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Jensen Beeler

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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.







By our counting, today marks the ninth time that the Polaris Slingshot has been recalled in the US market, as Polaris Industries  is recalling certain 2015-2016 Polaris Slingshot, Slingshot SL and Slingshot SL LE motorcycles autocycles equipped with a back-up camera.

The issue stems from the fact that the back-up camera may fail internally, which may melt the voltage regulator and also possibly blow the fuse for that circuit. If this occurs, it would prevent the taillight from functioning properly.

If the taillight fails to  operate, then the affected Slingshot would fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. 







There is also a risk that a melted voltage regulator could cause a fire on the vehicle. In total, Polaris says that 11,371 Slingshots are affected by this recall.







Energica is making big moves for the 2019 model year, and they are getting ready to announce them this weekend in New York, at the next installment of the International Motorcycle Show.

Giving a taste of the news to come however, Energica tells us that sizable price cuts are going to feature on its range of electric sport bikes.

The Italian brand also has a number of dealerships coming to the USA for next year, helping bolster its presence in this important market.







Lastly, fresh on the news that Energica will be supplying bikes to the MotoE World Cup, we will see track-focused kits for the Ego superbike coming from the company.







Slovenian house Rotobox is known better for its carbon fiber wheels (if you’ve never seen a pair, they are very, very nice), but now it seems that Rotobox is looking to sell you more than just some round bling.

Starting the Rotobox Moto brand, the company has released its first project: the Splice supermoto.

Based off the Yamaha WR250 and WR450 platforms, Rotobox has cranked things up to 11 for these street-shredding machines, with some help from the good folks at the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART).







The machines aren’t cheap, however. Pricing is set at €29,830 not including VAT.







In Episode 4 of the MOTR Podcast, I sit down with Reid Wilson, Senior Director of marketing and planning at Indian Motorcycle.

Our conversation comes just hours after I rode a pre-production version of the Indian FTR1200 street bike, which serves as a jumping off point for a conversation about where Indian is headed as a company and a brand.

The FTR1200 is a pivotal motorcycle for Indian, as the machine helps mark the transition occurring at the American motorcycle company. Up until now, Indian had wanted to be the next Harley-Davidson…and now it wants to be the next Honda.







Reid’s insights into the Indian FTR1200 and the company’s overall positioning help us understand what is going on behind-the-scenes at Indian, which makes for an interesting conversation. I think you will enjoy his insights.

You can find the latest episodes of the MOTR Podcast on iTunes, Google PlaySoundCloud, or via your RSS feed, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.

If you’re not already, you should also listen to our sister podcasts, the Two Enthusiasts Podcast and The Paddock Pass Podcast.







Source: SoundCloud







One of the more interesting announcements to go unnoticed at the EICMA show in Milan, was that Vibram was looking to get into the motorcycle industry.

Known best for its five-toed “shoeless” shoes, the Italian company actually has a rich history, which includes being part of the first successful summit of K2 (arguably the most difficult mountain to climb in the world).

Now Vibram makes its business selling rubber soles to shoemakers, with the company’s brand gaining traction (pardon the pun) in the B2B realm with partners like CAT, Danner, The North Face, and many others.







Now looking for new markets to penetrate, it only makes sense to see Vibram coming to the motorcycle industry.







When the KTM RC16 project for MotoGP was first announced, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer said that one day a customer version of the race bike would eventually be available for consumption. Today is not that day…but it’s close.

This is because KTM is making available two former MotoGP race bikes for private purchase – effectively ruining your holiday wish list. They bikes are not cheap however, and you will need to have at least €250,000 in your bank account to buy one.







When we first saw the Moto Guzzi V85 TT, details on the retro ADV bike were scarce – we knew only what we could see. But, slowly the Italian company has shed light on its creation, bit by bit.

Today, we learn what is perhaps the most important aspect of this 2019 model year machine: its price.

Aggressively positioned in the market, the Moto Guzzi V85 TT will start at $11,990 MSRP with its grey paint, while the Moto Guzzi V85 TT Adventure (which comes with bags and red/yellow/white paint job) will retail for $12,990 at the dealership.







With both bikes available in the United States starting in May 2019, adventure riders will have a new middleweight to choose from when they consider adding a new bike to their stable…and the offering from Moto Guzzi is very strong.







We have drooled over Walt Siegl’s work before. First, it was the forged carbon Bol d’Or made in collaboration with David Yurman, which was followed by the Leggero model.

Our love affair ramped up with Walt’s Dakar-inspired Hypermotard, which was then followed by an even more adventure-ready machine built off the same platform, aptly named L’Avventura.

These bikes have helped to solidify Walt Siegl as one of the great motorcycle builders in the United States, and today’s addition only further bolsters that notion. As such, we bring you the simply named SBK models from Walt Siegl Motorcycles.













The Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition was made to be the very last example of the Superquadro-powered motorcycles from Borgo Panigale, and it is one of the finest examples of v-twin superbikes that the Italian company has ever made.

Giving way to the four-cylindered Ducati Panigale V4, the Final Edition was supposed to be a special edition machine that Ducati would make for as long as there was demand for it. That day has come though, with Ducati saying that only 1,299 units of the motorcycle will be produced, with production now coming to an end.

The end of an era, we will be sad to see the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition go…in all likelihood, it is the very last v-twin superbike from Ducati Motor Holding.