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When we look at Aprilia’s lineup, it is surprisingly sparse. The brand has only a pair of models with its V4 engine, and another pair with its 900cc v-twin. Four bikes – that’s it.

The revised middleweights – the Shiver 900 and Dorsoduro 900 – debuted in 2017, bringing some refinements to the lackluster 750cc machines that they replaced. The 900cc bikes are not the stars in Aprilia’s lineup though, and they struggle to sell at Aprilia dealerships, but they have a tremendous amount of potential.

We say this because it always felt like Aprilia could have done more with the engine platforms available to the Italian brand. A long-travel suspension adventure-sport makes a ton of sense for the V4 platform, and today we see what could be done with the v-twin platform.

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.

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.

Last Tuesday, KTM invited Asphalt & Rubber to Perris, California for the 2019 Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing Flat Track Team Introduction.

A mouthful, yes. But, with a title like that we couldn’t pass it up? Really though, Asphalt & Rubber at a dirt track event? Only later on the drive down would it start to make sense, perhaps a site like A&R is exactly who should be covering this event.

It dawned on me right where the 57 freeway meets the 60 freeway. The weight of what this factory effort in the sport of Flat Track Racing means. It has been years since we’ve seen a full factory team in a dirt track paddock.

One last internet rumor for the week, before we let you go on your way into the weekend, as there is much talk about Suzuki’s plans to bring a “Big” DR model to market.

We use the word “Big” in quotes, as it gives a nod to a previous model from Suzuki’s past, and gives us a hint that the Japanese manufacturer could be working on a large adventure bike, worthy of giving the Honda Africa Twin a run for its money – a bike we should add that is getting its own fair share of rumors this week as well.

The news first came from Spain, and spread through the internet like wildfire. Maybe it is because we are hungry for truly new models from Suzuki. Maybe it is because we are intrigued by a name from motorcycle lore. Or, maybe it is because the idea of a cost-effective but capable ADV from Suzuki is exactly what we have been wanting from the Japanese brand.

For the past 17 runnings of the Dakar Rally, one name has stood above all the others in the motorcycle class: KTM.

Now with another victory in the most grueling motorcycle race on earth, the Austrian brand can add race win #18 to the tally, thanks to factory rider Toby Price.

Crossing the finish line Lima, Peru today, Price was clear of his nearest rival (last year’s winner, Matthias Walkner) by a comfortable margin of 9 minutes 13 seconds.

With three KTM bikes in the Top 3, and the Top 5 consisting of only KTM and Husqvarna brand machines, the Austrian conglomerate can rest easy in 2019 after securing another year of its legacy, but don’t mistake this year’s edition of the race as a blowout.

It is curious that the past couple of weeks have been rife with internet chatter about Ducati working on a 450cc motocross bike. It is a strange rumor, and if true it would be big news for Ducati.

Of course, for the very same reason that it would be big news, this rumor is also hard to believe, if for no other reason than Ducati getting into the MX scene would be a huge jump for the Italian brand.

What is more curious though is the timing of the story, as it comes only two weeks after we published some thoughts about how Ducati can expand its lineup, through the acquisition of a brand like TM Racing.

“We have to look which is the best ownership for Ducati. Either we find a way forward for Ducati, which provides some growth, some probably additional brands, or we have to look for new ownerships...I wouldn’t exclude that.”

Ever since Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said those words, I have been perseverating on their meaning. Many in the industry have taken Herr Diess to mean that Ducati is once again for sale, and that Ducati's time within Audi AG is coming to an end.

As Diess says himself, we can't exclude that possibility. But, what about the part of his statement that proceeds that notion?

How does one make Ducati Motor Holding more profitable? More sustainable? Better suited for the trends we are seeing in the motorcycle industry? In the changing world that transportation is facing?

How does the Italian company fit into all those questions marks, and more? This is the thought that has been burning a hole on my notepad recently, and I keep coming back to Diess' thought that Ducati should have some additional brands.

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