The State of Oregon has gotten one step closer to passing its lane-sharing bill, Oregon Senate Bill 574.
We say this because SB 574 passed a vote in the Joint Transportation Committee on April 1st (7 to 4), and now is ready for a vote on the Senate floor.
For those who don’t remember, SB 574 proposes legalizing lane sharing for motorcycles in Oregon when they are riding on a highway with a speed limit of 50 mph or higher; the flow of traffic is 10 mph or slower; and so long as the motorcyclist does not go faster than 10 mph than the traffic around them.
“I’m so glad to hear that a lot of the riders are confused! Because I am too, I really am.” Franco Morbidelli, like just about everyone in the MotoGP paddock in Qatar, has spent so long trying to get his head around the Losail International Circuit and the tricks it can play, with grip, with wind, with track temperatures, and so much more, that he is utterly lost.
“I don’t know what’s going on. Something is going on, and I hope that whatever is going on, it will go away as soon as possible, because it is tricky to work like this.”
“Consistency has been difficult this weekend because the track is different every time we exit the pits,” Jack Miller agreed. “There’s only one more day left here in Qatar and I’ll try and make it a good one and get out of here in one piece.” After nearly a month in the Gulf state, on and off, and ten days riding around the same track, everyone is very, very over being in Qatar.
Plus ça change… if you put the top four from FP2 of Qatar 1 from a week ago next to the top four of FP2 from today, what difference would you see?
The same four names, with only the names of Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartararo swapped around, the Yamaha rider now fourth instead of third, as he was last week, the lone M1 amid an army of Ducatis.
Even the times are virtually identical: the time difference between Pecco Bagnaia’s second place last week and this is just 0.036. The time difference between the third-place times is 0.038. And the difference between the fourth-place times was 0.003, a mere three thousandths of a second.
Another year, and another April Fools Day is done and dusted, and this year’s affair was far less somber than 365 days ago, though the offerings on display in 2021 show a poor result from the motorcycling community.
Since Asphalt & Rubber is still on double-secret probation with Harley-Davidson for last year’s story, we decided to double-down on the Bar & Shield brand for this go-around. What are they going to do? Un-invite us from even more press launches this year? Pfft…
Our efforts saw us making an OnlyFans account for Harley-Davidson, paired with a story about how the folks in Milwaukee were using the pay-to-play content-creator site to reach a younger audience, all in a bid to turn the tide on their falling sales.
The whole thing is mostly an excuse to photoshop some sweet captions, and to make about half a dozen dick jokes at the expense of one of America’s most iconic brands. Such is the petty nature of motorcycle journalists.
One week later, MotoGP is back at the same race track, with the same riders, and likely racing in pretty much the same conditions. Does this mean we are going to see exactly the same result in the Doha Grand Prix as we did for the Qatar Grand Prix?
That will depend. And it will perhaps depend on how well the MotoGP riders learn the lessons of last week, as well as the lessons of the past. If Maverick Viñales maintains the form he showed last Sunday, he will be very difficult to beat.
When it comes to iconic motorcycles, the Ducati Supermono ranks high on the list. Only a handful of these unique single-cylinder machine exist, and they fetch a pretty penny when they come on the market.
The man behind the machine is equally renowned, as Pierre Terblanche has been responsible for designing and creating no shortage of highly coveted and unique motorcycles, the most famous of which came during his time at Ducati (the Hypermotard, Multistrada, MH900E, 999 Superbike, and of course the Supermono).
Sitting down with Brian Case, a well-known motorcycle designer in his own right, and one of the founding partners of Motus Motorcycles, we get today’s video interview.
That Harley-Davidson has an age problem is no secret in the motorcycle community. The Bar & Shield brand is suffering heavily from the decline of baby boomers in the two-wheeled lifestyle, and now it must reinvent itself for a new generation of rider.
In that effort, no stone has been left unturned. Harley-Davidson was the first major motorcycle manufacturer to create a full-sized electric motorcycle, and it is about to debut its first true adventure bike (don’t believe the marketing hype to contrary).
Harley-Davidson has even made an effort to engage with millennials and younger generations in meaningful ways, which has meant deviating from more traditional market-outreach efforts.
Today’s news pounds that point home further, as the Bar & Shield brand has launched a presence on the OnlyFans social media platform.
All four Japanese motorcycle brands have agreed to a standard on swappable battery packs for two-wheelers, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha are reporting.
The Swappable Battery Consortium for Electric Motorcycles is focused only on the Japanese market, and shouldn’t be confused with a similar agreement and effort that Honda and other brands (Yamaha, KTM, and Piaggio) agreed to earlier this year.
Episode 196 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this show is the first of our MotoGP race coverage for the 2021 season.
On the mics, we have our usual crew of Steve English, David Emmett, Neil Morrison, and Adam Wheeler, who discuss in depth the on-track action under the lights of Losail.
The other side of the same coin? The Aprilia Tuono 660 is the “more naked” sibling (it’s a little unfair to call it a naked bike) to the Aprilia RS 660 sport bike.
With a more upright sitting position, cheaper price tag, and a lack of an IMU, the Aprilia Tuono 660 hopes to be a bit more approachable for street riders who aren’t looking for the race-ready design that comes with the RS 660.
Is there enough meat on the bones to hoon around on the track with this 660cc Tuono though? That’s what we aim to find out.
Saturday was a day for smashing records in Qatar. First up was the top speed record, Johann Zarco hitting 362.4 km/h at the end of the front straight during FP4.
Not just the top speed record for Qatar, but the highest speed ever record at a MotoGP track, the previous record 356.7 km/h set by Andrea Dovizioso at Mugello.
To put that in to context, it is 100.666 meters per second. Or put another way, it took Johann Zarco less than one second to cover the distance which takes Usain Bolt 9.6 seconds. It is a mind-bending, brain-warping speed.