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Piaggio, KTM, Honda and Yamaha to set up swappable batteries consortium

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from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com

The consortium will define the standardised technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category, mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles.

Piaggio Group on Monday said it has signed a letter of intent with KTM AG, Honda Motor and Yamaha Motor to set up a Swappable Batteries Consortium for motorcycles and light electric vehicles.

The consortium will define the standardised technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category: mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles.

The companies will be working closely with interested stakeholders and national, European and international standardisation bodies. The founding members of the consortium will be involved in the creation of international technical standards. The Consortium will start its activities in May 2021.

In the context of the Paris Climate Agreement and the transition to electromobility, the founding members of the consortium believe that the availability of a standardised swappable battery system would both promote the widespread use of light electric vehicles and contribute to a more sustainable life-cycle management of batteries used in the transport sector, the companies said in a joint statement.

Also, by extending the range, shortening the charging time and lowering vehicle and infrastructure costs, the manufacturers will try to answer customers’ main concerns regarding the future of electromobility.

Michele Colaninno, Piaggio Group chief of strategy and product, commented, “With the signing of this letter of intent, the signatories show their proactiveness vis-à-vis the major concerns of their customers and the political priorities as regards the electrification of vehicles.”

An international standard for the swappable batteries system will make this technology efficient and at the disposal of the consumers, added Michele Colaninno.

2020 KTM 390 Adventure Arriving at U.S. Dealers in May, Priced from $6,199

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

Austrian motorcycle KTM is one of the leaders of the adventure motorcycle segment. For years the group has been making a wide range of two-wheeled machines, and the offering is about to get even more convincing.

As it eyes an increase of the customer base in key markets, KTM will introduce a new version of its entry-level bike for adventure riders, targeted at the ones who are new to this type of motoring. Called 390 Adventure, it should become available at dealers across the U.S. starting May.

The Adventure is based on the 390 Duke, and according to KTM has been built using lessons learned with the 790 Adventure and the bikes it usually fields in the famous Dakar Rally – at the core of the new bike sits a four-stroke 373.2 cc engine linked to an oversized radiator and a 6-speed sequential gearbox.

The movement of the bike over even or uneven terrain is handled by WP APEX suspension that comes with 170 mm of travel at the front and 177 mm at the rear. Bosch software runs the two-channel ABS system (for on-road and off-road use) fitted on the bike, and is backed by lean-angle-sensitive traction control.

“As an introduction to the world of light offroading and wider adventure touring, this motorcycle is a pure class-leader, combining the most powerful single in the segment with unmatched technology,” said KTM in a statement.

“A light, agile and confidence-inspiring entry model for riders looking to discover the world of adventure riding, this motorcycle offers added versatility for touring and light offroading.”

As said, the motorcycle will arrive at dealers across the U.S. starting next month. Prices start at $6,199, and the bikes matches all the A2 driver´s license requirements.

The entire list of features available the 390 Adventure can be found in the press release section below or at this link.

KTM joins BMW Motorrad in opting out of EICMA, Intermot due to coronavirus pandemic

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

In the best interest of their employees and customers, KTM AG will withdraw from global trade shows for the rest of the year, including INTERMOT in Cologne, Germany and the EICMA exhibition in Milan, Italy.

KTM AG have announced that the company will not participate in the motorcycle shows – EICMA and Intermot – this year due to continuing uncertainties prevailing because of the coronavirus pandemic. This means that both brands – KTM and Husqvarna – will be absent from the two very important motorcycle shows. Earlier this month, BMW Motorrad also announced opting out of the two shows as well. KTM AG has gone on to suggest event organisers, especially of EICMA, to move the dates to 2021.

The press statement from KTM AG reads that the company assessed their overall strategy for the rest of 2020 and have decided to make several key decisions in the wake of COVID-19 impacting public health, communities, the motorcycle industry and business on a global scale.

In the best interest of their employees and customers, the company will withdraw from global trade shows for the rest of the year, including INTERMOT in Cologne, Germany and the EICMA exhibition in Milan, Italy.

