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  • Ducati ends 2020 with 48,042 bikes sold worldwide

    In what has been a tumultuos year for many, Ducati celebrated a positive 2020 with 48,042 motorcycles sold compared to 2019’s total of 53,183 units. An uptick in sales was recorded for China, Germany and Switzerland, where sales results improved over 2019 but overall global sales saw a drop of 9.7% percent, acerbated by a factory shutdown in March and April due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The Borgo Panigale firm rallied strongly in the second half of 2020, after production resumed, with the six-month period from July to December being a record in terms of sales. International markets continue to play a big part in Ducati’s success, with China showing a 26% increase in sales volume, or 4,041 units sold while home market Italy was the first to see over 7,000 Ducati motorcycles sold in a single country.

    In terms of model sales, the retro-styled Scrambler family was a best seller for Ducati, with 9,265 units delivered across both 1,100 cc and 800 cc variants. Ducati’s naked sports tour de force, the Ducati Streetfighter V4 was the single best selling individual bike in its catalogue with 5,730 units moving out the door.

    Looking forward to 2021, Francesco Milicia, Ducati’s Vice President and Global Sales Director said, “first deliveries of the Multistrada V4, the first motorcycle in the world equipped with front and rear radar, have already begun.” Other models that will be entering Ducati dealer showrooms this year include the Panigale V4 SP, the SuperSport 950, the Monster and the Scrambler Night Shift, added Milicia.

  • 2020 second best ever sales year for BMW Motorrad

    Coming off a record sales year in 2019, BMW Motorrad has recorded its second best sales year in 2020, with 169,272 motorcycles sold worldwide. This number is 3,4% down from the 2019 record of 175,162 motorcycles sold.

    Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions imposed across the world, BMW Motorrad managed to launch 13 new models. Among these were the BMW Motorrad R18 and the mid-range twins, the F900R and F900XR, as well as the updated S1000R four-cylinder naked sports.

    As can be expected, BMW Motorrad’s boxer twin continues to be its best seller, with almost 80,000 units sold in its R-series and RnineT range. For the sub-500 cc G-series bikes, the G310R and G310GS, BMW Motorrad sold over 17,000 units, and will continue on in its catalogue.

    Broken down by country, its home market of Germany remains its largest market with 27,516 units sold, an increase of 1,224 units over the previous year. This was followed by France with 17,539 units against 17,300 units in 2019.

    However, Europe as a whole showed a downturn in sales, registering a drop of 5.3% posted against the year before. This was made up with increased sales volume in China and Brazil, the Middle Kingdom registering a substantial 33.7% increase in sales volume with 11,788 motorcycles and scooters sold while Brazil recorded 10,707 BMW two-wheelers moving off the showroom floor, an increase of 6.4%.

    The two-cylinder F-series machines, comprising of the BMW F750GS, BMW F850GS and BMW F850GS Adventure, along with the F900R and F900XR, saw more than 35,000 units sold. Of these, the F900R and F900XR comprised close to half the total sales volume with 14,429 sold across the world.

    Positive about BMW Motorrad’s sales performance in 2021, Timo Resch, BMW Motorrad Head of Sales and Marketing, said, “we will again deliver a variety of strong new products to our customers in 2021 together with our strong partners. The M 1000 RR, one of the most spectacular sports bikes, is waiting to be released onto the racetracks of this world.”

    Other developments waiting in the wings for BMW Motorrad in 2021 include an update to the G310R and G310GS as well as “one or two surprises with regard to e-mobility this year.”

  • 2021 Harley-Davidsons, 114 Street Bob joins lineup

    2021 Harley-Davidson 114 Street Bob

    American motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson (H-D) has revealed its 2021 model year lineup of cruisers, tourers and trikes, and the inclusion of the Livewire electric motorcycle into the catalogue. Following the hiring of new chief executive officer Jochen Zeitz, who joined the Milwaukee firm after the resignation of Adam Levatich, H-D has moved away from bold plans to increase market interest in younger and new riders, preferring to stay with their traditional market with a strategy called “Rewire.”

    This means the 2021 range of H-D V-twins looks pretty much the same as last year’s, with the exception of the Street Bob 114, carrying the Milwaukee-Eight displacing 1,868 cc and producing 86 hp at 5,020 rpm and 155 Nm of torque. Chrome is kept to a minimum of the Street Bob 114, with blacked out engine, wheels and exhausts.

