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Back-to-Back Wins for Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson

By General Posts

February 19, 2022 | U.S. Bank Stadium | Minneapolis, Minnesota

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (January 20, 2022) – Round 7 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship turned a cold shoulder to the sunny skies of the California coast as race fans were met with snowy air and subzero temperatures in Minneapolis, where Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson earned the 450SX Class victory, making him the first three-time winner in the class this season. The 250SX Eastern Regional Championship kicked off with Team Green™ flanking the podium with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Austin Forkner and Cameron McAdoo finishing in second and third place, respectively. Fellow Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jett Reynolds sustained a wrist injury prior to the race that will postpone his pro debut indefinitely.

With veteran understanding of the unique Minnesota dirt, Anderson started his day with a clear intention of letting the track come to him. While the riders’ morning track walk daunted many as they recognized peakier jump faces and softer dirt than have been faced so far in 2022, Anderson expressed to the team his game plan of patiently allowing the track to develop and the transitions to wear in before pushing to race pace. The qualifying sessions went according to plan as Anderson tactfully waited until the final laps of the final session to jump to the top of the leader board. When qualifying concluded, Anderson’s 47.94 lap time earned him third position heading into the race program.

When the second 450SX heat race got underway, Anderson emerged from the first turn in 10th position. The Monster Energy Kawasaki KX™450SR rider had his work cut out for him as the track proved to have few viable passing areas during the short heat races lasting only eight minutes plus one lap. On par with what has come to be expected of him, Anderson paired fast laps with quick passes to set the best lap time of the race (48.69) to charge his way up the running order. When the checkered flag flew, Anderson crossed the finish within a bike length of third position, securing a fourth-place result and a direct transfer to the Main Event.

The start of the 450SX Main Event saw Anderson jockey for position at the front of the pack, settling into third place by the time the green flag waved. The No.21 Monster Energy Kawasaki pilot matched the pace of the leaders while enduring pressure from behind and allowing the race to unfold around him. On Lap 10, Anderson made a pass through the flat corner neighboring the mechanic’s area to take control of second place. For the latter half of the race, Anderson held close in tow of the lead as the two riders ran at a speed that would separate them from the field. With only two laps remaining, Anderson’s tactful measure proved key when the leader crashed, and he took control of the lead. Anderson went on to claim his third win of the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Championship and now stands only three points shy of the championship lead.

“The track broke down a lot by the Main Event tonight but, that’s something we kind of expect with some of the East Coast tracks. I’ve been doing my best to prepare for it while practicing in California by riding with the Pro Circuit team every Thursday to sort of simulate race conditions. That helped tonight but, this was still a tough track for pushing the pace, and you kind of just had to let the race come to you. It’s awesome to have three wins already in the season but, we will keep taking it one race at a time as we go forward from here.”
– Jason Anderson

After much anticipation, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Forkner and McAdoo were eager to prove their place among the title contenders in the opening round of the 250SX Eastern Regional Championship. From the start of first practice, the Team Green duo quickly mastered the track and began fighting for the top qualification spots. At the end of the timed sessions, Forkner claimed the first pole position of the year with a fast time of 48.56, while McAdoo’s 48.81 lap time was quick enough to qualify him in sixth position.

In the first 250SX heat race, McAdoo found himself held up in the middle of the pack before coming through the first rhythm lane in 10th place. With his sights set forward, the No.48 KX™250 rider began quickly picking off the competition in the opening laps. Strong whoop speed and a readiness to alter his line choices lap-by-lap helped McAdoo make his way to sixth place by the end of the short qualification race.

In 250SX Heat 2, Forkner started the race in fourth place. Attempting to push his way to the front, Forkner made a few mistakes in the opening laps that shuffled him back several positions. The Missouri native was quick to regain his composure by the mid-point, however, and began to move forward once again. Matching his intensity with a respect for the technicality of an already deteriorating race track, Forkner secured fourth position when the heat race concluded.

The 250SX Main Event once again hosted green at the front with Forkner launching his KX250 out to the holeshot and leading the pack through the green flag lap, while McAdoo followed close behind in third. The No.33 of Forkner was overtaken on Lap 2 but held close in second place. The Team Green duo of Forkner and McAdoo proved themselves to be among the class of the field running in podium positions throughout the race. McAdoo fended off the pressure of several top contenders as he pressed forward, keeping Forkner in close company. In the late stages of the race, the distance between the top five grew even closer but, the front three never shifted position. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki mounted Forkner secured second place and his teammate McAdoo was right on his tail in third, making it a double podium result for Team Green.

