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Kawasaki to launch electric Ninja

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Yoshimoto Matsuda, Senior Manager, Innovation Department division at Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. and his team have been working on the electric motorcycles since the 2000s.

Japanese premium motorcycle manufacturer Kawasaki is working on an electric motorcycle that is likely to come with the Ninja badge upon launch, reveals a media report.

Yoshimoto Matsuda, Senior Manager, Innovation Department division at Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. and his team have been working on the electric motorcycles since the 2000s.

The motorcycle maker has teased a test mule in a video that looks like the upcoming electric Ninja. As Kawasaki hints, the electric motorcycle will be fun to control, exciting and it will reflect the passion of the brand.

The video hinted that Kawasaki is testing the electric powertrain on a 2017 Ninja 650. However, the details about this powertrain are not clear yet.

The media report quoted, Yoshimoto, who said, “We have been thoroughly studying and patenting features ranging from packaging and chassis geometry to transmissions and thumb brake activated energy recovery systems.”

The test mule hs a range of 100 km but the production model is likely to come with improved range. Speaking about the launch date of the electric Kawasaki Ninja, the motorcycle is likely to come sometime in early next decade.

On Tuesday, Kawasaki confirmed that the brand is joining the EV (electric vehicle) revolution by officially announcing that an electric motorcycle is on the way.

Following in the footsteps of Harley Davidson, Kawaski announced that an electric motorcycle — albeit it being a concept model — is currently in development.

In a video demonstrating the speed of the bike, the company’s Innovation Senior Manager Yoshimoto Matsuda stated that the motorcycle is equipped with a next-generation power unit which has been in the works since the turn of the century.

Like their engine powered bikes, the electric iteration has been designed in accordance with the company’s Rideology philosophy which means that it will be fun to ride.

Of the few specs revealed by the company, it has been confirmed that the motorcycle will have a manual transmission, “performance on par with a mid-size displacement model,” and a 100km range.

Matsuda stated that Kawasaki has been busy patenting technologies for electric bikes over the years like a thumb brake-activated energy recovery system, but he did not confirm whether such components will be present on the concept or not.

In any case, this concept basically functions as a preliminary version of upcoming production models which will doubtlessly incorporate some of these elements.

After years and years of development, Kawasaki only revealed that their electric motorcycle will be unveiled in the near future.

2020 Kawasaki Z900 now gets riding modes, traction control and increased ground clearance

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by Express Drives Desk from https://www.financialexpress.com

The new Kawasaki Z900 now is more feature-packed and should be able to take on the Triumph Street Triple as well as Suzuki GSX-S750 in a better fashion.

Kawasaki’s second showcase at EICMA 2019 was the updated Z900. The naked litre-class motorcycle gets a full complement of LED headlights, flanked by parking lights (LED) and a redesigned cowl. The Z900 also looks inspired from the Ninja H2 and if you take a closer look, it has got flanks as well. Kawasaki has redesigned the tank extensions and there is the exposed steel trellis frame. One more part that is now LED are the blinkers. Kawasaki hasn’t tinkered with the tail light that is still shaped in the Z pattern. The instrument console too now gets a TFT display with Kawasaki Rideology app connect through Bluetooth.

Riding aids was something that was missing in the Z900. It is surprising that a Rs 8 lakh motorcycle didn’t have any other electronics apart from dual channel ABS. The new Kawasaki Z900 gets two power modes – Low and Full. This is the same from other Kawasaki models and cut off power when in low mode. There is also traction control on offer now. Kawasaki has also added riding modes – Rider, Rain, Sport and Road. The names are self explanatory and in the Rider mode, one can configure it according to their requirements.

Shorter riders earlier preferred the Z900 for its lower (comparatively) 795mm seat height. However, for the 2020 model, Kawasaki has raised the seat height to 820mm. The motorcycle too has grown in length and is taller too. The good part is that the ground clearance is now up from the earlier lowly 130mm to 145mm. Kawasaki has also increased the wheelbase slightly. There though is no weight gain from all this exercise.

