@BikeDevil Week on Two-Wheels: Our Weekly News Update – 28th October

Posted 28th October 2019

How’s everyone feeling after the clocks going back? Well, spare a thought for the members of the MotoGP paddock who were over in Australia at Phillip Island this weekend…

We have to start with the great performance from Cal Crutchlow who took second place on his LCR Honda. Marquez crossed the line first at the chequered flag, after stalking a hungry Vinales for much of the race. He passed him on the last lap, and Vinales crashed just three turns from the finish trying to hang in there. Jack Miller rounded out the podium in third, a momentous occasion as he’s the first Aussie to take a premier class podium on home turf since Casey Stoner back in 2012! It was a milestone for Rossi too as he raced his 400th GP this weekend, he finished eighth.

The Moto3 World Championship was decided with two rounds to go, as Lorenzo Dalla Porta sealed the deal Down Under.

Heading over to the action in Qatar now, it was an amazing final round for already-crowned, five-time WorldSBK Champ Jonny Rea as he took three wins at Losail International Circuit bagging the top step of the podium in race one and two and the Superpole race. He finishes the 2019 season 165 points ahead of his closest rival Bautista, who had a strong weekend scoring third place in race two and a second in the Superpole race. Chaz Davies finished the season on a high bagging second place in race one and two. And Brit-lad Alex Lowes showed Kawasaki why he was a safe pair of hands for the 2020 ride with a third place finish in race one and the Superpole race. What a WorldSBK season it’s been…

Following the announcement of his intention to retire at the end of the 2019 WorldSBK season, Losail International Circuit was the stage for Marco Melandri to complete his last ever race. His world-stage debut was back in 1997 when he was the youngest rider to take part in a 125cc Grand Prix at just 15 years and 24 days old. Before Scott Redding and Can Öncu, he was the youngest rider to win a GP at only 15 years, 10 months and 20 days old… a record he held for a decade.

Right, enough of racing and onto new bike news! Last week was a BIG week for new bikes with model releases coming from powerhouses such as Kawasaki, Ducati and Yamaha…

Let’s start with the green team and the news of their brand-new Kawasaki Z H2 as it was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. The new trellis frame holds a 200PS, 998cm3 supercharged engine and a seriously trick high-grade electronics package keep everything in control – we’re talking power modes, Kawasaki’s Corner Management Function (KCMF), Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Inertial Measurement Unit, traction control – and connectivity for a smartphone through the Kawasaki Rideology app. Sounds more like the spec of a rocket ship! Word is that it will be hitting the UK in February 2020, with dealers taking orders already. Pricing is expected to be sub-£16k. Kawasaki is offering customers the chance to be the first in the world to test ride the new machine at Las Vegas Motors Speedway too to celebrate the launch – yep, we’re as surprised as you are! Visit the Kawasaki Motors UK website for more information here.

Those who prefer a bit more of a classic look will be pleased to hear Kawasaki’s new W800 – the third in the W800 lineup alongside the W800 Street and W800 Cafe models. According to Kawasaki the air-cooled parallel twin engine ‘delivers a rich pulse and a hearty roar with every twist of the throttle’. There’s no availability or pricing information shared just yet, but we’re looking forward to seeing it – and the other new models in the range – at Motorcycle Live in November.

As if that wasn’t enough, Ducati held its ‘live premiere’ on Wednesday where the Italian manufacturer ‘dropped’ – yes, you heard us, we’re down with the kids…. – it’s 2020 lineup.

The 2020 Panigale V4 and V4S both get an update with new fairing and wings as well as suspension changes and the DTC Evo 2 traction control system found on some other models in the range. They also unveiled the 2020 Multistrada 1260S Grand Tour model – with the same engine and similar spec to the standard model, the special version – in ‘matt Sandstone Grey with red wheels and fairing trims’ has a centre stand, panniers and a dedicated seat – as well as addition LED lights, heated grips, a handsfree petrol cap and a tyre pressure monitoring.

Fans of the Scrambler family – who weren’t a fan of the price – will be pleased to hear the news that for 2020 there will be a new Scrambler Icon Dark model at a more affordable – by Ducati standards, of course – £7595. The other good news? It’s expected to hit dealers in November! The spec looks good and so does the machine – we’re sold! There was also a Ducati Panigale V2 – the new guise of the 959 – which has had a makeover for 2020 and will supersede the 959 in the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup for 2020.

The show-stopper, however, was the Streetfighter V4. Much-teased and hotly-anticipated, it pumps out 220PS when fitted with a new exhaust, which is a massive amount of shove for a super-naked. It, too, gets wings to keep the front down and a plethora of electronics. Coupled with the Z H2, it’s a big year for fast naked machines.

The Honda Goldwing range has had some tweaks including improvements to their fuelling and DCT systems, suspension changes and new colour schemes.

Yamaha has been gently trickling its new models to press and this week saw the news that they would be launching a new three-wheeled scooter. No stranger to the three-wheeled market – what with the Niken and Tricity 125 – it revealed a new Tricity 300 which will be powered by the same engine as the XMAX 300. It will be able to be ridden by full car licence holders – could this be the solution to getting more people onto two wheels….oh, erm, well three wheels is a good first step?! More details are expected next week at EICMA…

One thing we are definitely looking forward to seeing at EICMA next week is just what the limited edition machine will look like from the Aston and Brough Superior team-up. It will be the first time EVER that the luxury car brand will place its world-renowned badge on a motorcycle – and with both brands not focussed on affordability, we’re pretty sure we’ll need to save for the rest of our lives to get our hands on one of these – let’s see what they have to reveal on Tuesday 6 November over in Italy hey?

We’re expecting a new model from Suzuki too, following its release of some (slightly random) teaser videos appearing to hint at them launching a new V-Strom… We have to mention, even though it though it’s not a new bike as such. Indian Motorcycles has shared details of its new PowerPlus V-twin engine – specs shared show that it produces 119bhp and 131ft-lb of torque – with the American brand dubbing it as ‘a new level of V-Twin performance’…

Log on, Tune in, Ride out…