“A podium finish is always a nice way to start the season. I was the fastest qualifier in the timed sessions and had a decent heat race. I grabbed the holeshot in the Main Event, I’ve been focused on making sure my starts are on point this year, so I was happy with that, and I just tried to focus on putting together clean laps. There weren’t many obstacles to separate the front guys on this track, so it came down to minimizing mistakes. My laps were consistent and I’m glad to have come away with a second, we are still right there in the points.”
– Austin Forkner

“With the short lap times, we had to do a lot of laps on a technical track tonight, so I did my best to lock-in. When competing against a class as stacked as this 250SX East championship, it was important for me to just focus on hitting my marks and execute each lap. I’m happy to get through the opening round with a podium and I feel confident heading into Arlington next weekend.”
– Cameron McAdoo

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Monster Energy® Kawasaki and Jason Anderson excel at Anaheim

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Monster Energy® Kawasaki and Jason Anderson Perfect in Anaheim

February 12, 2022 | Angel Stadium of Anaheim | Anaheim, California

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (February 13, 2022) – Round 6 of Monster Energy Supercross returned to Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the final time this season where Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jason Anderson claimed a decisive win over the the 450SX field leading start to finish. In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda qualified second and was battling for the win in Heat 1 when an untimely crash forced a premature end to his night. Shimoda will receive further medical evaluation and additional updates will follow.

The third stop in Anaheim, California presented a new set of challenges for Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Anderson and his competition, as the venue hosted several notably demanding obstacles. While the extended section of sand moguls served as the most readily detectable challenge on the track, the real separator was sure to be the peaky set of 14 whoops that headed toward home plate. From the outset of practice, Anderson capitalized on his prowess in the whoops by quickly mastering the section and jockeying for position at the top of the leaderboard. Building in intensity as the track wore in, Anderson rivaled for the fastest lap each time he took to the track. When the 450SX qualification sessions concluded, Anderson earned Pole Position with a fastest lap time of 56.700.

In 450SX Heat 2, Anderson placed his KX™450SR out front right from the drop of the gate. Leading into the first turn and through the green flag lap, Anderson took control of the six minute plus one lap race from the front. Anderson eluded pressure from the competition by setting the fastest times of the race in the opening laps and quickly established a comfortable lead. With clear track ahead, the No.21 Kawasaki rider extended his gap to five seconds over the competition and secured a commanding heat race victory, his second of the season.

The start of the 450SX Main Event was a carbon copy of his heat race with Anderson grabbing the holeshot and out to an early lead with the current championship point leader in close pursuit. The battle for the lead position drew roars from the fans in Anaheim as an exceptionally high pace met with a particularly challenging racecourse. As the track deteriorated and the front two racers separated themselves from the rest of the field, Anderson proved his mettle with each progressing lap. The New Mexico native overcame the trying conditions to steadily stretch the distance between him and his closest competitors.

In the latter half of the race, faced with arguably the most treacherous whoop section so far in the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross season, Anderson built his lead to over five seconds. Anderson blitzed across the whoops nearly every lap on his KX450SR and displayed his ability to charge forward with precision through the technical rhythm lanes. When the checkered flag flew, Anderson relished the heat from the Monster Energy fire cannons, having claimed a decisive win in the 450SX Main Event. Anderson’s win at Anaheim 3 marks his second win of the season and moves him to second in the overall point standings.

“From the fastest qualifying time to leading every lap of the heat race and the Main Event, we had a great day. In the Main, I grabbed my second holeshot of the night and immediately had pressure from Eli [Tomac]. The track was demanding and our speed was fast so I knew it would be a tough race but, my KX450SR took everything I threw at it and battles like that are what supercross is all about. While it was tough for us on the track, I had a blast fighting for the win and it sounded like the fans were absolutely loving the race. All things considered; I think that was one of my best main events ever.” – Jason Anderson

Motocross Champion Adam Cianciarulo on Monster Energy’s Podcast

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Monster Energy’s UNLEASHED Podcast Welcomes Motocross Champion Adam Cianciarulo
Episode 22 Interviews 25-Year-Old Dirt Bike Racing Prodigy and Team Monster Energy Kawasaki Rider

CORONA, California – January 10, 2022 – Kicking off the 2022 Supercross season with a special treat! Monster Energy is proud to host 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series Champion and dirt bike racing prodigy Adam Cianciarulo on Episode 22 of the sports and pop culture podcast UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny.

Released today across Monster Energy’s social media channels, this latest one-hour episode interviews the 25-year-old Team Monster Energy Kawasaki rider from Montverde, Florida.

