The next two model years will be big ones for the motorcycle industry, as manufacturers prepare their offerings for the upcoming Euro5 emission regulations.
Existing models will get their new emissions gear for 2021, while new models will have to make the grade starting in 2020. That being said, most manufacturers are getting a head start on the process. One such company is Ducati.
As such, we have seen our first glimpses of the updated Ducati 959 Panigale, which will get makeover to bring its look more in line with what is on offer with the Panigale V4 superbike.
The Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition was made to be the very last example of the Superquadro-powered motorcycles from Borgo Panigale, and it is one of the finest examples of v-twin superbikes that the Italian company has ever made.
Giving way to the four-cylindered Ducati Panigale V4, the Final Edition was supposed to be a special edition machine that Ducati would make for as long as there was demand for it. That day has come though, with Ducati saying that only 1,299 units of the motorcycle will be produced, with production now coming to an end.
The end of an era, we will be sad to see the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition go…in all likelihood, it is the very last v-twin superbike from Ducati Motor Holding.
When it comes to the Royal Enfield brand, I wouldn’t say that it is exactly on our radar. Filling a niche within a niche, Royal Enfield’s offerings seem quaint, but impractical to us…despite their affordable price tags. We just don’t have enough mechanical masochism to want one in our garage.
That all being said, our ears perked up this year at the EICMA show, with the debut of the Royal Enfield KX concept. Finally, there is something from this Indian company that appeals to our senses, and I personally hope they build it for production.
A retro-looking bobber with modern finishes, the Royal Enfield KX concept takes the perfect mixture of new and old that pleases us in a very specific way.
They did it. They actually did it. Debuting today at INTERMOT, the Indian Motorcycle brand released its newest motorcycle, the 2019 Indian FTR1200.
The only production street tracker currently available on the market, the Indian FTR1200 takes its inspiration from the Indian FTR750 Scout race bike that is dominating the American Flat Track series, and in the process brings the company’s first non-cruiser motorcycle to market.
Answering the calls of many, the FTR1200 production bike is visually very close to the FTR1200 Concept we saw several months back, and it will come in two flavors: the base model Indian FTR1200, and the up-spec Indian FTR1200 S. Expect it to drop, Q1 2019.
Indian’s heavyweight models aren’t really our cup of tea, though we do get an immature chuckle when we hear them talk about their “Thunder Stroke” engine platform. Childish jokes aside, some interesting news caught our eye about the American brand’s 2019 models.
Included as part of the 2019 Indian Chief, Springfield, and Roadmaster models is a number of new features, the most interesting of which is the inclusion of rear-cylinder deactivation.
We have seen this technology most recently in the World Superbike Championship (and it is no stranger in the land of four wheels), where manufacturers deactivate cylinders mid-corner to improve bike’s response during partial throttle applications.
Indian is using this concept in a different way though – one that will be more applicable to riding on the street.
In case you missed the new, Harley-Davidson dropped a number of new model concepts on us today, all which are to go into production by the 2022 model year. We have already shown you the ADV concept, as well as the Streetfighter concept.
There are a bevy of electric bikes to see as well, along with an e-bike program, but right now we want to focus your attention on the Harley-Davidson Custom, a modern take on the Sportster platform. It might be the first cruiser that we have actually lusted over.
For the loyal Asphalt & Rubber readers on this page, that statement should certainly say something about how much we are digging this potent v-twin concept.
Harley-Davidson has ambitious plans for the 2020 model year, releasing a number of concept teasers today for new motorcycles. These plans include an adventure-touring model, some electric models including e-bikes, a new roadster “custom”, and perhaps our favorite, a streetfighter model.
Based around the same modular engine design, which will have a variety of displacements (500cc to 1,250cc), the Harley-Davidson Streetfighter will get the 975cc version of the liquid-cooled v-twin engine.
Perhaps the most lithe machine we have seen from the Bar & Shield brand, the Harley-Davidson Streetfighter looks the part, albeit in a very Harley-Davidson way.
For as long as Asphalt & Rubber has been in business, we have never seen Harley-Davidson debut an actual new motorcycle.
Rehashing the same design ethos over and over again, Harley-Davidson’s “new” bikes each year fail to stray very far from their predecessors. This notion changes today, however.
Releasing a number of concepts for future machines, the Bar & Shield brand is showing signs of life. The concepts include electric motorcycles, e-bikes, a new roadster, a streetfighter, and even an adventure-tourer.
We will take a look at these machines in turn, but first up, let’s look at Harley-Davidson’s biggest surprise to us, its ADV bike, which is called the Harley-Davidson Pan America.
The Tokyo Motorcycle Show wrapped up this weekend, but the Mugen Shinden Nana isn’t the only surprise that the Japanese brand has in store for us. Mugen also debuted this interesting engine concept.
Mugen is pretty tight on details, but word out of Tokyo is that this is a 1,400cc, four-valve, air-cooled, push-rod motor design that Mugen is considering putting into production as a crate engine for bike builders, with a delivery date somewhere in 2020.
For the 2018 World Superbike season, Ducati will once again campaign its v-twin platform: the venerable Panigale R superbike. This will be the final season for the two-cylinder Panigale R, before the Italian firm replaces it with its V4 package (likely too to be named the Panigale R).
This makes the upcoming season a hallmark occasion for Ducatisti, as they watch Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri compete with the Superquadro engine for a final time.
The zenith of v-twin engine design, Ducati’s Superquadro motor is an impressive power plant, but the race team in Borgo Panigale (the bike’s namesake) have reached the limits of their development with it – at least within the constraints of World Superbike regulations.
Looking closely at Ducati’s launch photos for its WorldSBK, we can spot some of those developments.
A quirky bike in its own right, the Moto Guzzi Stelvio had a strange cult following behind its bulky adventure-touring frame. As such, it was missed when it disappeared from Moto Guzzi’s lineup.
Well, now it’s back…sort of.
The following is what’s being called the Moto Guzzi V85 concept. It’s a loud enduro model that picks up where the Stelvio left off, and it also boasts a new 850cc engine platform from the Italian brand, which with its 80hp, will sit between the V7/V9 family of bikes, and the big 1400 cruisers.