Jensen Beeler


Go to any motorcycle racing club, and you will surely see a fleet of Suzuki SV650 race bikes. The 650cc v-twin sport bike has been a mainstay for track enthusiasts and sport bikers alike for over two decades. The bike is an icon.

And yet, the venerable Suzuki SV650 finds itself under attack from all sides, no more so than by Suzuki’s Japanese rival Yamaha, which now has a two-pronged approach with its MT-07 and YZF-R7 offerings.

The world’s fourth most-populous country is set to mandate that new motorcycle sales be only electric by 2040, so says Arifin Tasrif, Indonesia’s Minister for Energy & Mineral Resources.

The move comes as Indonesia aims to reduce its notable air pollution, and is part of a larger plan that will see on new-car sales reduced to only electrics by 2050, with the government planning incentives to make citizens switch from internal combustion engines.

With a lineup of popular choices for sport bike enthusiasts, Pirelli is now bringing out the next generation of its street-focused tires, debuting the Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV.

As the name implies, the tire is the successor to the venerable Diablo Rosso III, which is billed as a performance street tire for sport bike riders, suitable for mixed weather conditions and higher mileage uses.

The Rosso III sat below the Diablo Rosso Corsa II tire (one of our favorite street tires) in terms of performance, with the DRC2 being a street tire that also performs well on the race track.

The engineers at Honda are busy looking at the future of how we will ride on two wheels, and their latest creation is a clutch-by-wire system for motorcycles, first spotted by the eagle eyes at Cycle World.

Similar to how a brake-by-wire system works, the clutch actuation begins by measuring the pressure applied to the clutch lever by the rider, and then sends an electronic signal to a slave cylinder, which replicates and applies that force on the clutch, either engaging or disengaging it.

Long-time readers of Asphalt & Rubber will know my love of endurance racing motorcycles – there is something about these purpose-built race bikes that have to perform reliably hour-after hour that strikes my fancy.

So, upon hearing that the Suzuki Endurance Race Team (SERT) won the 24-Hours of Le Mans this weekend, it was all the excuse I needed to post up some photos of the Yoshimura-backed squad and their Suzuki GSX-R1000 race bike.

If we weren’t living in the time of COVID, we would be wrapping up our coverage of the Isle of Man TT right now, but instead the iconic race sees another year of canceled races because of the global pandemic.

The Isle of Man government has been busy planning for the iconic race’s return though, with a plethora of changes and announcements made for the 2022 edition and onward.

The biggest news is the live video package that is planned, but there are also a number of rule changes to the Lightweight TT and Sidecar TT classes, in addition to more races and more races days.

It is curious that we don’t see more customs based on the Suzuki SV650 motorcycle.

There are no shortages of the middleweight-twin in the used market, the bike has good bones with what is becoming an iconic motor, and the platform is well-suited to a variety of purposes.

Take for instance here the Stoker STR SV650, which we spotted on Bike EXIF, as it is an attractive flat-tracking custom from Finish builder Antti Eloheimo.

I am not sure why Ducati is calling this Diavel 1260 S the “Black and Steel” model – since all of the Diavel’s tend to be black in color and made from steel frames… But hey, sure. Why not?

Accented with a yellow frame, yellow undertail, and yellow racing stripes, the Ducati Diavel 1260 S Black and Steel makes for a visually fetching addition to the Diavel lineup, and it is inspired by the Diavel “Materico” concept.