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Episode 88 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and in it we see David Emmett, Neil Morrison, and Steve English on the mics, as we cover the Jerez Tests in Spain.

The post-season test saw a bevy of classes out on the track getting ready for the 2019 season. First up, the guys tackle the MotoGP paddock, which takes a good portion of the show.

The conversation then turns to the WorldSBK paddock, which took to Jerez once the GP boys were done. The show then concludes with a testing report from the Moto2 and MotoE classes, as they start a new era of racing next year.













Ducati's announcement that it is making its final production run of the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition got me thinking this week. This could be the very last v-twin superbike from the Italian brand, making it a true "Final Edition" motorcycle? It certainly appears so.

Right now, the Italian marque is betting its superbike future on the V4 platform, which means it could be another 5 years or longer (10 years could be a reasonable number, even) before Ducati debuts its next superbike platform.

What do we imagine that motorcycle will look like? Where do we imagine the motorcycle industry will be in the next five to ten years? That future isn't too far away, but the answer is still hard to fathom.

Can we really see a future where Ducati builds another v-twin engine? Understand, the Superquadro motor is the pinnacle of v-twin design, and pushes the limits of what kind of power such an engine configuration can create.

This is the very reason that Ducati abandoned the Superquadro v-twin design for the Desmosedici Stradale V4. That is a big deal in Ducatista land, but it is a notable move for the motorcycle industry as a whole.

So, the thought experiment evolves from this, and we begin to wonder what is not only in store for a brand like Ducati, whose history is rooted in a particular engine design, but also what is in store for the other brands of the motorcycle industry, who have been tied to thermic engines for over a century.

For the Japanese brands, the hand that holds that future has been tipped, with turbocharged and supercharged designs teased by three out of the Big Four manufacturers. We have even see Kawasaki bringing its own supercharged motorcycles already to market already.

But, is this really the future? Or, is this resurgence of forced induction for motorcycles dead on arrival?

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Additive manufacturing (better known as 3D printing) is going to change the motorcycle industry – and industry in general – in a big way. Rapid prototyping materials are already changing how we develop new products, and as cost, sophistication, and quality increases, we can see this technology turning manufacturing completely on its head. It is exciting to watch.

For the motorcycle industry, this means that there will come a day when all you need to do to get a new part for your motorcycle is to download the design from the OEM, and “print” it out at home or at a local 3D printing facility.

This will fundamentally change the role of dealerships and how we design and build motorcycles. I cannot emphasize this point enough. The day of this industrial revolution just got a little closer today too, as we see what is being dubbed as the world’s first completely 3D printed motorcycle













One of the more interesting developments announced at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy was the debut of the Arc Vector electric superbike, which is being back by InMotion Ventures, the investment arm of Jaguar Land Rover. Yes, as in the car manufacturer.

The link to Jaguar Land Rover was an easy one, as Arc founder Mark Truman was formerly part of the company’s skunk works team, called White Space. Other funding partners include Mercia Fund Managers, the Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund which is part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and a number of industry specialist angels.

Arc has been teasing the Vector for the past several weeks, with plenty of buzzwords to go along with its electric motorcycle offering. The company plans a multi-pronged approach to get into the motorcycle industry, which includes creating a line of smart apparel (co-developed with Knox) that includes a helmet with a heads-up display (HUD).













Another established manufacturer is signaling its electrification, this time with the OEM being Husqvarna Motorcycles. The Swedish brand is tied in ownership to KTM, which has its own EV program, so perhaps the news isn’t that shocking, but nevertheless, here we are.

As such, you can expect the first electric Husqvarna dirt bike to come during the 2020 model year, as the Husqvarna EE 5 was put on display at this year’s EICMA show.

The motorcycle is a bold step forward, though not a big one, as the 2020 Husqvarna EE 5 is designed with young riders in mind.













It is hard to catch us off guard, but that is exactly how we would describe our experience with the Kymco SuperNEX. We didn’t see it coming.

The Taiwanese brand is known better for its scooter offerings, and EICMA is the type of event where Kymco often gets pushed aside for more lurid unveilings. Not this year, however.

What you are looking at is the Kymco SuperNEX, an electric superbike. It is attractive, it has a six-speed gearbox, and it has a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h), which it reaches in 10.9 seconds…and that is about all we really know about it.













The Harley-Davidson Livewire will show at EICMA, says an awkward press release to the European and Canadian markets. Our sources confirm that news though, and as such the Livewire will make an official public debut, at the trade show in Milan next week.

The Harley-Davidson Livewire is expected to make a late-2019 arrival, likely as a 2020 model year machine. This makes this debut announcement an interesting one from the Bar & Shield brand, which has seemed over-eager lately to explain and show its future plans, though we can’t imagine why.







A new type of Ducati will be taking center stage on Sunday, when the Italian brand begins its EICMA reveals. While we expect a number of new motorcycles from Borgo Panigale, like a new Hypermotard, the Panigale V4 R, and another Scrambler model, one machine we didn’t expect was an electric bicycle.

This is where the Ducati MIG-RR electric mountain bike comes in, with the Italian motorcycle brand partnering with the Italian e-bike maker Thok. Ducati is no stranger to branded bicycles, partnering with other brands in the past to bring Ducati bikes to market.

The Ducati MIG-RR is special though, as it marks Ducati’s first foray into the e-bike space, which is booming in Europe and just starting to gain traction in the United States.













While the motorcycle market in the United States continues to struggle in 2018 (despite gains in consumer spending), things across the pond are doing substantially better.

This news comes from the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM), which is reporting an 8.2% increase in motorcycle registrations in Europe during the first nine months of 2018. This trend was additionally buoyed by the third-quarter registration results from 2018, which are up 10.4% over Q3 2017 figures.







Bad news from San Francisco today, as we learn that Alta Motors has ceased business operations, effective immediately, sending the company’s staff home as the electric motorcycle manufacturer looks for future funding.

Talking to an anonymous source, Asphalt & Rubber has been told that Alta Motors is in the midst of a strategic wind down, as it looks for an outside acquisition or investment.







The FIM is ready to give this electric motorcycle racing thing another try, and this time around the governing body has tapped Dorna (media rights holder to MotoGP & WorldSBK) to handle the details. As such, the MotoE World Cup was created.

Set to take place during five European grand prix rounds, MotoE will rely on teams already in the MotoGP paddock. Those teams will campaign the Energica Evo Corse electric superbike, which is very similar to the road-going version, sans 45 lbs of street-legal bulk.

We have yet to see the names of riders who will be on the spec 160hp machines, but the series of sprint races should prove to be an interesting spectacle for the fans in attendance, with a plethora of bikes banging handlebars each lap (albeit, quietly).