“I’m glad that I’ve reached this point that I’m able to go out there on Saturday nights and live my dream. Sports are always going to be up or down with results or injuries. But at the end of the day, there is nothing in my life that I would rather be doing. It has been a crazy journey,” said Monster Energy’s Cianciarulo on the new edition of the UNLEASHED podcast.

Fans can now get the inside story of Cianciarulo’s pro motocross journey in this latest episode of UNLEASHED. Released today, the new podcast starring Adam Cianciarulo and special guest interviewer “Dirt Shark” Ash Hodges is streaming on all major platforms, including Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.

Cianciarulo has been riding dirt bikes for as long as he can remember. He started on his first minibike at age 3 and began racing one year later. His natural talent earned the native Floridian eleven AMA Amateur Motocross National Championships – still an unsurpassed record! As a pro, the Team Monster Energy Kawasaki rider kept collecting trophies, including the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series Championship and the coveted AMA Pro Motocross Rookie of the Year award.

Speaking to the two UNLEASHED podcast hosts, Australian action sports personality Luke “The Dingo” Trembath and professional snowboarder Danny Kass, Cianciarulo shares his perfectionist mindset as a pro racer and endless passion for motocross.

Raised in Port Orange near Daytona Beach, Florida, Cianciarulo was born with a need for speed. “My whole existence is really around dirt bikes. I got a bike when I was three years old and just started shredding around on it. I started racing locally when I was four and was pretty naturally gifted at it right away. So my parents were always super supportive and did everything to help me,” he said on the episode.

Soon enough, Cianciarulo’s natural talent allowed him to dominate far beyond local races and attract sponsors at a young age. “It kind of snowballed and became my life, I guess,” said Cianciarulo, who decided to pursue a career as a professional early on. “At age ten, I knew that’s all I wanted to do. I kind of understood the gravity as I get older. But in the moment, I just wanted to win! I just had that drive for it.”

In an unparalleled reign as an amateur racer, Cianciarulo became the winningest minibike rider in amateur motocross history. He clinched eleven AMA Amateur National Championships at Loretta Lynn, considered the Super Bowl of amateur motocross racing. But he always had his eyes set on fulfilling his lifelong dream of turning pro: “Any accomplishment in amateur racing was always about, how can I be a good pro? I wasn’t counting championships or counting checks. I was always like, how can I be one of those guys racing Supercross every Saturday night? I was just so focused on the process that success came naturally.”

In 2013, Cianciarulo turned pro for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and soon became a force to be reckoned with in the 250 division. After years of battling for the top spot and a heated rivalry with Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis, he finally earned the national AMA championship in 2019. “I just have this desire to win dirt bike races. There is just something about me that I’m obsessed with it. I enjoy that feeling. I wake up every day, how the hell am I going to win?”

Since joining the 450 division in 2020, Cianciarulo has overcome injuries and worked tirelessly to perfect his racing skills. Speaking on the ultra-competitive league, he said on UNLEASHED: “The one thing about the 450 class is that the top fifteen guys have all won championships on 250s. So your margin for error is just so small. The races are a little bit longer, the tracks are rougher. All the little things you don’t do well show ten times more!”

Heading into the 2022 season alongside teammate Jason Anderson, the prodigy is laser-focused on perfecting his skillset through daily training. “I figured out along the way that the joy is in the doing. To fall in love with the process of what you’re doing every day. And the results will come.” Asked what he most looks forward to in the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross season, Cianciarulo replied: “Winning!”

But better hear the full story yourself! Head over to the landing page to access Episode 22 of the UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny Podcast featuring Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo.

Episodes of UNLEASHED are filmed on a special set inside Studio M at Monster Energy headquarters in Corona, California. The podcast is hosted by the dynamic duo of Australian action sports personality Luke “The Dingo” Trembath and professional snowboarder Danny Kass. Known for their deep roots in action sports culture, the two starred in the beloved cult TV show ‘The Adventures of Danny and The Dingo’ on Fuel TV for five action-packed seasons in the early 2010s. Both hosts have walked the walk as pro snowboarders and possess the interview skills to find common ground with guests from any type of background – sports and pop culture. Always look out for new episodes dropping bi-weekly on Mondays.

The UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny Podcast is here to celebrate the personalities behind the Monster Energy lifestyle. With each episode dedicated to a unique guest or topic, listeners learn about living on the edge and advancing the state of the art in the world of high-energy sports as well as music, games, and pop culture from individuals at the top of their game. More than a drink, Monster Energy is a way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans – and the podcast is an extension of this unique DNA.

