Bikes, Honda Motorcycles, International Bike News

2020 MotoGP: Repsol Honda Team – brothers in arms


Having its first world presentation last week in Indonesia, the Repsol Honda Team presents its racing livery for the 2020 MotoGP Season. During the Winter Test in Sepang, brothers Marc and Alex Marquez, race numbers #93 and #73, respectively, showed strongly.

However, despite what is shown in the gallery below, the Spanish brothers’ RC213V may yet change configuration ahead of the first race in Qatar, notably in aerodynamics as well as technical specification. The first race of the 2020 season takes place at Losail circuit on March 6 to 8 but there is still one more test session to go.

For this season, reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc is joined by younger brother Alex. Alex is a two-time champion in his own right in Moto2 and Moto3.

According to Repsol Honda team manager Alberto Puig, it is still too early in the season to tell how the team will do. Marc has said his wish to is win the world championship but is aware the competition has improved over the previous year and closing in on his heels.

Marc is recovering from a shoulder operation after aggravating a shoulder injury during the Jerez test in 2019. As for Alex, Puig said he is showing daily improvement which will, from his experience, be good for a sixth or seventh place in the championship although it is early days yet.

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Bikes, Harley-Davidson, International Bike News

GALLERY: Harley-Davidson Sykes Sportster Customs


During a Harley-Davidson media ride in Antequera, Spain, recently to which paultan.org was invited, on the riding menu were a dozen custom Sportsters built by Sykes Harley-Davidson in the UK. The 12 Sportsters were actual customer bikes, road registered and built to specification.

Styling for the Sykes custom Sportsters covered a range of styles, from the, compared to the other bikes, somewhat “normal” bobber to dragster style, ape hanger and flat-tracker. Each Sykes Sportster was unique, some having intricate paint jobs, others finished in bare metal.

Others sported a variety of handlebars styles, from the aforementioned “ape hanger” to flat bars and everything else in between. Engines were similarly dissimilar, with the V-twin configuration adorned with cut-off exhausts, shorties, open pipes and the like.

What was common amongst all the Sportsters that were ridden by the assembled media to dinner was all exuded that Harley sound. After two days of riding stock standard Harley-Davidson Softtails and another totally silent machine in the mountains around Antequera, was something of a welcome change.

With the admonition that the bikes we were riding belonged to someone else and would have to be returned in the condition in which we received them, the ride progressed through the old part of the town of Antequera. Replete with cobblestones, steep inclines, pedestrian traffic and slippery manhole covers, the gaggle of journalists had a whale of a time cruising the streets.

In Malaysia, the Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200 comes in Custom, Roadster, Forty-Eight and Iron flavours. Pricing starts from RM75,400 for the base model Forty-Eight and goes up to RM85,800 for the 1200 Roadster in Two-tone paint.

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Bikes, International Bike News, Yamaha

2020 MotoGP: Monster Energy Yamaha YZR-M1


For the 2020 MotoGP season, it appears that Monster Energy Yamaha will be using the same graphics as in the previous year. However, during an interview satellite team Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) principal Datuk Radzlan Razali, paultan.org was informed the 2020 YZF-R1 is an all new race machine, with new chassis and engine.

This means factory team riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales are on all new bikes with carbon-fibre fairing and swingarm, as is Petronas SRT rider Fabio Quartararo, who posted fastest time in the Winter Test at Sepang. Meanwhile, Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli is riding a 2019 YZR-M1 with “improvements”, said Radzlan.

With Rossi and Vinales still in the first team for 2020 and as is known, Vinales has signed on 2021, fan favourite Rossi is still undecided on his future plans. Rossi’s contract with Yamaha ends in 2020 and he has been quoted as saying he would wait till mid-season to decide his future in MotoGP.

Rossi’s place in the Monster Energy Yamaha team will be taken by Quartararo with speculation that Rossi might move down to the satellite team, stay on as a Yamaha test rider or retire to concentrate on his VR46 race team. In other news, Jorge Lorenzo, who had a dismal and injury-hit season with Ducati on the Desmosedici GP19 – injuring his back with a bad fall in Assen last season – has come on board with Yamaha as a test rider.

Last year, Vinales placed third in the overall rider standings while Rossi managed seventh. For Vinales, this is his fourth season with Yamaha, while “The Doctor” has been racing for Yamaha for 15 years.

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Bajaj, Bikes, International Bike News, Triumph

2022 sees Triumph enter sub-750 cc market with Bajaj


A non-equity partnership has been signed between Triumph Motorcycles and Bajaj Auto to produce middleweight motorcycles, entering the market in 2022. Manufacturing will take place in Bajaj’s plant in Chakan, India and will cover motorcycles from 200 cc up to 750 cc with pricing starting from 200,000 Indian rupees (RM11,300).

While no details have been made public on quantity, the Bajaj plant in Chakan, which paultan.org visited in 2017, has a daily production capacity of 100,000 units a day. Distribution and sales in India will leverage on Bajaj’s dealer network throughout the sub-continent.

