It is by pure happenstance that the featured story at the top of the Asphalt & Rubber homepage is about the new Ducati Hypermotard, which also coincides with today’s story that highlights more info about the 2019 model. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
With that said, more information about the new Ducati Hypermotard has leaked, though it will depend on who you ask what those specifics are when it comes to this new machine. This is because we have conflicting reports from the British site BikeSocial and Italy’s GPone.
Both sites have proven themselves to be reliable in the past, which makes it difficult to decipher their differing opinions on the new power and weight figures of the Ducati Hypermotard. So, let’s dive into what we know, and what we don’t know.
Perhaps the longest tooth in Bologna’s motorcycle lineup, the Ducati Hypermotard 939 is set to get a sizable update for the 2019 model year, spy phots have revealed. Taking a page from the original Hypermotard 1100 model by Pierre Terblanche, the 2019 Ducati Hypermotard gets a steel trellis subframe, along with an underseat exhaust system with dual cans. The rest of the Hypermotard looks largely unchanged for the upcoming model year, though we can hope for a substantial electronics package revision. This is because the Ducati Hypermotard would benefit greatly from a color TFT dash, a better ride-by-wire setup, and an IMU-powered traction control and braking, which could include the new rear-slide control feature that is found on the Ducati Panigale V4 superbike.
I had to re-read the recall notice twice to make sure I was seeing things correctly – Suzuki actually changed something on the venerable DR-Z400 that necessitated a recall.
Jokes aside, this recall only affects 2018 model years DR-Z400SM & DR-Z400S motorcycles, and concerns their rear brake light.
According to recall documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the resin that fills the rear brake light may have adhered to the internal electrical contacts, and as such may cause the rear brake light not to illuminate.
While it might not be a radical change to Husqvarna’s race-winning supermoto platform, the 2019 Husqvarna FS 450 just debuted toda,y and it comes with an impressive list of changes for the next model year. Built off Husqvarna’s new motocross line, the 2019 Husqvarna FS 450 accordingly gets a revised cylinder head, a more rigid chassis, and a number of weight-savings and subtle improvements, all in an effort to make it the best factory supermoto on the market. Helping to distinguish it from Husqvarna’s previous FS models, the 2019 bike gets a blue-coated frame. The carbon composite rear subframe has also been changed, and is now a half-pound lighter. Also like the 2019 Husqvarna FC 450, the supermoto features a new cylinder head, which is 1.1 lbs light than the 2018 model’s.
I feel like I always end up writing these posts while I’m stuck in an airport. Regardless, without further ado, here is your next installment of “What We’re Reading”.
Much has happened since our last post, so our reading list spans stories that go between the motorcycle industry and also non-endemic media outlets.
This edition focuses heavily on technology and the media, a topic that is of course near and dear to my heart…don’t worry, there’s still a bit of “it’s loud and goes fast” articles in here too.
Part clearinghouse for stories that we will never get our full attention, and part book club for our loyal readers who are doing their best to survive the work day, say hello to the next installment of the “What We’re Reading” column series.
There simply are not enough big-displacement supermotards in this world we live in. There is the Ducati Hypermotard 939, the Aprilia Dorsoduro 900, then there is the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto, and well…that’s about it. Thankfully, I am not alone in feeling that this is a big travesty – a crime against motorcycling itself, even. That is where Maxwell Hazan (the man behind Hazan Motorworks) comes in, with his “HazanSMR” project. It starts with a 942cc LC8 v-twin engine from KTM, and it ends with a ~310 lbs motorcycle that spits 110hp to the rear wheel. Go ahead, we’ll give you a moment to compose yourself before continuing onward. We have been following Hazan’s project for a little while now, and the HazanSMR has us giddy with tire-shredding delight.
We had an inclination that the ongoing Brembo master cylinder recall would hit the Husqvarna FS450 supermoto in the USA, after seeing a note for it in the European market, and today we get confirmation that this is the case.
For those not in the loop, this news centers around a defect with the Brembo PR15 and PR16 line of master cylinders, which can see their polymer pistons fracture during severe use. Should the piston fracture, the master cylinder may stop working, thus causing the front brakes to fail.
Because of this, a bevy of motorcycle brands have had to recall their high-performance motorcycle offerings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
So far, we have seen recalls from Aprilia, Ducati, KTM, MV Agusta, and now Husqvarna.
The Brembo master cylinder continues to affects motorcycle brands with high-performance machines in their lineup, and now Husqvarna is part of the massive recall as well.
Though not listed by Brembo in its initial press statement as an affected OEM, Husqvarna does seem to have one model of motorcycle that uses the faulty master cylinder design: the track-only Husqvarna FS450 supermoto.
The organizers of the Barcelona Superprestigio indoor flat track event, to be held in Barcelona on 16th December, published the provisional entry lists on Thursday. The entries contain more than their fair share of talent, with eight world champions in different disciplines lining up on the grid.
Arguably the biggest name from the road racing scene is double Moto2 world champion, MotoGP Rookie of the Year, and best independent team rider Johann Zarco. The Frenchman is due to line up on the grid representing Yamaha.
His compatriot World Supersport champion Lucas Mahias will also be racing in the Superprestigio, as well as former Moto2 world champion and reigning MotoAmerica champion Toni Elias.
The Barcelona Superprestigio dirt track event returns for its fifth edition this December 16th.
But the indoor short track held at Palau Sant Jordi, south of the city center, will be without a couple of its big name riders this year, including the originator of the idea, Marc Marquez.
The Spaniard announced a few days ago on his Twitter account that he would not be racing in the event, citing the need for a rest after a long season. Just how much of it was his own decision, and how much the result of pressure from Honda, is unknown.
HRC were known to be deeply unhappy about Marquez racing in an event which is fraught with the risk of injury, but were unable to stop him.
It is tough work reviewing two motorcycles in one day, but that is exactly what we did this past week in Ventura, California – as Aprilia USA had us riding the new Dorsoduro 900 and Shiver 900 motorcycles. Coming to the United States for the 2018 model year, the Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 gets a much-needed update for its tenth birthday, with Aprilia overhauling the affordable maxi-motard with some needed upgrades and modern touches. In addition to a revised and bigger engine, which is now Euro4 compliant, the Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 gets a modest electronics suite added to it, as well as new hardware. The overall design of the bike hasn’t changed much, which is perhaps a good thing, as the Dorsoduro has always been a visually appealing motorcycle.