Interesting news today on the business front of the powersports industry, as Tenneco Inc. announced its intention to purchase Öhlins Racing A.B. for $160 million.
The move would see Tenneco own a majority stake in Öhlins, while a minority position in the company would remain with founder and namesake Kenth Öhlin.
The move is an interesting one since Tenneco has been in the suspension business before, owning the Marzocchi suspension brand.
The 2019 EICMA show in Milan is next week, and there we expect to see a bevy of new models, including a few from Aprilia, but those crafty Italian have gotten a jump on things, releasing today the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 Factory.
As we predicted, the new top-spec superbike is getting a displacement increase to 1,078cc on its 65° V4 engine (we wonder why), which gives the new Aprilia RSV4 Factory a class-leading peak power figure of 214hp (159.6 kW), and 90 lbs•ft (122 Nm) of torque.
Matching that substantial gain in power, the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 Factory gets a solid weight reduction, tipping the scales at 439 lbs when fully fueled. Helping cut the weight down is a lithium-ion battery from Bosch and a street legal titanium exhaust from Akrapovic.
For those doing the math, we will save you the trouble: the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 Factory weighs 11 lbs lighter than its predecessor, and makes 16hp more power, and 5 lbs•ft more torque as well. Win, win, win.
One of the best streetfighters that money can buy is set to get even better for next year, as the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory is tipped to get semi-active suspension from Öhlins for 2019.
The announcement is expected to occur at the INTERMOT show next week in Germany, according to the sleuths at GPone.
If true, the move is a strong update from Aprilia, as it helps the Italian brand keep the Tuono V4 1100 at the pointy end of the spectrum, especially from its closest competitor, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R.
Honda doesn’t want you to see these photos. I am pretty sure that there is a dark room somewhere on the Suzuka Circuit facility, possibly guarded by Yakuza henchmen, where they are keeping Steve captive for his misdeeds in bringing you the detailed photos we are about to show you.
This is how seriously HRC is taking this year’s Suzuka 8-Hours.
“Win at all costs” is the mantra being used by the Red Bull Honda team, which will field PJ Jacobsen, Takaaki Nakagami, and Takumi Takahashi at this year’s edition of the race. Their goal is simple: to restore honor to the company, and win the most prestigious race on the Japanese calendar.
To do this, Honda has built a special machine. A one-off superbike, this Honda CBR1000RR SP2 was designed to race at only one race track, for only one race, for only three riders. This Honda represents everything that HRC knows about making an endurance racing machine.
As you can imagine then, while this story starts with a bit of hyperbole, it isn’t far from reality.
Ducati is returning to Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for 2018, with plans to reclaim its title as King of the Mountain. To do so, Ducati has enlisted the help of former outright record-holder Carlin Dunne, as well as current middleweight record-holder Codie Vahsholtz.
In their assault to the top of Pikes Peak, Dunne and Vahsholtz will be riding modified Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak motorcycles. Wanting to know more about these beasts, we reached out Ducati North America, to see what light they could shed on the v-twin race bikes.
They came back to us with an interesting list of changes, to make these the fastest Multistradas you have ever seen.
Is the Ducati Panigale V4 S the most anticipated motorcycle of 2018? If you are a diehard sport biker, the answer is probably yes, though a number of significant models are debuting this year, from several manufacturers.
Still, in terms of ground-changing machines, the Panigale V4 has to rank high up on the list, as it is Ducati’s first proper four-cylinder motorcycle to go into mainstream production.
Yes, the Apollo came before it – all ~1.9 models that were produced – and the Desmosedici RR was also a MotoGP-inspired V4 motorcycle, but those were only available to a select few, with a total of 1,500 units ever made.
The Ducati Panigale V4 and its progeny, however, are here for everyone…and Ducati has taken quite a gamble in producing this “New Opera” – as the tagline goes.
I am writing to you today from Valencia, Spain – where we just finished a day of riding at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, which is better known as the final stop on the MotoGP Championship calendar.
It is a new track for me to ride, and I have to give Ducati credit for picking a venue that doesn’t play just to the strengths of its new motorcycle. A short and technical course, the Valencian circuit is fun and rewarding to ride, but it is also a torture-rack test for a motorcycle’s handling prowess.