However, motorcycles produced under the manufacturing partnership will also be sold worldwide via Triumph’s international dealer network. Under the agreement, the sub-750 cc two-wheelers will be developed jointly by Triumph and Bajaj with Triumph overseeing the design, ride and handling, reports website ndtv.com.

Addressing the issue facing the global motorcycle market about attracting a younger rider demographic, Triumph chief executive officer said, “This is an important partnership for Triumph, and I am delighted that it has now formally commenced. As well as taking our brand into crucial new territories, the products that will come out of the partnership will also help attract a younger, but still discerning, customer audience and is another step in our ambitions to expand globally, particularly in the fast-growing markets of South East Asia, but also driving growth in more mature territories like Europe.”

“The Triumph brand is an iconic one the world over. So, we are confident that there will be a huge appetite in India and other emerging markets for these new products. We look forward to working alongside such a famous motorcycle company and to leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise to make the relationship a success for everyone,” said Bajaj managing director Rajiv Bajaj.

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Bikes, Ducati, International Bike News

2020 MotoGP: Mission Winnow Ducati Team


In a presentation in Bologno, Italy, Ducati Corse unveiled the 2020 Ducati Desmosedici GP20 in Mission Winnow Ducati Team colours. Ridden by Andrea Dovizioso (#04) and Danilo Petrucci (#9), this year’s Desmosedici GP20 comes in red with black and chrome accents.

Last year’s racing season saw Dovizioso come in second in the world championship standing with 269 points and two race wins. Team mate Petrucci was sixth in the championship with 176 points and one race win.

For 2020, Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse general manager, said the team is still not satisfied. “We can’t say that we are completely satisfied as our ultimate goal remains the same: winning the championship title. 2020 will be even more intense and demanding with 20 races scheduled in the calendar, and our rivals will be even more competitive,” said Dall’Igna.

Speaking about Ducati’s racing efforts and the trickle down effect on Ducati’s road-going performance machines, Ducati Motor Holdings chief executive officer Claudio Domenicali said racing is a fundamental part of the company’s DNA and will remain so. “If we sum the R&D done for the production line, for racing and the assets needed to produce new models, the global Ducati R&D is worth more than 10% of the revenue,” commented Domenciali on Ducati’s investment in racing technology.

The Desmosedici GP20 will make its debut at Sepang International Circuit on February 7 to 9 for the official MotoGP test. The 2020 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix will be held on the weekend of November 1.

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Bikes, International Bike News

VIDEO: 2020 Segway Apex Concept e-bike revealed

We’ve all seen security personnel cruising around shopping malls using two-wheeled Segway personal transport devices but the 2020 Segway Apex Concept electric motorcycle (e-bike) brings the US company into the world of on-road motorcycles. Currently owned by Beijing based robotics firm Ninebot, Segway currently has an electric dirt bike in its lineup (currently in crowd funding), along with kick scooters and other personal mobility machines.

Scheduled to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in a few days, the video shows the Apex Concept put through the paces with the tagline, in Mandarin, “Accelerate for Passion.” There is also a large numeral ‘9’ on the fairing, which we presume is a nod to the e-bike’s investors and parent company.

There are precious few other details available about the Apex Concept but we can assume given Segway’s experience in electric powered vehicles, some form of swappable battery, fast charging and smart energy management will be part of the package. From the video, the Apex Concept looks about ready to hit the market as a fast electric sports bike, joining rivals such as Energica and Zero Motorcycles, based in Europe and the US, respectively.

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Bikes, Ducati, International Bike News

Ducati Memorabilia: For the rider who has everything


If you’re wondering what to get the rider who has everything for Christmas or a year-end gift, Ducati and its racing division Ducati Corse have got you covered with the Ducati Memorabilia Project. What this is means is you can purchase, for yourself or other significant person in your life, a piece of a Ducati racing motorcycle.

Items include crankshafts, camshafts, pistons and con-rods, all used inside a Desmosedici or Panigale from previous racing seasons. While the cynical might question why such a thing is available for purchase, for the Ducatisti, it represents a piece of racing history.

Cost, on the other hand, might be another issue but as they say, like motorcycle styles, one man’s meat is another man’s unjustifiable, absolute waste of money. Each piece of Ducati Memorabilia is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Ducati chief executive officer Claudio Domenicali and Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna.

Encased in a plexiglass box, each Ducati racing component has a serial number and is clearly marked “For Display Only.” Purchase of Ducati Memorabilia items can be made at the Ducati Store in Borgo Panigale, selected Ducati dealerships and via online purchase at the Ducati website from 2020.

In other news, French MotoGP rider Johann Zarco, who left KTM Red Bull Racing mid-season after dismal results, has signed with Ducati MotoGP satellite team Reale Avintia Racing. Replacing Czech Karel Abraham in the Spanish outfit, Zarco joins Spaniard Tito Rabat.

