Call it the British Connection, because four firms from the United Kingdom have just agreed to partner on making electric two-wheelers and associated technologies. 

The collaboration is going to be a two-year deal between Triumph Motorcycles, Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain Ltd.’s e-Drive Division, and WMG at the University of Warwick.

Additionally, the group will receive funding from theUK government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) via Innovate UK

As you might expect, the goal of the partnership is to develop and bring to market technologies that will help power the next generation of motorcycles, namely electric motorcycles.

It was just a month ago that we watched the MotoE paddock at Jerez burn down to the ground, torching effectively all of the bikes and material that were to be used in the all-electric series.

This was a major setback for the FIM MotoE World Cup series, and unsurprisingly the incident caused the complete revision of the series’ calendar.

The series says that single-bike provider Energica is on track to rebuild in just three months the 18 electric motorcycles that were burned in the flames. This means a new six-round calendar that starts in July in Germany, rather than Spain.

Today, we get our first indication of when we will see the MotoE bikes testing in earnest, as the FIM has announced a pre-season test at Valencia in June.

The Honda CR Electric prototype is perhaps one of the biggest stories we have seen so far this year, as it shows a very serious effort by the Japanese brand to bring an electric model to one of its most important motorcycle segments.

Very few photos and details made it out of Tokyo when the Honda CR Electric prototype, except for our rather in-depth analysis of the bike for our A&R Pro readers. If you will allow the modest plug, that story itself is worth the modest price of admission that helps support the site.

Back to the machine, we have a little more news to report, as we have proof that the electric dirt bike is indeed a runner, as the motorcycle took some exhibition laps at the first round of the All Japan Motocross Championship.

Episode 12 of the Brap Talk podcast is now out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, and it continues where we left off in Episode 11, which came out last week.

As such, this show picks up where we stopped on Jensen’s travels in Europe, this time focusing on the Vespa and Moto Guzzi brands.

As such, we talk about riding the new electric scooter from the Italian brand, the Vespa Elettrica. From there, we turn our attention to the Moto Guzzi V85 TT adventure bike, which we rode in Sardinia.

The electric motorcycle segment is beginning to mature. We know this because word from Japan has Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha collaborating together on various standards for electric motorcycles.

If it doesn’t immediately strike you as such, this is incredibly big news.

The move sees the Big Four creating a consortium that will work together to bring homogenized battery, charging, infrastructure, and other items into reality so that there can be interoperability between the brands and less confusion in the marketplace. 

Are you ready? For the revolution? That is what is happening in Japan right now, at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show. We say this because Honda just debuted an electric dirt bike prototype that looks the business.

The Honda CR Electric prototype was co-developed with Mugen, a company with close ties to Honda. In fact, beyond the fairings, you would have a hard time distinguishing the Honda CR Electric prototype from the Mugen E.Rex that re-debuted this week as well.

Both bikes use an aluminum twin-spar frame, and look very "Honda" in their approach to building a dirt bike. It also doesn't surprise us to see that Nissin supplies the brakes for both efforts, and the same goes for Showa on the suspension side. What would you expect though, considering the close ties these brands have to Honda?

This is a project that is very much still in the family, and in the case of Mugen, that phrase is meant literally, as Mugen was founded by Soichiro Honda's son.

With Mugen spending the last eight years competing in the Isle of Man TT electric race, and racking up five race wins in the process, the tuning brand has built a cache of EV experience. Surely, this is where the Mugen-Honda connection is at its strongest. Together, these two companies are forging a new era of motorcycle design.

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It was two years ago that Mugen caught some serious attention for an electric motorcycle. No, it wasn’t an electric superbike like the Mugen Shinden Hachi, which just broke cover in Japan, instead it was a dirt bike…with the bones of a dinosaur.

Called the Mugen E.Rex, the bike showed how the Japanese tuning brand was applying its electric vehicle knowledge into new spaces. And to be frank, there was a lot going on with the electric dirt bike concept.

First up, there was the appearance of the machine, which was…interesting, to say the least. But also, it was important to note what the Mugen E.Rex meant for the electric motorcycle space, as Mugen and Honda are very closely linked.

Now today, with the Honda CR Electric prototype debuting…along with a revised edition of the Mugen E.Rex, we see that these two bikes have an even deeper link to each other, as they are virtually identical.

Another debut from the Tokyo Motorcycle Show, the next iteration of the Mugen Shinden has debuted and its ready for the Isle of Man TT.

The bike is officially dubbed the Mugen Shinden Hachi – and for those who don’t know, “hachi” means “eight” in Japanese, with this being the eighth iteration of the Mugen Shinden electric superbike.

On the spec sheet, we see that nothing has changed on the 2019 bike versus the Mugen Shinden Nana that raced last year. But, a quick visual inspection sees that the Japanese tuning brand has been busy optimizing its aerodynamics package.

As such, the front intake for the Shinden Hachi has been revised. The tail section has also been reworked, and looks a bit more slippery.

Regular Asphalt & Rubber readers will know that we love to support the Two Wheels for Life charity, which helps bring medical resources and healthcare by motorcycle to remote areas in Africa. This is literally a cause that sees motorcycles making the world a better place.

The official charity of the MotoGP Championship, Two Wheels for Life has created an awesome opportunity for race fans at this year’s American GP, and we are pretty stoked to share it with you.

Basically, the whole package includes the opportunity to ride an Energica Ego Corsa MotoE race bike in front of the crowd at the Grand Prix of the Americas, along with paddock passes, grid access, pit lane access, and hospitality for two people for the race weekend.

And of course, the proceeds go to helping fund the vital work that Two Wheels for Life does in Africa.

Did you feel that? The company that made the four-strokes the standard in motorcycle engine design just moved the earth a little bit further, releasing today the Honda CR Electric prototype.

The electric motorcycle is a 250cc equivalent dirt bike from Big Red, and broke cover at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show in Japan.

Not too many details are known at this time, beyond what we can see…but there is certainly a lot to digest when looking at this machine.