It would have been really easy for Ducati to take us somewhere, say like Mugello, where a fast and flowing circuit could hide any flaws in the Panigale V4 chassis design, while in-turn it could also hightlight the superbike’s claimed 214hp.
But here we are in Spain, getting to ride the first entry into this next chapter of Ducati superbike history, so let me tell you what you need to know about Ducati’s new flagship motorcycle, the Panigale V4 S.
Color us intrigued by ARCH Motorcycle’s third installment to its lineup, the very exclusive ARCH Method143.
Powered by an air-cooled 143ci (2,343cc) v-twin engine, the Method143 varies from ARCH’s usual fare of power cruisers, as it is more of an upright roadster in format.
Of course, it has only the best components, including Öhlins suspension (FGRT series front forks and TTX rear shock) and carbon fiber BST wheels. Also, the chassis is made from a carbon fiber MonoCell frame, with other parts made from CNC’d aluminum.
Only 23 units will be made of the ARCH Method143, and as you can see from these detail photos, those will be a lucky 23 individuals.
ARCH Motorcycle is in Italy right now, and they just took the wraps off three bikes, one of which isn’t so much a cruiser, as it is a naked roadster model.
Built using carbon fiber MonoCell chassis technology, a building technique usually reserved for ultra high-end sport cars and Formula 1 racing chassis, the ARCH Method143 features a potent 143ci (2,343) v-twin engine.
Though, instead of the performance cruiser layout the company is better known for, the ARCH Method143 will have mid-body rearsets for the feet, and clip-on handlebars for the hands, making for a very sporty riding position.
They are hard to spot, but if you look closely at the 2017 Ducati Desmosedici GP (a bevy of photos are after the jump) you will see something very unique going on with the front suspension. This is because Öhlins and Ducati have teamed up to develop new fork technology, namely carbon fiber fork tubes.
The Öhlins carbon fiber fork tubes can be seen on the machines of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo, starting from the season-opener in Qatar, and are noticeable for their matte black tube finish, with gold ends.
Öhlins is coy about how much weight savings are involved with the forks tubes, but they are noticeably lighter when they are in your hands, something we have first-hand knowledge of, as we had one to pass around at the Two Enthusiasts Podcast live show at Austin, Texas this year.
Beyond simple weight savings though, the likely purpose of using carbon fiber fork tubes is to adjust the flex of the front suspension.
Daniel Laine Kyle of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California – known best for his speed shop, Kyle Racing – pleaded guilty to defrauding the US government earlier this week, after it was found that Kyle had been hiding cash-based purchases made at this business.
Dan Kyle Racing is known best for being the largest Öhlins suspension dealership in the United States (if not the world), as the company offered aggressive pricing on the Swedish-born suspension, and was one of the first Öhlins dealers with an online presence in the early days of the internet.
Let’s just be really honest for a moment – the 2017 Aprilia RSV4 RF looks as hot as it is fast. Debuting at the INTERMOT show in Germany, this is our first look at what the engineers at Noale have in store for the superbike market, also debuting the l0wer-spec Aprilia RSV4 RR for the 2017 model year.
Both bikes benefit from improved suspension and braking pieces, as well as an updated electronics package, which includes Bosch’s cornering ABS.
Like the RSV4 RR, the Aprilia RSV4 RF is compliant with the Euro 4 emissions standard, though Aprilia worked hard to maintain the bike’s 201hp / 84.8 lbs•ft power and torque ratings.
Aprilia was able to do this, mostly by raising the RSV4 RF’s redline by 300 rpm. Aprilia has also done away with its variable timing intake ducts (a 500g savings), deeming them unnecessary now with the updated APRC electronics package.
Several internal changes have been made to the engine, including lighter pistons and a number of friction-reducing treatments. A linear sensor has also been added to the gearbox, which aids in the new quick-shifting functions for upshifts and downshifts.
Typical for the “RF” model, the 2017 Aprilia RSV4 RF comes with premium suspension pieces from Öhlins. It might be evolution, not revolution for the Aprilia RSV4 line, but the Italian superbikes continue to set the bar for others the chase.