcycle industry, on Monday, June 1st at 10am PDT / 7pm CEST, Asphalt & Rubber will be sitting down with Peter Halldin, one of the co-founders of MIPS.

For those who missed our recent story about MIPS, the Swedish company is at the forefront of helmet rotational impact research, and has been developing safety solutions for helmet brands in the motorcycle, cycling, equestrian, and snow sports industries for the past 20 years.

I was so impressed by what Peter and his team had to say on the subject when I visited MIPS in Sweden last year, that I immediately changed what helmets I wore when I got back to the US. As such, I am very excited to share this news and information with our Asphalt & Rubber readers and viewer.

This little gem, the Nito N4, has been burning a hole in our to-do list for far too long, ever since we saw it at the EICMA show in Milan last year. It’s not a big fancy superbike, and it’s not even a proper supermoto.

Instead, the 15hp Nito N4 is just an attractive people-mover that extends the Italian brand’s offering of urban-use two-wheelers.

On that vein, Nito says that the N4 is good for over 90 miles of range, can reach a top speed of 90 mph (150 km/h), and tips the scales at 385 lbs.