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Jensen Beeler

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Do you have an interest in shaping the future of the motorcycle industry, and playing an integral part in deciding what new motorcycles come to market? Well, here is your chance.

Our friends at KISKA sent over this job position opening, in the hopes that there is an Asphalt & Rubber reader out there that wants to be part of the future for the KTM and Husqvarna brands.







In addition to the Ducati Panigale V4 recall that we saw earlier this week, we have another safety issue from the Bologna brand.

This time it concerns the Monster 821, Monster 1200, and Supersport models from Ducati, which may suffer from the shift lever having been incorrectly assembled, which could possibly result in the shift knob detaching from the lever.

If the knob falls off the shifter, a bike could get stuck in gear, which poses a safety issue to the rider, so a recall has been created with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).







In total, 2,705 units from the 2017, 2018, and 2018 model years are affected by this recall.







BMW Motorrad is very quietly teasing a new motorcycle platform, one that is centered around an 1,800cc boxer design.

BMW teased this new engine in a unique way, having Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda of Custom Works Zon build a show bike around the boxer-twin, which we are showing here in the story.

With its vintage style, it is easy to disregard the prototype engine from BMW as being something from the German company’s past, and perhaps that is the point. The engine uses a push-rod design, and its cooling fins tip-off its air/oil-cooling mechanism.







Specifics  beyond this are non-existent, however, with BMW Motorrad simply saying that “further details about the engine and its possible future use will be communicated at a later point in time.”







Arguably the biggest superbike announcement for the 2019 model year, the Ducati Panigale V4 R is getting no shortage of press, and it is easy to see why.

With 217hp (162 kW) on tap, removable winglets, a WorldSBK title to win, dry clutch, and a $40,000 price tag, there are no shortage of things to talk about when it comes to the Panigale V4 R.

The Ducati looks great in race trim, and it doesn’t take much to boost the machine’s peak horsepower figure to 231 hp (172 kW).







In its racing trim, the Ducati Panigale V4 RS19 will climb to over 17,000 rpm – that is, at least until the WorldSBK performance-balancing rules get ahold of it.







Another recall for the day, Ducati North America is recalling certain 2018-2019 Ducati Panigale V4, V4 S, and V4 S Speciale motorcycles. The recall stems from the Panigale V4’s oil cooler, which may leak oil from the output port.

According to the recall documents, the oil cooler output port may crack during extreme usage, like when the 1,103cc superbike is being used on a race track. The recall affects 1,663 units of the Panigale V4 lineup, 







Generally speaking, when you see a recall for an engine item on a motorcycle, like a connecting rod, it is a big deal. Such recalls have caught a few brands out, and it usually means a large investment of time and energy on the part of the OEM.

Some brands make complete engine swaps, while others will pay their technicians to make the appropriate fixes and repairs. Invariably customers aren’t happy with the solution, and it is not out of the question to hear talk about lawsuits and other legal remedies.

Today’s case though, well it is a bit different. BMW Motorrad has found that the connecting rods on the BMW F850GS may not have been installed correctly. But, the recall only affects one motorcycle…and it hasn’t even been sold yet.







I don’t think we have ever seen a recall for just one motorcycle before here at Asphalt & Rubber, let alone one that hasn’t been sold by a dealer, but here we are.







Episode 88 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and in it we see David Emmett, Neil Morrison, and Steve English on the mics, as we cover the Jerez Tests in Spain.

The post-season test saw a bevy of classes out on the track getting ready for the 2019 season. First up, the guys tackle the MotoGP paddock, which takes a good portion of the show.

The conversation then turns to the WorldSBK paddock, which took to Jerez once the GP boys were done. The show then concludes with a testing report from the Moto2 and MotoE classes, as they start a new era of racing next year.













In our inbox today was an interesting email from Ducati, telling us that an updated press kit for the Panigale V4 R superbike was now available on the press site.

Why was there a need to modify the available information? Well, it seems a key technical component on the 998cc machine was changed…more specifically, the 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R now comes with a dry clutch from the factory.







As we predicted in our EICMA round-up on the Noale brand, it looks like we won’t have to wait long to see the production version of the Aprilia RS 660 sport bike, as  photos on Facebook show that the Italians have been caught testing the machine at the track.

With two bikes spotted, one in street trim and one in race trim, the Aprilia RS 660 looks surprisingly production-ready, which tips a debut at next year’s EICMA show, and the bike being a 2020 model year machine.







Ducati's announcement that it is making its final production run of the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition got me thinking this week. This could be the very last v-twin superbike from the Italian brand, making it a true "Final Edition" motorcycle? It certainly appears so.

Right now, the Italian marque is betting its superbike future on the V4 platform, which means it could be another 5 years or longer (10 years could be a reasonable number, even) before Ducati debuts its next superbike platform.

What do we imagine that motorcycle will look like? Where do we imagine the motorcycle industry will be in the next five to ten years? That future isn't too far away, but the answer is still hard to fathom.

Can we really see a future where Ducati builds another v-twin engine? Understand, the Superquadro motor is the pinnacle of v-twin design, and pushes the limits of what kind of power such an engine configuration can create.

This is the very reason that Ducati abandoned the Superquadro v-twin design for the Desmosedici Stradale V4. That is a big deal in Ducatista land, but it is a notable move for the motorcycle industry as a whole.

So, the thought experiment evolves from this, and we begin to wonder what is not only in store for a brand like Ducati, whose history is rooted in a particular engine design, but also what is in store for the other brands of the motorcycle industry, who have been tied to thermic engines for over a century.

For the Japanese brands, the hand that holds that future has been tipped, with turbocharged and supercharged designs teased by three out of the Big Four manufacturers. We have even see Kawasaki bringing its own supercharged motorcycles already to market already.

But, is this really the future? Or, is this resurgence of forced induction for motorcycles dead on arrival?

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The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) announced today that the proportion of female motorcycle owners in the USA is on the rise, with 19% of the industry now comprised of women.

That figure is strong increase from the 14% ownership rate that was reported just three years ago, and it shows the changing demographic within the motorcycle industry.