Jensen Beeler


Recall news from Ducati North America today, as the entire Ducati Panigale V4 lineup is being recalled because fuel might spray out of the bike’s fuel tank…again.

This happens when there is an excessive amount of pressure in the fuel tank, which may cause fuel to spray when opening the fuel cap. Obviously, spraying fuel can lead to a safety hazard, hence the recall.

In total, 1,880 superbike are affected by this recall, which includes all the Panigale V4 variants from 2017 thru 2019 – this means the Panigale V4, Panigale V4 S, Panigale V4 Speciale, and Panigale V4 R.

I had to hit the archives to find the photo above, because it is a photo from one of my first track days roughly 11 years ago – just before the idea of Asphalt & Rubber started to crossed my mind.

I was just a track day junky back then. Motorcycles were an escape from the endless studies that come with a legal education, and going to school in Pennsylvania meant really only being able to ride on the track, since street riding came with too narrow of a window with the weather for my California-spoiled tastes.

I caught the bug hard though, and through school I probably did a dozen track days a season. I’m not saying some of my massive student loan debt went to fueling my on-track pursuits…but yeah, it did.

In a way, I guess that worked out, as it was a year after graduation that I started doing A&R full-time, and the rest they say is history.

With all that time doing track days though, it is hard to believe that I haven’t done any sort of racing, but there are several reasons for that, and why now is a time I’ve chosen to bite the bullet.

We knew it was coming, a supermoto version of KTM’s 790 platform. The KTM 790 Duke filled the streetfighter niche quite well, and the KTM 790 Adventure has similarly blown the doors off the ADV market, and now the Austrian brand is looking to give hooligan riders something fun for the street.

As such, spy photos have spotted what is being called the KTM 790 SMC in action, likely testing outside the city limits of Salzburg, Austria.

Readers should remember that the maxi-motard segment isn’t a large one, with the Ducati Hypermotard 950 being really the main player in the space.

The Italian bike has long been a niche machine in Borgo Panigale’s lineup, but this latest edition has been a strong seller for Ducati, which shows the changing tastes of motorcyclists.

Episode 105 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 Spain, the guys talk about the on-track action at Jerez, where everyone is still talking about the coming together of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, in their final-lap incident in Race 1.

Before the guys get into that controversy though, they have a long discussion about Alvaro Bautista and how the Spaniard uses his Pirelli tires to his advantage.

It feels like the longest rumored machine in KTM’s future lineup. We are of course talking about the KTM 390 Adventure.

The missing link in the Austrian brand’s adventure-touring model range, which we have talked, rumored, and speculated about for well…quite a long time.

About a year ago though, Bajaj SVP and KTM India boss Amit Nandi tipped that we would see the KTM 390 Adventure in 2019. Well, that time is now, and rumors are once again heating up about this small-displacement ADV.

We sat down with David Johnson before the start of the Isle of Man TT races, and the Australian explained to us the pressures that come with a factory ride.

On Thursday though, Johnson took his factory-backed Honda CBR1000RR to the podium in the Superstock TT race, thus fulfilling a major goal in his road racing career.

It wasn't an easy feat, especially considering the horrid weather that has been hammering the Isle of Man for the past fortnight.

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We have already told you as much as this headline conveys, so apologies to our more loyal readers if this story seems redundant, but we wanted to definitively tell you that the Ducati Streetfighter V4 will debut later this month, at Pikes Peak.

The news comes fresh after a teaser that Ducati posted, which says to us that “the gloves come off at Pikes Peak” and then gives the date June 13th, which is the day of the motorcycle tire test for the historic hill climb.

“The gloves” is surely a nod to the “Streetfighter” name, though we have seen more than a few hints from Ducati and its CEO that we should expect such a model before the year’s end.

Suzuki Motor of America is recalling roughly 300 units of its  Burgman 200  scooters (2018 & 2019 model year machines) because the rivet connections may fail on the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which would allow the movable drive plate to break.

According to the recall documents, continued use of the faulty CVT drive could lead to the motorcycle no longer being operational.

Due to improper shape of the holes for the rivets that fasten the component parts of the movable driven face, the rivet connections may be insufficient.

The next two model years will be big ones for the motorcycle industry, as manufacturers prepare their offerings for the upcoming Euro5 emission regulations.

Existing models will get their new emissions gear for 2021, while new models will have to make the grade starting in 2020. That being said, most manufacturers are getting a head start on the process. One such company is Ducati.

As such, we have seen our first glimpses of the updated Ducati 959 Panigale, which will get makeover to bring its look more in line with what is on offer with the Panigale V4 superbike.

It started with a social media post from the Italian motorcycle maker, with a naked female model posed provocatively on the new MV Agusta Superveloce 800

The photo was a classic playing of an old motorcycle industry trope, where a sexy girl is draped over a motorcycle, like lavish window dressing at a fancy department store, hoping to get your attention…and then later your hard-earned money.

In that regard, MV Agusta’s ad campaign is nothing new for the motorcycle industry. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

This is business as usual in the two-wheeled world, and while even though the video campaign that came after the social media blitz was even more bizarre (and pornographic) in its story (or lack there of), we doubt few in Varese saw issue with the choice of messaging. 

Sexy bike + sexy girl + quick edits = bikes sell. That is the basic formula that the monkeys in the motorcycle marketing departments have been using for the past 50 years. So why change it now?

It is with a heavy heart that we report the first fatality at the 2019 Isle of Man TT, as Daley Mathison died during Monday’s Superbike TT race.

The 27-year-old from Stockton on Tees, Durham passed away from a racing accident that occurred on the third lap of the race, at Snugborough, which is just about two miles into the course.

An experienced rider at the Isle of Man TT, Mathison made his Mountain Course debut in 2013 as a Manx Grand Prix newcomer. Since then, he has been a multi-year competitor, as well as a three-time TT Zero podium-finisher, in 2016, 2017, and 2018.