    Taking the opposite route is the Fat Boy 114, with the same engine as the Street Bob 114 but bedecked in chrome. Unlike the Street Bob 114 with its 13.2-litre fuel tank, the Fat Boy 114 gets a 19-litre unit with a 240 width rear tyre matched to a 160 mm front on 18-inch wheels serve to give the Fat Boy a hulking stance.

    2021 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

    The 114 engine also enters H-D’s touring lineup, being installed in the Road King Special, Street Glide Special and Road Glide Special. For 2021, the Street Glide Special and Road Glide Special are offered with a choice of new two-tone paint schemes and blacked out or chrome styling options.

    Technology also makes its way into the H-D catalogue this year, in the form of RDRS Safety Enhancements, including cornering ABS, linked braking, traction control, rear wheel slip control, vehicle hold, and tyre pressure monitoring. RDRS is standard on H-D CVO, Tri-Glide Ultra, Freewheeler and LiveWire models, and optional on other H-D touring models while not being offered as an option on the Softail series bikes.

  • 2021 KTM 890 Duke revealed, 889 cc, 115 hp, 92 Nm

    Updated for this year, the 2021 KTM 890 Duke has now been revealed, building on the KTM LC8c parallel-twin. More power, more torque and razor-sharp handling is part of the 890 Duke’s package.

    Centrepiece of the 890 Duke is the Euro 5 compliant two-cylinder mill, which now displaces 889 cc and puts out 115 hp at 9,000 rpm and 92 Nm of torque at 8,000 rpm. This is an increase of 10 hp and 5 Nm over the 790 Duke and a 20% increase in rotating mass smoothens out power delivery at low engine speeds and partial throttle opening.

    Power is kept under control using an updated Bosch 9.1 MP ECU and 6D lean angle sensor with three ride modes – Rain, Road and Sport – and Track mode is an option, giving customisation of the ride settings. In Track mode, there are nine levels of traction control intervention, anti-wheelie can be disengaged and three levels of throttle response to choose from.

    Braking is done with 300 mm diameter floating discs on the front wheel, clamped by radial-mount four-piston callipers while the rear uses a single 240 mm disc and two-piston calliper, with cornering ABS standard. For front suspension, a WP Apex 43 mm upside-down fork is used and the rear end is suspended by a WP Apex mono shock, adjustable for preload.

    Always a trademark of KTM bikes, the extra kilos are kept to a minimum, with the 890 Duke boasting a claimed dry weight of 169 kg. The engine is used as a load-bearing component of the chassis and the sub-frame integrates the air intakes and airbox, minimising the number of components and reducing weight.

    Fuel is carried in a 14-litre tank and seat height is a mere 820 mm off the ground, straying from KTM’s traditional tall seat height measurement. Styling follows cues from the KTM Duke family, with bifurcated LED headlight and LCD display with Bluetooth connectivity.

  • 2021 WSBK: Kawasaki Racing Team starts shakedown

    Entering 2021 with a six year championship winning streak, World Superbike (WSBK) champion Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) start shakedown testing in Jerez, Spain, this week. Riding a much revised and revamped Kawasaki ZX-10RR, Rea and crew are looking for “performance improvements and new approaches to overall race competitiveness.”

    Also testing with Rea is KRT team mate Sam Lowes, who previously raced in Moto 2. Joining KRT on the track putting the ZX-10R through the paces are Spanish superbike teams Outdo TPR with rider Loris Cresson and Orelac VerdNatura Racing with Isaac Vinales, cousin to Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales.

    The 2021 Kawasaki ZX-10RR features all-new bodywork, notably in the front cowl which resembles the head unit of the Kawasaki H2R hyperbike. Aerodynamics plays an important part in the new bodywork with integrated winglets providing 17% more downforce at high speed.

    In the engine room is an inline four-cylinder with DOHC and 16-valves, pumping out 204 PS at 14,000 rpm and 111.8 Nm of torque at 11,700 rpm. The power number goes up to 214 PS when ram air is factored in while the standard ZX-10R puts out one PS less ins stock trim.

    Rea is confident of his chances going into the 2021 WSBK season, saying, “the biggest thing we need to understand in these coming tests is engine character. We will have new parts and we will work together with my electronic engineer to give me the feeling that I really like.”

    In Malaysia, the question of the Kawasaki distributorship remains somewhat tenuous, with Malaysian motorcycle maker Modenas and Kawasaki Heavy Industries reportedly teaming up for an assembly joint-venture. No real information coming as to the current status from any of the parties involved, with reports saying KHI will be taking a more active role in Modenas assembly operations.