For more on Adam Cianciarulo and our team of motocross athletes visit www.monsterenergy.com. Also follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for exclusive content and athlete features.

About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers and fans. See more about Monster Energy including all of its drinks at www.monsterenergy.com.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes for December 2021

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Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) News provides updates on motorcycle industry, market, legislation, rights of bikers, motorcyclists in USA, and motorcycle news from around the world.

The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

CLICK HERE To Read the December 2021 News from NCOM

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Motorcycle Live: Inside the UK’s biggest motorcycle show

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from https://www.standard.co.uk/ by David Williams

It’s that time of year bikers dread – the days are shorter and the weather is colder and wetter, forcing fair-weather riders to leave their bikes parked at the roadside. Which means it’s time to head to Birmingham by train for Motorcycle Live, to see what they’ll be riding (and wearing) next year, when it all improves again.

The UK’s biggest bike show rolls Birmingham’s NEC from Saturday December 4 to Sunday December 12, revealing dozens of new motorcycles, even presenting show-goers with the chance to try some of them out.

More than 55 leading motorcycle manufacturers are showing off their latest machinery, and attendants are being encouraged to try them for size. New metal being revealed includes the Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT, the Triumph Tiger Sport 660, the Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak and the Husqvarna Norden 901.

Kawasaki will be showing off its new Z650RS, while other new bikes include the CFMoto 700CL-X and the Honda NT1100. Show-goers also get to see the British-built Langen Two Stroke, as well as the Norton V4SV, while BMW will have its futuristic-looking CE04 electric scooter on show.

Celebrating the future of motorcycling with electric technology is also high on the show’s agenda, with the brand-new Electric Test Ride Zone giving consumers an opportunity to try out a range of battery-powered models on a special indoor track.

This feature will give riders a feel for the instant power and responsiveness typical of an electric motorcycle – all without any emissions. Electrically-assisted bicycles – e-bikes – will also be available for show-goes to try out.

Elsewhere at Birmingham’s sprawling NEC there will be custom and classic bike zones, while race fans will be able to meet their track heroes, as stars from WorldSBK, British Superbike and road racing make guest appearances across the nine days.

Visitors can also watch Moto Trails, featuring the jaw-dropping skills of pro trail riders Jack Price, former World Trails 2 Champion and seven-time British Champion, and Michael Brown, European and multiple British Trials Champion, with show times throughout the day.

Honda will be paying homage to the original 1992 Fireblade by displaying a range of heritage models from across the years, while rival firm Suzuki is displaying all seven of its world championship-winning Grand Prix machines, including the GSX-RR of 2020 title-winner Joan Mir and Barry Sheene’s 1976 and 1977 500s.

Harley-Davidson will be showcasing its ‘Sportster Evolution Galley’, tracing the development of its 64-year-old Sportster range, while ‘bikers’ aged 1.5 to five years can try their skills at the Kiddimoto Balance Bike Experience, on an inflatable course.

Riders aged between four and twelve will be able to get kitted out in motocross clothing, gloves and a helmet – and be unleashed on a circuit designed to give a taste of the motocross experience, for novices and more experienced riders alike.

‘Experience Adventure’, supported by Honda, Royal Enfield and Triumph, will allow participants to enjoy a taste of off-road adventure riding, which will include tuition on bike set-up, body positioning and balance across an assortment of terrains.

For those wanting to break into motorcycling, meanwhile, every day during the show the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) will be offering free 20-minute riding lessons with a professional instructor, all protective clothing provided. Participants will be introduced to the brakes, gears and slow speed handling, giving visitors the chance to see if a life on two wheels is for them.

Who knows; maybe next year they’ll be riding to the show at the NEC too.

More information at: www.motorcyclelive.co.uk/features/category/ride-bikes/

NCOM Biker Newsbytes for November 2021

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Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) News provides updates on motorcycle industry, market, legislation, rights of bikers, motorcyclists in USA, and motorcycle news from around the world.

Read the latest on legislation, State laws, European motorcycle law changes and more.

Click Here To Read the November NCOM News on Bikernet.com

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Kawasaki Unveils Gas-Electric Hybrid Prototype Motorcycle

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by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

Kawasaki Lifts Cover On Its Gas-Electric Hybrid Prototype Bike

A peek behind the curtain/fairings.

We’ve been following Kawasaki’s hybrid motorcycle development since the firm filed patents in July, 2019. By November, 2021, Team Green gave us a peek at its progress with a short video laying out the philosophy behind the project. Then, an April, 2021, patent revealed Kawi’s new 48V hybrid battery design. Now, Kawasaki has pulled back the curtain (and the fairings) on its latest hybrid build while committing to a 2025 gas-electric hybrid production models.

