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.
Though we were disappointed to see that the Triumph Daytona 765 wouldn’t come to us as a 2019 model, rumors about the motorcycle’s arrival have begun to swell.
Alleged spy photos of the bike popped up on the web last week, and out Bothan Spies have been reporting details of what to expect from this middleweight sport bike, which seems set for a 2020 model year debut…perhaps as early as later this year.
We still have over a month before Zero Motorcycles is going to take the wraps off its latest motorcycle, but the teaser is out, and our Bothan spy insiders have been hard at work uncovering more information about the machine.
As such, we have a bevy of details that have leaked out from the Californian electric motorcycle company, and so far, we like what we hear.
This because if our sources are correct, the Zero SR/F is set to be quite the looker, and it will have the technical specifications to back it up.
We first broke the news about the Aprilia RS 660 a few months ago, tipping that the 600cc class parallel-twin would debut soon, but even we didn’t know what we were in for until the Noale brand took the covers off this amazing machine at EICMA today.
True to rumor, the bike is basically powered by half of an Tuono 1100 / RSV4 1100 engine, with the forward bank of cylinders making the engine platform. Building from there, Aprilia has begun to play with an active aerodynamic system as well, taking the current trend in the two-wheeled space to the next level.
Called Aprilia Active Aerodynamics (A3), the name pretty much tells the story. As such, the Aprilia RS 660 concept explores using aerodynamic forces in new ways, which sees the machine capable of changing its front aerodynamic profile, as well as how much downforce it creates.
Even as the official opening of EICMA rapidly approaches, our Bothan Spies are hard at work looking for clues to next year’s motorcycle debuts. As such, they bring news from Milan, where BMW Motorrad is set to unveil a bevy of new motorcycles.
Most of these new bikes we know of, with the BMW R1250GS Adventure and BMW S1000RR already leaking, and the BMW R1250R and BMW R1250RS obviously tipped by CARB filings for the new ShiftCam boxer-twin engine.
With BMW Motorrad telling us that we will see nine new motorcycles this new bike season, all that is left is simple math on what remains, now that the BMW R1250GS and BMW R1250RT debuted ahead of the INTERMOT show.
So far, our total is six…but we’re about to make it seven, as our Bothan’s report that the BMW F850GS Adventure will debut tomorrow morning in Milan.