    Meanwhile, the role of Kawasaki Motors Malaysia (KMSB), which has distributed Kawasaki motorcycles in Malaysia for over two decades, is still to be determined. Last information received by the previous year indicated KMSB would continue distribution of Kawasaki motorcycles in Malaysia above 650 cc but this is yet to be officially confirmed.

  • BMW Motorrad R18 Kingston Custom Spirit of Passion

    Designed in homage to the R5, the BMW Motorrad is somewhat suited to customisation and dressing up, as shown by the BMW Motorrad R18 “Spirit of Passion” by Kingston Custom. In this case, Spirit of Passion is the brainchild of Kingston Custom principal Dirk Oehlerking, and follows previous custom designs in the R18 series, R18 Dragster by Roland Sands and the Blechmann R18 by Bernhard Naumann.

    Oehlerking, commissioned by BMW Motorrad as part of its “SoulFuel” custom motorcycle series, left the R18’s frame untouched, saying, “the frame is 100 % original and so sophisticated that nothing should be changed here.” However, the installation of a throwback from the 1950s, a streamliner or “dustbin” fairing, gives Spirit of Passion a look not seen since the days of motorcycle racing in over six decades.

    The Art Deco look of the fairing with the trademark BMW kidney grille integrates an LED front headlight and Kellermann indicators with the exhaust modified by Oehlerking, and an aftermarket saddle fitted. The fairing is finished in the same shade of black os the original R18, along with the pinstriping.

    Carrying the largest opposed-twin made by BMW Motorrad, the R18’s engine displaces 1,802 cc and produces 91 hp at 4,750 rpm and 152 Nm peak torque at 3,000 rpm. Designed for low-end grunt, the R18 delivers 150 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, making a gearbox seem almost superfluous.

    An exposed shaft drive delivers power to the rear wheel, mimicking the design of the original R5. In Malaysia, the 2020 BMW Motorrad R18 is priced at RM149,500, on-the-road without insurance.

  • 2021 Ducati Malaysia price list updated, new 2021 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE priced at RM80,900

    While we await the market launch of the 2021 Ducati Monster and Monster+ in Malaysia, along with the updated SuperSport 950, XDiavel and Multistrada V4, here’s the current year Malaysian price list for Ducati. Ducati, like many other motorcycle makers around the world, was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    However, a second half the year saw Ducati come back strongly, with a total of 48,042 motorcycles sold worldwide. As can be expected, the Streetfighter V4, launched in 2019 and priced at RM115,900, was its best selling product with 5,730 units sold and the range has been expanded with the “Dark Stealth” model variant.

    Meanwhile for Malaysia, no major changes in pricing or the line up, with 2020 having had a severe impact on large displacement motorcycle sales in general. There were surprises though, such as the Ducati Panigale Superleggera V4 being the target of a private purchase despite the soft economy.

    Surprise inclusion in the Ducati Malaysia price list is the 2021 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE, priced at RM80,900 before road tax, insurance and registration. Based on the Hypermotard 950 Concept shown at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este show in Italy in 2019, the Hypermotard 950 RVE is yet to be released in Malaysia.

    The Monster 821 is still on the price list, with no change in pricing from 2019 and pending the Malaysian launch of the 2021 Ducati Monster and Monster+. Remaining stocks are limited though, and if you’re wanting the last of the iconic trellis-framed Monsters, this is your last chance.

    On the superbike side of things, we were informed the Panigale V4 has had a good take up amongst Malaysian sports riders, with all units imported in 2019 sold, in both the base model (RM132,900) and V4 S (RM172,900) forms.

    For the Multistrada, the Multistrada 1262 is set to be replaced by the Multistrada V4, though no word on pricing as yet. The Multistrada 950 S – the base model Multistrada 950 was not brought into Malaysia – continues on in V2 form, and pricing remains unchanged from last year.

    In the retro motorcycle lifestyle side of things, no changes to the Scrambler line up, with prices brought forward from 2020. For the new year, expect to see more variations on the theme from Ducati, with new model variants featuring different paint jobs and names but remaining mechanically unchanged.

  • 2021 Dakar Rally: Benavides and Honda take the win

    Two-times in a row for Kevin Benavides and the Monster Energy Honda Team in the 2021 Dakar Rally, with the Argentinian finishing the desert race in a time of 47 hours, 18 minutes and 14 seconds. Benavides, riding the Honda CRF450L Rally, faced a strong challenge from team mate Ricky Brabec.

