You can usually count on the Big Four to bring out some popular new bike launches and intriguing concepts to EICMA, and this year...well...the Japanese brands phoned it in, for the most part.
Before we get into Jensen's complete feeling of disappointment, I first have to apologize because I failed you as a publisher. Much of the disappointment that comes from the INTERMOT and EICMA shows comes from the implications of the Euro5 emissions standards. As a publication, we should have prepared you better for this reality, and we didn't.
There is very little incentive right now for a motorcycle OEM to release a new model. Euro5 comes online for new models in 2020, and for existing models in 2021, which means that many of the motorcycle brands are holding onto their new bike launches for those model years.
As such, the 2019 model year is very much a "development year" for the industry. This doesn't change the fact that the Japanese brands had a weak showing in Milan, especially compared to the Europeans, but at least it explains why...for the most part.
As we expected, the GRT Yamaha squad is moving out of the World Supersport Championship, and into the World Superbike Championship for the 2019 season.
Riding for the GRT Yamaha squad is not who we expected however, though it will be two big names in the sport: former world champions Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese.
Melandri makes the defection from Ducati, where he was reportedly paying for his ride, to Yamaha. He hopes to best his fifth place in the 2018 championship standings. Meanwhile, Cortese comes into the World Superbike racing having just won the World Supersport Championship title.
Factory-backed in World Supersport last year, the GRT Yamaha team will keeps its factory status next year as well, which leaves Yamaha with four factory-backed YZF-R1 racing machines on the grid in 2019.
The Yamaha YZF-R1 clocked its 20th anniversary this year, a monumental achievement for the original 1,000cc superbike.
Potent from its first debut in 1998, the YZF-R1 is still at the top of the heap, winning the 2018 MotoAmerica Championship, as well as an unprecedented four-in-a-row victories at the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hours endurance race.
To help celebrate this birthday, Yamaha Motor has been touting a throwback livery on its racing machines, and now the Iwata brand is making that red and white livery available to its European fans.
More than just a paint job though, this 2019 Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR superbike has some very trick parts, which will make the 20 lucky souls who buy one very happy.
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.
The issue stems from the fact that over time a gap may develop in the protective sealant where the lead wires of the accelerator position sensor (APS) and throttle position sensor (TPS) connect to the electronic control unit (ECU).
This gap may cause corrosion to the wires, and thus change the resistance of the wires, which would send an incorrect signal to the ECU.
Because of this, the corrosion might prevent the engine from returning to idle after the throttle is released, and thus poses a potential safety hazard.
It’s that time of the year again, where Christmas comes early to the motorcycle industry, and we get to see all the new motorcycles that will be coming for the next model year, and beyond.
For the 2019 model year, we expect to see new models debuting at the INTERMOT, AIMExpo, and EICMA trade shows, which are in Cologne, Las Vegas, and Milan.
With things kicking off in Germany next week, we thought we would put together a guide for all the new motorcycles that we expect to see in the coming weeks. There are a bevy of new models that we know will be released at these three trade shows, and there are more than a few rumors of new bikes as well, which may surprise us.
Without wasting anymore time, let’s get down to it. We have broken down the new models and rumors by each manufacturer. Enjoy!
What is the value of a MotoGP test? About a morning, if Aragon is anything to go by. At the end of FP1, before any real rubber had built up on the track, four Ducatis topped the timesheets.
When I asked Davide Tardozzi whether he was happy with the Ducatis looking so strong so early, he replied that this was just the benefit of testing. Watch and see what Marc Márquez does in the afternoon, Tardozzi said.
Sure enough, by FP2, Márquez had caught up and then passed the Ducatis. The Repsol Honda rider ended the day on top of the timesheets, a tenth ahead of the factory Ducati of Jorge Lorenzo, and half a second quicker than Andrea Dovizioso.
Cal Crutchlow was just behind Dovizioso on the LCR Honda, while Andrea Iannone was a fraction over a half a second behind Márquez. The advantage was already gone.
For Yamaha, there wasn’t any advantage at all. The Movistar Yamaha team had come to the track and found some gains, Maverick Viñales in particular taking confidence from the test, which he carried into the Misano weekend. That lasted all the way until Sunday, when the grip disappeared in the heat, and the Yamahas slid down the order.
Friday at Aragon was more of the same: competitive in the morning, when there was some grip, but nowhere in the afternoon, when the grip went. Rossi and Viñales made it through to Q2 by the skin of their teeth, though with no illusions of a podium, or more. Yamaha are in deep trouble, with no end to their misery in sight, but more on that later.
On Wednesday, we told you about Yamaha’s struggling sales in the US market for its large displacement machines, with several bikes from several categories showing lackluster results over the last 12 months. We told this story first, because it frames a series of future stories about Yamaha Motor USA, and today is a continuation of that narrative.
As such, Asphalt & Rubber has learned that Yamaha plans to move its corporate headquarters out of Cypress, California – the epicenter of the motorcycle industry – and relocate to the other side of the country, setting up shop just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The primary driver for this move? Costs.