Jensen Beeler


The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R is a bike that we are eagerly looking forward to, here at Asphalt & Rubber, which might seem strange if you don’t know too much about the quarter-liter sport bike.

But with a 250cc displacement coming from its inline-four engine, which revs to 17,000 rpm…well, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R isn’t your typical mundane small-displacement affair.

Team Green is slowly building the hype machine for this model, and to help get us in the mood, we have a short video of WorldSBK racers Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes putting the ZX-25R through its paces at the Jerez circuit.

The road racing calendar took a big hit today, with the 2020 Isle of Man TT canceled because of concerns about the spreading coronavirus.

The news is especially bleak as the North West 200 seems certain to also see its racing canceled or postponed, and the Cookstown 100 and Tandragee 100 have been postponed as well.

This announcement from the Manx government comes as the United Kingdom has stepped up its coronavirus response, and for the TT, the Isle of Man has increased its measures to protect the island nation from the outbreak.

While much of the talk in the motorcycle industry right now is what factories are closing, and how to recover from the devastation the coronavirus is having on the world economy, one motorcycle brand is taking a different tack.

MV Agusta has announced today that it has decided to keep its factory open in Varese, despite the Lombardy region being one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

The Italian brand says it has come to this decision in agreement with its workers’ representatives, and that the factory will operate in full compliance with Italian restrictions and quarantines concerning the health epidemic.

Episode 31 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.

Helping you take a break from the coronavirus outbreak, this show comes to you straight after an arrival from Spain, where we got a chance to test the Metzeler Sportec M9 RR tire. We dive deep into this new sport bike tire, and also talk about riding (and crashing) at the Ascari Circuit in Spain.

Trying to bring you as many breaks from the coronavirus news as possible, today’s installment features the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade. A new superbike for the 2020 model year, the venerable Blade earns its extra “R” by being the most potent liter-bike ever produced by the Japanese brand.

Already showing itself to be capable on the race track, we have high hopes for the machine when it finally comes to the USA later this summer.

Until then, we will mostly have to suffice ourselves on spec-sheet items, like the 215hp (160 kW) inline four-cylinder engine, which makes 83 lbs•ft of peak torque; the pod of aerodynamic winglets on each side of the fairing; and the wet weight of 443 lbs (201 kg) .

When it comes to long-range dirt riding, the Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR seems like the perfect choice, with its potent 75hp 690cc single-cylinder thumper, and its 6.6 gallons of fuel capacity.

The model is a new one for the 2020, and was shown to us at last year’s EICMA show in Milan with quite the positive reception. There is just one problem though: what if you already have a Husqvarna 701 Enduro?

Realizing that many riders are not going to trade in their bikes for one that simply has a larger fuel capacity, the smart minds at Husqvarna have decided to make the cleverly named “Additional Fuel Tank Kit” available for current 701 owners.

Here’s another break from the doom and gloom that is coming with the coronavirus, and this time we thank the good folks at the “Ready to Race” brand for making a tire-shredding video with the KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

Revised for the 2020 model year, the venerable “Beast” comes with an all-new chassis, and many improvements over the outgoing model.

While the top power figure of 177hp (132 kW) remains, coupled to a whopping 103 lbs•ft (140 Nm) of torque, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R gets a weight reduction for the 2020 model year, with the Austrians claiming 416 lbs (189kg) when dry.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a wrecking ball to the MotoGP calendar, with now the Grand Prix of the Americas being postponed because of health concerns and travel restrictions.

The announcement coming jointly from Dorna, IRTA, and the FIM is not a surprise for those following the space, and just yesterday we speculated about today’s possible news.

With Italy overnight clamping down the entire country, and and cases of the virus continuing to grow in Europe and America, today’s announced postpone seemed all but certain.

The season-opener for the MotoGP Championship is once again under doubt, as question marks over the Americas GP in Austin are beginning to grow.

The concern comes from several factors, including local government moves in Austin that happened last Friday, which saw the Texan city declare a “state of disaster” for the metropolitan area and surrounding county because of concerns regarding the global coronavirus outbreak.

If you like your motorcycles big, feet-forward, and German, then we have good news for you, as the BMW R18 finally has a release date: Friday, April 3rd.

That’s good news to our ears too, as BMW Motorrad has been teasing the R18 for more than a year with an onslaught of custom and concept motorcycles that feature the big 1,800cc boxer engine.

Expected to come as a platform of machines, we know to expect a model that is very similar to the BMW R18/2 concept we saw debut at EICMA last year.