I would hate to work in KTM’s press department back in Austria, mostly because KTM CEO Stefan Pierer seems to be quite difficult to corral – he always seems to be spilling company secrets.
This reality is great for us, however, as there is never a shortage of juicy gossip to report from the “Ready to Race” brand, and this week has been no exception.
We already reported on Pierer’s vocalization about his desires to own the Ducati brand, which certainly caused a stir in the motorcycle industry these past few days.
Now we have more news from Pierer’s interview with Germany’s Speedweek magazine, with the CEO dishing details on the company’s plans in the middleweight categories.
Slovenian house Rotobox is known better for its carbon fiber wheels (if you’ve never seen a pair, they are very, very nice), but now it seems that Rotobox is looking to sell you more than just some round bling.
Starting the Rotobox Moto brand, the company has released its first project: the Splice supermoto.
Based off the Yamaha WR250 and WR450 platforms, Rotobox has cranked things up to 11 for these street-shredding machines, with some help from the good folks at the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART).
The machines aren’t cheap, however. Pricing is set at €29,830 not including VAT.
Make supermotos great again! That should be the election day mantra, and if that was the case, then KTM would be our candidate. It has been a long time since we saw an SMC model in the lineup, but the KTM 690 SMC R is coming back onto the scene for the 2019 model year.
Helping fuel this revival is obviously the fresh that came to the KTM 690 Enduro R, as the SMC variant basically switches out the 21″/18″ wheel combo for a set of 17″ hoops.
One of our favorite machines in the Ducati lineup is about to get a big upgrade for the 2019 model year. As such, say hello to the Ducati Hypermotard 950. We have seen a teasing of photos and details on the new Hypermotard already, and now today at EICMA we finally get to see this new supermoto for the street.
It is evolution, not revolution, for the 2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950, with the bike getting a modest 4hp increase (now 112hp / 84 kW), thanks to its renewed 937 cm³ Testastretta 11° engine, along with a 6.6 lbs weight reduction. Ducati has also blessed the Hypermotard 950 with more features, which include a large TFT dash and robust electronics suite.
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.
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.
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 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.