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.
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.
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.
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).