Jensen Beeler


You might be wondering why the words “sport” and “scooter” appear together in the headline of this story. And, you might be asking yourself why we are covering the launch of a new scooter here on Asphalt & Rubber. Those are fair questions.

No, we haven’t lost our minds, and the Yamaha TMAX is no normal scooter. While we may be into our flashy sport bikes here at A&R, there is a whole world that revolves around the TMAX, which gives way to a rich tuning culture and cult status in markets outside of the United States.

Try this on for size, now in its seventh generation of production, Yamaha has sold over 275,000 TMAX scooters in the last 20 years, and now for the 2020 model year, the Yamaha TMAX 560 counts itself as the most powerful version ever produced.

Debuting just before this year’s EICMA show in Milan, we see one of the Tuning Fork brand’s few exciting bikes for next year.

What will surely continue to be a European model only, the Yamaha Tracer 700 gets refreshed for the 2020 model year.

Based off the Yamaha MT-07 platform, this parallel-twin sports tourer boasts a new full-fairing design that is strangely eye-catching.

Beneath that fairing though is where the real changes reside, as the big highlight feature for 2020 is that the 689cc engine gets tweaked for Euro5 emission homologation.

While the Ducati Streetfighter V4 was the crown jewel of the Ducati unveiling event in Rimini last week, the items that everyone seems to be still talking about after the media launch are something else, they are the two concept bikes for the Scrambler range.

For those that didn’t watch the live stream, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali presented two different Scrambler models that have the potential to go into production, an ADV bike and a supermoto.

I am going to be real honest with you right now. For a story touting a cheaper price point for three of MV Agusta’s most popular models, we were a little disappointed to see that the actual pricing information wasn’t included in the press package. Just saying, it seems kind of important.

That being said, if we take MV Agusta at its word, the Varesini brand just made it easier to put a Brutale 800, Dragster 800, or Turismo Veloce 800 in your garage, with the company’s new “Rosso” lineup of bike.

As the name implies, the big new feature for these models is their all-red paint jobs, though the keen eye will notice some other changes to help ease them into a lower price point.

Continuing the trend we saw with the MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR for the 2020 model year, that Italian brand from Varese has a “regular” version of its popular Superveloce 800, for sale next year.

Now while the MV Agusta Superveloce 800 might be the “cheaper” alternative to the $35,000 Serie Oro model, don’t let the name fool you.

The talk of the town at EICMA, all the main elements are still here on the 2020 MV Agusta Superveloce 800 that made it such a drool-worthy creation last year.

The 2019 EICMA show hasn’t even started yet, and already we have our first bike debut. Say hello to the new MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR, the Italian brand’s newest naked bike that the rest of us can afford.

Based off the well-received MV Agusta Brutale 1000 Serie Oro, which debuted last year, the RR model brings the same basic streetfighter design to market, but without the über-exclusive price tag that matched.

Perhaps the most talked about motorcycle from the Tokyo Motor Show, at least when it comes to fans and journalists, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R was also the least talked about machine, in terms of manufacturers releasing details.

Kawasaki pulled the wraps off a four-cylinder 250cc sport bike, and then said...nothing.

In fact, the only official thing that Kawasaki has said about the motorcycle since its unveiling is to put out a press release reminding us that the Japanese brand has said nothing of substance about the new model.

No price has been mentioned. No marks on the calendar, or hints on which markets will get it first (or get it at all).

The release of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R is a great example of why brands need to have an engaged hand on their public relations, because all hell can break loose when you let go of the wheel.

While Kawasaki is still dropping the ball on this, let us  try and bring some order to this chaos, both with what we know as fact, and what we can reasonably discern from those facts.

To continue reading this story, you need to have an A&R Pro subscriber account. If you have an A&R Pro account, you can login here.

With this year’s EICMA show just a few days away, we probably don’t have to wait too much longer to find out all the details about the much-talked-about 2020 Honda CBR1000RR, but we just got a tip from a Bothan spy and thought we would share it with you.

The reason for our excitement, is what this reliable tipster tells us. Namely, that the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR will be a fire-breathing monster, with 215hp on tap.

For the past many weeks, we have been talking about Suzuki’s plans to bring back the DR Big name – a moniker that has deep ties to Suzuki’s off-roading prowess, and draw links to the iconic Dakar Rally.

Then, we saw spy photos of a new Suzuki V-Strom 1000, which looked better-suited for the dirty trails, and showed a number of updates to this venerable line of adventure bikes.

Now, we get our first solid look at the 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, as the Japanese brand gears up for next week’s EICMA show in Milan.

The EICMA show in Milan is just a few days away now, which means that the big brands are reaching the zenith in their teasing for next year’s motorcycle models. Of course, this includes KTM.

We have already been teased the KTM 1290 Super Duke R ad nauseam, and today is no different in that regard. But…we do finally get to see the Super Duke R prototype in all its glory.

Other than seeing more clearly how KTM has built a new steel trellis frame (modeled after the one found on the RC8 superbike), the obvious use of WP Suspension’s top-spec forks and shock, and how the bodywork will come together (note the winglets hidden by the front shrouds), there aren’t too many surprises.

Still, we think KTM has a done a good job on this model refresh, and we can now finally appreciate it a little bit better than before, hence why we are sharing it with you.

We know that the Aprilia RS 660 will debut as a production bike at EICMA next week, and we know that the Italian brand plans to make a few different machines off its middleweight twin platform.

So, they leaves us making some very obvious guesses about what will come next from Noale, and an Aprilia Tuono 660 is perhaps the most logical of those thought processes.

Confirming that suspicion, it seems that Aprilia was showing off its smaller Tuono model at an Imola track day, with the above spy shot getting snapped by the folks at ApriliaCup.