Jensen Beeler


The question around electric motorcycles does not seem to be “if” they will come but “when” they will come, and from that comes a slew of other questions on how we are going to handle mainstream adoption of this budding two-wheeled segment.

From this momentum comes ideas on how best to charge electric vehicles, and we already see the great debate about the various charging standards available to manufacturers. 

BMW Motorrad is tackling the issue was well, and patent applications show that the German brand has a very smart solution for how to charge motorcycles.

Official data on the US motorcycle industry for 2019 isn’t out yet, but Asphalt & Rubber has seen preliminary numbers, encompassing the first 11 months of the year on new motorcycle sales, and those numbers show that the USA continues to have essentially zero growth.

According to the documents supplied to us by our Bothan spies, from January to November of 2019, the US motorcycle industry grew a whooping 0.1%, with most of the major brands posting moderate single-digit losses for the year on new bike sales.

For the 2020 racing year, MotoAmerica has announced that it will run a three-round Mini Cup, in an effort to bridge the gap for young racers into professional racing.

The new series, which will race at Road America, The Ridge Motorsports Park, and PittRace, will have four spec-classes, all of which will use Ohvale motorcycles.

The class breakdown is as follow: 110cc (four-speed); 160cc; 190cc (racers aged up to 14 years); and 190 Adult (racers over the age of 15), with all of the races set to take place on karting tracks at the aforementioned race courses.

Polaris Industries has begun teasing the next iteration of its three-wheeled sporting machine, better known as the Slingshot.

First debuting for the 2015 model year, Polaris in 2020 is finally bringing an update/new edition to the Slingshot line, which will hopefully help spur sales for this autocar.

The American brand isn’t saying too much about their new Slingshot right now, but our Bothan spies have tipped us to an automatic transmission option for the reverse-trike car.

The 2020 MotoGP season has already had an interesting start for the Aprilia Racing squad, with the off-season headlines dominated by the doping results of the Italian team’s Italian rider, Andrea Iannone.

While we could learn as soon as next week whether Iannone’s “B” sample tests positive or negative for anabolic steroids, this week the rumors center around the changes coming to the Aprilia RS-GP for next season.

This is because news from Italy pegs some major movements are underway in Noale, and that an all-new design and technical basis for the Aprilia RS-GP is set to debut at the Sepang test next month.

One of the bikes we are looking forward to the most in 2020 is the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R. This mysterious small-displacement machine makes some big promises for a motorcycle of its size, namely because of its four-cylinder 250cc engine, which we now know will spin to 17,000 rpm.

Complete with traction control, riding modes, and a quickshifter, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R is packing some serious tech for a motorcycle that is typically found in the “budget” section at the local dealership.

But, this is all part of Kawasaki flipping the game on its head, and making a motorcycle that is truly unique and special.

Episode 27 of the Brap Talk podcast is now out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, and as always, it is packed with some interesting motorcycle discussions.

In this show, we catch up on lost time, as Jensen got the flu (go get your flu shot, right now), and was in bed for two weeks hoping that death would come and release him from his misery.

While that meant a delay in podcasting shows, the upside is that it means this episode has plenty to talk about!

While we wait for the New Year and ponder what has occurred in the last 365 days, the folks at Honda certainly have a milestone to remember 2019 by – this was the year that they built their 400 millionth motorcycle. That’s a lot.

This marker comes in Honda’s 70th year of making motorcycles (the Honda Dream D-Type went on sale in 1949), and it is an astounding achievement for the Japanese brand.

Generally speaking, December is a quiet time for the MotoGP paddock, as teams and riders take their holidays and well-earned time off very seriously.

It is a brief reprieve until testing starts again in the new year, but for the Aprilia Racing squad, their MotoGP effort is on high-alert after the news that their rider Andrea Iannone failed a drug test in Sepang earlier this year.

Facing a potential four-year ban, the future of Iannone’s racing career likely resides in the testing of his “B” sample from the Malaysian round, but naturally Aprilia has its own Plan B in the works as well.

It would be incorrect to say that we are eagerly awaiting the Segway Apex, an electric motorcycle from the recognizable urban transport brand. While the bike looks intriguing, we are skeptical of its actual abilities.

Set to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on the second week of January, one the motorcycle items of note is this electric motorcycle concept from Segway.

The Chinese-owned brand has been teasing its Apex for a couple weeks now, though details are still light on this potential future model. All we know right now is that parent company Ninebot says that the Segway Apex will do 125 mph / 0-60 in 2.9 seconds.

For 20 years, Team Green brought the Kawasaki GPZ900R to motorcyclists around the word, giving eager two-wheeled fans a potent street bike, which would eventually launch the “Ninja” name and help create the sport bike segment.

The unofficial star of the movie Top Gun, the Kawasaki GPZ900R was made famous by the Hollywood hit and actor Tom Cruise, and now with a sequel set for 2020, this iconic motorcycle could be making a return as well.

That is the rumor from Japan, at least, which is being fueled by a curious video posted by Kawasaki, which shows the evolution of the GPZ900R over the years – spoiler alert: not much changed in its 20-year run.