Kawasaki has updated the 998c engine to meet Euro-V standards. There is no change in power or torque numbers from before (125hp/99Nm). The gearbox is a 6-speed unit that also gets slipper clutch assistance. Kawasaki has also reworked the exhaust plumbing. There are no changes to the suspension – USD forks in the front and monoshock at the back. Braking duties are carried out by discs at both ends and linked by dual channel ABS.

2020 Triumph Bobber TFC unveiled at EICMA 2019

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Limited Edition with more power, less weight

Triumph Bobber TFC is powered by an updated version of the liquid-cooled 1200cc parallel twin which now makes 87 hp at 6,250 rpm and 110 Nm of torque, which is a 13 percent increase in power compared to the standard Bobber.

by Express Drives Desk from https://www.financialexpress.com

Triumph Motorcycles custom bike wing called Triumph Factory Customs has rolled out yet another gorgeous-looking TFC edition after the Thruxton TFC and Rocket 3 TFC earlier this year. Unveiled at the ongoing 2019 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, Triumph Bobber TFC boasts of more power, is lighter than the standard bike and will be limited to 750 units across the world.

Triumph Bobber TFC is powered by an updated version of the liquid-cooled 1200cc parallel twin which now makes 87 hp at 6,250 rpm and 110 Nm of torque. The TFC has received a 13 percent increase in power compared to the standard Bobber and Bobber Black which produce about 77 hp. The exhaust system has also been updated with Arrow titanium pipes and carbon fibre end caps.

The second most notable change is the styling of the Triumph Bobber TFC. While the design is largely the same, it gets a new paint scheme, carbon fibre bodywork, and a short mudguard. Frame and swingarm have been black powder-coated, it gets black anodised wheels, knurled handlebar grips and billet-machined aluminium oil filler cap. The black theme continues to the Öhlins RSU spring, Öhlins forks and engine covers.

The use of lighter components has led to a weight saving of about 5 kg on the 2020 Bobber TFC. It features fully adjustable Ohlins upside-down forks and rear suspension. Braking components include twin floating discs up front with Brembo four-piston M50 radial monobloc callipers. The Bobber TFC features three ride modes – Raid, Road and Sport.

The Bobber TFC is Euro V compliant and is priced at GBP 15,500 in the UK.

Review of “Oil in the Blood”

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A Documentary about people with passion

‘Oil in the Blood’ is a documentary feature film on the contemporary custom motorcycle culture. The film is directed by biker biker Gareth Maxwell Roberts and produced by Lucy Selwood.

This is not a film about motorcycles, it’s a film about motorcycle people.

“Oil In The Blood” has it’s worldwide release on October 14th for sale and rental on Amazon, iTunes, and google. DVD/ Blu-ray available now on Amazon.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE DETAILED REVIEW IN THE CANTINA

JOIN THE CANTINA TODAY

Harley-Davidson’s 2020 Bronx and Pan America EICMA debuts are big flags planted in a brave new world

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by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com/

The Pan America ADV and Bronx middleweight naked bikes are unlike anything Harley has done before, but they might just be what The Motor Company needs to stay relevant.

Harley’s first ADV bike, the Pan America, is set to bring that classic H-D burble to the wilder places of the world.

One of the main criticisms that we (and seemingly the rest of the motorcycle press) likes to level at Harley-Davidson is that it’s been slow to respond to the changing desires — and budgets — of a younger motorcycle-riding demographic. That criticism is still valid today, but Harley announced its response during the 2019 EICMA show, and what a response it is.

PAN AMERICA
The Motor Company debuted two bikes in Milan on Wednesday, and they’re both aimed at segments in which Harley has never really participated. The first is a large-displacement adventure touring bike called the Pan America, and it’s pretty damned similar to the Pan America concept we saw back in 2018.