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Bikes, International Bike News, Triumph

2020 Triumph Bobber TFC – 750 made worldwide


Main

First launched in 2017, the Triumph Bobber started a trend for the Hinckley for works-built modified retros, leading to the Triumph Factory Custom (TFC) range, the latest of which is the limited edition 2020 Triumph Bobber TFC. The other models in the TFC catalogue are the Rocket 3 TFC, which is now sold out, and the Thruxton TFC.

For the Bobber TFC, engine power from the 1,200 cc High Torque parallel-twin engine has seen a bump, up 10 hp and 4 Nm from previous, giving 87 hp and 110 Nm of torque with a 39% reduction in engine inertia. To be built in a limited production run of only 750 units worldwide, the equipment specification for the Bobber TFC is given a substantial upgrade over the standard model.

These include Ohlins fully-adjustable upside-down front forks and adjustable Ohlins monoshock along with titanium Arrow exhaust cans with carbon-fibre end caps. Brakes have been similarly upgraded, the Bobber TFC coming with Brembo M50 Monobloc brake callipers in front, actuated by a Brembo MCS radial master cylinder.

Unique to the Bobber TFC are clip-on handlebars, lowering the bike’s silhouette further and a short ‘bobber’ front mudguard. Carbon-fibre is used for the side panels and the mudguard stays. The upper triple tree is machined from billet aluminium and comes with TFC badging and the bike’s edition number while the single seat is made from genuine leather.

Coming in a murdered out colour scheme, the Bobber TFC features black anodised multi-spoked wheels, black monoshock spring and forks, black engine covers and a black frame and swingarm. Only one colour scheme is available for the Bobber TFC – Carbon Black and Matte Carbon Black, with silver foil union jack flag on the knee pads and every Bobber TFC owner will receive a numbered letter hand-signed by Triumph CEO Nick Bloor, a personalised custom build book, Bobber TFC bike cover, TFC document wallet and leather TFC branded rucksack.

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Bikes, International Bike News, Kymco

EICMA 2019: Kymco RevoNEX – 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9s


After an earlier teaser photo, the 2021 Kymco RevoNEX was unveiled to the public at EICMA 2019. A naked sports electric motorcycle (e-bike), the RevoNEX was designed with an eye to a riding experience mimicking normal motorcycles.

Ordinarily e-bikes will have one speed or an automatic transmission like a scooter but the RevoNEX does things differently with a six-speed gearbox and hand clutch, just like a standard motorcycle. Kymco says this gives the rider the sensation of riding a motorcycle but with the ease of starting of without the clutch if desired, somewhat like the clutch from Rekluse.

Also included are four riding modes – Poised for quiet operation in residential areas, Assertive for city street riding, Bold for more spirited runs and Extreme for track use. The selected ride mode is display on the TFT-LCD screen, which is also usede to display navigation information.

The RevoNEX will be out in the market in 2021 and the full technical specifications of this e-bike have yet to be divulged. What is known is it will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds while to zero to 205 km/h top speed is done in 11.8 seconds. Motive power comes what is called an Active Acoustic Motor which provides an audible noise while running if required to alert pedestrians.

Other equipment that can be seen on the RevoNEX are adjustable suspension and twin front disc brakes. Brembo does the braking front and rear and riding aids include ABS, traction control and a quickshifter.

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Bikes, Harley-Davidson, International Bike News

EICMA 2019: Harley-Davidson 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America and Bronx – new Revolution Max engine


As part of its move to attract a younger rider demographic to the fold, iconic American motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson (H-D) showed the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America and Harley-Davidson Bronx at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy. The pair of design language departures from H-D’s traditional chrome laden cruiser will be powered by the all-new H-D Revolution Max V-twin.

Coming in two displacements, the Revolution Max is liquid-cooled and designed to be an integral part of the motorcycle as a stressed member. The intake run of the 60-degree V-twin now has space for twin down draft throttle bodies to improve performance and efficiency.

For H-D, moving into a market that has been occupied the past few decades by other established manufacturers means some ambitious targets have been seen for the new power plant. For the Pan America, the Revolution Max displaces 1,250 cc and a power target of more than 145 hp and 122 Nm of torque has been set, while the Bronx will carry the 975 cc version and a power target of more than 115 hp and 94 Nm of torque.

The Pan American is H-D’s take on the adventure-tourer machine and says it is a “two-wheel multi-tool built to endure, designed to explore, and engineered for the unknown.” Meanwhile, the Bronx addresses the streetfighter style motorcycle market which is very popular and very crowded.

H-D is confident the new lighter, lower vibration Revolution Max has what it takes to bring the brand into a new era and non-traditional market. Deliveries of the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan American and Bronx will begin in the last quarter of 2020.

GALLERY: 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan American

GALLERY: 2021 Harley-Davidson Bronx

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