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Jensen Beeler

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Two years ago, Triumph set out in a partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain Ltd.’s e-Drive Division, and WMG at the University of Warwick to develop an electric motorcycle.

The group is funded from theUK government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) via Innovate UK, and today they have reached “Phase 2” of their four-phase development process.

Effectively, this means Triumph et al have developed an electric drivetrain package for a motorcycle, and to make this a little sexier, they are sharing their design sketches for the prototype bike that they plan to build in Phase 3 of the project.

Episode 193 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one is one of three season-preview shows that we will be releasing this week. Of course, we are starting with the MotoGP Championship

On the mics, we have Steve English, David Emmett, and Adam Wheeler, and they are joined by MotoGP pitlane reporter and ex-grand prix racer Simon Crafar.

Simon brings with him a host of information and knowledge from a life in the paddock, and it was a genuine pleasure and privilege to have him on the show.

Last week, Moto Guzzi marked its 100th birthday of making motorcycle – a pretty significant achievement for a motorcycle brand – and the Italian brand showed that even after a century of being in business, they still have some tricks up their sleeve.

We say this because Moto Guzzi casually snuck a glimpse of a future motorcycle in its plethora of anniversary materials, and it doesn’t seem like too many people noticed.

The photo in questions is a relative low-res glimpse of a motorcycle, which of course has been further obscured through Photoshop manipulation.

It was strange to see another press release from Ducati Motor Holding about the 2020 sales year - you would think that the Italian brand would like to forget about the 9.7% sales drop it reported for last year. Like virtually every other motorcycle brand in the industry, last year was tough on unit sales, though there were some very promising trends later in the season. As such, everyone is trying to spin the events and put their best foot forward - Ducati included. So while it is at least strange to see the Bologna brand touting its cash flow results for 2020, one can at least understand why they are doing so. What is more interesting though are some of the tidbits Ducati released in the process, which shows an insight into the company's operations and trends.

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Airbag technology for motorcyclists continues to advance, and today’s news from Alpinestars is proof of that, as the Italian brand has added a “race” mode to its consumer-facing Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 airbag vest.

Shipped with a “street” algorithm, the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 can now be updated via firmware to include the company’s racing algorithm, which can be enabled by Bluetooth and a smartphone app.

That BMW Motorrad is working on a bagger version of its R18 cruiser is perhaps not new information. The bike has been spied in a variety of ways by the eager eyes of the two-wheeled press.

Today though is our first teasing of its existence from the German brand though, as the company let slip in its yearly report that BMW Motorrad would soon be showing this new “touring” model to the world.

Walt Siegl Motorcycles has a new two-wheeled work of art for us to drool over, and once again this machine is an electric motorcycle, following up Walt’s last bike, the beautiful PACT.

“Motorcycle” might be the wrong word to use on this latest bike though, as Walt’s creation lives in that blurred space between motorcycles, mopeds, and pedal-assist machinery, not to dissimilar from a plethora of other EV entries, including CAKE.

It is an interesting space for the motorcycle community to explore, and we have really only seen it on the OEM side with bikes like the Honda Grom and its ilk (which are selling like hotcakes, we might add).

Episode 190 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one is a special addition to our weekly schedule (don’t worry, we’ll have another show for you on Wednesday as well).

On the mics, we have Steve English, David Emmett, and Adam Wheeler, and they are joined by factory KTM rider Brad Binder.

The four sit down to have a frank conversation about the MotoGP class, and how the South African riders has made the jump into the premier class from Moto3.