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Jensen Beeler

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Episode 91 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and in it we see Neil Morrison, and Steve English on the mics, as we ramp up for the 2019 World Superbike Championship season.

With the WorldSBK paddock descending on Phillip Island this week, we see the riders getting their last pre-season testing done, before they head into the weekend’s season-opening round.

Who are the hot favorites? Who will be the dark horses? Who has made the most progress? And who remains a complete mystery? The guys discuss all that and more in this edition of the podcast.

Here is some interesting automotive news for you that has bearing over our two-wheeled world, as CNN is reporting that more Americans are behind on their car loans than ever before.

The news accounts for two trends that we are seeing in the United States. One, the decline of automobile ownership; and two, the rising debt load amongst citizens, especially millennial buyers.

What this translates into the car world – namely that buyers are increasingly defaulting on their auto loans – likely bears the same reality in the motorcycle industry, since so many motorbikes are bought through financed payment schemes.

Depending on who you talk to, the café racer movement is either slowly dying or already dead (just in time for the major OEMs to hop on board, we might add). So, what’s the next hot thing?

Vintage bikes from the 1980s and 1990s seem to be stepping up to the plate, because after all what was old is new again. We see this coming from vintage racing series, custom builds, and even some movements from forward-thinking manufacturers.

As such, it only makes sense that there would be a magazine dedicated to this unique niche of the motorcycle industry. Behold, the new Retro-RR magazine, which aims to bring you quarterly print content about the golden age of superbikes.

Episode 8 of the Brap Talk podcast is out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, and because of our hiatus, it is a super-long show.

This two-hour long installment covers three main topics. After getting up to speed on what we have been up to, we talk about the Ducati Hypermotard 950 international press launch, and what this giant supermotard is like on the street and the track.

From the African continent we move back to our hometown of Portland, Oregon, where The One Motorcycle Show took place, and once again solidified itself as one of the most important custom shows in the United States.

Another day, and another factory MotoGP team debut. This week’s entry is actually a two-fer from the KTM camp, as we see in their race livery both the factory-back Red Bull KTM team debut (Pol Espargaro & Johann Zarco), as well as the factory-supported KTM Tech3 squad (Hafizh Syahrin & Miguel Oliveira).

KTM will be looking to make big steps this year in the MotoGP Championship, as the team stalled on its progress last year. This is part of the reason for a two-pronged approach in the paddock, and for the Tech3 outfit getting substantial support and involvement in the development of the KTM RC16 race bike.

Though we were disappointed to see that the Triumph Daytona 765 wouldn’t come to us as a 2019 model, rumors about the motorcycle’s arrival have begun to swell.

Alleged spy photos of the bike popped up on the web last week, and out Bothan Spies have been reporting details of what to expect from this middleweight sport bike, which seems set for a 2020 model year debut…perhaps as early as later this year.

When it comes to attractive motorbikes, we have devoted some critical pixels towards the folks at Zero Motorcycles. Let’s be frank, the design side of the equation hasn’t historically been the brand’s strong suit. The company is making progress, however.

Now, when it comes to custom motorcycles, there has been a quiet resistance to using electric models as starting points for creation, though occasionally we see an electron-powered machine at a bike show that captures our attention.

Today though, we see the happy merger of those two thoughts, with this Zero FX custom supermoto by Huge Design, which debuted this weekend at the The One Motorcycle Show in Portland, Oregon, and was easily our favorite bike at the show. 

On Thursday, a German court of appeals in Munich released a ruling that Alpinestars had infringed upon a patent by Dainese, which held bearing over the the brands’ airbag suit systems.

The impact of that decision amounted to a big blow to Alpinestars’ ability to sell its Tech-Air garments in the German market, as the ruling meant that Alpinestars could no longer sell its Tech-Air products in the German market, and also that Alpinestars would have to pay restitution to Dainese for damages.

Letting that news circulate through the weekend, Alpinestars has now issued a statement about the German court’s ruling, which not only adds more clarity to the patents in question, but also shows that the legal battles between the two companies are far from over.