Energica is making big moves for the 2019 model year, and they are getting ready to announce them this weekend in New York, at the next installment of the International Motorcycle Show.
Giving a taste of the news to come however, Energica tells us that sizable price cuts are going to feature on its range of electric sport bikes.
The Italian brand also has a number of dealerships coming to the USA for next year, helping bolster its presence in this important market.
Lastly, fresh on the news that Energica will be supplying bikes to the MotoE World Cup, we will see track-focused kits for the Ego superbike coming from the company.
For the 2019 model year, we say goodbye to the Honda CBR650F, a fine enough machine in its own right, but one that didn’t exactly set the world on fire, and instead we say hello to the Honda CBR650R, which gets a more aggressive styling and a bevy of features, to help it earn that “R” designation at the end of its name.
Easy to sport is that the new bodywork, which draws a direct line to the Honda CBR1000RR superbike, the Honda CBR650R comes also with a sportier riding position, and the electronics and feature package to match.
It wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about the actions of Romano Fenati at the San Marino GP, where he reached out and grabbed the front brake lever of a competitor’s bike, while going over 120 mph.
The act saw immediate outrage in the MotoGP paddock. It led to Fenati being sacked by his 2018 squad, the Marinelli Snipers Team, and then booted from his 2019 outfit, the MV Agusta Moto2 team being lead by Forward Racing.
A two-race ban by the FIM Stewards also was handed down to the 22-year-old, which was later turned into a ban from racing for the rest of the year by the FIM. Soon afterwards, Fenati announced his intention to quit motorcycle racing all together, and the matter seemed finally at its conclusion.
Forever has been short-lived however, as rumors from the MotoGP paddock tip that “Naughty Fenati” will be back on the race track next year, returning for the 2019 Moto3 season with the same Marinelli Snipers Team…the same team that fired him earlier this season.
We have been waiting for quite a while to see Norton’s Atlas street bike project in the flesh, and now it is here…in two varieties.
The two machines are called the Norton Atlas Ranger and the Norton Atlas Nomad, and they are both scrambler models. The Nomad is geared more towards road use however, with its 18″ front wheel; while the Ranger has taller suspension for better off-road capabilities, along with a 19″ front hoop.
Both bikes share the same 650cc parallel-twin engine with a 270° firing order, which makes 84hp and 47 lbs•ft of torque. The motor was co-developed with Norton’s V4 project, and it is essentially the four-cylinder engine with its rear cylinder bank lopped off.
The FIM has announced the provisional WorldSBK calendar for the 2019 season. The calendar as it stands has 13 rounds, 12 of which have been confirmed. Brno and Laguna Seca are out, while Jerez makes a comeback, with a midsummer round still to be announced. That round could be Kyalami.
As we expected, the GRT Yamaha squad is moving out of the World Supersport Championship, and into the World Superbike Championship for the 2019 season.
Riding for the GRT Yamaha squad is not who we expected however, though it will be two big names in the sport: former world champions Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese.
Melandri makes the defection from Ducati, where he was reportedly paying for his ride, to Yamaha. He hopes to best his fifth place in the 2018 championship standings. Meanwhile, Cortese comes into the World Superbike racing having just won the World Supersport Championship title.
Factory-backed in World Supersport last year, the GRT Yamaha team will keeps its factory status next year as well, which leaves Yamaha with four factory-backed YZF-R1 racing machines on the grid in 2019.
In case you missed the launch of the Ducati Panigale V4 R superbike, the 998cc fire-breathing 217hp (162 kW) beast of a motorcycle, Ducati Corse is dead serious about returning to winning form in production superbike racing. In other words, the Bologna brand is all-in when it comes to WorldSBK next year.
Helping them to that object is the Ducati Panigale V4 RS19, a bike that is available only to the racing customers of Ducati Corse.
Dripping in carbon fiber, this track-only weapon is what Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista will use next season, as they aim to unseat Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki from their superbike dominance.
We are big fans of what boutique Italian brand Fantic Motorcycles is doing with its 450cc lineup. To our eye, the Fantic Callabero 500 is modern vintage done right. It almost makes us wish we lived in Europe, so we could go ride the big thumper in anger.
New for this year’s EICMA show is another 450cc bike from the brand, the Fantic Caballero Rally 500. It isn’t an earth-shattering design, and it obviously borrows very heavily from the Fantic Caballero 500 scrambler, but we still enjoy it.
As we predicted, the 2019 BMW F850GS Adventure made its debut at the EICMA show in Milan, giving the German brand another adventure bike in its arsenal on the segment. Obviously based upon the BMW F850GS that we saw debut last year, the F850GS Adventure takes the middleweight’s off-road capability to a higher level.
At the core of the machine is the same 853cc parallel-twin engine that is in the F850GS model, which means a 94hp (75 kW) peak power figure, along with 68 lbs•ft (92 Nm) of torque. It also means a 538 lbs (244 kg) wet weight at the curb, which is absurdly heavy, if we do say so.
Of course, some of that bloat comes from the 6.07-gallon (23 liters) fuel tank that has been added to the mix, which BMW Motorrad says is good for 340 miles (550 km) of riding, which is no joke. So, there are trade-offs to be made there.
Feature-wise, there is also a larger touring windscreen, which is taller and wider. BMW has also included adjustable shifter and brake levers, for better ergonomic adjustment.
While it’s not the completely new superbike that was rumored extensively this year (see you in 2020?), updates have come to the 2019 Honda CBR1000RR, which make smart changes to the Japanese superbike.
The EICMA show waits for no motorcyclist, and we love us some superbikes, so let’s just get right down to it.
I had to go back and lookup when we first saw the Svartpilen 701 from Husqvarna, because even though it was only a year ago…that time seems like an eternity.
Maybe it is because of Husqvarna’s measured pace with its street bikes, maybe it is the design overlap between the 401 and 701 models, or maybe it is because we have wanted to see what this retro-modern flat tracker was going to look like after the lawyers had their way with it.
The answer is probably all of the above, but it doesn’t really matter. The 2019 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 is ready for your two-wheeled consumption.