Official data on the US motorcycle industry for 2019 isn’t out yet, but Asphalt & Rubber has seen preliminary numbers, encompassing the first 11 months of the year on new motorcycle sales, and those numbers show that the USA continues to have essentially zero growth.
According to the documents supplied to us by our Bothan spies, from January to November of 2019, the US motorcycle industry grew a whooping 0.1%, with most of the major brands posting moderate single-digit losses for the year on new bike sales.
Polaris Industries has begun teasing the next iteration of its three-wheeled sporting machine, better known as the Slingshot.
First debuting for the 2015 model year, Polaris in 2020 is finally bringing an update/new edition to the Slingshot line, which will hopefully help spur sales for this autocar.
The American brand isn’t saying too much about their new Slingshot right now, but our Bothan spies have tipped us to an automatic transmission option for the reverse-trike car.
Is there a more iconic motorcycle brand from Italy than Bimota? I think you could make some arguments to the contrary, but you would be hard-pressed to deny that the brainchild of Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini hasn’t produced some of the most impactful and drool-worthy motorcycles in the past 50 years.
Sadly, the story of Bimota is not always a happy one, and after a failed restart by Swiss investors Marco Chiancianesi and Daniele Longoni, the Italian brand seemed like it was finally set for the deadpool. But then, something interesting happened.
About six weeks ago, news started circulating that Bimota was to be reborn again…and that Kawasaki had purchased the now defunct Italian marque. Well, we have good news for Bimota fans and motorcyclists alike. Bimota is back!
And to get things started right, we have been leaked images of the company’s first new creation, the Bimota TesiH2, and it looks very, very good.
That there will be a new Honda CBR1000RR superbike for the 2020 model year is perhaps the worst-kept secret in the industry right now.
The news of this machine is so out in the open, that even the WorldSBK.com website is talking about it in terms of next year’s racing news.
Much has been said about this bike, and long has it been rumored, but now we are closing in on the new CBR1000RR’s actual unveiling deadline.
To help whet our appetite, our Bothan spies have sent us a handful of spy photos of the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR, along with a video of it on track. Booyah!
It’s currently the long WorldSBK summer break, which means that the superbike paddock has more than enough time to wheel and deal…and then of course gossip.
There are a number of rumors coming for 2020, but none of them are nearly as good as the talk about Alvaro Bautista jumping ship from Ducati, to the factory-backed Honda squad.
That news comes along with the rumor that Honda will have a new superbike for the 2020 model year, which is something we have seen speculated about for some time.
When spy shots of a creatively painted Ducati Panigale V4 came out, we didn’t know what to make of it. The photos didn’t reveal too much beyond a unique paint job, which is why we quickly moved on from them, but our Bothan Spies have made sure that we are in the loop on what is afoot.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Ducati 916 Superbike, which is a milestone near and dear to the hearts of many Ducatisti. And thus, it doesn’t surprise us to see that the spy photos show a machine that gives homage to that era of Ducati’s history – the 916/996/998 are perhaps the most iconic motorcycles ever made.
Tie those pieces into the fact that we know that Ducati has a special event ahead of the Laguna Seca WorldSBK round, and things start to get interesting, which is where our headline comes into play.
Word on the street is that Ducati is about to release a Carl Fogarty edition of the Ducati Panigale V4.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that on the day that Ducati shows us its Streetfighter V4 prototype at Pikes Peak, that we see our first spy photos of the updated KTM 1290 Super Duke R (for bonus points, MV Agusta has gotten in on the action, releasing pricing on its Brutale 1000 sport bike as well).
Rumors of an updated Super Duke have been hitting our eardrums for a while now, though the details on the machine have been sparse. In fact, we were simply told “everything is better about it.”
That’s a little light on details for our tastes, but it does bode well for the street fighting machine, as the current KTM 1290 Super Duke R ranks as one of our favorite motorcycles right now.
We have already told you as much as this headline conveys, so apologies to our more loyal readers if this story seems redundant, but we wanted to definitively tell you that the Ducati Streetfighter V4 will debut later this month, at Pikes Peak.
The news comes fresh after a teaser that Ducati posted, which says to us that “the gloves come off at Pikes Peak” and then gives the date June 13th, which is the day of the motorcycle tire test for the historic hill climb.
“The gloves” is surely a nod to the “Streetfighter” name, though we have seen more than a few hints from Ducati and its CEO that we should expect such a model before the year’s end.
The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 has been the subject of much rumor lately, as it appears the Japanese brand is getting ready to bring a new version for the next model year. What the bike will entail though is subject to some debate, however.
Over in Europe, there has been no shortage of speculation about the new superbike, fueled by patent applications from Yamaha over the past few years.
Reading those rumors now, our own Bothan spies from within the Iwata factory’s ranks have reached out to us, in an effort to set the record straight. The news is a mixture of good and bad.
Earlier this year we spotted something interesting in the Pikes Peak entry list, as Ducati was listed running a bike in the exhibition class, with Pikes Peak expert Carlin Dunne at its helm.
That Ducati would team up once again with Dunne is not a surprise. The former outright record holder for motorcycles at Pikes Peak, Dunne has brought Ducati victory on every outing of his to the Colorado mountain.
What was interesting in the entry list though was the choice of running in the exhibition class, which would only be done if Dunne & Ducati were electing not to use the Multistrada 1260 platform once again.
Our suspicion was that Ducati intended to use a stripped down version of the Panigale V4 R superbike, or perhaps even a Streetfighter V4 prototype. It would seem that our first guess was correct.
KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has already publicly tipped that the Austrian brand is hard at work on a new middleweight engine, one that will exist alongside the current 790 platform.
From those comments, the notion is that KTM is working on a 500cc platform for a range of models, which is likely to debut in a few years’ time. We also expect to see a KTM 790 SMT supermoto-styled bike debut later this year at EICMA, which should round out the 790 platform.
But, could another engine platform be in the works? That’s what our Bothan spies are telling us.