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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.

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.

Another year, and another April Fools Day is done and dusted. Normally, I would say that April 1st is better than Christmas for motorcycle journalists, but literally as billions of people sheltered in their houses because of the coronavirus outbreak, this year’s affair had a much more somber tone, with some outlets choosing to refrain from the chicanery.

My colleague David Emmett was one of those who thought the day warranted a different approach, and he offered his readers the entertainment of Simon Crafar’s MotoVudu channel, which is superb. You should definitely take his advice, and give it a watch.

Our Brap Talk podcast tried something a little different as well, where we did an episode that was appropriately titled “Not About Motorcycles” as we tried to offer a more general interest show. Maybe we will spin this idea into its own podcast, but don’t worry, there will be more moto-content from now on. Look for another episode on Monday.

For my own part, well…I’m simpler creature than David, and have more base instincts when it comes to April 1st.  As such, I took the lazy approach and picked on the folks in Milwaukee for my April Fools kicks.

While I would say that Harley-Davidson is usually a pretty sport about things, I did wake up to a phone call from the Bar & Shield brand today, and I am pretty sure that Asphalt & Rubber is now on double-secret probation with the American motorcycle manufacturer. Trade that against being able to use half-naked Miley Cyrus photo in an article, and I would say it is an even exchange. Mea culpa, and sorry for partying.

How about from the rest of the industry though? In case you missed them, the highlights of April Fools Day are after the jump.

Fresh off of the news from two days ago, where the Harley-Davidson Board of Directors settled the power-grab by investment group Impala Asset Management, we now see the first fruits of that agreement taking shape.

Taking decisive measures, fueled by the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic, the Harley-Davidson Board of Directors held an emergency voting session on Tuesday night, which saw the group lay out a massive restructuring plan the Bar & Shield brand.

Episode 33 of the Brap Talk podcast is now out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, well…sort of for your two-wheeled audio pleasure.

This is because this show is our long talked about “Not About Motorcycles” show, which as the title implies, is a little light on the moto-content.

Consider this a pilot for a possible spin-off podcast, where Shahin and Jensen talk about life, the universe, and everything else…with the occasional motorcycle in there.

Another year, and another April Fools Day is done and dusted. I am fairly certain that for journalists, April 1st is better than Christmas, as it marks the one day where media outlets make the news they wish they could report on daily. And as usual, the imaginations of the motorcycle media pool didn’t fail to disappoint.

My colleague David Emmett had a timely story on how MotoGP will be a house divided, because of the current drama around the use of aerodynamic rider aids.

For my own part, I looked to the increasingly important space of airbag-equipped motorcycle gear and wondered what the next evolution in that space, with thanks to the fine folks at REV’IT for being good sports about our vision of perforated airbag systems.

How about from the rest of the industry though? In case you missed them, the highlights of April Fools Day are after the jump.

After the past three weeks have been filled with controversy over aerodynamic appendages, a compromise has been reached among the manufacturers involved in MotoGP, we have learned.

At a meeting of the MSMA in Termas De Rio Hondo, Argentina, on Sunday, the six manufacturers agreed to a new format for MotoGP which would allow both the opponents and advocates of aerodynamics to get what they want from the series.

The proposal, which is yet to be put to the Grand Prix Commission, would see the MotoGP championship split into two, the class running twice, both with and without aerodynamic fairings.

From next year, if the proposal is approved, MotoGP will host two races each Sunday: one for the MotoGP Aero Championship, and one for the MotoGP Plain Championship.

The future of motorcycle safety apparel just took another step forward, as a new brand has entered the airbag game for motorcycle track and race suits.

It shouldn’t surprise us to see that the brand in question is REV’IT, as the Dutch company is already at the forefront of motorcycle apparel design, and is an avid safety partner for racers at the top level of the sport.

REV’IT joins Alpinestars and Dainese in offering an in-house airbag safety technology system for track use, but the brand is taking things to the next level with its novel approach to keeping riders safe.

For REV’It, the issue isn’t just in deploying the soft protection that an airbag offers a rider. Instead, their new airbag design promises to be lighter in weight and cooler in temperature than the units from the competition.

Another year, and another April Fools Day is done and dusted. I am fairly certain that for journalists, April 1st is better than Christmas, as it marks the one day where media outlets make the news they wish they could report on daily. And as usual, the imaginations of the motorcycle media pool didn’t fail to disappoint.

My colleague David Emmett had a nicely done story about the MotoGP World Championship, and the ever increasing high-stakes game that is the rider contract Silly Season.

An expertly crafted April Fools story, perhaps the biggest disappointment from David’s piece is that we must now knowingly live in a world where “Racing with the Stars” isn’t a show we can watch on TV. I know my life will be the lesser because of it.

For my own part, I took advantage of the long-con approach, and fit a story into our ongoing series about the upcoming Suzuki Hayabusa, which seems to have no shortage of weekly rumors about this bike’s supposed features and technical specifications.

All I’m going to say is that “Drag Busa” rolls right off the tongue, and an extendable rear swingarm would be “tyt” with the Busa’s core demographic. Hopefully someone in Hamamatsu is listening.

How about from the rest of the industry though? In case you missed them, the highlights of April Fools Day are after the jump.

There has been a trend over the past decade for rider contract negotiations to get earlier and earlier.

Where once, talks about new contracts would start sometime in June, and agreements finalized and signed during August, now, initial discussions start at the Valencia Grand Prix the year before a contract is due to end, and deals are signed in the first few races, or as in the past two contract cycles, before the season has even begun.

The underlying causes for this trend are numerous, but at its heart, it comes down to the glut of talent that is in MotoGP these days, both in terms of riders and in terms of bikes. The best riders have more choice of competitive machinery, and there are more talented riders for the factories to choose from.

This has forced the factories into pursuing and signing up the riders they want as early as possible.

As former HRC team principal Livio Suppo told ace French journalist Thomas Baujard, “In the MotoGP class, the manufacturers are the slaves of the top riders.”

Episode 50 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast celebrates our favorite day of the year, April Fools Day. As such, we start off the show with a re-cap on some of the best pranks that the industry had to offer this year.

We then turn our attention to two events we attended in the past few weeks, as we visited the World of Speed in Wilsonville, Oregon and Quentin was at the Desert 100 race in Eastern Washington. Both are items you should mark on your calendar, and it is great to see them showcasing motorsport in the Pacific Northwest.

We then turn our attention in the show to MotoAmerica’s call for volunteers, to help shoulder the workload at the track during this year’s racing events. We also discuss the very interesting Mugen E.Rex electric dirt bike, which has to be seen to be believed.

You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!