The proper planning of such events is currently at risk due to the uncertainty surrounding public gathering restrictions in most countries. The annual success of these indoor shows also sees hundreds of thousands of visitors gathering in enclosed spaces for a period lasting days and even weeks. For these reasons, KTM AG have identified their exclusion as a way to contribute towards a safe and strong return to normal activity.

Husqvarna Motorcycles will push ahead with current and future projects in order to provide the motorcycling market with exciting and innovative models and look for the best ways to show-off these developments. The KTM AG board of directors wishes to communicate that the coming months represent a small squeeze on the brake, but hands are very much poised on the throttle for the rest of 2020.

“Trade shows are key business milestones for the entire motorcycle industry but given the situation, public health and the welfare of our staff are higher priorities over the coming months. We have taken this course of action with a great deal of thought and, as a company, KTM AG would be pleased and interested if show promoters, EICMA in particular, would consider moving dates to 2021, where we hope and expect the situation to be settled and back to normal,” Hubert Trunkenpolz, KTM AG CMO, said.

Sainz wins Dakar for third time as Brabec takes motorcycle title

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from Reuters

Spaniard Carlos Sainz became a triple Dakar Rally champion with the Mini X-Raid team on Friday while American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown for Honda and ended KTM’s 18-year dominance.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz became a triple Dakar Rally champion with the Mini X-Raid team on Friday while American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown for Honda and ended KTM’s 18-year dominance.

Both are the first winners in Saudi Arabia, a country making its debut as host of the grueling endurance event, but have to reach the formal finish in Qiddiya before the results are official.

Brabec is the first American to win the Dakar in any category since it started as a race from Paris through the Sahara desert to the Senegalese capital in West Africa in 1979.

Two times world rally champion Sainz, whose son and namesake races in Formula One for McLaren, ended the final timed stage with a six-minute and 21 seconds advantage over Qatar’s defending champion Nasser Al Attiyah.

Sainz, 57, also won in 2010 and 2018 when the rally was held in South America. His three victories have been with different car manufacturers, the first coming with Volkswagen and the second in a Peugeot.

Triple champion Al Attiyah won the final stage to finish as overall runner-up for Toyota with Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, a 13 times winner on two and four wheels, completing the top three in his 31st Dakar.

Sainz, 57, also won in 2010 and 2018 when the rally was held in South America.

His three victories have been with different car manufacturers, the first coming with Volkswagen and the second in a Peugeot.

London Motorcycle Show on the horizon

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by Fraser Addecott from https://www.mirror.co.uk/

Check out all the latest machinery, plus a whole lot more, at the capital’s big bike fest

The post-Christmas winter months are probably not most bikers’ favourite time of the year – seeming cold, wet and miserable.

One bright spot on the horizon, however, is the ever-popular London Motorcycle Show.

This annual extravaganza continues to go from strength to strength and the 2020 edition looks like being no exception.

Alongside the latest machines from the world’s leading manufacturers, visitors will be able to see explosive live-action racing, rare classic machines, biking celebrities and a UK-exclusive celebration of iconic racer Barry Sheene.

All the new models from AJS, BMW, CCM, CF Moto, Ducati, Ecooter, Honda, Husqvarna, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Mutt Motorcycles, MV Agusta, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph, Yamaha and Zero will be on show.

Nine of Sheene’s legendary race machines (including his two title-winning bikes) are being flown in from Australia specially for the show.

And teammate Steve Parrish and Suzuki chief technician during Sheene’s winning years will be onstage sharing insight and anecdotes.

Race fans will be kept enthralled with a completely revamped Michelin Thunderdrome live-action event once again taking over the centre of the show.

The free races will see the world’s fastest road racer Peter Hickman going head-to-head with fellow Isle of Man TT competitors John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and James Hillier.

Visitors can purchase a VIP paddock pass, which allows them access to the racing stars and an unbeatable view of the action.

Alongside that, the Classic TT will officially be launched at the show, while, in between races, John McGuinness will be found propping up the bar at his own pub.

