Jensen Beeler


The Trump administration is about to take on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in a battle for the rights to set emission standards.

The first blows in this showdown have already begun, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) sending a letter to the CARB saying that the organization had violated federal law by making an agreement with several automobile manufacturers on higher emission standards

The Trump administration doesn’t seem to end things there though, with the expectation the President will announce plans as early as today to do away with California’s emissions waiver from the Clean Air Act.

While it seems like politics as usual and centered around the auto industry, such a move will have huge implications for motorcycle manufacturers.

Every now and then we see a recall notice that kind of raises the eyebrow, and makes you wonder if things aren’t just a little too silly sometimes. This is one of those recalls.

This is because 3,147 units of the 2019 Indian Chieftain motorcycle are being recalled because their tail lights are too bright, and exceed the maximum allowed lumens set by the federal government.

As such, this means that the 2019 Indian Chieftain fails to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment” and must be recalled.

In an unusual move, Ducati has confirmed in a press release that the Italian brand will be brining the much-rumored Multistrada V4 not for next year, but instead for the 2021 model year.

In its announcement, Ducati said that the V4 machine will be available alongside the 1260 and 950 v-twin models, which adds some more intrigue to what form-factor the Ducati Multistrada V4 could take, and where it could slot into Ducati’s lineup.

This tidbit comes on the news that Ducati has just built its 100,000th Multistrada, in preparation for the 2020 model year.

The eggheads at Kawasaki have been busy readying themselves for the 2020 model year, and it seems that they have something special in the works. 

We say this because Team Green just dropped a teaser video for a new supercharged motorcycle – and we expect it to be sporty.

Details are pretty limited, but we know that the new bike will belong to Kawasaki’s “Z” family, which consists of its sport bike models. Could we see the supercharged version of the Z1000? We certainly hope so.

Around this time next week, the new Honda Africa Twin will drop. If you have been keeping up on the news, this news shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. 

We have known for a while now that the Honda Africa Twin would be getting an update for Euro5 for the 2020 model year, which meant a displacement increase to around the 1,100cc mark.

Since that early news, we have seen some photos and details leak, and now Honda Motor Europe is making it obvious that we will see the new Honda Africa Twin (CRF1100L) officially debut on September 23rd.

I will let you in on a little Scandinavian secret. We don’t really include Finland in the crowd. No party invites, no secret handshakes, and certainly no reindeer jerky Christmas baskets.

Sure, it might seem like the Finns are part of the viking neighborhood, but the Finnish are a bit…different from rest of their Nordic neighbors.

Culturally, Finland has more influence from its Russian border, and the Finnish language sounds nothing like the East Nordic languages of Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, which are almost interchangeable with each other.

This has left Finland as the odd ball in the region, and it spills over into their culture. For exhibit A, I bring you this two-wheeled example. Behold what may possibly the most powerful dirt bike ever created.

It looks like the Canadians are getting deeper into the electric vehicle space, as Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) has released more than a few electric concepts across its various product ranges.

Debuting the six concepts at the Club BRP 2020 event in Las Vegas, BRP’s offerings caught our eye for two very obvious reasons: the electric scooter and motorcycle concepts.

We have already talked about what the pint-sized Ohvale is doing for road racing, with the 24hp race bike lighting up go-kart tracks around the world.

Now, source again the 187cc single-cylinder engine from Daytona, and use that same “built for kids (but really adults)” form-factor, except this time build this creation for the flat tracking realm, and what you have is the Sunday Motors S187.

While the concept is pretty simple, it is the price point that really caught our attention, with the French outfit having two affordable models for consumption – the S187 ($3,300) and the S147 ($2,300).

There has been plenty said about the next generation of the Honda CBR1000RR, and lately the rumors have been heating up.

Solid news of an all-new machine for next first started in the WorldSBK paddock, where it was tipped that HRC would come back into the paddock with a factory team for the 2020 season – and on a new motorcycle.

Since then, we have seen some patents hinting at possible features of the new Fireblade, the most impressive of which is the idea that the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR could have active aerodynamics.

Now, we get word from our German colleagues at Speedweek that the new Honda Fireblade will debut sooner than we thought, making its arrival in October at the Tokyo Motor Show.

This means that we could see the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR as soon as October 23rd, instead of having to wait  several weeks longer to see the bike debut at the EICMA show in Milan.

Episode 116 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one is another WorldSBK show, as the production championship is finally back to racing action after its long summer break.

As such, this means that we see Steve English joined by Gordon Ritchie on the mics, as they are our World Superbike reporting duo for the 2019 season.

Recording straight from trackside at Portimão, the guys give some conversation about the on-track action in Portugal, but there is plenty to discuss about what is occurring off the track, as the contract season is heating up.