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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.

It is an odd passion in life, but I find the international pricing schemes by various motorcycle manufacturers to be simply fascinating.

While this will surely mean that I will die alone (so very, very alone), this odd curiosity is bringing up some interesting thoughts about the new BMW S1000RR superbike.

And the signs point to the Bavarian brand’s newest liter bike costing quite the pretty penny in the US market. Let me explain.

There has been much conjecture regarding the Suzuki Hayabusa in recent days, especially after the company’s Japanese website listed the Busa’s production as terminated.

This created a fervor on European publications, and because of the internet, it grew from there. We tried to talk some reason into the situation the other day, and now Suzuki Motor of America has made a press release on the matter.

Energica is making big moves for the 2019 model year, and they are getting ready to announce them this weekend in New York, at the next installment of the International Motorcycle Show.

Giving a taste of the news to come however, Energica tells us that sizable price cuts are going to feature on its range of electric sport bikes.

The Italian brand also has a number of dealerships coming to the USA for next year, helping bolster its presence in this important market.

Lastly, fresh on the news that Energica will be supplying bikes to the MotoE World Cup, we will see track-focused kits for the Ego superbike coming from the company.

Done and dusted, the EICMA show in Milan is the biggest trade event in the motorcycle industry, and each year we see dozens and dozens of machines debut in Italy, with much fanfare.

With the bevy of new model releases that occur though, it is easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. So, we are going to break down the big headlines and moments from this new bike season for you, starting with one of our most talked about brands: Ducati.

Ducati traditionally starts off the EICMA festivities, hosting a pre-event somewhere in Milan days before EICMA. The day of this launch seems to get pushed back further and further each year, as other brands have jockeyed for position, and so this year's pre-event event was held on the Sunday before EICMA.

To its credit, Ducati does EICMA right, and the Italian company has honed to perfection the balance between of hosting a live event for gathered press and VIPs that is also suitable and entertaining enough to be broadcast live on Italian TV and across the internet.

The EICMA show unveiling might be geared now for mainstream consumption, but for those in the industry there are still some valuable inferences to learn from what is said...and what isn't said.

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For the 2019 model year, Kawasaki is upgrading the Versys 1000 platform, and giving us a new model variant in the process, the Versys 1000 SE LT+, which just debuted at EICMA for the US and European markets.

At the core, the 2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+ is the same machine as before, but right away we can see that Team Green has made some changes, with the design language of the bike falling in line with the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. It also has the self-healing paint that first debuted on the Kawasaki Ninja H2.

This means that the Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+ retains use of the 1,043cc inline-four engine, which puts out 118hp (88 kW) and 75 lbs•ft (102 Nm) of torque.

She is a big girl though, with a Curb weight that will be 567 lbs, without the saddlebags, handguards, and other optional hardware. What’s makes this bike new is harder to see, besides the bodywork, of course:

Kawasaki has added its KECS electronically controlled suspension pieces; the engine has been updated with electronic throttle valves and a quickshifter; there is a five-axis Bosch IMU that provides cornering ABS; and the dash is a color TFT unit with smartphone connectivity.

We have been waiting a very long time for the Yamaha Ténéré 700, with the machine first debuting as a concept in 2016. A no-show at the 2017 EICMA show, the Yamaha T7 concept instead went on a worldwide promotional tour.

So, surely we thought that the 2018 EICMA show would announce the Yamaha Ténéré 700 as ready to go…yes and no. The Yamaha Ténéré 700 is finally coming as a production motorcycle…but not quite yet.

Expected as a Fall 2019 model in Europe, off-roaders eager for a middleweight adventure-touring bike will have to wait another year. If you happen to live on this side of the pond however, we have even worse news for you.

The Yamaha Ténéré 700 will be a 2021 model year machine in the USA, debuting in the second-half of 2020, making this perhaps the most disappointing new model release at the Milan trade show.

This week at the EICMA show in Milan, we expect to see the 2019 World Superbike Championship calendar released. However, we do not expect to see the Laguna Seca round listed on it…not yet, at least.

As we understand it, the WorldSBK calendar will be released with a “TBD” in the month of June, where the Laguna Seca round should normally be found. 

With the circuit and Dorna still arguing over licensing fees, and the future of World Superbike racing in the United States, the inclusion of the American round has been put into jeopardy.

Hello from sunny SoCal, where we are about to go ride the new KTM 790 Duke, which is finally coming to the United States as an early 2019 model.

The first of KTM’s parallel-twin middleweights, the new Duke packs a lot of features into an affordable body, with promises of being a potent streetfighter.

To test that theory, the Austrian brand has brought us near its base of operations in the United States, and today we will tackle the roads along the Oceanside coast, and then head up to the famous Palomar mountain for some twisty fun.

The KTM 790 Duke has been on our short-list of bikes we have wanted to swing a leg over, ever since we saw the concept for the machine debut two years ago at EICMA.

If you believed that hype from across the pond, the 2019 model year was set to see a new Honda CBR600RR debut, with a serious weight reduction. Our sources told us a different story, however, and now we have the proof from that pudding.

Debuting some its 2019 model year motorcycles early, we see that the Honda CBR600RR goes unchanged for the American market. Meanwhile, our European friends will have to live without Big Red’s venerable supersport model,  as the current generation supersport has lost its Euro4 waiver for the EU market.

More doom and gloom for the motorcycle industry, as Ducati Motor Holdings sales are slumping for the 2018 model year. Selling 32,250 motorcycles so far this year, the Italian brand is short 7.4% the volume it sold this time last year.

To translate unit sales into fiat currency, the 32,250 motorcycles sold equals €448 million in revenue going into Audi’s coffers. Of note, Ducati’s revenue contribution to Audi AG accounts for 1.4% of the automaker’s total revenue.

For the second quarter of this year, Ducati sales were down 8.9% compared to Q2 2017. This means that 20,319 Ducati motorcycles were sold in Q2 2018, compared to the 22,300 sold in Q2 2017.