The Pan America is packing a new liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin engine called the Revolution Max that displaces 1,250 cubic centimeters and is said to make 145 horsepower and more than 90 pound-feet of torque. Those are big numbers, especially for Harley, which is more accustomed to building bigger, lazier engines with less power and more torque.

The Pan America differs from traditional Harley models in several other ways, too. It ditches the brand’s almost ubiquitous belt-style final drive for a chain that allows much simpler gearing changes and ease of repair should something go awry out on the trail. It also uses a rear trellis-style subframe for strength and reduced weight, meaning it should be a snap to mount all kinds of cool adventure-y hard luggage to it.

Other changes include the use of Brembo brakes rather than H-D’s typical in-house branded stoppers, and a swap to an inverted fork setup, which is much more common on more sporting bikes and ADV bikes. (Interestingly, Indian also went the Brembos-and-inverted-fork route on its new Challenger bagger.) The Pan America also looks pretty unique from a styling standpoint, thanks to its beakless nose and squinty cyclops-like headlight. We love it.

BRONX
Perhaps an even more significant departure for the brand is the introduction of its middleweight naked bike that it’s calling the Bronx. This wee beastie is packing a smaller 975-cc version of the Pan America’s Revolution Max that’s good for 115-horsepower and 70 lb.-ft. of torque. That puts it within spitting distance of Indian’s sporting FTR 1200.

Where the Bronx trails the FTR is in the looks department. While the FTR proudly wears its flat-track racer heritage, the Bronx looks a bit more like a cookie-cutter naked bike, though that doesn’t mean it’s unattractive. Far from it. Harley’s playing its cards close to its chest when it comes to details on the Bronx, but we can deduce a few things from the press photos.

First, while drive-side photos of the bike are thin on the ground, in the one we can see, the bike appears to be belt-driven, as evidenced by the great big, gigantic cog on the rear wheel. This feels like a mistake to us, since getting locked into a single, final gear ratio is a bummer for sporty bikes, and changing out a belt-drive cog is rumored to be a real chore. If there’s an upside to belt drive in this application, it’s a lack of need for regular maintenance.

Next, we can see that the bike also has a small, round instrument display that we’re betting is a TFT thanks to all the menu navigation controls on the left handlebar pod. That would lead us to believe that this thing will pack rider-selectable throttle maps and more.

One thing we’d love to see from the Bronx is an inertial measurement unit (IMU) that would facilitate lean-sensitive antilock brakes and traction control. This is a feature that we know and love on our long-term Indian FTR and plenty of other bikes in the Bronx’s crowded market segment, and it’s already available as part of RDRS for Harley’s touring line.

Harley-Davidson says that it’s aiming to have both the Pan America and the Bronx in showrooms by the end of 2020. It’s not given any indication of where we might expect to see these models priced, but we sincerely hope that it doesn’t go the same way as the Livewire and expect its name to demand a super-premium price in a brand new segment for the brand.

BMW Unwraps New, Lighter S 1000 XR Motorcycle

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

It’s an important week for motorcycle fans across the world as one of the year’s largest specialized events, EICMA, kicked off in Milan, Italy. Several high-profile premieres are on the floor of the Rho Fairgrounds, including BMW’s newest version of the S 1000 XR, taking the floor alongside other BMW-Motorrad machines on display there.

The adventure sport bike got significantly upgraded for the new generation with the inclusion of a new engine, the shaving of some kilos from its waist and the addition of several never-before used technologies for this range.

The heart of the new bike is the inline 4-cylinder engine, a new version of the powerplant usually deployed on the S 1000 RR. In the XR however the unit is 5 kg lighter than on the model it replaces, accounting for exactly half of the total 10 kg weight reduction of the bike when compared to the previous model (2020 XR tips the scale at 226 kg unladen).

