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Jensen Beeler

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I had planned on sharing these photos with you at a much earlier date, and now with the fire at the MotoE paddock in Jerez, it feels a bit macabre.

But, on the same token, the moment for electric motorcycles seems never more ready for a pivot, and we would be remiss to share an opportunity to examine one of the more high-level efforts in greater detail.

As such, I bring you details on what is beneath the fairings on the Energica Ego electric superbike.

Episode 95 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one is a WorldSBK show. As such, this means that we see Steve English joined by Gordon Ritchie on the mics, as they are now our WorldSBK reporting duo for the 2019 season.

Recording straight from Thailand, the guys talk about the on-track action at Buriram, where once again it was a sweep by Alvaro Bautista and the factory-spec Ducati Panigale V4 R race bike.

Obviously the speed from Bautista is a topic of discussion, as is Jonathan Rea’s efforts to stop the onslaught from the WorldSBK rookie. Is the season over though? Not by a long shot, with the European rounds certain to offer some new challenges to all the riders in the WorldSBK paddock.

I can only sympathize for the Moto Guzzi engineer that got the design brief on the new V85 TT adventure-touring model. It probably read like a list of impossibilities, and represented a gauntlet of technical challenges.

An ADV bike is already a tough space to tackle, and right now the middleweight segment is hotter than ever. Even with a blank-sheet design, it is hard to create a motorcycle that can compete in this space, but for Moto Guzzi, creating the V85 TT must have felt like fighting with one arm tied behind its back.

It is one thing to create a motorcycle with 80hp and 500 lbs of wet mass, and then make it capable of handling both road and dirt. Customers in this segment demand a bevy of electronic features as well, so those must be developed as well. And then, make it cheap…because no one wants to hock a $20,000 motorcycle into a forest of trees each weekend.

But for Moto Guzzi, and that intrepid engineer, the task is even more complicated. You are married to the Italian brand’s “transverse” 90° v-twin engine design, which has always been a heavy and bulbous proposition. Oh, and this new 853cc twin-cylinder engine is to be air-cooled…because, Moto Guzzi.

True to the brand’s image too, this new bike will play on vintage themes, all while balancing the modernity that the market demands.

Indeed, this is a design brief filled with unique challenges, and I don’t envy the team that had to meet these lofty goals. The moto-journalist’s burden is to ride the creation though, and as I have often said, we are the spoiled children of the motorcycle industry.

The Moto Guzzi V85 TT is quite easily going to be the best selling model in the company’s lineup for 2019 – that is a low bar to achieve right now – but they are doing it with a bullet. The V85 TT is a stout all-rounder, that punches well into its weight class, for a bargain price. Let me explain.

Episode 94 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and in it we see Neil Morrison, and David Emmett on the mics, as we cover the very eventful Qatar GP. MotoGP racing has finally started in earnest, and the two-wheeled action under the lights of Losail did not disappoint GP fans.

The action off the track was there as well, with teams protesting Ducati’s use of aerodynamic aids on its swingarm. The guys give this topic a lengthy discussion, looking at the protest from all the angles, as it will have huge implications for the MotoGP Championship.

If you have a 2015 or 2016 KTM 1290 Adventure motorcycle, you might want to take notice of today’s recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which affects the models’ insert on the fuel tank, which is used for mounting the fuel tank cover.

On affected motorcycles – during operation or while sitting still – it is possible that fuel can seep or leak out of the fuel tank cover mounting insert. The presence of a fuel leak could result in the possibility of damage or possible fire, which could cause injury or death to the rider or others. In total, this recall affects 1,588 motorcycles.

It was a grim sight in the early hours of today, as the MotoE paddock that had been erected in Jerez burned to the ground. A shared space for all the MotoE World Cup teams and riders, word from Spain is that the flames engulf all of the Energica Ego Corsa race bikes for this years series.

The damage will obviously mean that the opening round of the series, which was set to be at Jerez, will not occur, but Dorna says that the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will take place this year, despite today’s setback. 

A calendar for the later race dates will be released, most likely when Dorna and Energica (the single-spec bike provider) can figure out how long it will take to build the 20 or so race bikes that the series needs. From what we hear, the last motorcycles for the MotoE series were just delivered to Dorna a few weeks ago.

Greetings from the Mediterranean Sea, as we are on the island of Sardinia right now, gearing up to ride the new Moto Guzzi V85 TT adventure-touring motorcycle. 

A bike that has been in the wings for a little while now, we have been itching to ride the V85 TT ever since its unique look and color scheme graced our pages.

A part of the push for new middleweight ADV motorcycles, the V85 TT does a bit more of a heritage play for the segment, which is keeping in line with the Moto Guzzi brand as a whole.

Here is an interesting move from a motorcycle manufacturer, as Husqvarna is adding a Rekluse auto-clutch to the list of options that can be put on its Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 models.

The unit is very similar to the “Smart Clutch System” that MV Agusta debuted on its Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso SCS model, which effectively eliminates the bike’s ability to stall the engine.

On the MV Agusta model, the Rekluse clutch basically means that the clutch lever is only used for starting the machine, as the Italian bike has an up/down quickshifter installed as well.

That won’t be the case for the Husqvarna models, but the addition of the Rekluse could be a very powerful move from the Swedish brand.

Here is a chance to own a very special motorcycle. It is one thing when a World Superbike racing machine comes up for sale, because you know that it will be dripping with all the right parts, and have a pedigree to match.

But, it is an entirely different thing when the bike was raced by a rider as loved as Nicky Hayden still is by his legion of fans.

Put those two things together, and you have today’s opportunity, which is Nicky Hayden’s 2017 Ten-Kate spec Honda CBR1000RR SP2 WorldSBK race bike. The ultimate collectors bike, you will need €95.000 in your bank account to make it your own.

For sale from Ten Kate itself, the machine has matching chassis and engine numbers, matching ECU and electronics numbers, and is a matching chassis build-up. The bike is set to the exact specification that Nicky Haden used on the track.

The full build list is as follows:

  • 𝙀𝙣𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙚: TKR / Cosworth engine kit
  • 𝙀𝙡𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙘𝙨: Cosworth package with TKR fly-by-wire system*
  • 𝙎𝙪𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣: Öhlins WSBK spec
  • 𝘽𝙧𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜: Nissin WSBK spec calipers & Yutaka discs
  • 𝘾𝙝𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙨: Aluminium braced
  • 𝙎𝙬𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙖𝙧𝙢: TKR / GPMS (Hayden spec)
  • 𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙚𝙡𝙨: Marchesini
  • 𝙀𝙭𝙝𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙩: Akrapovic WSBK spec

*The full electronic package on this bike is developed and built in-house in collaboration with Cosworth, the special TKR fly-by-wire system is also developed and built in-house.

Ten Kate lists the bike as in “absolute showroom state” though the machine is a runner, and ready for track duty, should you so desire. The Dutch racing outfit will also issue a certificate of authenticy with the sale of the Honda, and it will come with a full package and parts sold by Ten-Kate Racing

For more info on the bike please contact Kervin Bos at Ten Kate Racing: k.bos@tenkateracing.com.

Photos: © 2019 Peter Jager / Motorshoot.nl – All Rights Reserved

Earlier today, the British site Visordown reported that Norton Motorcycles was set to go out of business, as the British Companies House (a sort of business registrar in the United Kingdom) was striking Norton Motors UK Ltd from its list and dissolving the business for inactivity.

It was a shocking development, to say the least, and though Norton is a small company, the news came as a surprise. After all, the last few months have not been kind for the small manufacturers in the motorcycle industry, with the deaths of Alta and Motus still fresh on our minds..