Due to the chassis, front headlight configuration, and exhaust system, the prototype looks like it’s based on the Ninja 400. Kawasaki hasn’t officially confirmed our suspicions, but leveraging the entry-level sportbike aligns with current hybrid technology limitations. In automobiles, it’s easier for manufacturers to pair electric and internal combustion powertrains. In motorcycles, however, space is a much more limited resource. As a result, the firm couples its existing small-capacity parallel twin with a compact electric power unit.

From the beginning, Kawasaki has developed its hybrid project with the idea that riders would utilize the powertrains in different environments. The internal combustion engine suits highway riding, while the electric motor works best in urban environments. On a twisty road, both would work in concert to deliver the best of both worlds. It seems like the small-bore Ninja-based prototype would satisfy those requirements while also providing enough room to accommodate the new apparatus.

Of course, with two powertrains, the transmission will have to play nice with both systems, and Kawi’s automated gearshift smooths that transition. The new feature consists of an automated clutch, servo-powered shifter, and push-buttons for the user to operate. With so many European cities introducing zero emissions zones lately (and only more to come), the hybrid technology may be the perfect happy-medium between holding on to the range and convenience of gas-powered motorcycles while adopting cleaner and more efficient running powertrains.

For some, 2025 may be a long time to wait, but it’s encouraging to see Kawasaki’s project progress at such a rapid rate. Hopefully, we can say the same for the gas-electric hybrid’s acceleration when it hits the market in a few years.

Kawasaki Ninja 400 Based Hybrid Electric Motorcycle Prototype Unveiled

by Arun Prakash from https://www.rushlane.com

Kawasaki is working on a wide range of fully electric and hybrid motorcycles for the next few years

Kawasaki has made some major announcements recently which reveals the intentions of the Japanese superbike manufacturer for the future. The bikemaker has revealed that by 2035, all its models would run on electrified powertrains- either fully electric or hybrid electric vehicles, in major international markets.

In regard to this idea, the company is planning to launch ten new fully electric and hybrid motorcycles by 2025. The first of them was recently showcased at a presentation meeting in Japan. The prototype revealed is slated to be the first hybrid electric motorcycle from Kawasaki.

However, this isn’t the first motorcycle with an electric powertrain to be unveiled by the Japanese brand. Earlier in 2019, Kawasaki had revealed the electric Ninja 300 Concept, called EV Endeavor. Later the same year, the company filed patents for a hybrid motorcycle, images of which floated on the internet. The recent prototype unveiled is expected to be based on the same patents.

Kawasaki Ninja 400 Hybrid Prototype – Details
Going by the images, Kawasaki appears to have used Ninja 400 as the base for the exposed prototype of the hybrid bike. It features a parallel-twin engine which is bolted onto a new tubular steel frame with a large electric motor mounted above the transmission. The electric motor derives its energy from a small 48V battery pack located under the seat.

As per Kawasaki, the hybrid powertrain is equipped with a regenerative feature that tops up the battery when low on charge. Another interesting aspect of this hybrid motorcycle is that within city limits, the bike would completely run on battery and electric motor, cutting out power from the combustion engine. This mode will be useful when some cities introduce zero emissions zones in the future.

Automated Transmission
The bikemaker has equipped the prototype with GPS technology that automatically switches to electric power as soon as the bike enters city limits. Outside the city limits, the motorcycle will draw energy from both the combustion engine and electric motor in order to boost its performance. The entire system is paired with an automated transmission system with buttons for gear shifts.

The setup comprises an automated clutch and a servo-operated shifter that enables gear shifts through push button changes. Other details revealed from the images include a pair of telescopic front forks and rear mono-shock supporting the tubular steel frame. Stopping power is provided by single disc brakes on both wheels while being linked to dual-channel ABS.

Although no exact timeline for its launch has been confirmed, we won’t be surprised if this motorcycle reaches production within a span of a year.

Launch of Honda CB750 & Dick Mann at AMA Daytona 200-Mile Race

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by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

On Twitter by Honda Powersports: Monday’s passing of Dick “Bugsy” Mann, American Honda sends its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans. Mann’s 1970 Daytona 200 win aboard the CR750 (the racing version of the CB750 four-cylinder) was momentous in Honda’s history Thank you, Dick, and godspeed.

The Honda CB750 Changed the Way Motorcycles Were Made, Raced and Sold

Though now highly prized for their potential as re-imagined cafe racer machines, the venerable Honda CB750 was – back in its infancy – the bike that changed the game.