The engine uses for the first time in the range engine drag torque control (MSR) and develops a total of 165 hp. It can be configured to run in four driving modes, namely Rain, Road, Dynamic, and Dynamic Pro.

The suspension of the bike has been reworked as well, shaving off 2.1 kg from the total weight. The direct linkage hardware has also been tweaked into reducing the unsprung masses by 1.6 kg.

As standard, the XR will be offered with LED lights all around, except for the U.S. market where the bike will have no LED turn indicators. Regardless of where it will sell, the bike will however provide the same, larger, 6.5 inch TFT screen, complete with connectivity, for better visibility.

BMW did not say when the new S 1000 XR will go on sale. The full spectrum of modifications made can be found in the press release.

Honda unveils big bike line-up for 2020 at EICMA

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by Parvatha Vardhini C from https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/

Honda unveiled its motorcycle line-up for 2020 at the EICMA Motorcycle Show here on Tuesday. The launches span across all biking segments — commuter, roadster, adventure and racing.

The refreshed models showcased include SH125i and SH150i in the commuter segment; CMX500 Rebel and CBR1000R roadsters; the Africa Twin and the Africa Twin Adventure Sports in the adventure biking space and racing bikes — CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and Fireblade SP. Of these, the CB1000R, the Africa Twin Adventure Sports and the Fireblade racing bikes will be available in India, although the exact time of launch and the prices are yet to be revealed.

Powered by a lighter and more powerful 1100 cc parallel twin engine, both versions of the 2020 Africa Twin use a lighter, narrower frame, improving both agility and comfort. The all-new racing bikes — CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and Fireblade SP — come with a new frame and engine and draw strongly on Honda’s RC213V MotoGP technology. Both bikes will be available in two colour schemes: a Grand Prix Red and a Matte Pearl Black.

Make in India focus

These launches come at a time Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India is making big plans for its exclusive premium motorcycle business under the ‘Honda BigWing’ vertical. With new focus on ‘Make in India for the World’, Honda plans to foray into mass production of select big bikes from India, from the existing CKD/CBU operations. While the existing model of the Africa Twin is assembled in India, the CB1000R is being imported as a fully built unit. The modalities for these 2020 models are still being worked out and whether they will be manufactured, assembled or imported cannot be ascertained immediately, said Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice-President, Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India.

The company plans to nearly double its BigWing portfolio from the current seven to 13 models by next fiscal. Nagaraj hopes that the focus on ‘Make in India’ will improve the export potential for the company, especially after the implementation of BS-VI emission norms (Euro V equivalent) from April 1, 2020.

Honda CB4X adventure concept – Debuts at 2019 EICMA
The concept was designed by Honda’s Italian R&D team.

by Nithyanandh Karupp from https://www.rushlane.com

Honda’s R&D team from Rome has been quite active for the last five years, fielding interesting design concepts at every edition of EICMA. At this year’s edition, the Italian wing has come up with a snazzy Honda CB4X adventure tourer concept.

Honda describes the project as experimental machine which is developed under theme “fun seven days a week”. The motorcycle is claimed to be a crossover with healthy blend of Sport and Touring. The motorcycle was designed by Valerio Aiello and his young team of designers.

Without revealing much, Honda says that the concept is powered by an inline four cylinder engine that would offer more than adequate power for a long trip on the weekends and yet be flexible enough for everyday urban grind.

The company describes the unique fuel-tank silhoutte to be inspired by a cobra ready to attack its prey. Complementing the front heavy stance is the sharp semi-fairing with diamond shaped LED headlamp cluster.

The design concept features aluminium sub-frame, a steeply raked tailpiece a pointy tailight and a set of sport exhaust pipes. 17-inch alloy wheels, Brembo braking system, inverted telescopic front fork and rear monoshock round off the hardware configuration.

On board the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, the Japanese motorcycle maker’s popular liter-class four-cylinder powertrain develops a heady 212 hp. If at all the CB4X concept makes it to production, we expect this engine to be adoring its bay albeit in a much saner state of tune.

