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Later this year, the Harley-Davidson Livewire electric cruiser will finally be available, and today the Bar & Shield brand dropped some details on what we can expect from the revolutionary machine (as well as two more fleshed-out electric concepts).

First up, the obvious. The 2020 Harley-Davidson Livewire will be priced at $29,799 – which is a princely sum for an electric motorcycle, but not an unreasonable figure for a motorcycle from Harley-Davidson.

In addition to having the all new “Revelation” electric drive train, the folks at Milwaukee have packed the Livewire with a number of cutting edge features.

This includes an LTE-equipped media center, as well as traction control and ABS that are assisted by an inertial measurement unit (IMU).

This is the year. This is the year that Harley-Davidson steps beyond decades of being stuck in the past, and instead takes a chance on leading the future.

I am of course referring to the Bar & Shield brand’s move to debut electric motorcycles – starting first with the Livewire electric cruiser.

The Harley-Davidson Livewire doesn’t exist in a vacuum, however. This is because the American motorcycle company has plans for a whole host of electric two-wheelers, which ranges from an electric bicycle, all the way up to full-sized models.

Today, we get a glimpse at the first of these additional models (along with more details on the Livewire electric cruiser), with Harley-Davidson showing us the physical forms of its electric scooter and and electric moped concepts.

The two motorcycles look very similar to the concept sketches that we saw last year, which is a good thing to our eye, as both machines look fit for the part.

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.

Zero Motorcycles has begun teasing its newest electric motorcycle model, the Zero SR/F. The company’s teaser on YouTube doesn’t reveal too much, though it does offer the date 2/25/19 for another announcement.

In the teaser’s video description, we get a little bit more from Zero, with it saying the following: “more than a new model, SR/F is an entirely new platform. The SR/F provides an effortlessly powerful experience in the naked street bike category.”

2018 is coming to a close now, so we of course are looking back at what happened over the past year in the motorcycle industry.

There was no shortage of weighty stories in 2018, so we picked just our Top 5 big themes from the year to share with you.

They range from business items, racing news, and new motorcycles (or the lack thereof). Without too much fanfare, let’s get into it, and see Asphalt & Rubber‘s most important stories from 2018.

If you needed further proof that the 3D printing revolution is upon us, take this case study from Bugatti to heart. The French brand is at the pointy end of the automotive space, which means that Bugatti gets all the fun toys.

One of the spaces where they are innovating is in the use of titanium parts that have been created by using an additive manufacturing process.

In this case, they are making a brake caliper (shown above)…which also happens to be the largest 3D-printed titanium component ever produced.

“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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If you were hoping to get your hands on a Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR superbike, well…you have probably missed your chance.

A limited production of only 20 motorcycles, the Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR sales window was open for less than 24 hours, before the bike completely sold out.

Based off the machine that won this year’s Suzuka 8-Hours endurance race, which in turn is based off the original R1 livery design from 1999, the Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR is quite the looker and it comes with a bevy of go-fast parts.

The Triumph Scrambler 1200 is one of the more interesting motorcycles to debut for the 2019 model year, with the British brand continuing to push its heritage lineup, now with a more capable off-road scrambler machine.

Coming in two trim levels, the 2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC is the more street-focused bike, while the 2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE is the more dual-sport minded machine.

While the Brits were wise to segment their newest two-wheel offering, the biggest factor for the Triumph Scrambler 1200’s success will be the price points it is offered at in the US market. The bad news: it won’t be cheap.

If you live in the United States and like World Superbike racing, then we have good news for you, as the 2019 WorldSBK Calendar now includes Laguna Seca as a destination for next year.

After many indications that the World Superbike Championship would not be coming to the United States next year, after a contract dispute with the California track and Spanish racing series, that course has seemingly made a 180° turn.

Therefore, Laguna Seca will play host to the World Superbike series – sans World Supersport or Supersport 300 – during the July 12th-14th racing weekend.

The Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR is one special machine, and only 20 of them will be made worldwide.

That production number helps commemorate the fact that this is the 20th anniversary of the YZF-R1 superbike, and the bike also helps give a nod to the fact that this year Yamaha won the Suzuka 8-Hour endurance race an unprecedented fourth time in a row.

A track-only machine, the Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR will be painstakingly built by members from the Suzuka-winning Official Yamaha Racing Team crew. Though it is littered with parts from the GYTR catalog and other sponsors, Yamaha is curious mum when it comes to any performance figures about the bike.