So how did it happen that the Japanese took over the worldwide motorcycle manufacturing industry? To a large extent, it came down to the creation of a single model.

With five consecutive championship titles under their belts, Honda decided to withdraw from the World GP circuit in 1967 with a plan to develop high-performance consumer motorcycles at the forefront of their vision.

While Honda exported more than half of their output back in the mid-’60s, they didn’t make a large-displacement sport bike model which would appeal to the hardcore rider in the U.S.

And it’s not like the honchos at Honda failed to notice that glaring deficiency. Sales of Honda motorcycles in America were flagging in 1966, and the company knew a brand-new worldview was in order. While the company had created the Dream CB450 in 1965, they were still being outgunned by big bikes from other makers. The CB450 sold well, but for the vast majority of American riders, it just didn’t have the requisite zing and bottom-end torque they craved.

What really drove Yoshiro Harada, the head of Honda product development at the time, was hearing the news that Britain’s Triumph was deep in the development process of a high-performance, 3-cylinder 750 cc engine. With the ante thus upped, Honda laid out plans to compete by creating their own 750 cc engine, which would lay down 67 horsepower to overtake the juice you could get from the 66-horsepower Harley-Davidson’s 1300 and the proposed Triumph Triple.

Though Honda was already the industry’s leading maker of motorcycles (due in no small part to the success of the most popular motorcycle in history, the Super Cub), the introduction of the CB750 sought to become the world’s top manufacturer of quality motorcycles as well. They were up against some formidable competition as comparable models from Triumph, BMW, and Harley were already on the road.

So what were the targets? Honda wanted to make a long-range, high-speed touring machine, so they turned to science for answers in the form of a newly-minted paradigm dubbed “ergonomics.”

Those targets included: Stability at highway cruising speeds, a reliable and cooled braking system that would handle frequent rapid decelerations from high speed, minimal vibration, and noise to fight rider fatigue on long hauls with a rider position which complimented the smoother power plant, lights and instruments which were large, gauges which were easy to read, easy maintenance and servicing for all the various modules of the bike and the use of top-quality materials and production techniques.

Perhaps the most significant innovation for Honda’s showpiece bike? The adoption of disc brakes. While that design decision proved costly and time-consuming, it was also a stroke of brilliance and one which made the CB750 a favorite of the serious riding set.

Released to the U.S. public in January 1969, the announcement of the new bike’s retail price, $1,495, was met with stunned silence at a dealer meeting in Nevada. The other shoe had officially dropped. Large-displacement bikes were selling at that time for between $2,800 and $4,000, and the 2,000 dealers on hand for the announcement exploded into applause when they recovered their wits.

And they had good cause for their optimism. The CB750 immediately commanded a premium sales price in dealer showrooms of between $1,800 and $2,000 to get one out the door.

Featuring an integrated crankshaft and metal bearing to replace the split-type, press-fit crankshaft with a needle bearing used in previous Honda motors, the CB750 was a great leap forward in design as well as price.

As great as this new machine was, the company initially had a serious problem. They could only manage to make something like five bikes a day, and that was clearly not enough to meet the demand for what had become a major hit with the market. Production was pushed to 25 units per day and then to 100 units, but that still left an enormous pile of backorders building up under and an entirely expected sales landslide.

It became clear that the production of the original sand-molded crankcases would never meet the rate requirements of mass production, so the factory switched over to producing crankcases of a metal, die-cast construction. The bikes were such a hit with the riding public that the production of engines and chassis was moved to a Suzuki factory in mid-1971. The “sandcast” CB750 models are now fetching enormous prices from collectors of up to ten and fifteen times higher than their new-off-the-line premium price back in the day.

But what really made the bikes a smash hit with the public?

Performance. Pure and dependable performance.

The factory racing team at Honda R&D took the new machines to compete at a 10-Hour Endurance Race in August 1969 to coincide with the commercial launch of the big bike, and Honda dominated, notching one-two finishes with the teams of Morio Sumiya and Tetsuya Hishiki taking first place and Yoichi Oguma and Minoru Sato pulling in a close second.

The deal was done when rider Dick Mann blew away the field on his CR750 during the AMA Daytona 200-Mile Race run during March 1970. The field was now wide open for large-displacement Japanese bikes, and in 1972, Kawasaki launched the 900cc ZI to compete on the big-bike stage…and the rest is, as they say, history.

Kawasaki Set to Electrify Its Entire Range in Developed Markets by 2035

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by Sergiu Tudose from https://www.autoevolution.com/

Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Kawasaki has announced that all its bikes sold in developed countries will become fully electric by 2035. They also plan on exploring hydrogen propulsion as more of a near-term solution, as they make the push towards carbon neutrality.

