Over the weekend, you may have seen reports from Europe about the demise of the Suzuki Hayabusa, as the venerable hyperbike has been rumor to go the way of the dinosaur, especially now that its Euro4 waiver is set to expire at the end of the year.
This has led to quite a bit of chatter about the machine’s future, with many of the headlines that we have seen focusing on the end of the iconic motorcycle’s run, and that production on the bike has ceased. But, what’s the real story?
Another model that we expected to see debut at the 2018 EICMA show, the Kawasaki Z400 is a logical evolution of the small-displacement lineup that Team Green is creating.
Built in conjunction with the Kawasaki Ninja 400 sport bike, the Z400 is the naked option for the street for new riders, short riders, and riders that want to do more with less.
This means that the 2019 Kawasaki Z400 has a 399cc parallel-twin engine, that produces 45hp (33.4 kW), which is a 6hp increase over the 300cc model that it replaces.
We have been waiting a very long time for the Yamaha Ténéré 700, with the machine first debuting as a concept in 2016. A no-show at the 2017 EICMA show, the Yamaha T7 concept instead went on a worldwide promotional tour.
So, surely we thought that the 2018 EICMA show would announce the Yamaha Ténéré 700 as ready to go…yes and no. The Yamaha Ténéré 700 is finally coming as a production motorcycle…but not quite yet.
Expected as a Fall 2019 model in Europe, off-roaders eager for a middleweight adventure-touring bike will have to wait another year. If you happen to live on this side of the pond however, we have even worse news for you.
The Yamaha Ténéré 700 will be a 2021 model year machine in the USA, debuting in the second-half of 2020, making this perhaps the most disappointing new model release at the Milan trade show.
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.
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.
Kawasaki has two new motorcycles for young riders in Europe, the Kawasaki Ninja 125 and the Kawasaki Z125. We have already shown you the fully faired Ninja 125, and now here is the naked version of that platform, the Z125.
As you would expect then, this A1/A2 license compliant machine features a 125cc, water-cooled, single-cylinder engine that makes 15hp and 8 lbs•ft of torque. Wrapped in a steel trellis frame, the 2019 Kawasak Z125 tips that scales at 323 lbs at the curb, fueled and ready to go.
Debuting at INTERMOT, the Kawasaki Z125 represents Team Green’s commitment to new two-wheeled enthusiasts, and the motorcycle looks like a solid choice for beginners, as well as veteran riders who are looking for something smaller in their garage.
Kawasaki calls it “the toughest choice”, but we call it smart bike-building for the younger markets. Team Green’s big reveal at this year’s INTERMOT show was a Sophie’s Choice of 125cc machines, the Kawasaki Ninja 125 and the Kawasaki Z125.
As you would expect from the name, the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 125 is a fully faired sport bike with a 125cc single-cylinder engine.
Designed for new riders, or veteran motorcyclists who want something smaller in their garage, the Ninja 125 looks like a strong offering for two-wheeled enthusiasts.
More doom and gloom for the motorcycle industry, as Ducati Motor Holdings sales are slumping for the 2018 model year. Selling 32,250 motorcycles so far this year, the Italian brand is short 7.4% the volume it sold this time last year.
To translate unit sales into fiat currency, the 32,250 motorcycles sold equals €448 million in revenue going into Audi’s coffers. Of note, Ducati’s revenue contribution to Audi AG accounts for 1.4% of the automaker’s total revenue.
For the second quarter of this year, Ducati sales were down 8.9% compared to Q2 2017. This means that 20,319 Ducati motorcycles were sold in Q2 2018, compared to the 22,300 sold in Q2 2017.
As of yesterday, JEFTA is finally law in Europe and Japan, and the trade agreement is a big deal for both parties involved, as well as motorcyclists.
What? You haven’t heard of the Japan Europe Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA)? For our European readers, it is a critical piece of legislation, as this treaty of trade is set to make Japanese motorcycles a bit cheaper in Europe.
Agreeing to a schedule of tariff reductions, JEFTA achieves two goals that affect the motorcycle industry. First, it reduces the modest taxation of Japanese motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, and parts into the European Union.
Second, JEFTA helps align the European and Japanese emission standards for vehicles, thus unifying both countries under a single emission criteria for vehicles.
President Trump’s trade war is about to see another player in the motorcycle industry jump ship from American soil, and this time it is heavyweight Polaris Industries.
According to a report by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Polaris is considering moving some of its production capacity to Europe, eyeing a production facility in Poland that would build units for the European market.
The move is a direct response to the retaliatory tariffs imposed by the European Union on motorcycle imports, which itself was a response to the Trump Administration’s taxing of steel and aluminum imports.
We have already reported on the European Union’s 25% tariff increase (6% to 31%) on American-made motorcycles, and how those import taxes are going to affect in particular Harley-Davidson. The short version: not well.
Seeing that writing on the wall, Harley-Davidson has responded to Europe’s retaliatory tariffs, though it is perhaps not the response that the American government was hoping for when it began taxing aluminum and steel from European Union member states.
As such, Harley-Davidson plans to shift its production for motorcycles destined to the European market from its factories in the United States to it facilities abroad.
“Increasing international production to alleviate the EU tariff burden is not the company’s preference, but represents the only sustainable option,” the iconic American brand is reported saying in a regulatory filing.