Honda has not discussed the possibility of a production model anytime soon but we hope to see a derivative achieve fruition. It is to be noted that the company showcased CB4 Interceptor concept a couple of years ago which is yet to see the light of day. That said, if the concept garners good positive response, Honda could explore the possibility of a commercial launch.

A production version of the Honda CB4X would competition with the likes of Yamaha Tracer 900, Kawasaki Versys 1000, Ducati Multistrada and so on. Honda has also unveiled the updated Rebel 500 and 300 cruisers at the ongoing motorcycle expo.

Aston Martin goes from four wheels to two with AMB 001 motorcycle

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by Stephen Edelstein from https://www.digitaltrends.com

Aston Martin is known for sports cars, but the automaker’s latest project has two wheels, not four. Aston is launching its first motorcycle with help from another storied British firm — Brough Superior (pronounced “bruff”). Revealed at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, the bike is for track use only, and production will be limited to just 100 copies, according to Aston.

An Aston press release said the partnership with Brough Superior came about because chief creative officer Marek Reichman is a motorcycle enthusiast.

“This is a fascinating and very popular project for myself and my team,” Reichman said in a statement. “The opportunity to collaborate with Brough Superior has given us the chance to bring our unique views on how beauty and engineering can combine to create a highly emotive piece of vehicle design.”

Reichman’s influence is visible in the AMB 001’s design. In contrast to the blunt look of Brough’s current bikes, the AMB 001 has a streamlined design, with most of the mechanical bits encased in carbon fiber bodywork. The shape of the front bodywork was designed to reference Aston Martin sports cars, but also provides aerodynamic downforce, according to Aston.

Aston Martin’s cars currently use turbocharged engines, and so does the AMB-001. The bike’s turbo V-Twin produces 180 horsepower. The engine’s exhaust manifold is made from Inconel, the same heat-resistant superalloy used for the skin of the North American X-15 rocket plane. The engine is a load-bearing part of the chassis, which adds stiffness and saves weight. A six-speed gearbox transfers power to the rear wheel.

The AMB 001 will be built not at an Aston Martin factory, but at Brough Superior’s factory in Toulouse, France. In Europe, the bike is priced at 108,000 euros (about $120,000 at current exchange rates). Deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Aston Martin.

Founded in 1919 by George Brough, Brough Superior built some of the earliest performance motorcycles. Despite winning over the likes of T.E. Lawrence, the company gradually faded from existence. The bikes remained popular with collectors, including Jay Leno, and the company was resurrected by British motorcycle enthusiast Mark Upham in 2012.

A company building vehicles with both two wheels and four isn’t unprecedented. Triumph once made both cars and motorcycles, while Ducati is currently part of the sprawling Volkswagen Group. But an automaker and a motorcycle maker teaming up for a specific project is a bit unusual. Mercedes-AMG previously partnered with Ducati and MV Agusta on some special-edition bikes, but these were AMG-themed versions of existing models, not clean-sheet designs.

Aston Martin is ticking off several firsts. In addition to the motorcycle, Aston is preparing to launch its first SUV and its first electric car. Brough Superior isn’t Aston’s only vehicle development partner, either. The automaker is working with Red Bull Racing — the energy drink giant’s Formula One team — on a hybrid hypercar called the Valkyrie.

Cause determined in Jessi Combs’ fatal speed record crash

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by Zac Palmer from https://www.msn.com

Occurred at speeds near 550 mph.

Jessi Combs’ fatal high-speed crash was caused by “a mechanical failure of the front wheel, most likely caused from striking an object on the desert,” according to the Harney County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. This information comes to us two months after Combs’ tragic accident on the dry lake bed of the Alvord Desert. Combs was 39 years old.