While the global pandemic didn’t spare the motorcycle market, some people still view these two-wheelers as the best means of transportation, seen as how it carries with it the lowest risk of infection.

According to Kawasaki chief executive Yasuhiko Hashimoto, his company is open to establishing a partnership with others in order to achieve their environmentally friendly objectives, reports BikesRepublic.

“Outdoor leisure activity has been popular during the COVID pandemic. We will strengthen our environmental efforts with our sights set on post-pandemic lifestyles. Partnerships with other companies may be possible in the future,” he said.

The first order of business is to launch a total of ten battery-powered motorcycles by 2025, before switching to EV power alone by 2035 in Japan, Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia. While short term plans might include new nameplates and “spin-offs”, if the company’s entire range is to be electrified within the next 14 years, that means fans need to start getting used to the idea of a fully-electric ZX-6R, ZX-10R or a Z650, just to name a few of their most popular (gasoline powered) models.

Kawasaki sold 380,000 motorcycles last year, despite a global market share of roughly 1%, as per Nikkei Asia. The bikemaker does of course have a strong presence in both Japan and North America, driven by its best-selling motorcycles.

As for its rivals, Honda is still the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. Yamaha meanwhile wants to make 90% of its models electric by 2050, which would put them somewhat behind the curve when compared to Kawasaki and their ambitious electrification goals.

One important thing to factor in is the fact that bikemakers will soon begin competing with carmakers for batteries, which at the moment looks like a tall task for the former.

Kawasaki All In With Plans for Electric, Hybrid and Hydrogen Bike Future
by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

Now that Kawasaki Motors Ltd. has spun off as a separate business entity, the superbike manufacturer has recently revealed its plans on going forward, and those plans include a commitment to build forward-looking drivetrains.

By 2025, Kawasaki says they’ll roll out 10 electric and hybrid motorcycles, five of them off-road models with “advanced fuel” power plants.

The news came as part of a presentation in Tokyo, and the company says the plans include a near heretical hydrogen-powered H2 engine.

While motorcycles make up just a small bit of Kawasaki’s core business, they operate as stalking horses to market its large machine production facilities and products.

Part of the marketing is the use of their classic corporate logo. That design is essentially a Japanese character that represents the word for “river.”

Masaya Tsuruno, Managing Director of Kawasaki Motors Europe, says the changes are aimed at staying current with a changing world.

“The world has changed immeasurably in the century-plus history of the Kawasaki company – none more so that in the past few years,” Tsuruno says. “As we roll out our new corporate identity with the River Mark at its core, we look to take a next, bold step in terms of technology and engineering as well as enhancing the lives of countless people around the world with a focus on sustainability and emerging green technologies. While some things change others remain constant such as our commitment to be the best in our chosen fields; the River Mark is a fitting symbol of this commitment.”

As a result of the changes, you can expect electric motorcycles to replace the company’s smaller-displacement machines with models such as an electric street motorcycle to essentially replace bikes like the Ninja 400.

Kawasaki says that its efforts will be focused on the premium end of the market, likely meaning that these machines will be geared towards European and North American riders.

What it means is that you can expect Kawasaki to pressure other manufacturers to adopt non-traditional drivetrain systems and perhaps roll out up to 16 new motorcycles a year thru 2025.

Eight of the Fastest Street-Legal Motorcycles You Can Buy in America

By General Posts

by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

It begins with the story of the legendary Suzuki Hayabusa. When that beast launched back in 1999, it triggered a hurricane of anxiety among various manufacturers – and it all came down to the top speed of the bike – a stunning 194 mph.

The Hayabusa represented a quantum leap in speed and made it the fastest motorcycle you could buy and ride on the streets. In fact, it took the title away from the already insanely fast Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird, and it did it by a startling 14 mph.

In answer, Kawasaki announced the creation of the Ninja ZX-12R, and it promised a top speed of more than 200 blistering miles per hour. That announcement led regulators to consider tamping down the lust for speed among manufacturers, and it also led to what’s come to be known as The Gentleman’s Agreement among the top motorcycle manufacturers across the globe.

As the story goes, the “agreement” called on manufacturers to set the upper limit on motorcycle speed at 200 mph. Since then, that agreement has been violated to varying degrees, and here are some of the motorcycles that flirt with – and exceed – the barrier posited by The Gentlemen’s Agreement.

