bothan spies


The debut of the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 was the headline event from 2021 - with the Bar & Shield brand offering its first motorcycle that truly deviated from the company's cruiser lineup.

An integral part of Harley-Davidson's "Hardwire" plan to restructure the company for the future, the Pan America 1250 is a conquest bike for the American bike-maker, with an eye on scooping up some sales from rival European brands.

Was it a success? That depends on whom you ask. American publications certainly seemed to think so, with the Pan America 1250 taking top honors in several of their shootouts last year. Meanwhile, the European press was less-enthused.

We will let you decide if home-team bias, on both sides of the pond, are at play there. For our money, we'd put the Ducati Multistrada V4 S in our garage before the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, but reasonable minds can easily disagree on this thought.

Shootouts don't balance the account's books however, and for the bean-counters, the true measure of a motorcycle's success is on the showroom floor.

To that end, Harley-Davidson sold just over 2,500 units of its Pan America lineup in the USA last year, according to our Bothan spies.

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Two years ago, we saw the KTM 1290 Super Duke R getting a bevy of upgrades for the 2020 model year. Then last year, the KTM 1290 Super Duke RR broke cover, with no shortage of go-fast parts for 2021.

Now, we are getting ready for next year’s machines, and our Bothan spies have been busy searching for clues for what we could see during the new bike season.

With that, we can confirm that “The Beast” will get another upgrade, coming as the 2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO.

The KTM RC390 is set for a major overhaul for the 2022 model year, with the pint-sized platform getting a serious makeover   next year and a bevy of mechanical improvements as well.

While we expect the 2022 KTM RC390 to debut officially later this year, a blogger out of India has scored what looks to be official studio photos of the KTM RC390, KTM RC200, and KTM RC125 models.

The photos show the bikes’ massive overhaul visually – a look that we think will be more palatable to the two-wheeled masses than its predecessor.

Go to any motorcycle racing club, and you will surely see a fleet of Suzuki SV650 race bikes. The 650cc v-twin sport bike has been a mainstay for track enthusiasts and sport bikers alike for over two decades. The bike is an icon.

And yet, the venerable Suzuki SV650 finds itself under attack from all sides, no more so than by Suzuki’s Japanese rival Yamaha, which now has a two-pronged approach with its MT-07 and YZF-R7 offerings.

If you liked what you saw with the 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, and you live in the United States, well…we have some bad news for you. The new 1290 ADV bike will not be coming to the USA this year, and instead will be a 2022 model.

This news comes to us from our Bothan spies, and the indication is that none of KTM’s upcoming 1290 bikes will see US soil until next year, including the KTM 1290 Adventure R and KTM 1290 Super Duke GT – two models we are expecting to see updated soon.

When the KTM 890 Duke debuted two weeks ago, we were impressed by what the Austrian brand was bringing to the table with this 890cc naked bike.

The KTM 790 Duke had been our sweet spot for price and performance in the sport, and while the KTM 890 Duke promised more “bang” than its predecessor, we wondered at what cost on the “buck” side of the equation.

This is because KTM North America didn’t release pricing information when the 2021 KTM 890 Duke was unveiled – thankfully our Bothan spies have been busy on the job.

On December 17th, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) raided with armed tactical agents the offices of Ducati North America in Mountain View, California.

Though only a handful of employees were in the Mountain View office because of COVID restrictions during the time of the raid, it is being reported that roughly 30 agents stormed the building with a search warrant in hand.

An account of this happening was posted by a Ducati North America employee to the Bay Area Riders Forum, with RoadRacing World subsequently publishing the news.

As we get closer to the debut of the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 for the 2021 model year, information about this adventure bike is making its way into Harley-Davidson’s various channels, which means it’s making its way into the ears of our Bothan spies.

First reported on the Brap Talk motorcycle podcast, our initial news is that the Pan America will debut at a fairly affordable price for the category, starting around the $17,000 mark.

With all the bells and whistles installed, the bike is still expected to be a sub-$20,000 machine, which makes it one of the more affordable luxury ADV bikes on the market.