The investigation concluded that the front wheel failure “led to the front wheel assembly collapsing.” The sheriff’s department says this happened at speeds approaching 550 mph. Both the Harney County Sheriff’s Office and the North American Eagle Race Team collected evidence from the scene to come to this conclusion.

Her cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head, which happened before the vehicle was engulfed in flames. No other official information regarding the crash was released.

Combs was an extremely well-known racer, fabricator and a longtime host of Autoblog’s “The List” video series, and it is with heavy hearts that we convey this news to you today. The sheriff’s office concluded its release by passing on “its condolences to the family of Jessi Combs and the North American Eagle Race Team.”

Harley-Davidson’s® First Adventure Touring and Streetfighter Models Debut with All-New Revolution® Max Engines

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Models Beckon a New Era of Middleweight Capability, Performance, and Attitude from Harley-Davidson

Displayed for the first time publicly at EICMA in Milan, Harley-Davidson® is showcasing two all-new middleweight motorcycles, including the release of information surrounding the latest signature Harley-Davidson® V-Twin engine – the Revolution® Max. The powerful all-new 60-degree V-Twin has been designed for a new range of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in two different guises – 1250cc in the new Harley-Davidson Pan America™ and 975cc in the Harley-Davidson® Bronx™. Harley-Davidson® first announced expansion into new segments including new middleweight offerings in its More Roads to Harley-Davidson® accelerated plan for growth in July 2018.  These exhilarating new models will both launch in late 2020 extending the iconic brand into new market segment.

Pan America™

The Harley-Davidson Pan America™ is an all-new advanced adventure touring multi-purpose motorcycle equal parts campfire, wanderlust, and grit. The Pan America™ is a two-wheel multi-tool built to endure, designed to explore, and engineered for the unknown.

Bronx™

The new Harley-Davidson® Revolution® Max powertrain is also at the heart of an all new Bronx™. This middleweight streetfighter model rolls with an unapologetic attitude and performance to match.

Powering both the new Pan America™ and Bronx models is the new liquid-cooled 975cc and 1,250cc Revolution® Max engine. Created to power a range of new Harley-Davidson® models, the Revolution® Max is designed to offer flexible performance with a broad powerband that builds to a surge of high-RPM power. Minimizing weight and maximizing performance, the Revolution® Max provides a narrow powertrain profile that is integrated into the motorcycle as a stressed member of the frame to enhance center of gravity and handling. The fully balanced powertrain has an internal counter balancer that mitigates primary engine vibration to enhance rider comfort and improve vehicle durability. Its design is bold and contoured, classic and contemporary, strong and svelte – a representation of Harley-Davidson® performance and style.

Revolution® Max 1250 Engine Performance Targets

  • Displacement 1250cc
  • More than 145 horsepower
  • More than 90 ft. lbs. peak torque

Revolution® Max 975 Engine Performance Targets

  • Displacement 975cc
  • More than 115 horsepower
  • More than 70 ft. lbs. peak torque

Revolution® Max Engine Technical Features

  • Liquid-Cooled V-Twin Architecture
  • Since 1909 the V-Twin engine has been the centerpiece for legendary Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. This lineage continues into the middleweight performance space with the Revolution® Max engine.
  • A 60-degree vee angle of the cylinders provides space for dual down draft throttle bodies that maximize air flow and increase performance.
  • Liquid cooling maintains a controlled engine temperature for consistent performance in changing environmental and riding situations.

High Performance Development Collaboration– Braking and Tire

To optimize performance of the new Pan America™ and Bronx™ models, Harley-Davidson® tapped into the expertise of world class component manufacturers to deliver bespoke solutions for braking and tire performance. For braking, Harley-Davidson® collaborated with Brembo® to create a new radial monoblock four-piston caliper that combines sharp edges with softer curves designed to create a style that complements the personality of the bike and delivers outstanding braking feel and capability. For tires, Michelin® and Harley-Davidson® have worked closely to develop co-branded tires for each motorcycle model that optimize performance, feel and grip in all conditions.