The 23-time Isle of Man TT winner will be pulling pints and sharing tales from his incredible career with punters throughout the weekend.

Statistics show 41% of riders are wearing helmets that are more than five years old and beyond the manufacturer’s service life.

Anyone who brings their old helmet to the show will receive a free gift and the opportunity to purchase a replacement at a bargain price.

Those wanting to take part should sign up beforehand at helmetamnesty.com.

Motorcyclists looking to escape on an adventure this year will find plenty of inspiration in the Adventure Zone and Bonhams will be bringing rare and exotic machines from the legendary Italian manufacturer Giancarlo Morbidelli collection.

The show is on February 14-16, at ExCel, East London.

For information and reduced-price early-bird tickets, visit mcnmotorcycleshow.com.

5 Of The Most Exciting Motorcycles Unveiled At EICMA 2019

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by Bryan Campbell from https://www.forbes.com/

EICMA, the International Motorcycle Show in Milan is always one of the most hotly anticipated events on the two-wheeled calendar. The show lays claim to some of the biggest model reveals and news of the year and 2019 was no different. There was a strong presence of overlanding and adventure motorcycles this year as that segment continues to trend upwards, but that didn’t stop Honda from grabbing headlines with its all-new MotoGP-inspired sportbike. These are five of the most exciting motorcycles unveiled at EICMA this year.

Ducati Scrambler Desert X Concept

Inspired by classic rally bikes and the legendary Dakar-winning Ducati-powered Cagiva Elefant, the Scrambler Desert X is essentially a bigger, more hardcore version of the Desert Sled. The finer details are scant but not much seems to be keeping this highly-modified Scrambler from going into production. The Desert X uses the Scrambler 1100 as its base architecture, rides on 21-inch front and 18-inch rear Pirelli Scorpion tires and has no less than four fuel tanks for long-distance riding.

Harley-Davidson Pan America

Considering Harley-Davidson’s recent questionable marketing ploys, like randomly sponsoring the X-Games and headlining in a Katie Perry music video, you can tell the American motorcycle manufacturer is throwing a lot at the wall to see what sticks. That includes the all-new, first-ever Harley-Davidson adventure motorcycle. The Pan America made its official debut at EICMA this year and also came sporting H-D’s new liquid-cooled V-twin engine. With the way the adventure market is trending, H-D is pinning its hopes on the Pan America, but seeing as how it’s the brand’s first venture into the space, there’s no way to tell how competitive the bike will be, just yet.

Honda CBR1000RR R

EICMA 2019 was filled to the brim with long-travel suspension and dirt-hungry knobby tires, but some of the biggest news came from Honda, concerning the all-new CBR1000RR-R sportbike. Taking a healthy dose of inspiration from the race-winning, series-dominating Honda MotoGP bike, the new CBR is expected to raise the bar astronomically for Honda. The full-color TFT display and electronics package features electronically adjustable suspension and new readouts like lean-angle sensor. According to the Honda UK media site, the new engine is expected to develop around 214 horsepower.

KTM 390 Adventure

Typically, adventure motorcycles tend to be on the heavier side and the tall seat heights can be intimidating and off-putting for shorter riders. Now that there’s a noticeable uptick in interest in the adventure category, it’s good to see manufacturers catering to the larger population and building smaller, more approachable bikes. The KTM 390 is a smart move on the Austrian brand’s part. KTM is providing a gateway to adventure riding to younger and newer riders, and as those riders get older, gain more experience and look for an upgrade, it stands to reason they’ll stay brand loyal, especially since KTM already has off-road options in nearly every size category.

Husqvarna Norden 901

Over at KTM’s Swedish sibling’s stand, the Husqvarna Norden 901 broke cover and now claims the title as the brand’s first true all-out Adventure Touring motorcycle. Riding on 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wire-spoke wheels and sporting a two-piece TFT display, Husqvarna says the Norden 901 was built as a light explorer motorcycle. It’s based on the KTM 790 Adventure, so it’ll be interesting to see how different the riding experiences are to justify one over the other.