The Yamaha YZF-R1M, which purports to achieve a top end of 185.7 mph, has itself become legendary for its on and off-track precision and power. The R1 line and the street legal R1 models achieve their punch following a power-and-less-bulk formula.

Offering lightweight carbon-fiber construction and powered by an explosive 998cc, liquid-cooled “cross-plane” inline-four, the R1 creates 200 hp and offers 89.2 lb-ft torque. When that kind of juice moves through its 6-Speed manual, the R1M does 0-60 mph in a snot-loosening 2.3 seconds. One of these beasts will set you back just over $26,000 USD.

Next up on this rogues gallery is the KTM 1290 Super Duke R. This KTM is a naked hypersport bit of lunacy that packs a 1301 cc, 75-degree V-twin motor into a novel frame. The 1290 Super Duke R wacks the limits of physics to the tune of 180 hp and cranks out 103 lb-ft of torque.

At a svelte 462 lbs. dry weight., the Super Duke R covers 0-60 mph in just 2.6 seconds and is limited to 186 mph. If you must have one, this KTM will set you back right around $18,000 USD.

The Hayabusa is back, and the 3rd Generation variant uses the same 1340cc inline-four motor to produce a healthy 188 hp and 110 ft-lbs of torque and covers 0-60 mph in a serviceable 3.2 seconds.

While it’s now restricted to 186 mph top speed, it does its progenitors proud. It will be priced at just north of $22,000 USD.

The BMW S1000RR represented a huge technological leap for the time, and when it launched in 2009, it was packed to the brim with electronics and rider-assist features unheard of even for the sophisticated ‘ultra bikes’ of the time.

The latest iteration, the 2021 BMW S1000RR is powered by a water/oil-cooled inline-4 motor that generates a stunning 205 hp and 83 lb-ft of torque.

In ‘Race Pro Mode’ it covers 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds and is capable of reaching a top speed of 192 mph. All that performance does not come cheap and the sticker price is expected to come in around $30,000.

An Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory is a sublime example of Italian design and engineering and an amazing achievement when you consider the fact that the has only been in the game since the end of the Second World War. Aprilia is dedicated to motorcycle sports and they use the competitive anvil to forge their lightning-fast and supple machines.

The RSV4 1100 Factory is powered by a 1099cc V4 engine which turns out 217 hp and 90 lb-ft of torque. And perhaps most critically, it weighs just 390 lbs and that finely-balanced power-to-weight ratio means it can do 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds and achieve a reported top speed of 198.8 mph. The Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory sports an MSRP of $25,999.

Known for the subtlety and innovative character of their designs, Ducati remains iconic for their blend of finish, style and pure power. The Panigale V4R combines carbon fiber and their signature desmodromic engine, Desmosedici Stradale R 998 cc Inline-4, produces 221hp straight out of the factory and you can ramp that power up to 234 hp with the addition of an Akrapovic full-racing exhaust.

The Desmosedici Stradale motor puts out 92 lb-ft of torque and travels from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds before ultimately achieving a top speed of 199 mph. You can be the proud owner of a 2021 Ducati Panigale V4R for just under $23,000.

As we near the top of this list, we find a pair of Kawasakis perched near the pinnacle. The ZH2 and the Ninja H2 are both said to be capable of 200+ mph, and these novel supercharger-boosted motorcycles feature 998cc inline-4 motors that crank out 200 hp and 101 lb-ft of torque.

The ZH2 with the ability to cover 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds and reach a top speed of more than 200 mph also represents a devil’s bargain of sorts. For 2021, Kawasaki ZH2 is priced at just over $17,500.

The lunatic Kawasaki Ninja H2R – with a stated top speed of 248 mph, is a track-only machine and therefore not allowed on our list. The H2R does hold the record holder for top end speed as it reached a snot-loosening 250 mph in just 26 seconds. For 2021, the Kawasaki Ninja H2 is priced at $29,500.

But the bike at the top of the list of mad-dog bikes you can ride on the street belongs to the Lightning LS-218.

Electric motorcycles are clearly the future, and the neck snapping torque offered up by an electric motor is surely attractive to wild fools in search of speed at all costs.

The Lightning LS-218 is powered by a 380V electric powerplant coupled to any of three battery packs: 12, 15, or 20 kWh. At its top tuning settings, this nearly silent monster churns out 200 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque and can reach a top speed of 218 mph.

Coupled with a demented 0-60 mph time of just 2.2 seconds, it takes the top slot when it comes to streetworthy guts. The 2021 Lightning LS-218 comes in at around $39,000 USD out the door.

Of course, most of these figures are reported by the manufacturers and results may vary according to conditions and tuning…