Tag

design

Browsing

It is not uncommon for manufacturer to merely update a motorcycle’s graphics package for a new model year, even if no other mechanical changes are coming. It helps keep the bike fresh in the consumers’ eyes, and perhaps it is just enough to lure some would-be buyers into a purchase.

This started the marketing phrase “bold new graphics” to be uttered when such visual refreshes occurred, but in the past decade or so, the phrase has taken on more of an ironic meaning to show that no new changes are coming for a particular motorcycle model, leaving only the color change to be touted.

In the case of the MV Agusta F3, however, the phrase “bold new graphics” is quite literal, as the graphics are indeed bold in color and application, and they are a bit of a departure from what we would expect from the Italian brand.













Last week, we brought you our first good look at what the 2019 BMW S1000RR will look like, as BMW Motorrad registered design patents of the machine that showed off its sporty lines.

The grayscale CAD models of the superbike are very detailed, but their cold grey tones can only show so much of what the motorcycle will feel like once we see it debut at EICMA later this year.

Thankfully, one of our readers – Csorin – is pretty good with a pen. Photoshopping in some color and liveries over the gray models, the 2019 BMW S1000RR comes to life.







It is amazing what some artwork and lines can do in terms of reshaping the way a motorcycle looks, and Csorin’s work is a testament to the graphic designers throughout the industry, who spend all day making ugly look good.







Today, we get a good look at the 2019 BMW S1000RR, which after much teasing is likely to debut at this year’s EICMA show in Milan, Italy – though it could arrive as early as the INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany. Described to us as a “game changer” in the superbike space, the 2019 BMW S1000RR is set to once again disrupt what we have come to expect in the liter-bike category.

Now with CAD renders leaking from the bike’s design patents, we can see quite clearly the 2019 BMW S1000RR in detail. The first obvious change is to the bike’s engine, which is obviously completely new based off the case design. Inside those cases our sources tell us a counter-rotating crankshaft resides.







If you are reading this, it should be fairly obvious that Asphalt & Rubber has undergone a bit of an upgrade.

This redesign has been a long time coming, but we finally gave the old girl a sprucing up, just in time for her 10th birthday, which will be in October this year.

I won’t bore you with the technical and editorial advantages that A&R 2.0 brings us, though there are many, but from a reader’s standpoint there are a few things we want to highlight:







  • Loads faster
  • More stories on the front page
  • Better category browsing
  • Mobile and tablet friendly
  • Photo galleries actually work (check it out at the end of this post)
  • New storytelling formats
  • Rich media friendly (videos, podcasts, etc)
  • Way more cowbell

The full transition to the new layout and site will take a few more days to complete, so pardon our dust while we work. The basics should all be ready for you at this point though: reading stories, navigating categories, and commenting.

Our A&R Pro readers have been taking the new site for a spin this last month, and we have gotten a great deal of feedback from them and are already making those changes to the site.

Now that it is live for everyone, feel free to kick the tires on the new design and leave us your thoughts on the layout.







We know things like the A&R Pro pages, contact forms, and sidebar need some work. Those should be ready by the end of the Labor Day weekend, if not sooner. 

A quick shout out to a few people who were instrumental at the various stages of this process, I doubt we would have gotten here without their hard work: Ivan Lo, Dustin Gibbs, Louda Peña, and Dan Lloyd. Many thanks to them for dealing with my reptile brain.

And as always, thank you dear readers for coming to Asphalt & Rubber every day. You all make the hard work worthwhile. Let’s all head to the comments section and sing kumbaya.

-JB













Harley-Davidson made a big push today, showing a number of bikes and concepts that it plans to bring to market by 2022. All of them were a big surprise, but one of them we already knew about: the Harley-Davidson Livewire.

While not as big of a shock as the adventure-touring Pan America concept, or the Harley-Davidson Streetfighter or Custom models (to say the least about its upcoming electric lineup), Harley-Davidson has given us something to talk about with this electric power cruiser.

Namely, the Harley-Davidson Livewire looks ready in production and in form, even though its official debut is still a year away.













I first rode a Zero back in 2009. It was a horrible machine. It was so bad, I don't even dare call it a motorcycle - the execution on that goal was just too far off the mark to warrant calling that creation a motorcycle.