    However, Toby Price of Red Bull KTM Factory Team, a favourite to win the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally, dropped out in stage nine within broken collarbone, needing an emergency airlift for medical attention. Second place in the Dakar Rally went to Brabec, who crossed the finish line 4 minutes and 56 seconds behind Benavides.

    Briton Sam Sunderland of Red Bull KTM Factory team rounded out the top three, finishing in a time of 47 hours, 57 minutes and six seconds. This year’s edition of the Dakar Rally was held in Saudi Arabia, covering 7,646 km across sand dunes and tarmac across 14 days.

  • 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 and Tuono V4 Factory updated

    2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory

    Getting some minor updates for this year are the 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 and Tuono V4 Factory super naked, with the two variants having a clear division on road and track duties. Styling cues are also taken from the recently released Aprilia RS660, with the inclusion of the “double” fairing.

    Biased to road use, the Tuono V4 has a raised handlebar and the fairing provides more protection for the rider, also housing the new triple LED headlight with DRLs. The pillion perch is now larger with lowered passenger pegs, allowing the passenger to come along for rides in a modicum of comfort.

    The 65-degree Veneto V-four, displacing 1,077 cc, provides motive power, producing 175 hp and 121 Nm of torque and now Euro 5 compliant. A new Marelli 11MP ECU and revised APRC electronic riding aids suite improves the riding experience.

    2020 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory

    There arena six riding modes from the previous five, three Race modes, including one custom mode and three Road modes, with one mode adjustable to suit the rider’s preference. In conjunction with traction control, wheelie control, engine braking and ABS, the Tuono is able to interpret the rider’s needs for maximum safe riding performance.

    Improvements have also been made to the chassis, in the swingaram. Derived from Aprilia’s experience in MotoGP and World Superbike, the new swingarm is lighter and features a lower reinforcement brace, giving stability during acceleration and lowering the centre of mass.

    A new, larger TFT-LCD instrument panel shows more information and controls have been reworked to make it more intuitive for the rider. The 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 comes in Tarmac Grey and Glacier White while the Tuono V4 Factory with Ohlins electronic suspension is available only in Aprilia Black.

    GALLERY: 2020 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory

  • Sepang CEO: Tough times ahead but we’re prepared

    With the imposition of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and declaration of a State of Emergency for Malaysia, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) is not taking things for granted and is prepared for a tough year ahead. With the cancellation of the MotoGP Winter Test in February and Malaysian Superbike Championship rounds, scheduled for this month, SIC chief executive officer Azlan Shafriman Hanif is optimistic that the circuit and its staff will weather this crisis as it has in the past year.

    “The MCO has had a severe impact on SIC’s revenue last year, I don’t have the exact number with me right now, but in terms of percentage of revenue it’s more than 50%, from our calculations,” said Shafriman. Shafriman, who prefers to be knows as “Shaf”, said this has affected SIC’s profit for 2020.

    Realising this has to be addressed, Shaf has implemented cost savings and control of fixed costs, something that was started last year during the first MCO and will continue into this year. “We have several plans, especially in the area of cost control and we will have to be careful with expenditure,” he said.

    Shaf doesn’t expect the MCO to be lifted in two weeks and foresees a possible continuation. “SIC intends to resume it calendar once the MCO lifts and one of the measures we have proposed to the authorities is a “travel bubble” where international participants will go from the airport to the hotel for a day’s quarantine, then between the hotel and circuit until the event ends,” Shaf said in reference to the Malaysian MotoGP round at the end of this year and the possibility of it being held.

    SIC is also looking at revenue streams apart from the traditional motorsports events, with an emphasis on involving the family. “Most often, the gentlemen in the family come to Sepang for the racing or whatever, and the family doesn’t follow simply because there is nothing there for them. We want to change that by making Sepang a family-friendly place, perhaps with a nice cafe and nursery where families can spend time,” said Shaf.

    Plans also include a renovation of the Sepang go-kart track and the building of a drive experience centre. “We have called for the tender and once the process concludes we expect to begin work in April,” explained Shaf.

    It appears 2021 will be much the same as 2020 for SIC, with travel restrictions and pandemic lockdowns playing havoc with the race calendar both regionally and internationally. “Looking on the bright side, I feel SIC has a key role to play in developing motorsports in the region, as we done in the past, and we will get through this as a team,” Shaf said.


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Last Updated 23 Jan 2021