For an example of this, I remember going for a ride on an early Zero S and the on/off switch was marked in sharpie, right on the frame.

The brakes were like wooden blocks attached to the wheels, which didn't matter much because the tires were cheap rubber from China that were absolutely useless (and terrifying) in the rain.

It wouldn't take long to learn that Zero's focus on lightweight components was a bad decision as well, as we would see frames on the dirt bike models collapsing when taken over any sort of jump.

The bikes from Zero were so bad, the product reviews on them could serve as a litmus test of who in the media was bought and paid for, and who was actually speaking truth to power.

These machines were objectively awful, and anyone telling you otherwise was getting paid - straight up.

I could probably go on and on about the quality issues of these early machines, but it would rob us time from discussing the constant management issues that Zero has faced in the past decade, its failed dealership and servicing model, not to mention just the general branding issue of calling your product a "Zero".

To their credit though, the folks at Zero have improved their product with each successive iteration. The management team finally seems to be stable; Zero now uses a traditional dealership model, and isn't wasting time sending technicians all over the country in a van; and well...the branding is still tough, but there is a new corporate logo.

Most importantly though, Zero's motorcycles are actually now motorcycles. The quality of these machines has improved dramatically, and generally the bikes are fun to ride.

So what is keeping me from putting a Zero in my garage, and using that massive electric torque to put a grin on my face? The answer is right there above these words, in the lead photo of this story.

To continue reading this story, you need to have an A&R Pro subscriber account. If you have an A&R Pro account, you can login here.

Ultimately, I think we are going to come back to this story several times over the next few weeks, as there is so much going on here, from such a simple thing, that one story just won’t do it all justice.

To start things off though, let’s look at the basics…as the BMW Group recently hosted what it called the BMW Group Digital Day 2018, which was basically a showcase for all the cool technologies that the Bavarians are using to create a digital frontier that will reshape the human condition.

Most of the technology concerns BMW’s automotive business, but there was one little tidbit that could be of interest for motorcycle fans: the 3D printed frame for a BMW S1000RR superbike.













With the news that Harley-Davidson has invested an undisclosed sum in electric motorcycle manufacturer Alta Motors, the following concept might seem like a no-brainer.

That is because the folks at Carbon Projects envision the partnership between the two American brands as lending itself to the creation of an electric street-tracker model.

Taking the heritage-focused roots of Harley-Davidson, and applying them to Alta’s Redshift platform, the resulting model is quite a looker, if we do say so.













At the beginning of this month, Ducati posted a promo video for its new Panigale V4 superbike. The video shows the new machine testing in a wind tunnel, touting the tagline that the motorcycle was “shaped by the wind.”

Surely this access to a high-speed wind tunnel for development purposes is the byproduct and one of the benefits of Ducati being part of the Volkswagen Group.

Though, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has all but made wind tunnels obsolete, making such things more of a show of engineering, and thus marketing. We digress.







What is of note though in this video, however, beyond the interesting glimpses of Ducati’s physical fluidic analysis, is that it is a glimpse at one of the Panigale V4’s very early designs.







One of the less-publicized motorcycles on display at this year’s EICMA show was this Suzuki Katana concept, which has since been making the rounds on social media.

Rightfully so, we would say, as the “Katana 3.0” is a very intriguing idea into how Suzuki can revitalize one of its most iconic names.

A creation by the folks at Motociclismo, with the help of designer Rodolfo Frascoli and Engines Engineering, the Katana 3.0 concept isn’t the “official” concept that many had hoped for from Suzuki.







However, the fact that Suzuki hosted the concept inside its EICMA display is a sign that the Japanese manufacturer is certainly listening to the feeback the bike generates.







Motus Motorcycles looks to be working on its second motorcycle model, as a naked prototype of the Motus MST has been making appearances on the American brand’s social media channels, including a very tasty video of the bike testing a 4-2-1 Akrapovic exhaust on the dyno (watch it, after the jump).

We reached out to Motus about its latest project, and the company confirmed its interest in making a naked version of the Motus MST sport-tourer, though it is waiting to see the feedback from other Motus owners and potential customers before committing to make the machine.

Still, Motus is teasing some very intriguing performance specs and design elements, which is more than whetting our appetite.